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JOSH.24:14-15 : THE GOSPEL: WE WILL SERVE THE LORD
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THE STRUGGLE OF PAUL IN HIS FLESH AFTER BEING BORN AGAIN

Romans 7:

 15 "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Paul is saved but overcome by his old nature. His new nature would not allow sin, and what he wants to do he does not, but is overcome by what he knows better he should not do. THERE IS  WILL AND POWER IN THE FLESH!!!

 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Knowing that he is a sinner, he agrees that the law is good. It reveals his sin nature.

 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Paul cannot help himself. He wants the "I" which is his new nature to rule but is overpowered by his old nature. Who he still is but hates. 

 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

He knows the truth of the Gospel. He, in his own right is good for nothing to God. His old nature is useless except to break God's laws. He wants to live in his new nature but is powerless on his own. He needs to be delivered from himself and his sin nature.

 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Even knowing all of the above, stillmpowerless in his new nature, he cannot do what is good but that which he knows is sin he does.

 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

His sin nature has control of him. He is saved but lost in this battle with what he was born in, his sin nature. It has bested him and does as IT pleases!

 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

As if a law in his being, his evil nature overcomes his new nature yet to be the ruler of his life.

 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

He loves the law of the new nature in him: the presence of God the Spirit.

 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

His new nature is powerless against the old. He has come to a point of spiritual realization that will never leave his being. He needs God to deliver him. Paul is powerless to deliver himself from himself.

 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

This is the moment of divine intervention. In his powerlessness recognized, God's strength can manifest.

 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

The flesh (old nature) is useless to God. Only by the Spirit can he be that which  God can only make him be and Paul has crossed over to the will of God. THY WILL BE DONE! Here is the START OF SANCTIFICATION. From now on Jesus Christ will work through Paul unto the end of his life. And Paul will be victorious IN CHRIST.

Born again but lost in sin and not victorious in the new nature, Paul teaches us that we are our own worst enemy! Even God The Spirit cannot turn us IF we live in the flesh after being saved.

All of us have had some degree of this experience at some point in our life in Christ. Dead to God in our  flesh nature. But, like Paul, we grieve and are uncomfortable. We cannot be happy. We cannot hide anymore in drugs or sex, money or job. Nothing satisfies. We are miserable.THESE ARE GOOD SIGNS!!!

Romans 8:

 5 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."

Matthew 15:

 19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"

If I live habitually in the flesh, which is the old nature and are not troubled by The Spirit in me then I must examine myself. "...but they that are after the Spirit (mind) the things of the Spirit." A born again believer, as an act of the will, chooses The Spirit, for the flesh which is our natual state and dead in sins, will not obey The Spirit. "...and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"John 3:6. 

Thus there is a struggle that arises! It is between The Spirit and the flesh. A believer cannot overcome their old nature. Only a turn to God The Spirit can! And IF YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD YOU WILL! This is being FILLED with the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:

 1  "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

And the flesh includes our mind.

Colossians 1:

 21 "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

23 If (Since) ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven;"

 

 Colossians 3:

 1 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

 

THE WORKS OF THE FLESH

Galatians 5:

 19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

 

PROOF OF THE SPIRIT IN US

Colossians 3:8-17 (King James Version)

 8 "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

(See also Verses 3:18-25)

 

LIVING IN THE FLESH (Old Nature) MEANS YOU ARE OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

Romans 8:

 

 6 "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

 

REMEDY FOR A BELIEVER IN SIN (GET WASHED!)

John 13: 

 

 8 "Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

1 John 1:

 

 6  "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

 

THE SPIRIT WILL LEAD YOU

Romans 8:

 

 14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

John 10:

 

 27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

Can a believer lose their salvation? NO

Will they loose fellowship with God by sin? Yes

Will confession directly to our Father renew fellowship? Yes

Can a believer be in habitual sin? IT IS POSSIBLE!

What is the consequence? Removal from the place of ministry. Possibly removal from this life. Loss of  rewards in eternity. AN UNHAPPY AND SAD LIFE!

I BOW TO YOU LORD
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AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL YOU GAVE US

"Now, therefore, fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river, and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"
(Josh.24:14,15).

SAVED BUT STILL CARNAL
Why is it, after we are saved, after we believe the gospel, we can live in the deadness of our old nature? Saint Paul provides ample proof of the reality of our powerlessness to live the new life even after we are "born again" (Rom.7:15-24).
EVEN AFTER WE HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT!
He goes on to distinguish between the two natures of a believer: the old carnal nature and the new spiritual nature through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8.1-13).
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God"(Rom.8:14).
If such a giant as Paul could suffer the misery of his old nature in conflict with his new life, after he personally saw and spoke with the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, we need to take stock of ourselves and our walk in this world. And like Paul we need to cry out to our God to make our high calling in Christ Jesus a daily reality and redeem the life we were given to serve Him.

As strangers and pilgrims who travel in a foreign land all honor and glory should be the Lord's. We live through Christ in us and not by the "I" of our old nature. This is the signpost of reality: are we living in faith or in Babylon?

We serve at God's pleasure. Our time on earth is known to Him. He knows how we spend it. Are we making our petitions clear to Him?
Do we court the favor of the world or the joy of dedicated service to our Lord? Can we lose our salvation if we sin or if we live in the power of our self?
If we are saved we can't lose it because Christ himself guarantees it through his completed work on the cross and His resurrection and no one can ever take that away. But we can lose our fellowship with God.
The issue is: Are we serving Him? Are we, by the power of Christ's Spirit, becoming like our Lord?
It was His great joy to serve His Father. Are we serving in Christ's name only, by our will and not by The Spirit, too self involved and satisfied. Confess our sins to God in His Son's name and the blood of Jesus will wash us clean.

CHOOSE CHRIST AND LIFE
Like the apostle Paul, we too should have an abiding desire, an absolute need, to serve our Lord. So much so that if we linger in our self it would make us sick and frustrated. If we are double-minded we should feel torn apart. And if we can go merrily along without opposition, nor hear the wake up call of God Himself, then perhaps we must reconsider who we are and how far we've fallen.

Let us remember the words of Joshua:
"CHOOSE NOW WHO YOU WILL SERVE"
.

No one knows their time and when their number's up. But everyone who is saved can know, here and now, that they will go home to glory one day, having finished their race and hear our Lord say:
"Well done my good and faithful servant".

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