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The Intense Struggle With Sin, Part 2 (Romans Sermon 46 of 120)

The Intense Struggle With Sin, Part 2 (Romans Sermon 46 of 120)

November 18, 2001 | Andrew Davis
Indwelling Sin

I. The Plague of Plagues

Turn in your Bibles, if you would to Romans Chapter 7. We're going to be continuing our look at Roman 7:13-25. This is a very vital passage for us to understand. The wrestling and the struggling I believe that all of us have with sin. In the year 1665, the Black Death, the bubonic plague, came to London. Now earlier in the history of Europe, the bubonic plague, the Black Death had swept through destroying whole villages, wiping them out. Nobody really understood it, they turned to superstition and to other things. They did not realize what was going on medically or physically with people. All they knew is that entire villages and whole regions would be wiped out in the 14th Century with the Black Death, bubonic plague.

Well, that came to London in the year 1665, and there seemed to be scarcely a house without someone dead. And so, death was right there. And the connection between sin and death was never more obvious as the people recognized and realized that it was through the sin of one man that death entered the world and they felt the tyranny, the power of sin and death, the reign of sin and death as it were. Now, we know as Christians from Romans Chapter 5, that just as sin reigned in death, so also, grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. And so we have this seemingly unbreakable reign of sin and death, this unbeatable foe of death.

And on the other hand, we have the promise of eternal life and grace in Jesus Christ. Well, there was a puritan pastor who lived at that time named Ralph Venning, and he wrote a book shortly thereafter in 1669 entitled the Plague of Plagues. What is the true plague that troubles the human race? It is not disease, it is not the bubonic plague, the Black Death, it is in fact sin. And that's what this book was about, The Plague of Plagues is sin. And he took as his starting point for his meditation, Romans 7:13, look down at the text with me if you would, Roman 7:13 it says, "Did that which is good," mainly the law, he's referring to the law, he just got done saying that the law is holy and righteous and good. "Did that which is good then become death to me by no means or may it never be, but in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good so that through the commandment, sin might become utterly sinful." That sin might become utterly sinful, that we might actually see sin for what it really is. And that's what Ralph Venning sought to do, and he made seven major observations.

Seven Observations of the Law from Ralph Vennin

1) The law of God as a whole is good in each of its parts. The law is good, A to Z.

2) This good law, when transgressed, hands a man over to death. It makes him over to death.

3) Though the law condemns man's fault and man for his fault yet the law is still good and not to be blamed. It's not the law's fault, there's nothing wrong with the law.

4) It is not the law, therefore, but sin itself, that works man's death and ruin.

5) Sin works man's death and destruction by that which is good, by that which is good and holy and righteous, namely the law.

6) Sin is exceedingly wicked and detestable.

This is what Ralph Venning said, "Sin is most immeasurably spiteful, poisonous and pernicious, because it kills men and not only so, but it kills them by that which is good and what was appointed to man for life. Therefore it turns food into poison." It turns food into poison.

7) Sin by the commandment, therefore appears to be excessively sinful.

Venning wrote this, "If we look on this through the microscope glass of the law, take sin and put it under the microscope and look at it. It will appear a most hideous devilish and hellish thing. The most wicked mischievous villainous and deadly thing that ever was, sinful sin, worse than the devil."

What is Sin?

It's quite a claim, sinful sin worse than the devil. Why so evil? Well, it is one thing to do wrong, unknowingly. But how much more evil to know the mind of our good and holy and righteous creator and defy Him, and rebel Him against Him anyway? And that's why the law was given in order that we might see sin for what it really is, as excessively sinful. The law produced death in us through this sin. Now what is sin? Venning gives this definition. "Sin is transgression of God's good law." Now the law not only forbids the doing of evil, whether by far to word or deed, but also commands the doing of good. So to omit the good commanded is sin and as well as the doing of the evil that is forbidden. There is therefore a negative and a positive side. If you don't do certain things, you sin. If those things are commanded by the law of God, and if you do certain things that are forbidden by the law, you have sinned.

Why is Sin So Wicked?

Well, why is sin so wicked? First of all, sin is wicked because it is contrary to God. It is contrary to his holy nature. Habakkuk at 1:13 says, "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, you cannot tolerate sin." This is the purity of God, He can't even look at evil, He can't even look at what is wicked. He can't even look at it.

It is written in 1st John 1:5, "God is light," and in Him there is no darkness at all." Venning said this, "As God is holy, all holy, only holy, all together holy, and always holy, so therefore sin is sinful, all sinful, only sinful, altogether sinful, and always sinful. As in God, there is no evil. So in sin, there is no good. God is the chiefest of goods, and sin is the chiefest of evils. As no good can be compared with God for goodness, so no evil can be compared with sin for evil."

So why is sin so wicked? It is contrary to the very nature of God, and is also contrary to the individual attributes of God. Sin deposes God's sovereignty. It says with Pharaoh, "who is the Lord that I should obey Him?" It makes us the king or queen. Right? Who is the Lord that I should obey? It denies God's all sufficiency. Why did the prodigal son leave home? Because there wasn't enough in his father's home to keep him there. He wasn't satisfied. He had to roam, he had to wander. He wanted something other than the will of God for him. And so, it denies God's all sufficiency. It defies God's justice. Either it says on the one hand God is unjust for bringing His condemnation on us or unjust for writing the law, or on the other side, it says God has no justice and will not act against sin. Therefore it denies God's justice or it defies God's justice.

It disowns God's omniscience. It says, "Does God really see what I do in darkness? What I do alone? Could it be He doesn't know?" It denies the omniscience of God. And it despises the riches of God's goodness, not realizing that the riches of God's goodness, kindness, tolerance, and patience are to lead us to repentance. Instead we presume on God day after day after day. And it defiles God's grace by turning the beautiful grace of God into a license for immorality and for sin. This is the wickedness of sin. Sin is also contrary to God's plan. Sin is like friction. I'm speaking as a mechanical engineer. What does friction do, but oppose motion in any direction? You're looking puzzled, I know, I can tell. What are you talking about? Friction opposes whatever motion you... So it is with sin. Whatever motion, whatever direction God wants to move, sin stands to oppose and resist the plan of God. So therefore, sin is wicked because it is contrary to God, in His very nature, in His individual attributes, and in His plan.

Sin is also contrary to man. God is the highest good of man. God is delightful to us, at least he should be. "Whom have I in Heaven, but You God? And Earth has nothing I desire besides You." I need nothing else. God said to Abraham, "Don't be afraid oh Abraham, I am your shield. I am your very great reward. I'm what you get at the end of your life. You get me." What does sin do, but separate us from the very thing that is our highest good, mainly God, and therefore, sin is contrary to man as well.

Sin is therefore the ultimate enemy of everything that you hold dear and precious. There is not a day that goes by that we do not feel the sting of its whip, like a scorpion across our back. Every little Eden that God has ever created, sin has crept in to ruin it to some degree. From the original Eden to the Eden of a family, a husband and wife, or of a church, or of a nation. Every good thing that comes, sin creeps in to pollute and to defile. Sin brought the worldwide flood. Sin built the tower of Babel. It was sin that enticed Solomon to turn his back against God. It was sin that brought down the temple that he built. Sin has resisted and destroyed every good thing in this world, except for the blessings of the Gospel. The blessings of the Gospel cannot be destroyed by sin. Where sin abounds, what? Grace abounds all the more, so that just as sin reigns in death, so also, grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Sin cannot defeat grace. Isn't that wonderful news? That grace is more powerful than sin.

Well then, Paul has to deal with a problem, doesn't he? If grace is so powerful and can defeat sin, then what does it matter how much we sin? Right? Why don't we sin all the more so that grace might increase? And so in Romans 6 and 7, he deals with the topic, I believe, of sin in the justified man and woman's life. You've been justified through faith in Jesus Christ. What is justification? It means that your guilt, all of your sin, has been laid on Jesus Christ, and He died under the wrath of God. He shed his blood on the cross, that you might have eternal life. He shed his blood, that His righteousness might be yours on Judgment Day, and that your sin is His at the cross in exchange. That's justification. And so, God will simply declare not guilty anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ. That's the simple Gospel.

II. Review of Last Week

Well then, why don't we sin all the more? And he says, "may it never be. Don't you understand who you are as a Christian?" And he goes on through that in discussing sanctification in Romans 6. And then he goes into the topic of the law. Now in Romans 6:14 he says, "Sin shall not be your master because you're not under law, but under grace." What does that mean? That's your emancipation proclamation from sin's authority to rule. You can tell sin to take a hike any time you want, if you're a child of God. Sin has no power over you. You can say no, and make it stick. You have the authority to command sin be gone from you. Any temptation that comes, you can resist, you can rebel, you can say no. I'm not under sin any more. And I'm not under law, I've just been moved from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. I've been moved from under sin and death to eternal life. I've been moved from under the law to under grace. I'm in a whole new realm now. Sin has no authority in this realm, I don't recognize your authority over me.

Well, if that's the case then we have a problem with the law, was there something wrong with the law and he's dealing with that, we're not under law now, but under grace is there something wrong with the law? And he says "May it never be, there's nothing wrong with the law, the law is holy and righteous and good."  Well then, how is it that law produces death? That's what he's answering in the second half of Romans 7. There's nothing wrong with the law, there's something wrong with me says Paul, and he speaks for all of us, doesn't he? Law cannot justify and neither can law sanctify, it cannot finish the salvation work in you, and so, that's the context. He's dealing with us. Now last week we began looking at Romans 7, didn't we? And I said that this is the hardest chapter in the book and many of you walked in not thinking it was the hardest chapter of the book and after you listened to me then you realized how hard it was and you said "Thank you pastor, you now confused me. I didn't have a problem with this before, I read Romans 7 and never had a problem and now I see that it's a difficult passage."

I think you need to see that it's a difficult passage if you understand the radical transformation that happens to a person when they become a Christian. It's not a small thing to become a Christian. Before you were a Christian, you were under wrath, you were under condemnation and there was nothing inside you that sought God. There is no one who seeks God. No, not one. Also it says in Romans Chapter 8, that there's nothing inside you that yearns for or resonates with God's law. Your sinful mind is hostile to God, it does not submit to God's law nor can it do so. That's what you were, but by faith in Jesus Christ, you've been transformed. You're not under the authority of sin anymore, sin shall not be your master, you're not enslaved to sin, right? You're free from it and you've got the indwelling Holy Spirit and you've got the power for a free life, free from sin.

Well then what's the problem? The problem is the individual Verses. In Romans 7:14, Paul says on one side, "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." Can a Christian say that? I thought you just got done telling us in Romans 6:14 that we are not enslaved to sin. How can you say this? Therefore Paul must be speaking as a non-Christian in Verse 14 of Chapter 7, right? But then in Verse 22 he says, "In my inner being, I delight in God's law." Can a non-Christian say that? It's the very thing he said they can't say. So what is it Paul? Are you speaking as a Christian or are you speaking as a non-Christian? And that's the issue.

Paul Speaks as Christian in Romans 7

Now I believe that Paul is speaking here as a Christian for a number of reasons. One is that he keeps clarifying what he means. He keeps clarifying "That is in my flesh, in my flesh I can't do these things." He keeps clarifying that and he also says "no longer" as though there's been a transformation. But I believe that Paul is speaking as a Christian and he's speaking about the limitations of the law versus the power of the Spirit. Do you notice here in the second half of Romans 7 that the Holy Spirit isn't mentioned at all? Have you noticed that? The Holy Spirit isn't mentioned and what we're seeing here is the limitations of the law. You can't get justified, that is declared not guilty by the works of the law. You can't be sanctified, that is made holy gradually by the works of the law either. You can't begin with the Spirit and finish with the flesh. You can't, you must have the power of the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit is not mentioned, now some people say this proves that Paul is speaking as a non-Christian, but I don't think so. I think what it's proving is that the Holy Spirit cannot be mentioned here because the Holy Spirit has never lost a battle against sin when you submit to His leading.

If you follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you will not sin. That's the freedom of Galatians Chapter 5. Listen, "So I say, live or walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. You won't. The Holy Spirit is undefeated, verse 18 in Galatians 5 says, "if you are led by the Spirit you're not under law." And Galatians 5:25 says, "since we live by the spirit let us keep in step with the spirit." So there's a leading of the Spirit in this matter of sanctification, of growing in holiness and we must keep in step with Him as we follow. So I think in Romans 7, the Holy Spirit doesn't show up because he is not battling by the power of the Spirit.

The False Notion of the “Carnal Christian”

Now here's something I want to say, in Romans Chapter 7, some people say that this declares a certain state that you can be in as a Christian, it's called the carnal Christian. Have you heard this before? The idea that you don't understand the power of the Holy Spirit and you need to come on over into Romans Chapter 8 to enter your full inheritance as a Christian into the Spirit filled life. Have you heard this teaching before? You've got the higher blessing, the higher life. The problem with that is that it's too static, too state-like, you're in the state of Romans 7 or in the state of Romans 8 and you need to move over into Romans 8 out of the state of Romans 7.

This is totally false, I believe that we'll be dealing with Romans 7 and Romans 8 the rest of our lives. I think that's about what Paul is saying here, we're wrestling and struggling with a power that we are going to face the rest of our lives. And the problem is that holiness teaching that says we need to go over to Romans 8 leads to tremendous discouragement in the lives of people who continue to struggle with sin. And then they begin to think the Gospel doesn't work. "There's something wrong with me, maybe I'm not a Christian," when instead they're just feeling the bitterness of struggle with sin. I think we need to understand also the "already" and "not yet" aspects of our inheritance, we already have don't we? But we don't have the full amount do we? We don't have it all. Are you in face-to-face perfect fellowship with God right now? No. But you have, it says in Ephesians 1, a deposit, a down payment, the Holy Spirit, indwelling Spirit, guaranteeing the full amount. And we have the full amount when everybody gets saved, when all of God's people are brought into the kingdom, when all of that happens, we get the full amount. Until the redemption of those who are God's possessions, to the praise of His glory. When we get that, when all that happens, that's when we get the full amount, face-to-face fellowship with God.

Now we've got a down payment, the indwelling Spirit, we don't have the full amount, and therefore we wrestle and struggle with sin. But more than anything, you must understand the power of this body of death. It's powerful, isn't it? It's strong. Look at verses 21-24, "So I find this law…" Paul calls it, "this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me." We're going to talk more about that, God willing, next time. "For in my inner being I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members." Look at verse 24, "What a wretched man I am. Who will deliver me or rescue me from this," look what he says, "body of death?"

Now, what is that body of death? Well, look back at Romans 6:6. Romans 6:6, that's the sanctification chapter, and in Romans 6:6 he says, "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." Now our old self was the person we were positionally in Adam. It's kind of like your identity under the wrath of God in Adam. The moment you trust in Christ, you just simply believe in Jesus, that person's dead forever. Remember we talked about the witness protection program, you get a whole new identity? That old person's dead, gone. And can't be raised again. The person you were in Adam is gone. But that doesn't mean the fight's over yet. Look at verse 6 again, Romans 6:6, "We know that our old self was crucified with Him" so that as a result, this thing called the body of sin might be gradually rendered, null and void, is the Greek. Little by little we're going to feel its whip, its power, its strength less and less. So that the body of sin... I believe body of death and body of sin are the same thing.

Now look at Verse 12 of Romans 6, Romans 6:12. "Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body." Do you see it, it's the same thing. It's the thing that we all look at, that you get ready, and get it looking pretty or handsome on Sunday morning. You know what I'm talking about? You clothe it, you look at it in the mirror and all that, and you pay great attention to it, and so you should. No one hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it. So we do care for this body, but it drags us down doesn't it? It's got drives, it's got passions, it's got lusts, it's got interest that are contrary to the will of God. And those have all been honed to a science, haven't they? Through past temptations and failures. As I've said before, I hate to say it again, we are good at sin. We are well practiced at it. And so our body is programmed for it. We've got this body of sin, body of death, mortal body. And we need to be delivered from it, but we're not delivered yet, not yet. Someday we will be. Amen. Someday we'll be free, and we'll have a resurrection body. And we will not struggle anymore. But right now we struggle, and we will.

III. Cycles of Lamentation: (verses 14-23)

The consistent teaching of the Apostle Paul is that we have this treasure, this new creation, a new creation in Christ. And we have this in jars of what? Clay. Isn't that wild to have the light of the glory of the knowledge of God in the face of Christ in a vessel of clay? But that's what we have. And that clay has a downward pull, doesn't it? Gravitational downward pull towards sin. And we've got to fight it. And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9, "I beat my body and make it my slave, lest after I have preached to others, I myself may be disqualified for the prize." I've got to keep myself under. I've got to put to death sin in the members of my body, so that I don't follow their evil desires. That's what he's getting at, that's the struggle.

Now let's look a little more carefully at the cycles of Lamentation. We're only going to look at the first one. But all three cycles, and then there's a fourth one that's a little different, follow a similar pattern. And the pattern is condition, conflict, cause. First, Paul describes his condition. Secondly, he describes the resulting conflict because of that condition. And third, he gets to the root cause. What is the condition? He's mixed. He's both spiritual and he is fleshly, flesh-like. He's mixed. Secondly, conflict is proof of this condition. There's a struggle between what he wants and what he doesn't want. What he loves and what he hates. There's a battle going on. And the root cause is sin in his members, sin in the flesh.

That's what he does. Look at it in verse 14. "We know that the law is spiritual." This is condition now, "but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." That's his condition. The conflicts in verse 15-16. "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good." So there is this conflict between him. Part of him loves the law and part of him hates it and resists. And then thirdly the cause, verse 17. "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me." See, that's the first cycle.

The second lament, Verse 18-20. Condition, Verse 18. "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature." Well, the resulting conflict in verses 18-19, "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing." And then what is the cause? Verse 20, "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." You see that now. Condition, conflict, cause. Three times.

You get the third one in Verse 21-23, conditions, "So I find this law at work when I want to do good, evil is right there with me." Conflict, "For in my inner being, I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body and I be," he says, "waging war." Is that not a conflict? Do you feel that conflict inside? The warfare against sin inside your members? It's there, isn't it? It's real. There's a war going on inside you. Waging war against the law of my mind. And then cause in Verse 23, "And making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members."

And then he finishes with a final lament. Verse 24, and then a proclamation of Thanksgiving. By the way, you can't do any better on Thanksgiving Day than to go to Romans 7, and say what Paul says here, "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Is there any higher way to celebrate Thanksgiving than Romans 7:24-25? Isn't that great? That should be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving on Thursday. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. I get saved. I'm free from this body of death. I'm going to go to heaven. I'm going to win in the end. I'm going to be more than a conqueror. I get to see Jesus. It's all ahead of me and nothing can take it from me. Thanks be to God. Despite the bitterness of the struggle I'm going through right now.

IV. The First Lament: A Careful Look

Now let's look a little more carefully at that first lament.

Condition

First, condition. Verse 14, "We know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." This is tough. Isn't it? Now, I'm not going to tell you I'm 100% sure about my interpretation on this. How can we be unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin and yet be a child of God?  But I think he keeps adjusting himself, doesn't he? Keeps correcting. "I know that nothing good is in me, that is, in my flesh." Doesn't he keep doing that? He keeps clarifying what he means. He does it at the end in Verse 25. "So then I myself in my mind, am a slave to God's law. But in the flesh, in the sinful nature, a slave to the law of sin." He keeps clarifying. Why does he do that? Because he's not completely whole, is he? And he's clarifying what he means by that, he's a slave to sin. He in his new creation could never be a slave to sin. But in the flesh, he feels it. Sold as a slave. Paul's true identity comes out. His true identity is that of a child of God, but he still has a conflict.

Conflict

So you look at conflict, verse 1516, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good." Remember we've said that sin is essentially insanity. Can you answer the why question on sin? Why did you do it? What benefit did you reap from that? Have you had no experience with it before? Did it not produce bitterness in your life before? Yes? Well, why'd you do it? Does somebody have an answer? Is there any answer? Any benefit to sin? Did you ever look back on a sin and say, "Boy, I'm glad I did that. I know it says it's wrong in the Bible, but I'm just glad I did that." Or have you not lamented your sins and wish you had never done it? There's an insanity. "I don't understand why I do what I do." There's a conflict inside. And so, therefore you will not be, sadly ever, 100% anything the rest of your life. You're not going to be, until you're delivered from the body of death. You're not going to be 100% listening to a sermon. And you're not going to be 100% daydreaming either. Part of you is pulling at different direction, no matter what you're doing. Isn't that true? If you give yourself over to sin, are you thoroughly into that sin or is there a part of you saying, "What in the world are you doing?" So you're not 100% sinning. If you are in prayer, worshipping God, seeking His face in the morning, having your quiet time, are you 100% there? No. Part of you pulling away saying, "What are you doing?" Right? There's a struggle.

Galatians 5:17, "The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They're in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Both the flesh and the spirit yearn. Both the flesh and the spirit desire. Both the flesh and the Spirit want, but they're at conflict with each other, aren't they? So we're not 100%. And so, we delight in God's law. We rejoice in it. We say with the Psalmist in Psalm 1:19, "I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices with great riches." We say, "Yes, I love God's Law. I just can't seem to follow it. My reach exceeds my grasp. I can envision or imagine more in the Christian life than I can really do." And that's going to be your constant experience.

Cause

And what is the cause? In verse 17, "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me." There's a sense in which he personifies sin now. It's like a parasite flowing through your spiritual bloodstream. I've seen a scanning electron microscope picture of the parasite that causes malaria. A disgusting little parasite. And you look at it and you say, "There it is." And, "How ugly is that?"

And that's about what Paul's doing here. Under the microscope, we're looking at sin and we're seeing it for what it really is. An ugly parasite that destroys us. And were it not for the grace of God, it would lead us to hell. But because of the grace of God, even that cannot conquer. We are more than conquerors through the grace of God, but yet we've got this sin living in me. And so, he personifies it. Now realize that he says, "As it is," Verse 17, "it is no longer I myself who do it." That word "no longer" is sweet, isn't it? Doesn't it imply a transformation, a change, it's, "I'm not what I used to be. I am no longer the man or woman I used to be. I'm different now. It is no longer I who do it, but it is this thing called sin in me that does it." I love that "no longer." Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Has that "no longer" happened to you? Are you a different person because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Have you been transformed? Are you a new creation in Jesus Christ? Can you say this "no longer"? It is no longer I who do it, but it is this vile thing inside me called sin.

I believe Paul must be speaking as a Christian. "It's no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me" that does it. So we have this condition. We are mixed. We're not 100%. And we have therefore a conflict within us, a war going on all the time. And what is the cause? It is sin living in us. This does not mean we're clear of responsibility. Paul doesn't deny responsibility, he just says it's sin living in me.

V. Application

 How can we apply this? Well, I'm going to take the application I used last week and enhance it a little bit. The first three have to do... If I could just sum it up with this. Be a spiritual beggar who laments and mourns over sin, but who rejoices in deliverance through Jesus Christ. So therefore be warned, everything that we do is tainted with sin. All of it. There's nothing we ever do free from sin. Be humbled therefore and realize, you can't save yourself and you can't sanctify yourself. You can't do anything apart from Jesus Christ.

You can't make a single step toward God, unless God moves you in it by His grace. Therefore be humbled and realize that the sins you despise in others, you've got them in yourself. Have you ever seen any sin in somebody else and you didn't see any connection or root in yourself? It's all there, isn't it? Shouldn't that make us love one another more? Shouldn't that make us gracious to one another more? I think it should. And be grieved over your sin. Don't treat it lightly, it's not a small thing. It is sin that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. That's what God thinks of sin. You want to know what God thinks of sin? Look at the cross. Look at Jesus bloody and dead on the cross and you'll understand what God thinks of sin. Therefore be grieved over it. And repent, turn away from sin. Hate it, reject it, fight it, be its bitter foe. Never, never, never, never surrender to sin. Never. You may stumble, but you will not fall into sin. Sin shall not be your master.

And be instructed. The law cannot sanctify you. You must, by the Spirit, put to death the misdeeds of the body. And be assured, as you look at yourself, realize the struggle that you have with sin is no evidence that you're not a Christian, rather it's evidence that the Spirit is putting to death sin within you and that you are in fact a child of God. Because you hate sin and you're fighting against it by the power of the Spirit. That's what it means to be a child of God. And the final one is, be thankful. Be thankful. Thanksgiving's coming up. Rejoice that you have in Jesus Christ, full deliverance from sin, through faith in Him. Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Be thankful through Jesus Christ.

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