Summary: Our fleshly desires and the law are at contrasts. Let’s look at what God directs our lives to be.
Our Fleshly Desires and the Law
When lost recently…
We all become lost and confused occasionally and God gives us some great advise through confessions of Paul that we must readily confess to be right with God…
Confession 1: We are carnal, sold under sin
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin [Rom. 7:14].
Paul starts by telling us what we do know..."We know" The Law is spiritual… given by the Holy Spirit and part of the Word of God.
The law was given by the Spirit of God (pneumatikos )…the name of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the source of the law.
"But I am carnal." meaning, "I am in the flesh [Greek sarkinos]."
Paul tells us how helpless he feels in this struggle. Human nature and knowledge alone are inadequate.
“His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins” (Proverbs 5:22).
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
“For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:23).
Paul describes his pitiful plight as a slave sold to a terrible slave master with a whiplash of evil.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I [Rom. 7:15].
We have two natures in conflict, the old nature and the new nature.
The old nature asserts its rights... "For what I would" is what the new nature wants to do. "That do I not" -- the old nature rebels. "But what I hate" -- the new nature hates it -- "that do I"; the old nature goes right ahead and does it.
Have you experienced this struggle in your Christian life?
Do you do things then hate yourself because you do them?
Have you cried out, "God, oh, how I’ve failed You!"
We see three specific periods in Paul’s life in our study today.
First a proud Pharisee under the Mosaic system, kidding himself by bringing the sacrifices and doing other things which he thought would make him right with God. But the Law was condemning him all the while.
Second, he met Christ on the Damascus Road. This proud young Pharisee turned to Christ as his Savior, but he still felt he could live the Christian life. His new nature said, "I am now going to live for God!" But he failed and was in the arena of struggle and failure for a time.
And finally there came a day when there was victory, but Paul did not win it; Christ did. Paul learned it was a matter of yielding, presenting himself and letting the Spirit of God live the Christian life through him.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good [Rom. 7:16].
Realizing that the old nature breaks the commandment (in this instance coveting), then the new nature agrees with the Law that coveting is wrong. Paul was not fighting the Law because he broke it. He was agreeing as a believer that the Law was good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me [Rom. 7:17].
In other words: It is no longer I (new nature) who am working it out, but sin (the old nature) living in me. You see, Paul still had the old nature…so do we.
Confession 2: We are void of any good thing
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 [Rom. 7:18].
Paul learned two things that we need to learn.
"In me (that old nature we have been talking about) dwells no good thing."
Have you learned that? Have you found there is no good in you apart from Christ?
We often times try very hard to do it in their own strength by the flesh.
Learn today what Paul learned: "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."
Let me make it personal. Anything I Bruce Landry does in the flesh, God hates. God won’t have it; God can’t use it.
When it is of the flesh, it is no good. Have you learned that?
What a great lesson to take into our hearts today.
The Lord Jesus said, " John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” and that is all it will ever be, but " 1 John 3:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”