“The Sin Within”

Fred R. Coulter – April 24, 2005

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And greetings, brethren. This is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 2005. And of course we’ve been going through the series, “Holidays vs. Holy Days – By Whose Authority?” And we’ve seen how that the Passover actually began with Abraham, and not just with the children of Israel alone; and how that the Passover is a special covenant between the one that God calls through Jesus Christ, to God the Father and Jesus Christ. So we have the covenant relationship with God, and we just completed the Passover the other night. And so here we are on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Now in Exodus 12 we find – and I think this is a very important point for us to understand and realize – we find the command to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days immediately following the Passover day. And it’s important for us to realize and understand this, because as we have seen, the Passover that the Israelites had in Egypt was God’s passing over their firstborn, but it was also a judgment against all the gods of Egypt; meaning all the gods and religions of this world. So that is a very important thing for us to understand.

Now when He gives the command to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, let’s understand a very significant point here. Because, as we have seen in the sermon that I gave several years ago, “Which Came First – the Ritual or the Day?” now here we will see that the day and the command for the Feast of Unleavened Bread came before any of the animal sacrifices required in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28. So this becomes an important thing to understand. Just like the Passover started with Abraham and the covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 15, and that carries on down to Christ, and so likewise we have here the Feast of Unleavened Bread given to the children of Israel before they received the Ten Commandments. And as we have seen in studying through “The Law Of Moses Without the Veil,” how that God mentioned time and again, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Ingathering. All without any reference to any animal sacrifices, the official ones. And this is important, because a lot of people use the excuse by saying, “Well, we don’t have to keep these days because that was all ceremonial and ritual, and was all wrapped up in the sacrifices. So since Christ did away with the sacrifices, therefore we don’t have to keep these days.” Now even some of those who believe in keeping the Sabbath have that reasoning toward the holy days. But that argument falls apart when you remember and understand that even on the Sabbath day they had required sacrifices, didn’t they? Yes indeed.

So let’s come here to Exodus 12:15: “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall [have] put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” Now that means they’re cut off from the understanding of God. Now we’ve also seen this too, haven’t we, in those brethren who allowed themselves to be deceived into giving up the Passover and giving up the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the holy days of God, what has happened to them? They have been cut off from the Church of God. They have been cut off from God because they weren’t keeping these days.

Notice verse 16, “And in the first day there shallbe an holy convocation [that’s today], and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe [here’s the reason for observing the Unleavened Bread] the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day [that is, the Night To Be Remembered] have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.” Then the next question comes up saying, “Oh, when does the feast begin?” Well verse 18 tells us: “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even [that means at the ending of the day at sunset], ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even” (Ex. 12:15-18, KJV).

Now let’s go to Leviticus 23, because here is where we find all the holy days combined together. But here we find all the holy days with a general command of the required offerings that were to be given at the temple. Now Leviticus 23, as we know, starts out with the Sabbath because the Sabbath, the holy day Sabbath, sanctifies and is the lead-in to all the annual sabbaths. And remember, God has said that these are His Sabbaths. A holy day is a Sabbath. A holy day is a holy convocation. A holy day, as God says, is an appointed time which He has established, which He has created, which He gives us the instruction to keep according to the calculated Hebrew calendar.

Now: “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” It doesn’t give us any option to not; doesn’t give us any option to keep anything else, as we have seen. God tells us not to keep any of the pagan holidays of this world. “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even…” And here it’s between the two evenings – ben ha arbayim, between sunset and dark – “…is the LORD’S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days…” (Lev. 23:4-8, KJV). Now those were the temple offerings. Now one man wrote in and said, “Well maybe we should give the holy day offering, instead of on the first holy day and the last holy day, maybe we should just give it all seven days.” And even one man wrote in and said, “Well, if you add them all up you’ve got 19 days that you give offerings on.” Well we’re going to see that is confusing the required animal sacrifices at the temple that God required and the offering that God expects each individual to give.

Now let’s come to Deuteronomy 16 and we’ll see the difference here. Your personal offering is different than the animal sacrifices. However, if you were to bring animals to sacrifice, surely you didn’t have to bring one for every day. You couldn’t afford that. You would soon wipe out your flock or herd. But the sacrifices that were required for the priests to do at the temple were required for every day.

Now let’s pick it up here in Deuteronomy 16:16: “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty…” This is not the animal sacrifices that this is talking about. This is the individual offering that you give to God. And as we’ve seen in the series on tithing and offering, and especially going through the economic situation as it was in Galilee and Judea in the days of Jesus Christ, we saw that it was a merchandising society much like we have today. So the offerings that they had of the animal sacrifices were just the rituals that they performed. And most of the rest of the people, unless they had a vow, did not offer any animal sacrifices at that time, but rather, they put the money into the treasury as we saw in Luke 21.

Now here is the command: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee” (Deut. 16:16-17, KJV). Now we also know that God says He loves a cheerful giver. We are not to give because of compulsion; we are not to give because we have to; and we are not to give in a grudging manner. So the key here is verse 17: “…according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee.” So while we are taking up the offering, you figure out the blessings that God has given you. You thank God for everything that He has provided, not just the physical things, but the spiritual things – the spiritual understanding, the knowledge of the Word of God, and all of those things are the blessings which come from God because we can’t understand anything unless God gives us the understanding for it. So at this time we will go ahead and pause and take up the offering.

(Pause)

Now let’s come to the New Testament, and let’s see the very reason and purpose, and also a command, to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread – very clear. And also this command was given to the Corinthians, which then was mainly a Gentile church. Remember, it started out in a synagogue when Paul first came to preach. Then there was such an uproar that the synagogue split in two, and then Paul had his church, the church of Corinth, right next to where the synagogue was. And in fact, one of the leading rabbis came over and was converted and was attending the church right in the next building. So let’s see the command here that we have, and why in the New Testament we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

In I Corinthians 5:6, Paul is correcting them, because they allowed a man to come to church who was committing incest with his half-mother, or his father’s wife, which was probably not his mother. And so he commanded that the evil one be put out. See, because the Corinthians were glorying in it and saying, “Oh, well, the grace of God is so good, it covers all this,” much like the Protestants today. “Your glorying is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” So during the days of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a type of sin. And so today we are going to talk about the sin, or the leaven that’s within. And how do we handle it? How does God handle it? Why do we have it? How do we overcome it? Here’s what we need to do. Here’s a key. And we will see this as we follow through.

“…Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” So once there’s a little bit of sin, it breeds and breeds and breeds and breeds, and gets worse and worse and worse. And just look at our society today – perfect example. Now in order for there to be change, in order for us to overcome, Paul says: “…purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump…” Now that’s spiritually speaking. We are to purge out all the sin with the help of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. And we will see how God makes that possible for us to do. “…Even as you are unleavened…” because they hadn’t learned the lesson of getting the leaven out of their homes. This is the one thing that God wants us to do. He wants us to look for the leaven in our homes and get it out of our homes, because this is a reminder to us of how common sin is, how easy it comes by, how it seduces us so very easily, and it needs to be purged out. And we need to look for it. And we need to be on guard against it.

Here’s the reason we do: “…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.” You cannot live in sin and accept the forgiveness of your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and then get up and continue in sin. We’ll see that. “For this reason [because of the sacrifice of Christ], let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:6-8, FV). And that is a complete reconstruction of human nature and the human spirit, which can only be done through Jesus Christ.

Now today we’re living in a time when lawlessness is multiplying and the love of many is growing cold. And just as Jesus said, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man, and where everyone’s imagination was given over to evil continually. And this is what is happening world-wide. And it’s happening even within the church, because they are not fighting the sin within – and we’ll cover a little later on how to fight the sin without, because there is sin that comes from the outside in – because they are not fighting the sin within and they are not allowing the laws and commandments of God to be written in their hearts and their minds through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the unleavening agent for change within us. Then they lower the standards down, lower the standards down, lower the standards down. And that is evident in the proliferation of translations of the Bible, which then degrade and take down the Bible and tear it apart.

Now let’s come to Acts 3. Let’s see what we are to do. Let’s see the command of the apostle Peter, what is to happen in our lives, and how it takes place. It talks about how that they killed Christ, the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. Then he says in verse 19: “ ‘Therefore, repent and be converted…’ ” Now that’s what has to happen. We have to change from the human nature, which is evil within, desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, and we have to be converted from within so that we don’t go the way that seems right to a man, the ends thereof are the ways of death; that we are not living in sin. So he says, “ ‘…repent and be converted in order that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…’ ” (Acts 3:19, FV). And that time of refreshing is change, and renewal, and conversion. And that’s why every year we renew the covenant through the Passover, and we walk in God’s ways. And we are renewed, and we are changed, and we have in us developed the very character of Christ.

Now what is this sin within? Let’s come to the book of Romans. We’re going to spend a little time here in the book of Romans. And let’s read the condition of the human race today. And as I read this I just want you to think, what is going on in the world? And when you sit down and you watch the evening news, or you watch any news and see all the reports of war, and killings, and beheadings, and disasters, and sin, and murder – just like here now, everybody’s glued to the court reporting cases about the BTK killer, who was finally caught. And he’s even confessed to them. But what was he on the outside? Oh, he was an upstanding man. He worked for the county; he had an enforcement job with them. He was a family man, he was a church man. And even the pastor of the church was flabbergasted when they found out that he was the one. Now this also shows something very important too: God knows the heart. And God knows what’s within. And God knows that that sin must be changed. But also God knows there is one way to do it, and that only one way to do it is through Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, through the laws and commandments of God, through keeping the Sabbath and holy days of God. That is the only way that human nature is going to be permanently changed. And then finally, at the resurrection, as we know.

Now let’s pick it up here in Romans 3:9: “What then? Are we of ourselves…” that is, he’s applying it to the Jews, but let’s apply it to those who are in the church: are we of ourselves any better than other people in the world? No, not at all. “…For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles – ALL – with being under sin, exactly as it is written: ‘For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God.’ ” Yet if they would seek after God He could be found. Because it says there in Isaiah 55:6 (KJV, paraphrased), “Seek the Lord while He may be found.”

“ ‘They have all gone out of the way…’ ” That is, God’s way. Just exactly like it’s recorded there in Genesis 6 before the Flood of Noah. “ ‘...They have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit…’ ” Hardly anybody tells the truth anymore. “ ‘…The venom of asps is under their lips [Ready to bite you in the back], whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood…’ ” Just witness what’s going on in the world. “ ‘…Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ ”

So Paul says: “Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” What is this telling us? The whole world is under judgment by the law of God. And all have sinned. Now come down here to verse 23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And that’s the sin within. Now we’ll talk about fighting the sin without and Satan the devil in the next sermon. But what is the solution to the problem? The solution is repentance, as we have seen, be converted; and forgiveness. That’s what’s important – true, deep, profound repentance. And when you have been forgiven – because it says there in I John 1 that if we sin and confess our sins, Christ is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Because, as we’ll see, we still have to fight the sin within.

But here is how it is forgiven: there is no forgiveness of sin without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, period. And remember what Jesus said on the Passover night, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And He is also the way to the forgiveness of sin. Now we find that here in verse 24: “…But are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” Christ is the way. Christ is that redemption. Through Christ and His blood alone, since He is the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, and to take away each one of our sins individually, it has to be through Christ. Now we’ll see this a little later as Paul develops what he’s writing here in the book of Romans. And let me just say this, there is no way that anyone can understand how to overcome sin – the origin and source of sin, and the way of forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ – without the book of Romans that Paul was inspired to write. This tells us the way.

Now notice, the forgiveness which is in Christ Jesus: “…Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness…” And why does God have to demonstrate His righteousness? We’ll see that a little later: because we need forgiveness. And only God can give it. That’s why it’s futile to go to a confessional booth and confess to a priest – if you get out of there without being raped or molested, maybe you’re in pretty good shape that way – but he can’t forgive sin. Only God can forgive sin. No man can forgive sin. Yes, we are to forgive each other our offenses, that is true; but that’s between person and person. But between you and God, it can only be forgiven through Jesus Christ. He is the propitiation. And the very fact of being crucified and being the perfect sacrifice, that is the demonstration of His righteousness, “…in respect to the remission of sins that are past…” So when you repent you have those removed. Then you are in right standing with God. You have been justified through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now notice verse 26: “Through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness [or that is, justification from sin] in the present time, that He might be just, and the one Who justifies the one who is of the faith of Jesus” (Rom. 3:9-19, 23-26, FV). So it has to come through Jesus Christ.

Now let’s just read this verse into the record. We’ve covered it before, but as we’re going to chapter 5, let’s read the last verse in Romans 3: “Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law” (verse 31, FV). Because now it’s going to be written in our hearts and our minds, and that we live by it. And then through the Holy Spirit we have conscience, which convicts us of sin, the sin within.

Now let’s come over here to Romans 5:6. God did this for us before we were even created, brethren. And He has preserved His Word for us that we may know. He’s given His Spirit to lead us. He’s given His Spirit to be in us so we can understand it and have our sins forgiven. “For even when we were without strength, at the appointed time Christ died for the ungodly.” What was that appointed time? It was the Passover day in 30 A.D. “For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, although perhaps someone might have the courage even to die for a good man. But God commends His own love to us…” And that is the ultimate that we are to achieve as we get the sin within out of us – the love of God. God expressed His love first. That’s important to understand. We don’t come to God because we are good and we have something great that we are going to give God. No, we are all sinners. And we need God to forgive us, and we need God to help us in every way. And that’s what He’s provided with Christ.

“…God commends His own love to us because, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood…” And as we took the Passover with the wine and the unleavened bread, and the footwashing, that renews the covenant, and now we, on the first day of Unleavened Bread we focus on the sin within. And so that we follow God’s instructions with the power of God’s Spirit to get it out. “…Justified now by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Rom. 5:6-11, FV).

Then Paul goes on to tell us how the sin within began. Now hold your place here in Romans 5 because we’ll come back. Let’s come to Mark 7:21, and let’s see what Jesus says about sin – the sin within. And you can see this in little children too. Jesus said, “For from within…” We’re going to talk about today how to get the sin within removed. But we have to understand how it got there. “ ‘For from within, out of the hearts of men, go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man’ ” (Mark 7:21-23, FV). And the very reason and purpose why Christ came, and the very reason and purpose that we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread is so that we never forget that we have the sin within. And as long as we are human beings we are going to be fighting the sin within.

Now let’s come back to Romans 5. What we are going to find, combined here with Romans 5 and then a little later Romans 7, that sin is a very part of our being. And it’s part of the nature which is the result of the curse that came upon Adam and Eve when they sinned. And it’s a very part of our nature within our very genes, if we could put it that way. Now Romans 5:12: “Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death…” Because what did God tell Adam? “In the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” And when He pronounced that he would return to the dust, the law of death became part of human beings, beginning with Adam. And we’ll see a little later on that Paul also talks about the law of sin that is within our members.

Now because we all receive a nature of death, and we are physical, let’s see what happens here. There is nothing that we can do to be holy and spiritually righteous without God. It’s an impossibility, because this is what happens: “…In this way…” After the pronouncement there, and then Abel was born, and Cain was born, and they had the law of sin and death in them; and look at what Cain did, and look at what the society before the Flood has done. Look at what all of history shows us, with the depravity and sin of man. “...In this way, death passed into all mankind…” And scientists today know that there is a mechanism within the human body, which, when it comes time to die, the body shuts down – either by disease, or malnutrition, or by sickness, or by old age. Something happens to the body that the death is within. And that’s why all die. And that’s why Christ was resurrected, to overcome death.

Now notice: “…and it is for this reason…” which is the best and most correct translation of Romans 5:12, “…and it is for this reason that all have sinned.” Because you have a nature of death, because you are physical, because you are not perfect, though in the flesh you have many things that function harmoniously and wondrously and awesomely, but still it breaks down, doesn’t it? Because we have a nature of death. Now if we have a nature of death, which is the result of sin, we also have a nature of sin within us because of that very fact. That’s why when little children, little babies, what do they do? They express the sin within, don’t they? That’s why they need guidance; that’s why they need correction; that’s why they need to be told “no.” That’s why they need to know what is right and what is wrong. Because God has also given choice so that we can, with choice, we can choose not to sin. And if we are taught what is right and what is wrong, that gives us some control of the sin within. It doesn’t cure the problem, but it gives us some control.

Let’s go on and see something else here in verse 13: “(For before the law [that is, the covenant given to Israel], sin was in the world. However, sin is not imputed when law does not exist; nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam…” because Adam was right there in the presence of God. Adam was personally created by the very hands of God. And for Adam and Eve to sin, this was a grave sin and affected all human kind from that time to now. Adam: “…who was a type of the one Who was to come.” He was the first man – Adam; the last man, the second Adam was the one from heaven.

Now then he says here – very interesting the way he puts this – verse 15: “But should not the free gift be even as the offense was?...” In other words, since by one man we all ended up being sinners, we are going to see by the righteous act of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice many can be made righteous. There’s a comparison that he’s giving here. “…For if by the transgression of the one man many died, how much more did the grace of God, and the gift of grace, which is by the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto many?” That’s God’s solution. “And should not the free gift be like that which came by the one who had sinned?…” Christ had to do it first. Christ had to pave the way first. We’ll see that later. “…For on the one hand, judgment was by one unto condemnation [we are all judged sinners because of Adam]; but on the other hand, the free gift [that is, the forgiveness of sin and the graciousness of God] is by one to the justification of many offenses.” That’s why we need the sacrifice of Christ. There is no other way to have the forgiveness of sin.

Now we’ll finish here in verse 17, “For if by the offense of the one man death reigned by the one, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness [that is, put in right standing with God] reign in life by the one, Jesus Christ)” (Rom. 5:12-17, FV).

Now let’s come over here to Romans 7:7 and we’ll look at the sin within. Now I’m going to cover this first so we can understand a little bit more about the sin within. Now when we hear and see the commandments of God we know they are good; we know that they are to life. And there can be a – how shall we say – a small modification of behavior by keeping the commandments of God in the letter. But that still does not change the sin within. And this is what Paul brings out. “What then shall we say? Is the law sin?...” Now most people think the law of God is sin because it defines the sin, and they don’t want the sin defined as sin, and they want to do their sin. So, rather than in repenting of their sins they say, “The law is sin. We ought not have that. If we didn’t have it, there wouldn’t be any problem.” Well, no, that’s not true. The laws of God are eternal. The laws of God are always there.

“…Is the law sin? MAY IT NEVER BE! But I had not known sin, except through the law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the law said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment [because the commandment defines it], worked out within me every kind of lust…” Because when it came to his consciousness of what covetousness really was, there was all this lust within him and he didn’t know how to cope with it. And he’s even talking about how he’s coping with it here, as we’ll see a little later, as an apostle some 20 years after he was an apostle.

Now verse 9: “For I was once alive without law…” That’s before he came to the full understanding of the laws and commandments of God. “…But after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Now that means he died through the death of water baptism as we’ll see here in just a minute. He obviously didn’t physically die. And then here’s the conflict of the sin within that we are always fighting. And this is why we need the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome it. Because when we are overcoming the sin within we are purging out the old leaven. We are purging out the old sin. And we will see that we have to put in the new as well. Because when you purge something out then you have to replace it with what is right.

So this is what he said: “And the commandment, which was meant to result in life, was found to be unto death for me…” Because he was trying to cope with the sin within and he couldn’t stop it. Verse 11: “…Because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good. Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE!” Here is the purpose of the law when there is transgression: “…But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good, was working out death; so that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful.” And this is what happens with the Spirit of God. When we have the Spirit of God and we are fighting the sin within we begin to see and comprehend and understand the enormity of sin, the exceeding sinfulness of sin that’s within us.

So then he makes the conclusion: “For we know that the law is spiritual [yes, indeed it is]; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin…” Here’s the struggle: “…Because what I am working out myself, I do not know. For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do” (Rom. 7:7-15, FV). That’s the struggle with the sin within. Now let’s see how he describes it here after we take this short break.

Part 2

Now let’s continue on in Romans 7 and let’s pick it up here in verse 16: “But if I am not doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me…” The sin within. And that’s what we all need to overcome on an individual basis. Verse 18: “…Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good…” This body is going to corrupt. We’re all going to die. No good. That which is eternally and spiritually and lastingly good cannot come from the human flesh. It cannot come from the human mind. It must come from the Spirit of God. And that is, as we will see, the true unleavening agent.

“Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good [thing]. For the desire to do good is present within me…” All the good intentions in the world. And what is the famous saying? “The way to hell is paved with good intentions,” right? Yes indeed. He had the good intentions: “…but how to work out that which is good, I do not find.” Now a testimony to the fact that this is a true statement, look at all the religions in the world which try and have some way so people can do good. And it always ends up in corruption. Why? Because they don’t understand the principal thing, which is this: sin is within.

Now verse 19: “For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me.” Now let’s see how he describes it: “But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members.” The sin within. How is that going to be overcome? By what way is it going to be overcome? We’ll see in just a minute. It will be through Christ and Christ alone. So he says, verse 24: “O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin” (Rom. 7:16-21, 23-25, FV), that is, when he does the things that he doesn’t want to do.

Now how then is this solved? Let’s come back to Romans 6 and let’s see how the sin within, what the solution is. Let’s come back, we’ll begin in verse 1: “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?” Now how did we die to sin? By baptism, by entering into covenant with Jesus Christ. That’s how we died to sin, that we no longer live unto sin. Now let’s see how Paul explains it here, verse 3: “Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?” Now what was the death of Jesus Christ for? It was for the remission of sins. That’s why He died. And then He was raised, that through the operation of God, now with Christ at the right hand of God as our High Priest, that we may receive justification from our sins through the forgiveness that comes through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon our repentance.

Now let’s notice this a little bit more. “Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him by baptism into death…” Now let me give you the literal translation of it in the Greek, which, since we had this printing of the New Testament done we have corrected it, so you can put this in your margin. And it will now read that, “…we were buried with Him through the baptism…” because there’s only one, “…into the death…” That is, the very death that Jesus Christ took upon Himself. Now this is why we enter into covenant. When we are baptized, that is the covenant death of our old self, just like the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the covenant death to bring forgiveness of sin through His perfect sacrifice. And this, as we have seen, goes all the way back to Abraham when He made the promises to Abraham. This is the covenant death that we are conjoined to, as we will see here in just a minute.

“Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death…” All your sins have been taken and conjoined with the death of Jesus Christ, Who was the sin offering for the world, the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Now that’s a tremendous thing. This is an individual thing. This is why Jesus Christ is your personal Savior, my personal Savior. But it has to be done according to the way that God has shown, because there are many counterfeits out there in the world. And Protestantism, though it has some understanding of the Word of God, is worshiping God in the wrong way at the wrong time on the wrong day, and does not understand about baptism. Some have baptism, but they don’t understand the real meaning of baptism, and they are worshiping a false Christ. That’s to say nothing of Catholicism and the rest of the other religions in the world. Because, as we’ve already covered, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and there is no other way! That’s what it’s talking about here.

And when it comes to the forgiveness of your sins, when it comes to fighting the sin within, it must be according to God’s way. And the way that we walk after baptism is in newness of life, as he describes here: “For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection.” That is the promise – eternal life. “Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed…” Now this shows it’s a process: “…so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin…” It doesn’t say we won’t sin. We already saw where Paul said that the law of sin and death was in him. And we will see how God looks at us because that is there. But now when we have repented and have been baptized into the death of Jesus Christ, being conjoined to His death and co-crucified with Him, and receive the Holy Spirit, now then we are no longer going to be enslaved to sin, and we start the process of destroying the body of sin within.

Now verse 7: “…Because the one who has died [in water baptism] to sin has been justified from sin.” You are put in right standing with God. That’s why we are given the promise that if we confess our sins He will forgive our sins because the ongoing grace is needed, because we are overcoming the sin within. “Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God.” Now then here’s the parallel. Here’s what we need to follow: “In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Here is the key, verse 12: “Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof.”

Now with the power of the Holy Spirit of God, we don’t have to obey the sin that is within. We don’t have to yield to the lust. Now it takes time for us to grow in the grace and the power of God’s Holy Spirit to overcome. As we’ll see, it is a process. If we put sin out, we are going to see, we have to put in righteousness. And Paul tells us how to do that. Let’s continue on here in verse 13: “Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin…” Do not yield to it. Have a choice. It is a mental process. As Paul said, bringing every thought into the captivity, to the obedience of Christ. That’s how you don’t yield to it. “…Rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” That’s how we are to live. Verse 14: “For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace.”

God’s grace is there. It is like an umbrella, with God’s Spirit to give us His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, His love, and all of this. We’ll see this in just a minute. Verse 15: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE! Don’t you realize…” Now Paul is getting very specific here, and we need to understand this too: “…that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:1-16, FV). Now we can chose not to sin. When we are under temptation, it becomes difficult. But again, if we slip and fall Christ is there to help us and lift us up.

Now let’s come back to Romans 5 and let’s see our standing before God, and let’s see how this grace works in our lives. And let’s se how the process of overcoming and getting rid of the sin within takes place. This will see the starting of it. Verse 1: “Therefore, having been justified by faith…” because we believe in the sacrifice of Christ, we have been baptized, we have kept the Passover, “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” Now you can’t see it, but the lights used for this video, there are two umbrellas which reflect the light in a moderate way to light up the one who is speaking; in this case, me. And as I look at those two umbrellas, it reminds me that the grace of God that we are under is like standing under a huge umbrella, with God’s blessing, with God’s mercy, with God’s protection, with His angels about us; with access to God the Father through Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; with access to grow in grace and knowledge through the circumstances in our lives, and as we study and pray, and all of these things together.

So we stand in this grace: “…and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Because the ultimate is to be in the Kingdom of God, to attain to the resurrection of the dead. And as Paul said, that he did everything within his might and power and strength, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, to attain to the resurrection of the dead. That’s the hope of the glory of God. “And not only this…” Because if you have that goal, and you have the overall knowledge and understanding and you keep it focused in your mind that that’s where you’re headed, then you can handle the difficulties and problems which come from without as well as within. “And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations [that is, trials and difficulties], realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance…” Are you really going to obey God in all circumstances whether it is easy or whether it is difficult? That’s what it’s talking about here. “…And endurance brings forth character…” And character is what God is molding within us – His very character, His very love, to replace the sin within. “…And character brings forth hope. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5, FV). Now that’s a tremendous thing to understand.

Let’s take one more look here as how God looks at us even when we are overcoming and trying to overcome the sin within. Does God condemn us? No, as long as we repent there is no condemnation. As long as we are in Christ there is no condemnation. Now let’s come here to Romans 8:1, where Paul said that the salvation of this sin within was going to come through Jesus Christ. Now because we are human and we have the weakness of flesh, how does God look at us? Well, He doesn’t knock us down every time we sin, does He? No, but He gives us conviction of conscience that we need to repent of sin, doesn’t He? Yes.

“Consequently, there is now no condemnation…” as compared to what it was when we were still, as it were, the descendents of Adam rather than the descendents of Christ, “…to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…” You are led by the Spirit. You want to do the things of the Spirit. You want to obey God and love God with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and being. There is no condemnation to you. “Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death.” You are delivered from it. It hasn’t been removed, but you have deliverance from it. In other words, you can be saved from it. Here’s why, verse 3: “For what was impossible for the law to do…” Now let’s understand something here very important: no law can forgive any sin. Law defines sin. That’s all law can do, transgression of which results in death.

“For what was impossible for the law to do in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…” That’s why we always need to look to Jesus Christ. We always need to look to the sacrifice of Christ. Through that alone can we become unleavened; through that alone can we fight and overcome the sin within. Now notice, the reason is because when we fight the sin within and we overcome the sin within: “…In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…” (Rom. 8:1-4, FV). So that’s what God is doing here.

Now let’s see how this is done. There is a way to do it. Let’s come to Colossians 1. Now let’s see what God has provided for us, how He has provided for us, and how we need to respond to God, and what He is going to give us to enable us to overcome the sin within. And this is fantastic, brethren. This is all part of becoming converted. And conversion is a process, which takes place over a period of time and throughout our lives.

Let’s begin in Colossians 1:9: “For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…” So when we purge the old leaven out we have to put something in. What we put in is “…the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work…” Why? Because you are replacing the sin within with the Spirit of God, the characteristics of God, the love of God, the obedience of God, so that you are fruitful in every good work. Now notice: “…and growing in the knowledge of God…”

That’s what God wants us to have. That’s why we study. That’s why we pray. That’s why we have the Sabbath every week, because it is the appointed time where God places His presence so that we can learn of Him through His Word and the Holy Spirit. And that’s how we need to prepare for the Sabbath. That’s how I prepare for the Sabbath. Every single sermon that I do is new. I never go back and get any old sermon and say, “Ok, we’ll dust this off and give it.” Now we cover some of the same things, but it is all new. Because every year the circumstances have changed. Every year we have grown and overcome. Every year we still have sins left that we need to overcome. That’s why we have to be growing in the knowledge of God continuously. This is the knowledge of the Eternal God. So regardless of how long we live in the flesh we are never going to understand everything we need to learn from the Word of God about the knowledge of God, because it comes in line upon line, and precept upon precept, and through living and experiencing and falling down and asking God to pick us up and go on, and so forth.

Now verse 11: “Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light…” Now I want you to notice verse 13. This is very important, because it has to do with how God is dealing with us. “…Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness [from the control of Satan the devil] and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love…” Now then we are under the jurisdiction of God the Father and Jesus Christ, Who is the King, Who is going to bring the kingdom when He comes, and we will become part of that Kingdom of God with an inheritance when Christ returns.

Now notice verse 14: “…In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins…” Now that is something. And then he shows how that Christ is greater than all, above all. And through all of this, then, here is what God wants to do with us. Let’s come down to verse 20: “…And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven. For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; but now He has reconciled you…” We can overcome the sin within. That’s what we need to understand. With the very mind of Christ, as he says here in just a minute which we will see. But now, it says here: “…In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unimpeachable before Him; if [there’s always an ‘if’] indeed you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was proclaimed in all the creation that is under heaven; of which I, Paul, became a servant.”

Then he says here in verse 26: “…even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints…” Now if you understand what we’re talking about here, it is a special revelation that God gives through His Holy Spirit and His Word so that we understand the great and grand and glorious plan of God. “…To whom God did will [by God’s will, by God’s calling] to make known [to you, to me, to all that He calls] what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (Col. 1:9-14, 20-23, 26-27, FV). So what God is going to do in getting rid of the sin within is to replace it with Christ in us. And as Paul says in Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…” Now we’ll see how we do that in just a minute.

Let’s come to Hebrews 12:1, and let’s see how we combat and fight the sin within. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight [every care, every problem, every difficulty, everything that comes along to cause us difficulties and problems] and the sin that so easily entraps us [that’s the sin within]; and let us run the race set before us with endurance…” And here’s how to do it. This is why we pray every day. This is why we study every day. This is why Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. This is why we are told to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Here’s how we overcome the sin within: “…Having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith…” And look at His example for what He did for us. Look at what He endured for us. Look at what He went through for us: “…Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross, although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” as our High Priest, as our Intercessor.

Verse 3: “Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds.” Give up. You say, “Oh, it’s too hard. Oh, God expects too much.” Verse 4: “You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin” (Heb. 12:1-4, FV).

Now let’s come back to Colossians 3, and we will see how to get rid of the sin within. You have to repent and put it out, you have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and you have to let God put His character in you through the power of His Holy Spirit. That’s why it says, “Purge out the old leaven.” Get rid of the old sin. Yes, absolutely. But we are now to put in the righteousness of Christ. And that’s what Colossians 3 is all about. So let’s go there and begin right in verse 1.

“Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ [that is, through the operation of baptism, as we saw in Romans 6], seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth.” God will take care of all those things for us, won’t He? What did Jesus say? He said, “Don’t be anxious about what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear, where you’re going to live,” and all these things. If you are setting your affections on the things that are above God will bless you, God will open the door; God will provide, provided you get out there and do the work that God expects you to do in your life. And He will.

It’s like the old saying, a person is looking for a job and he sits home waiting for it to come to him. It won’t come to him. He has to go get it. So likewise, if we are going to grow in grace and knowledge, and overcome in character, we have to go out and there do something. We have to not only repent of the sin within, but we have to put in the character of God to replace it so that we have the mind of Christ, that we can love God and do the things that He wants.

Verse 3: “For you have died, and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory.” Here’s what we are to do: “Therefore, put to death [by seeing and recognizing the sin within] your members which are on earth—sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience [See, we are to be the children of obedience], among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things.” We are to put those things completely away. Now today we have to fight radio, television, advertisements, movies; even walking through the checkout stand is almost like going through a semi-pornography experience when you see all of the stuff that is there. We have to put all of that out, not be tempted by any of those things. So we put them out.

Then he says here in verse 8: “But now, you should also put off all these things…” Changing bad character to good character. Getting rid of the sin within and putting righteousness within. So put off, put out, purge out: “…wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds [because the old man was buried in baptism], and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him…” (Col. 3:1-10, FV). So it is renewal. Let your mind be renewed.

Hold your place here and turn to Romans 12 and let’s see what Paul wrote to them about renewing. Because getting rid of the sin within with the conversion and character of God is having our minds renewed and transformed by the Spirit of God and the character things that he’s talking about here in Colossians 3. Now Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2 (FV): “I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God.” Now that’s how we do it. So he defines it back here in Colossians 3 a little more, how we need to put these things out.

So whatever your problems are – now if you want to make a list, that’s ok. But if you make a list of the problems and you forget them and don’t work on them, your list doesn’t do you any good. It’s just like an 8-hour seminar that we had one time. A man came in and said, “Here’s how you organize it. You organize it Priority A, Priority B, Priority C. And when you get done with Priority A, you move up a Priority B to A, and a C to B, and so forth.” Then he got all done after the 8 hours and he says, “Now I want to tell you a secret.” He says, “If you are motivated and you are focused on what you are doing, you won’t need anything that I have told you in this 8 hours because you will automatically do it.” And so we could apply this to what we have here in putting off the old man and being renewed.

Now notice, let’s read Colossians 3:10 again: “…And have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge…” It’s a constant process, from the day of conversion to the day of our death in faith. “…According to the image of Him Who created him…” We are being created in the image of Christ from within, the very mind of Christ – Christ in us, the hope of glory. Now verse 12: “Put on then, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering…” These are all the characteristics of God and His love. Now it’s hard in the world that we are living in, but it can be done. “…Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another…”

And that’s a very key thing. Jesus said, “If you don’t forgive your brother, God is not going to forgive you your sins.” That’s why we need to be forgiving one another. “…If anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Col. 3:10, 12, FV). That is the goal. We are to have the love of God deeply in us to guide us, to lead us, to help us. And we can overcome the sin within. And we can have it put away from us through repentance and prayer, and the cleansing and washing of the Holy Spirit of God, and the washing of the Word of God, so that Christ is created in us and we become a new man, a new woman, created in Christ Jesus.

Now there’s something else we need to do. I mentioned it here just a little bit earlier. Let’s pick it up in Philippians 3:8. When we are overcoming the sin within we need to put it away from us. We need to ask God to give us the righteousness of Christ and to put it away from us. Now let’s begin in Philippians 3:8: “But then truly [Paul is recounting here], I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung; that I may gain Christ…” Whatever it was in the world, what can that be compared to, to being a spirit-born son or daughter of God living in the Kingdom of God and having eternal life? It’s nothing but “…dung; that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is derived from law, but that righteous-ness which is by the faith of Christ [changing the sin within] — the righteousness of God that is based on faith…”

Now notice how Paul is applying to himself the same thing that we just read – focusing his mind on Christ, verse 10: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead…” It’s a process. That is the goal. He didn’t say, “Brethren, I already have it made. Now the rest of you down there, you better get with it.” He didn’t say that at all. He says: “…not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving, so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do…” And this is the most important thing of overcoming the sin within: “…forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” That is what we are to do.

Now notice verse 15: “So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you” (Phil. 3:8-15, FV). That’s why you recognize and see the sin within – God is revealing it to you so you can purge it out, so you can put in the character of God, so you can become like Christ. And that’s what Jesus meant when He said that we are to become as perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. And Paul has shown the way. That’s how we overcome the sin within.


Unleavened Bread – Day 1 – 2005

Scriptural Reference

  • Exodus 12:15-18
  • Leviticus 23:4-8
  • Deuteronomy 16:16-17
  • I Corinthians 5:6-8
  • Acts 3:19
  • Isaiah 55:6
  • Romans 3:9-19, 23-26, 31
  • Romans 5:6-11
  • Mark 7:21-23
  • Romans 5:12-17
  • Romans 7:7-21, 23-25
  • Romans 6:1-16
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Colossians 1:9-14, 20-23, 26-27
  • Philippians 2:5
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • Colossians 3:1-10, 12
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Philippians 3:8-15

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