I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what
is right, I inevitably do what is wrong (v.21).
Baseball determines a player’s batting average by
dividing his total number of hits by the number of
times he’s batted. If a player hits the ball every
time he bats, he’s batting 1.000 (or one thousand). For
as long as baseball has been around, no player has ever
batted 1.000. And just as no baseball player has ever
achieved batting perfection, so no follower of Jesus has
ever been perfect either. No one would have understood
this better than the apostle Paul.
Romans 7 reflects Paul’s personal admission of not
being able to bat 1.000. It emphasizes that believers in
Jesus will be made perfect one day, but will still struggle
with sin this side of heaven. In these verses Paul taught
the Romans at least three important principles:
• Christians can and should continually grow in
sanctification through the indwelling power of the Holy
Spirit. Though they will never bat 1.000 in living holy
lives, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try (v.6).
• Christians will struggle with sin throughout their lives
(Romans 7:21; Galatians 5:17). No follower of Jesus has
ever nor ever will bat 1.000.
• Daily deliverance from this constant tension is found
in the once dead and now living Jesus, the only One
who ever batted 1.000 (Romans 7:25; Hebrews 4:15).
As followers of Jesus, we should be profoundly
aware of how far we fall short of God’s absolute of
righteousness, and how important it is to allow the One
who lived a perfect life to live through us. Also, we should continue to feed
our faith, shower people with grace when they fail to reach the goal, and
refuse to become discouraged when we miss the mark. Repent, receive God’s
forgiveness, forget the past, and move on. You’ll never bat 1.000, but a perfect
Savior walks with you. —Marvin Williams
How do you respond
when you sin and fall
short of God’s absolute
standard? In what ways
can you let the living
Christ live through you
day by day?