Summary: This is the 11th sermon in the series "The Cure". This sermon looks at the struggles of a Christian.
Series: The Cure [#11]
This morning we are going to talk about something that I know a lot about- Fighting. Now, before you judge me, most of you are really good at fighting as well. Whether it’s physically fighting, (like my brother and I use to) or it’s verbally fighting; probably all of us are proficient at it. We are going to look at what seems like an unusual fight; but most likely is the fight we fight the most often- The fight against our self.
Romans 7:1-6 (NIV)
“Do you not know, brothers--for I am speaking to men who know the law--that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 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. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
This inward battle that goes on in many of our lives is based on this illustration. Before Christ, people were married to the Law. The Law was what the Jews were to live by; but that didn’t go so well for them. Through Jesus Christ, the Law dies and we are to be devoted to Jesus. Paul uses the illustration of a woman remarrying after her husband dies.
Romans 7:7-13 (NIV)
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”
Before we begin to think that Law is evil, I want to remind you that without the Law we would not know what is sinful. The Law is our school master. The Law shows us how we should live. The Law also shows us how evil we are. This battle between living holy and being evil is waged because of the distinct differences between obedience and disobedience to God and His Word.
Romans 7:14 (NIV)
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.”
Paul has a problem- He is not living like a Christian should. His problem is himself. How many of you are your biggest problem?
Romans 7:15-16 (NIV)
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.”
Paul is confused. He doesn’t understand why he continues to do the opposite of what he is supposed to be doing. Does that sound familiar? It’s almost like you are watching someone in your skin mess up.
Romans 7:17-20 (NIV)
“As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 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. 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. 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.”