This man is not only regenerate and impotent, but he is also a Miserable Man. He is utterly unhappy and completely miserable; and what is it that makes him so completely miserable? It is because God has given him a
new nature that loves his Lord. He has fallen in love with this loving, caring God who has given him the hope of salvation. And is miserable because he is not obeying this God's law that he loves so much. Finally with a broken heart he cries, "But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them." Romans 7:17 (NCV) Friends we are very blessed when we get to the point where we cry: "What a miserable man I am!" When we experience this kind of pain for hurting our Lord and Savior, then we are on our way to the eighth chapter of Romans.
The other side of this is that it is all to easy for us to use this confession that Paul makes here in Romans seven as an excuse for sin. We are tempted to say, "Why, if Paul had to confess his weakness and utter inability to live a life of victory then what hope do I have to do better?" And at this point in our walk with Jesus there is a great temptation to quietly set our call to be holy and live a life of victory in Jesus aside. It is my great hope that everyone of us can voice these words "What a miserable man I am!" In the spirit in which they were written here in Romans 7:24. Where if we are unkind or think an immoral thought we scream out; "What a miserable man I am!" And every time we gossip or criticize we kneel down to God with the understanding that this was never the state where God means for us to stay. Andrew Murray speaking on this very verse said it this way,
"Would God that we would take this word into our daily life, and say it every time we are touched about our honor, and every time we say sharp things, and every time we sin against the Lord God, and against the Lord Jesus Christ in His humility, and in His obedience, and in His self-sacrifice. Would to God you could forget everything else and cry out: "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of death?" Why should you say this whenever you commit sin? Because it is when a man is brought to this confession that deliverance is at hand." Absolute Surrender p. 75-76
I have lived the experience of being impotent and captive in my spiritual life, and if I am honest I often still do, and it makes me realize my miserableness and wretchedness. But the thing that causes me the most pain is hurting my Lord and Savior Jesus! I can relate to this man Paul is talking about and I am thankful that being sinful in God's sight is unbearable and I often cry out: "Oh Miserable Man that I am!" Because it is when every sin grieves us and makes us indescribably miserable that we are not only pushed to ask: "Who will save me from this body that brings me death?" But we cry out in hope: "I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"