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Free Indeed – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Hello Friends, welcome to Sunday2Monday. The place where we say it again! As my pastor says: Repetition brings revelation!

We continue our series Free Indeed with our new executive Pastor of Springs of Life, Rob Tanner, teaching part 3 called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The good when it comes to grace, the bad and the ugly when it comes to sin and the law. To be honest, I was so caught up in the message that I am afraid that I didn’t capture all I really needed, to write this one out. It was one of the best message on the flesh, the law, and grace I have heard and I have heard a lot of them. From my early Christian days with the Baptist pastor, through 3 other pastors up until our current pastor, since I came to Springs of Life. So, let’s get to it.

THE BAD

The bad is our sarx. Sarx is the Greek word for our sin nature, the sinful man, our fallen nature, the flesh, and our carnal attributes. It is the morally dysfunctional behaviors that we do. Those bad things we are capable of doing. That is the sarx!

Romans 5:19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Now, this is cool, Pastor Rob pointed out the word “made” in this verse. The word “made” here means to be altered, to reconstruct. When Adam sinned he was altered. The devil was able to reconstruct who God had “made” and turn him into a sinful man. Since the sin of Adam, all men and women have been born into sin. Pastor Rob gave us the example of the adulterous woman that was brought to Jesus to help us understand more deeply. The scribes and the Pharisee’s said in John 8, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” Jesus says “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” They could not throw a single stone at her. Why? Because they knew, that they too were also sinners. We all are. We are born that way.

John 8:34,36  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin….  36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 

Pastor Rob said, “The act of committing sin reveals that sin has power over you.” Jesus came to break that power. Jesus, the second Adam, through the cross reconstructed man into His righteous ones. That is our position in Christ. We are “made” righteous in Christ!

The Law provides no enablement to overcome sin. Grace provides power!-Tweet That!

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THE UGLY

Romans 6:14  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

The Law was an external code that defined human conduct. The law and not just the law of Moses but any external code does 3 things:

  • It defines the code
  • It requires a response
  • It has consequences if broken

The problem with the law is that when the sarx comes into contact with the law, it rebels. Every time! The example Pastor Rob gave to us was so helpful. He said, “when we drive down the road we can see the sign says, ‘Speed Limit 45.’ It defines the speed we can go. It requires the response of 45 miles per hour. If we brake it the consequence is getting pulled over by the police and getting a ticket. The Law is right there on the sign but the sign can’t make us obey it.”  This helps us to understand 3 things about the law:

  • We have no ability to keep the Law – we have no power to control the sarx
  • The Law can not make sinful people righteous – rules never produce life
  • External Law always arouses the sarx – We need an internal heart law.

Just let someone tell you that you can’t do something and watch your sarx say “Oh, yes I can!” So, why did God give us the Law? The Law that was given to Moses was to put a face on God. It showed us what He is like and what His standards of living are. It also showed us that we have no power to keep it on our own.

We have external laws all around us. They are in our cities, states, and nation but the subtlest of codes are the ones we put on ourselves. We try and try to keep the law but we can’t. Without Jesus, we can’t do it. But we will certainly try.

THREE WAYS WE TRY TO KEEP THE LAW

Self – Reformation: We tell ourselves that we should be better. We should act better. We examine, judge and analyze ourselves. Then we set up a self-help plan. We work and work and work and fall short everytime. What does this self-reformation do to us? It does 3 things:

  • It exhausts us! Puts us to work 24/7 365
  • The issue is the root, not the fruit – no matter how much we try to get rid of the bad behavior, it just keeps happening. We may be able to modify our external reactions and behaviors but on the inside, we are still seething with sin.
  • We end up settling for a maintenance type of Christianity

Conquer Sin: We use every spiritual discipline we can think of to conquer our sin. We use prayer, reading the Bible, speaking in tongues, fasting and the like to control the sarx. Those disciplines were never meant to control the sarx. It can not be controlled. Spiritual disciplines rather were meant to grow our new nature. This code of conduct has us saying, “I won’t do it again and then I end up saying sorry over and over.”

Coping: This is when you have tried the self-reforming plan and tried to conquer your sin plan but both have failed miserably so, now,  you just settle into that fact that this is how you are and you just have to live with it. The hope of something different, something new has died. The problem with the coping plan is that you have succumbed to a “this is me” attitude and now, it puts the burden of dealing with your junk on others. Pastor Rob said “this is like having a yard full of weeds but instead of dealing with them, you just mow over them. It looks really nice from across the street but anyone who walks barefoot on your lawn deals with the stickers, the prickly stuff and it’s very uncomfortable.”

THE GOOD

Grace is the good news. Jesus gave us His divine nature. That word set, “divine nature” is from the word sperma. It is the word we use for sperm. Sperm is the DNA of the father to the child. Jesus willingly gave us a new nature, a DNA reconstruction. Just like a child that needs to grow and will have attributes of its father. So do we. That God DNA is deposited into our spirit and it needs time, attention, and care to grow. When we are on the self-reformation, sin conquering, coping plans we are not growing. We need to let that old nature die, put it in the corner and starve it to death. Let this new nature that Jesus gave us, grow through spiritual disciplines. Prayer, Bible reading, fasting, devotions, serving, and all those things were never meant to fix our old nature, they are meant to grow our spiritual one. It can’t be fixed. It is by grace that we have a new nature. Grace is Jesus Christ inexhaustibly meeting us where we have a need. Pastor Rob says, “Jesus opens the faucet of grace on us. We may put up an umbrella and block it but He never shuts it off and he never turns it down.” 

GRACE IS FREE.

IT NEVER COMES IN THE FORM OF A PAYCHECK.

WE CANT EARN IT. IT IS ONLY EVERY GIVEN!

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

 

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