Romans 7:18-19 NIV
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
"Romans 7 ...I always read it in the past as though the apostle Paul was describing a present reality for himself. "
I now see that Paul was not describing his present reality at all, but describing man in general when he struggles to live up to the law. The good news; the gospel, is that Christ died for our sins and our sin. Perhaps the description in Romans 7:18-19 seems to describe you, as it has me, but should it describe redeemed humankind? Lately, I think I've been mistaken in believing that.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Surely a new reality came into effect with the cross. Christ's death purchased our peace and healing along with our salvation.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
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. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering...
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
What does this mean to you and me? I believe that knowing and understanding truth is a powerful first step to living it out. Meditate on these verses as I have been. Then let us claim them for our live— by his Spirit.