Summary: There is no greater influence in this world harder to resist, than that which appeals to the flesh.
LIVING WITH THE STRONG MAN
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Monday the Dallas Cowboys signed on a new player that weighed about 380lbs and 6’ and forever tall. I said to my wife as we were watching the news, “Look at this guy.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This guy was huge. I thought that the only way I could ever hurt that guy would be accidentally while I was trying to get away from him.
If he got a hold on me, he could turn me any way he wanted to hurt, or abuse me however quickly he wanted to, and then kill me at his will.
That Strong Man would have total control of me.
The only way I could get victory over him would be to kill him some how, because if I just broke and ran, likely with his power he would overtake me.
Rom 7:14-25 “The message” (Listen to Paul)
14 "I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?" Yes. I’m full of myself — after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. 15 What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. 16 So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! 18 I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. 19 I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. 20 My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. 22 I truly delight in God’s commands, 23 but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Why can’t I do what I know is right?
Because the Strong Man controls my behavior.
I’m not talking about demon possession, I’m asking, why don’t we lay aside the sin that so easily keeps us from being our best for God.
The problem today is that we are living with a strong man.
The 380lb giant that controls our behavior.
There is no greater influence in this world, harder to resist, than that which appeals to the flesh.