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     For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Rom. 7:22-25

     For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each otherGal. 5:17

Dear Lord Jesus, though I’m conflict avoidant by nature and choice, this is one conflict about which I am actually excited. The very fact that there’s a war going on inside of me is a good thing, especially since the combatants are the gospel and residual sin. For this means the outcome of this war has already been secured. The gospel will prevail! Yet I’m not naïve about the “mop-up” operation. Growing in grace is great, but it gets messy and intense.

The only reason I now delight in God’s law is because the law drove me to you, Jesus. I needed a substitute and a Savior, not a model and a coach. You perfectly met all the demands of law, and you exhausted its judgment against us. Hallelujah, many times over.

The messy part of this war involves your commitment to make us like yourself. Sanctification is certain, and certainly painful at times. You’re more committed to getting “heaven” into us than getting us into heaven. There’s great joy and peace in knowing that, one Day, I’ll be as loving and as lovely as you, for the Father will complete his work in each of his children.

Lord Jesus, now that I’m robed in your righteousness, and free of all guilt and condemnation, let me fearlessly see my sins, ruthlessly hate my sins, and relentlessly repent of my sins. Increase my love for holiness and decrease my self-contempt. Only the gospel can bring me such freedom. Only by seeing more of you will I delight in this liberating journey.

Jesus, you’re 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


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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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