Paul’s language here in Romans, the reason for our justification, is not unique to him. Several pagan writers understood this fact of human nature as well:
“What is it that draws us in one direction while striving to go in another and impels us towards that which we wish to avoid?” Euripides, Hippolytais, 379
“I know what sort of bad things I am going to do, but passion is stronger than my purposes. And this is to mortals a cause of very great evils.” Ovid, Metamorphoses, 17:17
“We understand and know the good things, but we do not work them out.” Xenophon, Cyropœdia, VI. 1:41
What makes us as Christians different from Pagans? We have a redeemer. We have a deliverer. We have one who is reconciling all things to himself. Jesus and him crucified!
Paul’s conclusion to chapter 7 of Romans is scary, though. Even after being born again into a new life in Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit to help, guide, and change us, we still sin. According to the law of God, if we sin, we die. We must face that. However, unlike the pagans and heathens of yesteryear and today, we can face death with the living hope that his grace has made us the righteousness of God through our faith! Praise God!
Bless you, Father! The one who planned from the beginning to rescue me, a sinner, for your namesake. I will strive to live my life in a way that honors you and to seek your kingdom first because you have saved me.