Chapters 7:12-8:17—Spiritual Growth

Fred R. Coulter—June 7, 1997

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We're now in Romans 7, and I want to review just a little bit and then what I want to do is finish Rom. 8, and then the rest of Romans begins to fit into the Feast days, a whole different application of things.

Romans 7:12: "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?…." (vs 12-13). How is something that is Holy and righteous and good produce death?

Verse  14): "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin."

Why is that something so that good points out death? That was a problem. The reason is that the Law shows what sin is, and the transgression of the Law is sin, and the wages of sin is death. Is not God's judgment Holy, righteous, true and good? Yes! Is that not also true of judging sinners? Yes!

God's judgment—even the seven last plagues—because He's executing His judgment against gross sin and rebellion:

Revelation 16:2: "And the first angel went and poured out his vial onto the earth; and an evil and grievous sore fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who were worshiping his image. And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers, and into the fountains of waters; and they became blood" (vs 2-4).

Verse 5: "Then I heard the angel of the waters say, 'You are righteous, O Lord, Who are, and Who was, even the Holy One, in that You have executed this judgment. For they have poured out the blood of saints and of prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.' And I heard another voice from the altar say, 'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments'" (vs 5-7).

He was judging them because of their gross sins. It talks about Babylon whose sins have 'reached up into heaven.' So, you have that the commandments are Holy, right and good and they judge right from wrong. If you're on the sinning side of the ledger it is unto death. If you're on the righteous side of the ledger it is life. Since you have in your member the law of sin and death it ends up being sin for you once the consciousness—that God brings out to you concerning sin—really comes to your understanding.

Romans 7:13: "Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." Here is the reason: It is to point out the need for grace! That's why it's Holy righteous, just and good.

"…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" (v 13).

In other words, you know what sin really is. It gets back to the whole thing concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread; a little leaven leavens the whole lump. When you begin to find out how exceedingly sinful sin is, you begin to understand even the thoughts in your mind, and that's where sin originates, in your mind! If you didn't have a mind you wouldn't sin. You could just be a robot; anybody want to be a robot? 'How exceedingly sinful sin is,' that's the whole purpose of it.

Verse 14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual…"—which means it's always operating because it is spiritual. It does not matter, God is no respecter of persons. What did he talk about in the application of blessings or in the application of punishment? (Rom. 2) It's spiritual! It's living!

"…but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin" (v 14). What God wants done with this—which did not happen until the coming of the Holy Spirit; until God was revealing this to the apostles, especially to the Apostle Paul—is the way you overcome sin is to understand it when it begins in the mind. That's what this is leading to:

  • to a conviction of how wrong sin is
  • to a conviction that you have been sold unto sin
  • to a conviction that you need the righteousness of God

You cannot produce it yourself, but it must be imputed to you. That's why!

Here's what else happens, v 15: "Because what I am working out myself, I do not know…." Have you ever done things and then after it's all done you ask yourself: Why did I do that? And you can't give an answer, because it was of and by yourself, from within.
"…For what I do not desire to do, this I do…" (v 15). People don't want to sin. Some people do; they end up being the incorrigible, unless they repent.

So, here is this paradox: "…moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (v 15). What is one of the things that you begin to see? One of the worst sins that happens is that you begin to judge other people's minds and hearts! You can see by the fruits that there is evil there. That's what happens. God wants you to judge yourself! God wants you to see what you are doing!

Verse 16: "…I agree with the Law that it is good…. [absolutely good and righteous and Holy] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me" (vs 16-17). What he's building up to is the definition of the law of sin and death so we can understand that.

What are the fruits of sin? We also need to understand this: Sin always affected other people. Let's think of some cases:

  • How about Adam? Affected the whole human race!
  • How about Cain? Murdered his brother!
  • How about the Tower of Babel?
  • How about Sodom and Gomorrah?
  • How about David?

David was a man after God's own heart, but:

  • Did his sins affect people? Yes!

Look what happened with Bathsheba!

  • Did it affect his whole family from then on? Yes!

Part of the penalty that God gave upon David was, 'because you have done this your family is going to be turned upside down from this day forward.' Was it? Yes! Concerning the second commandment: 'unto the third and fourth generation:

  • How about when David numbered Israel? 70,000 died!
  • How about when Solomon did what he did? God took away the ten tribes!

And we could go right on down the line, many others:

  • How about good affecting others? Yes!

God also says, 'Unto a thousand generations I will bless those who keep My commandments.' What do we have:

  • Noah—Did his righteousness affect everybody? Yes! We're here!
  • Abraham—by believing God and having God's righteousness imputed to him, it has affected eternity forever! I never thought of that until just now!
  • How about what Christ did?
  • How about what Moses did?

So, you have those two things, very important for us to understand. What has been the world because of sin? Misery, wretchedness, crime, murder, adultery, fornication, fraud—the works of the flesh (Gal. 5)—idolatry, witchcraft, variance, strife, emulation—sounds like some churches we know of.

God wants a personal conviction by you—with His Spirit—against sin! Let's notice what happens when that is not done. There are things in the Greek that are not brought out in the King James or other translations. I want you to see the progression here:

Hebrews 2:1 "For this reason, it is imperative that we give much greater attention to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should slip away." Not that they slip away, because the Word of God never slips away; the promises of God never slip away; it is we who slip away from it. What he's talking about here is a progression of what happens when you slip away. You end up in a more serious condition.

Hebrews 3:8: "'Harden not your heart, as in the rebellion, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me and tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was indignant with that generation, and said, "They are always going astray in their hearts, and they have not known My ways." So, I swore in My wrath, "If they shall enter into My rest—"' Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief… [a hardening of the heart] …in apostatizing from the living God" (vs 8-12). How does that occur?

Verse 13: "Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

Because you no longer have righteousness toward sin. You're not allowing the working of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 7) to work with you, to convict you, to show you the sinfulness of sin!

Verse 14: "For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence that we had at the beginning steadfast until the end. As it is being said, 'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion'" (vs 13-15).

This is why Paul is bringing out that the place of overcoming sin begins with the conviction of sin when the thought starts in your mind. That's what he's talking about, very important to realize. It's the sin that's dwelling in you. That's why he wants you to understand, don't be surprised if you sin, because it's part of you. But what do you do when you recognize it becomes the important thing. Hopefully you can cut it off while it's still in the temptation process, before it develops (James 1).

Romans 7:18 "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good…." That is good in the sense of righteousness. Let's look at it this way: If you've ever lived back in areas where they have a lot of snow in the wintertime, when the snow first comes down it looks so gorgeous: white, lovely, soft, clean and wonderful. Then it snows some more and then it clears up, and then it snows some more and then it clears up and it piles up. When it begins melting in the springtime, what happens? It is dirty, ugly and you look at that and wonder: How did all that dirt get there?

Well, liken that to human nature and the whited snow to a whited scepter. It looks beautiful outside but you really don't know what's in there. The lesson is this: You can never have anything purely good in the sense that God is good from being solely human. Why? Because there is the law of sin and death, that's why! That's why God must impute His righteousness to you. That's why salvation cannot be earned. It has to be a gift.

He began to see "…that is, within my fleshly being… [dwells] …any good. For the desire to do good is present within me… [everyone has that desire—everybody!—except the most incorrigible] …but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18). Isn't that true? Every time you think that everything is going just hunky-dory and wonderful, SLAM! BAM! something happens. And you did not intend it that way.

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" (vs 19-20). That means I myself am not dedicated to this. My choice, my goal, my purpose, my life is not to this.

"…but sin that is dwelling… [residing] …within me" (v 20)—part of his being. He's leading up to the final solution to sin and death.

Verse 21: "Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me." This is to emphasize all of these:

  • the law
  • the good
  • the evil

There's another way of saying that; from the movie with Clint Eastwood: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It's "…present with me." How many times have you been thinking something, listening to some music, watching a movie—movie now will bring you down in the first ten seconds—or you're riding along, and thinking of something real good and all of sudden BAM! an evil thought comes coursing through your mind. Or, more than likely, a silly, stupid commercial that you heard sometime and you really want to get rid of, but it's there. I could probably list off some words and you could give me the answer back. Example:

  • What is the real thing? Coke!
  • Nothing tastes good like a cigarette should!

Gottcha!

I was talking to someone the other day. The most frustrating thing is to be praying and all of sudden a commercial come coursing through. That's just an example of it.

  • How many times have you've been admiring something and your attention has been drawn away to lust?
  • How many times have you been looking at something really nice and then you covet to have?

All of that is the sin dwelling within you! When you started thinking about it or observing you didn't have this thought in your mind. Because of the 'prince of the power of the air' there are times when things will come into your mind that Satan is sending. Did you know that? Have you ever experienced that?

Ephesians 2:2: "In which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience."

It's likened to television and radio waves, and that is true. Right here in this room there are countless different radio and television, cellular phones and all of that, which if we had the equipment, we could tune it all in here and just be inundated. But thankfully, God didn't make us with a mind that would tune into it as with the apparatus that was designed for it. But Satan is there trying to send his missiles of lust into your mind.

Verse 3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world."

I remember when I was pastoring down in the Los Angeles area, I had everything from the Chavez Ravine on the north and the Long Beach freeway on the east, all the way south to San Pedro Bay and west to the ocean. I had all the area of Watts, after the burning of Watts took place. I had all of Hollywood, all that whole scene. There were times when I was driving down in the area of Watts and all of sudden I started getting these thoughts of hate. I wasn't thinking of it! That was not in my mind. I had no thought of it until all of a sudden there it was: hate, murder, death, and here I am in the middle of Watts!

Then one time I was driving down Sunset Blvd. and all of sudden come these thoughts of homosexuality in my mind. I thought, now what happened? I finally figured out that it is the demons in the area that can project that kind of thing into people's minds and if you 'toy' with those things they will capture you into the sin. When I left the area, these things left. So, Satan is able to reach into human nature and cause these things.

That will help you understand why the temptation of Christ was so powerful! Satan used everything he could to tempt Christ into sinning once! I think we'll understand a little more of that as we go along.

Romans 7:20: "…but sin that is dwelling within me…. [is causing this] …Consequently, I find this law in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man; but I see another law within my own members…" (vs 20-23).

That's why there must be conversion, which takes place from within; not discipline, which comes from without. Conversion from the Holy Spirit takes place within; religion without the Holy Spirit requires discipline from without, but it doesn't convert.

Verse 23: "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."

There he defines it: the law of sin! We started out in Rom. 5:12 how death entered in because of the sin of Adam. So, we had death, now we have the law of sin.

This is where every Christian comes to, sooner or later, v 24: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death?" Ever come to the point you think 'O how wretched, how miserable, how rotten, stupid, foolish'? Sometimes you get all ground up in the wretchedness of things that take place in this world and they just grind you to a pulp. That takes you down as well.
Verse 25: "I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…." What a marvelous thing is that God would do this! What a marvelous thing it is that God would:

  • call us
  • lead us
  • help us
  • grant us these things
  • give to each one of us His own righteousness

That's why Paul began to understand this: "…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" (vs 25).

As long as you have flesh there's going to be sin, because it inherent in there, in our genes as it were. That's why we have to be 'born again' from the dead, or changed completely 'in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump.'

Here's the conclusion of the whole thing. Here is the solution to the mess of humankind, in particularly applying to us. Everything from Rom. 1:17 is coming down to this conclusion in Rom. 8:1-4. Go back and review it and study it. It takes you all the way down:

  • explaining the human condition in the world
  • explaining the human condition with individual Gentiles and Jews
  • Rom. 3—that 'all of sinned and come short of the glory of God' and God's solution is Jesus Christ
  • Rom. 4—shows how Abraham had the imputed righteousness
  • Rom. 5—shows how then 'we were justified even whole we were enemies' God sent His Son to die for us
  • Rom. 6—we are 'co-buried' with Christ', co-crucified with Christ'; brought into this relationship with God
  • Rom. 7—we have this great inner struggle, now what are we going to do?

Our first thought is that if there is sin, we're cutoff, nevermore to be in God's presence again. Not so!Let's see what the solution is:

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… [there's a condition] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death" (vs 1-2).

There are the two contrasts:  the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus vs the law of sin and death, which is in us

Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the law to do…" The Law cannot give life. It can define sin! It can show you right from wrong, but it can't give you life. Why? Life must come from God! God is a living being. The Law, though it is spiritual, is not a living being.

"…was impossible for the Law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh…" (v 3). Why? It's like getting up there, like a batter, with two strikes against you before you even step into the batter's box. The flesh is weak since it has 'the law of sin and death' within it. That's why!

To solve the problem: "…God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 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" (vs 3-4).

Now let's see how the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is walking in the Spirit. You can connect those two together. Here's how it works in us:

  • you have crucified the flesh

How? Rom. 6:

    • through baptism
    • co-crucified, co-buried
  • you are living by every Word of God in newness of spirit
  • you walk by faith
  • you live by hope
  • you dwell in love
  • instead of the fruits of the flesh, you have the fruits of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering…" I don't think you can have joy and peace until you have suffered. So, when you understand the value of suffering, then you have joy and peace when it's over with.

"…kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control… [if God is in control, you should have self-control] …against such things there is no law. But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts" (vs 22-24).

  • you are growing and developing spiritually

What is the thing that is going to help you grow more than anything else? The Proverb says, 'Without vision the people perish.' Peter gives us one of the greatest visions—part of it, I think that John adds to that in the Epistles of John and the book of Revelation—how we need to structure our lives in Christ, we see the great and tremendous vision that God has given us.

In translating the book of Hebrews, I am profoundly overwhelmed at how great and how marvelous and what an absolutely fantastic privilege that God has given us through the High Priesthood of Christ, to be able to have direct, instantaneous access to God the Father, through prayer, in the Holiest place in the universe. It takes a while for that to sink in. It takes a while to grow in that. As you grow in that, it becomes a very humbling experience. Especially when you look and see the sinfulness of sin that's in your own nature—that I see in my own nature—that God would grant us this!So, having that focus of vision is so important, and Peter does it right here:

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith…"—the very faith of Christ given to you through the righteousness of God.

As we have been studying the imputed righteousness, the perfection, the beauty, the righteousness, the cleanness, the goodness of God.

"…as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you…" (vs 1-2). Think about that! We've gone over grace; He wants it multiplied! Increased! Not just grow a little bit, but multiplied!

"…in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (v 2). Brethren, don't we have it here. We have a greater opportunity to grow than almost any generation that has been on the face of the earth.

  • we have the Word of God
  • we have the education
  • we have the tools to study

But what has happened to most people? They've become blitzed out in a fog of pseudo intellectualism and they could care less about the Word of God, but it's the greatest thing that there is. It's even happened to the churches, even happened to the people of God! So, we have that opportunity to let grace and peace multiply.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness…" Whatever we need, brethren, God is there to help! Listen, this is also true:

  • When you get old and weak and feeble, God still loves you!
  • When you're in trouble, in desperation and trials, God still loves you!

Use the tools that God gives you; He's given us everything "…that pertain to life… [eternal life] …and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue" (v 3).

I want you to see the hope that is given here, 1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…. [God has called you to be His very own son or daughter] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is…. [What is this to do for every one of us?] …And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (vs 1-3).

How? By the Spirit of God! By all the things that you are living in and exercised with, whether it is the trials you are going through; the joys you are going through. You have the vision; you see that this is what God has called you to.

  • to impel you
  • to always inspire you
  • to always uplift you

That's what God wants with the Church:

  • to build it
  • to inspire it
  • to encourage it
  • to help it

—and He's given all the tools here!

(go to the next track)

He's called us to glory and virtue. Brethren, what is it going to be like when you are resurrected and you have a spiritual body, and you hold up your hand and it's no longer flesh? You look down at your feet and they're like brass burning in a fire. If you can stand before a spiritual mirror, you'll see the radiance of your glorified being. I tell you what, that kind of vision that God gives us with His Word is what we need to keep in the forefronts of our minds.

2-Peter 1:4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest and most precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…" We're going to get rid of the human nature with the law of sin and death, and that is also a condemnation of it, the very plan and working of God.

"….having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4). So, in growing in this knowledge and having this vision, tell me, do you have a single desire to yield to a sin? NO! That's why it's important to be inspired, brethren.

Verse 5: "And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence besides…" We must be diligent in this; this is the greatest thing that has ever been, brethren. This is the greatest opportunity that God has given. It is so great that they are exceeding great and precious promises that human words have a very difficult time defining it in the reality of the spiritual fulfillment, but we'll try! So, we need to be diligent!

"…add to your faith… [Notice how these build {note sermon series: Epistles of Peter} … virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, Godliness…" (vs 5-6). Isn't that what God wants us to come to the state of being:

  • that you think like God
  • that you act like God
  • that Christ is in you

I mean, this is profound, brethren!

Verse 7: "And to Godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, the love of God. For if these things exist and abound in you, they will cause you to be neither lacking effort nor lacking fruit in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the one in whom these things are not present is spiritually blind—so short-sighted that he has forgotten that he was purified from his old sins. For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent… [he says it twice, give diligence] …to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time" (vs 7-10). A guaranteed prescription on how to never fail! There it is right there.

Review:

  • crucify the flesh
  • walk according to the spirit, which then is the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
  • walk by faith
  • live by hope
  • dwell in love
  • the fruits of the Spirit
  • growing and developing spiritually
  • resurrection

The number eight is the number of 'new beginning'—also number one.

Let's see how God did this. God had to defeat sin, defeat the flesh, by being in the flesh. Isn't that something? That's why just the law can't do any of this. This requires the Spirit of God it says to do it.

Romans 8:3: "…God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh …" Likeness is a very important word in the Greek: 'homoiotes'—from which we get a derivative of the English word 'homogenize, meaning making the same. When you drink homogenized milk, the cells of the milk and crème have been homogenized, made into one, the same cells.

For God to take on the likeness of sinful flesh, what is this telling us? If He takes on the likeness of sinful flesh—and this means the exact sameness—what did Jesus have to have within His flesh? The law of sin! Otherwise, he could not have been tempted. Some people get all upset when I say this. But:

  • How can you have the sameness of sinful flesh if you don't have the law of sin in you?
  • How can you be tempted?
  • How can you sympathize with those who have been tempted, if you yourself were so far above it that it couldn't affect you?

The greatest challenge then is to have it but never sin.

Did Jesus have the law of death in Him? Yes, He did, because He died! So therefore, He had the law of sin and death in Him, the same flesh that we do. Let's see this with some other Scriptures. This is why Christ divested Himself—the one of Elohim Who became Jesus Christ—from being God, to become a human being in the likeness, the sameness (Philip. 2). In the likeness of human flesh, that means the sameness. Not as the philosophers allege, that Christ appeared in the flesh but He was really spiritual and His death was really not a death but it was kind of faked, because God cannot die. That's why Jesus said, when He was dying, 'Father, into your hands I commend My spirit.'

Hebrews 2:9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels…" Very important statement. What is an angel? A created, spirit being! This is saying that He was not a spirit being while He was in the flesh.

"…crowned with glory and honor… [after the resurrection] …on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9).

In other words, when He sent Him in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin to condemn sin in the flesh, having carried the law of sin and death in Himself and not sinning, HE paid the sins of all humankind who repent and accept His sacrifice.

  • Wasn't it fitting that He did it?
  • Why did He have to do it?
  • Why couldn't it have been someone else?

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created…" He was Creator, who gave us the law of sin and death in our members; we didn't ask for it. We ended up one day, lo and behold, yea, we've got it!

  • Who put it there? God did!
  • How did it happen? Because of the penalty of the sin of Adam and Eve, it passed on to all men!
  • How are all the sins going to be paid for—whether repented or not—if the One Who 'shut them' up unto sin, 'shut them up' unto blindness, and gave them over to Satan the devil, if He does not likewise come down and confront the same thing and be victorious over it?

That's why Christ is so great, brethren!

"…and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory… [the plan of God is going to work; it is going to succeed] …to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (v 10).

Verse 14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner… [the sameness—'homoiomati'] … He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil… [we've been delivered from that bondage] …and that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him…" (vs 14-17).

God was Creator, He gave choice, there was sin, therefore, He had to provide the solution for it, and that's how He did it.

"…to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (v 17).

That's why, in the world—not understanding the true plan of God as shown by the Holy Days ending up with the Last Great Day—they don't know how God is going to solve this problem. But it's going to be a tremendous and glorious solution! Greater than anything we have imagined!

Verse 18: "For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted."

We have the same thing repeated in Heb. 4. Brethren, we have a High Priest that is sitting at the right hand God:

  • making intercession for us
  • granting us His righteousness
  • granting us the Spirit of God
  • granting us the power to overcome

—this is the greatest thing that can be! I tell you, in translating Hebrews, I was really overwhelmed at the magnitude of the office of Christ and what He's doing.

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 14-16). Even at the worst, blackest and darkest hour God will intervene and help us!

1-Peter 2:22—again He makes it clear: "Who committed no sin; neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously… [imagine all the opposition that He went through] …Who Himself bore our sins within… [Greek is 'en'] …His own body on the tree…" (vs 22-24). Very personal!

That's why Christ is a personal Savior. Not only do you accept Him personally, He personally calls you, but He Himself has done it!

  • How could He carry His own sins within His own body? Not only were the sins poured out upon Him, but He carried them within!
  • How could He do that? By carrying the law of sin and death within His own members and yet, never sinning!

That's how he could do it. What a judgment! You think you've had a difficult time. What a judgment that God gave upon Himself. Is not God a righteous Judge, even of Himself? Yes! This is profound, brethren! This is marvelous! This is tremendous what God is doing!

Let's review the operation of grace again: The operation or power of grace. Do you think that God is going to risk what Christ has done—in overcoming Satan the devil and being victorious over death and over sin, for a flim-flam kind of thing? No! That's why it's done by the operation of grace. That's how the operation or power of grace begins:

  • God calls
  • God leads you to repentance
  • you are baptized with Christ
  • you are justified to God the Father in heaven above
  • you receive the Holy Spirit to lead you
  • you have the gift of righteousness
  • you walk in newness of life
  • you have the fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • Christ being formed in you
  • eternal life

Tie that together with what we just covered here about walking in the Spirit and you see how then we stand in grace. It's all the operation of God, based upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That is a marvelous thing, brethren! Here's the whole purpose of all of it:

Romans 8:4: "In order that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us… [the very character of God] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit: For those who walk according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh… [the Greek is literally the mind of flesh] …but those who walk according to the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace… [because Christ is in you] …because the carnal mind is enmity against God… [that's where we get the word 'enemy'; means hostility, it is hostile to God] …for it is not subject to the Law of God; neither indeed can it be." (vs 4-7). That's why you have the circumcision made 'without hands'—of the heart (Rom. 2).

Here's what happens when you have a carnal religion. I don't care what kind it is—whether it is Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist or New Age, whatever it is—here is the result of all of it. That's why religion cannot be made to serve the righteousness of God, because it's man's—or Satan's—invention to look good. I think the epitome of it is Christmas. I want you to think about the world in general. I want you to think about organizations in our civilization here in America. I want you think about the churches that you know.

James 4:1: "What is the cause of quarrels and fighting among you? Is it not mainly from your own lusts that are warring within your members? You lust, and have not; you kill, and are jealous, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel, but still you do not have, because you do not ask…. [Then they say, 'Okay, I'll ask.'] …Then you ask, and you do not receive, because you ask with evil motives, that you may consume it on your own lusts" (vs 1-3).

'Oh, God, let me win the lotto. Oh, God, let me have this. Let me have that. After all, if you were a God of blessing, bless me with it.' So, He blesses you with a trial so that you may have the right attitude! Would that Worldwide could have learned this before they went down the tube.

Verse 4: "You adulterers and adulteresses… [spiritually and physically] … don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity… [hostility] …with God? Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" That's why the carnal mind cannot be subject to the law of God.

That's why when you have a carnal minded professing Christianity, what must you do? You must come along and say, well, this Law of God didn't mean this. He really didn't mean that, but He really meant something else! You can plug in any law you want there: Sabbath, Sunday, Christmas, Easter, New Years, clean and unclean meats, adultery, fornication, honoring father and mother, idols, taking God's name in vain. They must adjust it because it just like the children of Israel standing there on the Day of Pentecost hearing God give the Ten Commandments, and they said, 'Oh, Moses, don't let Him speak anymore, it's killing us. You go to God, you speak to Him. We'll listen!' The carnal mind's got have some space. You cannot have this condemnation of sin. After all, God is not fair.

Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God… [Hostile! Hostile enemy! Not at peace; at war!] …for it is not subject to the Law of God; neither indeed can it be! But those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (vs 7-8).

This is very powerful in the Greek. Defined in two words: 'ou' or 'ooks'—the impossibility of it; cannot comes from the word 'dunamos'—which the root is power. What he's saying is that the carnal mind has no power at all to please God. Why? Because the carnal mind says, 'God, I've got to have my little bit of sin.'

Verse 9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you…. This verse is a very powerful, key verse of understanding. How many times have you heard it said, 'How do you know who a Christian is?' This defines it unequivocally.

"…But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (v 9). And it's just like this: You either have the Spirit of God or you don't! Same thing, a woman is not almost pregnant, she either is or isn't! Who makes that determination? God does! To whom does He give His Spirit?

  • to those who are called
  • to those who are baptized
  • to those who obey Him

That's who He gives His Spirit to. God is not in the business of playing tiddly-winks and 'mickey-mousing' around with pretend religion. God is in the business of creating Christ in you unto eternal life! That is profound! That's why there has to be this dividing point; no doubt about it.

Verse 10: "But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin…" Why? Because you've been crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, having your heart circumcised—with the circumcision 'made without hands'—and receiving the Spirit of God! It's dead; count it dead. The law of sin and death is still there to bother you. Grow in the love and Spirit of God so that you can overcome. Knowing that when you die, that's the end of the flesh.

"…however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (v 10)—which then is the imputed righteousness of Christ.

Verse 11: "Now, if… [conditional] …the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you." Let's notice two things; we're going to see there are two aspects to the Spirit of God working within us:

  • the Spirit of Christ (v 9)
  • the Spirit of Him (v 11) or the Spirit of the Father which raised up Jesus from the dead

Let's see how it works, John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word…'"

Verse 15: "If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments." We're down to not only commandments but words. That is expanded out to: 'man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'

Verse 23: "…and My Father will love him, and We… [not I, but WE—Christ and the Father] …will come to him and [WE will] make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me. I have spoken these things to you while I am yet present with you. But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name… [the Father sends it in Christ's name] …that One shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you" (vs 23-26).

John 15:26—a little bit different phase of the Holy Spirit: "But when the Comforter has come, which I will send to you from the Father… [It says 'the Father will send it in MY name (John 14:26)] …I will send to you from the Father…" What is the sum of it? It is the Spirit of God, which comes from the Father and Jesus Christ, performing two functions:

1-John 3:9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal… [the begettal of God the Father, that you are a son or daughter of God] …is dwelling within him… [the function of the Holy Spirit from the Father is the begettal to be His son or daughter] …and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God."

1-John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God; and everyone who loves Him [the Father] Who begat also loves him who has been begotten by Him. By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (vs 1-3). Those are the two functions of it.

Romans 8:11: "Now, if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you… [because you've been begotten of the Father] …He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken… [make alive] …your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh" (vs 11-12).

And if you want to know that you're growing in the Spirit and away from walking in the flesh, if the things of the world turn you off more and more, then you are walking in the Spirit because it's the Spirit of God that is doing that. Those who are walking in the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh. That's all they think about. That's all they talk about. They run to it.

I remember one time there was a minister who came over and we followed him out of Salt Lake City as we were going to the Feast of Tabernacles. Of course, there was no speed limit on that part of the highway, and that's where the Bonneville Salt Flats are, so you going along about 80 mph, and we agreed to stop and get something to eat. So, we're zooming across there and as soon as we came to the first casino this minister stops, parks his car and gets out his change and starts going on all of these slot machines. I'm sitting there thinking: what on earth is this? He could hardly wait! Was he 'walking according to the flesh'? Yes! I was shocked. I didn't say anything to him because he was a 'pastor'; if you know anything about rank.

Those who live according to the flesh they want things. They want this, they want that, they want the other thing. They're striving here and there and nothing pleases them. They eat this, they eat that, they eat the other thing and nothing satisfies their palette. They listen to this, the listen to that, they listen to the other thing and nothing satisfies. Why? Because they're deficient in the heart, they're only half here and they need the Spirit of God!

Verse 13: "Because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die… [that is without salvation] …but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live."

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ, 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…. [you're walking according to the Spirit] …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. Therefore, put to death 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" (vs 1-6). That expounds it a little bit there from Rom. 8:13.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led… [present tense] …by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

You have to be led. The Holy Spirit is not going to push you. You can liken it unto a string. Tie a string on the back of your car and then push your car with the string—it won't go. Tie the string on the front of your car and pull your care and it will break. That's why the Spirit LEADS you, meaning you must choose!

Verse 15: "Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out… [present tense] …'Abba, Father.'"—directly into the Holiest in heaven above. The 'Spirit of sonship'—we are the sons of God.

2-Corinthians 6:14—notice the contrast again: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?…. [my best friend is an atheist] … And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols?…." (vs 14-16).

Regardless of what you say: 'Oh, these are just reminders.' NO! They're idols! Covetousness is idolatry, we just read it

"…For you are a temple of the living God…" (v 16). When Christ came, He said, 'Sacrifice and offerings You desire not, but to do Your will, O God.' and 'You have prepared a body for Me.' The greatest thing God can do is not to build a greater, bigger, better building or temple, but to have His Spirit in you, to dwell in you! That is a marvelous work indeed!

"…exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them…'" (v 16). Remember, wherever you go Christ is there. Whatever you do Christ is there. Think on that for a minute. If He's in you, is He not there? Yes!

"'…and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 16-18).

God is not slighting women when He says 'sons' and 'sonship.' After all, Rev. 12 shows Israel depicted as a glorified woman. Who made women? God did!

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear… [Who does the spirit of bondage come from? Satan the devil!] …but you have received the Spirit of sonship…" (vs 14-15).

To describe what kind of spirit we are to have, and contrast this with Rom. 8—1-John 4:18: "There is no fear in the love of God… [that's the spirit we need to have] …rather, perfect love casts out fear… [it's a process—being put out] …because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God."

Do you want to know why there was no love ever taught in the churches where they ran it by fear? Because they're a contradiction! You cannot preach the love of God if you run it by intimidating fear or by oppressive, tyrannical hard hands; it won't work. You can't be perfected in love.

Verse 19: "We love Him because He loved us first." That's what it's talking about here, the same thing. Notice how consistent the message of God is throughout—whether you go to the Gospels, whether you go to the book of Acts, the Epistles of Paul, the General Epistles, or the book of Revelation, it's all the same story; yes, it is.

Romans 8:16: "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him" (vs 16-17).

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 7:12-14
  • Revelation 16:2-7
  • Romans 7:13-17
  • Hebrews 2:1
  • Hebrews 3:8-15
  • Romans 7:18-21
  • Ephesians 2:2-3
  • Romans 2:20-25
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Galatians 5:22-24
  • 2 Peter 1:1-3
  • 1 John 3:1-3
  • 2 Peter 1:4-10
  • Romans 8:3
  • Hebrews 2:9-10, 14-18
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • 1 Peter 2:22-24
  • Romans 8: 4-7
  • James 4:1-4
  • Romans 8:7-11
  • John 14:23, 15, 23-26
  • John 15:26
  • 1 John 3:9
  • 1 John 5:1-3
  • Romans 8:11-13
  • Colossians 3:1-6
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • 1 John 4:18-19
  • Romans 8:16-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • James 1
  • Romans 5:12
  • Galatians 2
  • Romans 6
  • Philippians 2
  • Revelation 12

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Epistles of Peter

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12-31-10
Reformatted/Corrected:November-December/2016

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