I remember when I was in my teens at church and the following reading would come up in the pericopes (those readings that follow the three-year lectionary of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)
I used to feel so bad for the elder that had to stand up and read from Romans 7 in front of the congregation because it is so complicated to read aloud:
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.
Even as a youngster, I could relate to the concept of this challenge. And as I have moved through my life, the reality of it all is ever-present. What a struggle. It is a struggle for each of us!
How is it possible to be wretched and yet also be worthy of being rescued? Only through Jesus. Through Christ alone!
On the Road,