Summary: Have you wondered why you lose those spiritual battles and fall into sin? Maybe because you lost the battle before it began!
Battle for Your Mind
a. Have you ever wondered why you don’t always do what you know you ought to do?
b. Have you ever struggled with horrible and conflicting thoughts that come into your mind, uninvited?
c. Have you ever wondered why if the Christian life is supposed to be joyful, why you are so full of misery?
d. If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you are quite normal in your experiences as a Christian.
i. In fact, these are common struggles that many of us endure.
ii. And there is comfort to us when we fail, because the bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
iii. The truth is we aren’t meant to remain defeated in these areas, even though it is our common experience. Jesus didn’t just come to see that you could receive forgiveness and freedom from the PENALTY of sin…He came also so that you and I could be freed from the POWER of sin.
e. This verse I just quoted comes from a lengthy passage in the book of Romans where the Apostle Paul is describing his personal struggle with sin.
i. In fact, he says in Chapter 7:21 “So I find this law at work; when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being (my inner man, my soul, my heart that has been changed to want the things of God), I delight in God’s law; 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. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. “
ii. The apostle Paul describes the battle he sees within himself, he sees his body and his mind at war, and wonders out loud how the law of sin is to be overcome.
f. There is a cosmic battle going on around us. Most of the battle is invisible to you and I. And so we don’t pay it much mind.
i. The 8th Chapter of Romans should be called the manual of Christian Victory.
1. I would hope that if you have been struggling in your life with internal conflicts, that you would spend the rest of this week, reading and re-reading verses 1-17 of this chapter.
ii. You may recall verse one of Chapter 8 that I read a moment ago, that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If you will look at verse two, you will see him describing the war of two laws:
1. “…because through Christ Jesus, the law of the spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
2. .The law of sin and death, or the Power of Sin is like the law of Gravity.
a. It cannot be avoided.
b. It rules the universe.
3. In the same way, Sin and death are the law of conduct for all of mankind.
a. The bible clearly states that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
4. The only way that you can be freed from one supreme law if for another law to exist that overrides the first one.
5. Just as gravity may not be overcome, it is in fact resisted through the use of a higher law, the law of aerodynamics.
a. That is, something that is lighter than air will rise, despite the rule of gravity.
6. And this is precisely how we are freed from the law of sin’s power which governs our behavior.
7. It is called the Law of the Spirit of Life.
8. This Law of the Spirit of Life comes to rule WHEN we do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
9. Verse 5 tells us that this occurs BECAUSE “those who live according to the sinful nature have their MINDS SET on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit, have their minds set upon what the Spirit desires.”
10. I hope that you can see the compass pointing to victory.
a. That is, we are ruled by the Law of Sin BECAUSE our MINDS are set upon what our body (old nature) desires.
b. And we are can be ruled by the Law of Life when our MINDS are set upon what the Spirit (new nature) desires.