Summary: Sermon deals with the original sin (carnal nature) that is in one’s life. Subsequent to salvation, the Holy Spirit empowers us to not make the same choices and mistakes we’ve made in the past by being entirely sanctified.
Why Do We Do the Things That We Do? Sept. 3, 2006 AM
Romans 7:7—8:14 (NIV)
Key verse 7:15
Why do we do the things that we do? That is a good question. There are guidelines, rules, policies, practices put into place all around us. And yet when the desire comes to break one of them, we succumb to those desires.
It can be anything. It can be food, fame, prestige, alcohol, drugs, even battling between getting higher up on the food chain. There is a constant battle between knowing the difference between right and wrong and actually making the choice after analyzing the pros and cons.
There is something that is at work within us that God can take care of. It is this sinful nature that everyone is born with that is the devil’s playground where he invites us to come out and play with all sorts of things.
There is the story of a man in a church who used to lead prayer meetings and would often finish them with this phrase in his prayers “O Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life!” His next door neighbor could take it no longer because he knew how the man really lived. Well one “Wednesday night” the man “ended in his usual manner.” His neighbor who couldn’t control himself any longer and jumped up and shouted, “Don’t do it Lord! Don’t do it! Make him kill the spider!”
I like that. “Make him kill the spider!” That spider is the sinful nature that in us that makes us battle between choosing what is God’s best for us and what the old devil entices us with.
Billy Joel wrote a song entitled, “The Stranger”. In it he describes the truth so many of us try to hide about ourselves from others. He describes “The Stranger” as something we “show ourselves when everyone has gone.” The Bible speaks about the “Old Man”—the carnal man. It describes the sinful nature that still remains that Satan taps into as a tempting force.
When the “old me” attacks it comes against my physical being, my biological needs and natural drives. Then it seeks to twist them against the direction, provision and blessing of God.
In his book, Men at Work, George F. Will takes a close look at four baseball players. One of those examined is Orel Herschiser (of Dodgers fame), who talks about his philosophy of pitching. “There are two theories of pitching,” Herschiser says. “One is that you try to convince the batter that a particular pitch is coming and you throw something different. The other theory that you don’t hear as much, but that I use is that if the batter expects a particular pitch, you throw it, but you throw it in a place where he can’t hit it.” That is: Know what a batter wants or expects and throw the ball almost there. If he is a highball hitter, throw it a bit too high. His eagerness will prevent him from laying off it, but it will be hard to hit well.
Isn’t that the way the enemy works in our life? He knows just what kind of pitch that we are a sucker for and then throws it our way. But, it is just a little higher or just a little bit more outside than where we like it, and most likely we will bite on it every time. After all, it looks so good. It feels so right. -- Doug Cecil, Dallas Connection, Spring, 1995, p. 1
The Apostle Paul struggled with this in Romans chapter 7. Look with me at verses 7-13;
7What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet.” 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
Look at verses 8 & 9. Paul says that sin, through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire and when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.