Romans 7 … Consider His Divine Deliverance from Death

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!… (7:24-25 ESV).

Romans 7 focuses on the futility and frustration of continuously trying to live and do right… and the inevitable outcome of continuous failure.

Paul lays out the case. The Law is good. The Law awakens our understanding of sin, and because of our sin nature, our craving for sin is also awakened. An illustration in our modern world of this phenomena is the impulse of having to touch the wet paint after reading the sign, “Wet Paint, Do Not Touch.”

Something in each one of us is driven to do that which is forbidden. And that something is sin.

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me, (7:14-17).

Paul definitively lays out the struggle: we are imprisoned by our sin nature. And that is both debilitating and depressing… if we stay there.

Paul’s desperation for deliverance from his flesh, from his body of death, drives him to his only hope, to His Divine Deliverance from Death.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!… (7:24-25 ESV).

Consider His Divine Deliverance from Death

From the Greek, deliver in 7:24 is also translated in some versions as set free and rescue.

Who will deliver me from this body of death? (ESV).

Who will set me free from the body of this death? (NASB).

Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? (NIV).

We learn more of what is being conveyed as we turn once again to the original language penned by Paul.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: “4506. ῥύομαι rhúomai; …to draw, drag along the ground. To draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver. This is more with the meaning of drawing to oneself than merely rescuing from someone or something [emphasis added].”

From Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: 21.23 ῥύομαι: to rescue from danger, with the implication that the danger in question is severe and acute—‘to rescue, to deliver.’”

From within the context of the Greek language, a picture emerges of His Divine Deliverance from Death, setting us free as He drags us away from severe and acute danger, while drawing us to Himself.

His Divine Deliverance… it must be Divine, for only God can Deliver us from the flesh… only the Divine would have such power.

And His Divine Deliverance from Death would be accomplished through His own sinless life and sacrificial Death.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  • His Divine Deliverance from Death releases and sets us free from the Law, through our identification with His Death.
    • Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter, (7:1, 4-6).
  • His Divine Deliverance from Death drags us away from our evil desires that result in Death.
    • but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures, (James 1:14-18).
  • His Divine Deliverance from Death draws us to Himself.
    • How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You
      To dwell in Your courts.
      We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
      Your holy temple,
      (Psalm 65:4).
    • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30).
  • His Divine Deliverance from Death is our only hope for life.
    •  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).
    • Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!… (7:24-25 ESV).

How do we respond to His Divine Deliverance from Death?

From the Greek we learn that this death Paul wrote about can also include the very process of dying.

23.99 ἀποθνῄσκωa; θνῄσκω; θάνατοςa, ου m; νέκρωσιςa, εως f; ἐκψύχω: the process of dying—‘to die, death.’” From Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

His Divine Deliverance from Death, like His Sanctifying Work, is both a fixed moment in time, as well as a process He expects us to cooperate with.

  • His Divine Deliverance from Death, a fixed moment in time:
    • But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6).
    • When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14).
  • Sanctification, a fixed moment in time:
    • “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me,” (Acts 26:18).
    • …but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God, (1 Corinthians 16:11).
    • Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • His Divine Deliverance from Death, a process we cooperate with:
    • Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace… 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (Romans 6:12-14, 16).
  • Sanctification, a process we cooperate with:
    • Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth, (John 17:17).
    • For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).
    • For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
    • Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass, (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

His Divine Deliverance from Death releases and sets us free from the Law, through our identification with His Death. At a fixed moment in time, His Divine Deliverance released and set us free from the Law; and through our identification with His Death, His truth becomes ours. We cooperate with His Sanctifying Work when we commit by faith to believe His Truth is our truth.

Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, (Romans 6:11).

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

His Divine Deliverance from Death drags us away from our evil desires that result in Death. We cooperate with His Sanctifying Work when we rely on His Divine Deliverance from Death as our provision to drag us away from our evil desires and to live in His righteousness and for His glory.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it, (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, (1 Corinthians 10:31).

His Divine Deliverance from Death draws us to Himself. We cooperate with His Sanctifying Work when we are serious about our sin and repent in order that we be ready to approach Him in purity as He draws us to Himself.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded, (James 4:8).

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:8-9).

His Divine Deliverance from Death is our only hope for life. We cooperate with His Sanctifying Work when we choose to live in love and obedience, holding fast, by faith, to Him, our only hope for life, that we would experience His Divine Deliverance from Death each and every day.

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them,” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me …If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,” (John 14:6, 15).

Let’s Grow Together!

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