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Pastor Brant Seacrist

April 8, 2018


TEXT: Romans 7: 14-25
READING:  Psalm 119: 1-16


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SUBJ: The internal warfare in believers wherein the old nature wars against the new nature imparted to born again believers.

AIM: That we might know the ability expressed by the Apostle Paul as being given through Christ our Lord and that we ever clearly distinguish between the two principles and so cling to eternal life.

INTR: The testimony of Paul might well be applied to all believers in that the makeup of all is the same regardless of our calling in service.
1. What Paul experienced was sharp and drastic and constituted a real conflict in realizing what was going on within him. Especially was this so after “sin revived, and I died.”
2. The scriptures declare that “all who will live Godly will suffer persecution” and that opposition is often realized from within.
3. The battle that followed was a source of pain throughout the life of Paul (he expresses similar thoughts elsewhere) and it will be to us to love the Lord and serve Him.

THESIS: By understanding the spiritual nature of being new creatures in Christ, and the spiritual and holy nature of our relationship to God in Christ, we are not surprised that the world, the flesh, and the devil conspire to subvert the Gospel and the righteousness of God in His people.

I. The Spirituality of the Law and the carnality of the flesh (vv. 14-18)
1. The fact that the Law in its original form was given of God makes it to be essentially spiritual even is externally written – and it is, in fact, written in the hearts of believers.
2. We would further note that it, from the beginning, required obedience from the heart.
3. The flesh is earthy and given to that which opposes God and His righteousness with Christ as the focus of opposition.
4. In v. 15, Paul begins to describe his own conflict and that of others who share his love of Christ.
1) In v. 16, having described his state, declares essentially that the conflicts proves that he knows that the Law is good.
2) Thus, confession is made of the presence of sin. V. 17
5. This brings a profound conclusion that there is no good in his flesh (old man and body) and thus discovers no ability to self-correct.

II. Identifying the Inward Man (vv. 19-23)
1. In v. 19, Paul builds on the idea of inability. He restates the previous observation as to the conflict.
2. In v. 20, he draws another conclusion:
1) The use of “I” here is in reference to that new man, born of God and of incorruptible seed and that cannot sin as is elsewhere declared.
2) But, something must be the problem because sin keeps happening – the old nature, while having no rights tries to intrude into every part of our lives. It is a hated fact!
3. The “law” referenced in v. 21 is not the Holy Law of God. It rather seems to be an invariable, or at least often, occurrence that every attempt at doing good is met with the presence of evil.
1) It is as if the old evil nature is ever on the lookout for any inclination to the good and spiritual intent in believers and shows up quickly.
2) The believer’s delight is found in the very principles dictated by the nature of Christ in us and so our delight is in the inward man – our identity in Christ!
3) That which we see in Christ and experience through Him makes the principles of righteousness to appear beautiful and to triumph over the evil.
4. Yet another conclusion for clarification. There are two Laws in us (and neither will change – the flesh cannot be reformed – it can only be suppressed) and Paul was acutely aware of both.
1) Sin and the sin principle in us cannot be anything other that what it is and it hates Christ and those that are His.
2) The new nature and the law of love that it obeys is ever sensitive to and flees to Christ from the influence it would impose.
3) And so, it stands firmly and takes on the “whole armor of God.”

III. The Desire to be free (vv. 24-25)
1. This cry of the Apostle, expressed prayerfully, uses strong language – it denotes intense misery.
1) Certainly, such a prayer should be in our own spiritual expressions toward God.
2) This and all the above is needed that we might be the more aware and be the more given to promote a consciousness of Christ in us in all that we do or think.
3) And, it should move us to think of those who do not know the difference and remain in “the body of this death.”
2. The awareness of these things gave Paul reason for thanksgiving.