Romans Series #11
Conflict vs. Deliverance
Review 1st ½ of Romans
Ch 1 - The Gospel really is good news FOR ME and contains the "dunamis" / power - God means what he says and reveals himself and we are responsible for responding in obedience to his revelation
Ch 2 - His Kindness calls us and leads us to repentance and invites us Past a Religious Experience into a Relationship with Christ
Ch 3 - We learned that we were on the wrong road and we are guilty as charged I must fear God and he has made provision for me to leave my wanderings and come home and my feeble faith is enough in God's Grace
Ch 4 - We walked in Abraham's understanding we are good as dead yet standing in faith we can have hope against all odds, dig in and stand firm
Ch 5 - While we were still sinners, helpless before God, he put his love on display and his demonstration gives me access TO and peace WITH God. We also had a "math" lesson learning that 1 + 1 = 10~. One man + one sin = much death. One man + one sacrifice "superabounds" into to all who receive resulting in Much Life
Ch 6 - We understood that we are Born slaves to sin, Baptized slaves to righteousness. Our birth slavery brings death, but slavery to Righteousness brings holiness, you are on the path to holiness and righteousness
We are going to focus today on the latter part of this chapter, but for completeness, we're going to read the entire chapter
Alright let's Loosen Up -
Roll your Neck around
Shrug Your Shoulders
Perhaps moving your head around will get you ready to tackle this passage J
<READ Ch 7>
Next Week we are going to move to Chapter 8. As we stand on the Mountain top between chapter 7 and 8. Before we can look over the beautiful Glory of Chapter 8 we MUST look at and wade through the dark, deep, miry, shadowy Valley of seeming despair that is CHAPTER 7.
We were married to the law and thus bound to it.
But you have been united with Christ who was raised from the dead. Since you are dead the law has lost it's power and now you are free to be "wed" to another, Christ. Now you CAN produce good fruit and good deeds
Before - you were
- Controlled by old nature
- desires are at work
- law aroused desires
- produced sinful deeds
- results in death
After - now you are
- released from law - died with Christ
- no longer captive to its power
- you CAN serve
- serve BY the spirit, NOT by the law
In the second section of this chapter we see that though I knew it was wrong, through the law, the SIN / Rebellion within me took advantage and LIT the Fire of Rebellion within me
It was the Law that made me understand and care. The law was to show the way of life but gave the penalty of death
Sin fooled me and made me guilty
Did the law cause the problem?
NO! Sin does what sin does
Sin takes what is good and causes doom -
THAT'S what Rebellion Does
So that brings us to verses 14-25
There are Three things we need to understand from this passage
The Who the What and the How are important here and in any investigative writing.
who are we talking about
A. an Unbeliever?
1. some have believed that what Paul describes here is a non-believer, an unregenerate person
2. this is easiest for us because we don't like the picture Paul paints.
3. We read in chapter 6 that a believer is no longer a slave to sin which leads to death, so this passage MUST be referring to a non-christian
4. To write this off as only speaking of fallen humanity who don't know Christ, would not be true to the rest of this book nor to the rest of Paul's writings
1 Cor 9:27
B. ½ Regenerate / Carnal Christian
1. is this a person that is moving toward God's way, but not there yet?
2. but does a ½ way Christian "take delight in the law"
C. Believer / Regenerate Person
1. Question: SAY "if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and have given your heart to him, been washed in the blood and stand in the grace of Jesus Christ today say "AMEN"!
2. Now SAY "If as a born-again believer, and you read this account of Paul and you can, with ease, relate to this struggle inside and out, between your old nature and new nature, say "guilty".
3. Paul is NOT just identifying with all the pitiful, helpless, unregenerate humans.
4. NO! Paul is opening up his Chest and giving us a look at his OWN Heart!
5. He is Lifting the top off his Head and giving us a look into his Mind, Will, and Emotions
6. Paul uses I/Me/Myself 40 Times. He is speaking from experience. This is NOT a parable. This is an Autobiographical Account
7. Paul says, this is a BELIEVER, and worse yet, It is ME!
There is a great conflict going on here. But even theologically. Those who say this is an unbeliever, are those who believe that any advanced, mature Christian will get to a place where they don't struggle with sin any more and achieve an earthly perfection, this belief is nomianism.
Of course this is obviously false as this great apostle and writer Paul often called himself he chief among sinners. He never claimed perfection but said that it was something he was Striving toward, straining at what lies ahead, NOT on this earth, but in Heaven.
So if we know it's a believer and it seems to be at the heart of every believer does that EXCLUDE us from perfection and separate our physical actions from our spiritual?
This belief is the opposite of the previous and is "anti-nomianism" it's a belief in "acceptable lawlessness". i.e. it doesn't matter what we do with our sinful nature as long as the spiritual nature admits that it is wrong!
Well that's ludicrous and is a dangerous spiritual presumption to attempt to removes us from responsibility.
2. What is the Conflict?
So is the conflict this theological issue? Of course not!
The conflict is seen within the heart of man.
A. Daily Battle
1. This conflict is an all out battle that we face daily.
2. There will NEVER be a time in your earthly life when this battle will NOT be fought.
3. Look at Paul. He was a highly MORAL man, yet the struggle continues
4. According to Phil 3:6 Paul was BLAMELESS in regards to the Law and yet, the struggle continues. Paul was "blameless" before he met Christ in regards to the law.
B. Holy Spirit Reveals
1. an unregenerate person is often not even aware of his rebellious nature / SIN
<ILL> - Man praying with profanity - then apologizing AFTER he met Christ
2. You know there is stuff in the corners of your house and behind the furniture, in your closet, that you don't pay any attention to unless you have a special guest staying in your house - all of a sudden you look at your house differently
3. The fact that a conflict is present is an evidence that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your "Temple"
4. Before Christ, "blamelessness" was enough to make Paul feel good, but now anything short of Holiness was NOT satisfactory,
the struggle continues
5. That's why we struggle because God's Spirit within us wants to move us toward outward holiness that matches our Spiritual Position of Holiness that we have through Christ Jesus.
C. Good vs Evil
1. Paul talks about the struggle between the good he wants to do and the evil he does
2. define good and evil
a. good = absolute good that is unmixed with any imperfection or evil - you say, "but I can't do that" - YAHTZEE - we have a winner and understanding is right around the corner
b. if we understand what good is, then we don't have to define evil.
3. Sin is the attitude of rebellion, personified within us as the antagonist fights against the new nature within us
4. evil desire precedes the deliberate choice that we make to act on the desire, but it is sin, the moment we dwell on the desire and "carry it out" in our mind
5. Streams of Holiness FLOW from the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us, BUT they PASS THROUGH the Heart of Man which is altogether wicked and deceitful and sick beyond cure in this life.
Jeremiah 17:9 says "The Human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?"
6. while I love God with all of my heart, another law is at work and at war with my mind and wins the fight.
D. The "Body of Death"
1. <ILL> - In Tarsus, Saul's home town, a murderer was often punished by having the body of his victim sown to his back, arm to arm, leg to leg. He was then put out of town and carried that body of death around until the sickness and decay killed him.
2. In our case, we are set free from the effects of the death we are strapped to, but we still carry around the "old man" with us as long as we have breath in this life.
3. From this Predicament - from this struggle - this battle - conflict within Paul cries out -
"who will deliver/rescue me from this body of death?"
4. differentiate between the SIN within us, the "body of death" our old nature AND our new nature who has DIED to the old nature
** a. just spending a moment here but we beat ourselves up and never get past the conflict because we don't separate who we were / are in the old nature, with who we are in Christ.
b. Paul said, it's not I that does it, but the sin in me.
c. as long as you accept that "that's just the way I am", you won't be able to move past it, and will never gain deliverance in the conflict
That is our 3rd component in this investigation
3. How Will I Be Delivered?
Does Paul simply tell us this story so we can feel better and relate to a Great Man of God who struggles JUST AS we DO?
Is relating to Paul enough to make you feel good?
Would that be consistent with what you know about God and what you've learned from Paul in this book and his other writings, breathed from the heart of God.
Well there would be little POWER to the Gospel if this Heart's Cry from Paul and from YOUR heart and MINE would go unanswered without a Victory Blast of Deliverance.
1. if you are still asking HOW am I going to do this? You are asking the WRONG QUESTION
2. We must come to the understanding that we cannot get BETTER at this.
3. we have to understand our incapacity, powerlessness, to afford deliverance for ourselves
4. I'm not trying to get better in flesh, I want to be delivered and we ask "HOW"?
B. What is Missing?
1. Is God's Deliverance IMPERFECT?
2. Remember in these 12 verses Paul refers to himself 40 TIMES. What's missing in this picture of the struggle and the way that Paul deals?
3. WHO is missing? The DELIVERER.
1 A psalm of David. Bless the LORD, who is my rock. He gives me strength for war and skill for battle. 2 He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in him. He subdues the nations under me. 3 O LORD, what are mortals that you should notice us, mere humans that you should care for us? 4 For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow. 5 Bend down the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. 6 Release your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Release your arrows and confuse them! 7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me; deliver me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. 8 Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie.
4. Do you see it? Can you feel it in your experience like this?
5. I am struggling to be at peace with the struggle within. I have looked within over and over and do not find deliverance and peace so perhaps I should STOP looking INSIDE and Look ELSEWHERE - Ya THINK?
6. We are NOT JUST forgiven we are Delivered
7. Stop asking How and Ask WHO
- Deliverance is a PERSON!
8. We are IN Christ, NOT just IN the Flesh
9. Paul asks "who will deliver me" that word deliver implies that FORCE must be exerted - Without Force exerted from outside of our humanity, there is NO deliverance
10. The picture that Paul paints is the picture of the struggle when I AM the FOCUS and the FORCE
a. that is a picture of a regenerate man using regenerated parts, in an unregenerate or dead fashion
b. in a sense it is a battle fought as if I were all alone and it was all dependent on me.
>Fighting with your own resolve is not enough. "I'm never going to do that again" - doesn't work
1. Recognize from where your deliverance comes -
Psalm 121:2 - "my help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!"
2. He MUST be your valiant, he must fight your battle for the victory sound to be heard -
Psalm 60:12 - "with God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes"
3. Gal 5:16-17 - So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
3. Even after Paul realizes again who holds his deliverance he follows with verse 25 - "the mind wills to do good, but the flesh does evil"
<ILL> Do you know what Parkinson's Disease is? I had a geometry teacher that was in the early stages of that disease. He was a man who knew what a straight line was and a perfect angle and a circle. He could draw a perfect line or circle just free hand. He could look from one point on a chalkboard to another point, fix his eye and draw a straight line.
But because of the disease he was losing the battle for a perfect straight line. There were times when he knew better than anyone what a straight line was, but couldn't draw it. Oh how it tore at his geometric mind to know what to do, but his hand not be able to carry it out. So, should he beat himself up because his hand wouldn't obey?
No, because it was the disease.
But did he stop trying to draw a straight line? Of course NOT, because his heart's desire was for the perfection of a straight line.
The straight line that I try and draw is wavy because of my disease?
Am I condemned? No, as we will see, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus
4. Holiness is possible and Triumph is NORMAL because we are MORE than conquerors.
5. A shaky line doesn't lesson my triumph because my triumph is NOT through my hand but through the nail-scarred hands of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
6. My understanding is that I don't even completely understand what STRAIGHT is. Even what I think is Straight is Crooked, yet when God looks on me covered in the Blood of Christ he sees my line as straight!
7. Don't think that you have it licked, conquered - Because the moment you think you can handle it now because you are "mature", you give Satan a place to attack -
1 Cor 10:12 - "Be careful if you think you stand, lest you fall"
As I have lived with this Text all week, I've come to this conclusion about this conflict and deliverance
1. Deliverance is OURS - it is a Completed Task
a. remember according to Eph 1 - Jesus is "seated" in the heavenlies which means he is FINISHED and all decision and battles are decided
b. We are "seated" WITH Him which means it is FINISHED IN us and we are completed on the Spiritual Level
2. At the same time, deliverance, while available is a day by day, even moment by moment decision that we make to LIVE IN the Deliverance available through our prayer and watchfulness in the Lord Jesus Christ, to avoid giving in to the desires of the Flesh.
James 4:7 says "submit to the Lord, resist the devil and he will flee from you"
3. The conflict is visible and at times it appears that I even wear the uniform of both armies.
4. YET I KNOW that My Redeemer Liveth and I know whom I serve because IN the struggle, I don't call out to the ugly wicked antagonist of my flesh.
NO! I cry out to My Redeemer, the Lord Of heaven and earth, the Savior, the Lamb who was Slain, My King, My Deliverer, and he HEARS my cries and in HIM I have Deliverance and Victory