Romans 7:24 says, "O wretched man that i am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
John MacArthur, author and general editor of the MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV, wrote these notes regarding that "body of death" which Paul wrote about in Romans 7:24...
body of death -- The believer's unredeemed humanness, which has its base of operation in the body. Notes for verse 6:6, our old man -- A believer's unregenerate self...worn out and useless.
He also wrote, "Tradition says that an ancient tribe near Tarsus tied the corpse of a murder victim to its murderer, allowing its spreading decay to slowly infect and execute the murderer -- perhaps that is the image Paul has in mind."
When i received CHRIST as my Lord and Savior, i was baptized with the SPIRIT of GOD. He came to abide in me to grow that new creature that i became, that new life characterized by the nature of JESUS CHRIST. As symbolized in my water baptism, the full immersion in MidwaySD's baptistery illustrated the death of merlin, my old unregenerate nature; and the rising out of the water symbolized my birth into the new life, as the new creature rln -- CHRIST's very own.
But, O wretched woman that i am! Who will rescue me from my sinful flesh? From that old merlin -- that dead corpse of self-righteousness, vanity, impatience, anger, critical nature, unclean lips, unruly-monkey mind, self-focus, controlling and abrasive personality -- who's still trying to jump on the back of the new rln?
When i allow that old merlin to rear its ugly head, i allow sin to infiltrate the new creature, rln. If i don't repent (turn away from it and turn to my Father for forgiveness, confessing that sin and agreeing with Him that i've broken His Law), i continue to carry that dead weight, that body of death -- that sin of my choice -- on my back, carrying in my person (and to the depths of my soul) that putrefying, stinking diseased mess that is my sin.
Without my repentance and GOD's forgiveness, i will slowly but surely kill myself, in the body and in the soul -- suicide, certain death...which is another sin added on top of that unrepented one.
But i can declare with utter gratefulness, as Paul did, "i thank GOD -- through JESUS CHRIST, our Lord!" And i can deny myself the foolish pleasure of having it my own way -- killing with a vengeance that old merlin (daily as need be) because i can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me."
(Please note: the ultra-stressed screaming face, a la Twilight Zone, is not my work. Credit goes to my friend Lisa's son's artist friend in Germany.)