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Expound: Romans 6-7 - Part C

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June 15, 2022 6:00 am

Expound: Romans 6-7 - Part C

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June 15, 2022 6:00 am

We won't be able to fully escape sin until we enter heaven one day. But that doesn't mean sin has victory over us. Learn more as Skip shares this message from the book of Romans.

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Paul realized, man, I'm in trouble. I can break God's law as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and before I get out of bed I can covet. So he said that just wiped me out.

It slew me. I realized, man, I prided myself in outward activity all these years, but inwardly my thought life was impure. And I realized I was guilty of breaking God's law.

Nobody can live a perfectly good life. We all sin whether we realize it or not. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip shares how you can still live in victory despite your inherent sin nature. But first, did you know that Skip often shares important updates and biblical encouragement on social media? To be sure you get the latest from him and this ministry, just follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Find him by searching at Skip Heitig. That's at Skip h-e-i-t-z-i-g. Now we're in Romans chapter 7 as we dive into today's teaching with Skip Heitig. For when we were in the flesh the passions of sins which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. He's describing you before salvation. But now we have been delivered from the law having died to what we were held by so that we should serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. The proof that you are dead to the old and alive to Christ is by the fruit, right? That's what he says here in verse 4. That you should bear fruit to God. Jesus in John 15, you know, go home and read that. Don't do it now, but go home and read John 15. Write that little note.

Look it up later. Jesus talked about abiding in him. That the branch abides in the vine.

That the branch has a constant close living connection with the branch and in so doing there's fruit bearing that takes place. And he talks about bearing fruit, bearing much more fruit, bearing much fruit. And that's God's intention for our lives to bear fruit. Jesus said some 30, some 60, some 100 fold. You can bear as much fruit as you want, as you want. That control is in your decision making.

It is. And of course God has, God will add to that. He'll send trials to prune you so that you bear more fruit. But the decisions that we make on a daily basis and the choices that we make during those trials will determine what kind of fruit we're going to bear. But his intention is that we bear fruit to him.

Okay, I don't want to lose this. Yes, he's making an analogy about being married. But just get the weight of this in verse four. It says that you may be married to another, even to him who was raised from the dead. The analogy is marriage. Okay, but just for a moment think of yourself as being married to Jesus. So here's what I want to get at. You know, there are lots of analogies the New Testament uses about our relationship with God.

And they're put there so that we have an understanding of them. We're called the sheep. He's called the good shepherd. We're called the body of Christ. Jesus is the head of the body. That's the relationship. We are called children of God.

He is the heavenly father. All sorts of different analogies to portray their relationship. But I got to tell you, there's none more precious than 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. If you read Ephesians about the husband and wife, husbands love your wives, wives commit to your husband, he talks about marriage being a horizontal microcosm of a vertical relationship we have with God. We have a relationship with God. The best portrait of that, Paul says, is in a marriage relationship on earth. Go read that section of Ephesians, again not now but later, to get the importance of that.

That intimacy and the power. A good marriage is a good witness for Christ. That's one of the thoughts that is in that passage in Ephesians. Okay, now, we begin now in verse seven.

We want to kind of get through this if we can. There's a shift that takes place in verse seven and it is noteworthy and it's easy to spot because Paul goes from the third person in his writing and the second person to the first person. He talks about I, me, my, myself. He uses personal pronouns in this section, this next section, 47 times. You are getting Paul's autobiographical sketch of his struggle with his flesh. That's why this is a very precious section. You're getting Paul's preoccupation with his personal struggle.

He confesses it plainly in this section. You might call it the struggle of a saved soul. Verse seven to the end of the chapter, the struggle of a saved soul. I imagine coming to Christ was quite an adjustment for this Jewish rabbi named Saul of Tarsus. When he came to realize on the Damascus road who it was that was saving him and what the relationship was to the law of Moses and all that he had been taught under the feet of the rabbi Gamaliel in Jerusalem and having to kind of re-educate himself for three years in Arabia, I think it was an enormous adjustment. I've always looked at Paul's life as sort of three periods of his life. The first period was when he was a Pharisee and he was trained that way, believed that he was right before God, struggled to keep the laws of God in his own flesh.

And then he came to the point of the Damascus road and the three years in Arabia where he sort of went through the law and studied it over and over again and understood the struggle that he had in keeping it and framing the fleshly struggle with the Old Testament law. And then the third section of his life is the victory of walking in the spirit, even though he still had the flesh, but the victory of walking in the spirit, which will take us into chapter eight. So I kind of set that up so that you understand the honest struggle of Paul.

And I do love his honesty here. I love how honest the Bible is. One of the hallmarks of the scripture, unlike most biographies, is its heroes are pictured with all of their weirdness, warts and all, goofiness and all. Yeah, you get a picture of Abraham, the father of faith, who decided not to believe in God and said his wife is his sister.

Aren't you glad that's in there? King David, a man after God's own heart, who committed adultery with several women. Peter, the rock, who loved Jesus with all of his heart, but denied him. Thomas, so honest, such candor, but doubted him, right? There's such honesty in all the heroes of the Bible.

I like that. Because when I was a kid, I remember in the church I was raised in, seeing the pictures of disciples and apostles. And they always had these Frisbees over their heads, these glowing Frisbees. And I'd say, Mom, Dad, look it, they have a Frisbee over there. Those aren't Frisbees, those are halos, because they're holy. Well, you start thinking that people like that wear Frisbees, right?

Wear halos, that they're perfect. And as you start reading through the reality of the historical narrative of the scripture, you realize them Frisbees be broken. Those things won't fly. They're flawed. And so listen to Paul. What shall we say then?

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not. On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law, for I would not have known covetousness unless the law said you shall not covet. Now, no doubt Paul would be accused of dissing the law, being critical of the law, saying it's not important. So basically you're saying that the law is no good and the law is just basically sinful. Because no, the law isn't sin at all. The problem is not with the law, the problem is with me.

So what shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not. On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. I would not have known covetousness unless the law said you shall not covet. But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.

For apart from this law, sin was dead. The law stimulates my old nature. This is human nature. Any law, you see a sign, wet paint, don't touch.

Go up close and look, you'll see fingerprints. It's just humanity. The law stimulates some rebellion within us. Now, he says, verse 9, I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. Paul had tried to live for God as a Pharisee on his own. He thought he did pretty good, didn't he?

He thought he was doing really good. In fact, when he tells his background to the Philippian church in Philippians, I think, in his chapter 3, he gives his pedigree and he says, if anyone can boast, I can boast more. I was circumcised on the 8th of July, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin. Concerning the law, I was a Pharisee.

Concerning zeal, I persecuted the church. Concerning righteousness, which is from the law, I was blameless. I was pretty good.

I thought I was pretty perfect. He struggled for years. His whole life as a Talmudic student studying the writings of Gamaliel and the rabbis and the law was to keep the law, and he felt like he had done pretty well.

He had struggled hard to keep it. Until he was studying the law, and in particular, the 10 commandments one day, and he really took a long look at the 10th commandment, and he said, long look at the 10th commandment. You see, you can read all the other commandments and it says, well, you shall not murder. Well, I haven't killed anybody. You shall not steal.

I really haven't stolen as an adult much or anything. You shall not commit adultery. Never slept with another man's wife. So you can start checking off, I've done good, I've done good, until you get to the 10th commandment. And the 10th commandment found in Exodus chapter 20 says you shall not covet. Now we're dealing with something far differently. Now we're not dealing with outward action.

Now we're dealing with inward attitude. Now it's not just what have I done, but what have I wanted. And he lists seven things a person shouldn't covet. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, so you go to your neighbor's house, man, I wish I had that house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, oh, she's so pretty.

Be careful. Nor his man's servant or maid servant or ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's. So that's the 10th commandment, and if you break the 10th commandment, it leads to breaking other commandments. Because once you start wanting something, it starts opening the door to further behavior.

But it's not dealing with outward action, it's dealing with inward attitude. So suddenly Paul realized, man, I'm in trouble. I can break God's law as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, and before I get out of bed, I can covet.

So he said that just wiped me out. It slew me. I realized, man, I prided myself in outward activity all these years, but inwardly my thought life was impure. And I realized I was guilty of breaking God's law. So he said, I would not have known sin unless the law said, you shall not covet. But sin-taking commandment produced in me all manner of evil desire, for the law, for apart from the law, sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. Now I believe, verse 9, is Paul referring to him during his younger years, up until the Damascus Road experience, the time he spent in Arabia, going through the law, examining it, coming to the no covet clause, and then realizing, yikes, sin has just revived and I'm wiped out. I'm dead. It destroyed me.

Make sense? And the commandment, verse 10, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. It's interesting in Leviticus, I forget exactly what chapter, I'm guessing around chapter 15, God says, here's my laws, keep my laws, do these things, and you shall live. God is saying, here's the best way for you to live. My intention is that you live a wholesome wonderful life, and therefore here is my law.

But, Paul said, that wasn't my experience. It didn't cause me to live, it produced death in me, because I realized I've broken God's commandments. I've desired my neighbor's wife. I've desired my neighbor's house.

I wish I had my neighbor's business and wealth, donkeys, oxen, etc. Wipe me out. Sin revived, I died. The commandment, the commandment which is to bring life, I found to bring death, for sin taking occasion by the commandment deceived me and it killed me. Therefore, the law is holy, the commandment holy, just and good. There's nothing wrong with the commandment, it's holy.

It comes from a holy God. God is saying, this is the best way for you to live. Has then what is good become death to me?

Certainly not. But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Again, that's a description of the unregenerate person. Here's what Paul is saying in a nutshell. The problem isn't the law. The problem is Paul.

The problem is me. And the law only amplifies the sin that is in me. It's in me, but now I read what the law says and it's like, okay, it's like you may be, like we talked about the last few weeks, you might be speeding down the freeway, there's no road signs. Suddenly somebody puts up a sign 50 miles an hour.

He says, man, I've broken that twice over for years. Now the law amplifies not only your behavior, but your desire in the future to keep going that high speed. So the problem isn't with the law. The problem is sin.

And the problem is in us, in our flesh. For we know, verse 14, the law is spiritual, but I am carnal. Greek word is I am sarcikas. Sarcikas, the flesh, sarc.

Sarcikas is a word that simply means I'm made of flesh. The law is spiritual, but I'm made of flesh. Remember what Jesus said to his disciples? He said, we're going to pray with you, Jesus. We're going to pray with you.

He fell asleep. Jesus said, the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. I am carnal.

I am made of flesh. I am by my nature weak and unable to keep God's law. So the law shows the standard. The law shows God's requirements.

And by showing God's requirements, shows how far I have come short of God's requirements. So as we've told you before, the law is like a mirror. The mirror is an accurate reflection of you.

We don't always like what we see when we look in a mirror, but it's honest. However, though it's an honest reflection of you, it doesn't have the capacity to fix you. The law reflects your sin.

The law doesn't have the capability to fix your sin. No amount of, I'm going to try. I'm going to work really hard. I'm going to make 15 New Year's resolutions. I'm going to break by January 2nd. If that's your life, I'm going to make these resolutions.

I'm going to try really hard. You're always going to live in Romans chapter 7. You need to graduate to Romans chapter 8. For what I am doing, verse 15, I do not understand. And for what I will to do, that I do not practice. What I hate, that I do.

If then I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now it is no longer I who do it, but sin who dwells in me, or sin that dwells in me. You know what it's like when a little boy does something wrong and you say, why did you do that?

He goes, I don't know. That's what Paul is. Paul is a little boy going, I just did something bad. I don't know why I did it. I don't know why I keep doing it. Have you ever experienced this? We all experience this. This is human experience. This is the Christian experience. For I know that in me that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I do not know or I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do. But the evil I will not to do, that I practice. For if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

He's not using his nature as an excuse. He is just simply saying, I make frequent, ongoing, bad choices in my old nature, my flesh. I find then a law that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God, according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.

Oh, wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? There's a note of exhaustion in that question.

It's like, oh, I've been struggling for so long. And he cries out, who will deliver me from this old body of death? It's like he's carrying a dead corpse on his back, tied to his back, and it's decaying every day.

And he's carrying it around, it smells, it's gnarly, it's raunchy. Who will deliver me? Aren't you glad the chapter doesn't end with that question?

It answers the question in the very next verse, and we will end the chapter. I thank God. Who will deliver me?

I thank God. Here's who will deliver him, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. I'm going to explain that next time, because it's a perfect porch for the house that is Romans chapter eight, the victory chapter. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. That's the next part.

We'll get to it next time. 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. Do you want to see lost souls brought out of the darkness of this world to encounter the light of Jesus?

Because that's exactly what you can make possible today through your support. Your gift today will not only help keep these teachings coming to you, but it'll also help bring many others closer to Christ so they can experience new life in Him. Just visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift today.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or you can call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888. Thank you for changing lives with the gospel. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares about the stunning declaration Paul made about the new life you can have in Jesus. One of the reasons we love this chapter is how it begins and how it ends and everything in between just adds to it. It begins with no condemnation.

It ends with no separation. We have no condemnation before God. We can't be separated from the love of God. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, 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 / 2023-04-04 23:22:45 / 2023-04-04 23:32:01 / 9

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