Pursuing the impossible 4
January 14, 2018
Let's go to Romans Chapter 7. But before we go there I want to read a passage to you that wasn't on my in my slides but I'll read to you. Just give you some idea of what a pastor deals with every week. The job of a pastor according to Acts Chapter 6. There were some problems going on in the church and people were arising going hey the pastors aren't taking care of us well. And so and at Chapter 6 what they said was This is a sad verse 3 he says. It says we're four brothers. Look out among men of honest report full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom who made that point over this business. And then the pastors responded. They go but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the Ministry of the word. So a lot of people don't get what a pastor does.
But as we preach and as we teach and as we disciple the idea that we are involved in and exclusively saying we're going to dedicate as much time as we humanly possible can to the Word of God. Romans Chapter 7 one of the things that I find is that when I preach through a rough passage of the Bible God makes me live through it as I'm preaching it like like it's just crazy what happens when you go into Romans Chapter 7 and if you've been here these last few weeks talking about the battle that you have between Paul in the flesh and the spirit and how they're struggling against each other and the frustrations of Paul you come to Romans Chapter 7 and we're going to finish that up today and your paper will be on that conclusion side of that piece of paper but I honestly don't know that I have ever felt like I have felt as I'm preaching through Romans Chapter 7.
I don't know that I've ever mentally battled the things that I've been battling as I'm preaching to Romans 7 and you watch Paul and Paul goes through the same deal. Paul says hey listen there's a struggle going on in me. There's a struggle going on me. So as you dedicate yourself to the word you're deciding people you're teaching people your counseling people but then you come in as you're preaching. I know a lot of you guys think that I just stand up here and read and talk but there's a lot of study that goes into it.
And honestly the Lord in the last few weeks has really really I should have finished this message a lot quicker as I've been going through this passage here. I cannot wait to get to Romans Chapter 8. And so as I talk about that I don't know if any of you guys have ever felt overwhelmed with life. I don't know if that's ever happened to any of you at all. It's like it's like. Is there anything else that could go wrong and we get this crazy perspective on life though if we're not careful with this crazy perspective on my book is Barbara a perspective we have is how bad our life stinks.
We go oh my my life is just not going good in my life is not. And by the way I've been dealing with that a lot and battling my mind on a daily basis and honestly I've wanted to come to church the last few weeks like literally have not even desired to be at church I mean like hey let's go to church everybody. I know you'll never feel like that because you are so anxious to sit down and to hear the Scriptures. But but but but but man I'm telling you the last three weeks I've been like ok I'm done with this. I don't want to do this anymore. I want to hide in my bed. I want to pretend nobody else is around to pretend I have no responsibilities and Romans Chapter 7 you're going to find the same thing happened with Paul and then we're going to talk today about what we can do about the truths that do the truths that we've gone over and you find here in Romans chapter 7 Verse 13.
The Bible says it was then that which is good May death and to me God forbid but sin that it might appear sin working death in me by that which is good that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful in other words.
What's what is sin is going to seem even more sinful because I now know what the scripture says. Verse 14 The Bible says we know that the law is spiritual but I'm carnal sold under sin. None of y'all have ever felt that way. Have you.
No none of y'all ever felt like hey I'm not just spiritual but man if I have one word to define me spiritual not the first one that comes to mind the first thing that comes to mind is that other word that carnal word. That's what I feel like that's what Paul says Verse 15 for that which I do. I allow not for what I would do or not but what I hate that do I. If I. Then if then I do that which I would not I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it but sin do olefin me for I know that in me that is in my flesh of no good thing will this present with me. But how to perform that which is good I find not. He says I know what I'm supposed to do.
Continue if you give a man a man to that one.
I know what I supposed to do. I know exactly what I'm interested in. I know exactly my attitude that I should have I know exactly the way that I should be dealing with this issue. There's no knowledge problem at all.
He's Vij honestly I'm sure I don't do it. Any
of us ever felt that way before. I just don't do it. I know what I do I just don't do it. It's for I know that didn't mean my flesh for how to perform that which is good I find not varsity Verse 19 for the good that I would I do not.
But the evil which I would not. The stuff that I don't want to do the stuff that I put on my New Year's resolution that I wouldn't do. That's the stuff I end up doing now if I do that I would not.
It is no more I do it Sandwell within me. I find in a lot of. When I would do good. Evil is present with me for the light and the law of God. Do you feel the contrast of who Paul is here.
Paul is saying. Like when I hear scriptures when I hear the word of God preached when I hear somebody talking about the truth of the word of God man and ministers to me it gets to me it makes me think that I need to change the way that I'm living.
No doubt about it. I don't like the law of God. The injured man like on the inside I love it. It's like Chris Gardner.
I would love having a six pack and not have been like you know like I'd like.
I would love it. There's only one problem. I love food more than I love a six pack. I know what I need to do. I just don't do it.
But I see another long members warn against law of my mind. Bring me into captivity to the law soon which is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am.
If you're reading this your ladies will understand that you ought to look at it as a pressure cooker like can you fill the pressure building and Paul as you say and all this stuff is just sitting in this building and this building is building and you're like you know what happens if you get too much pressure and something it becomes a bomb. There's all this pressure built up in me.
And then he goes Oh wretched man that I am man I just can't do right for anything. A
wretched man that I am and he says who shall deliver me from this body of death from the body of this death and if you underline your Bible you please underline the word who their Because see there's nothing going to deliver you.
Nobody is going to have the right words for you. Nobody is going to tell you something is going to change your life. The truth of the matter is the answer to your problem is not what is not a how it's not a win. The answer to your problems is not a preacher it's not. Chris Gardner. It's not Joel Hosteen it's not Tony Robbins. It's not T.D. Jakes it's nobody. The truth of the matter is no we are not the answer. The problem is not what you hear or what you know. Here's what he says.
It's going to deliver me.
It cannot say that many times in churches we think that we deliver each other but that doesn't work for a matter of fact the Bible says that we're supposed to bear each other's burdens. And I'm like God really like I've got enough of my own. Have you ever felt that way. What I really need more burdens is who is going to deliver us from the body of this death. And in Verse 25 he answers very quickly the question that he asks of who. And then an eight verse one what I'm praying is this that as I go through the passage and what I'm preaching to the pastors that I will live as well in Romans 8 1 as I have lived through Romans Chapter 7 because Romans Chapter 7 has felt rough should I thank my God who I think my God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He is the answer.
So then with the mind I myself serve the law but the flesh the law of sin. So we talked about the Romans Chapter 7 and what it's talking about here. And we discussed what the law cannot do. That's what your paper or the law. Number one the law cannot change us. The law cannot change that. Number two on your paper The law cannot enable us to do right. And number three the law cannot free and this seems like the most discouraging message ever until we talk about what we're going to talk about today because what answers the question is this what is the answer to this predicament that looms over our heads. We're going to discuss a few verses that I think that are vital for us dealing with this won't discuss a few of those verses first of all and go to Philippians chapter 2 or 13 first Philippians chapter 2 verse 13 it says Pray to God which work in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
So what do we do with this idea of what God is saying through Paul and this passage what do we say about this now. Paul is not some new Christian. Paul is a Christian has been a Christian for a long time.
He is writing the scriptures the book of Romans has won the last books that he wrote. He is a mature Godly man but he's still going through this on your paper that we have to understand that this is something that can only be done by God alone.
And are yielding to him in this process who can free us from all this.
Man I'm doing what I don't want to do. I'm not doing what I do want to do man my life is just not what it supposed to be. You
have to understand that the problem is this we and our flesh try and fight a battle that can only be won in the spirit. And we're going to talk about that today. No we are powerless against sin in and of ourselves. We wonder why we fail and fail and fail. But truthfully here's what I need you to understand. Listen to me right here real quick to tell you this you're going to love this you're never going to beat Sen.. You
are never going to beat Sen.. The only way to have victory over sin is to yield to Jesus and his work in my life.
The only one that can beat the sin that looms over you is not you. And the problem is the reason we feel fatigue is we put boxing gloves on thinking that it's our battle to fight. But it's not. In Christ Alone cornerstone and we've made strong and the Saviour's arms. That's exactly what we're singing about. There's nothing that we are going to be able to do and you say Chris I'm exhausted in life. Welcome
to the club. Let's go out and drink coffee and talk about it but because let me just tell you I am exhausted too. And let me just say I don't feel like I can conquer anything. It's been that way for the last few months that Upstaters. Honestly I don't think I can conquer anything but see the reason my exhaustion comes to me.
And this is me talking about me not anybody else about the way this message is.
Here's what I love about preaching to the Scriptures. This message was prepared three months ago.
I'm not saying anything that was not typed out exactly as is three months ago. It's almost like God in heaven goes on I know what you all are going through. I know what you are going to be going through and the scriptures don't to line up with what you need. We feel exhausted in life and the reason we feel exhausted in life is we try and fight a battle that we're never going to win.
We call on ourselves and we look in the mirror and we see ourselves as the solution to a problem. And when we don't understand is this we're never going to be the solution we're never going to be a solution.
We must yield to Jesus and his work in my life. There is victory in Christ. We have to know and to live.
As if that's true.
Now very very thankful. Jacob got his learner's license this week. Very thankful that about 13 years ago we were able to adopt Jacob and Hannah. But the dynamic might change a little bit if I were to adopt Jack Hanna.
Today because when you asked Jacob and Hannah like I have to remind them that they adopted like when we talk about it we always celebrate the fact that they're adopted and it's awesome. And so we talk about it's not a big deal but if jacob and Hannah were to come to my house at the age of 13 and 15 how long would it take for them to act like what was really true. Like like how long would it take for Jacob to act with Andrew the way he acts today. It
takes a while because he does not. And here's what we have to understand. You're not a believer in Christ when you believe believe in Christ. Everything changed.
But you're not living the way that you should be living.
You're not taking your adoption personally to the degree that it changes everything and so let's look real quick at James Chapter 4 Verse 6 through 10 and I promise you I will keep you until this message is done because I've got to be done with this message.
I've got to be done with this message. OK so so you might need coffee raise your hand we'll have somebody serve you coffee while we're here. James Shechter for over six in 10 says.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he says God resistless the proud but gives grace to the humble God. Resist the proud. Let me just say this I think a lot of times our exhaustion comes from the fact that we're dealing with resisting God not resisting the world around us.
You know one of the biggest ways to know whether you live with pride or not is when you think that you're the solution to your problems. And when you're doing that Jacob can you help me please. Jacobs up here 15 year old he's actually getting these things called muscles everywhere.
Gravity still helps me more than it helps him because when you have as many pound edges as I've got it helps me when it comes to him. But he says he gives more grace because he said God what does God do. He resists the process. So when you're prideful when you think you're the answer you're fighting but you're fighting against. So there's nothing we're not going to fight it's just here he takes and we're resisting each other. So come on you can you do better than that. Hannah can you help because he's a guy.
So what we're doing we're pushing against each other and then her going gone I'm so exhausted you're not giving me the answer to my problem No no no the answer to your problem is to stop fighting God because we live in pride we live in pride thinking that we're big enough and we're able to resist God resis the proud but Gieger gives grace to the humble show. We live a life where we're doing this constantly and do better on that come on. We believe that we live life forward in this country we're pushing it. This is your one chance in life. We the way we live life forever. We're constantly doing. There we go. Man I'm so exhausted. You
know while we're exhausted you know while we live exhausted because we're full of one thing. We're full of ourselves well full of pride. We're full of thinking that we're able to do what God never wanted or expected us to do.
Thank you Jacob.
Call him next time. He says God God just the ground. But what does he do.
He gives grace to the humble what he says is this. How many of us are living our life resisting God and then wondering why we live exhausted can't take anymore. How
many of you say I can't take any more here in the last few weeks. I'm probably the only one. How are you. I just can't take it anymore. Don't know that I can do it anymore. I'm sick and tired of it. Just let me close the doors pull the drapes down put you in a blackout room. Give me some medicine. Let me wake up in three years because I'm so tired of life. There we go Steven and I get it hitches. He hears me Seth.
The problem is that we do is that we are living a life that resisting God and then complaining that we're just by the way if there's anybody I'm preaching to in the room this morning ought to have this mirror that just followed me everywhere I go because I get there anybody that needs the message this morning.
I promise you you don't need it near as bad as I need.
I deal with this all the time. The civis submit yourselves therefore to God we don't like that word submit to much because see that submission is part of humility.
Pride makes you stand up and want to and want to push each other humility doesn't look like that at all. Stephen can you give me a hand. You can do better than him.
Here's what he says. We're resisting. There you go. That's more like we're resisting each other. Okay now please don't Dalhart me now it's personal we're saying we're pushy. We're thinking just because you're resisting he goes that's not what I want stop resisting. And I want you to humble yourself before God.
But I can't fight from here God. God
goes. Exactly. That's what I want you to understand. I want you in a position of humility because in a position of humility you don't have the answers. And there's no way to fight for that position.
Thanks David I appreciate it. He says to me usuals therefore to God resist if you're going to resist what you're going to resist is this the devil he says. How many of us Romans Chapter 7 we know exactly what's right and exactly what's wrong what he says is this.
When those thoughts come to your mind what I want you to do is resist them and here's the promise when you resist they don't flee from you.
You don't flee from your niece's draw neither God who are drawn to you clench your hand you sinners and purify your heart you double minded be afflicted and mourn and weep but your laughter be turned to morning in your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves and the sight of the Lord.
And don't worry when you do that he will lift you up.
He will lift you up but that comes from a position of humility not a position of pride.
Bible says He give us great something iron that as he resisted the proud but he gives grace to the humble he doesn't want. The
God that acts like he has it all together. You know what I've learned in 25 years old. OK. Twenty five years of pasturing full time. You know what I've learned in 25 years of passing full time. The people and you can know that don't have it together are always the ones that pretend to have it together.
If you only knew. They don't have it together either. There's no way we can fight this battle parliament's passage act like anything but that he wants children that are humble verse 7 submit yourselves.
First step in overcoming sin in our life as being humble submitting ourselves. He didn't says resist the devil and then he gives us this promise. He might not. Maybe
but what's the promise he will play from drawn out a god named burstin once again insist that humble yourselves humility humility honestly gothe is a characteristic we don't like talking about too much we don't even like that word Hackham because with that idea and humility as a character we don't like speaking about too much at all. We don't like talking about humility we love being strong about everyone knowing how good of a preacher we are the worst people in the world about humility are preachers preachers are worlds worse preachers don't love standing up for.
If you'll be more like me you'll be OK. No you do don't get it. If a preacher says that he does not understand that's not the answer. That's not the answer.
We're good about being strong Maometto. Thank you. It's not a humility can be found in many places the pulpit is not usually one. I pray that God will allow me to be humble in my approach. I beg God for that. My purging preaching and everything I do as a pastor and how I'd deal with the people got allows me to influence our lives. We need humility.
I'm part of a pastoral group and it's funny because it's a Facebook group and it drives me crazy because I read stuff on it once in a while.
There's this young man asking should we demanded that the people of our church call us pastor in our last name over 200 responses.
Absolutely because you're a man of God.
The reason I have short hair is so I can't pull it out because it was driving me crazy you'd see that.
That's the deal is we don't like humility at all. Pastors don't like humility. The dead don't like that at all.
One of the guys said If you're a doctor you earned that doctor degree you need to ask them to call you Dr. So-and-So. My Facebook comment went like this. My
name is Chris but it is not dead.
Isn't that crazy. We don't like humility we don't like it at all.
One of the most powerful cross-reference is this passage. No doubt the next passage are going to look at real quickly the path are going to show us what we must do in our lives in this struggle between the old man and the new man. What we've got to understand is that we will never have victory by ourselves and our Christian will we will never have victory in our Christian walk by ourselves. And here's the sad news for you today. There's no quick fix.
Don't you wish I could just say Hey here are three steps. If you follow these three steps are going to be OK when that is really cool when will be awesome if you do that.
There's no list of stands to stop. There's no list of things to do. There's no conference or revival is going to fix things. There's no magical message or book or even a verse that is going to change everything. From
here on out in your life doesn't exist. Here's a promise for you before we dive into Galatians chapter 5 verse 16. The only thing that's going to come from you trying to live up to a standard by yourself is frustration. The only thing that's going to happen is frustration because here's the deal you will never be good enough. I will never be good enough and that's not stated to defeat you. That state ensure that you can arrest in the arms of the one that has already paid the price. And then you can rest and knowing that this battle can be won. Look
at the way the scripture says it here in the Galatians 5. You to look at ten verses really quick say this I say then verse 16 Galatians fast 16 walk in the spirit and you're not going to fulfill the last of the flesh. Now I really wish that we had a book in the Bible that said here's a spirit walking manual where we talk about that a little bit. This is walk in the spirit of lust of the flesh for the flesh lust against the spirit and spirit against the flesh. These
are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would but if you be led of the spirit you're not under the law. Never works of the flesh are manifest which are these adultery fornication and cleanliness lasciviousness idolatry or witchcraft hatred various emulation and wrath strifes traditions heresies envying murder your murders drunkenness ramblings and such like are which I tell you before as I have also told you in the past they would do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace longsuffering gentleness goodness faith meekness temperance against which there is no law.
And they that are Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust.
We live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit. Let's not be desirous of vainglory provoking one another envying one another. This was typed out three months before I needed it. And as I was looking over it Friday and Saturday I was like Lord I just can't believe you put this for me to preach today.
How many of you are exhausted in life when you really don't know that I can handle one more thing. How many of you think I can't keep going. Can
I tell you today that I think that most of it comes from the fact that we try to serve Jesus with our old nature. And that's impossible. Like we try and serve Jesus with a nature that can't serve him. Glachan 5 teaches us to walk in the spirit and if we do that then we will not fulfill the less of the flesh. Can I ask you today are you doing that you say Chris how do I do that. Thank you for asking that question. Great question. We're about done right. This
on your paper. An asterisk next to it. Put an exclamation point next to it on your piece of paper. Are we daily praying and asking the spirit of God to lead us and to show us how to please God.
Are you daily praying and saying god could you just show me how to please you.
And guess what.
Every day is not going to look the same.
Last week we had a couple of us that was in a line at Michael's. And honestly I just felt led to invite them to church I said Hey yeah.
So our T-shirt hats are about autism. And I said hey do y'all go to my friends church up in Cartersville because they have a day where they help people out and she goes and I know but I know some people that go there she goes tell me about yourself.
We had this long conversation. How many of us are even asking God what he wants in our life instead of waking up with a list of things to do.
The spirit is the key to living a life free of frustration in our walk with Christ. Verse 18 says that if the spirit were not under the law we know that the works of the flesh are in verse 18 to 21. But the fruit of the spirit is Galatians 222 to. And here's the question. Is your life marked by the fruit of the spirit. Like is your fruit marked. Is your life marked by the fruit of the spirit. Do we intentionally ask the spirit of God to guide us in our walk with him maybe today had a good day. We need to start living asking the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Because usually the Bible promises if you are a believer in Christ you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you and if you have him leading living inside of you. The problem is not that he's not communicating. The problem is you're acting too much like your kids did when they were small D. Ever remember the the listening problem we had.
It's amazing in my house I can say call the name of my kids and they magically don't hear me like they can but I can do this I can go Ondra to get some ice cream and all of a sudden foreheads pop up around us in no time flat because they hear the ice cream word a lot easier than they hear their names because they know that I need them to do so. So I've decided to change your name to ice cream and so if I do that don't come up stairs in the night and talk to them about what needs to be done. Here's what I'm saying. Selective listening disability what happens in us as Christians. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. The Bible says the Romans Chapter 8 The all of Romans 8 is about how to live in the spirit of Rome and generate the spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And here's what we do who he's supposed to be talking to us. Here's the deal though.
We're supposed to listen we're supposed to listen and as you listen you gonna find that people go. Chris I don't know how to walk in the spirit. You know why. This is what I can promise you why you don't know how to walk in the spirit because you've never tried wake up tomorrow morning or even start praying after we get through preaching and wake up tomorrow morning and say Holy Spirit I asked you to guide me in every step of the way and I will try and obey your voice as you speak to me today.
As my friend John Moore says brace for impact because guess what happens. He speaks to us through His Word. He speaks to us as we pray.
We cannot do what we know is right and not do what we don't know what we know is wrong but we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in the process and to teach us to do exactly that can I encourage you to try and do this all week. I would love to hear testimonies next week of what it was like when you just had Holy Spirit if you'll leave me today I'll actually follow as parents unless you're parenting right now you may have forgotten these days these days. But you know when you call your kids so many times they'll come you're almost like I don't care anymore. I don't want to yell at them again they're not coming your way. I got to go look for them.
You get the Holy Spirit about you just that we can quench the Holy Spirit. How many of us have even cared enough to ask so the question is this Romans Chapter 7. Who will deliver me. The answer is Jesus Christ. And he lives in us through the Holy Spirit of God. Can I beg you this week to make this week a spirit lead. Week. The problem with people like me is we love our agendas. And the Holy Spirit doesn't follow my agenda too well like he doesn't look at my calendar consult with me before walk in the spirit just as you say Chris. Give me seven steps on how to do that. Now I won't give you one. I want you to wake up tomorrow and pray don't you say Holy Spirit God me today. Show me what to do.
Teach me how to speak to my children. In ways that bring you glory teach me. And by the way that's not necessarily speaking to them in King James English with verse references you know what it is. It's speaking with love instead of anger. Lord teach me to speak to my wife in a way that is led by your Holy Spirit. Lord help me and let me just tell you the number one person in this room again needs this message me. I wish I could tell you that I'm thinking about people you need it and you need it. I'm not the biggest person in the room in an or knows me we've got to learn to walk in the spirit and when we do that in humility what we'll find is the frustration filled life that we have will change because he came to give us life but not only life but life more abundantly.
So let's go home today and say I will do everything that I can this week to ask the Holy Spirit to lead me and just watch and say I'll obey what you say but be careful because it gets addicting. You'll find God doing stuff in your life that you never expected. Had some coming me up this week. Don't have any money. We're in trouble. I don't know what happened. There's a cheque lost in the mail. We're sitting there talking on the phone hung up and I was like we need to pray for her. We just pray and pray. Oh you do not get to imagine how God solved this for me. Sharra God in heaven. It's amazing. Problem is we decide that we want communicate with so just go to this week and say I'm going to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
You know what I come to you humbled by your word. And I ask you dear lord that you would help me to to be an example of walking in the spirit to my kids. Which I'm not. So many times.
I ask you that you had helped me to be an example of that. My wife. And I felt that so many times. I'm a person that eat up with pride and help me and to be humble. And that humility or to be able to serve you in a way brings you honor. And brings you glory. Holy Spirit I ask you to speak with me. I ask you to lead me. I ask you to guide me ask you to direct me through your word. That I may be representative of you. That brings glory to your name. My brain. Human.