What does Romans 7:24 mean?
ESV: Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
NIV: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
NASB: Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
CSB: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
NLT: Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
KJV: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
NKJV: O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Verse Commentary:
After expressing the frustration of continuing to sin in spite of his desire to do good and follow the law of Moses, Paul now cries out in desperation: Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?

It's worthwhile to represent two perspectives about what Paul intends to say in this section. A few Bible scholars believe Paul is describing himself before he became a Christian, back when he was following the law. In that case, the cry in this verse is an admission of his complete inability to do what is right no matter how hard he tries. He comes to see that he is truly a slave to his own sinfulness with no hope of escape. He acknowledges that he needs someone to step in and save him from his "body of death"? Paul has been clear that sin lives in the members of his body (Romans 7:23) and that sin always leads to death (Romans 7:10–13). The sinfulness that lives inside of him will kill him unless he is rescued.

Other Bible scholars and teachers understand Paul to be expressing his great frustration as a Christian. The specific Greek grammar Paul uses here certainly suggests this is his intention. While earlier passages used plural voices, or past and future tenses, this section is in a first-person, singular, present-tense voice. At least in literary terms, Paul speaks from the here-and-now. Although he has been freed from slavery to sin, he has not lost his desire to sin. Sin in his body continues to trip him up even as he sees it for the evil that it is. Perhaps he cries out to be released from his sin-riddled body and be given a new body beyond the reach of his own sinful desires, something he will talk about in the following chapter. Perhaps he cries out for the Holy Spirit to give him power to overcome the sin from which he cannot seem to escape (Galatians 5:16–24).

In either case, Paul will immediately and emphatically answer the question, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" in the following verse.
Verse Context:
Romans 7:7–25 explores the relationship between the law of Moses and human sin. Paul insists that the law is how he came to know and understand sin, in general, and his own sin specifically. He also explains how knowing the law does not make a person holier; it can actually tempt us to sin even more! Paul changes his perspective in this passage, speaking in a first-person-here-and-now manner, as a Christian, wanting to do what is right and finding himself doing what is sinful instead. Paul recognized his natural inability to do right and realized his need to be delivered from sin by God through Jesus.
Chapter Summary:
In Romans 7, Paul describes the relationship between Christians and law of Moses and between the law and human sinfulness. Because we died spiritually when we came to faith in Christ, Christians have been freed from our obligation to follow the law. Paul insists, though, that the law is holy and good in the sense that it reveals to all who try to follow it just how very sinful we are. The law shows us that no matter how good our intentions, we still end up in sin and in need of the deliverance available only through faith in Jesus.
Chapter Context:
Romans 6 revealed that those in Christ have died to sin and are no longer slaves to it. Romans 7 begins by showing that, in Christ, we have also died to our obligation to follow the law of Moses. Paul makes clear, though, that the law is holy and good because it reveals to us just how sinful we are. Paul describes how his failed attempts to follow the law convinced him more fully of his need to be delivered from his sinfulness by God through faith in Christ. Romans 8 will explore many of the benefits of being in Christ.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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