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The Life-Long Struggle, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2020 9:00 am

The Life-Long Struggle, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 25, 2020 9:00 am

Can you relate to the Apostle Paul, who was so torn between his desire to do good and the ongoing sin in his life that he falls in desperation on God’s mercy? In this message, Pastor J.D. continues in Romans 7, where Paul outlines his personal struggle with sin. We’ll see how acknowledging the battle with sin and our ultimate victory over it doesn’t just change how we view the fight. It also changes how we view grace.

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Today on Summit life was JD Greer who died to the law as a means of elevating your status before God and others died to the walls a means of saving yourself you died to the law as a means impurities of your future use of my only hope was the grace of Jesus Christ. When you understand that when you receive is loving the gospel. That's what begins to change your heart to love God, you light Emily that events happy with that. Can you relate to the apostle Paul who was so torn between his desire to do good and ongoing sin in his life that he falls in desperation on God's mercy and her message today. Pastor JD Greer continues in Romans seven where Paul outlined his personal struggle with sin will see how acknowledging the battle with sin and our ultimate victory over it doesn't just change how we view the fight also changes how we view God's grace. Pastor Jenny continues his message titled the lifelong struggle believers of the cost of by the way, Paul teaches us repeatedly throughout his epistles in Colossians 3, Paul describes the struggle in terms of two different selves an old and a new Colossians 3 verse five he says put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self within the cities that he called in both cells there. Both of us about me, but to me he's in there, and once if you know what I was dead to cells or by venue, the road working against each other This is what most people don't understand about the Christian life. When you become a Christian.

The old self to go away and even loses strength. You gotta think like you sorta like become a better version to you that's not true than the old bag. He was in there with all of his or her sole strength that made many people. Many Christians live the Christian life like they think like your heart is this pot of water and before you become a Christian is ice cold and so become a Christian is like Jesus, the stove, turning on under you and all the sudden your heart starts to boil up in warm righteousness.

And then when you start to wander away from God and you get out of church you quit reading your Bible, well, it's like you're getting away from the heat source words didn't turn down your heart starts to cool. Sounds like an ice cubes in it.

He thought of in there in your heart is going to go cold right if you I did not close to God. Gotta bring it up back on the heat source and it will heat you back out spiritually. That's not the best analogy for the Christians are really what you have in your heart is a new nature in Christ in the spirit and the old nature of the flesh in there with all of his own strength and all of his own corruption and if you cater to that old nature.

He's gonna move back in and he's going to ruin you, because he's every bit the predator that he always was. And he's every bit as strong as he always was. And he's always looking for mastery in your life. Yes, you have a new redeemed person in there but you still have the old one for metal what is looking for mastery. That's a first insight is that there is this constant struggle inside number two knowing I have ultimate victory. Paul says changes my disposition in the fight even though I wrestle with the same simple flash. I got a totally different disposition, and it let me be three ways your disposition is different in the fight knowing you have ultimate victory.

I give it to you is in a BNC first. A. I know I know my simple cravings are not the true me anymore. I still made us a dead me another renewed me in Christ is not the me in the future. Here is why the change of thinking is so important. You'll suppose in your old life you had this simple habit that even before you became a Christian even like you want to be that, but you would fall into this habit and you feel bad about it and you beat yourself up and you you try some remedy read self-help bulky watching or season over errors like that if you get better for a while, then you fall back into into that old habit again and then then you become a Christian right and then you become a Christian you think of things different.

Now metal habits never come about by its you still struggle with and you start feel like I'm just like I used to.

By the way this happens when you start looking at yourself and say see I still a battle I can't win. And I have actually changed and maybe I'm not really Christian because I used to have this whole thing and I have saved and then an end and I'll go back into it, just like I used to when it's coming, this battle that I can't win, but that's wrong because now in Christ battle you can't lose, you might still struggle and I'll tell you just a minute why he lets you struggle even after your saved but in the midst of that struggle. The ultimate outcome has been determined and as you continue to believe this of the battle is already been one God uses that to infuse the power of new life into you, and here's what will happen. I promise you, you start to say Jacob I can this happen sometimes. You know what it just didn't taste as good as it used to, you know what it doesn't bring the that that the sense of satisfaction, fall satisfaction that you stoop, I'm starting to lose my taste for why because it is no longer expressive of your real self in your innermost being.

Your delighting in the law of God, and as you directing yourself that way, those desires grow larger in you and that's why sin doesn't seem to fit you anymore in their sinful habits are like like Lazarus is grave close opinion. When Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. First thing he commands Lazarus to do is take off his grave clothes, an odd thing to say but it's because living people should not wear dead people close, I don't friend went on it was an undertaker in I was asking them just questions about the differing of the embalming process and all that he has about the suit. People where and when you go by a cascading symbol. Some people get buried in like a favorite suit. He said, but a lot of times it's included with the package.

Even when you prepare for this and it's assumed that we provide. He said with think this he says is is is only only out of all that goes with his business was is that it's all about half-asleep so we want to waste material, so it only like covers to know about how you halfway back, Mary said, so it's she looks like a real Sue but if that's not real sick cluster to think about what if there was resurrection today writes about get out of the gravies got the suit of clothes. I looks good from the front. These are walk around looking back not need to be changes in close right now because a living mansion where a dead man suit that you will ransom what was contrasty of cotton. You know is you is your water at living people should not wear dead people close to. They just don't fit anymore and what Paul says is that's why sin is with you. Used to be the greed, resonated deep with you and it used to be that the simple things resonated with you, but is not you anymore so it's intense you you start recognizing yes this appeals to a simple thing in my flesh but that's not the real me anymore that never hear the story went on about a guy who was before he became a Christian was. It was a real philanderer and cheated on his wife with multiple different women and after becomes a Christian, he turned away from all that in and he's out on some trip and some woman that he had had that had a thing with comes up to him and him. He starts to like like he doesn't even know her and she keeps getting from sake, don't you think she's like it's it's me, it's me, since I know I know, but it's not really me anymore is a different me that's not me. I know it looks like me but there's a new Mia redeemed me. Here's a second way that know when I got ultimate victory changes my disposition, and if I B means I can be confident, even in the most discouraging the seasons you feel the darkest December 1941 was a very dark time for anyone or if you know anything about World War II history. The war was not going well for England that morning, December 7, 1941 that Sunday morning when Winston Churchill first heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in his memoirs he said he when he called FDR the president United States to call him up and he gave them his condolences and he said FDR said back to me so well. Winston looks like were all in the same boat now. Churchill later wrote in his memoir. He said no American will think it is wrong of me to proclaim that here in the US was now on our side was the greatest joy to me. Even in the midst of the tragedy because I knew that England would now live. Britain would live the rest of the war was simply proper application of overwhelming force. I went to bed for the first time in years, and slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful overwhelming force.

In this case, the that the military might of the United States at the time transform Churchill's attitude from one of helplessness to one of hopefulness. In truth, I mean really nothing to change in the strategy of the war right me it was still dark day for England and it will still be offensive and they were still being outmatched and outdone, but he said it was the entry of overwhelming force that caused me to sleep the sleep of the saved, even in the midst of the darkness in the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is that overwhelming force his presence in you assures you of victory and that means that even on the darkest of days. I can find encouragement. It might look like my internal Nazis are wreaking havoc and there on the offensive, but their defeat has been in short know sometimes as your pastor, I still look at my heart and I kid so discouraged if you were to read JD Ware's Journal the way that your reading Paul here in Romans 75 questions like why do I still struggle so much with self-control. Why does pride still pop up in my heart so naturally and so quickly over the dumbest reasons so I can with me you a while back in there like there like Katie us with your not just a great preacher and pastor your your truly great route home and I would never Veronica and I'm a drunk company, a truly great man. Do you think there on the kingdom of God rock like probably one less than your thinking right now. So why do I feel jealousy and resentment toward people more quickly than I still love why is my first attitude usually one of suspicion or resentment. Why I delight in the misfortune of others. Sometimes, why is it that I secretly kind of like it sometimes was some big-name pastor falls, but somehow I feel like it makes me look better, but almost never instinctively give people the Dow was my first impulse to assume the worst about them. Why is gossip come so much more naturally to me.

The praise why is generosity so hard for me, I don't know my own photos of the four member before one of our generosity initiative zeros on the church. It was like a few months away, but I knew it was coming, and so I knew I was coming out to Veronica SSA. Maybe we should go ahead and and spend that money now on that redecoration project that you want to because if not, we might get convicted during this series, we might feel like we need to give it away. But if we go ahead and spend it now.

Then we will have the option of giving it away. What is wrong with your pastor's heart, that he would think that way going into a generosity initiative or even more fundamentally, it wire my affections for God so called why is it that my desire for repentance is so weak.

Well, sometimes I'm on my Lord. It's not that I love you so much and I'm just frustrated that I can't make myself obey your command. Sometimes I don't even feel love for you is that it sometimes is not that II just I want to go but I get tripped up. Sometimes I don't even want to do good thing I want is broken friend got even here's that cry of desperation. He says the broken and contrite. He will not despise you see deep down I've made a decision to seek God dig down. I want to change.

I want to want God more natural.

Repentance is deep down I delight in the law of God. And so that's what I want my heart to be see I call out to God on behalf of my broken coldhearted like Paul called out. What a wretched man. I am using to rescue me from this body of death seminary to new PhD in theology night and do it. I memorize verses and I didn't do it. I read all the books and I didn't do it doctrinal is discipline all this law is going to deliver me from this body of death how come I pastor a church like this and I preach every weekend. If I do all these things and I'm still wracked with this body of death, to deliver me. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Which leads me to 1 More Way but know when I got ultimate victory changed my disposition of the file C.

I know God uses my ongoing struggle to grow my appreciation of grace.

That's what you see happening here with Paul the end of this chapter is like Paul collapses worship right is collapses of the unit's Journal writing. He says how awful I am. I will deliver me from this body of death. It's only Jesus begins this chapter, not boasting in his mastery of the law begins this chapter.

Just add chlorine and admiring God's grace of all the books in my library when my favorites is an old book written by John Newton the writer of amazing Grace the 16th, 17th century, John Newton amazing Grace went on to be a pastor never was successful as a pastor judging by the world standard so to speak, but he had in a small little church. One of his main ministries was writing and encouraging other pastors and other believers, and thankfully we got a collection of his letters and I got the full cotton collection. When I got the abridged version and there's more letters and there are reviews every two or three years. I go back to it all the time because it is so encouraging. John didn't like it when he's 83 years old 83 years old.

He writes to another pastor and he says you know I always assumed that after walking with God for 40 or 50 years now that I maybe I've always assumed that I would've made more progress in the Christian life that actually have and I wonder now at 83 why the temptations of the flesh are still as strong in me as they were when I was a young man I'm renowned like at 80.

This man is talking about at 80 years old upper like him preaching he still discouraged at how strong some resulting temptations are gendered is expressed misses of the pastor and he says here's my conclusion is that always assumed that growing in grace meant that I would get to a place where I no longer felt like I needed that much grace is about Brody grace actually is on the side of the resurrection. These growing in our awareness of our need for grace and I can write this down. These are my words, but I'm summarizing what he says broken grace means growing in your awareness of your need of it not getting to a place for you no longer feel like it's necessary. That's will grow in grace is, and God will sometimes let you continue to struggle with sin, because he is trying to grow your admiration of grace is trying to put you in the same spot Paul found himself in the in a Roman seven for you to say a whole wretched man or woman that I am version of the liver make you say thank God it's through Jesus and his promise because I still see that my body and my flesh are sinful like CS Lewis would say later reflected on the same thing.

He was a sometimes watches sometimes God will let you struggle with a lesser sin keep you from the greatest of the greatest sin is not Lost, not sax, not drunkenness. The greatest worsens pride and complacency and what CS Lewis as I realize God is. Let me struggle with some sands and he's never let me quite shake them because he wanted me to always find myself in a place of adoration of God's grace and sometimes growing in grace is not getting to a place where you no longer need forgiveness, growing in grace is getting to a place where you realize how desperately you need God's grace and that's where Paul ends all this in Romans seven as he ends it in adoration and praise of the cross just a heart filled with worship to. Here's what you got a Roman seven you got Paul's description of himself as a religious person with his constant submitted to the law of God's heart chafing against it. And so Paul turns in desperation to God's grace in Christ, he needed forgiveness where he could keep a long needed Christ to change in his heart that he love the law even after accepting Christ he still struggled with a simple heart and now he wants to know how to change. That's what makes that analogy in verses one through six with all the strange stuff about the woman about a husband such a perfect and brilliant illustration watch because it shows you how you can learn to love God's law. Again, you can learn to be righteous before you met Christ in the gospel he said you were married to the law.

Write the laws how you you found your acceptance if you thought if you kept the law enough that God would accept you and you thought that would be really fervent about the laws how you would produce righteousness in you.

You were married to it, but what you found was that it actually one producing the fruit of righteousness. It was producing the fruits of death why pulses like me, you might've thought you were zealous in your love for God, but you are actually zealous in your love of the law and your love of yourself. You were devoted to the law you were devoted to it because you thought it was your means of salvation, but when you became a Christian when you accepted Jesus died to that law was the law could save you that only Christ can save you.

What that means is that you died to the law as a means of elevating your status before God and others.

You died to the law as a means of saving yourself, you died to the law as a means of guaranteed security future and you said my only hope is the grace of Jesus Christ and you receive that as a free gift. When you understand that when you receive his love in the gospel. That's what begins to change your heart to make you struggle love God again that the apostle John would say first John we love him because because finally God got her attention. Then we listen to the command to love God. We love God because he threatened us to hell if we don't know we love God because he first loved us. It was the recognition of the love of God for eyes that produce love for God in us. We looked at this command to love God and like Martin Luther said, we felt the dilemma the great commandment right. The dilemma of the great commandment is God is commanding us to do some that by definition cannot be commanded.

How do you command somebody to love something. The analogy always uses to meet Amanda sandwiches I think are the product of the devil.

I hate them, and every good spiritual person will hate them also, but if you were to tell me that I had to eat mayonnaise and tomato sandwiches you could command me. And if you're big enough boy. You might even compel me with her and nothing you know command of yours. No force of yours is going make my heart.

Love those things right.

Love cannot be commanded. Love is there, it's not on the other hand, if I really did love their sandwiches. You would need to commit many of them. I just do it naturally. Martin Luther said the dilemma the great commandment is God is commanding us something about definition should not be commanded visibly love God, we would need to be commanded to do it and we don't love to know command is going to be able to change that. That's the dilemma and he said the way that God produces love for him and us is not by exhortation but by revelation, not a command to love God, but a revelation of the love of God. And when you experience that when you get married suet when you die till wall is your husband and you get married to Christ, that sorcerer produce that kind of love and joy in you, Tony Evans describes it. He says he says let me know in a house you can always tell the difference between a grace dog and a wall dog along dog is a dog that that the master's relation with Masters base who want to control national you better be doing this and not get that paper you will pay recently beat the dog's, dogs always were whimpering in the back is a miserable dog is intimidated by Master Freda master, but a grace dog when that master walked in the house minute that dog's tail is wagging it love this master there's a relationship there that dog just wants to be with the master and make the master happy I'm bowing, there's no corollary to this in the World because EIGHT law okay but but in the dog world. God wants grace dogs not more dogs because watch this second relationship produces righteousness and ways of the law cannot 12.20 says in verse four. What year you belong to him who was raising the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God is when you are in the flesh. The simple passions aroused the wall, working in us to bear fruit for death when you're married to the law, you are intimate with the law.

Memories of the frustration which it is produce more covetousness and it produce more more exhaustion, but now that you're married to Jesus, the fruit of that relationship is actual real spiritual fruit marriage. When a man want to get married. The fruit of their love for their coming together in love and intimacy is a child we think about it. On that woman coming together and they make a child are not thinking about the mechanics and the biology and science of making the child actually happens is to get swept up in a moment of intimacy with each other. I don't think about how to biology where there's a lot of complex biology happening in the moment, but nothing about it. Others think about each other fruit of that as a child pulses in the same way, the way that you produce.

Righteousness is not my thinking. I gotta have more love, more joy to have more peace and more patients. This is a fruit of it as you get swept up in this moment of loving intimacy with Jesus Christ, the fruit of that the fruit of your worship is love and joy, peace, and patience is resting in the love of God for you that produces love for God and love for others and you, God, not just after obedience after a whole new kind of obedience and obedience in gross desire and that's not spiritual fruit can't be produce by marriage, the law okay to produce a marriage to Christ.

When you experience the freedom of knowing that God accepts you not because you can make flesh act rightly when you know that he accept you by free act of grace based on what Jesus did you actually receive the strength to obey taking notes as you last thing behind the Christian life is going to get better. Those who understand their accepted by God is not condition.

Other getting better value in the Christian life is the only ones of you that are going to get better and then arrived, she can become righteous are those who understand that your acceptance by God is no longer conditioned on your getting better. It's a free gift of God's grace. When you cease to be married to the law and you start to say I'm accepted by who Christ is. That's when you start to get better real righteousness is produced in you, not a righteousness in order to be accepted by God but a righteousness that is a grateful response to having been accepted by God's help, always Roman seven in adoration and worship master. He wants you to be what you grow in your awareness and your worship because it is not worship the best of the sweetest fruits of the spirit.

Our greatness from St. the reward for having liberated ourselves game changing truth from pastor and author Jeannie Greer message is a part of our study on the book of Romans. You can listen again to pass messages or view all the message transcripts free of

If you are finding are serious to remnants challenging or heart gripping and I can pretty request our new Bible study where you can go deeper into the theology and the issues discussed in the book of Romans is brand-new study but comes as a three-part box set throughout the year and you can get the second part today as he read through this resource and work through the study questions will be reminded that the gospel has always been countercultural that that hasn't stopped us yet and will send you the second volume as an expression of thanks when you donate today to support this ministry Senate life is entirely funded by listeners like you see her giving does make a difference especially grateful for our monthly gospel partners. Their regular monthly getting helps more people died into the gospel every day through the radio and when self sign up today to be a monthly gospel partner, or to give a single gift of $25 or more and remember to ask for a copy of Romans volume 265 868-335-5220 we can get online, volume 1, like everything I went. I'm only sure to join us again tomorrow and let others call the latest chapter in the whole Bible. You don't want to miss next Tuesday on Senate life with Katie, sponsored by Jeannie Greer minutes

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