Scripture Query and Answer: Groaning

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Q.1 Can a child of God who knows the truth of Rom. 8 (e.g. verses 1-10) say with truth, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”
A. 1. The wretchedness of Rom. 7:2424O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:24) arises from the discovery in the soul born of God (but not yet delivered and sealed by the indwelling Spirit, which is the Christian position), of his powerlessness to do the good he desires to do. Truly delighting in the law of God after the inward man, he yet sees (not only another, but) a different law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members. Hence the cry for deliverance from this body of death. Jesus Christ risen is the Deliverer, and there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed the Christian from the law of sin and of death. The Holy Ghost now dwells in him; so that he can do, and does, the things that he would, as led of the Spirit. This wretchedness is therefore gone forever in the case of the believer who now sees himself as in Christ Jesus; as no longer in the flesh (though in the body), but in the Spirit. The Holy Ghost given is spirit of sonship, not of bondage, and we await, as does all creation, “the manifestation” of this sonship of which the Spirit is the firstfruits. We are in the liberty of grace, and look for the liberty of “the glory” of the children of God.
2. The groaning of Rom. 8:2323And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23) is explained by the preceding and following verses (17-28). The presence of sin, both within and without, with its effects all around, make us groan as did our Lord (in Him is no sin), Mark 7:3434And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. (Mark 7:34). We suffer with Christ here, but soon all will be exchanged for glory, when “clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.” In no way does the “groaning” coalesce with the “wretchedness” of Rom. 7, as from this the one “in Christ” is already delivered.