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Tag Archives: carnal Christian

War on the Inside

War on the Inside

In my last post, we looked at putting God’s Word into our hearts. This is the first step toward a change in our lifestyle. Let’s continue with Paul’s teaching in Romans.

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.

Romans 7:22-23

So far we’ve been talking about following God’s law. Now I’m looking at a different law in my body. It’s not God’s law. It’s the law of sin and death.

According to this verse, it’s on an aggressive, active military campaign with two objectives. The first purpose is to destroy the law of God in my mind and heart. It wants to totally wipe out God’s law from my inner man.

The second objective is to make me a prisoner of war to the law of sin in my body. That’s why the flesh – the desires of the body – is our greatest weakness.

Please remember that Paul is talking from the perspective of a baby, carnal Christian. He describes this phase of the Christian experience.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:24-25a

Wretched, now that’s an interesting word! In the Greek language it’s a compound word. It combines a money balance and a severe trial. The word picture is of a balance that’s overloaded on both sides and is in danger of breaking.

That’s what the war between the flesh and the spirit feels like sometimes. It prompts the cry of the baby Christian who’s intent on growing up. “Who will rescue me from this?”

Notice that it’s not the complacent, “I Don’t want to grow up.” Instead, it’s a cry for deliverance from this body that’s aligned itself with death.

Even the word used for, deliver, is important. It means to flow like river sweeping us away from the problem. It doesn’t ask for the strength to endure, but a total escape from situation.

The good news is that the Lord has the answer.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:18

The condition we face is an attack of the flesh. But, thank God, we have the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul concludes this section by summarizing.

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 7:25b

With my mind, I serve God’s law. But my flesh is in slavery to sin’s law. It’s just like an overloaded balance. But, there is deliverance. This situation can be stopped, not just endured, or will-powered through. Jesus Christ can bring deliverance from this mess.

In my next post we’ll begin looking at Romans, chapter 8. There, Paul will show us the way to freedom. You won’t want to miss it.

Question: How have you experienced this battle between your flesh and your spirit?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Sin’s Reign is Ended

Sin’s Reign is Ended

As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re talking about the victory that Christ won over our sin nature. The last verse we looked at told us to offer the parts of our bodies as weapons of righteousness.

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Romans 6:13

This verse is the key to the road Paul has us on. It will culminate in chapter 12 where he takes it to its full expression.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship.

Romans 12:1

But, it’s a long journey from here to there. We’ll need to understand a few important principles along the way.

First, we must look at the underlying concept.

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6:14

We’re told that everything hinges on the fact that sin shall not be our lord. That’s because we are no longer under law, but grace.

Remember what we learned earlier; the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. If I put myself under the law, then I’m under the power of sin. So if I don’t want sin to be my master, I have to keep away from legalism.

It’s important at this point, that you understand the flow of the book of Romans. Paul has shown us the need for salvation, for both the ungodly and religious. He then showed us the wonderful work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Now that the apostle has explained how Christ defeated death and sin in our lives, he’s taking us on a spiritual path. He’s going to show us the progression from being a carnal, fleshly Christian to becoming a soulish and then a spiritual believer.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey…

Romans 6:15-16a

This passage is the first step down that path. It’s actually quite a question. It reveals the struggle that many people are going through.

This may sound like the question he asked in verse 1, but it’s actually not. At that point, he was talking about totally going into sin. This is different.

This verse shows us that even though the reign of sin has been ended by Christ, there can be a voluntary slavery. The fact is, that as a carnal, fleshly believer, I can choose to sin because I want to, from time to time. After all, there are certain sins that I like.

Paul’s short answer is, “No way!!!”

We have made an offering of ourselves to God for His purposes. This is a concept that needs to be explored in detail. We’ll get to that in my next post.

Question: What is your view of the power of sin?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2021 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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