Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Titus 3:5 “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;”
Paul before his conversion lived a moral life.
Gal 1:13-14 “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”
Paul tried to destroy the church of God. He was a great pharisee. He was a ruler, a teacher, a priest. He was more zealous than even his ancestors. He tried to follow every bit of God’s law, yet didn’t understand it.
Sin isn’t just an action of being bad. It’s a power, an impulse of the heart. It’s in our very nature. We are naturally born with sin inside of us. If all we do in life is strive to be good, and being bound by the law of God, we lose.
We are prevented from being perfect by that sin nature in us. Sin is a power and impulse of the heart. Sin is not just being bad.
When we become newborn Christians, we have to understand that unlike physical growth which grows without us doing anything about it, we do have some choices to make in order to grow as Christians. There is something we must do in order to grow as Christians. It’s a never-ending growth. We are more than conquerors. We are a royal priesthood. We must keep growing or we will become stagnant.
If we become stagnant, sin will creep up on us. That will stunt our growth. You have a choice whether or not you will grow in the Spirit. If you want to be a pew-warmer, that’s what you will be. If you want to become a teacher, work at being a teacher. If you start to stagnate, that little sin enemy, will creep up on you.
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
Grow BOTH now and for ever. We’ve got to grow. God will lead you if you obey Him. Don’t keep this truth to yourself. Share it with others. There is a battle going on inside.
Exchange that sin for son, child of God!
Paul’s writings are very powerful to read.
Rom 7:1-3 “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
Paul is using an illustration to describe what it is to be bound by the law.
In the book, Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, Christian leaves his family and goes on a journey to the Celestial City. He meets another traveler named Faithful. He talked about going to another city full of deceit in which an old man tempted him with beautiful women, plenty of money, and the promise of a great future. He was tempted until he realized that old man wanted him to become his slave. The man refused and old man became angry and threatened him. He left and the old man sent another man to come and beat him. Faithful was hit in the stomach and the head. He asked why and the answer was because when you were tempted you were like the first Adam. He begged for mercy. ‘The law knows no mercy.’ He continued to beat Faithful almost to the point of death. Another man came along and commanded the brute to stop. The brute did stop. The second man had scars on his hands and feet. The first man who beat him was Moses, but the second man was Jesus.
We can’t live by the law alone. Paul is not done.
Rom 7:12 “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
The law is good.
Rom 7:10 “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.”
Rom 7:4 “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
In order for the law to work, something has to die. You must die to the law in order to ‘be married again.’ Being free from the law is being married to Jesus. He is our Lord and Savior.
Rom 7:5 “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”
Paul realized being bound by the law when he heard the 10th commandment, ‘Thou shalt not covet.’ He never understood the whole definition of sin.
The rich young ruler asked Jesus what to do in order to receive eternal life. ‘Obey all the commandments and give away all you have and come follow Me.’ The moral law is judgmental. It looks at someone else and condemns them.
Rom 7:8 “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.”
Paul battled all the time because sin kept rising up all the time. If all you do is try to live a moral life, you will battle sin all your life. You won’t make it. The law is good, but it won’t save you.
We must connect the law and God in order to produce life. You can’t truly be moral without Jesus. The only way to transform sin is to receive the Son, growing always in Him.
God wants you to live and grow, but you must choose His will and His way. You must choose to grow.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Willie Rosado.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!