O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?…
I. SOULS GROANING UNDER THE BODY OF SIN AND DEATH CAN FIND NO RELIEF BUT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. None but an almighty Saviour is suited to the case of a poor sinner. This doctrine reproves the Church of Rome, and others, for directing men, not to Christ, but to themselves; to their vows, alms, penances, and pilgrimages; or, to their greater watchfulness and strictness in life. But as Luther observes, "How many have tried this way for many years, and yet could get no peace." Now, what is there in Christ that can relieve a soul?
1. The blood of Christ, which was shed as an atoning sacrifice for sin.
2. A perfect and everlasting righteousness. This our apostle, doubtless, had in view: for he immediately adds (Romans 8:1). "Christ is made unto us of God, wisdom and righteousness."
3. The Spirit of Christ which is given to all true believers, as an abiding principle, teaching them to fight and war with sin.
II. THAT SOULS THUS EXERCISED, FINDING RELIEF ONLY IN CHRIST, WILL ACTUALLY RECEIVE AND EMBRACE HIM. None will receive Christ, but they only who are taught to see their need of Him.
III. THEY, WHO SEE THIS RELIEF IN CHRIST, WHO RECEIVE AND EMBRACE IT, MUST AND WILL GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR IT. The angels, those disinterested spirits, bringing the joyful news to our apostate world, sung, "Glory to God in the highest, for peace on earth, and good will towards men." And surely, if we who are redeemed to God by His blood, should hold our peace on so joyful an occasion, "the stones would immediately cry out."
IV. ALL THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED CHRIST, AND HAVE GIVEN THANKS TO GOD FOR HIM, WILL LOOK UPON HIM AS THEIR LORD AND THEIR GOD.
Parallel VersesKJV: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?