Summary: 5 of 5 messages. This message deals with the battle between the carnal nature and the spiritual nature that every Christian struggles to win.
Sometimes I Don’t Want to Obey
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
You’re absolutely right! Two men who lived in the same village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage’s home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said to him, “You’re absolutely right.” The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story. And the sage responded to him, “You’re absolutely right.” Afterward, the sage’s wife scolded her husband. “Those men told you two different stories and you told each of them they were absolutely right. That’s impossible. They can’t both be absolutely right.” The sage turned to his wife and said, “You’re absolutely right.”’
This is one of my favorite passages of scriptures. In Romans 7:14-25 the Apostle Paul paints a picture of this struggle between good and evil that is going on right now on the battleground of our hearts and in the depths our very souls. In this battle it really is as if we have a angel of the almighty God sitting on one shoulder and a red demon with pitchfork and horns sitting on the other. The one whispers in one ear that we should do good and follow God’s ways. The other shouts in the other ear that we ought to be able to do what we want to do and to look out for number one.
The War of Two Worlds
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.
So there you have it… on the one hand we hate the idea of sin. And on the other hand… we love to sin.
Which is true? They are both absolutely right. They are both true. I hate sin… and I love sin.
There used to be a TV show in the 60’s called the Twilight Zone. In this weird world anything can happen – and usually does.
Well, I confess that I often feel like I live in a twilight zone – a strange land between two worlds at war with one another. It is my private war of the worlds – the world of sin and world of God.
In this great cosmic battle for my soul I am both hero and villain. I am the valiant knight astride his noble stallion and I am the filthy peasant wallowing in the pig sty. I am the gentle nobleman and I am the barbarous criminal. I am the captain of the Kings ship and I am a pirate who bows to no one and lives only for his own pleasure.
I am both. I am a saint – and a sinner.
And I’m not the only one in the room living in a battle ground between two worlds am I?
A couple of weeks ago I asked you to turn to some one and say, “It’s not you – it’s me.” Most of you did ok with that – a few of you said, “It’s not you, It’s Rick. Some of you were brave enough to say, “It’s not me – it’s you.” You can recognize those fellows pretty easily – just look for the guys with black eye and who startle easily whenever there a quick movement or sudden noise.
Well, today I’d like you to turn to someone and say, “It’s not me – It’s me! Do that right now and no cheating!
Well have I got some good news for you!
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!
Now here is the good news! It’s the good news of Jesus. It’s the gospel of God. This news was declared to the shepherds on the hillside on the day Jesus was born. It was predicted by the prophets whose words are recorded for us in the Old Testament. It has been proclaimed by preachers of God to anxious crowds from the day of Pentecost until this very day.
The battle against death has been joined and Jesus won. It’s over and the victory is assured even as the battle continues inside of me.
If you are a follower of Jesus you have joined the battle for your soul. Paul says it this way as he describes himself and all of us. Let’s look at the reality of our battle that rages inside of all of us.