“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)
These are desperate words from a desperate man. You feel the intense struggle in his words. If you look closely, you can feel your struggle.
You may be surprised to find out these words came from one of the most influential Christian to ever live, the Apostle Paul.
Paul expressed what we have all felt. The truth is we have all uttered these words. All of us have buried our head in our hands and felt the crushing guilt of our sin. Why did I say that? What was I thinking? I can’t believe I did that.
The poem “Set Free” expresses the Christian’s struggle with sin, self, and our archenemy, Satan. The devil’s greatest tool tempts you to not believe what God has spoken over you. Your enemy wants you to doubt the truthfulness of your good God’s staggering love for and commitment to you.
Consider these words from Charles Spurgeon:
Come boldly O believer
For despite the whispers of Satan
And the doubting of thine own heart
Thou art greatly beloved
The disciple of Jesus has been set free by a conquering King who defeated death on his behalf. Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s plan and lived a law-keeping life. Jesus completed his work on the cross and triumphantly declared, “It is Finished!” Three days later he was gloriously raised from the dead by the power of the Father. He then placed his foot on Satan’s throat and said, “I win!” God stills allows the tempter to be active in the world, but only under his sovereign authority. Christ imparts power to his followers, so they might overcome temptation and sin and live in obedience and victory!
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a) These words are from the same man. Ten verses later Paul declares that in Jesus there is glorious, stunning, and astonishing victory.
The Christian has been empowered to obey Christ now, and one day as we gaze on Him, we will be transformed into His likeness and finally and fully be set free!
This poem expresses our present power and our future hope. Christian you have been “Set Free!”
Lord we fail you time and again
Temptation is strong and we succumb to sin[i]
The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak[ii]
Satan tempts us, if only Christ, we would seek
We long to be satisfied in things other than Jesus[iii]
If only we would realize, your grace has freed us.[iv]
Lift our heads and may we see[v]
Our Savior dying on that tree[vi]
His blood poured out, redemption has come
The price has been paid; Jesus has won[vii]
Abiding in His love, this is the key[viii]
Treasuring Jesus, O now we can see[ix]
His love is eternal; His grace is free
Our sins have been cast in the depth of the sea[x]
Freedom is yours as you gaze on your King[xi]
Jesus has told us, everything to Him we may bring[xii]
One day, sin will be no more, and our Lord we will see
In His presence, we will gloriously be set free.[xiii]
[i] Romans 7:15 [ii] Matthew 26:41 [iii] Ecclesiastes 1:14 [iv] Galatians 5:1, John 8:36, Romans 8:1-2 [v] Numbers 21:8-9; John Newton, Letters of John Newton: Wonderful are the effects when a crucified, glorious Savior is presented by the power of the Spirit, in the light of the Word, to the eye of faith. This sight destroys the love of sin, heals the wounds of guilt, softens the hard heart, and fills the soul with peace, life, and joy. And makes obedience practical, desirable, and pleasant. If we could see this more, we should look less at other things. [vi] John 19:30 [vii] Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Galatians 3:13-14 [viii] John 15:9 [ix] Matthew 13:44 [x] Micah 7:19 [xi] Numbers 21:8-9 [xii] 1 Peter 5:6-7, Matthew 11:28-30 [xiii] 1 John 3:2-3