Trapped in the Middle

Description

Christ broke the power of your old nature to control you. You are free from the control of your former masters—Satan and your sinful nature.

Bible Reading: Romans 7:18-25

Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord—Romans 7:24-25.

When you hear convicts and drug addicts tell how they came to believe in Jesus, you might figure your testimony is too tame to interest anyone. Actually, not having a gory personal story is a good, God-glorifying thing. And you might not know this: Every Christian has an exciting story to tell.

First, before you received Christ, you were a slave to sin and Satan. You were blind to the truth about Jesus Christ. The world, the flesh, and the devil jerked you around as surely as if you were chained to them. To see a vivid description of your old self, check out Ephesians 2:1-3.

Second, before you committed your life to Christ, you were the hopeless, help­less victim of what the Bible calls your sinful or fleshly nature. “When we were con­trolled by our old nature,” wrote Paul, “sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced sinful deeds, resulting in death” (Romans 7:5). Satan and sin engineered the dissatisfaction, pain, guilt, and frustra­tion that characterized your life without Christ.

Third, the moment you trusted Christ and committed your life to him, you were set free from your captivity to Satan and sin (see Romans 8:1-2). Christ broke the power of your old nature to control you. You are free from the control of your former masters—Satan and your sinful nature.

“But,” you might be saying, “my life hasn’t always run smoothly since I trusted Christ. I don’t always live like I know a Christian should. I blow it!”

True. You are free from sin’s control, but Satan, the world around you, and the habits of your old nature work together to keep you from enjoying the freedom, peace, and satisfaction of knowing Christ. Even Paul experienced the frustration of struggling with sin. “When I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong... . Oh, what a miserable person I am!” (Romans 7:21, 24).

Maybe you have felt the frustration Paul wrote about—becoming so bogged down by guilt from old habits that you wonder what good it does to be a Christian. Well, God didn’t create you to go through life feeling frustrated and guilty. He wants you to feel satisfied. How do you get that way? Paul asked that same question: “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?” (Romans 7:24). He also knew the answer: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25). And that’s the great part of your story God is still writing.

REFLECT: What would you tell someone who asked you about the pros and cons of being a Christian?

PRAY: Ask God to take you to new depths in knowing him—and new heights in experiencing freedom from sin.

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