Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
The Apostle Paul was not surrendering to sin in this verse, but he was declaring war against sin so he could win against it. To declare his wretchedness was to say that he understood what was in him; therefore, he understood what he had to be careful about so that it didn't get the best of him.
Many believers have been overcome by sin because they focused on being something instead of realizing who they were. There is nothing wrong with having a victory over sin, but realizing that you always have inside you the capability to do any sin is what helps you have continual victory over sin. Many believers walk an aisle to rededicate their lives to Christ in an attempt to quit what they are doing; however, just because you have rededicated your life does not mean that you won once and for all. There is nothing wrong with walking an aisle, but you must realize the wretchedness that lies within you if you will have continual victory over the sin that besets you. Let me point out several things that the wretchedness that Paul declares means to you.
First, it means that you are not as good as you think. You are always going to be wretched. The word “wretched” means despicable, dirty, filthy, or rotten. Paul is saying that you are always these things. To understand that you are never good is the first step to finding continual victory over sin.
Second, it means that just because you are not doing something doesn’t mean that you won’t do it again. When Paul says, “O wretched man that I am!…” he is declaring that he is always a wretched man. This statement means that you always have the capability of doing what you think you have victory over again. The most dangerous position the believer can find themselves in is to think they will never do that sin again. You must always keep in mind that though you may not be doing a certain sin right now, you always have the capability of doing that sin again.
Third, it means that you will always be wretched, but that is a good thing if you will accept it. It is good to know your wretchedness because it is then that you understand never to let your guard down. When you forget your wretchedness is when your wretchedness will get the best of you because you let your guard down. When you realize how wretched you are is when you are always on alert about what you are on the inside so that you don't become overconfident about your abilities to be “better” than sin. You are no match for sin; therefore, keeping in mind your wretchedness is a good thing to winning over sin.
Fourth, it means that you never have victory, but you can have victories. This is the key to living for God. You will never have victory over sin in your life because you are wretched at best, but you can have victories every time sin raises its ugly head. Those who live their lives the best for God are those who have victories over their wretchedness every time it tries to get the best of them.
Fifth, it means that victory over sin is a situation by situation choice to yield your mind to God. It is Christ who gives you the victory over your wretchedness; therefore, stop thinking that you can overcome it yourself and yield your mind to Christ continually and you will have victories over your wretchedness.