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     In my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:22-25

     Dear Jesus, though I'm usually conflict avoidant, this is one conflict about which I'm actually excited. The very fact there's a war going on inside of me is a good thing, especially since the combatants are the gospel and my sinful nature. For this means the outcome of this war has already been decided. You will prevail, Jesus. Everyone righteous in you one Day will be righteous like you. O, the comfort this brings.

     Yet I'm not naïve about the "mop up" operation. It's a messy and intense process. Sometimes I humbly comply. And sometimes I foolishly resist, especially when I forget the gospel.

     In fact the only reason I now delight in God's law is because the demands of the law exposed my need and drove me to you. I needed a substitute and a Savior, not a model and a coach. I needed a new heart, not a second chance. I needed your sinless record, not a clean slate. In short, I needed the gospel, and still do.

     Jesus, you perfectly met all the requirements of God's law for us and you've exhausted his judgment against us. There is no better news, anywhere.

     The messy part comes from your zeal to make us like yourself. You're more committed to getting "heaven" in us than getting us into heaven. I'm just very thankful to know that one Day I will be as loving and as lovely as you. Until that Day, here's my prayer...

     Jesus, allow me to grieve the sinfulness of sin... the sinfulness of my sins. Now that I'm no longer guilty or condemned, let me fearlessly see my sins... ruthlessly hate my sins... and relentlessly turn from of my sins. Increase my love for gospel-holiness and decrease my shame and self-contempt. Only the gospel can bring such freedom. Only by seeing more of you will I delight in this journey.

     You are the end of all my wretchedness. You're the one who's rescuing me from this "body of death"--all the effects and residue of the fall... all the trappings of my grave clothes... every semblance of every way I'm not like you. Thank you, thank you, thank you... so very Amen, I pray, in your most powerful and loving name.


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Scotty Smith


Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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