Thursday, September 14, 2006

Romans 7:14 – 8:5
Moving from Despair to Design

I. Spiritual defeat causes despair.

(NIV = “unspiritual,” KJV = “carnal,” – this happens when we focus on the flesh [v 14].)

A. Spiritually we are divided [vv 15 – 18].

1. Born with a sinful nature that continues to draw us toward sin. [Romans 8:7 states that the “carnal mind” is at war with God.]

2. Part of us wants to do right and avoid wrong, but the task is impossible.
James 1:8 talks about the “double-minded” person being “unstable.” Instability affects everything in life... even if you do not realize it.

Righteousness cannot exist with sin. It is an either or situation, not both and.

B. Sin naturally increases its domination [vv 16 – 23].

1. Sin controls its slaves.

a. [v 17] “it is sin living in me.”

b. [v 18] “nothing good lives in me.”

c. [v 20] “it is sin living in me that does it.”

d. [v 23] “a prision.”

Sin gives us that “out of control” feeling because spiritually we are beyond our control [Romans 8:8] and cause frustration.

2. Sin is like vines which “so easily entangles” [Hebrews 12:1]. They grow slowly around the tree, around the branches...

a. It is a slow process (for some) and we miss what is happening.

b. It creates huge complications and emotional dependence.

As a reality of the situation sets in, we begin to understand the huge cost... when we begin to suspect the eternal consequences... we understand that we are helpless.
“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

C. Spiritually we are totally defeated by sin [v 24].

1. Defeat can cause despair.

a. So we try to get around sin by avoidance tactics.

1.) We “don’t care.”

2.) We “anaesthetize” (“self-medicate” with alcohol, other drugs, amusement, work, family, sex, and the next sin.)

b. We don’t want to admit defeat.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (NIV “beyond cure.”); who can know it?” (The next verse says only God does.)

2. We will lie to ourselves for as long as it takes to ignore reality.

a. But it does not change the fact that we are strapped to “this body of death.”

b. In reality, we are a “wretched man.”

II. The defeated person can be delivered.

A. The source of deliverance [7:25 – 8:2].

1. Go has made two provisions:

a. Jesus Christ made “atonement.”

b. Holy Spirit gives power for every day life.

2. Important to understand we can not deliver ourselves!

Because we cannot deliver ourselves, we must depend on the one who can deliver us. This guarantees us that deliverance is done right and is enough.

B. The deliverance is enough [8:2 – 4]

1. God – the judge – has declared that we are set free from the law (control) of sin.

a. The law – our own efforts – could not set us free.

b. Something other than the law must enter the situation to set us free.

c. God sent Jesus.

2. What happened? Jesus took our place and the result is that God gave us Jesus righteousness.

C. God’s deliverance satisfies the soul.

1. God condemned sin...

2. Spiritual defeat is caused by sin and forms guilt and despair.

God has now condemned sin, freed us from its slavery, He has given us victory. We are delivered from sin but we are delivered to life.

III. God’s design is a dedicated life [8:2 – 5].

A. The purpose of the design: holiness [8:5].

1. What is holiness?

a. It is one of the descriptions of God.

b. It is the quality God asks for most (even more than love).

2. Definition:

a. It means to be separate from the world... in other words, DIFFERENT... like light and dark.

b. It means to be dedicated/consecrated... in other words, WILLING.

c. It means to be filled and used by God.

3. The reason: God wants holy people because He is holy.

God wants holiness that is real, not “projected, pretended, or professed.” (McLaren)

B. The power of the design: mind set [8:5].

1. You chose what you desire, that is a mind set.

2. The mind set of the Spirit filled Christian:

a. ...will not entertain temptation.

b. ...will not give the devil a foothold.

c. ...will not expose themselves to sin.

d. ...will have our mind set, trained with the things of the Holy Spirit.

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