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Expound: Romans 6-7 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2022 6:00 am

Expound: Romans 6-7 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 13, 2022 6:00 am

As believers, we aren't slaves to sin anymore, but we can still struggle with it. In this message, Skip shares how you can live in victory over your sin.

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We have an impulse to go in one direction, but we have an impulse to go in the other direction. That's why we are told to feed the Spirit, because the one that you feed is the one that wins. The nature you feed is the one that is always on top. So feed the Spirit, starve the flesh, rather than feed the flesh and starve the Spirit. As believers, we are constantly pulled in different directions by our two natures, the old versus the new. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares a battle strategy that will help you fight against your flesh and cultivate your new nature in Christ. But before we begin, we want to share about a resource that will encourage you even more in your faith. Joy in the midst of hardship is a hallmark of the Christian life, but is it really possible?

Here's Lenya Heitzig. Sometimes what starts out as a happy trail turns into a really daunting road, and we have to figure out how to navigate. A lot of times, God's purpose in allowing trials is to give us opportunities to grow to the point where we genuinely experience joy in the midst of trials. Learn how to face trials with courage, wisdom, and yes, joy with Lenya's booklet, Happy Trials. And when you give $20 or more today to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air, we'll send you a special bundle of three booklets by Lenya, Happy Trials, Don't Tempt Me, and Speak No Evil. Get your bundle of three booklets for a gift of $20 or more by calling 800-922-1888, or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, let's get into today's teaching. We're in Romans chapter six as we begin our study with Skip Heitzig. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once preached a message called grace abounding over abounding sin.

Great title, and it was a great sermon. And he based it on what we read last week where in chapter five in verse 20, moreover the law entered that the offense might abound, but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Then he gets into the sixth chapter where he begs the question. He asks like a rabbi would ask.

Anticipating blowback, he asks a series of questions. He says, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? If when we sin, God pours out his grace, I'll just keep sinning and get soaked by God's grace. He answers that by saying, God forbid, we who have died to sin should not live any longer in it. When he gets down in chapter six to verse six, he says, knowing this, our old man was crucified with him that the body of sin might be done away with. If you remember last week, we told you that Greek word is katargeo, which means to put out of business.

So effectively, God hung up a sign for the devil over your life that says out of business. You have no business here. And this one is redeemed. This one belongs to me. He's mine.

She's mine. That's all good news. That's all wonderful to know, but we still have a battle. We kind of left off last week in Galatians five where Paul said, look, the flesh lusts or wars against the spirit, the spirit against the flesh. These two are contrary to one another so that you can't do the things that you would.

So we experience in our real life existence this inward battle. A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking at a pastor's conference down in Florida, and on one morning that I had off, I went over to one of Disney's parks, which are open, by the way, and it was Animal Kingdom. And there was this cool lizard in one of these little aquariums called a skink. And a skink is a very smooth, shiny, kind of stubby lizard, kind of cool looking, but it reminded me of an article that I had read about a skink. He said, what are you doing reading articles about skinks?

Well, listen to this. They found in Jacksonville, Florida, an unusual skink because this skink was born with two heads, one at each end of its body. It was a two-headed skink.

That's unusual, right? Okay, a skink is unusual, but come on, a two-headed skink is really weird, especially when it's at either end of its body. Now, imagine being that poor little skink. You have a head at each end of your body. You want to go in one direction, that head wants to go in that direction, and the legs are just sort of uncoordinated, not knowing which way to go. Much of our life is lived like the two-headed skink.

We have an impulse to go in one direction, but we have an impulse to go in the other direction. That's why we are told to feed the spirit, because the one that you feed is the one that wins. The nature you feed is the one that is always on top. So, feed the spirit, starve the flesh, rather than feed the flesh and starve the spirit. So, how do we do that exactly? And I said last week, we kind of left on this, I said we need a battle strategy, and there is one. There are four things that Paul says we need to do to make this a reality. Number one, we need to reason. There are certain things we have to know, and we have to know them well. And that is one of Paul's favorite words in this section, in chapter 6, verse 3. He said, Or do you not know?

And then he tells them what they should know. Then verse 6, which I just read, Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin should be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin, for he who has died has been freed from sin. Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing, there's that word again, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.

Death no longer has dominion over him. So there are certain things that you need to know. If you want to grow, you need to know certain things, certain doctrines, certain truths. David said, Your word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.

You want to stop sinning? There are certain truths you need to hide away in your heart. You need to know. And some people will say, Well, it's not about head knowledge. It's about heart knowledge.

I'm kind of tired of hearing that little phrase. It's wearying because it's misleading. There are certain things you need in your head. It needs to be head knowledge before it can ever become, let's just call it that heart knowledge, before it becomes something deep in you. You have to know it. You have to realize it. So doctrine always comes before duty.

Learning always comes before living. So that's why Paul will often say, You need to know this. You need to know that. You need to know the other thing. And so he is big on that. The second step after reason is to reckon. And I'm using his term. Look at verse 11.

Likewise, you also reckon yourselves to be dead, indeed, to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. That just proves that Paul was from Texas. I had an uncle who used to say that and a grandma who used to say they weren't from Texas, but they would say, I reckon that's true. I reckon. I suppose. That's what the word means.

The Greek word here is lagizami, which means to suppose or to count on, to suppose or rely on. So there are certain things that you know in your head, and then you move them to the area of conviction, where it's not just you know the facts. I mean, you really lean on those facts. You really believe those facts in the heart of hearts, in the deepest core of you.

That's the idea of I reckon, not I suppose, I reckon. And so Paul really wasn't a Texan, but he was from South Cilicia. So he was from technically the south of his region. So I don't know if that has any bearing at all, but you know, in the past I've often kind of made fun of Texas, but the last few days I'm kind of wishing I lived in Texas. You know, we used to be part of Texas here. New Mexico used to be part of Texas.

Do you think they'd take it back? I don't know. I don't know.

Sorry about that. It's just. So likewise also, you reckon, suppose, calculate, lagizami, estimate, believe in the heart of hearts that you are dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So the first step is theology. That's what you know. The second step is biology. It's what you become based on what you know.

Based on these facts, therefore, I am counting on this and that. Think of it this way. It's like somebody gives you a check and you stare at it. It's on your desk.

You look at it. You think, well, that's a cool check. Well, that's a lot of money there. That's great. Well, good. I'm glad you know that. And I'm glad you are supposing that that is yours. But there comes a point where you need to turn it around and sign your name on it. You endorse it and you take it to the bank and you cash it and you enjoy the funds that have been given to you. So that's the idea of lagizami. I'm going to endorse the check that God has given.

I'm going to reckon it to be so. That's the second step. The third step is to resist. For verse 12 says, therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of righteousness to sin. So we reason, we reckon, and we resist.

Now, the fact that Paul writes it this way, don't let that happen, don't let sin reign, shows me that we have an element of control. You can't say, well, the devil made me do it. Or that's just the way I am. Or, you know, I have an Italian background, we're hot-blooded. Or I'm Irish, you know how we are, we get angry. So you can't, you can't, those are excuses.

Those aren't reasons, those are just excuses. So you and I, we have an element of control. It says in the book of James, chapter 4, resist the devil and he will flee from you. It doesn't just say he'll flee from you, you have to do something.

You have to add your cooperation. You resist the devil and he will flee from you. I've always loved what Martin Luther had to say about temptation.

He said, you can't stop the devil from, or the birds, you can't stop birds from flying around your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair. So you can't stop the devil and his demons from doing what they do, but you can resist his work in your life. So you reason, you reckon, you resist, but there's a fourth step and that is to replace.

So notice in verse 13, don't present your members as instruments of unrighteousness of sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead and your members, that is your body parts, your bodily members, as instruments of righteousness to God. This is where the battle changes when we replace. See, up till now it's all defensive positions. It's like, wow, this temptation is really real. There's certain things I need to know and there's certain things I need to reckon because these things are happening to me. And to defend myself, I need to know, I need to suppose, reckon, and resist, but then we turn it around.

The best defense is a good offense. This is where our weaponry becomes offensive. It's not that we just say no to the devil. We say yes to God. This is where we stop just saying, no, you're not going to use my hands, devil. No, you're not going to use my eyes and my lips. But you're saying, God, I want you to use my hands and my lips and my feet. I'm presenting myself to you. That's a word Paul loved to use, by the way, and it'll derive its fullest explanation by the time we get to the 12th chapter where he says, I urge you to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

It's the most logical thing you could do. So in the Old Testament, think of Aaron. Aaron, the high priest, when he was dedicated for his service, he went through an interesting ritual.

They took blood, the blood of a animal, and they put it on his right ear, the tip of his right thumb, and the tip of his right big toe. And that interesting little ritual meant the idea of, I want to hear your voice. I want to do your will. I want to walk in your will and your ways.

That's the idea. So he was presenting his members, his body parts, to God. Likewise, we do that to him. Lord, what's the best way to fight a battle? When the devil comes at you, get engaged in God's work. So you're so busy doing God's work, you don't have a whole lot of time to entertain the temptation. You're so busy working for the Lord, you're not thinking about all the resisting that you're doing.

Got it? You've shifted the battle. Now, if you have a marginal note like I do in your Bibles, for the word instruments, for the word instruments, does it say weapons?

Mine does. It says, for instruments, it has a little one and a marginal note that says, or weapons, because that's the literal rendering. And it's a military term.

Instruments is a military term for weapons. So imagine you're holding a gun and you're facing your enemy. And you say to your enemy, because your shoe is untied, here, hold my gun so I can tie my shoe.

That's stupid. You've just presented your instrument, your weapon, to your enemy. Don't get close to your enemy with your weapon. Present your weapons to General Jesus, who teaches you how to make war and win the battle.

And get engaged in his work and stay engaged in his work. So present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead and your members as instruments or weapons of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace. Just make a mental note of that verse. Keep that verse sort of tucked away in the back of your mind. Because he's going to take a diversion and get right back to that.

He's going to make a parenthetical statement and then get right back to that. I love this idea, though, of replacing behavior with other behavior. Because, you know, I suppose that especially during times of COVID like this, where we tend to spend a lot of time alone and engage in enormous amounts of self-pity, when we could be thinking, with all this spare time, how could I be a blessing to somebody else? And how could I be an instrument to spread God's love, God's grace, God's truth to someone who really needs to hear it?

I love that thought. That's where we, you know, use calamity as opportunity when we present ourselves to God for his use. You know, there's a song, I remember hearing it as a new believer, but I come to find out it was written really in 1922. It was sort of an old hymn.

But it gets re-released in every generation. Lauren Daigle just did a beautiful cut of it. It's, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

I think that sort of captures this idea of giving yourself, presenting yourself as instruments, as members for God to use. I remember hearing a story about a little girl who was being tucked in to bed at night, and it was successful. The little girl went to sleep. A couple hours later, mom heard a thud on her daughter's bedroom floor, followed by a huge wail, a cry. She had fallen out of bed.

Mom rushed in, picked up her daughter, comforted her, and tucked her back in bed and said, sweetheart, why is it you fell out of bed? And she said, I don't know, mommy, but I think I stayed too close to where I got in. I find that's our problem. We're in Christ, but we stay right on the edge. We want to live on the edge, man. We want to stay close to the border. No, no, move in closer to the heart of Christ.

Get away from the borderlands. Go deep in. And the deeper you go in, you do that by presenting yourself to God.

Lord, I'm yours to use. What then, verse 15, what then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? Since we're not governed by the law anymore, we're dead to that, that's over. Shall we continue in sin because we're not under law? Same idea, certainly not.

No way, Jose, God forbid. Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death or of obedience to righteousness. The Jewish rabbis had an idea, a saying about the law, the Torah, the commandment of God. They referred to the law as a seag, and a seag is the Hebrew word for a fence. It's a fence that God has given us to protect us. And so if you say we're not under the law, you're calling for the fence to be removed, Paul.

You're saying there's no protection, there's no parameters. God has given us the seag, the protection, the fence. And so if you take it away, we're just going to perform lawlessness. Paul says God forbid, do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as slaves to obey, you are that one slaves whom you obey. Paul would say this to those who would say that. He would say the best fence is a decision that you make that leads to a destiny that you undertake. You make a choice, you make a decision to present yourself to God. When you do that over and over, it leads to a destiny. You become a slave of that.

We understand what slavery is like, especially if you have struggled with addictions. You make a choice. Choice leads to another choice, to another choice, to another choice. Pretty soon you have something that is routinely set up.

It's your go-to response. You can become addicted to a number of things. You can become addicted to your phone, as I fear so many have.

If that screen isn't in front of them, anyway, I'll get off of that. So what happens in any form of addiction after you make a choice and a series of choices, those choices become easier to make, resistance becomes harder, and pretty soon you find yourself powerless. Jesus even talked about this. He said, don't you know that whoever you commit yourself to, you become a slave of that person? That person's slaves or that thing's slaves you are. So the idea is who is your master?

Who are you serving? What is your master passion? You can tell who your master is by finding out what your master passion is. What is it you love to do more than anything else?

What do you gravitate toward more than anything else? And it always eventually gets down to this issue. Who owns you? Who really owns you? Who's calling the shots? You say, well, I am.

Not a good choice. The heart is deceitfully wicked above all else who can know it. That old little saying is so true. Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.

So the best fence, the best parameters in your life is to make a decision that leads to a destiny. I'm his slave. He's my master.

He calls the shots. That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series Expound Romans. Now, here's Skip with an important message for you. We all suffer from a fatal disease, a virus, if you will.

It's the S-I-N virus, sin. But because of God's extravagant love, you and I have been given the ultimate cure through Jesus' work on the cross. We want to share that amazing news with as many people as possible. And through your generous gift today, you can help do just that by connecting others with the message of God's love. Here's how you can give today. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Coming up tomorrow, Skip Heitzig helps us understand the significance of believers being the bride of Christ. The idea of intimacy as portrayed by a marriage relationship. We're the bride of Christ. We're married to Him. That speaks of intimacy.

It speaks of the kind of intimacy that I think God wants us not only to enjoy, but to portray. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection. A connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 22:14:59 / 2023-04-05 22:24:10 / 9

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