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The Life-Long Struggle

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2020 9:00 am

The Life-Long Struggle

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 22, 2020 9:00 am

Ever feel like you’re living a double life? There’s one side of you that wants to do the right thing and another that doesn’t want to do it at all–and that can’t be right, because you’re a Christian, and you think you shouldn’t struggle with sin anymore. In today’s message from Romans 7, Pastor J.D. looks at the battle within every Christian and how knowing you have ultimate victory should change your outlook in the fight.

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Today on some at length with Katie Greer. What made Paul zealous in religion was that he wanted respect.

He wanted status. He wanted distinction above others to another people look like they were doing well. He despised him and he was jealous of them because he wanted to be the one that was known as the best to keep the law.

So what do you do when you realize that one of your primary motivators in religion is itself simple. I'm your host that's like you're living a double life. We've all seen the little angel in the little devil on her shoulders before one side that wants to do the right thing and the other that doesn't want to do it at all today.

Pastor Judy Greer looks at this battle within every question and he says that knowing that you have the ultimate victory should completely change your outlook while here in the fight. So grab your Bible and let's join Pastor David Roma chapter 7 Roma six which we concluded last weekend Paul began the discussion of why Christians still seem to struggle so much with them. Do you ever wonder I asked you, you ever wonder of Jesus and his resurrection power actually came in intimate why is it that I still struggle so much with their same old temptations. Why don't I love God more naturally why do I often struggle to pray, why is it that that that sometimes I just don't feel like worshiping. Paul talks about his own struggle with these things in Romans seven, and it is. I told you one of the most encouraging chapters in the Bible. Paul self account here in Romans seven reminds me of a classic book that I read many years ago by Robert Louis Stevenson called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to visit the definition of a classic book is a book that everybody's heard about but nobody's actually read this is a book is really short so if you looking to read a classic book is just not long at all of your right with you to read reasons, it really is because Robert Louis Stevenson was a believer and he was certainly inspired by the struggle to Paul describing here in Romans seven. In the story is Dr. Jekyll who was a fine upstanding citizen is frustrated because it seems to him like inside of him. There's a bad part in a good part in the bad part is always get in way of the way of the good part hold the good part back for me and all the good part to be on the calls himself in the book and incongruence compound of good and bad mix together to Dr. Jekyll as a chemist, and so he develops a potion that separates the two parts of him so that only the good part comes out by day that's Dr. Jekyll and then only the bad part comes out by night. He sequesters it into the nighttime region that's Mr. hi name Mr. Hyde comes from the word for hidden or hideous by the two of them exist alone without one restraining the other problem is Robert Louis Stevenson tells a story was of evil part of Dr. Jekyll was far more evil than he had a magic Mr. Hyde's every thought was centered on himself. He was spiteful he was angry he was vengeful. Even murderous people. Dr. Jekyll said I was tenfold more wicked than I ever thought Robert Louis Stevenson speaking through Dr. Jekyll explains, I discovered this process that man is not truly one. He is to if I wasn't that I was a hypocrite.

He said both sides of me were completely sincere that resonate with you at all.

I certainly feel like it does for me. I feel like it incongruence compound of completely opposite people to different JDs that are in there there's a there's a JD that wants to do the right thing and then there's another one.

I don't want to do it all, and both of them are totally sincere.

That's what Paul is talking about here in Romans seven is to describe his experience both pre-Christ and even after becoming a Christian how he feels this way.

Tim Keller outlines this passage. He said this basic passage basically divided in three sections is in verse 7 to 13 are to describe the battle that you can't win versus 14 to 25 describe the battle that you can't lose members one through six is to give you an analogy that shows you how to make the transition between the two. Between the battle to get when the battle that you can't lose, follow that general breakdown of the other passage, reverses one through six. First, simply because they cumbersome the chapter, but I'm not really a comment on them until the very end because there there really just Paul's answer to the dilemma that he sets up, so he gives you the answer first amended dilemma. Second, sort of start of the dilemma in the loop back around to the answer no way to warn you up front. These first few verses are going to sound weird and random. The analogy in them though is quite brilliant and I'll try to show you why it is so brilliant at the end I just want to give you that warning so that on the first round through your not feel like I'm totally missing something wrong with something. Okay, this is not is to be confusing. I don't worry. For more confusion normal.

Verse one ready for some speaking to those who know the law brothers and sisters, don't you know the below rules or somebody as long as he lives.

For example, a married woman is legally bound her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies when she's releasable all regarding the husband.

So then she's married to another man while her husband is living; adulterous, but if her husband dies, she is free from outlaw and if she is married to another man. She is not an adulterous item. I look at your neighbor and say I have no idea what point Paul is trying to make with all that's okay right okay world on the computer that's fine right verse four. Therefore, my brothers and sisters. You also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another. Okay, here's his point pre-Christ. We were married to the law.

The Lowell River. He explained in the book of Romans is whatever standard you think proves your worth and gains you acceptance since you were married to that standard.

It was the center of your life that standard that keeping of the law was how you established your identity is what told you things were going to be okay in the future for you.

It's how you establish your worth about that might've been a religious law. In Paul's case it was both thought if he was a good enough Jew you might think. If you're good enough Christian a good enough religious person that then God will take care of you and he will accept you but it might be a nonreligious version of the law. If you thought you either good enough student. If you work hard enough. If you're talented enough.

If you're a good mother. If you're a successful businessman or a good father and whatever the natural identity that your word that your acceptance of what tells you things are going to be okay for you makes you feel good about yourself tells you that the future to be okay.

Is is when you accepted Christ you died to the law you were married below anymore. You were married now to Christ, which meant that you watch this guide to your keeping of the law is the basis of your acceptance and now you're married to Christ, so you belong to him now in marriage was Ray the one was raised with dad in order that you may bear fruit for God. When we were in the flesh. The simple passions aroused through the wall racks you working in you to bear fruit for death, but now we been releasable. All we divorce the losses we have died to what held us so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law. That's the end of that first little section that the analogy again will come back to the end Keep on moving to verse seven for Paul to start discussing the battle that we can't win. Verse seven. What should we say then, is the law sin. Now, at this point Paul is picking up again on an objection that he knows his religious Jewish leaders are going to be raising hey it's one that he's dealt with like five or six times already in the book of Romans, Paul hears him saying man you are hard on that wall.

You're saying things like the law arouses simple passions in the law multiplies Shannon and we got it died to the law.

We got divorced outlawing we are to walk away from it mean Paul you really feel like the law is bad, don't you both months.

Absolutely not. On the contrary, I would not even have known sin if it were not for the law. The law's first purpose.

He says the good purpose of the law was to reveal how simple we are. It was not a standard that showed us what our heart should look like and then showed us what our heart actually looked like throughout the series. We compared it to, like a mirror mirror that shows you how far short of God's standard of good as you fall.

Imagine you had a full-length mirror in your house that not only reveal to you what you actually look like, but also had an outline on the mirror of you with your ideal build and wait so that every time you look in the mirror it not just shows you what you are GR but it's got a got an outline of lightning. If you really say this what you look like and you start with I well was loaded.

This in here we can move on to the bicep. It would reveal to you what you are and how you fall short. That's a blog. As Paul says it shows you what your heart should look like and then it shows you what your heart actually looks like. For example, Paul says, I would not have known what is the covenant I would've known that I was coveting the coveting was a problem. If the law had not said a commandment, then thou shalt not covet. Now coveting of courses. Wonder what somebody else has and feel like you just can't be satisfied.

Do you have it. The law says hey the righteous heart the righteous heart healthy heart and heart that uncovered hard and look around and and get dissatisfied and say I need to have that person has to be happy.

Paul says sin, seizing an opportunity through that commandment produced in me coveting of every kind, for apart from the law sin was dead. Once I was alive. Apart from the law within the command again sin sprang to life and I died. Thus the commandment thus the commandment that was meant for life actually resulted in death for me. So sin produce death to me through what is good law, so that through the commandment sin might become sinful beyond measure.

Like I was immobile that I glad you asked. When Paul says in verse nine. Once I was alive. Apart from the law that mean that he was actually not a sinner. He just means that what's this before he had really considered the 10 Commandments he felt alive he fell he was a pretty good person making use of the other commandments, and he was like you know what I don't steal I never committed adultery never killed anybody and take care my parents to worship idols I go to synagogue every Sabbath and John faithful and that I tied every dollar is within the something in that 10th commandment thou shalt not covet. It just really grip me when he says the commandment came in at me that he didn't know it before but it is felony conviction. He started to think about what it meant and he realized that that command had nothing to do with external obedience. That command had everything to do with with the attitude of the heart, and Paul started to realize that even with all of his external obedience to the other commandments is heart still long for what other people had his heart shaped against that he was envious of others, and he wanted he wanted what they had.

He was jealous of people who are better at doing the law than he was jealous of what they had in the blessing they walked in the favor that God seem to give them and then to make matters worse, like Martin Luther pointed out realize that this is a commandment behind all the other commandments which is why Moses puts it last. This is the commandment that when you break this one will actually make you break the elements right to me, Martin Luther, EES, why do we steal, why do you what you steal from somebody what's because they have something that you want and you wanted so you go and take its coveting that produces the desired steel. Why do you lie will quite often the reason you or I lies because there something we want to we can't get with the truth so we gotta bend the truth in order to get what it is we want. So for example you exaggerate your accomplishments or you minimize your fault so that you can gain approval can get approval with the truth.

You got a cannot hide some of your flaws and exaggerate what you're doing, so that you win approval.

How are you lie to obtain a position or an advantage that you couldn't get with the truth. But why do you commit adultery well reason you commit adultery. Ultimately, as you covet sex with somebody that God hasn't given to you in marriage to Paul Saul that his heart was guilty not just of a sin is heart was guilty of the root of sin, the heart of sin.

The main commandment if you will. And then he was the real twist. Paul started to see that even his zeal in religion had been fueled by covetousness what made Paul zealous in religion was that he wanted respect. He wanted status. He wanted distinction above others to another people look like they were doing well. He despised them and he was jealous of them because he wanted to be the one that was known as the best at keeping the law.

So what do you do when you realize that one of your primary motivators in religion is in itself sinful well that you feel like you've died. That's what Paul says I feel like I got slain in the heart and that's when the rear wheels really started to come off because that just made me more insecure with God, which made me even more zealous to show that I was better than others and that made me even more. The 10th commandment breaker because I started to get really envious everybody else and it's like the more the commandment came, the more that I died. My attempts to keep the commandment, just maybe worse. That's what he means by sin to the commandment, produced in the coveting of every time. Verse nine is what he means what he says when the commandment came, sin sprang to life again aggravated sin in me and I died. Verse 13 sin. Sin was producing death in me. What is good law so that sin in me might become might be revealed as sinful beyond measure.

I want to go back to an analogy I use a few weeks ago for them to get your mind around this. I told you if you were in.

Imagine you were sick in bed with the flu and all the sudden I showed up there in your room or whatever and I had a list of commandments and the commandments were thou shalt not have a fever, and thou shalt not call for now shalt not sell feel we can now shalt not have a headache, and thou shall not have the chills. By the way, all things that a normal person would do without a lot right just what it's like to be healthy even retire every time I gave you a law.

I would just be multiplying the ways that you couldn't keep it. Eventually you can look back at me and you say I did it I did. I can't keep any of these laws because I'm sick every time you give me a new command of what up healthy person would do is multiply the ways that I can keep all Paul is saying happen with the law.

Here he was. The irony. Here's the irony or if I did that with you. The harder you try to keep those laws for the worse. You probably get right right you if I like. Thou shall not feel weak to jump about a bed like I can feel week I got I got I got to be strong will. The more you try to do that, the worse she would become your keeping of the law would actually does make you worse call saying that similar would happen to me spiritually. The harder I try to keep the law to prove I was good and worthy person, the more coveting in my insecurity and my jealousy flared up my insecurity and religion turned me into a truly awful person.

That's what I started to realize I needed a different solution than just more laws and always all the way to fix my broken heart was more better laws and better obedience to those laws, but I started to see that it was actually the cyclical problem when I needed a different solution.

By the way, if you know the story of Paul the Bible when Jesus appears to him on the road to Damascus in acts chapter 9.

After Jesus knocks him off the horse, whatever it appears to him.

He says Saul it's hard for you to kick against the goats goads were these long, very pointy holes that a farmer would use when and oxen were plowing the ground and the oxen started walking slowly.

The firm would take that the stick and poking the back of the legs to spur the box onward. What Jesus was saying is that's what the Holy Spirit is been doing to you and you been kicking back against those goes like you didn't want one of those goads was was God revealing this covetousness sickness in Paul's heart that he really just couldn't keep the law. So that's Paul verse 13, with the battle that he felt like he could not win, which makes him now shift verse 14 in the battle that he could lose i.e. very subtly shifts the discussion from his precrisis days to himself now as a mature Christian and as an apostle. Notice the present tense of these verbs he uses in here for what I know the law is spiritual. It's good but I'm of the flesh, sold as a slave to sin again. Notice present and to talk about himself right now I do not understand what I'm doing because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate I hate sin, but still doing I want to do righteousness, but I find so much in the opposing that desire to do righteousness and now I'm no longer the one doing it and that is the sin it is sin living in me that is the one that is pursuing this.

I'm no longer the one doing the sin. Paul talking about a new me. There's a new I the redeemed man depart the crisis taken over it even even though I'm a new man and even a crisis taken me over there.

Still, these simple desires of my body member. Last weekend I use the analogy of the Allied forces when they took over Berlin in the end of World War II.

At that point the power Nazi-ism was broken, the German regime was crippled.

The war was over.

Right now, Allied powers controlled the center of the Nazi is a mandate.

They control the communication, all the munitions, yet still all throughout the German countryside and even towards Austria and France were still these pockets of German soldiers were still fighting. So even though the power of the capital had been broken. There were still pockets of resistance.

Paul said that's me right now. Jesus taken over in the center but I still got this this body of sin. Now it's all Paul turned the dial up in the next verse. This is a a truly staggering verse for I know Paul says that nothing good lives in me. Nothing good lives in me. That is, in my flesh, how much good lives in me nothing.

Now what is your flesh exactly what when you see flesh.

Don't just think like your epidermis in your bones and your cartilage in your blood and and think like that's all bad. As of the bodies all bad, and now the soul is good reason I say that that's not what Paul means by flashes. Think about it a lot here were simple desires have nothing to do with the impulses of your body right me the worst sin to be pride and hatred blasphemy. Those are like lust of the flesh. Those are things in your spirit so when Paul says flesh. The Greek word starts, he means you all of you mind body and spirit apart from Jesus flesh means the totality of your sinful nature apart from Jesus, how much good is enough flesh nine Nada zero mill. It's like Paul said in Romans three when we study through that chapter is not to say you can never do kind or noble things is that apart from Christ. Your hearts are so corrupted, so curved inward on themselves away from God that you can't really call them good. Again, this is Paul talking present tense in my flesh right now in my sin nature. There's nothing good at all. Now that I'm a Christian.

Paul says about both natures existing in me. There's this new me the real me, say by Christ and resurrected him as a guy that wants to please God and do what's right and there's another nature and their sin nature article. The old man. The guy that did never want to do what's right got almost to please himself, but also like about these guys and me right now for the desire to do what is good is with me. I am saved right desire to do what is good, as will my repentance was about.

But this is no ability to do it. Want to serve Jesus only serve Jesus visas but my flesh is like no St. Francis of a sissy is a great way of expressing this he referred to his flesh. No bubbly understanding conducts what he means your slopes and illness. He said he referred to his flesh. His brother asks Ashley to donkey. He said because whenever I want to do what's right. This is not my flex just sits there like a stubborn donkey and says call I'm doing you know someone, you won't have a quiet time to call my doing it, but I think I should pray it's it's it's I don't get to sit in their and I know what I want to do. I want to do it, but every time the donkey distance back in and in a moment he says. And so I know that the desire to do good with me, but rather as a still with me and it's not going anywhere for I do not do the good that I want to do, but I end up practicing the will that I do not want to do nothing or not do what I want to no longer the one who does it is. The Senate was living in me. So then I discover this new law when I want to do what is good, evil is present. It is right there with me.

That's right there with me, but only if I were honest with people dissing probably what I redounds my life verse my life verse is you can explain my entire life as men. There's been a lot of really good intentions, and I desire to do the right thing but evil was right there with me in, every single point so many good intentions, such little progress pulses for a minor self I delight in God's law. Right. That's what a safe person says I know unbelievers and say they delight in God's law. I've repented balls as I acknowledge Jesus as Lord, I want to do God's law, but I see a different law on the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind what I know is right in my mind what I've repented of him and and and my faith in Christ and is taking me prisoner to the wall sandwich on the part of my body.

What a wretched man that I am Paul collapses in exasperation rescue me from this body of death thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And just in case just in case. By the way you had got the conclusion he repeats it again sitting with my mind I myself serve the law of God with my flesh observing the law of sin on the boil on the whole sector down and the two insights okay to entice her to go inside of one believers have a constant war going on inside of them is the whole point of this passage in the way Paul teaches this repeatedly throughout his epistles in Galatians in Galatians, Paul summarizes all of Romans seven in one verse one verse Galatians 517 the desires of flesh against the spirit desires the spirit of the flesh. These are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Would you be talking about ourselves that are working against no which side will you join your listening to Senate life with Jeannie Greer to Ginny and spent time in our website lately, and in addition to these broadcasts. We also have a lot of other resources available on our website.

That's right yet so the summit like blog network to deal with different topics that are related to the messages every month on the JD got a free download that's available. Sometimes it's a study guides amended to bookmark this mom is a 40 day devotional but I hope you focus on praying for calling your one who is your one Hoosier one. You'll also find transcripts and you can see footnotes and you can figure out what I was trying to save you missed it but anyway you can find all that and more.

You'll go to JD There you can also sign up to be a part of our OnStar mailing list. I get mail you know the amount and must be due also. But this will give you some some resources that I really do think it benefit you within your your spiritual walk in in your ministry to others so JD and you can find all the stuff that I'm talking about you having to link communication with in addition to all of the wonderful resources. Pastor JD mentioned you can also see our new Bible study resource three remnants when you visit Jeannie you're welcome to request the second volume at the relevant Bible study. The data support this ministry suggested donation is $25 or more and when you get in touch. Remember to ask for your volume, 866-335-5228 6335 we can get and is strong.

I just getting started getting my mouth even if it inviting you to join us again next deeper into the gospel on Senate life with Jeannie Greer ministry

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