Fred R. Coulter—February 15, 2014

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We have covered about being called; now we will cover about being chosen! Faithful means that you're faithful to the end!

Those Not Chosen:

They don't answer the call! All of those who do not answer the call are not chosen. Yet, every one of us has some kind of relationship with God as detached as it may be.

Even those who reject God still God gives them life, food, etc. This is something that we did not come to until just recently, which is provoked by this verse; here is the key and this is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. This verse is what is thrown at people who want to love God and keep His commandments; and they tell you, 'If you want to keep the commandments, you are under law! WRONG!

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace." What does it mean to be under law? Not the penalty, because then you would have to have a penalty of grace. The way it was explained in the past was that if you're under law you're under the penalty of the law. NO! Not true!

Every human being in the world is under law to God! Every human being! Only those who have been chosen are under grace! It's been right here in the Bible all the time.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know law), that the law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?" Because in God we live, move and have our being! Whether saint or sinner—whatever!

We function by law! How do they know if you're healthy? By the law of how your heart is beating, what your temperature is and so forth. When you are sick you are violating the physical laws in your body, whether vicariously because someone else brought it to you, or you have done something you shouldn't do and you get sick.

You have to breathe, you're under law! You have to breathe so much, you have to breathe so deep; same way with eating; same way with the whole bodily processes that we have. We're all subject to the law of gravity; to the law of the atmosphere around us; to heat and cold; all of those function by the different laws of God. Those who are under law include everyone in the world! Everyone!

Romans 3 gives us some very important things to understand, then we will talk about what it means to be under grace.

Romans 3:1: "What then is the advantage of the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way. Primarily, in that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (vs 1-2). Here is the law and principle: Anyone who has the Word of God is responsible for it.

What did Judaism do? They overlaid it with their oral traditions, claiming they came from Moses, but they did not!

Verse 3: "For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?" No! God is always true, all the time! You can count on His Word! There is not one lie in the Word of God. The lies come from carnal-minded men who want a different interpretation or result. You can always try this, this is the classic one:

  • Do all the 'religionists' who profess to be Christian know which day is Sunday and which day is the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Do they not also all admit that Saturday is the Sabbath? Yes!
  • Are they faithful? No!

No one belief of any man is going to affect God. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes: In the place of judgment I saw wickedness. In the kings court there was wickedness there. Those are place where you would think would not be wickedness. Because there is, does that nullify God's Word? Same way with the Protestants; same way with the Catholics; same way with any other religion in the world.

However—and this is interesting—doesn't every human being have an opinion about God:

  • whether He exists or doesn't exist
  • whether He's true or not true
  • whether He's faithful or not faithful

After all, how can you believe God when you see all the hypocrisy of the ministers and the pedophilia of the priests? Paul answers that question:

Verse 4: "MAY IT NEVER BE!…." God is always faithful and true! Do they eventually pay for their sins? Yes! Why? Because all are under law! Sooner or later!

"…Rather, let God be true but every man a liar, exactly as it is written…" (v 4). What does it tell us about the human heart? The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!

Sidebar: I was watching the National Geographic Channel and it had to do with mind-tricks. What they were talking about was how human beings lie. They lie to themselves and to others. People think that if you look at someone right in the eye you can tell if they're lying or not. But con men really, really know how to never be detected until it's too late, after he's already spent your $100,000! Watch American Greed!

Then it showed a man who shuffled cards and then mixed them up and had a person pick on and hold it, and then he would ask them questions to find out which card they had, and he always got it right because he knew how to look at people's faces and know—there are different things that different people do—that they have certain reaction when they lie. He would know which card, because he would call the number and kind of card, and then they said, 'No.' One girl, every time she told a lie, pursed her lips. Different people have different things.

Then it said, 'What about babies and children? What did you do automatically when you were caught doing something wrong when you were a wee, little tyke? You lied! I did! You've heard me tell the story when I found out there was no Santa Claus, and I told my mom that was a lie, and she said, 'That's a white lie.' But I got switched! So, every man is a liar!

Back to babies: What they did is showed two month-old babies. They can't speak but they can still lie, because they will cry like they are hungry and you run to feed them, and they don't want to be fed, but they want to be held. So, the carnal mind is working already, before they can even talk! That blew me away!

They also ran a test where they had a big chocolate cake with lots of goodies on it, and thick, gooey fudge frosting. They would bring a child in there and say, 'You're not to touch it! You're not to eat anything!' (About four-years-old). 'I'm going to go away for 20 minutes and when I come back if you haven't eaten anything or touched it, you will get a prize.' They had the camera running the whole time. Here is the kid looking at the cake, and reach out and get a little frosting or a crumb, and one of the boys took his finger and ran it around the bottom where the frosting is and ate it.

After 20 minutes he came in asked the boy, 'Did you eat anything?' Nope! 'Did you touch anything?' Nope! Well, after he was shown what he did, he admitted that it was true.

"…let God be true but every man a liar… [from birth] …exactly as it is written, 'That You might be justified in Your words, and might overcome when You are being judged by men'" (v 4). That's what it means in the Greek, because it's present tense passive—you are being judged. Everyone has a judgment concerning God!

Verse 5: "But if our unrighteousness brings to reality God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous to inflict His wrath?…." You lie, you're going to get caught! You murder, you're going to prison! God put the authorities there to take care of it, because He knows how bad human beings are. So, when those institutions become lawless, like we have today where the lawless make the laws, criminality rules! Sound like Washington, DLC—District of Liars and Corruption!

Paul said, "…(I am speaking according to man's view.)" (v 5). That's why when I first read the book of Job, I really, for a short time, that God was wrong. Look at how good Job was. Later I learned that everything that Job did that was right was because it came from God. It is God's righteousness in him and not his righteousness equal to or greater than God's. That's what God met Job in the whirlwind and said, 'Job, come here!' Job got his wish, God spoke to him.

Verse 6: "MAY IT NEVER BE! Otherwise, how shall God judge the world?" He judges every individual automatically by His laws, because all are under law; under law for your behavior; whether you believe God, know God or anything else, you're still under law to God! You're under law to all the environmental laws that God gave. Take away oxygen and you're done! So, under law means that your relationship with God is under law! Then what does He do?

Verse 9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better?…. [Jews or Gentiles? No!] Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin." Where there is no law there is no sin, so all are under law. It's been told in the past that if you're under law, you're keeping the commandments of God. Not so! Even if you keep the commandments of God in the letter, you are still under law to God because you're not converted. Being under grace puts you in an entirely different category. That's what we need to understand. So, all these religious arguments all fall by the wayside.

Verse 10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one!'" Not even Job! Then it lists everything that they do. It's just like watching the news.

Verse 11: "There is not one who understands…"

  • We wonder why all these things are happening.
  • We wonder why we have bad weather.
  • We wonder why the Muslims are always mad and blowing up people.
  • We wonder why these people bring in heroin, cocaine and pot.

Since it's so bad let's all go to pot and smoke pot and say it's just fine.

"…there is not one who seeks after God" (v 11). I made a mistake recently. I came into the bank one day just before Halloween and here they had all these skeletons, big cobwebs, then there were certain things put up along where you go into make deposits and cash checks and things like that. I was looking at all of that and did a foolish thing, but it was profitable. I said to the gal, 'What if these things offend me?' Just that little simple thing! I didn't say, 'Woman, stand back, the wrath of God is going to come down and destroy you, because this is from Satan the devil.'

I just asked a simple question: What if this offends me? She said, 'Oh, it's all for fun!' She was a nice lady; one of the teller supervisors, well dressed, decent looking, nothing licentious by any of her clothes or anything. She would be thought of in the world as a wonderful, nice woman. But look at how they've been so condition to accept sin and deception. So, I said to myself: Fred, that's the last time you're ever going to do that! Because I don't want them, if I go in to cash a check, to say, 'Sorry about that, we're not going to cash your checks.'

Verse 12: "They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one!" And if they do, very few are going to be pure hearted in it. Look at all the charities that supposedly do 'good.' Think of the half island where there is Haiti. One side you have the Dominican Republic. In Haiti they have witchcraft woven into their Catholicism. They are deeply involved in it.

They had a big earthquake and they get hurricanes, and they're always needing money. With the last hurricane, $4-billion went into that little area, but they still have not got it fixed, because of corruption!

There's not one that does 'good.' If they do good over here, then they've got a sin over there. Human beings are that way. That's what it means to be under law!

Verse 13: "Their throats are like an open grave… [sounds like a politician] …with their tongues they have used deceit… [no, we're honest people] …the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; 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. Now then, we know that whatever the law says…" (vs 13-19). All the laws of God. Let's count all the laws of creation, living and everything together.

"…it speaks to those who are under the law… that's everyone] …so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (v 19).

Being chosen by God does not make you 'religious'; because God's way is a way of life. Does every 'religion' have certain things you need to do if you do something bad? Yes! Even the Old Covenant, they had works they had to do, sacrifices they had to offer. Same way with Judaism!

So, the phrase works of law here means any work that anyone would do to try and justify themselves! In the book Judaism, in the back are some of the laws of Judaism. Ask yourself: Would you keep these? The Jews keep them because they think that makes them right with God. But it doesn't because their hearts are not converted.

All 'religion' is a substitute so that people can appear to be 'good,' but conversion is entirely different! Completely different! That's why people get disgusted with churches.

I just got a report of a man who says, 'Abandon all churches; the ship is sinking!'—referring to Protestantism and so forth. It's also phony! He says, 'Stay home and read your Bible.' We've got Church at Home (churchathome.org)—hello!

Works of Law:

Verse 20: "Therefore, by works of law…"—any law. Is Sunday-keeping a work of law of men? Yes, indeed! Sabbath is what God asks you to do. Are there people who keep the Sabbath, but are not converted? Yes! Every Orthodox Jew! Every work of law that they do does not justify them to God! Why? That's the question! Why?

"…There shall no flesh be justified before Him; for through the law is the knowledge of sin" (v 20). How does a person become justified?

  • You must first repent!
  • You must answer the call!
  • God's Spirit will work with you!

That's important to understand. There may be lots of people out there that one of the seven spirits is keeping track of. Will they turn to God? Will they not turn to God? God wants to know! If they don't, then it goes. If they do want to turn to God, then God begins to draw them (John 6:44). God the Father—the Sovereign of the Universe—begins to draw you! Now you must follow through with that.

  • you're not just dealing with men
  • you're not just dealing with ministers
  • you're not dealing with a church
  • you're not dealing with religion

In this case:

  • you're dealing with God Himself

He becomes personally involved in your life. He expects you to keep coming. Some people take longer than others. We don't know how long one of the seven spirits of God is going to be working with a person. Then they must be brought to repentance.

The Action of Grace:

Grace is like a huge umbrella over your life, from which comes:

  • the love God
  • the mercy of God
  • the forgiveness of sin
  • the understanding of His Word
  • the understanding of His commandments

Sidebar: How many have heard the song: Alone, Yet, Not Alone? The woman who is a paraplegic, it's quite a song! The woman who wrote and sung the song is a paraplegic, in a wheelchair and there was a song to God: Alone, Yet, Not Alone! It's kind of the story of her life. God honors that kind of thing when people do that. It's very inspiring. Whether she will eventually be converted or not, I do not know, but she certainly is for Jesus. Will there be certain blessings come for being for Jesus? Of course! But those blessings are not necessarily evidence of conversion.

Evidence of conversion is first a broken heart and a contrite spirit! Then repentance toward God and understanding the vileness of your own human nature, and that you know how awful that is before God. God in drawing you has convicted you!

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" God calls you to that.

  • You begin to see how evil and vile your sins are.
  • You begin to understand that only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can cover those sins.

Why only His? Because He's the Creator of mankind! He created us in His image so that we can come to Him and He can come to us in the flesh. It's all wrapped up in that.

  • this is greater than going to church
  • this is greater than professing 'I believe in Jesus'

Verse 5: "But you, according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart, are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment, who will render to each one according to his own works" (vs 5-6). And He gave it on a continuous basis.

Verse 7: "On the one hand, to those who with patient endurance in good works are seeking glory and honor and immortality—eternal life." Called and chosen!

Verse 8: "On the other hand, to those who are contentious and who disobey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish—upon every soul of man who works out evil, both of the Jew first, and of the Greek" (vs 8-9). Amazing! Happens automatically!

What happens when you come to that point of repentance? God leads you to repentance! When, before God led you to repentance, did you ever think of yourself as being an evil, rotten, vile person? Never! You probably thought you were pretty good, especially when you compared yourself with other people. And you always chose the ones who were less than you, to make you look better, because you have a deceitful mind! Isn't that correct? Yes, that's just the way it is! Those who are better than you, you find fault with.

All of that is carnal human nature! So, when you come to repentance, you repent of sin and sin is the transgression of the Law. So, you must stop sinning, and those things you know you are sinning in. It's going to take more in conversion, after you're converted, before you really come to the deep conviction of how evil the human mind is. But God reveals that to us a bit at a time. He doesn't tell us everything all at once, because it would be so hard to take!

Verse 13: "Because the hearers of the law are not just before God… [Everyone knows something about God. What happens when you repent?]: …but the doers of the law shall be justified." So, you have to start keeping the laws of God.

What is justification? To be put in right standing with God, having your sins forgiven! Remember: that is the start!

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When Joni Eareckson-Tada was a teenager she dove in a pool with shallow or no water and she became a paraplegic. But she's overcome all of that, and being in this type of situation, you are alone. So, the song has a lot of feeling in it.

{find the song on U-Tube} Song is played on the video of this sermon (cbcg.org) the lyrics:

I'm alone, yet not alone.
God's the light that will guide me home.
With His love and tenderness,
Leading through the wilderness,
And wherever I may roam,
I'm alone, yet, not alone.

I will not be bent in fear.
He's the refuge I know is near.
In His strength I find my own.
By His faithful mercies shown.
That so mighty is His shield
All His love is now revealed.
When my steps are lost.
And desperate for a guide,
I can feel his touch,
A soothing presence by my side.
Alone, yet, not alone.

Not forsaken when on my own.
I can lean upon His arm,
And be lifted up from harm.
If I stumble, or if I'm thrown,
I'm alone, yet, not alone.

When my steps are lost.
And desperate for a guide
I can feel his touch,
A soothing presence by my side.
By my side!
He has bound me with His love,
Watchful angels look from above.
Every evil can be braved,
For I know I will be saved.
Never frightened on my own,
I'm alone, yet, not alone.
I'm alone, yet, not alone.

I think this is a good example of people who are for Jesus; not converted, but who live decent lives and God honors that. Who knows whether someone like that will eventually be converted or not. There has to be a good number of those people today—don't you think.

Revelation tells us that 144,000 and a great innumerable multitude are converted during the Tribulation. Many of the people who are in categories like that will end up being part of the 144,000 and great innumerable multitude.

When Joni was singing it, because she has restricted use of her lungs, her husband was pushing on her diaphragm so she could hit the high notes. A wonderful song! Isn't it amazing that we can tune in on something like that, and anybody in the world can? Yes, indeed!

That's why I said when we began that I believe firmly that God has granted this technology to be used to warn the world, as a witness! There will be many voices going out causing it to be done. We need to do our part. Anyone else who is going to do it needs to do their part. As long as they preach what is true, it is going to be effective.

It may not lead to mass conversions, but God isn't going to do one thing until He has warned this world! the reason being is that what is going to happen is going to be so absolutely catastrophic and worldwide, and of such a magnitude that unless there was a warning… And God is always fair and gives a warning. He's going to make sure that everyone hears:

  • whether they believe
  • whether they fear
  • whether they reject it
  • whether they shake their fist at God

or not!

I think we're going to see a great deal of preaching of the Gospel that everyone who knows the Truth needs to preach it, whatever of the Truth they know, they need to preach it.

Being Under Grace:

Let's see the dividing line about those who are under grace truly vs those who are under law. The whole world is under law. Let's see what made it possible. We find that it is through Jesus, because God's whole plan is so great! Think about it!

Let's go back in time; put yourself in a position of Abraham when God told him that he was going to have a son. He told Abraham at night, and took him out and said, 'Number the starts if you're able to count them.' He'd look up there and see the stars, and of course, that was an amazing thing just standing there at night to watch the stars. God said, 'So shall your seed be.' That means the completion of God's plan with all the spiritual children.

Think of what it is today. We can download pictures of galaxies 13-billion-years-old. We can see them in great detail. Is that not a witness of God? Yes, indeed!

All of that centers around God's plan and comes down to Jesus Christ. In order to carry this out, the Creator God—the Lord God of the Old Testament—became Jesus Christ and became a man, for the very purpose of going through what He did to redeem mankind. That shows the love of the Father, because He gave the Son. It shows the love of the Son, because He was willing to do it. He laid down His life! He knew everything that was going to transpire, because He gave all the prophecies that describe what it was going to be like.

Hebrews 2:9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death…" There could be no greater death than God in the flesh. None! And only His death, because He was the Creator, would be the sacrifice to pay for the sins of those who repent, which will be nearly all of mankind.

"…in order that by the grace of God…" (v 9)—a very important, the most profound thing that we can experience in our lives. That

"…by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9). That is fantastic! Then it says that He was made flesh and blood for that very purpose.

Let's see how Paul describes it. Remember this, that everything from Rom. 2-8 talks about:

  • repentance
  • forgiveness
  • the grace of God'
  • the justification of God

But here is the focal point:

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound?" Think of this: We do have the blessing, privilege and opportunity to come to God at anytime we do sin, and repent and have those sins forgiven. But, we don't go out and sin and come back and say, 'God, forgive me.'

How can bad can your sin be? Look at the sin of David with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite, her husband! Pretty terrible!

Verse 2: "MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin…" That's what it is. We died to sin as the motivation of our lives, because our lives are literally—without God's Spirit—walking sin, all originating in the mind, carried out in action by what we do. If not carried out in action, it's still in our mind.

  • What is God's answer to sin?
  • What must be changed?
  • The mind and the heart!

Verse 3: "Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into… [the Greek word is 'eis—movement into] …Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?"

That's why Paul said that 'when sin revived, I died.' He died to sin! He died in baptism! The covenant that we have with God is so profound, because God the Father—the Sovereign of the universe—is dealing in our lives. We have to make an absolute covenant commitment to God that entails our lives, everything about it.

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism… [it's not just a ritual; it is the baptism applied to each and every one of us when we are baptized] …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."

Here's what happens when we're baptized. God does this spiritually, and there is meaning in it, because after baptism God gives the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands. That comes directly from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 5: "For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death…" That's what baptism symbolizes. You are joined into the death of Christ. What does that mean? That means that His death is personally applied to everyone who repents and is baptized, personally applied to you, me and all of those who come to that repentance and baptism!

Here's the promise, the other end of it; remember God told Abraham to 'count the stars if you're able to number them.'

"…so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (v 5)—eternal life! It's not a 'religion' that you discipline yourself and make yourself better. It is for eternal life and God's Spirit in us:

  • leads us
  • guides us

God

  • deals with us
  • corrects us
  • forgives us

We go though many difficult things just like the song, Alone, Yet, Not Alone. Here's what it is; now what do we do?

Verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed…" It's not BANG! it's over and done instantly and everything is fine, nothing to do. No! You have to 'walk in newness of life'; your life has to be changed! The law of sin and death in you, especially the law of sin now, must be overcome within by the Spirit of God.

The body of sin is in the mind, "…so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin" (v 6). If you're enslaved, you are ruled over! If you are under law and sin, sin rules over you!

Some people go to greater extremes than others. Remember the man who kidnapped these three women in Cleveland and kept them there as sex-slaves. One child out it survived, but the kidnapper even caused one child to die by beating on the mother's belly. None of the neighbors knew. He was so good at his pretense that everyone thought he was a 'good' man. They didn't understand the depravity of his mind and what he was doing. He finally got caught and was sentenced, and he hung himself in prison. Some may question if that was his doing, or someone else's doing, but nevertheless, since men would not execute what God says to execute, He had it done because it was so awful.

That is what you might say an awful, but very instructive thing about how awful the human mind is; the evil is always there!

Here's what God does:

  • you bury the old sinful self in the watery grave
  • God conjoins you to the sacrifice of Christ and His death
  • His blood forgives your sins
  • God wipes them away and puts them as far as the east is from the west

However, your commitment in that baptism is so great that you know that it is a death sentence, because 'the wages of sin is death.' But you've been raised out of the watery grave. If you were held under the water, you literally would die.

Verse 7: "Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin." That's why you make that covenant commitment to God, and you know it cost your life. In exchange for that, God:

  • forgives your sins
  • gives you His Holy Spirit
  • you walk in newness of life

now you have the work of:

  • growing
  • changing
  • overcoming
  • having your mind become spiritual instead of carnal

It is a task of overcoming. That's what Rom. 7 is all about. Notice the promise here:

  • "…be in the likeness of His resurrection" (v 5)
  • "…no longer be enslaved to sin" (v 6)
  • "…died to sin has been justified from sin" (v 7)

Verse 8: "Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him… [eternal life] …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…. [His one sacrifice was the one sacrifice for all] …but in that He lives, He lives unto God" (vs 8-10).

Notice what we should do, because when you start, the start is not the finish.

Verse 11: "In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin…" You're no longer going to scheming and thinking sin, practicing, carry it out, whatever it may be.

"…but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord" (v 11). So, then our lives revolve around God the Father and Jesus Christ. We are in Them! That's why we have prayer everyday, because we're talking to God. We study the Word of God so God is talking to us. God's Spirit leads us!

Note sermon series: How to Use the Holy Spirit. It tells you how to get the Holy Spirit and then how to use the Holy Spirit of God. How does it work in your life? It will! God is alive!. His Spirit is power!

  • It is to lead us!
  • It is to guide us!
  • We are to grow in grace and in knowledge!

We grow in the knowledge of God, we understand the greatness of God's grace for us, and His plan for us more so than when we first believed.

Verse 12: "Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof." How do you do that?

Think about this whenever sin comes along. Sin is still going to originate in your mind, because you still have the law of sin there. But God has given you the power to overcome it. Sin is going to come from the world through seeing or hearing. Sin is going to come from other people. But we are not going to let it invade our lives that we obey it. Here is what James says concerning sin:

James 1:13: "Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God,' because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil." He sets before us choices: life and death, blessing and cursing.

Notice the process of sin, and this is the key: When you learn how to cut short this development by prayer, or rejecting the thought, or walking away from the situation—whatever it may be—let's see how sin comes about:

Verse 14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust." DING! 'That's a good idea.' Have you ever had that happen? Now then, it progresses:

Verse 15: "And after lust has conceived…" there is thought about it, there is mulling over the situation, thinking about what you're going to do.

"…it gives birth to sin; and sin…" (v 15). So, at any point along the line you can cut it off, resist the temptation, get it out of your mind. You can put it down and not do it anymore.
There are a lot of people—in fact, millions—who are hooked to pornography. What is the first thing they need to do to stop that sin? Don't go to that website! Don't look at the pornography magazines in the supermarket, because they're there. All of the magazines designed for women are right at the checkout counter. Resist! Don't get tempted!

I had someone write me and say, 'I just keep giving in to watching this pornography, and I know I get myself in trouble and in trouble with God. What do I do?'

I said, 'Don't go to that channel or website! Don't turn it on!' That's the first step, because if you turn it on, you just say, 'I'll just be a few minutes.' Then it ends up being hours, and then you end up with your mind all messed up with all of the pornography traveling around in your mind at high speed.

  • If you're tempted, put it down! Don't get enticed and carried away!
  • If you do, don't let lust conceive!
  • If it does conceive, even at the last minute, STOP!

Let's apply this to David and Bathsheba—both were involved—but God holds David accountable.

  • Did she know her husband was gone? Yes, he was out to battle!
  • Did she know where the king's porch was on top of his roof? Yes!
  • Where did she put her bath? Well, right down below the king's porch!

So, she had her part. David has his part: He looked down there and saw her and said, 'Who is that?' He sent one of his servants to get her. David could have said, 'Oh no, that's some other man's wife. Hey, I'm going to get away from here.' NO!

When the servant came he said, 'The king has invited you.' She could have said, 'I am sorry, my husband is out battling, and tell the king that I appreciate the invitation, but I think it's best that I stay home.' NO! She came! And she came to him!

At that age in life you know what is going to take place, so sin conceived, and in this case, she did conceive. Big trouble! So, let's have another scheme. 'We're going to cover it up. Bring Uriah the Hittite here.' And Uriah, I'm sure, said, 'I wonder why the king wants me?' So, David fed him and got him drunk and said, 'Go home and be with your wife.' Uriah said, 'No, I can't do that because my troops are out in the field.' So, the only one who was righteous in it was Uriah.

You know the rest of the story. David thought that after Uriah died, that everything would work out. What happened? God sent Nathan the prophet, and he said, 'You are the man.' It shows the process of sin! How do we overcome? That's what it's all about. So, when the temptation comes along:

Romans 6:12: "Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof…. [You cut it short!] …Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (vs 12-13). That is the solution to it. It's a personal thing between you and God, because

  • God has given you the Holy Spirit
  • He has given you the opportunity to have your sins forgiven
  • He has given you the power of His Holy Spirit to overcome

But you have to exercise those choices.

God isn't going to come down and do it for you, because He wants you to exercise yourself to righteousness. He wants you to put down all the thoughts of vanity and sin by bringing every thought into captivity to Christ. That's accomplished by prayer, repentance and yielding to God.

Verse 13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For… [in the world this cannot happen]: sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law…" (vs 13-14)—as all the rest of the people are; this has nothing to do with commandment-keeping. Keeping the commandments of God is the love of God. We are to be perfected in the love of God (1-John 1-5).

"…but under grace" (v 13)—meaning:

  • you've been justified
  • you've been baptized
  • you have the Holy Spirit of God
  • He has given you the tools to overcome so it doesn't rule

It doesn't say it won't happen, because some people—after they're baptized—wonder why they still have this thought. Well, it's because you need to repent of it. You need to do the things to get it out of your mind.

That's overcoming. That is only accomplished by grace! How does the world try to overcome sin? like the sin of addiction? Well, if you're addicted to heroin you take whatever it is—methadone—but they don't stop. You can overcome and stop sin with God's Spirit and with His laws written in your heart and mind! That is a process! That's what it's talking about here.

Verse 15: "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE! Don't you realize 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?" (vs 15-16). That shows the fight that is there.

All of those who are under grace are directly under the sovereignty of God the Father and Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit. Collectively, when we come together, we are individual members of the Church. The Church does not make us righteous! God with His Spirit makes us righteous! Assembling together on the Sabbath to learn the Word of God is an important thing because God puts His presence in the Sabbath Day, His presence is in the Bible, and when we come together, with the Spirit of God, then it becomes a tremendous event for the week.

  • God is here fellowshipping with us!
  • We are fellowshipping with God!
  • His Word is teaching us!
  • We're listening to it!
  • We're following it!

Every Sabbath we have something that is going to take place. Just like the song: Alone, Yet, Not Alone!

Remember the letter I wrote about the Holy Spirit of God; God the Father and Christ making Their abode in us! In our minds and hearts! That's under grace!

  • God isn't going to do that for people out in the world actively sinning
  • God isn't going to do that for people out in the world who are do-gooders

Doing 'good' doesn't change the heart. You may be doing 'good,' but you're not converted.

That's what it means to be under grace! You are directly under God the Father and Jesus Christ, because you have the Spirit of God, which the two components of the Spirit of God are:

  • begettal by the Father
  • Spirit of Christ

In your mind and in your heart!

Growing, changing and overcoming and all of those sort things are part of becoming more converted, developing the character of God and awaiting the resurrection.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 6:14
  • Romans 7:1
  • Romans 3:1-6, 9-20
  • Romans 2:4-9, 13
  • Hebrews 2:9
  • Romans 6:1-12
  • James 1:13-15
  • Romans 6:12-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 6:44
  • Romans 2-8
  • 1-John 1-5

Also referenced:

Song: Alone, Yet, Not Alone by Joni Eareckson-Tada

Sermon Series: How to Use the Holy Spirit

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6-1-14

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