Good Morning Friends
Today we will continue with our lesson in our series of "Forgetting What Is Behind". Today we will continue on in chapter 5 titled "living the Christian Life…Is It My strength or His?
* What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
First Paul says He does not understand why he does what he does. But now he goes from not knowing why to actually knowing what he is doing, but hates the thing he does.
How many times have you tried quitting something like snacking before bedtime, over- eating, drugs, alcohol, etc. The minute we make the decision to stop and try to change the battle begins. We quickly discover it is more difficult than we thought and we often fail in our attempts and end up doing exactly what we did not want to do.
So, if we hate what we are doing and want to stop, why don’t we? I think the reason is simple, the thing I say I hate, I really love! Let me explain, I hate what this particular thing stands for, but I actually want/desire it. This is the work of our sinful nature. “wanting what we want”!
When we try and replace our emptiness with other things that do not last or are un-fulfilling, we only end up more empty inside. What we really need is what lasts and is fulfilling such as; love, acceptance and value. The Lord Jesus is the only one who can fill those empty places.
* As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
Paul knows that the struggles he has is because of his “old nature” not his “new one in Christ”. We see this in Romans 6:6-7; For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin---because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
He knows he has been set free from the power of sin and death, because he no longer wants to sin, yet he recognizes this struggle with his flesh that tries to draw him back to his “old way of thinking and living”.
This great struggle between our flesh and walking with the Spirit is a wonderful reminder to us that we do not possess any power to save or change ourselves. We are dependent on Christ alone. The enemy of our souls would like for us to feel defeated when we fall down or fail in our attempts to follow Christ. But Romans 8:1-2 speaks to this….Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
* I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
A little background on the word “good”. In regards to Creation, God views each day’s work and pronounces it good (Genesis 1). God too evaluates. It is in fact because God shared his image and likeness with mankind that human beings have the capacity to make value judgments at all.
But sin has distorted humanity’s perceptions. Because of this, only God is able to evaluate perfectly. The writers of the OT were convinced that not only was God the giver and the measure of good but also that he alone knows what is truly beneficial for us and what is morally right. Only because God has shared his evaluation of the good in his Word are we who rely on him able to affirm with confidence that a certain thing, quality, or course of action is beneficial. (Taken from Expository Dictionary of Bible Words)
Paul recognizes this truth, that there is nothing good in his sinful nature. This we see in Romans 7:21-23…..So I find this law at work. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." (Galatians 5:17)
Walking After the Spirit…What does that mean?
It means that, while depending wholly and implicitly on Christ for our Salvation, we still struggle to the upmost to Live up to His Law. Paul is explicitly explicit that the Grace of Christ does not release us from doing everything in our power to Live Right. Walking after the Flesh means giving ourselves to the gratification of our Fleshy Desires. (Taken from Halley’s Bible Handbook)
We are also told
* For we know, that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin---because anyone who has dies has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7
* When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. Romans 6:20 (before we were saved we weren’t as aware of our sin)
* Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:5-7
Paul says in Philippians 3:3 “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
It is not in our strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit that we are changed and transformed into His likeness.
thank you for joining me...next week we will start lesson 6..Pain and Suffering. See you then.