let us pray
holy father we thank you for this
beautiful morning to come together in
your sanctuary
we worship you in the spirit of holiness
and truth father we pray that you will
our time this morning of our worship to
be sweet
the words of our mouth and the
meditations of our heart be pleasing in
your sight
in jesus christ we pray amen
well it’s so good to be out here
in god’s sanctuary god’s nature
worshiping together and we’re continuing
our series
the reign of grace this morning
and we are looking at romans
chapter 7 verses 13
through 25.
a young officer
named james rudder
lieutenant colonel james rudder
some years ago found himself in a great
he found himself standing before general
omar bradley
was delivering a mission to him
and a group of rangers that would
famously become known as reuters rangers
we would select 225 men
be part of the d-day assault
omar bradley reflected later that he
almost lamented that he had to give this
the most unreasonable order that they
could imagine
which was that they had to cross the
english channel
and assault a german gun position and
take out the guns but
the caveat was is it had to climb a
foot sheer cliffs first while being shot
the naval commander that was supporting
three-year-old women with rooms
could keep those rangers from climbing
those glyphs
needless to say
on june 6th
1944 early in the morning before light
they took out in their boats
and their job when they got there was
the fire grappling hooks up over
the mountain but they ended up off
the tides were heavy that day and so
they ended up getting there late
but thankfully the navy had bombarded
did very well but it allowed the germans
thankfully marked with craters which
gave them cover from the german fire
but anyway you cut it it seemed
like an impossible task
to them an impossible task
and sometimes what god
calls us to do in the gospel seems like
an equally impossible task
it’s a battle that doesn’t seem like it
can be
won which is the battle
of the spirit against the flesh which is
exactly what paul
is talking about in this passage
in romans this morning
this is that famous text where paul
talks about how we are torn between
two different laws two different
two different powers in us
and he says here in verse 13 of romans
do that which is good then it brings
death to me by no means
with sin producing death in me through
what is good
or that sin might shone through sin
and through the commandment might become
there’s that basic dichotomy that split
into two there that the law is spiritual
and that i am carnal and when he says
under sin that to be
sold into slavery paul’s point here
is that when sin came into the world we
were enslaved by it
it’s something we’ve talked about
a lot and that the law
of the spirit of life in christ jesus
has come to set us free
from the law of sin and
death so he goes on here
and begins to talk about this struggle
in more personal terms
in much more intimate terms
paul says in verse 15 for i do not
my own actions for i do not do
what i want but i do the very thing i
and if you’ve been a christian at any
time at all you probably
know precisely what he’s talking about
we know what it’s like when we know what
we’re supposed to do
and then in that moment of
ego or jealousy we snap
in fact we ourselves don’t even approve
of it
and yet we still do it and then it comes
to guilt
and then we feel horrible but thanks be
to god
that we have redemption through jesus
christ we don’t just have the
to ask forgiveness but we have the
promise to receive forgiveness
and it goes on now if i do what i do not
i agree with the law that is good
so now it is no longer i
who do it but sin that dwells
in me i don’t think we can
overestimate the power of that statement
paul is getting in to our gospel
identity there you see he who
he or she was baptized in christ is a
creation we are a new creature
we are a totally different kind now and
he says
even when he sins he said it’s no longer
i who do it
but sin that it falls in me what he’s
saying is his identity
is no longer sinner
his identity is redeemed
our identity is forgiven
our identity is love
our identity is pure and unholy
and then it only comes to the gospel of
and yet he says this in verse 18 for i
that nothing good dwells in me that is
in my flesh
and so he begins to outline this
between the inner man and physical man
and this place of limbo
that we exist in right now where we have
the spirit of god
dwelling in our hearts that’s
to those who are in christ jesus
for the law of the spirit of life has
set you free
from the law of sin and death
that’s that liberty that’s that contract
because right now our bodies are still
enslaved to sin but our spiritual man
is free and then we look toward the day
when both will be fully free
this is not just anybody saying this
this is the apostle paul
he’s considered the greatest greatest
missionary in the new testament he wrote
more books
in the new testament and we would hold
him up
as a great example of godliness and yet
here he is talking
about his struggle to live
a holy life and so he says now if i
do what i do not want it is no longer i
do it but sin that dwells in me
and so there are these two powers
that make a war within us
but when he grounds himself and he
grounds our lives in
this gospel identity this identity
that we are a new creation that we
are a new people for god and
that even though since it weighs us down
we are free we have a heavenly
we are like the people who are waiting
liberation we are like those french
who are awaiting the allied invasion
to begin to take back
the beach head from that nazi regime
and give them freedom
and that’s exactly what happened and
that’s very much
part of the struggle in our lives that’s
very much a part of it because
not unlike that experience of taking
europe and world war ii we are in the
and the battle is going to
encompass our lives and what we see here
is this dichotomy if you will
or this split these two opposing ideas
sanctification on the one hand
god positionally sanctifies us
that means because of what jesus has
done he has given us a new identity
we are made righteous and holy before
and then there’s also the progressive
side where we are growing
in that and therein lies the battle
you see we are in a war
longing to see the kingdom of god and
now with the spirit of us
but sin is still clinging to the members
of our flesh
there is this war and so paul says
in second corinthians
day by day for this light
momentary affliction is preparing us
for an eternal weight of glory
beyond all comparison
is preparing us for that of glory
i think it is meant to make us desire
he says so in in romans 21
21 so i find it to be a law that when i
want to do right
evil lies close at hand
i delight in the law of god in my inner
but i see in my members another law
waging against the law of my mind
and making me captive to the law of sin
that dwells in my members
you see the law of sin and death wants
to take us happily
it wants to consume us
and because of jesus christ and because
of his work
on the cross it can’t
you see if you’ve placed your faith in
if you’ve been baptized into his church
by faith
then you are free from the law
of sin and death
and this war is such a key for us
because being a christian and being in
the battle brings
doubt and
often i get the question how do i know
that i’m a christian how do i truly
a normal know but that’s the good news
the answer to that question is by the
it’s the war in our members when we want
to live
because there is no war without the
between the spirit and the flesh that
talks about here and there’s such
encouraging words
how do we know that we’re a christian
how can we have assurance
because we’re in the fight we feel it
conviction of sin that doesn’t come from
our members
that comes from the spirit
what does the spirit do well he convicts
us inwardly
of sin that’s what jesus said you come
through you come to the
world of sin and righteousness and
you see the spirit of god in the
militant uprising
of god against the power of sin in our
it’s a revolt against ungodliness
against evil against wicked in the world
yet it’s a very quiet
revolt it’s a very selfie revolt
that it’s not painted on billboards it’s
not slayed across our tv screen
it goes on in each and every one of our
that’s why jesus said that the kingdom
of god is within you
he was not just
being cute when he said that what he
meant is that the spirit of god
is in god’s people and god changes
and then people change the world and the
changes people with the change of the
that’s the battle we’re called to is to
and to help other people be changed by
the gospel
and it may seem like an impossible task
but you see it’s god who guides us
it’s god cares for us
and like those rangers in the fight on
d-day it may seem
and you’ll be happy to know that in the
province of god
they went looking up there and at first
they couldn’t find those hands
that they were supposed to take out the
but through various and southern stances
they found them where they were at and
they were able to take them out
so they couldn’t shell the other ships
and other
soldiers attacking the beaches on
if we have god for us who
can be against us and so that’s the
god that’s the call of god in our lives
to live for him and yet god doesn’t call
he calls us to perfectionism
is a gentle and humble savior
that the writer of hebrew says is able
to comfort us in our afflictions and
what he comforts us above all
jesus battle against the flesh
and oh how that battle makes us long
for intimacy with him amen

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