Sanctification, pt. 6
Four lamentations of Paul over his sin:
Summed up there is a conflict of the two natures.
There are two different people here named "I". One is the sin nature, and the other is the new nature, the saved man. And the two are locked in a civil war. [2 natures beat within my breast, one is cursed, one is blessed]
[reread replacing each 'I' w/ old nature or new nature.]
"My own nature baffles me!" Because when we get saved the old nature is not eradicated. Sir, if you don't think you have an old nature, I guarantee your wife thinks you do!
All you had to do was raise your hand,
And speak the words, "Peace be still",
and all the anger, all the fury of that raging storm
surrendered to Your will.
Even the wind and the waves obey- why can't I?
Where is my faith, is it lost at sea?
Lord help me to be like the wind and the waves.
When the storms of life take me by surprise,
and my faith gets swept overboard,
I hate it when I give into all my fears
instead of trusting in You, Lord.
Even the winds and waves obey God...so why can't I? Am I lost at sea spiritually? No, if you feel the struggle Paul feels you are in good company. If you ask the question, why do I still struggle w/ the old nature? You are in pretty good shape. I worry about those who don't recognize the struggle!
And the closer you become to Jesus the more you see His holiness and recognize your sinfulness.
v. 14 Paul had much reason to boast if anyone ever did. But did he say: “Uh yeah, the name's Paul, you know, writer of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and maybe Hebrews!” No, he said, ‘I am carnal!’ Paul? Carnal? The opposite of spiritual? Paul, who wrote half the NT? Who brought the gospel to Europe, and thus to us? Paul, who was beaten and imprisoned repeatedly for Christ?
You and I wouldn't feel worthy to tie this guy's shoes, and we’re supposed to believe that he's carnal?
When Isaiah got in the presence of God he said woe is me!
When David got a glimpse of God he said he was shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin!
When the Lord was to pass near Moses he had to hide himself behind a rock or be destroyed by the brightness of His glory.
John said if we say we have no sin the truth is not in us...we deceive ourselves!
I don't know who the most spiritual person in this room is...but I can guarantee you that THEY don't know it. Like Paul, they recognize themselves as chief of sinners, and the least of the disciples.
If there's a problem w/ modern Christianity it is this: We've lost touch w/ God's holiness! Christians don't want to hear about sin and the need for working on fixing their lives...they want to hear about love and blessings. It's a sign of the end times, heaping to themselves teachers having itching ears, blown about by every wind of doctrine...making church be about the social elements of friends and family and activities instead of about the core thing. Our main thing should be keeping the main thing the main thing!
We choose to look at what the Bible says.
v. 24 This is a great Christian writing, and he wrote about love as well...but much more about sin and sacrifice. Most of all it's all about truth, and we are to speak the truth in love. When we err, may it be on the side of truth...and if that be the case, let's work at speaking it in love!
We never lose touch w/ God's love, but we do lose touch w/ God's holiness, often, and need daily reminders! We never lose touch w/ friends if we don't want to in this age, but we sure lose touch of God and His holiness easily.
How will we portray our holy God?
One pastor asked a teen what Jesus would do if He walked into his room and heard the thrashing rock music he was blaring? He said, I think He would get down with me. We've lost touch! [girl in short skirt: "I'd ask Jesus, how do you like my legs?"]
These are blatant examples, but we aren't much different when we privately choose to sin, having lost touch w/ God's holiness He wishes to impart to us by sanctification. "Be ye holy, for I am holy!"
We take God's name in vain, and even Christians talk to Him sometimes like an equal, complaining, demanding things. Look at your Bible, when people got into God's physical presence they didn't have much to say...they were too busy lying prostrate on the floor!
Not only did Paul have trouble saying no to wrong, he had much difficulty saying yes to what is right!
What is the source of our troubles?
vv. 16-17 Paul is not shirking his personal responsibility for his sin. If it is just our old nature's fault, and not our fault, then there's no need to confess our sin and we certainly shouldn't try to forsake it.
It is true that our flesh, our old nature, is the source of sin. But according to chapter 6, that old nature is like an exiled ruler in us. It no longer reigns, is not in control, and we shouldn't let him call the shots...we can have victory!
v. 23 You know the feeling? The civil war inside you?
ill.--a missionary asked an Indian chief how he felt after being saved for a while. "Like I have two dogs inside. One black, one white. Fight all the time." Which one wins? "One I feed the most."
Christians feed all week on worldly amusements and the black dog grows stronger. A little prayer, fellowship, and Bible a couple times a week is not enough. Eat only twice a week and grow weak, Kimosabe! We must feed the white dog every day and care for it.
The most miserable person on earth isn't the lost sinner. There's pleasure in sin for a season. It's the half hearted who is trying to have a foot in both camps, and not walking in victory.
They've got enough Jesus that they can't enjoy the world, and enough of the world that they can't enjoy Jesus!
v. 24 Notice he didn't say 'what' shall deliver me, but 'who'! The deliverance doesn't have to wait for heaven, but should be daily on earth!
Next time, from misery to victory!
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