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December 2, 2021 12:00 am
Believer church runs the risk of putting on the dog more than he or she would ever want to admit. Whether it is the Sunday morning look. Maybe it's the pious attitude maybe is using spirits vocabulary just the right time in front of the right people. Maybe it's showing up in church at just the right time.
Maybe it's volunteering for only certain duties that seem to show you have spiritual culture and class, you name it we are, frankly, as people more comfortable putting on the dog showing who we really are in depth look at Romans seven. Let me ask you a question. How are you doing in your pursuit of holiness. All of us should expect holy living to be an uphill climb. It's not easy and it wasn't easy for the apostle Paul. If Paul had to battle with sin. So, will we. When God made you alive in Christ. He called you to a life which is a battle with sin today. Stephen returns to this passage when it comes to your sin, you will be exhorted to face it expected and invited for centuries of the royalty and aristocracy of Great Britain Europe showed off her wealth in a number of rather pretentious ways people, of course, still do to this day, but I found it interesting to read Jan Cassels and the coachmen which were the signs of financial independence. The women of aristocracy spent a lavish amounts of money to purchase and breed small dogs for pets. It was not uncommon for a woman to have her portrait painted with her tiny dog in her lap. The lapdogs became status symbols speaking that these were women of culture and money in America in the late 1800s men became very wealthy. Almost overnight, through oil in real estate and railroads in our lives without any real connection to their distant cousins in England wanted to show that they too had status and culture and so they spent lavish amounts of money to import and breed their own small dogs that they didn't even have one they would have a dog painted into their portrait sitting in their lap. One of the favorite kinds of dogs for this in America was the poodle I always knew they were stuck up dogs did new cynical observers in the American scene observed this practice and came up with a phrase that these women were putting on the dog phrase still exists to this day, whenever you want to speak of someone as being pretentious or trying to show a little more culture or class and they probably have we say they are putting on the what putting on the dog. The truth is, the average believer in the church runs the risk of putting on the dog more than he or she would ever want to admit and in more ways than they would ever want to reveal whether it is the Sunday morning look. Maybe it's the pious attitude. Maybe it's using spirits vocabulary just at the right time in front of the right people.
Maybe it's showing up at church at just the right time. Maybe it's volunteering for only certain duties that seem to show you have spiritual culture and class, you name it we are, frankly, as people more comfortable putting on the dog than showing who we really are to one another. Transparency is extremely difficult. It's easier to hide behind the poodle's one of the reasons it's so difficult to come to this text. As we began to explore last Lord's day, and imagine that Paul is actually talking about himself. If Paul didn't have holy living down pat. None of us can say we've mastered it either were really not used to somebody speaking so honestly about the battle within as Paul will speak. Let's go back to this text and just read through the paragraph. Follow along as I read it.
Let's try to climb into his skin and where his sandals and feel his agony and heart cry. We know the laws spiritually writes in verse 14 of Romans seven, but I am of flesh sold in the bondage to sin for that which I'm doing.
I do not understand why not practicing what I would like to do what I am doing the very thing I hate.
But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do. I agree with the law, that is God's holy standard confessing that it is good. So now no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not for the good that I wish I do not do, but I practice very evil that I do not wish, but if I'm doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good for I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law on the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
A wretched man that I am who will set me free from the body of this death while Paul speaks in first person, and in present tense and his openness is shocking.
It is revealing. And frankly, it is uncomfortable. Paul says at least three things about himself that are true though. Of those who do believe in Christ and those who are truly maturing in faith in him one. He says that a true believer, in effect, has an aversion to sin. I am doing the thing I hate to do.
I hate sin and unbeliever will never say hate sin. Any really feel sin. He feels the consequences. He hates the agony and the consequences bring, but he feels no weight of sin, but the person who comes to faith in Christ can identify with this true believer has an aversion to sin a loathing to sin. Second of all, a true believer has an abiding love for God's law. We found Paul writing in two times. He mentioned this, how he loved the law of God, how he concurred with joy with the standard of God only believer can feel that way.
Third, a true believer has a longing for God's pleasure that's found only in holy living. He says I am not practicing that which I love.
I love to do things and I don't do enough of them. Sometimes I don't do them at all.
Obviously then a believer is called into direction with his flesh. He is pulled toward sin with his spirit. He is pulled toward holiness and using himself as an example in this powerful text. Paul has taught us. In fact, already that as an unbeliever we were owned by sin. That's Romans six now as believers sin cannot own us, but it can still master us. That's chapter 7 David would write who can discern his errors.
Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant from willful sins, may they not rule over me. Psalm 1912.
Paul, like David then says, in effect, before I was under the grace of God. Sin own when I came by faith in Christ. I still wanted to own sin because of my flesh. What is he have to say about this testimony of a believer engaged in the holy pursuit of God holy living. If you take out your pencil or maybe a pen and if you feel comfortable writing in the margin of your Bible, which I encourage you, it is your manual for living, you might just divide it with me is easily divided the three section the first section, you can bracket or circle is verses 14 to 17. The second section is verses 18 to 20 in the third section, verses 21 to 24 each section begins with an exposure of the battle within followed by an example of the battle and then finally the explanation of the battle so you have in each of the three sections exposure example an explanation. Paul exposes his hard in his battle for the first time in verse 14 when he says I am a flash sold in the bondage to sin literally sold in the bondage to the sin he is saying. I just can't help committing these little sins he saying I have this internal principle of sin.
It is my flesh.
I'm sold in the bondage to the sin. This power, though delivered from the penalty and ultimately the power through Christ of sin is still bound to the principle of sin and being bound to the principle of sin makes the possibility of sin ever present gets his first example in verse 15, for that which I am doing.
I do not understand English language is a little bit limiting here the word understand could literally refer to an intimate love of the same verb used in the Old Testament, the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, where the word no is used as it refers to the relations of a man of his wife says that Adam knew Eve intimately aware and in love with Eve. That's the word he uses here buses. I believe the sin that I commit. I really don't allow the fact he goes on in verse 15, the safer I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate goes on to explain in verse 16.
But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do. I agree with the law. I say that God standard is holy and right and good and right. So never 70.
No longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me what that sounds like an excuse is Paul saying well insensible. Paul is actually owning his actions. He's actually taking responsibility for his sin by admitting that sin lives within them that he is in effect the sinner that can control his flesh. He is admitting he is sinful, the unbeliever would never admit to sinful inner corruption he would say, the devil made me do it if he somehow could see that what he did was wrong and find an excuse to my parents fault. It's the devil's fault and I just can't help it.
That's his excuse. Adam said well it's Eve's fault.
He gave it to me Lord and Eve said it's the serpent's fall. Ultimately it's your fault God because you allow the serpent and here someone else's. The blame Paul is saying, in effect, I have living within me this evil propensity to sin and sinfulness lives in my flesh. And while the new me the new by the new nature which came by faith in Christ. It wants to do the right thing.
The new me. The real me wants to be holy. Sometimes the person that I no longer am gives into the very thing I have now come to truly hate so. Paul lives with this tension between who is in Christ, clothed in righteousness seated, as it were already in the heavenly's with his old flesh still bound them sometimes allowed to control his actions constantly at war with his spirit will on earth. Let me pause long enough to say this, the internal principle and dynamic of sinful flesh will try to do two things to the believer. One, it will try to deceive your mind and second of all, will try to control your body.
The unbelievers mind is Artie deceived by sin entirely blinded by sin.
His body is already under the control of sin.
The believer has been liberated, but still battles the pull of his flesh back in the old ways of sin. That's why Paul would actually warn believers with these kinds of words, chapter 6, verse 12 do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that is your flesh, why would you write it. The implication is, it can happen. He would write in verse 13 of chapter 6. Do not go on presenting surrendering the members of your body.
That's all warring term of a general giving his sword to the conquering Gen. Donald given your sword literally your body parts to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.
Paul would challenge the Philippian believers committed to Christ, he would say to them, you conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. The implication is that we can act in a manner unworthy of the gospel of Christ, he would write to the Colossians, but now you put these things aside, you believers you church in Colossae anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, but put on the heart. The attitude of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Here's the truth about the battle we will be delivered eventually from the flesh for all eternity.
But we must do battle. Now with the flesh daily Paul moves to his second exposure look in verse 18 he says, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh for the wishing is present in me with the doing of the good is not is basically repeating himself just using a little bit of a different phraseology. I know that nothing good dwells in me while he must really be in a mature believer to come to the point after 25 years of saying her in anything about all Paul it's good but is actually very honest, the more mature believer becomes, the more aware he is of God's holiness and the more aware he becomes of his sinfulness right are flesh will never accomplish one good thing because not one good thing dwells in our flesh apart obviously of Christ and his new nature is given us.
But when you do something through Christ which is good. What happens to your flesh even when you do something motivated by Christ even when you do something for the glory and honor of Christ.
As soon as you've done it would happen as soon as you spend an hour praying. What is your flesh say you are something else. I wonder how many other people colonial ever spend an hour in prayer as soon as you talk to somebody about your faith in Christ you leave saying my ever courageous or what you lead somebody to the Lord and what happens begin to get puffed up with pride. Spurgeon said of his church.
Somebody kills a mouse they have to publish it in the Christian Gazette would gotta get it out.
We gotta let somebody know when no sooner are you complemented for doing something that is good that your flesh doesn't rise up and say that really was good. You begged God to help you be a good father were a good mother. Somebody comes along with a good spirit and good meaning and says you are an amazing parent.
I'm just in awe what you're doing and I'm watching you and it's been so encouraging and motivating to me and they walk away and you what you do. I guess I really am a good pair. While ongoing tell, forgetting that you begged God to make it that way then you get that wagon you get caught up with a compliment. You know the most dangerous 15 minutes in a preacher's life are immediately after the service. He stands back by the door and everybody files out marvelous sermon wonderful sermon. Great story are so interesting and by the time they're through with them is totally corrupted.
Howard Hendricks told me and others in my class to never stand at the back door and I did is they don't make everybody file past due. He said though only feel obligated to say something nice to you and you don't deserve it. The call that 15 minutes of handshaking that takes place in the back door sanctuary is all across America on Sunday.
Quote the glorification of the worm ceremony. The older you become in Christ, the more aware you are of how impossible it is for you. Left alone in your flesh to do and think and speak anything holy and how easy it is for you to do and think and speak on holy thing right.
This is the mark of maturity. There is an anything about me that I trust you have to be careful because the moment you think you've arrived. You just lost a couple of days ago I read about this little dilemma. Two men died and waited at the pearly gates for admission. Don't you love these theologically corrupt stories. The waiting to get into Peter comes along and declares listen we got room for only one more which is more humble think Paul was tempted with his flesh to think Paul was tempted with pride.
You think called in here what people said about him. He would compose more biblical books than any other living human being he would receive more Revelation than anybody in the church age, he would be the one to introduce the bride to the bridegroom.
He was the great apostle personally tutored for three years in Arabia by the spirit of God.
You think he ever got caught up. He did, he would write his own testimony in another passage of how God caused them to suffer just like God causes you to suffer. To keep him humble. He writes this lesson because of the incredible greatness of the revelations God gave to me. For this reason, to keep me from exalting myself. There was given to me a thorn in the flesh to buffet me to keep me Eugene Peterson paraphrases it from getting a big head. That's it. God gave Paul something and he gives us something along the way to keep us from swelling up to keep us dependent upon him would've worked. It didn't work in Paul's life, because he comes to this great treatise and he's talking about the new life in Christ and the old corrupt flesh, and he could have used a number of things he could've talked about a lot of other people but he uses himself as his illustration.
He says there is nothing in Paul that is God gives his third exposure in verse 21 he says. I find the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good and he repeats his example I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man you could render that in our vernacular at the bottom of my heart. At the very bottom of my heart. I love the law of God. This new heart that God gave me. That's what I love. However, he goes on to say I'm waging war against the law of my mind, it makes me prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members Paul by the way that text verse 22 says two things an unbeliever can never say you could translate it. I love the log to the very bottom of my heart, and unbeliever consider the also says secondly, even though he loves the holy standard God's flesh makes him a prisoner of sin. Unbeliever can say that he becomes a prisoner of sin because an unbeliever is already imprisoned. He can't talk about being un-captivated and later captivated by sin, because he is already captive only talk and talk about becoming captive to the flesh when the old way of life. How do you explain it. Paul explains in verse 20 4O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me, who shall set me free from the flesh. This body of corruption and decay say that the believer sins yes is the believer excuses sin. No Paul never does what happens when an unbeliever sends nothing, it adds only to his condemnation. What happens when a believer sins a lot of things a lot of things will you be 12 very quickly. One. He grieves the Holy Spirit. When a believer sins.
He hurts the heart of God is at work. Ephesians 430. Second of all is prayers answered if you're here is a believer, a son or daughter of God and you are cherishing sin, you are hiding sin.
Don't pray you don't need to pray, he is listening is waiting for you to confess and restore your fellowship with him. Third, when the when a believer sins. His life disqualifies him from productive ministry first drink is 927 forth his praise of God becomes unacceptable to God.
Psalm 33 one don't even see confess God's blessing. Fifth is withheld.
Jeremiah Road, your sins have withheld good things from you.
Second John one verse eight talks about the believer with unrepented sin, forfeiting his full reward before that. Sixth, joy and salvation. You remember David when he confessed eventually said, Lord, please restore unto me a lot. The joy of my salvation. He experiences sevens God's discipline. Hebrews 12, number eight, his spiritual growth is stymied. It is hindered because of unconfessed sin. A person may grow old in the Lord, but he may not grow up in the Lord right number nine. His service for Christ is limited. Paul wrote to Timothy. Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things go back to second Timothy 221. The look of these things in the previous verses. He then will be a vessel for honor useful to the master prepared for every good work. Number 10. The length of our lives is endangered on earth first trillions 11 reveals that some within the community of believers in that church in Corinth that Artie died early because they came to the Lord's table unworthily. They came cherishing sin to God's as I took them on home that enough for 11 the testimony of the church is damaged. First, trillions five you ladies and gentlemen are reflection of this local assembly, the local assembly's testimony is no better is no holy or is no purer than the testimony of every individual person in the world who identifies publicly with this assembly are reputation rides upon your testimony rides upon mine. 12 God ultimately is dishonored with a believer sins. First Corinthians chapter 6 glorify God in your body belong to him. The implication is when you live sinful lives. You do not glorify him with your body. No wonder the true believer had sinned one of the true believers filled with guilt and sorrow. One of the believer wants to battle the sin women unbeliever feels no battle because for one thing the enemy does not come against him is already captivated by the God of this world and blinded but for the believer, the devil, the world, the flesh, they cannot have your soul. They will have your song they will take your testimony for the unbeliever was unwilling to admit the corruption of his flesh, he simply goes along, deceived and blinded ultimately and judgment before God. I received an email from somebody who doesn't attend his church, but was encouraged by somebody outside of her church by someone who was part of our church to write me for advice and for counsel.
Although I don't believe this man wanted any counsel, he probably was as deceived as anybody have ever encountered. He wrote about a wedding that was going to be upcoming. We want to make sure that he and his bride could keep their wedding vows so they determined before God, he said to make sure that they were compatible in every way including in the marriage bed even though they were unmarried. You want to say wasn't really convinced that the Bible forbade sexual relations outside of marriage. I assumed he had read much of the New Testament. Then he got to the interesting point. I've heard all that other stuff before the citizen really sin and God really is a gracious God, but he went on to say this, he said your memo when Jesus was tempted by the devil that the Lord told him, thou shalt not put the Lord thy God to the test. This man went on to say that applies to us. We want to make sure that we can keep our valves forth we make vows before God, and we do not know the were compatible in every way that we are putting the Lord our God to the test. So what is sinful now becomes a righteous thing what God calls sin we now engage in God endorses it in fact becomes sinful. If you do not commit that sin and his email by saying please send me your thoughts.
So I did. This may sound strange, and I hope you understand what I mean when I say this for the unbeliever sin doesn't matter now, and will one day when he stands in the books are opened, and he is judged by those things which he did for the unbeliever.
Sin isn't really a very serious issue will be on the edge of eternity, but for the believer sin is a very serious issue now. So much is at stake.
Our salvation is secure but so many of these other things that we referenced are at stake on earth. When we sin with all that in mind, why do we sin because God didn't do a good enough job cleaning us up when we came to faith because he didn't give us a completely new nature because he didn't entirely pay for our sin, we haven't learned the correct formula or we haven't learned some secret or whatever.
Now we sin because we are sinners. Even though we are say sin is bound up in our flesh while we live in the flesh we battle this propensity to do with the flesh wants to do, which is sin and you come to this point over and over again in your life. You're not moving through chapter 7, to live in chapter 8. They happen at the same time you are on your face before God saying all wretched man that I am, though I think God through Jesus Christ my Savior all wretched man that I thank you God for your credible.
I hope today's time. In Romans seven has encouraged as you face your own personal battle with sin. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. I'm your host Scott Wiley.
We have a special place on our website were Stephen answers questions that have come in from listeners like you.
In fact, you might enjoy going online and looking at what other people have asked in reading those answers, but any time you have a question regarding the Bible or the Christian faith send that question to email@example.com thanks for joining us make plans to join us again right here on wisdom