Paul has described himself as a man in a desperate state. Clearly, his description came from his own experience. Paul very much wanted his life to please God, but Paulís own efforts were too weak to do that. Paul desired only to do good things, but he could not stop his own wrong thoughts and behaviour. He realised that the result of our evil deeds is death (6:23). So, he very much needed Godís help.
Paul describes his state as wretched, or miserable. Previously, he used a similar word to describe the miserable results of peopleís lives when they fight against God (3:16). Paul has just described his experience as a war that was happening inside him (7:23). With his mind, he approved of Godís law - but his own body seemed to fight against it. In other words, his own desires were so often for himself, and not for God. It is natural for the human body to behave in this way - but the natural end of the human body is death. So, Paul was a dying man.
However, Paul has already told us that God gives life to dying people. God does that when people act in faith. In other words, when they believe him. That is what happened in the life of Abraham (4:17-19). That is what God wants to do in our lives, too (4:23-25). Because of the death of Christ, his Holy Spirit can live in us (8:9). Even as the Holy Spirit caused Christ to become alive again, so he can give life to our dying bodies (8:11). That is not the natural, human kind of life that will soon end (John 11:25-26). God gives his people the kind of life that never ends (John 4:13-14; Romans 8:16-18). Their spirits will never die; but even their bodies will receive the new kind of life that comes from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42-49).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.