Archive for June, 2010


A young boy had just gotten his driver’s license. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father, if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut.”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samsom had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair!”, to which is father replied, “Yes, you’re right, and they also WALKED every where they went!”

We have come to Romans 8, a chapter in the Bible which more than any other talks about our walk with the Holy Spirit. In fact, our walk in the Holy Spirit is to become so natural that we hardly notice it, becasue our walk in the Holy Spirit is to be the New Law of our Christian walk.

What is a Law? A Law is a general rule that happens over and over again, without exception. Every April 15, we are reminded that without exception some accounting of your income must be made to the IRS. It is automatic. Every time you jump up in the air you come back down. The Law of Gravity is something we just accept.

When you drive, you know you must keep track of your speed. When you see a Red Light you know you should stop. We drive on the right side of the road. In England and Australia they drive on the other side of the road and it is the most unnatural feeling in the world.

When we live according to a Law, it is so accepted that it is natural.

Romans 7 revealed a struggle that Paul had, a struggle that ran him right up against a Law, A Law of Sin. It was a Law that his flesh was comfortable with, had accepted, and was struggling with.

Even though in Romans 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.)  he had taught us

1. KNOW our old man is dead.

Then he taught us in Romans 6:11 (Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord) to

2. COUNT on God that it is so.

Our old man is dead. Depend on it. God says it is true. And then Paul taught us, that if our old man is dead and we can count on that like money in the bank, then our flesh is unemployed, and so it must be…

3.PRESENTED to God for Him to use.

He taught this in Romans 6:13: (Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.)

Still Paul struggled with his will. He testified to this in Romans 7:15-20

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

The reason for his struggle is that he discovered something: “but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” Romans 7:23

There is a law that governs how we live in this flesh. It is the Law of Sin and of death and it cripples man’s will to do good. Man wills to be different, but the law of sin is relentless, and no human can resist it.

So, how can we be set free from this law of sin and death? We certainly need freedom from sin, we certainly need freedom from death, but most of all we need freedom from this LAW of sin and death.

  • How can we be delivered from the constant repetition of weakness and failure?

The Key Phrases

There are two phrases that we see in Romans 5:12-6:23:

“in Adam” and “in Christ”

There are two phrases we see in Romans 7:1-8:39:

“in the flesh” and “in the Spirit”

POSITIONAL Experience

“In Adam” and “In Christ” picture our position. At birth God views us in Adam. All that is Adam’s is our. His sin nature, his sinfulness, that is our position at birth.

When we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we are placed “in Christ.” God no longer sees us in Adam. He declares us justified, righteous. Our sins are forever forgiven. We have the life of Christ.

PRACTICAL experience

“In the flesh” and “in the Spirit” relate to our practical experience.

It is not enough to simply know what your position is. You need to experience it. To be in Christ is not enough. To have our old man crucified is not enough. To present our members as servants of God is not enough. The only way the New Law becomes effective and practical in our lives is when we learn to walk everyday “in the Spirit!”

We need to see there is a New Law that we Christians are to live by. It is as natural as the Law of Gravity. It is a more powerful law than the law of sin.

The key to this Law is walking in the Holy Spirit.

This is why the first part of Romans 8 is so centered upon the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit is mentioned in Romans 8 no less than 19 different times. No other chapter in the New Testament contains as many direct references to the Holy Spirit. While it is true that our old man is crucified, and we are freed from the power of sin, if we do not mind our walk, and learn to walk in the spirit, then our lives will be a contradiction to the fact of my position in Jesus Christ.

If we walk in the flesh, what is true of me in Him will not be expressed in my life.

Positionally I may be in Jesus, but practically, my temper, or my lust, or my jealousy, or my greed may be in evidence.

The truth of who we are in Jesus Christ cannot be experienced by walking in the flesh. That is totally the experience of Paul in Romans 7. The flesh is no match for the Law of Sin. The only way we can experience the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives is by living according to a New and greater Law, the Law of Living in the Holy Spirit!

Living in the Holy Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself. This life is completely different from the life I would naturally live myself!

  • This is not a life of TRYING but of TRUSTING!
  • This is not a life of STRUGGLING but of RESTING!
  • Whether your problem is a temper, a sarcastic tongue, a critical spirit, impure thoughts, you do not set out by sure will power to change yourself.

    If you are Living in the Spirit, you know and count yourself dead to those things and then look to the Holy Spirit to produce in you the needed purity, humility, patience, meekness, and you are confident He will do so. In fact, you thank Him in advance for deliverance from those sins.

    As Exodus 14:13 states: Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you!”

    When the Holy Spirit takes matters into His hands, there is no need for strain on our part. It is not a matter of counting to 10, of going home and taking it out on a pillow, there will be no need, for the Holy Spirit has worked it in you.

    Real victory over a sin, over a habit does not come by fleshly effort, but by the Holy Spirit and our living in Him!

    This is why Satan is so active in the world tempting us to stay in the flesh. This is why John warns against loving this world:

    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

    If you are in love with the world, the love of the Father is not in you. That is because the love of the world has brought you into a fleshly walk, and not the walk of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is LOVE!

    When you love the world, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride of possessions, you are not living according to the Law of the Holy Spirit! You are settling for the bowl of lentil soup that Esau sold his birthright for. In the Holy Spirit is our life of Blessing!

    Temptation gets us off our walk and exposes us to struggle and defeat!

    When the Japanese invaded China, their overwhelming strength destroyed most of the Chinese tanks within the first three months. They were unable to deal with the Japanese armored tanks until they devised this scheme:

    A sniper would be set up in a hidden place and would fire a single shot at the Japanese tank. After at least 15 minutes he would fire another single shot. Then after ten minutes or so, the sniper would fire another shot. He would keep doing it until the Japanese tank driver, eager to locate the source of the shots, would pop his head out to get a better look around him. The next shot would put an end to the Japanese driver.

    As long as the driver remained in the tank, he was safe. The scheme was devised to get him out in the open.

    Satan’s temptations are not designed to get us to do something really sinful, but simply to act in our own energy. As soon as we step away from the Holy Spirit, and start acting naturally, in our flesh, he has the victory.

    This is the lesson of Galations 5:16-18:

    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Galatians 5:16-18

    THE FIGHT WITH THE FLESH IS NOT OURS, BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT’S.

    These are in opposition one to another! So the Holy Spirit bears the burden of fighting the flesh, and the result is that we not do as we normally would. In fact, the result is that we are not under the Law, becasue we are walking according to a New Law, Life in the Holy Spirit!

    When we depend upon the Holy Spirit, and do not allow the devil to lure us from his cover, He is then free to meet and deal with the flesh in us.

    Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh!

    Our deliverance and victory lies not in our own fleshly strength and determination, but by our abiding in Christ and and simply counting upon His Holy Spirit with us to overcome fleshly lusts with HIS OWN DESIRES!.

    • The Cross procures our Salvation
    • The Spirit produces that Salvation within us!
    • Christ risen and ascended is the basis of our salvation;
    • Christ in our hearts by the Spirit is its power!

    So what does Paul exclaim in Romans 7?

    I  THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

    Up until his exclamation, he used “I” or “me” over 25 times. in just a few verses. He was totally struggling in his flesh! But when he exclaimed I thank God through Jesus Christ, it became him and he and we! That is what Paul revealed in Galatians 2:20:

    I live, yet no longer I, but Christ!

    When the focus is on the I, it is “What a Wretched Man I am!” When the focus is on Christ, we shout THANK YOU GOD!

    Christians do not have a changed life. God offers us an exchanged life! We exchange our natural, fleshly live for the life of Jesus Christ within us! We do not produce within ourselves the life of Christ. We don’t try to act like Jesus. Jesus really lives through us by His Spirit!

    The Holy Spirit reproduces the life of Jesus in us! That is what Galatians 4:19 reveals – Christ is formed in you!

    What brought victory for Paul? He explains in Romans 8, that there is a new law that supercedes the law of sin. This law is not a fleshly law, but it is a law nonetheless. As such, when you start to walk in this new law, it will become natural, it will produce the same result over and over again. After all, it is a Law.

    So how do we learn to walk and live in the Law of Life in the Holy Spirit?

    Only when we we become aware of our great need for His life! We get to the point where we see our deficiencies and our inadequacies and our failures and we can do nothng else but cry out to Him!

    Does that sound like salvation? Yes, and sometimes when someone has led a life of sin and then realizes their need makes a dramatic turn to Jesus Christ, and immediately everything about their life is changed. They immediately begin walking in the Holy Spirit.

    But Paul reflected his experience where he came to Jesus but then tried to walk in his flesh, becasue he was a Jew, used to following a set of laws. But his frustration led him to the point of seeing his total inability. Then he cried out to Jesus and saw the light of the Life in the Holy Spirit.

    Many people who get saved as a youngster and grow up in a Christian home take Jesus for granted. They get out into the world or college and get lured into the love of the world. They try to live the Christian life in their fleshly strength and fail miserably. Then, when they get to the end of themselves, and realize they cannot live the Christian life in their own strength, they are ready to give everything over to Him and let Jesus live His life through them. Then is when they find victory.

    Romans 8:1 No Condemnation

    Paul goes from a wretched man in Romans 7 to this amazing declaration:

    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

    There are two kinds of condemnation:

    1. Before God
    2. Before Myself

    I have no problem seeing my sins forgiven on the cross. I have no problem seeing that God no longer condemns me becasue I am in His son. I do have a problem with a condemning heart. I experience defeat in my life, and my heart goes into hyperdrive condemning me.

    But in the Spirit, there is no condemnation.

    What lay behind my condemnation? It was my experience of defeat. Before I saw Christ as my life, I labored under a constant sense of a handicap. I was limited, confined to a wheelchair, disabled. I cannot do this. I cannot please God! But there is no “can not” in Christ! THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION, THERE IS NO FAILURE, THERE IS NO DAMNATION, THERE IS NO REGRETTING! THERE IS ONLY THE LIFE OF Jesus Christ in me!

    For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the condemning law of sin and death!

    God wants us to realize that as Christians he doesn’t just leave us at the Cross. We don’t come to Christ as Savior and then walk away on our own. God wants us to realize that Jesus Christ wants to live through our lives, in fact, God wants us to realize that we are united with Christ. Everything about us, our identity, our life, our career, our family is inextricably tied up in Jesus Christ!

    God wants us to walk under a New Law, a Law that is to be so natural that we take it for granted, just like gravity. He wants us to walk according to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ!

    When we close our eyes to seeing this new Law, to seeing the Holy Spirit as Lord of our life, we open our eyes to the world and all the associated temptations. If we are not in the Spirit, we walk in the flesh, and so we walk as Romans 7 Christians, always struggling with guilt and failure and problems. Most fleshly Christians end up turning away from God at some point, for the Christian life seems to conflict with the fleshly world and all they experience there.

    Let me illustrate how this works.

    This past weekend Lydia and I were in Boonville, MO. staying at the High Street Victorian Bed and Breakfast operated by Kriss and Gene Royer. Friday night Lydia and I walked three building down to the Hotel Frederick to sit out on the balcony and watch the sunset over the Missouri River (which was at flood stage).

    It was very busy and the people were real friendly. The beer and cocktails were flowing freely, as well as the conversation. People would ask us what we were doing there and Lydia would proudly say that I had decided to ride my bicycle the 76 miles from Clinton to Boonville (on the Katy Trail) on my birthday (the day before). They would offer their kudo’s and looks of unbelief, etc. There was a group of people from the “R” bar in Kansas City and one of the guys appeared to be a “Cowboy” complete with the slow Texan draw. He was real friendly and at some point the ‘question’ got asked. It is the question that many Pastors are afraid of, especially in a crowd of people who don’t seem to be church-goers. He asked, so what do you do? I simply said I’m a pastor of a church. There were several ‘oh’s’ and some furtive glances away, but this ‘Cowboy’ seemed real interested. He immediately perked up and said he goes to church and he was a ‘Methodist-Buddhist-Muslim’. Now my attention was peaked, and I mentioned my curiosity as to how that could work. We discussed several topics in a gentlemanly way. All in the open, with others listening.

    At one point he came over to our table and engaged me one-on-one. As much as could be, this was a private conversation. He shared that as a 13 year old, he had asked Jesus Christ into his life, and admitted that growing up he went to a Gospel-Preaching Methodist all the time. I got the sense that he genuinely believed in Christ, but somewhere along the line he had gotten into a bunch of ‘worldly’ beliefs. I also found out that he is an attorney, and much of his ‘Cowboy’ display is a cover for a very intelligent, shrewd lawyer. Soon after his confession I was led to say that I have found that whenever a Christian strays away from his belief in Christ (at which point he said ‘I’m still a believer’), it is usually the result of at least one of three things. It is either because of moral impurity, deep-seated bitterness, or a temporal value system. At this point he got rather defensive, and launched into another defensive move. He decried a God who could allow such evils as 9/11, Katrina, child abuse, etc. He said he could not believe in a God like that. It hit me that he had some deep-rooted bitterness toward God over sometning in his life.

    I said that many times we make a decision with our mind to believe in Christ, but God says in Prov 23:26: “Son, give me your heart!” God wants our heart, God wants our trust. There are many things that happen in our lives that we can not understand. There are many experiences that will try to destroy our trust in God. That is why God wants our heart. Regardless of what we experience, regardless of what we think, we are to trust in God and His Word. Otherwise, we give our heart to the things of this world, the philosophis of this world, the hurts and disappointments of this world. Before long, our heart is far away from God, from Jesus, from a faith that has real application in this world.

    We conversed over an hour that evening, and while I could see a searching in his eyes, his heart is far from the Jehovah of the Bible. He has gone after a god of his own making, one who embraces Buddhists, Muslims, and all the other deluded people of the world. All becasue he is bitter at the True God for something He did or failed to do. To Mark, there is a Jesus, but He has no reality in this present world.  And so, in all practical aspects, Jesus is dead to Mark.

    And so it is with many Christians, even good Baptist(ha) ones, who make a decision to follow Jesus, but because their focus is not on the Law of the Spirit of Life, they do not see how Jesus relates to their everyday lives, and soon Jesus is an ornament, or a figurehead of something you do on Sunday, if they go at all. They too are focused on the flesh, focused on the world, and Jesus is far from their heart.

    Let’s see what effect this New Law is supposed to have upon Christians. God wants the Truth of Jesus Christ to be superior to our experiences. We are to walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT. When Christians fail to see the Power of Christ for their everyday lives it is because they are letting their fleshy experieces rule their lives.

    Kriss and Gene Royer, InnKeepers

    The Innkeepers of the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at are a marvelous Christian couple. We had a long conversation with Kriss about one of their children, Ashley Ann. They adopted Ashley Ann when she was nine years old. She had been in the foster care system since she was five, and in four short years had already had over twenty foster homes and over twenty different schools. I will let Ashley tell you why (from an essay she wrote for a Scholarship to Southwest Baptist University):

    “My life as a small child was filled with life experiences no one should have to go through, especially a little child. I was deliberately and repeatedly abused and abandoned. At age two, my father shoved my face into a brick wall from which I still have scars. My mother was a prostitute, drug user and dealer. I have seen everything imaginable. I have been sexually abused, deliberately burned, stripped naked and beaten, had needles stuck into me like apin cushion just for the kicks of the drug addicted friends of my mother. They would tell me there were ‘doctors’. At age three I was often left alone for days to look after my brother (who was 11 months older than me and had cerebral palsy) and my newborn sister. I had to learn to be resourceful to find food for us all, and ‘played mommy’ becasue no on else was there to take care of us. While I was still three, the Social Worker took me away from my mom permanently and placed me with my grandmother. This was no better because she allowed my mom to stay at her home against the rules of the social worker. My grandmother continued the abuse, and even went further, forcing me to drink beer and smoke cigarettes. When I refused, she would beat me and even burn me. At age five I was permanently placed in the foster care system. By the age of nine I had gone from foster cfamily to foster family for an average stay of three or four months. I attended twenty seven different schools. No one wanted me, and although I had learned to be flexible with so much change in my life, I was an insecure, untrusting, angry and scared little kid. I quickly learned that if I rejected others before they had a chance to reject me, it wouldn’t be so painful.”

    If the story stopped here, she would have grown up to be another abusive woman, angry at the world, angry at her children. The cycle would have continued, and everyone would have understood.

    Ashley wrote:

    “I think success in overcoming childhood trauma and abuse in a person’s life is much more difficult than attaining worldly success. I have learned that bad things can happen to a person becasue of other people’s choices. I too make choices and it was up to me whether I would carry those painful memories and emotional scars the rest of my life. I could chose to let them weigh me down and keep me stuck in a life filled with anger, pain, self pity and bitterness. Or I could use them to become a better person.”

    What made this transformation possible? How could someone so abused and hated and discarded even begin to hope there was something more to this life?

    Ashley made a startling discovery. She discovered a different foster family. “They really did want me even though they were told I was mean, angry, aggressive, violent, used bad language and tried to hurt others. They loved me no matter what I did, and believe me I tested them plenty to be sure they weren’t going to throw me away like everyone else in my life did!”

    Ashley discovered love for the first time in her life. But then she discovered the reason for that love.

    “One of the things that was different with my new family…was their faith. My new mom and big brothers worked at a family camp and I got to go with them every day. I loved this camp and I got to experience being a kid, and playing and swimming and all the things a kid should experience. And I loved singing the new songs I learned every day. It did not take long before I made this faith my own. I discovered a faith that would carry me through all the trauma of my childhood, and bring complete healing and a wholeness I never thought possible.” Ahsley reveals the power of Jesus Christ when she states: “Through my faith in the Lord I have learned how to forgive those who hurt me and how to release each of those pains and not carry them.”

    She admits it has not been easy, and yet through it all, time and time again, she has seen that “I have a power inside me bigger than myself, and that with God, all things are possible!”

    This is the choice each Christian must make. Your background does not matter. What matters is are you going to believe in the power of Jesus Christ for your everyday life? Are you going to walk according to the NEW LAW, the “Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?”

    Only as Christian’s walk in this new law are we able to enjoy the overcoming, abundant life of Jesus Christ.

    Or, we can let our failures, the abuses, hurts, pains and evils get us to where we are bitter, disillusioned, defeated. Jesus Christ is little more than a teacher, an ideal, who has little impact on this difficult life we lead.

    It’s up to you whether you will carry your failures and bad choices with you the rest of your life. You can choose to let them weigh you down and keep you stuck in a life filled with fleshly effort, fleshly choices, and all the anger bitterness and pain they bring.

    You have a choice of who you want to become.

    You can be a fleshly Christian, struggling the best you can to be like Jesus, always vacillating between defeat and victory, constantly being drawn away by your fleshly focus.

    Or you can be desperate enough to simply say,”Holy Spirit, I want the life you have for me. I want you to live Jesus through me.” You can stop struggling and start resting. When you realize you need His power, and stop using your own, is when you will see the reality of Jesus Christ.

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    Paul was seemingly singing this song in Romans Seven. He was constantly reminded of the Law of God and how he failed to meet it. Similar to when we are pulled over by a policeman, who reminds us of our failure to obey the Law! Just like this man discovered:

    A male driver is pulled over by a cop and the following conversation takes place:
    Man: What’s the problem officer?
    Cop: You were going at least 75 in a 55 zone.
    Man: No sir, I was going 65.
    Wife: Oh Harry. You were going 80.
    (Man gives his wife a dirty look.)
    Cop: I’m also going to give you a ticket for your broken tail light.
    Man: Broken tail light? I didn’t know about a broken tail light!
    Wife: Oh Harry, you’ve known about that tail light for weeks.
    (Man gives his wife a dirty look.)
    Cop: I’m also going to give you a citation for not wearing your seat belt.
    Man: Oh, I just took it off when you were walking up to the car.
    Wife: Oh  Harry, you never wear your seat belt.
    Man: Shut your mouth, woman!
    Cop: Ma’am, does your husband always talk to you this way?
    Wife: No, only when he’s drunk.

    Romans 6 deals with freedom from sin. Romans 7 deals with freedom from the law. Romans 6 – how to be delivered from sin. Romans 7 – deliverance from sin is not enough-we need deliverance from the Law. Paul reveals a new discovery in Romans 7: I am in the flesh (vs. 5) I am carnal (vs. 14) and in my flesh dwells no good (vs. 18)

    The discovery is that when we are in the flesh, we cannot please God (Romans 8:8)

    When we first come to the Lord as our Savior, and then we give ourselves to Him, we feel we must do something for the Lord. So we start out seeking to do his will. We start reading the Bible. We start having regular time of prayer and devotion. We perhaps start tithing. But as time goes by, we forget to read and pray. Money gets tight so we don’t tithe as much or maybe we stop. It seems the more we try to do the will of God, the more we fail. We may re-dedicate ourselves, or try something less intensive, but then we fail that as well.

    We get to the point where we exclaim, this is just the way I am, no good thing dwells in me, I guess I just do the best with what I’ve got. And we feel frustrated, or we feel apathetic, or we feel despaired.

    We find ourselves in Romans 7. We are despairing because we see there is no way we could please God the way we think He wants to be pleased.

    The trouble is we do not know deliverance from the Law!

    I. The Power of the Law:

    A.The Law Dominates As Long As You Live

    VS 1-3: Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Romans 7:1-3

    The Law Does Not Apply to Dead People!

    • Dead men pay no taxes
    • Dead men can’t be incarcerated!
    • A wife is no longer married when her husband dies.

    1. Christians are Dead to the Law

    VS 4: Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4

    The Law is not dead; the Law has not been done away with. But WE are dead to the Law! Our death has made us dead to the claims of the Law. The Law is not dead; it simply has no claims upon our lives because our old man is dead. The law has no jurisdiction, power, rule, authority, or dominion over the true believer. The believer is dead to the law and the law is dead to the believer. The law simply does not exist for the believer.

    What a shocking truth, but that is exactly what Scripture is declaring! We are no longer under the law and its accusing finger, no longer under it’s…

    • Guilt and shame
    • Condemnation and punishment
    • Discouragement and frustration
    • Tension and pressure
    • Sense of failure and unworthiness
    • Sense of disappointment

    The Law is Alive to those Walking in the Flesh

    2.  We are Free to Marry Christ

    VS 4(Phillips): you are free to give yourselves in marriage, so to speak, to another, the one who was raised from the dead, that you may be productive for God.

    We are Free to be productive IN THE POWER OF CHRIST!

    • To bear righteousness (Romans 6:21-23; Phil. 1:11).
    • To bear converts (Romans 1:13; John 15:16).
    • To bear Christian character, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Col. 1:10).

    None of these is done in the flesh; none of these is done by following a set of rules. Righteousness is of the Heart, of the inward man. People coming to Christ as Savior is dependent upon the working of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit cannot be faked; it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

    3. The Law is Alive to those “in the flesh”

    VS 5: For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. NASB

    “Motions KJV or passions” is pathēma, “an affection, a passion, impulse.” Vincent says, “Motions was used in earlier English for emotions or impulses. Thus Bacon: ‘He that standeth at a stay where others rise can hardly avoid motions of envy.’ “”Did work” is energeō, “to be operative, put forth power, be at work.”

    The emotions or impulses of sin, stirred to activity by the law, were operative in the members of our bodies with the result of the production of fruit, this fruit being with respect to death, identified with death, thus, characterized by death. Wuest

    We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 1 Timothy 1:9-10

    The law not only points out sin, it actually arouses feelings and stirs the emotions to do the forbidden. Sinful feelings are actually “stimulated” (enērgeito) by the law in our members. When the law prohibits and forbids something, it actually creates within us…

    • an interest •  an attraction •  an excitement •  an appeal •  a tug or pull •  a fascination •  a seduction •  an arousal

    There is within man something that makes him want to do what he is forbidden to do. When he is restricted or fenced in, he wants to break through the restriction or fence.

    We will see that as long as believer’s walk in the flesh, they will still be subject to these stirrings, these impulses, these motions of sins. James reveals this in writing to the fleshly Christians reading his letter:

    But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15

    B.We Follow a New Way When We are “Born Again”

    VS 6: But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6

    1. Believers are “delivered” (katērgēthēmen).

    We have been discharged from the law. We stand clear of the law. All claims have been dissolved!

    2. We Serve God through the Holy Spirit

    Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

    • To live by rules is to live a dead religion. Death produces death.
    • To live by the power of the Holy Spirit is LIFE.
    • We do not serve God by following the letter of the law.

    II. The Purpose of the Law

    A.The Law Exposes our Sin

    VS 7: What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” Romans 7:7.

    The Law is to make us aware that we are sinners. We need a Savior.

    EXAMPLE:  The Law revealed that Paul had a problem with coveting. He never knew it to be so until he read the Law. When people know the Law, they know they are sinners. Guilt is though the law.

    When I was pastoring in Edgerton, I went knocking on doors and if a person allowed, I would ask them a couple questions.

    Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? Have you ever looked lustfully at another person?

    Most of the time they would answer yes to each of the questions. Then I would say, then by your own admission, you a liar, a thief and an adulterer? What do you think God thinks of that?

    They would mumble, well I guess he doesn’t like it.

    I would ask, if you are a liar, a thief and an adulterer, would God let you into His heaven when you die?

    Most of the time they would answer, well, yes.

    I would say why would he? They would say, because overall I’m a good guy or something to that effect.

    Then I would say, but God’s word says that the man who sins will surely die! How could He let you into His heaven and be true to His own Word?

    I’ll never forget this one Law student that I talked with. He came to this point where he was aware of God’s standard and he was aware of his violation of that standard, but he looked at me and said, “Aw, that doesn’t apply to me;” and then he said “I’ve got to go!” and he closed the door.

    The Law is given so that men and women would see that they are lost. All we can do is hold that Law up, and pray the Holy Spirit convicts them to the point where they realize they need Jesus Christ!

    B. The Law is the Revealing Standard

    VS 8-9: But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; Romans 7:8-9.

    1. The law reveals the fact of our sin

    • That men are not in a right relationship with God.
    • That men are not in a right relationship with other men.
    • That men are living selfishly, thereby dooming themselves.
    • That men are coveting and lusting, thereby destroying their world and their future.
    • That men are displeasing God and have become unacceptable to Him.
      • We will take that second helping of food.
      • We will try to keep up with the Jones.
      • We will go after the excitement and stimulation of the forbidden.
      • We will fulfill the lust of our flesh: “I know that is not how a Christian should behave by talking with his fists, but man can he fight!”
      • We will feed the lust of our eyes. Bachelorette – “I know Adultery to be wrong, but as I watch this TV show I find myself routing for this couple as they seem so right for each other, even made for each other!”
      • We will satisfy the pride of life. “I just have to have that car!” I just have to have that jewelry!

    2.  The Law Reveals The Truth Of Our Condemnation And Death.

    VS 10-11: and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. Romans 7:10-11

    This is a major purpose of the law. By knowing the law the man becomes acutely aware of sin when he breaks the law. It is the law that gives him…

    • A painful awareness of sin.
    • A sense of guilt.
    • A sense of judgment to come.
    • A dread of punishment and of death.

    During the Second Great Awakening (1790–1840) in early America, the Law was preached by Charles Finney, Lyman Beecher, Barton Stone, Peter Cartwright, and Asahel Nettleton among others. Altar calls were being used then by people anxious about their souls. Finney used the term “Anxious Seat”. Sometimes the evangelist would not have an altar call, and people would be begging to be saved. They were concerned for their souls.

    3. The Law Reveals the Way of God

    VS 12-13 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans 7:12-13

    1. The law is holy: set apart and full of purity, majesty, and glory—set apart in that it reveals God’s nature and will—set apart in that it exposes sin, all that is contrary to God’s nature and will.
    2. The law is righteous: just, fair, impartial, equitable, straight. The law treats a man exactly like he should be treated; it shows no partiality to anyone. It also reveals how a man should treat others. The law is just in that it reveals exactly how a man should live. It shows him how to live in relation to God and to his fellow man, and it judges him fairly and impartially.
    3. The law is good: it shows man how to live and tells him when he fails to live that way. It exposes his sin and demonstrates his desperate need for a Savior. The law tells man the truth about the nature of man in a most explicit way, and it points him toward the need for outside help in order to be saved.

    The Law is a written expression of the Character of God: O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97

    The Law Does Not Mean Death, The Law Reveals the Sin!

    Here in this dish lays Baking Soda (representing man in our natural state). It is still & quiet until another substance is added.

    I will now pour Vinegar (representing the Law). It begins to smoke & burn up, but not from the fault of the vinegar, but from the nature of the Baking Soda which will not endure it. Illustrates that the Law is not at fault, but our evil & wicked nature is!

    • When you read “Wet Paint. Don’t touch” what do you immediately want to do? –
    • “No U-Turns”
    • “Keep off the Grass”.
    • In Maui as we snorkeled, “Don’t touch the Turtles”, but I just had to touch one!

    “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

    No Excuses

    There can be no finger pointing at God. You can’t say to God that “You made me do it, your Law made me rebel” You can’t say the Devil made me do it either. There are no excuses:

    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Romans 3:19

    III. Paul’s Personal Testimony

    For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:14-20 (NASB)

    1.  Paul’s Struggle

    Here Paul confesses his personal struggle with sin that dwells in him. Paul is a Christian, and has been for several years now. He knows the truth of HIs new life in Jesus Christ. He knows that his old man was crucified with Jesus, freeing him from the power of sin. He has reckoned this truth so in his life. He counts on Jesus to deliver him from sin. He has presented his body to God.

    But what has happened? Instead of the truth of God becoming REALITY in his life, he finds that sin still dwells in him. He does what he doesn’t want to do, and he doesn’t do what he should do.

    Does this sound familiar? Anyone else identify with his struggles?

    Paul reveals a truth here, while we are spiritual (born again, alive to God) we are still flesh. And this flesh loves to sin. The means to freedom has been secured on the cross, our old man is dead. We don’t have to sin, but there is something about this flesh that makes it powerless when it comes to the power of sin.

    2. Paul’s Personal Discovery

    a. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;

    When it comes to serving God, when it comes to following Jesus, there is nothing good in us. Any effort we make in this flesh is tainted, is spoiled. There is nothing good in me.

    On the one hand, this is good because when we are aware of the struggle, it reveals we are spiritually alive, that we are born again.

    • If you don’t have a struggle, if you don’t feel guilt, that probably indicates Christ does not live in you.
    • Inward conflicts show us we are spiritually alive!

    b. There is a Law of Sin that Dominates his flesh

    Just as there is a Law of Gravity dominating our flesh, there is also a Law of Sin that dominates our flesh. The choice we as Christians have is whether we accept this law and live with it, struggling against sin the best we can, or do we desire something more!

    3. Paul’s Desperate Desire!

    Paul is Desperate for MORE!

    Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25

    IV. The Power of the New Law

    Paul has realized that there is a way of deliverance. There is a Law that we can live under that dominates the Law of Sin. This Law is greater than the Law of Sin. And this Law is available to us through Jesus Christ!

    This Law will be explored in Romans 8.

    Our eyes must be opened to see that sin is not just conduct. When you lose your temper, it is not just you failing to control your temper. When you lose your temper it is the law of sin at work in you. The victory of sin is a law, just as our defeat is a law. If you view sin as simply a matter of conduct then your focus will be entirely on your own self-effort to resist or overcome that sin.

    Do you have a problem with smoking? Do you want to quit? Then don’t see it as a habit to be resisted. Don’t see it as an urge to be controlled. See it as a law. A law that governs your life. And then see that you must live by a new Law that is greater than the Law of Sin.

    We Need a New Law!

    The Law of Sin is powerful. We cannot overcome it in our flesh. Our flesh is subject to its power. Anytime we struggle against sin with our flesh, we are doomed to fail. Just as you cannot escape the pull of gravity by flapping your arms, you cannot escape the law of sin by doing anything in your flesh.

    Even mighty Paul made this discovery.

    Paul discovered even though he tried, even though he willed it, he could not overcome sin’s power. He tried to be perfect, to not sin, but he failed. Paul discovered that the Law of Sin was mightier than his willpower. He willed and willed, but lost.

    Paul came to the conclusion sin was a law that he could not overcome in his own strength.

    He needed something else, he needed to learn to walk in a new Law, a Law which had authority over sin, a Law which could govern his life and deliver him from this constant feeling of defeat and failure.

    Romans 7 is the revelation of a man who gives up trying in his own strength and realizes he needs JESUS CHRIST!

    If you never come to this realization, that sin is a law that you cannot struggle against in with your flesh or your will, then you will always be a Romans 7 Christian. You will live your life in Romans 7.

    You will be like the Laodicean’s, who thought they had no need.

    Wretched man that I am – Just like John’s picture of the Laodicea church.

    Rev.3:17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;”

    Do you want to be a Romans 8 Christian? Then have your eyes opened to the truth that sin is a Law. Then plead with God to reveal to you the Law he wants you to live by, the law that has greater power than the law of sin. Plead with Him to open your eyes to the truth of the Law of the Holy Spirit in your life!

    If you do not live your daily life by the Law of the Holy Spirit, we shall see in Rom 8, then you are doomed to a wretched Christian Life, a Romans 7 life-one of ups and downs, defeats and despairs, one of fleshly struggles, one of constant bouts of guilt, one of being tossed to and fro. That is the plight of Christians who walk in the flesh and struggle against the Law of Sin with their flesh.

    Thanks be to God there is a Better Way!

    Have you come to the place of wretchedness in your life? You’ve come to the place of realizing you have no power to overcome sin.

    Then you are ready to live your life by the Law that will deliver you from sin, from fleshly struggles and defeats.

    By walking in the New Law, You will experience the Righteousness of Jesus Christ and THROW OFF YOUR WRETCHEDNESS!

    Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, “How can I get the air out of this glass?” One man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!” Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.” After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.


    Most  people have seen “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” with comedian Jeff Dunham

    • He is known for yelling, “Silence! I kill you!” to Dunham and people in the audience
    • His favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bombs”.
    • When Jeff mentions that Achmed appears to be dead because he’s a skeleton, Achmed responds, “It’s a flesh wound.”
    • When Dunham inquires as to how he died, Achmed explains his incompetence with explosives, by saying that they both suffer from “premature detonation.”

    Achmed went to a Doctor for an examination. The Doctor examines Achmed and says it looks like he has scoliosis, and orders an X-Ray. Achmed says, “why don’t you just take a Polaroid?”

    Paul wants us to see the Polaroid of our Body the way God Sees it: And He wants us to answer this question – Who’s Got  Your Body? Paul presents foundational truth about our body and we must allow that truth to replace our experience.

    Whatever contradicts the truth of God’s Word is to be  regarded as the Devil’s Lie, not because it may not be in itself a very real fact to our senses, but because God has stated a greater fact before which the other must eventually yield. Nee NCL p 75.

    The body (flesh) is sin’s special sphere of operation. Man is a slave to sin because his body is sin’s puppet. The moment the body is disengaged or disemployed from sin, we cease to be sin’s slave. Our body is liberated from sin’s power and influence. The old man is crucified to release the body from the dominion of sin. With sin’s partner, the old man, crucified, and the new man taking its place, sin’s power over the body is broken.

    Let’sl look at what God wants us to do with this body, this flesh. He wants us to believe what His Word says is true. If you recall, we looked at Romans 6 verse 6 and discovered that is our old man was crucified with Christ. Then we looked at Romans 6:11 and saw how we are to count (or reckon) on our old man being dead. The Christian life is not to be a life of following rules, or fleshly struggling to overcome sin. The Christian life is lived in the Grace of God and in His power. God has provided our deliverance rom sin, not by abolishing it, not by removing our flesh, but by removing the old man!

    Now we continue on in Romans starting at verse 12, and we discover a new command:

    1. COMMAND…

    (6:12) Believer’s are commanded to not let sin rule over their bodies. This is a forceful command.

    1. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12

    1. We Must Not Let Sin Reign

    (basileuetō): have authority, rule, control, occupy, hold sway, prevail over him. The present tense is used, so the idea is a continuous attitude and behavior.

    • “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:34).
    • “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

    Our bodies are dying (mortal-thnetos). Our bodies are unemployed (body of sin annulled Rom 6:6)

    2. We Must Not Obey (To yield to a superior command or force) sin in its lusts (epithumiais).

    The word means strong desire or craving and passion. The pull of sin is sometimes strong, very strong. All men know what it is to lust after things, after more and more, whether it be money, property, security, position, pleasure, fun, or fleshly stimulation. The true believer must not yield to these pulls. He must not let the lusts of his eyes and flesh rule and regulate his mind and behavior. He must not let lust order his life. He must not obey sin in its lusts, in its cravings and desires and passions. He must resist the lusts of his “mortal body.”

    • “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29).
    • “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13).
    • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
    • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

    2. PRESENT…

    vs 13: Present yourselves to God

    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. Romans 6:13

    1. (6:13)  Body is an instrument (hóplon)

    The body is not the source of sin, but the Bible says and man’s experience proves that the body is the instrument of sin, the organ which sin uses to manifest and satisfy itself. But Romans 6:6 says our body is unemployed, it is annulled, put out of action when it comes to the power of sin. Now our bodies are free to be instruments fit for the Master!

    2.  (6:13) We Must Not Present The Members Of Our Body To Sin.

    The word “present” (paristēmi) means to offer; to put at the disposal of; to give; to grant; to turn over to. Some translations use yield, but that implies a passive action. The idea is much more active in its intent. You are to present your bodies to God as instruments for His use. The believer is not to allow the members of his body to be instruments or tools of unrighteousness. If he takes a member of his body and uses it as an instrument or tool of unrighteousness, he sins.

    “Do Not Present” is in the imperative, which means it is a command, a command in the present, which means we must always be aware that we do not present ourselves as instruments of sin. Therefore, we must be vigilant in watching who we serve.

    But the “present yourselves to God” is in the aorist tense, which means a onetime action that you make. It is not something you do over and over. Just as the golden vessels were presented to the Lord one time, just as Samuel was presented by his mother one time, so you must at one time present your members unto God, for Him to use as He sees fit. God will then be responsible for your body. From that day we must watch who we are yielded too, and lest we forget, God will constantly remind us.

    3. We Present Ourselves To God.

    Note a significant fact: in the Greek this is not written in the present tense, but in the aorist tense. This simply means the believer is to make a one-time decision for God, a once-for-all dedication of his life to God. We do not just yield- that has the idea of ‘passive surrender’! No, we actively present ourselves to God as His New Creation!

    The presentation of your life to God is to be sincere and genuine—a one time decision. You are to yield yourself—your body, your life, all that you are—to God; and your decision is to be a permanent, one time decision.

    We present our members to God as instruments of righteousness. Turn the members of your body over to God: your eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, mind—all your members. Every part of your body is to be given over as an instrument or tool to do righteousness.

    Present to God as one who has passed from death to life. God doesn’t want the old man, God wants our new life! Our flesh is unemployed, so He wants to employ it, but We must consciously present it to Him!

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

    3. LEARN…

    (6:14-15) Sin does not dominate true believers. We are under grace and not under the law.

    For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:14-15

    1. Struggling to Keep the Law is an act of the Flesh

    The believer is constantly aware that he fails and comes short of the law. He struggles and strives, wrestles and grapples, works and labors to obey; but his experience is full of tension and pressure, disappointment and discouragement. The person under law never lives a victorious life, for he is constantly coming short of God’s glory and perfection. The defeated Christian is relying upon his flesh and self-will to overcome sin.

    • This is not God’s Way!

    God’s way is the power of His Grace!

    • “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:4).
    • “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psalm 40:12).
    • “For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

    2.  We Are Under Grace, Not Under Law.

    God is not a legal judge hovering over you to punish you every time you sin by breaking a particular law.

    What does being under grace mean? It means that the believer accepts the grace of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. The believer accepts the righteousness, the sinless perfection of Christ as his own righteousness. The believer identifies his life with the life of Christ,

    God counts the faith of the believer as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

    • How do we keep from serving sin and from living under sin and from displeasing God?
    • How do we live under grace day by day?
    • How do we live under God’s favor all of the time?
    • How can we please God and receive His approval and acceptance?

    And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

    We must constantly keep before us the glorious truth that we are under God’s grace.

    God is our Father, and we have become true children of God’s. We are only accepted and beloved in Jesus Christ. We abide in Jesus Christ. As long as we abide, we bear fruit. If we fail to abide by faith, we do not bear fruit.

    We have need of daily cleansing. There are presumptuous sins, there are sins of omission and commission. Jesus said we will need our feet washed as we travel this earth. Sin will be around us, but sin does not have control over us.

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

    3.  Are We Allowed To Continue In Sin?

    Can we sin and sin and keep on expecting God to forgive and forgive? Scripture shouts: God forbid! Then Scripture argues that a true child of God must not continue in sin. Why does the true child of God not sin? Why does he keep away from sin?

    ⇒  Because the grace of Christ indwells us!

    “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee” (Psalm 5:4).

    ⇒  Because we turned to God in order to get away from sin and its shame and destruction.

    He did not turn to God in order to have the freedom to sin, but to be set free from the enslavement and habits of sin, to break the bondage and consequences of sin.

    • “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death” (Romans 6:21).
    Sin is not to dominate the believer

    We as Children of God must learn something: sin will not and does not dominate the true believer. There are three reasons.

    1.  God is not a legal judge hovering over the child to punish him every time he sins by breaking a particular law. The child is not under such frightening dominion.

    2.  God is a gracious and loving Father. He cares and suffers long with growing children. When His child falls into sin, God is long-suffering, ever willing to forgive His erring child—if the child will only come and ask forgiveness and turn from his sin (Luke 17:3-4; 1 John 1:9).

    3.  God is a teaching Father who disciplines. He exhorts His child not to fall into the dominating trap of sin (cp. Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 John 2:1-2).

    The truth of our NEW LIFE in Christ is that we live in and experience the power of grace!

    4. KNOW

    vs 16: Know that you can only serve one master

    Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

    1.  You Can Serve Only One Master, Sin Or God.

    The word “servant” (doulos) means slave. A person is either the slave of sin or of God, and there is a very simple test to tell which master a person serves. Do you yield to sin, that is, serve sin? or do you yield to God, that is, serve God? Either sin is your master or God is your Master. You either yield to sin or you yield to God. This does not mean that you become sinless and perfect, but that…

    • you do not plan to sin.
    • you depend upon the life of Jesus
    • you diligently seek to make God the Master of your life by obeying Him.
    • you study God’s Word so that you will know His commandments and can obey Him.
    • you walk in open confession before God, talking to Him all day long, ever gaining an unbroken fellowship with Him as the Master of your life.

    2. You walk in the flesh, or you walk in the Spirit!

    You either walk by sight, or your walk by faith!

    • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 .
    • “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
    • “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
    • “While they [the carnal or fleshy] promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).

    5. REMEMBER…

    vs. 16-17 Remember your decision to obey

    But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18

    1. Remember Your Decision. You Chose Righteousness.

    • Note the stated fact: believers “were the servants of sin.”

    You used to yield to sin, all kinds of sin ranging from…

    language and media
    ⇒  immoral thoughts to adultery.
    ⇒  simple thoughts of pride to drunkenness.
    ⇒  simple acts of selfishness to stealing.
    ⇒  self-centeredness from eating to what you buy and what you do.
    ⇒  hurting and using people

    You obeyed God! Not in your flesh, not just obedience to a bunch of rules, but you obeyed from your heart!

    • “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).
    • “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

    2. Note The Result: We Are Freed From Sin.

    They are counted righteous by God, not sinful. God sees believers as righteous people, not as sinners. Therefore, believers are freed from sin and its consequences. God does not charge believers with sin; He does not lay sin against them. Believers are freed from the accusation of sin, and they shall never be charged with sin. God has freed them from sin through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (cp. Romans 8:33-34).

    We become the servant of righteousness. Once we truly know God’s glorious love, we are driven to serve God in appreciation for what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. We are driven to be the servant of God by living righteously and godly in this present world.

    6. DO…

    I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Romans 6:19-20

    1. Do Serve God With The Same Fervor That You Served Sin.

    Your body was a slave to sin because your old man was very much alive. All the old man could do was influence your body to sin. Sin held sway over our old man, so our dress, our attitudes, our speech and our thoughts all give way to the bondage of sin. Our thinking gets so upside down that we think everything we do is OK! We ‘justify’ ourselves, our actions, our attitudes and our words. But we are enemies of God.

    Sin always produces more sin. As Romans 1 illustrated, sin is a downward spiral that results in our world being turned opposite of what God’s view is. Sin enslaves. Sin becomes a binding chain that produces habits that we simply ‘tolerate’ and even accept. “iniquity unto iniquity” – Iniquity issuing in an abiding iniquitous state

    2. Present Your Members As Slaves To Righteousness That Work Holiness

    “Let righteousness work holiness” (hagiasmon). The word means sanctification or holy. The believer is to yield the parts of his body to serve righteousness, and he is to let righteousness sanctify him more and more. He is to live righteously and become more and more holy like God.

    When you served sin, you were free from righteousness: you were not credited with righteousness. You did not have the opportunity to live righteously before God. But now you have obeyed God; you have believed. Now you have the opportunity to live righteously, so begin to serve God with the same fervor and energy with which you were serving sin. Let righteousness enslave you and become the bondage and habit of your life.”

    • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
    • “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
    • “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
    • “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:2-5).
    • “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
    • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

    7. QUESTION…

    What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Romans 6:21-22

    1.  Question if there is any fruit in sin. (Of Course Not!)

    The true believer is ashamed of his past sin.

    • “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
    • “And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:6).

    The fruit of sin is death. The fruit of sin is not good; there is nothing good about it. Sin corrupts, destroys, and dooms all who seek its fruits. This should always be remembered by men.

    David struggled with this:

    Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Psalms 73:12-19

    2.  Real Fruit Belongs To Believers Who Are Slaves Of God.

    We are “set free” from the corruption of sin by justification in Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus, we are justified in God’s sight. We are declared as righteous as Jesus Christ because we are IN Christ the glorious love of God. We now owe our new life to God himself. Our members are His, set apart as Holy just as the Temple vessels were.

    We now bear the fruit of that leads to sanctification and eternal life.

    • “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
    • “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
    • “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
    • “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thes. 3:12-13).

    Bearing The Glorious Hope And End Of Eternal Life.

    • “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
    • “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:36).
    • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

    8.  CONSIDER…

    v 23: the wages of sin vs. the gift of God, of eternal life.

    Death (thanatos): the basic meaning of death is separation. “Death never means extinction, annihilation, non-existence, or inactivity.”

    Sin deserves death for two very clear reasons. Sinners Live their lives without God, so they will Live their Eternities without God.

    1.  Sin ignores and denies God

    • Acts against His nature.
    • Acts in the interest of man.

    2.  Sin is rebellion against God.

    • It is rejecting God, ignoring God, disobeying God, denying God,
    • It refuses to Give God His proper place in our life.

    They have no part of God.  They are to be banished from God’s sight.They are to be separated from God’s presence forever. They will experience the wrath of God that Jesus experienced for them on the Cross.

    As a laborer receives his wages, so sinners shall receive their wages. Each and every day you ignore God and refuse Jesus Christ, you are storing up God’s wrath upon your life. Just as it would be unjust not to pay the laborer, it would be unjust not to pay sinners for their work.

    In fact, if sinners did not receive their just punishment, it would be the most gross injustice to His Son, Jesus Christ. Why? Because God would be saying to His Son; your death didn’t mean a thing. Your pain, your suffering, your very life was all a waste. When you experienced Hell for the sake of sinners, it did not mean a thing, becasue I’m going to let them into heaven anyway! Ghastly thought!

    Sinners must receive their just wages. Sinners must die; They must be banished forever from the presence of God.

    • “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
    • “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).
    • “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thes. 1:9).
    • “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:20).

    3.  The gift of God is eternal life.

    Note that eternal life is not the payment of wages. A man cannot work for and earn eternal life. It is the gift of God, and it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord

    • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
    • “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

    Have you Presented Your Body to God?

    Consecration begins when we realize the old man is dead-knowing, reckoning, presenting.

    When we know our old man is crucified, then we reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive unto God. Giving myself to Him naturally follows, for we realize that my newness of life is based upon His resurrection, and indeed my very life is in Him! When we realize that Jesus is our very life, then we naturally give Him everything!

    Unless I pass through death, there is nothing to consecrate to Him, there is nothing God can accept, for God has condemned my old man to the cross.

    Consecration (presenting) means that I consider my whole life as belonging to Him.

    Money in my pocket -if it is mine, I can do whatever I want. If it belongs to another, then the money is in my trust, and I cannot buy what I please.

    How many of us realize that because Christ is risen, we are alive “unto God and not unto ourselves.

    We belong to another, and we dare not squander a cent of our money, a second of our time or any of our mental or physical powers on anything other than what the Lord wants!

    What is Holiness?

    When we give ourselves wholly to Christ, that is holiness. We do not become holy by the eradication of something evil within. We become holy by being separated unto God! We have gone to the Cross and discovered not only must we kneel at the feet of Jesus and let His blood cover our sins and cloth us with His righteousness.

    Our Journey does not end there, it only begins. For the next step is to join Him on the cross and realize that our old man was crucified with Him that we should no longer serve sin. Once we know that our old man was crucified, we count on it, we reckon it to be true in our life.

    Then we present ourselves to Jesus. We don’t give Him any of the old man, that is dead. We give him our unemployed body, our hands, our feet, our face, our self, and we say, put these to work as you see fit. All the old Jim Tompkins is dead, and the life I now life is Jesus living through me.

    I give myself to you alone, with my one desire being to know you and to walk with you on the course you have chosen for me. I want nothing for myself! I want everything for God!

    Then you can say with Paul, I have finished my course (2 Tim 4:7)

    You can say “I know that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect for me!” (Rom 12:2)

    • How can a tailor make you a suit without the fabric?
    • How can a builder build you a house without the building materials?

    We cannot expect the Lord to live out His life in us if we do not give Him our lives in which to live!

    Will you present yourselves to God?


    As Capt John Rasmussen reports, “I was in a hurry to get to his physical training exercise. It was raining “cats and dogs”. Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell, Ky., and was moving way too slowly. I was probably going to be late and I was growing more and more impatient. The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst redeployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each soldier’s memorial plaque. My concern at the time, however, was getting past the bottleneck, getting out of the rain and getting to PT on time.All of a sudden, infuriatingly, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me stopped.

    A soldier, a private of course, jumped out in the pouring rain and ran over toward the grove. I couldn’t believe it! This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank. Horns were honking. I waited to see the butt-chewing that I wanted him to get for making me late. He was getting soaked to the skin. His BDUs were plastered to his frame. I watched-as he ran up to one of the memorial plaques, picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground in the wind and the rain, and set it up right again.

    Then, slowly, he came to attention, saluted, ran back to his car, and drove off.

    I’ll never forget that incident. That soldier, whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect than a hundred books or a thousand lectures. That simple salute — that single act of honoring his fallen brother and his flag — encapsulated all the Army values in one gesture for me. It said, “I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am an American soldier.”

    As I read this stirring reminder of what Memorial Day is all about, I thought, “How many Christians are willing to bow before the Cross of Christ and say, I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am a Soldier for Christ!”

    Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr once said:

    So to the indifferent inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching.” [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. at an address delivered for Memorial Day, May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH.]

    Tomorrow we celebrate Memorial Day. Many will visit the grave site of loved ones who have passed on into eternity. Many of us will celebrate outdoors with picnics and barbeques. One day a year is all we set aside to remember our fallen soldiers. One day a year. But God wants us to remember Him 365 days a year.

    Throughout the Bible there are references to Memorials and things we should remember about Him!

    • God placed the rainbow in the sky so that mankind would remember His covenant with us, not to destroy the world again by flood.
    • The Hebrews were to celebrate a special day, the Passover, as a memorial to God and His faithfulness in delivering them from the Egyptians.
    • The ephod worn by the High Priest has a stone on each shoulder that served as a memorial of the children of Israel. Exodus 28:12 says: “Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”
    • The Priests were to take grain offering, oil, and frankincense and burn it on the altar as a memorial unto God. Lev 2:2 says it was a sweet savor to the Lord.
    • The Priests took a portion of the meat offerings and burnt them as a memorial unto the Lord. Lev 2:9
    • The Festival of Trumpets was a solemn day of rest, of blowing of Trumpets as a Day of Memorial to the Lord.
    • A Stone memorial was erected after the crossing of the River Jordan by Joshua and the Israelites, so that they would remember how God brought them across.
    • Even their clothes were to be a reminder:

    The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.” Numbers 15:37-41

    • The prayers and alms of Cornelius were even a memorial unto God, and led to the salvation of Cornelius and his household. Acts 10:4

    Our Lives are to be a Daily Memorial to Jesus Christ

    God wants everyday of our lives to be a memorial unto Jesus Christ!

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

    The very act of presenting ourselves to God is a memorial to Jesus Christ. We will look closely at the next step in deliverance from sin (PRESENTING) next week.

    • As Americans, we must never forget those who have given their lives for the sake of our freedom.
    • As Christians we must never forget the One who gave His life for the sake of our freedom from Sin and Satan.

    Peter gives us some excellent words on Remembering our Savior:

    2 Peter 1:12-21 Peter wants to Stir us Up!

    Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:12-21

    Peter’s life is nearly at an end, and he wants us to remember some things, even though we are established Christians, and even though we think we already know them.

    Verses 12-21 flow from what Peter wrote in verses 1-11.

    POWER & PROVISION: In verses 1-4 Peter says that God’ power always comes with provisions for living and for godliness in our own life. He enables us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust by empowering us to partake of His divine nature.

    • God has provided everything we need to live Godly Lives
    • We have been learning about this in Romans 6

    PURSUIT OF HOLINESS: In verses 5-7, Peter calls for Christians to pursue the path of discipleship. We are to experience these divine provisions by diligently and energetically pursuing holiness (faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love).

    • God’s Provisions Must be PURSUED if they are to Profit us.

    THE PROFIT OF OUR PURSUIT: In verses 8-11, Peter speaks of the profit of our pursuit of holiness, as provided for by God (verses 1-4) and as pursued by the Christian (verses 5-7).

    • When we pursue these things, we shall always stand, we shall always abound, we shall always be assured of our salvation.

    Starting with vs. 12, Peter is intent on reminding us.

    • We already know these truths. But we must be reminded to pursue God’s goals for us.
    • Peter is committed to “always remind them” (verse 12). It is clear from his words that he intends his reminding to persevere. He will continue to remind them as long as he has breath. He will do so with his dying breath.
    • Memories stir us up, and so Peter is insistent upon reminding us.
    • His letter is a Memorial to Remind us!
    • Peter reminds us of the TRUTH! TRUTH direct from God (vs. 21)
    • God’s Word is TRUTH. It is God-breathed
    • We do not follow cunningly devised fables.
      • Peter was an eyewitness of the majesty and power of Jesus Christ
      • Peter heard the voice of God giving glory and honor to His son: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    This truth is encased in the Word of God

    • No private interpretation
    • Illumined by the Holy Spirit
    • Provides light for our walk.

    More than anything, we are to be aware that Jesus Christ is not a cunningly devised fable, not a beautiful love story, but truth that is worth building our lives around. Truth that is worth pursuing as though it were a billion dollars.

    We are to build our lives around not someone who is dead, but a Savior who is alive, who is with us every day of our lives, who gives us the gift of grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very reason for living.

    For the Christian, every day is to be a memorial day, remembering not just a crucified Savior, but our Crucified, Resurrected and Living Savior!

    Our Orders from Commander Peter are to remember the Truth of Jesus Christ, truth that is essential for our life, truth that is worth dying for. We are posted on this earth to pursue our living Savior, Jesus Christ. He is to be our life!

    Walking the Mat before the Tomb of the Unknowns

    There is a meticulous ritual the guard follows when watching over the tomb of the unknown soldiers.

    The soldier walks 21 steps across the Tomb. This alludes to the 21-gun salute, which is the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary in America. His weapon is always on the shoulder opposite the Tomb (i.e., on the side of the gallery watching the ritual).

    On the 21st step, the soldier turns and faces the Tomb for 21 seconds.

    The soldier then turns to face the other way across the Tomb and changes his weapon to the outside shoulder. After 21 seconds, the first step is repeated.

    This is repeated until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.

    The mat is usually replaced twice per year: before Memorial Day and before Veterans Day. This is required due to the wear on the rubber mat by the special shoes worn by Tomb Guards. The guards have metal plates built into the soles and inner parts of their shoes to allow for a more rugged sole and to give the signature click of the heel during maneuvers. The guards are issued sunglasses, which are formed to their faces, due to the bright reflection from the marble surrounding the Tomb and the Memorial Amphitheater.

    The guard is changed every 1/2 hour during the summer months.

    The guard change is very symbolic, but also conducted in accordance with Army regulations. The relief commander or assistant relief commander, along with the oncoming guard, are both required for a guard change to take place. The guard being relieved will say to the oncoming guard, “Post and orders remain as directed.” The oncoming guard’s response is always, “Orders acknowledged.”

    The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since July 2, 1937. Inclement weather does not cause the watch to cease.

    In 2 Peter, Peter realizes it is time for the “changing of the guard.” He wants us to remember our Post, and remember our Orders! He wants to hear us declare: “Orders Acknowledged!”

    There are two ways we follow those orders and keep to our post, two ways we Memorialize Jesus Christ:

    1.  Baptism

    Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

    Baptism acknowledges to Jesus that you value what He did for you so much, that you are giving Him your life. You are telling the world that you died with Him, that your sins are washed away, and when you stand up from the baptismal waters, you are declaring to the world that you no longer walk in your old life, but you have a new life in Jesus Christ. You are declaring that you are now a walking, breathing Memorial to the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    2.  Communion

    One of the most important ways we remember our Savior is through the Lord’s Supper, or what we call communion. The night before Jesus was carried away to be crucified, he shared the Paschal meal with His disciples. At that meal Jesus revealed that He was going to become the paschal lamb, that He was going to die for the sins of mankind. Paul wrote of that meal in 1 Cor 11:232-26:

    For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

    When we partake of the elements, the bread and the wine, we are affirming before God our union and communion with Jesus Christ. We are honoring Him. When we eat the bread, we are acknowledging His broken body. We are acknowledging that by His stripes we are healed. We are acknowledging that Jesus is the bread of life; He is the means of our life!

    When we partake of the wine, we are taking into our body the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We are acknowledging our new life based upon our faith in His blood, the blood of our new covenant with Holy God! We are proclaiming to God that we are totally dependent upon the blood of Jesus for our life and our salvation. We are declaring that through the body and the blood we are one with Jesus Christ.

    We Honor the Memory of Fallen American Soldiers with our Respect and Appreciation

    Petty Officer Second Class Mike Monsoor was a US Navy SEAL assigned to Task Unit Bravo in Ar Ramadi in Iraq.  He was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq on September 29, 2006.  He died after throwing himself on a grenade to prevent it from killing others whom he had been assigned to protect on a rooftop. He had already earned a Silver Star for Bravery and a Bronze Star for separate acts of valor.

    His funeral took place in October 12, 2006 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

    Navy SEALs lined the procession and slapped the trident devices from their uniforms to affix them onto the casket.  The trident is a U.S. Navy special warfare badge worn by SEALs.  It represents the three aspects of SEAL special operations, sea, air, and land.

    On April 8, 2008, Monsoor was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously officiated by President George W. Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

    PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR TOOK POSITION WITH HIS MACHINE GUN BETWEEN TWO TEAMMATES ON AN OUTCROPPING OF THE ROOF. WHILE THE SEALS VIGILANTLY WATCHED FOR ENEMY ACTIVITY, AN INSURGENT THREW A HAND GRENADE FROM AN UNSEEN LOCATION, WHICH BOUNCED OFF PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR’S CHEST AND LANDED IN FRONT OF HIM. ALTHOUGH ONLY HE COULD HAVE ESCAPED THE BLAST, PETTY OFFICER MONSOOR CHOSE INSTEAD TO PROTECT HIS TEAMMATES. INSTANTLY AND WITHOUT REGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY, HE THREW HIMSELF ONTO THE GRENADE TO ABSORB THE FORCE OF THE EXPLOSION WITH HIS BODY, SAVING THE LIVES OF HIS TWO TEAMMATES.

    We Honor the Memory of Jesus Christ with our Life!

    Today, honor Americans who have given their lives so that we might worship here in freedom.

    Today, we honor one man who gave His life so that we might be freed from sin and from judgment. This one man, our Lord Jesus Christ, received no medal of commendation, had no funeral service attended by thousands. In fact, he was scorned, mocked, and treated as a diseased dog. All his followers ran and hid while He died the most horrible death.

    Yet today, our Savior does not lie in a grave, He reigns at the right hand of Father God!

    Peter wants us to stir us up by reminding us of how much we owe Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded of what He has done for each one of us. Those memories serve to stir our heart up to action, the action of once again giving Him our lives, once again of confirming to Him that He is Lord of our life!

    He asks each one of us to do one thing, one thing that He was not afraid to do. He asks us to give Him our life! He asks us to be a living memorial to His Love for us.

    Are you living your Christian life with enthusiasm and Faith, as Oliver Wendall Holmes said?

    To act with enthusiasm and faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching.

    Do you love Jesus with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength? Is eternity with God and end worth reaching? Then search your heart this morning! Have you made Him Lord of every aspect of your life? Are you willing to live as a sacrifice as a memorial of what He has done for your life?

    To give yourself to Jesus with enthusiasm and faith is to live greatly!

    Peter, writing before his death wanted us to remember dearly our need for Jesus Christ. As he changed guard he was saying:

    “Post and orders remain as directed”

    Will you bow and respond:

    “Orders Acknowledged!