This broadcaster has 464 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
March 11, 2019 3:00 am
The small-town preacher who one Sunday morning decided to call in sick and go, so he called his deacon and is a Deacon Smith gonna preach today. I'm sick.
Whereupon, his wife immediately chided him to said how can you lie like this. And sure enough, half an hour later he got dressed, took his golf clubs put them in the car and he drove 50 miles away from town where nobody recognizes him. And so when he got to the golf course and he began to tear off his two Guardian Angels began to talk to each other was is what you would do with this guy while the first one said the lesson the ball into the rough we could never find it. The second one said the now known or less not do that.
Let's actually give him a hole in one. Is it what you meant.
What will you eat, you don't want to reward this guy flying and then the second angel said will think about it this way, who he's going to tell.
In fact, that same scalawag said that Paul must've been a frustrated golfer because in Romans seven is a lucky doing the wrong things. I don't want to do. Let's get serious about the word of God in Romans chapter 7 it's all about the issue that has been a source of confusion among Christians for many years. The confusion is this. It's between the hypocrisy of performance and the freedom that we have in the risen Christ.
This is a huge issue. So many people ended up with going with one extreme or the other of which the Bible is innocent of both extremes one extreme used grace as a license to sin.
The other extreme is the legalism of performance hemorrhoid, please. This is important because I think both extremes not only erroneous not only wrong but they cause a lot of frustration in the Christian life. Most often lack of effectiveness and lack of fruitfulness in the Christian life that leads some people into going into flurry of activities they just get busy doing things programs and all kinds of stuff you know, just to cover up on the employers know that some of their employees cover up for the lack of effectiveness by just activities for just doing things the busy doing some stuff type activities. It is no wonder that so many Christians are living in the bondage of performance and activism with very precious fruit to show for it.
In fact, throughout the Scripture, we see examples of people who trusted more in the their performance than in the power of God and the word of God. You see it all the way from Cain, who trusted in what he wants to give God instead of obedience. You see it all the way. The apostle Peter where he trusted in his courage instead of the words of Jesus. It has been said that a person can be totally lost. Even though he might sacrifice like K in Genesis 4 he might weep like Esau in Genesis 27. He must serve like God has the servant of the prophet Elisha in second Kings five he might leave Sodom like lots wife. In Genesis 19 he might tremble like Felix in acts 24 and he may have zeal for God like Israel in Romans chapter 10 or he might be a disciple like Judas in acts 125 or he may take part in the worship like Cora in Numbers chapter 16 he may desire died the death of a righteous like bail him in Numbers 23 he may even have long prayers. Like the Pharisees in Matthew 23 he may prophesy like salt in one sample 1010 he may have lamps like the foolish virgins in Matthew 25 he might be a genuine seeker like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 and he may even be almost a believer like King Agrippa and totally lost. The problem with reliance on performance rather than the power of the Holy Spirit leads to a life of frustration in the Christian life is how it happens you get up first thing in the morning and you say to yourself, Dr. performed today. I've got to be good today and then you get a little bit of success in your day and you said great well this is great effect yourself in the back at a boy we feel good and feeling good gives writer pride. I'm really good. I've done well in pride leads to fall in the fall leads to discouragement, guilt and shame in the process keeps going.
Time after time after time after time. Romans chapter 7 gives us a more excellent way.
Can you say that would make more excellent way. Here Paul tells us that surrender and a total reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit will lead not only to joy. But the victory think about the dissuade. Suppose a person who is a diabetic, but he never treats his diabetes was going to happen. His government right. Fortunately, there is insulin which means no one should die from diabetes.
We have treatments for God, but suppose the same diabetic person goes a long journey and he does not take any of the things that he needs. He doesn't take his testing kit is blood testing. He doesn't take some cans of juice. He doesn't take any of the vials of of insulin all happen. He will going to an insulin shock, and he could die. Are you with me so far is a Michael what is this got to do with my spiritual life. How this can work in my spiritual life.
Be patient with me okay is what I believe with all my heart. The apostle Paul is trying to cite all of us here saying that I can find victory over sin in my life when when I approach each day realizing that I'm capable of sin that is the testing kit. The blood testing kit for diabetic acknowledging that I am very capable of sinning. Let me tell you at the outset, as your pastor, I am very capable of sinning and I'm talking about all sins not just some by approaching each day acknowledging my vulnerability to sin.
I am in a better position to guard against my heart receipt that you testing kit.
That way I can appropriate the power that God made available to me through the presence of the Holy Spirit that you insulin you got your testing can is the acknowledgment that I am capable of sinning, then you got your insulin forces.
Jesus, I have the power to absolutely give you victory listen to me. I have seen this through the years, the moment you say, I got this one licked that's a moment of trouble.
I remember some time ago.
A very condescending brother looked at me in abdomen many years ago, brother yourself, what is your weakness so that you can all other of them. I have no strings about we can. If I have strength in my own home in trouble because I can tell you without the power of the Holy Spirit. Inmate did meet in Romans seven. Paul tells us about this more excellent way of living. Our Christian life away from the agony of performance. It is a way of freedom. It's a way of liberty.
It's a way of victory over sin. In fact, there are two verses here, let me get them out of the way because I know particulars of your grade Bible scholars use. I want to see what he can say about those verses you know the ones I'm talking about.
24 and 25 Hall Richard Landau.
I am who shall rescue me from this body of death. No beloved.
That's a performance crying. Verse 25. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. That's the liberty in Christ.
This is the source of continuous victory.
This look at the chapter together. But before I get to the outline, which are worked out on for you.
I need to tell you that Romans chapter 7 goes motivator probably limit any other chapter in fact if this division has been going on ever since apostle Paul wrote this whole movements started over dividing over the interpretation of Romans seven whole denominations even started over that division. Some say Paul was speaking about his life before Christ came into his life understood no no no no no, this is truly represents a growing, vibrant Christian life. I'm going to tell you what I believe after 52 years of studying the Scripture trusting in the sovereign Lord your God understand that seven comes after six chapter 6 is all about sanctification. That's a big word. It simply means growing every day.
Like Christ, growing more and more like Christ is what remains is a process in this continuously you working together in partnership with the Holy Spirit. So in this chapter Paul comes in and he talks started to believers who are seeking to live a godly holy unrighteous life and so in this chapter he points out that true freedom is not in our performance that was the old time, but in our total trust and surrender to the power of the Lord Jesus Christ given to us by his Holy Spirit who dwells in us here in chapter 7, he gives us basically for pillars or foundational stones of our freedom from performance for pillars first pillar rebound to Christ not in bondage verses 1 to 6 second pillar maturity and talk about spiritual maturity builds up spiritual immaturity tears down verses 7 to 13. The third pillar third pillar is basically saying do-it-yourself religion will always fail and you will be frustrated. Verses 14 to 23 and then the fourth pillar surrender will always, always keep you afloat.
Verses 24 and 25. Let's look at the first one the first foundational stone of freedom from performance that love, which binds us the word of God is saying to everyone of us that the law is specifically here talking about the 10 Commandments wonderful as they are, how can you not say the 10 Commandments are not wonderful they are written by God himself. The reflecting of God's character but the 10 Commandments wonderful as they are. Keep us in bondage that will keep us on trying to perform and then we blow it every time everything you know it's like right. Maybe you not. I do miss like swimming upstream you swimming against the current. You are making great efforts with you going nowhere, or you doing what I do for five times a week, running on a treadmill may happen on the hard but I'm not even heading a 1 foot in front of me.
If the law is the only thing we go by where bound and rebound to be frustrated. We bound to stay in bondage in the bondage of performance we try and we fail we try and we fail we try and we fail, but because of Christ's redemption. We are set free from the bondage I meant him a lot.
The illustration that the apostle Paul gives us here is that about the marriage vow never to understand he says is, for example… For example, is an illustration. The husband and wife a balance each other, bound by the valves as long as both a living. But when one dies, the other spouse is living/totally released from that valve should monitor the storage friend of mine told me about her cruise that was organized by Christian group but it was for widows and widowers and that this particular window kept looking at this man. Every time he walks but she looks at him. The milk that which is looking at him day after day, she was looking at him, and finally he Gallagher got really freaked out. He walked up to her and said the do we know each other.
She said no, not really. Not that I know of what you just keep looking at me she said you remind me of my third husband. He said, well, just how many husbands did you have. She said to the rest of the spouses to free from the militia and his policy just as death of one of the spouses brings release from the covenant of agreement of marriage, any crimes we too are released from the bondage of performance of the law.
The result of the trees we found joy instead of despair freedom instead of bondage life instead of death, love instead of duty when service instead of begrudging effort second pillar is that maturity builds up immaturity tears down. Paul moves now from give you an illustration of this is an objective illustration using everyday common experience. But marriage marriage vows to really giving us all talk. Biographical illustration see when Paul was a boy. Like all Jewish boys. He went to his bar mitzvah bombing son Ms. Fleming's law is a son of the law and he wanted to live by the law and he found himself that he could do okay. But he can do okay with the first nine Commandments, but all when you come to the 10th one about coveting it began to stumble. He would experience coveting and he breaks the 10 Commandments and he fall into despair.
In fact, the 10th commandment in the breaking of it and the coveting was tripping him into breaking all the other not as well and then all of a sudden Paul becomes conscious of sin and he becomes aware of sin for all sort of Tarsus. Only he knew what covetousness was and once he did all he could think of is coveting prototypical discovered went to discover what the laws beloved. This is the kind of immaturity. The kind of childishness that some Christians live in day in and day out. Sometimes you see churches are more aware of some the believers are never matured in Christ, they very mature in Christ.
And that's why they at each other throughout all the time the fighting all the time back in a just, it never ends. Beloved, the law reveals sin.
The law activates sin and that is why he kept unfolding in sin. Now I know that when we were children from about my generation locator people in their 50s and 60s when we were young, one where the lesson we were perfect we were anxious we always did what our parents told us to do right. That's what you taught children right will some people do anyway. I don't but some of you have experience adolescent rebellion. Now I think some more degree than others. It works the same way with immature Christians.
They tried to live the Christian life depending on themselves.
They try to live the Christian life. That way they tried to live the Christian life depending on their own assets. But sooner or later they get clobbered.
Why because the law is a mirror, it reveals sin, it condemns sin.
Now when I look in the mirror first thing in the morning my hair disheveled him is no shaving in the who the heck is that. Imagine if I'd say you know what going to keep looking at this mirror until I looked better.
Just think about this. Think about the logic of that that's what it must really argument is making here what the chance of me looking better now until I clean up and shave and comb my hair. Nothing's changed and that's with God's power does it clean you up maturity tells you your performance is not working. What you need to do is grow up how many times we said that the grow up and I'm saying this to all of us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's grow up. The problem is not the mirror is your face :-) your problem is not the law beloved listener to make the problem is not the law. It is seen in this is the mark of Christian maturity not to blame the 10 Commandments but to come to grips of the sinfulness of sin. That's really the word outnumbers a boy hearing somebody preaching that the sinfulness of sin. I have never forgotten it. Best of the largest church in America was asked why don't you preach on again sin is sin such a negative concept. This is the millions of course it is negative, but how do you know you need the positive until you know what the negative is beloved was March 4, 1964 that I give my life to Christ, so I have been studying the word of God ever since. And the longer our walk with the Lord. The more I become aware of the sinfulness of sin, the more I walk with the Lord Brahma aware of the deception of sin first pillar freedom is love and the bond. The second maturity, not immaturity. And thirdly, the first pillar the do-it-yourself religion hall was going to frustrate you all is going to disappoint you. Look at verses 14 to 23 because here we come to Paul's personal testimony as his personal testimony through the years I had the privilege and the honor of sitting at the feet of some great ungodly men. I really have. I'm so thankful to the Lord that there were not one of those people who only tell you about the victories I remember when I was new Christian undoubtedly hear these big preachers talk about Victor all the time. Victor Victor vent never dealt about their failures nice to think the something wrong with me but I said at the feet of some great men who have shared their hearts and open the hearts and taught me how to have victory another for my own life from and I know that every serious minded believer who was listening to be with her around the world are here in this century we know experientially the enticement of sin is forever plaguing us.
The lure of sin is forever beckoning us the glamour of sin is forever in pricing us the glare of sin is forever calling us as long as we live in this flesh. This rotten flesh everywhere we turn we see sin surrounding us. If you are an alert Christian to find sin with our own efforts, goodness, if you do it on their own strength is only going to bring failure, frustrations, exasperation, and discouragement and that is why the legalist give God a bad name. Did you know that they give got a bad neck him because they try to live up to the extent their standards own strength and fail and people see their watching it. I call themselves Christians, and that is why it is only when you and I allow the Holy Spirit of God to be the wind because that's one of the names of the Holy Spirit through his wing of the Holy Spirit to blow on our sale that will pull us forward from victory to victory. At the risk of some of you my misunderstandings that many times I speak with the Holy Spirit and I pray to the Holy Spirit… Looked on some emails and letters.
I have my theology correct. I pray to the Father through the son. That's my regular prayer, but there are times when I feel compelled to say to the Holy Spirit. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for being my Paraclete my comforter. Thank you for being my counselor. Thank you for being my God, thank you for being Mark and Victor thank you for bringing my strength and in the times when I grieve the Holy Spirit. I weep tears when I say to the Holy Spirit.
Please forgive me. I never wanted review how all agree with my best friend some time ago I read about shepherding of sheep in the Highlands of Scotland.
This is not something that you would know from the Scripture even in my own experience in the Middle East because shepherding in the Highlands of Scotland is very different when I read the story many, many years ago so resonated with me in the Highlands of Scotland. The biggest concern that the Shepherd has over their sheep is a wonder off and they get stranded into these very steep and rocky. Craig's the sheep normally would jump few feet at a time to go down there see the sweet vegetation on their followers than there there will jump down few feet of the time few feet of the time, and they follow the grass and finally run out and when they run out and they see they can get back up the lead so loud but the Shepherd does not immediately respond. That is a something again, I would not have known the list I read about it. He wait until she finishes eating all the vegetation and sometimes not only waits a day or two. Even longer, until the machine cannot stand up this week. At that point the herdsmen lower himself to the dangerous lay on the dangerous ledge below and brings him back. He said why because you tell me of never been a shepherd. The chief of really frisky, and of the Shepherd try to rescue him early. There would jump out of the legend and over the cliff and no.beloved do-it-yourself religion is not only frustrating, it is dangerous but if you allow the Holy Spirit to work freely and you is going to lift you up the freedoms Highway every time love, not bondage maturity, not immaturity. Do-it-yourself religion is frustrating and dangerous. Finally, forcefully surrender keeps you afloat keeps you afloat. Every genuine maturing believer understand and feels what the apostle Paul is feeling as his writing those words let's command that I will rescue me from this body of death. I'm surrounded by sin is a saying that all was falling in sin is under surrounded by find available all the time. This cry of Paul Texas where the Lord Jesus Christ begins his sermon on the Mount Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed the spiritual bankruptcy unknowing and confess it, ago they will be blessed. Blessed are those who hate sin in their life and their perchlorate. I cannot count the times and I said to myself, when will I ever learn that it is surrender that will give you true freedom. Beloved, listen to me. I can testify to the fact that if you seek God with all of your heart you will find yourself in a perfect freedom because genuine believers are sensitive to sin of people who sell another, you get to the point where you lick that don't fall for that is growing closer to Jesus growing closer to your photo by sanctification you grown closer to Jesus become more like Christ growing closer to Jesus is like getting closer to a bright light all of a sudden see Olga some staying here, I didn't see that when I was away known closer to the light or closer to a magnifying mirror and you get closer and closer rule where all these little wrinkles come from.
See you conscious of sin. Consider when you're too far away.
But as you come closer you say why because Ephesians 430 tells us that sin grieves the Holy Spirit, and in first Corinthians 619 tells us that sin is this all into the Lord and in first Peter 312 is it sin will keep and since the prayers from coming back in the first Corinthians 927. It makes you spiritually be powerless in Jeremiah 525 or withhold good things from God and in Hebrews 1257 brings the Lord chastisement and in Psalm 5112 which robs us from the joy of our salvation and in first Corinthians 31. It inhibits our spiritual growth and in second Timothy 221. It prevents us from being useful for the kingdom of God in first Corinthians 1021 promotes Christian atmosphere and in first Corinthians 1130. It can endanger us even physically every godly person with a lived in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
They knew they were saved by grace when Abraham was saved he was saved by faith by grace through faith. 400 years before the law was given no fidelity saved by the law even in the after the law, then the vanilla can be saved by the law the same sense also knew that as a grow closer to the Lord. They begin to feel wretched in comparison to the holiness of God know what our problem is in these days is that many Christians compare themselves to each other and then they fed themselves in the bags are not as bad as he is in metadata. She is us this dangerous compare yourself with Jesus we want to compare self.
In fact, as I don't test the Old Testament when Isaiah came into the throne room of God is at all cleanly. The closer you get to God's holiness. The clearer you see your sinfulness.
But thanks be to God that the apostle Paul does not leave us hanging here with verse 24, where he exclaimed who can rescue me from this body of death though… Don't miss this. He did not say what must I do to get delivered from this body of death. That's what a lot of Christians do a how can I respond or what program should not implement to get me out of this or what white paper. I could write on the subject or what marketing program I could bring a look what 27 step program. Should I implement in my life. None on none. A million or the answer is thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Say it with me. Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord only surrender to God will give you deliverance only surrender to God will make us float the victory sure you get to the point of said now that I've come to the end of my rope. Now that I've come to the end of myself. Now that I have come to the end of my efforts are nowhere to go for victory thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ say that again thanks be to God through our Lord. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.org