“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 7:24-25 (NIV).
The mind and the body of the saved person are two incredibly separate things. There is the war, continual and bearing. For poignant example, the law of God for the torah-devoted Jews was impossible for them to obey, to any level of godly consistency anyway.
Paul’s charges against himself—to the glory of God through Christ—propel him forth onto another such connected truth:
There is Now No Condemnation for the Believer, Ever!
End times theology, for Paul, is about the most welcome intrusion of the future invading the present, never surer than the truth of joined concepts—the law of sin is slave, always, to God’s law, ultimately, by position firstly, and then via reality in obedience of faith.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
~Romans 8:1-2 (NIV).
Although of himself Paul was a “wretched man,” and so are we wretched people, all is made good via God and the ‘rushing in’ of the coming of the Kingdom of God into our lives via Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection, and our belief of these biblically-historical facts.
The Practicalities of War – Against Such a Perfect Backdrop
We cannot help but know how wonderful this salvation is—the concept that we’re saved, both now and for then i.e. in eternity. God’s grace to stoop below and pick us up through Jesus’ obedience is the perfect backdrop of our faith.
Why, then, is it so hard?
Why do we strive and struggle and still fail morally?
Our moral failures are hardly the point from the stance of our salvation, but paradoxically, we care so much about God now, we want—no we need—to be fervently obedient. We hate our flesh encroaching. We hate hurting others (or we should!). We hate doing the wrong things.
The Criticality of Training
If we’re warring—and we are—like soldiers, we train.
This is a simple concept. The more we train, faithfully and resiliently, despite the clinging stench of our humanness, the more day-by-day and year-by-year we’ll endure and mature. God’s not finished with us yet.
We need much of God’s grace to be poured over us in our rough times; to accept same. God’s grace is also needed in our spiritual successes, to shore up and ply our faith-building confidence, God’s pleasure abiding.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
 Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans – Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1998), p. 398.