In the same breath (vs. 25), Paul confesses that God is worthy of all the praise through Jesus Christ who is our Lord, and that he finds himself in the midst of serving two masters–the law of God and the law of Sin. He can do this, because the praise exalts the finished work of Christ–already spelled out over and over again before this chapter. And because the confession following it acknowledges that the work is not yet finished, and we must never forget that the fight is real, the war is strong, and the problem is sin. not the law (which is good and holy and just–vs 12). not us (vs 17, 20). the problem is sin: this power that has taken up the sword against us and has taken us captive (vs 23).
Sin is trying to overtake us completely. But so is grace, which overwhelms even the abundance of sin that comes against us (5.20-21). The victory on our behalf has already been won by grace. Though we face this war, it is not without faith that came to us in Christ and not without hope that brings endurance. The bookends of this very chapter highlight this–Paul is not confessing just to confess the difficulty of life in Christ, but the reality of a battle that he has already brought up and the assurance of previous & current victories in the fight. In Abraham’s faith that came against outward circumstances (ch. 4). In the need to rest in the peace justification brings (ch. 5). In the need to consider ourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God (ch. 6). And in the fight to live in step with the spirit as we groan in expectation for something that is greater (ch. 8).
We are called to fight. It takes grit to do this. Grit to praise the One who has rescued us, while crying out, “Who will rescue me?” Grit to confess the struggle. Grit to be vulnerable. Grit to join others in the trenches. Grit to dig deeper into them, knowing and trusting that these trenches are the very places where He meets us.