Summary: To establish that saints will find themselves faced with undesirable or unpleasant choices, in their walk of faith. Like Paul: “For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” This lesson deals with our ability to overcome the weaknesses of the flesh.
1. A Perplexing Position
2. A Pitiful Plight
3. A Perfect Provision
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the theme: “A Spiritual Dilemma.” This will be one of our “Expository Sermons.” We will read the text, explain the text; and apply the text to obtain an understanding. I can fully agree and confess; I too have been in a Spiritual Dilemma; oft-times in my own life, as a Minister and Christian, in the church of the Lord. The word “dilemma” implies a situation presenting an undesirable or unpleasant choice. If each person in this audience would honestly assess their own walk of faith; each would confess, their own “spiritual dilemma.” Some here will find themselves faced with undesirable choices in life.
2. First, we will consider a “Perplexing Position.” Here the apostle lays out his real trial; which kept him in a perplexing position. Paul wrote: “When I determined to do good; I find myself guilty of performing that which is evil!” When I promised not to do evil; it is that which I perform. I find in my members and mind; a war that keeps me in this endless struggle. Is there hope that I can secure doing that which is right; which I have promise, rather than committing evil, that which I do not desire?
3. Second, we will discuss a “Pitiful Plight.” Paul here outlines his pitiful plight. This is our problem also; as we face our struggles with sin, as Paul attempts to do in these verses. We must understand that he describes his position before he was showered with the “grace of God.” He like all of us have, “put off the old man” (the practice of sin); and “put on the new man” (that permits us to walk in the Spirit). Let’s be clear. The walk of faith is not absent of temptation or even sin. What it does promise is that though we might fail; the condemnation for such sin has also been covered, by the blood of Christ. As long as we: “Walk in the light, as He is in the light; having fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, continually cleanseth us from our sins,” 1 John 1:7-9.
4. Lastly, we will investigate a “Perfect Provision.” Paul now reminds us; of the solution for his struggle, in his walk of faith. Christ is now shown as the only solution to a “perplexing problem” and a “pitiful plight.” He wrote: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” Romans 8:1. He does not suggest that this it is without our efforts; to live a faithful and pleasing life before God. This is possible because: “God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, to condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are (living) in the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are (living) in the Spirit (do mind) the things of the Spirit,” Romans 8:3-4. With this brief introduction, let’s consider our first point in this lesson.
BODY OF LESSON
I A PERPLEXING POSITION
A. The law is good. Paul wrote: “Wherefore the law is holy... commandments holy, and just, and good... For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would that do I not; but what I hate, that do I,” Romans 7:12-15. 1People’s New Testament, Romans 7.
1. For we know that the law is spiritual. Paul now set forth to show that law is holy; but, he is sinful, carnal, thus, worthy of death. The law is "spiritual," that is, it is divine and perfectly adapts to our “spiritual nature.” Consider:
a. While there were "carnal ordinances," about the law; its essential principles were spiritual, righteous and holy. Reference: 1 People’s New Testament.
b. It was designed to provide, those that kept it, “eternal life,” Matthew 19:16-24.
c. Jesus and the rich young ruler’s discourse, when he asked: “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Jesus said: “If thou will enter into life, keep the commandments.” He replied: “All these things have I done from my youth up: what lack I yet?” Jesus said: “If thou wilt be perfect... sell all thou hast... and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me... But when the young man heard... he went away sorrowful... he had great possessions.”
2. The word “perplex” is not in the text; the idea however, is clearly illustrated. Perplex, in Gr., is diaporeo, i.e., at a lost for a way; for a solution or a means of correction. Reference: 2, 3, W. E. Vine, p. 489; p. 177.