Tuesday, December 16, 2008

6 Observations on the Christian battle with sin...

As I studied Romans 7:13-25, I came up with 6 observations that I think sum up the battle with sin that we as Christians face. This is a battle for mature Christians as well as new believers. In fact, I think this battle is more acute for mature Christians. The more I grow in Christ the more I become abundantly aware of my sin and can cry out with Paul, "Wretched man that I am!"

1. The Mature Christian is still indwelt by sin. Romans 7:17, 20

While we have been freed from the Penalty of Sin and the Power of Sin, we have not been freed from its Presence. It is in us and around us. And when we are walking after the flesh and not the Spirit it reasserts its power in our lives!

2. The Mature Christian should keep God’s good law. Romans 7:16

We cannot throw out the Law just because our sin leads us to violate it. Never is the Law overthrown for the Christian. In fact, the opposite is true. The promise is that the Law will be fulfilled on our behalf and that we will be empowered by God’s Spirit to keep it.

3. The Mature Christian is unable to keep God’s good law. Romans 7:18, Romans 8:3

We are unable to keep the Law because of sin dwelling in us.

4. The Mature Christian is, until his death or resurrection, in a Spiritual war. Romans 7:23, Ephesians 6

There is no victorious Christian life this side of eternity! Victory assumes you are not at war. You may have victory in certain battles, like with porn, or drugs, but the war just moves to a different front! Progress in the war will be made, but the war will not end in this life.

5. The Mature Christian must live by the Spirit if he hopes to grow in holiness and have even a shred of victory. Romans 7:6, Romans 8:3-4, Gal. 3:1-3

6. The Mature Christian should hope in the Gospel. Romans 7:25, Romans 5:1-2, 5:9-10, 8:1, 8:29ff.

God saves us, sanctifies us, and will glorify us. When we feel like Paul did, “wretched man that I am!” We must remember the Gospel.

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