Long walk to freedom

Romans 7.7-25

This note was originally published on Saturday 6 March 2021.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.


Is a ‘marriage’ the wedding day, or years of faithfulness? Is ‘getting married’ over in a day, or does it take decades of commitment?


Romans 7.7-25


People have argued for centuries about the ‘I’ in verses 14 to 25. Is it a non-Christian – but then what about verse 22? Is it a believer in Old Testament times, or Paul before his conversion? But why switch to the present tense after verse 13? Is it a Christian – but how do we square verse 14 with, for example, chapter 6 verse 18?

I think it describes the struggle all Christians face – or at least, this one (me!). Note the context of Paul’s struggle: covetousness (vs 7,8), a sin of the heart, a sin of inner passion – surely the hardest to overcome?

These verses are not the last word in Romans – and neither are they the last word on my faith. They describe my experience: I delight in God, I long to do (and think) what is right, but I don’t (always) because my freedom from sin and sinful desires has already happened, but is not yet complete. I feel the tension and the struggle every day, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I can’t escape it entirely. Yet.


Do you recognise this struggle? Do you sit in church thinking you’re an impostor? Do you know God’s forgiveness but struggle to feel forgiven? Bring these emotions to God in prayer – tell him how you feel, rest in him and listen to his reply.