Your will, mind, and body can either be controlled by the new nature or the old nature. It can either be controlled by the selfish you or the Jesus you, if you will. Now both are active in your life, but only one can be in control at any one time.
And you make the decision. And it's not hard to look back a day or two and go, okay, well, I wonder who was in charge with that. Well, I did something wrong. That was the old nature.
I did something right. That was God working in me. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. In the battle between the spiritual and our fleshly natures, how do we feed this new nature yet starve the old? Find out today as Pastor David teaches from Romans 7 in his teaching, Let God Do the Work in Us. Here's David Magee. So we're looking at Romans here, Romans chapter 7, and it's awesome.
It's an awesome book. Paul is getting very personal in chapter 7. You can tell by the pronouns. He's talking about I a lot, not that I, and he's not focusing on me. He's sharing personally the struggles that are going in.
So let's jump in here. Romans chapter 7 verse 19. For the good that I will to do, I do not do, but the evil I will not to do that I practice. Now, if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. Again, Paul's not saying what's not really me. It's sin.
No, no, no. He's saying there's this struggle. He's talking about this struggle. It was a struggle to do what's right. There's a struggle not to do what's wrong. And that's, that's in all of us. Now, before you became a Christian doing what's wrong, you know, yeah, you just did whatever you wanted to do. And somehow you were okay with a lot of stuff you should not have been okay with.
Why? Because you're not looking into the law. You're not looking into God's word. If you look to society to decide what is right and wrong, man, are you in trouble? But you know what was wrong 50 years ago now is no longer wrong.
And you know what's wrong now though. In another 10 years, they will just say, well, that's not wrong either. See, here's the thing. And Paul's talking about this inner struggle and he's looking to the Bible. He said, well, the Bible says I'm wrong. It doesn't matter if somebody says I'm okay or I'm right.
The Bible says this is wrong. Now I'm in this, in this conflict. And this is the conflict we're in.
Well, here's the thing. If you've ever watched a pig, they're very interesting animals. If there's, if there's like mud and nasty little mud hole thing, they run towards him and then, and then what do they do? Now there's part of us, I love you, that's like that, that sees a mud hole go, oh, mud hole, great, let's go over here. But see, once the pig is in the mud hole, you know what he does?
He just waddles around. That's great, man. I got me a mud hole.
Life is good. But you know what happens if a sheep falls into a mud hole? Sheep gets out.
Why? Sheep understands that mud hole is not where I'm supposed to be living. We're going to fall.
There's going to be some mud holes along the way, if you will, but get back out. Let, let the conflict, let the battle man walk in that new nature. When the devil tempted Jesus, he put him up on a tall building and he said, okay, well, you know, if you're all that, just jump off the building. And Jesus said, no, could he have?
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. But why didn't he? He said, don't tempt the Lord thy God.
What's he talking about? Gang, the grace of God is for falling, not for jumping. The grace of God is for falling, not for jumping.
And in other words, as you go through this life, you're going to fall sometimes. You're going to give into that old nature and you're going to need to be forgiven, but don't live there. Get up, get on with your Christian walk because as you lay there, the shame and the guilt and then the condemnation, man, that will defeat you as a Christian if you allow it. But if you get back up and say, well God, I know I don't deserve forgiveness, but once again, it's me asking for it. Please forgive me.
He'll do it. Let's look at verse 21. I find then a law that evil is present with me.
The one who wills to do good. Now this is kind of some deep theological, philosophical kind of stuff, but its application is pretty straightforward if you will. And sin is present.
It's there. It will draw you in if you allow it. One teacher said, sin is like an occasional visitor than like a guest who stays a while. And then finally the master of the house, if you allow it. Sin, I've learned that one concession leads to another, leads to another because sin snowballs. It will pay you more than you ever wanted to be paid and will keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay.
Concessions. Book of Genesis says this and Genesis four seven says, if you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you should roll over. Same verse, new living translation reads, but you will be accepted if you respond in the right way.
But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out. Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you and you must subdue it. So we need to be aware that sin is a, sin is a presence and we need to, you know, not, not fear sin, but fear the Lord and not trust our flesh. The Bible points out, well, Oh pastor, how do you beat sin? If all this is true, if all this is accurate, how do, how do you beat sin?
You don't. You lean on him who has already beaten it. You lean on Jesus.
And as you lean on Jesus, he will lead you. He will give you the way out. First Corinthians 10, 13 says with every temptation, God will give you a way out. If you've ever been right in the middle of something, maybe getting ready to do something bad, say something bad, something like that. And then the phone rings or somebody knocks on the door or there's some interruption and that's God saying, don't do it.
Don't do it. Now you can continue on in what you're doing, but God gave you a way out and you didn't take it. Lean on the Lord. The Holy Spirit will prompt you to do what's right. And then when you do what is wrong, the Holy Spirit will prompt you to repent.
What an incredible thing. But you have decisions to make. God has empowered you to make the good ones, to make the right one.
Sometimes we make the wrong in the next life lesson. Your will, mind and body can either be controlled by the new nature or the old nature. Your will, mind and body can either be controlled by the new nature or the old nature. It can either be controlled by the selfish you or the Jesus you, if you will.
Now both are active in your life, but only one can be in control at any one time and you make the decision and it's not hard to look back a day or two and go, okay, well I wonder who was in charge of that. Well, I did something wrong. That was the old nature.
I did something right. That was God working in me. Now again, without God, without his help, without his spirit, we're in a bad place. We live in this conflict, but God wants to deliver us in and through this conflict. Here's another great verse. And again, even if you're not taking notes, you probably want to jot this one down. Philippians chapter one verse six.
It's incredible. Being confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Talked about when you want to do something good, that's God. When you do something good, that's God. Here this verse says, who started the good work in you? That was God. He who's begun a good work in you expects you to complete it.
That's not what it says. What do you mean God started the good work in me? After all I, you know, I had to come forward. I had to ask him to forgive me of my sins.
Yeah. How long did you run from God and he chase you before you came to the decision? That was God. God starting the good work in you. And here it says that he's going to complete it, that he's going to complete it. God will never give up, lose patience, and quit his work that he started in you. He'll keep on. And even sometimes when you don't want him to, he'll keep on working in your life.
Man, what a blessing when you realize that. That even when you try to run from God, he's going to chase you. When you stumble, he's going to try to pick you up. Jude 24 is another incredible verse. It says, now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
What an incredible verse. He's able to keep you from stumbling. Well, but pastor, sometimes I stumble. That's you.
That's not him. He's able to keep you from doing that, but sometimes we make the choices and we stumble, but then look at the same way to present you faultless before the presence of his glory. And I love the last three verse, the three words with exceeding joy, with exceeding joy. This is, I've thought, you know what, I know we're going to be in glorified bodies, but you know, you're going to be able to recognize me.
You know what? Cause I'm going to be the one in heaven jumping around going, I made it. Praise God I'm here. Cause sometimes you think Jack comes to the gates of heaven. They're not going to look at Jack and go, well, Jack, Jack saved. I guess we got to let him in.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. With exceeding joy. Jack he's saved. He's coming home with exceeding joy.
What an awesome thing. You know, each day comes with its share of stresses. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord, law on to cross the bridge.com and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee.
It's easy and it's free. Simply go online and click on email devotional to begin receiving biblical insight in your inbox. Sign up today at cross the bridge.com. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones, and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to cross the bridge.com and click on the prayer button and you'll enter their name. And if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones. Please don't wait.
This is so important. So please again, go to cross the bridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world, the whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to our study. Verse 22, for I delight in the law of God, according to the inward man. I delight in the word of God. I delight in the Bible. I, you know, I sit and I talked about just reading the Bible for hours and studying it and maybe go, well, he's just so spiritual. I'm not so spiritual that God gives me a hunger for his word.
Life lesson here. We should delight in the Bible. We should delight in the Bible. Now I understand in time past I looked at the Bible and thought, well, it's confusing.
I'm not sure the thou, all the begat and I don't know, you know, what in the world is going on there. But as God had his way in my life and I yielded to the spirit, this book is incredible and it happens in the lives of the people come here. They get more and more of a hunger for the word of God. That's God.
That's this law. You're finding the light and the word of God. Run through a few verses real quick, having to do with the Bible and what it does. Hebrews 4, 12 says for the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and as a discernor of the thoughts and the intense of the heart. And you've got 2 Timothy 3 16 says all scripture is given by inspiration. God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good word. Interesting little side note that given by inspiration of God, literally in the Greek, the word is theo nostos, theo for God, nostos is breath.
God breathed the Bible. Psalm 119 11 your word I've hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119 105 your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119 140 says your word is very pure, therefore your servant loves it.
Loves it. Joshua 1 8 says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success. So the law is awesome. We should delight in the law, but understand the law cannot enable you to do what is good. Law can point out what is good, but it can't enable you to do what is good. The law cannot set you free. It can help you to realize you're in bondage or doing something wrong, but it can't set you free. God's spirit, Jesus Christ can do that.
Verse 23, but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity through the law of sin, which is in my members. There's a war going on and we can't fix it on our own. We can't reform ourselves.
We need outside help. We do. Sin is so present and ready to jump on you, man. That's the reality. Look, I know gossip is wrong. I know it hurts people.
I've seen it here. I, you know, gossip is wrong. Nope, not going to gossip.
Right? So then let me ask you if this has ever happened to you. You're in the grocery store, you're getting ready to check out, you're standing in line there and those magazines and you look at them and you know, gossip is wrong, right? But you see the magazine like, Oh, Brad and Angelina. What happened?
Oh my. You're getting pulled in to the gossip thing. You know it's wrong, but all of a sudden sin pops up and you're like, Oh, somebody goes, Hey, did you hear about so-and-so? Why? What happened? You know, it's wrong, but there's still that part of you. It's like, Oh, that old fleshly sin.
What happened? Oh, they're struggling. Tell me how they're struggling. I mean, I want to pray for them, you know, so tell me how they're struggling exactly with who and what and when I want to be able to pray. I'm not sure God knows all these details, so I was going to provide the details for him. So if you'll tell me, I'll tell him it's wrong, but there's still that pull that Paul's talking about here. Galatians five 17 says this, the old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants.
And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other and your choices are never free from this conflict. I mean, at this point you're going, wow, all this conflict, man, I just, I just want to surrender.
The cost of surrender is too high. This is a conflict we have to live with while we're in this body. At some point, friend, the conflict is over. When I go to heaven, I'm not going to be struggling with sin anymore. That old nature is going to be gone. No more struggles.
But until that point in time, there is going to be a struggle. Verse 24. And this is Paul. Keep in mind, this is Paul says, Oh, wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death. This is Paul saved crying out in the midst of a struggle said, I can't, I can't help me.
I can't deliver me. I can't overcome these things. This is one of the things, again, that makes Christianity so different than other world religions.
You know, the Hindus, they think the soul will be reincarnated, reincarnated. You just try to get a little bit better each time. You've, you've got the Buddhist who built on the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. And, and, and you just, you know, can't keep getting better and doing better and doing better.
And then you've got Islam, which, you know, the, the, the five pillars of faith, truth. And so you're doing that and you're trying to fix you and then, and some people clump Jesus with these other guys, Confucius and Buddha and Muhammad and no, no, no, no, no, totally different. These other things say, Oh, you can fix you. Jesus says, nah, no, you can't, you can't fix you, but I'm willing to fix you.
I'm willing to fix you from the inside out and stood the outside in. See, whenever we get more concerned with our behavior than we are with our attitudes, be careful. Why do you think Jesus said, Hey, all the laws wrapped in this love God, love people. Cause all the laws wrapped up in that love God, love people from the inside out.
The Pharisees had it on the outside looked really religious, had good behavior. What'd Jesus say? Oh, you're doing so good.
Even though you don't like people. No, he said, you know what? You're like a white and sepulchre looks good on the outside and inside. You got dead men's bones on it.
Wow. How do we hear that? And then Christianity has gotten to the place where we're more concerned with the outside than with inside. I shouldn't be like that. And Paul saying, man, this is the way it is. And I don't know what to do. And Jesus says, Hey, I know what to do.
I know what's got to happen here. I died for your sins. I died for your sins. Jesus didn't say, Hey, I know a way to heaven. He didn't say, I'll show you the way. He said, I am the way.
There's no way out of this except through me. Paul has his answer. And here's the thing before we read verse 25, so many Christians, it's like they live their lives in Romans chapter seven, verse one to 24. They figure out what the problem is. They're in the middle of the frustration.
They're in the middle of the battle and they're like, Oh man, who's going to deliver me from this body of death. I'm just going to live right here. No, don't live in verse 24. Live in verse 25, 25.
I thank God through Jesus Christ the Lord. He asked a question who will deliver me from this body of death. Verse 25 he comes with Jesus Christ. So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin, who's going to deliver me. Jesus is so I can be set free from all this.
Absolutely. At times you're going to be, you're going to make the choice of being controlled by your old nature. Times you're going to make the choice of the new nature and Jesus is going to keep working on you and he wants you to die to that old nature and he wants you to live to that new nature and the spirit led life is an incredible life. I think that people who aren't even Christians want to live a spirit led life in the sense that when you're walking with God and you're being led by a spirit, life is an incredible adventure. You want to do good to others. You want to bless others. You want to be a giving person, all those things.
The world values those things, but they won't make the decision that will lead them to that decision for Jesus and to be led by the spirit. So do we have to stay in this state? No, no, no, no, no. We don't. We can be set free. The life lesson here, you do not have to live a defeated life.
You do not have to live a defeated life. Yeah, the war's going on. The battle's happening. I recognize it's happening in you.
It's happening in me. I understand you got battles going on. I've got no clue about, and let me assure you as pastor of a church like this with people getting saved and all that's going on, I got battles you're not aware of and we can recognize those battles. We can pray for each other and we can understand that we're not the solution, but that Jesus is the solution and this battle is going to go on. So how dare we say to somebody that says, how do you become a Christian? Well, you got to quit doing that. When the Bible just said, Paul is an incredibly mature Christian said, this struggle is going on.
Legalists. That's what they tell you. You got to, you got to tell everybody they got to quit doing wrong before they come to Jesus. Then who's going to come. You just built a wall between the world and the cross because nobody in their right mind is going to say, well, okay, I'll quit doing everything wrong so I can become a Christian. You have to be willing to turn. There has to be part of you that desires to follow the Lord, desires to ask him to forgive you of your sins and the Lord takes it from there and begins to work on you from the inside out. You recognize there's a problem and you can't fix yourself and God says, okay, I'll fix it and we have to be careful.
Here's the truth. I have to be careful. Once we get saved, we tend towards legalism. Be careful as you become a disciple that you don't engage in legalism.
I have to be careful that we have to be careful that because I don't want to be a legalist. I don't want to be a miserable Christian. Jesus said to the Pharisees, Matthew 23, four, he said, they crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden. I mean that never described us as a church or me as a pastor.
So where do you go from here? I give you one more verse and we're going to close Galatians three three says this. Have you lost your senses after starting your Christian lives in the spirit? Why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? What a great question.
The new King James is actually stronger. Paul says, you foolish Galatians who has bewitched you that you think you can now complete this as a work of the flesh. Well, what do we do?
I mean, the law tells you to run and doesn't give you any fee. What do you do? You make the decision. You just make the decision. Even right now, there's a decision in front of you.
The old nature, the old way, or make a decision for the Lord, the new nature. It's time for you to be set free. And do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him.
And he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free.
This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com.
When you call, let our Call Team representative know where you heard about our broadcast. Hello, Pastor. I hope this letter finds you well.
I've been praying for you and was just writing to give you an update. I really have been blessed by being able to read and stay in the Word, without everyday worldly things hindering my thoughts. That's the only good thing about prison, a lot of time to get myself together with Christ. I've gotten a job working with the local animal shelter. I get to take the abused dogs and train them. This is also good for the other inmates. They come to me about seeing the dogs. It allows me to ask them if they know Jesus.
The Lord is good in all He does. This job pays 70 cents a day, and I wanted to send the 10% I'm supposed to, but it was going to cost me $7 to send 50 cents a week. So I'm going to send you a stamp. That's 44 cents. It's all I have to send.
I know it will be used. Love all of you, and God bless. Bradley. You know, I want to thank everybody who's been giving or who has ever given to Cross the Bridge Ministries on behalf of Bradley. Because without your support, we couldn't be telling you about Bradley.
But friends, there's a lot of Bradleys out there, and you know what? We need your help to reach them. So please, join with us to reach more people by supporting financially the work of this ministry. For less than a dollar a day, for $25 a month, you can become one of our Bridge Builders and help us to reach more people. And the next time we tell a story about the next Bradley, you can know that you helped us play a part. Thank you so much for supporting this ministry. Look forward to hearing from you. To become a Bridge Builder, simply go online to CrossTheBridge.com or call us at 877-458-5508. One of the most important parts of growing in Christ is being in fellowship at a local church.
But what happens on those times you're sick or traveling? Simply log on to CrossTheBridge.com and click the live stream button, and you'll instantly be streaming from David McGee's home church, The Bridge. Catch every life lesson and scripture reference as you take part in hearing the Word of God from anywhere in the world. Pastor David McGee teaches live online, Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch this week at CrossTheBridge.com. Thanks for listening to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Join us again next time and invite your family and friends to listen, as together we cross the bridge.
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