“Hope Found in Christ; by Jeff Curtis”
Hope Found in Christ
By Jeff Curtis
Paul’s primary point in Romans 7:14-25 was that a man under the Law, without Christ, doomed to spiritual failure. The Law did not, could not, sanctify. Even so, through the years, Paul’s words have touched the hearts of saints and sinners alike. Thousands have said, “I know exactly what he means. I’ve felt that way myself!”
What practical lessons should we draw from this text? A few think that the primary message is that life is hopeless. They say, “If the apostle Paul couldn’t make it, why should I even try?” Apparently, they missed the first part of verse 25. It is true that life without Christ is hopeless; but with Him all things are possible (Philippians 4:13; Mark 10:27).
Then there are those who use the passage to justify their half-hearted efforts to live the Christian life. “I’m struggling with this sin that keeps overcoming me; but that’s all right because Paul had the same problem. If that was good enough for Paul, then it’s good enough for me.” People who think like this are ignoring verses 24 and 25 of our text. Defeat was not “good enough” for Paul. Defeat made him turn to the Lord, who gave him the victory (8:37).
Several valuable lessons can be learned from Romans 7:14-25.
Knowledge alone is not enough. Knowledge is important (we never want to encourage ignorance); but, by itself knowledge cannot cure a sin-sick world. Some believe that “when people know better, they will do better”; but a lack of knowledge was not Paul’s problem. He knew what he should do and how he should live, but he just couldn’t do it.
Resolution alone is insufficient. There is nothing wrong with resolving to do better and then trying to carry out that resolution, but this will not solve all problems. Some are convinced that the only reason people fail is that they “didn’t try hard enough.” Paul wanted to do right, and he tried his hardest to do right; but he failed.
Diagnosis alone is ineffective. Paul knew that he needed to be “set…free from the body of death” (7:24), but he couldn’t do anything about it. Correct diagnosis alone was worthless; he needed a cure.
Hope is found in Jesus Christ. Of course, the most important lesson of this passage is that, when we are filled with despair as Paul was, there is hope. Our hope is found in Christ, who can deliver us from sin and death. Paul exclaimed, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (7:25). The worst news in the Bible is followed by the best news.
Meet with God Where?
The Lord said that He would meet with the Israelites at the mercy seat in the tabernacle (Exo. 25:22) and that there He would dwell among them (Exo. 29:43-45). Where can Christians meet with the Lord today? We meet with Him in the church. It is His church. He is always there. To be with Him, we must be in the church. We must also meet with Him weekly in the assembly (Matthew 18:20). However, we can meet with Him at any time or in any place; we don’t have to go anywhere special to meet with the Lord (John 4:21-24). Those who are in the church are in the Lord, and the Lord is in each Christian. If you are a Christian, you always have access to Christ.