The Battle For Righteousness
"Between Two Natures"
Our Scriptures for the day will come from Romans Chapter 7
When we bow to the Lord and our names are written down in the Lamb’s book of life, we find out that our flesh, these bodies we live in, hate the law of faith. We also find out that true faith leaves no room for our own will and energy.
We begin a daily battle with our own flesh. And our flesh will go to any degree to satisfy itself up to the point of death.
But when we reach a point in our spiritual lives that we crave to be holy, we will come under conviction for the way we live. Our conscience will awaken and we will see that we have been content with our own self-righteousness.
Our holy walk is not as it should be. We are sometimes worldly Christians who have lost the ability to witness.
True faith is to know that we died with Christ on that cross.
1.) We should know that our deliverance is only in Christ. We are dead to sin and alive to God.
2.) We should know and be willing for God to point out the errors of our ways and removed them. This should be a daily request in our prayers.
3.) We should know that it is only through God’s grace that we can mortify our flesh completely. If we go to a morgue we will realize what that word mortify means.
4.) We should know how to walk that path of righteousness.
5.) We should know that we will face that struggle all the days that we live.
The Bible tells us how to do this:
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1.) We have to totally submit ourselves to God.
2.) We have to resist the devil, he is the one that has to flee.
3.) We have to avoid the filth of sin.
4.) We have to have our hearts and our minds in the right place.
5.) We we must lead humble lives in the sight of God.
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
We missed last week’s lesson but the theme of chapter 6 is very clear.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
When we sin after our names are written down in the Lamb’s book of life, we simply do not love each other enough. It is the law of love that we continue to break daily.
If we remain under any of those old laws then they will have dominion over us. It is the new law of "love thy neighbor" that should have dominion over our daily lives. While we were lost were in bondage to our sin. Once we are saved and stay in bondage to those laws, then we are rejecting God’s grace.
We are actually saying that we are ignorant of the Word of God.
Paul’s illustration of the husband and wife is to show us all that believe that there is a new relationship because of Christ Our Savior.
When a man and woman married, they vow that they have been united for life. Most vows include the words "till death do us part".
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
The number "one" means unity and the number "one" is indivisible. The only way break this unity is death.
Jesus explained in the book of Matthew that unfaithfulness is on the same standard as death.
Mat 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
The apostle Paul does not bring this up because it is not the point of his teaching. Paul is teaching us the relationship we had with those old laws.
Paul clears this up in verse five:
"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death"
Those motions, or emotions would also include hardship and pain and the evil influence sin has had on our lives. We always seem to forget these horrible things that sin has caused us.
We always forget, it is not the law that dies, it is the believer that must die to the law.
In Paul’s illustration the husband died. The woman was free to marry again but only under those same old laws.
The man being dead could do nothing. Those old laws have no effect on a dead person. This man had to be born again to be something new, a new creature under a new law.
This is exactly what Paul was teaching!
This is exactly what we need to learn. When we trusted Jesus Christ, we died to the law, but in Christ Jesus, we will rise from that death and are now remarried, united, with Jesus Christ in a new relationship and a new life.
We are not lawless, but we are united to Jesus in His life.
We already know that the new law of Christ is the law of love.
This is what Jesus called the fulfillment of the old laws of Moses and of the prophets.
To be saved is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the spirit is:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Notice the word "fruit" is not plural, to be filled with the spirit is to have all these traits as there are no laws against any of them. There is no law of death! There are no wages of death!
Again the fruit of the spirit is:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
When we possess these traits of the Holy Spirit and walk daily in them and we are proving what is acceptable unto the Lord Jesus Christ and are walking in the new law of life.
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
When we are dead to the law it certainly does not mean we can lead lawless lives. It does mean that our motivation, our new motions of life, come from the grace of God.
Our minds have a passion to see, the motions of sin. But with the Lord Jesus we have a renewing of the mind and therefore a passion for love, the motions of salvation.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
The only logical conclusion we can have is that no law has the authority over a dead person and only death brings deliverance from the law.
Only after we are delivered can we serve the God of grace.
To live as a Christian is not to be rebellious or independent. When we yield to the Holy Spirit he will energize us to seek the Lord.
Those old laws were written in stone and then read to the people.
But the new law of love is written in our hearts.
2Co 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
To be a believer is to live under one authority and that is the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verse 7-13 were not part of our lesson but there are a few things to consider:
1.) Those old laws revealed same sin:
Those that object to the law God,"the law of love", always have their own answers so they will sometimes ask.
What good are laws that we do not need any more?
They also ask if the laws are sin then why were they ever given to anyone?
God gave the laws to show us what sin looks like!
Rom 3:20 said: "for by the law is the knowledge of sin"
Rom 4:15 said: "for where no law is, there is no transgression"
Those old laws are like a mirror that shows our filth.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Paul teaches us that it is the sin of covetousness that is the power of sin in the inner man.
Covetousness was the downfall of Adam and Eve and in all mankind.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
If we are to be honest covetousness is the sin that we least recognize in our daily lives.
We might not ever murder or steal or lie cheat but our desires will lead us into all manner of sin.
2.) Those old laws aroused sin:
There’s just something about human nature that makes us want to sin. That sign that says wet paint. Or, just tell a child not to go through that water or through that mudhole.
This is the kind of thinking that makes us enemies with God.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
That word enmity means doing things that are hostile toward God.
3.) Those old laws could not give live but could take life:
Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
We can be sure that if there had been any other way God would not have poured Himself into that body of flesh and went to that cross.
We can also be sure there is nothing more dead than a church that has set its standards so high that even the members condemn each other.
No human could have ever taken the place is Christ, and no book can ever take the place of the Bible.
Some men can teach but only the Holy Spirit can open God’s word for our understanding.
4.) Those old laws show us the sinfulness of sin:
We simply do not realize the true nature of sin. We make our own excuses when we say we are weak or we just made a mistake.
God "condemns sin"!
We need to look at sin "The Same Way" God does!
We must hate sin, while not hating the sinner!
It is not the law that is sinful, it reveals, it arouses, and it traps us.
And there’s not one of us who have not seen the tragic results of sin.
The problem is not the law, the problem is in us before we find Jesus.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
We inherited our sin nature from Adam, and the only way to change it is to die.
1.) All God’s laws are holy, because they are given by a holy God.
2.) All God’s laws are just, because God is perfect and just in all that he does.
3.) All God’s laws are good, because they make me aware I’m in need of a Savior.
4.) All All God’s laws are spiritual, because they deal with the inner man, and it is the inner man that controls the outer man.
When God gave the 10 Commandments, He was aiming at these outer actions.
Moses later described how Israel should respond to those laws:
Deu 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Deu 10:13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
We can see he was referring to the spiritual side of man.
This was God’s intent for the law.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
There was a man that wrote, "the old nature knows no law and the new nature needs no law"!
No law can transform our old sin nature, but can only reveal our sin. That old sin nature has to die.
As believers we soon realized we have war going on within us. It is a fact that our minds, our bodies, and our souls can be controlled by either our old nature or new nature.
1.) Paul said that he struggled to do the right things.
2.) Paul said he did not have to struggle to do the things that were wrong.
Paul is not saying that he was breaking all those old laws, Paul was saying he could not obey God’s law of love. Paul was saying that even when he was obedient he could still feel the presence of evil in his flesh. We all have thoughts that go through our minds that should not be there.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
In Chapter 6 the thought was "how can I stop doing bad things".
We now see the real problem is "how can I ever do anything good".
A legalist would just tell you to do the impossible, just obey those laws and that will make you good.
The problem with that is that every time you fail you will get the feeling you lost your salvation.
Even if everything we do in this world is good, we can never say we do not have some evil thoughts that go through our minds.
The law absolutely cannot set us free!
Our old nature will do its best to keep us in mind. Our will power may win for a while, but Satan will blindside us with temptation. It is our choice if that becomes sin.
Jesus gives us instructions for this:
Mar 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
No law can give the Christian power but it is like a magnet drawing us into corruption. It is obvious that we just do not hate sin enough and that in itself is a sin.
There are a whole lot people that tried to live by the way of the legalist, and they just got tired and gave up on God.
They tried to live the good life but what they found is they could not live good enough for salvation.
When we get to Romans chapter 8 we will learn about the deliverance.
Verse 25 is not teaching that we as believers have to live divided lives. This would mean that this flesh we live in is being used in two different ways and that is impossible.
Once we are saved we must just realize that there is a struggle that goes on inside of us.
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
As Christian believers we must yield to the Holy Spirit.
The Bible never says anything good about our old sin nature.
Remember what Paul said in verse 18:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not"
If we depend on our flesh to serve the Lord we will fail miserably.
Again Jesus teaches us:
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life
And the Bible also says:
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
The Holy Spirit will only lead us to God, so to be led by the spirit is to be led by God Himself.
All legalist will only become like the Pharisee, they may look good on the outside but inside they are despicable.
Again Jesus teaches:
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
A legalist is therefore a hypocrite and have not trusted in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every decision we make us Christians needs to be based on our relationship with Jesus Christ our Savior.