Sanctification, part 3
Can a person be justified by keeping the law? No.
Can a person be sanctified by keeping the law? Unfortunately, many Christians would say yes to this, but the answer to this also is no.
Trying hard in our own strength not to do wrong is not the way to be sanctified. Only God can sanctify us. We are not sanctified by works. Many Christians live a defeated life because of this wrong perspective.
Just as you are justified not by trying, but by trusting, so you are sanctified.
Chapter 6 pictured the ideal Christian life, and how we can have victory in Jesus as we know, reckon, and yield, which involve the mind, the heart, and the will, respectively.
If chapter 6 is the ideal Christian life, then chapter 7 is the miserable Christian life. This person tries to live by setting high standards in order to feel sanctified...they establish a list of do's and don'ts, and developing high ideals which they then try to achieve in their own power until it all collapses in on itself. Often this person ends up a pretender, a fake, appearing outwardly to be godly but in reality they know they are not that person truly. Or, they just end up giving up all together, accepting defeat rather than victory.
We can teach the teens music standards, but they need to have a heart change for it to be meaningful. If they change their music because I tell them to it won't be real. And many of them are already addicted to the devil's music and it's gonna take a higher power to deliver them than just the pastoral guilt trip!
Legalism is an extreme. A list of rules to obey w/ no heart.
License is the other extreme...sinning that grace may abound.
Liberty is the balance that has a heart change, and God moving in to live a new life thru us!
This chapter contains the Marriage, the Monster, and the Misery.
Tonite, the Marriage:
1. We have died to the law.
Any law only has authority over you as long as you are alive.
ill.--the police may corner a criminal after a long chase, and he's guilty of many very serious offenses, but when a shootout commences and he's killed, it's case closed. No trial, no jail time, no problem.
Paul uses the illustration of a marriage. [Don't take verses out of context...you cannot build an exhaustive case on the complicated topic of marriage and divorce out of this simple illustration]
Allow me to fill in the blanks: Imagine a wife, married to a very demanding husband. He's got a lot of rules and expectations...they are all good ideals, but there's no way she can live up to them all...she's unhappy, but she's bound to the laws of marriage and God's laws. What does she do? [unfortunate accident?]
[My wife has never considered divorce, but murder is a different story!]
She says to herself, “If he would just die, I could start over w/ someone else!”
The husband in this illustration is the law. He's God's moral absolutes...His list of do's and don'ts, His commandments.
You and I are the wife in this illustration. Before we got saved we were in an unhappy marriage. Because we looked at the law and said, there's no way I can keep that...the expectations are too high. Oh, if Mr. Law would just die I would be free!
Well, God's law is not going to die, His Word will never pass away!
v. 4 So, the wife needs to die! Amen?! When you got saved, you died to sin, the flesh, the world, and the old life, and you get to start over w/ someone else!
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
We have died to the law...
2. We are delivered from the law.
v. 6 Delivered=Annulled. But we must find a new, better relationship w/ our ex!
6b Now God comes in to our heart and will help us relate to the law and obey it, not in the oldness of the letter of the law which kills, but in the newness of the Spirit of the law. No longer by trying but by trusting. No longer HAVING to obey it but now WANTING to! It's a new motive.
ill.--a lady was married to a man that turned into an ogre...a monster of a man. He wrote out a list of rules: "You WILL have my breakfast on the table when I arise, my clothes pressed and supper waiting for me in the evening." The list had rules of what she couldn't do with her time and places she wasn't allowed to go. She lived under that brutality and was inwardly miserable for years. He got sick and died. She married another man who truly loved her and they had a wonderful few decades. One day she was cleaning out an old desk drawer and found that old list buried deep down. With tears she read that burdensome list and realized that she now was keeping all those rules, not because she had to, but she wanted to because she loved him.
Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments...they are not grievous! So, our method of keeping the law has changed...it's not in our power, but in God's. And our motive has changed as well!
Remember after Peter cursed and denied the Lord and Jesus was crucified? Remember the next conversation they had after He arose? Peter was in a boat with others and saw Jesus on the shore, cooking fish. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to shore, desiring to be with Jesus and make sure he was right w/ him. Jesus began asking Peter a series of questions: Do you love me? Do you love me?
Here's what we fundamentalists would have said to Peter: Hey boy, are you through cussing and being a bad example?
Jesus went deeper with the issue.
We put too much effort on enforcing rules. If a teen loves the Lord he's gonna try to dress right and act in a way that would glorify Him.
I would not work my soul to save For that my Lord has done But I would work like any slave For love of God's dear Son.
Do you love Him? If so, can He tell by the way you live? [dress / music / attitudes / movies / habits / way you treat your family and spouse / conduct business and work]
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