Summary: THIS MESSAGE LOOKS AT OUR INDIVIDUAL STRUGGLE TO BE A REVOLUTIONARY FOR CHRIST. I LOOK AT THIS , SIMPLY FOR THE REASON THAT, WITHOUT A PERSONAL POSITION AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST REVOLUTIONARY, WE CANNOT EVER HOPE TO BE AN INTEGRAL PART AS A REVOLUTIONARY
BEING A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST REVOLUTIONARY
Romans 7:15-25 (NIV) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEKEND WE CELEBRATE OUR STRUGGLE AS A NATION FOR FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND INDEPENDENCE. JULY 4TH LOOKS BACK TO THE VERY ROOTS OF AMERICAN FREEDOM AS PLAYED OUT BY THOSE WHO WOULD BE CALLED REVOLUTIONARIES. CHRISTIANS FROM THE VERY DAWN OF THEIR EXISTENCE HERE ON EARTH HAVE ALSO BEEN CONSIDERED REVOLUTIONARIES. AS SUCH, THEY HAVE BEEN THE FOCUS OF PERSECUTION, TORTURE, AND DEATH. YET, IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS TURMOIL AND HARDSHIP, THE NAME OF CHRIST CONTINUES TO BE PROCLAIMED, AND FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST CONTINUE TO COUNT THE COST, STAND FOR CHRIST, AND INDIVIDUALIZE THE SCRIPTURE WHICH PROCLAIMS, “FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST, AND TO DIE IS GAIN.”.
TRANSITION: THIS MORNING I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT OUR INDIVIDUAL STRUGGLE TO BE A REVOLUTIONARY FOR CHRIST. I LOOK AT THIS , SIMPLY FOR THE REASON THAT, WITHOUT A PERSONAL POSITION AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST REVOLUTIONARY, WE CANNOT EVER HOPE TO BE AN INTEGRAL PART AS A REVOLUTIONARY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST – THE CHURCH!
IN ORDER TO BE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST REVOLUTIONARY, WE NEED TO:
I. KNOW THE STRENGTH OF OUR ENEMY
A. COMPREHENDING OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
1. I AM IN CONSTANT CONFLICT WITH SIN – EVEN AS A BELIEVER IN CHRIST
a. PAUL IS SPEAKING HERE AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST – EVEN A MATURE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST!
b. OUR CURRENT CONFLICT IS WITH OUR SIN DWELLING WITHIN US. OUR INDWELLING SIN DESIRES TO CONTROL US - -TO CLAIM US AS ITS PROPERTY – TO ENSLAVE US VOLUNTARILY SINCE IT CAN NO LONGER ENSLAVE US “REDEMPTIVELY!
c. ONCE WE ACCEPTED CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR, WE DIED TO OUR SIN NATURE, AND WERE RESURRECTED WITH CHRIST. SINS HOLD ON US WAS BROKEN, BUT SIN NEVER WENT AWAY
d. OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE IS A DAILY 24/7 EVENT. IT NEVER STOPS, AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL WE ARE WITH CHRIST.
2. WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND/APPROVE OF WHAT SIN DOES TO US.
a. THIS IS A PRESENT TENSE STRUGGLE
BECOMING A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST BEGAN WITH A MOMENT OF FAITH. BECOMING LIKE CHRIST WILL TAKE A LIFETIME!
B. SEEING THE SIGNS OF OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
1. OUR ACTIONS ARE DICTATED BY SOMETHING ELSE.
2. THE CONCERN THAT SHOULD BE EVIDENT REGARDING WHAT I AM NEGLECTING TO DO AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.
3. KNOWING THAT THE LAW OF GOD IS GOOD – BEAUTIFUL, NOBLE, AND EXCELLENT, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME UNDERSTANDING THAT MY HEART IS – DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS AND BEYOND MY ABILITY TO SURE IT.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
C. KNOW THE ROOT ISSUE(S) OF OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
1. WE DO NOT REALIZE THE ROOT ISSUE.
2. WE SEEK TO DEAL WITH THE ROOT ISSUE WRONGLY
a. WE THINK KNOWLEDGE WILL SOLVE OUR PROBLEM WITH OUR INDWELLING SIN NATURE.
1) WE LIKE TO WORK IN FORMULAS.
2) “X AMOUNT OF STEPS TO ________”
b. WE THINK SELF-DETERMINATION WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF OUR INDWELLING SIN NATURE.
1) STRUGGLING IN MY OWN STRENGTH
2) SEEKING SOME NEW EXPERIENCE WITH CHRIST, NEVER FULLY REALIZING THAT EXPERIENCE DOES NOT FIGHT SIN