Reach Ministries -  Reaching Everyone, Anywhere, Changing Hearts for Jesus Christ
''THE LIFE I NOW LIVE"
 
 
I. THE STRUGGLE WITH SIN.
 
A.   It is something that we all experience.
 
B.   The Bible records the history of man's struggle with sin.
 
              1.  The Bible declares that there is none righteous, no not one.
 
              2.   The Bible says that we have all sinned and come short of the
                       glory of God.
 
           3.   The Bible tells of the power that sin can have over a person's
                       life.
 
               4.   Paul spoke of his own struggle with his sinful nature.
 
   ROM 7:15      For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I 
                                 not; but what I hate, that do I.
 
    ROM 7:16     If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law
                                that it is good.
 
    ROM 7:17     Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in 
                                me.
 
    ROM 7:18     For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwellet no
                               good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to
                               perform that  which is good I find not.
 
    ROM 7:19     For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I
                                would not, that I do
 
    ROM 7:20    Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but
                                 sin that dwelleth in me.
 
    ROM 7:21      I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is 
                                present with me.
      
    ROM 7:22     For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 
    ROM 7:23     But I see another law in my members, warring against
                                the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to
                                the law of sin which is in my members.
 
    ROM 7:24     O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the
                                 body of this death?
 
              5.   A little further in this epistle Paul will tell us that the flesh is
                       warring against our spirit, and our spirit against our flesh so
                       that we do always do what we would.
 
C.  Even those men who are held up as hero's in the Bible were often
        guilty of sin.
 
           1.  God said of King David that he was a man after God's own
                     heart, yet he sinned horribly
 
           2.   Abraham the man who is held up as the classic example of
                      the blessings God bestows upon the man of faith, sinned
                      when he lied about his relationship with his wife. His lie,
                      interestingly enough, was prompted by his lack of faith in
                      God's keeping power.
 
           3.   Moses the great leader of the people of God the man through
                      whom God revealed His law and statutes was guilty of
                      smiting the rock in a fit of anger.
 
D.  We are all aware of the destructive nature of sin.
 
             1. We know how it can destroy our lives.
 
             2. We know how it destroys marriages, and families.
 
              3.   We know how it destroys a culture.
 
             4.   We know how it can destroy a nation. The Bible and history
                      have shown how that one nation after another has been
                      destroyed by sin.
   
            5.  Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
                      people.
  
E.  We are all aware how that sin leads into bondage. How that it can
        overpower a person and take control of their lives.
 
F.  We all have an abhorrence of sin when someone else is
        committing it.
  
G.  Yet sin has a powerful attraction, and it appeals to our flesh, and
         we find it very difficult to resist.
  
H.  Why would God make sin so attractive, and leave us so
         vulnerable and weak?
 
           1.   To the first question, He allowed sin to be attractive so that
                       my declarations of love could be tested.
 
              2.   Jesus said to Peter, "Do you love Me more than these?" My
                      guess is that Jesus was nodding toward the fish.
  
           3.  Fishing like so many other things seems to get in a person's
                       blood.
 
               4.   It was certainly in Peter's blood. When Jesus didn't show up
                      on schedule, Peter said, "I'm going fishing."
 
               5.   Jesus is often asking you, "Do you love Me more that
                        these?"
  
I.    You are fully aware of what the these are in your life?
  
             1.   If the these were ugly and abhorrent, the affirmation of my
                      love would not be meaningful.
 
              2.   He has allowed sin to be attractive so that my forsaking it
                      to follow Him might be a truly meaningful act of love.
 
J.    As to the second question, why does He leave us so
         vulnerable and weak?
  
              1.   So that we will learn to trust in Him for His deliverance and
                     help.
  
             2.   He wants me to trust His love and power so he leaves me
                       weak and vulnerable.
 
  II. GOD'S PLAN FOR VICTORY OVER THE POWER OF SIN.
   
A.    Putting us to death.
 
                1.   A dead man is not tempted to sin.
 
                2.   There may be all kinds of temptation placed before him,
                        but he will not so much as move a finger, or blink an eye.
 
B.    In his letter to the Romans Paul said,
 
    ROM 6:6     Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him],
                              that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth
                               we should not serve sin.
 
    ROM 6:7     For he that is dead is freed from sin.
 
    ROM 6:8      Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also
                               live with him:
 
    ROM 6:9      Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no
                               more; death hath no more dominion over him.
 
    ROM 6:10    For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he
                               liveth, he liveth unto God.
 
    ROM 6:11    Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed
                              unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our
                               Lord.
 
    ROM 6:12     Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye
                               should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 
    ROM 6:13    Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of
                                unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto
                               God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
                               members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.
 
   ROM 6:14    For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
                               under the law, but under grace.
 
C.    God has provided that we might be crucified with Christ.
 
               1.   That is what Paul is affirming in this verse, "I am crucified
                       with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives
                       in me."
 
               2.   In Chapter 5 of this book Paul will say,
 
    GAL 5:24     And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with
                               the affections and desires.
 
               3.   Note that Paul says, "Reckon yourselves to be dead unto
                       sin."
  
              4.   The word reckon is a word of faith.
   
              5.   It is a position I take by faith.
 
               6.   How so? I still have the strong urge to sin, and am still
                       tempted, but I say to myself, "I have been crucified with
                       Christ, I am dead to sin, I do not need to yield to that
                       temptation. I am His, I am not my own to do as I please."
 
    III. DEAD, BUT ALIVE. NEVERTHELESS I LIVE, YET NOT I BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME, AND THE LIFE I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH, I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.
 
A.   I am still living, yet not for myself, my body is now the
          temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in me, I am not my own,
          I have been bought with a price, I am to glorify God in my
          body and spirit which are His.
 
B.    The problem with most Christians is that they are part time
          Christians.
 
               1.   They come to church, sit in the pew, sing the songs, listen
                       to the teaching of the Word and feel that they have fulfilled
                       their spiritual obligations for the week.
 
            2.   For a few hours of the week they belong to Jesus, the rest
                       of the time they are free to pursue their own desires and
                       will.
 
                3.   Living for Jesus was never intended to be a part time
                        obligation.
 
                4.   The true child of God has renounced his own control over
                         his life and submitted himself to follow the orders of
                         Jesus.
 
                5.  This is what the Lordship of Jesus is all about.
 
              6.   If Jesus Christ is truly my lord, then I am duty bound to
                         obey Him, and to seek to please him in all that I do.
 
C.      Note how the Apostles introduce themselves in their letters.
 
              1.   Romans 1:1 "Paul a bond slave of Jesus Christ."
 
              2.   James 1:1    "James a bond slave of Jesus Christ."
 
                 3.   II Peter 1:1 "Peter a bond slave of Jesus Christ."
 
                 4.   Jude 1:1       "Jude a bond slave of Jesus Christ."
 
D.    This is what Paul is saying when he declares in,
                 
                          Galations 2:20  
                                                 
                                    "Nevertheless I live, yet not I but
                              Christ liveth in Me and the life I now live,
                               I live by the faith of the Son of God."