Summary: It is impossible for our hearts to be at peace without the Spirit of Christ.
Surviving Conflict Series (Part 3 of 3)
(Sermon concept & some content from Rick Stacy)
Surviving the Conflict in Your Own Heart
Romans 7:14-25; 8:1-2, 13
Oct. 1, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A I heard once of a man who was an American Indian and had been converted. He described the old and the new nature this way, "There’s two dogs that live in me, one’s the old dog, he’s mean and vicious and hard and sinful. Then there’s the new dog who walks after Christ. He said they’re constantly fighting to have control of me. Which one wins? The one I feed the most, that’s which one wins."
These two natures within you, the old nature and the new nature, they’re fighting for dominance, which one’s going to win? The one you feed the most.
You walk in the world. You walk in circles where they tell the world’s jokes, live by the world’s standard and the world’s rules, that man will win because you’ve fed him, you’ve made him strong, you’ve made him dominant.
You walk in the Spirit. You daily meditate on the Word of God, you feed on God’s Word, you pray, you associate yourself with other believers who talk, not about worldly things but talk about Jesus and the new man will have dominance because you’ve fed him, you’ve made him strong
1 Paul explained to his audience the conflict that was raging in each one of their hearts (essence of the text in a sentence).
2 It is impossible for our hearts to be at peace without the Spirit of Christ (essence of the sermon in a sentence).
C I hope you’ll know how to bring peace to the battleground of your heart (objective).
1 What are you doing to resolve the conflict in your own heart? (Probing question)
2 Let’s look at two details that can help us resolve the conflicts in our hearts (transitional sentence).
I The first detail is the struggle. Romans 7:14-23 (NASB)
A To Paul, there existed in him a struggle between two natures.
1 Old nature was still present in him May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:2 (NASB) Dead, but to what extent?
a Paul still had the ability to sin even after his conversion on his way to Damascus.
b Although Paul had "seen the light", his life didn’t always reflect that light.
2 There was a war raging in him(v.23)
a He wanted to do good, but didn’t (v. 15-16)
b Not bi-polar, schizophrenic, sociopath-he’s a Christian fighting a real battle!
B When we give our hearts to Jesus we don’t miraculously become incapable of sinning/failing.
1 (IL) A young man enlists in the Army for a war, they put his name on the roll, go to war. He doesn’t put down his weapon, Kevlar, & ammo.
a When we really enlist in the Christian life/on Christ’s side the conflict intensifies, more grim
b The real battle begins!
2 We have a conflict in our souls between the old & new nature.
a A conflict seen in Judas, Pilate, Peter
b The old nature is just as present today as the day you were saved (if not...you wouldn’t sin).
aa At the moment you got saved, God gave you a new nature & crucifies the old one.
bb That crucified sin is still "hanging around" Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Romans 7:24 (NASB)
c This battle is in ALL born-again believers! For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Gal 5:17 (NASB)
C (IL) Young woman/old woman illusion
1 Is this a young gal or an older gal? (Yes) Both are there.
2 Is there an old nature or new nature in you? (Yes) CONFLICT
Transitional sentence: Knowing why the struggle exists is important, but without the next detail we’re only seeing part of the peace process.
II The second detail is the solution. Romans 7:25; 8:1-3 (NASB)
A Paul’s solution to his inner conflict was not found in what he brought to the table.
1 v. 25 "...through Jesus Christ our Lord" v. 1 "...in Christ"
a Paul couldn’t do enough good works, deeds, fulfill enough of the law to bring the conflict to a conclusion.
aa Exhausting! "Wretched"
bb His old nature couldn’t do the law, but his new nature didn’t need the law (v. 3)
b For a time we resolve to do better, but we soon fall again.
aa Struggle, give in, & give up
bb Why? We’re trying in our own power to do something we CANNOT do in our flesh/power (in/through Christ)