Summary: This is a two part "problem sovling sermon" on How to overcome sin tendencies in our life. The first sermon focuses on the nature of our flesh.
The Fight with the Flesh
Problem Solving Sermon Part One
Main Idea (Message in a Nutshell)
Read the Text.
Just because we have been saved by Christ doesn’t mean Christians don’t struggle with sin.
In fact, the reality is, we find ourselves living by a superior standard of life. Our spirit has been set apart by God but our minds continue to have the pattern of the old way of thinking.
So, even though our spirit is secure in Christ we still experience a battle in our mind, will and emotions. We want to leave the old patterns of living and embrace the new life in Christ but the flesh constantly wants to have its own way.
Subject: What I’m talking about is The Fight with the Flesh.
Compliment: How Can We Overcome Sin Tendencies in our life?
In Romans 7:14-25 98% of the text describes Paul the Apostles struggle with sin. Instead of depressing us this should encourage us because Paul faced the same daily battle in his mind, will and emotions that you and I face – and he was used to write 2/3 or the N.T.!
The remaining 2% of Paul’s descriptive struggle gives us the answer we need to overcome the sin tendencies in life.
t.s. We’ll first have to understand the problem each and every one of us struggles with each and every day – Our Flesh.
[Body – Understanding What’s the Problem]
Everyone has Flesh.
Flesh is our nature while here on Earth. It is developed within us by the ways we tried to meet our needs out of our own resources
Often, as Christians, when we think of “the flesh” we think in terms of the Results of living after the flesh.
Going to Galations 5:19-21, the Bible lists some of the results of living a life geared toward fulfilling the flesh. The list includes:
Sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, bitterness, anger, selfish ambition, factions, divisions, envy and others…
But included in the Apostle Paul’s definition of his flesh were his status, education, religious zeal and commitment. (Phillipians 3:3-6)
In his book “Lifetime Guarantee” Dr. Billy Graham describes the flesh in this way:
Flesh refers to the old patterns by which we have attempted to get all our needs supplied instead of seeking Christ first and trusting Him to meet all our needs.
A Christian then can still live “after the flesh” attempting to meet his needs through his old ways of living.
To Sum up what the flesh is:
It is all of the habit patterns that we have developed over the years to meet our needs out of our own resources. It is the Self-Life.
[What did it mean to Paul?]
Sometimes we forget the humanity of great men and women in the Bible – they were people just like us.
Listen to how Paul described his battle with his own flesh:
· (v15 NLT) “ I don’t understand myself at all!”
· (v16 NLT) “I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong.”
· (v17 NLT) “ I can’t help myself”
· (v18 NLT) “ I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned”
· (v18 NLT) “ No matter which way I turn – I can’t make myself do right”
· (v21 NLT) “When I do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”
· (v24 NLT) “ What a miserable person I am.”
In the above 7 statements Paul describes the Christians fight with the flesh that each one of us, if you’re a Christian, can identify with. This is why Paul went to great lengths.
He uses hyperbole – overstating and exaggerating something to make a point.
His Point? We are all locked into this battle – this fight- of the old habit patterns that we have developed over the years. This Self-Life that wants to live life – As Frank Sinartra once sang…”To do it My Way!”
[Belief] – Now Why is this such a Problem?
The non-Christian is not engaged in this fight with the flesh because the only option the non-Christian has is to live after the flesh – after the old habits and patterns developed over the years.
But since Jesus Christ lives in the Christian. We have all of Jesus’ resources available to us – Victory, Deliverance, Freedom…these are available to conquer fleshly habits.
Unfortonately, most Christians have now learned how to rely on Christ
· Often we do not allow Jesus to actually, experientially be in control of our life
Perhaps this is the very dilemma you are facing at this point in your life?
What does it mean to “live by the Flesh?”
To live according to our flesh means to live unrenewed – it is to live and act sinfully