Summary: Introduction to a series of 10 messages on Excellence. Message one deals with hinderances to living an excellent life.

A Life Of Excellence: Part 1

Road-Blocks On the Road To Excellence

Romans 7:14-25

Introduction: A Day of Infamy

A. December 7, 1941 - 7:55 AM

B. 190 Japanese planes from 6 Aircraft Carriers, 25 submarines + several midget subs

C. 5 US battleships sunk, 2 destroyers demolished, total of 18 US warships sunk or damaged

D. 2,330 US servicemen dead, another 1,145 wounded

E. Japanese lost only 29 planes, 5 midget subs, and less than 100 men

1. The Schemes of Satan

- (Eph 6:11) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes {methods}.

A. He plans to chew us up.

- (1 Pet 5:8) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

B. He plans to spit us out

- (Luke 22:31) "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

2. The Seduction of the world

A. The world’s seduction is controlled by Satan.

-(1 John 5:19) We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

B. The world’s seduction pollutes

-(James 1:27) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

C. The world’s seduction enslaves.

-(Gal 3:22) But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

- (Gal 4:3) So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.

3. The Struggle with the sinful nature.

A. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:

-(Gal 5:19-20) The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

B. There is nothing good about our sinful nature.

- (Rom 7:18) 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.

C. Our sinful nature can do nothing that pleases God.

-(Rom 8:8) Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

D. The sinful nature is in constant conflict with the Spirit of God.

-(Gal 5:17) For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

E. Our sinful nature enslaves.

- (Rom 7:25) 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.

F. Our sinful nature desires to control us with sinful passions.

- (Rom 7:5) For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

G.The sinful nature destroys.

- (Gal 6:8) The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

H. The sinful nature brings death.

- (Rom 8:13) For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

I. Victory over the our sinful nature comes through the Spirit filled life

. (Gal 5:16) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

4. The Stronghold of the mind.

- (2 Cor 2:11) in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes {thoughts}.

A.The battleground is our minds.

- (2 Cor 10:3-5) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

- (Rom 8:7) The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

- (Rom 12:2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conclusion: The Strategy for victory.

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