We are all familiar with this passage in Romans, but have you noticed where this text is placed in this wonderful writing of Paul? It is right at the end of the seventh chapter and is the segue into the eighth. Then in the first sixteen verses of the eighth chapter we find that Paul uses the name of the Holy Spirit sixteen times. In these sixteen verses we find the description and the awesome promise that we as children of God can live in the power of the Holy Spirit. This starts in the second verse: "Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free from the law that brings sin and death." (NCV) Then Paul goes on to tell of the great and wonderful privileges we have as the children of God; and just as important that we are actually led by the Holy Spirit. And the gateway to all this is the twenty-forth verse of chapter seven. "What a miserable man I am!"
Here we find the words of a man who has come to the end of himself. And I have to ask the question: Have you gotten there yet?
In the previous verses of chapter seven Paul describes how he had struggled and fought on his own to obey the Holy law of God, and had failed miserably! But, then he answers his own question: "I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (NCV) From there Paul opens to us what that deliverance is that he has found.
So let's take a look at how you and I can be led from this life of misery and spirit of bondage into the spirit of freedom in Jesus. Paul tells us in verse fifteen, "The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear;" (NCV) Again and again we are warned that this is a great danger for us as children of God; to fall back into a life of spiritual bondage to the law.
The next four weeks I would like to try and share with you how we can get out of this bondage, by looking at the four persons that Paul is describing in this all important passage. Next week we will look at The Regenerate Man; then The Impotent Man, then The Miserable Man, and last The Almost-Delivered Man. Paul's experience has been my experience as well, and maybe you can find help in your walk with Jesus too.