Not a battle to fight, but a death to die

 
 
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Website Copy:What are the things you struggle with most?  This week, Kent unpacks Gods design for being an overcomes when it comes to fighting temptation and sin. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (https://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (https://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)

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MEMORIZE: Romans 6:13SCRIPTURE STUDY: Romans 6-7
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OPENING: When I was a kid, my mom took my friend and I to the park – there was this super cool huge hill – seemed like a mountain as a kid.  It had a slide on it made out of metal rollers – the kind you were afraid your fingers would get caught in and ripped off – this is before Osha – back in the 1900’s.  But the coolest part of the whole thing is they had taken concrete culvert pipes and built a series of tunnels under the hill.  As a kid, it was this cool maze you could go into and hide and make up spy games.  It was awesome.  My friend was with us.  I’ll never forget – it’s seared in my brain.  We got out of the car – we were running towards the tunnels I was ahead of him running.  And then it happened.  Out of no where – like a terrible nightmare, I saw this huge German Shepherd, in slow motion, come running out of the tunnels and running straight for me…  I was paralyzed.  I just stood there while this dog started attacking me.  It was biting me all around my waist and attacking me.  Thankfully, the owners of the dog were right there.  They grabbed it and stopped it.  I was bleeding, I’m sure I was crying but I don’t remember. It all seems kind of surreal now…
But what was crazy was, one minute I was fine, the next minute I was Kibbles and Bits! It was a shocker.
 WE:We have all had this experience, haven’t we, except for you and I, we were dragged away by it…
James says this…  Talking about sin…
James 1:14-1514 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
ILLUSTRATION: You know what it’s like to be going through your day and that temptation, that old desire shows it’s head… and it hits like a ton of bricks – for some of you, you are so used to it, you don’t even know you’ve been hit by that German Shepherd until later and looking back at the situation. -you exploded out of anger because your anxiety has built up to crazy levels -you eyes just wonder and look at things that they shouldn’t look at -you get a craving and it feels overwhelming in the moment
It’s crazy to me how people see the bible as irrelevant, because when you actually listen to it’s words – even words that are thousands of years old – they capture the state of what it means to be human…
Listen to Paul describe this dilemma of being attacked and dragged away by sin…Romans 7:15-24 (The Message)Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
How many marriage have failed because of this dilemma -He just won’t stop (I can’t stop) -She never lets up (I’m so tired of nagging) -How many childhoods have been stolen (I’m so sorry, it will never happen again)So, what do you do?I love this section of Romans – 6-8 -it’s one of the most powerful sections of scripture, if you haven’t studied it recently, you need to dig into it this week Because I believe it’s one of the things SO many Christians have messed up in their thinking… See, there are two things
Die to self Alive by Jesus
Paul says it this way in Romans 6…Romans 6:2-4 We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Not a battle to fight, but a death to dieThis is the mistake I hear SO often in Christian theology… Christians will say things like this “I’m struggling with this sin” or “I’ve got to stop doing that”
But that is not what Jesus died for -He did not die for you to be able to be better at standing strong – Paul knows people will get this so badly wrong, that after saying the Romans 6 thing – He goes back and reminds them just how bad they are at will power Remember???The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
It’s because Paul knows, that it’s not about what YOU can do, it’s about what was done for you
Your job is not to fight, but to die to it…Let me explain it a little different
ILLUSTRATION:I wan you to imagine two women, they are both standing outside at work on a break.  There are a bunch of people smoking around them.  Someone offers each woman a cigarette – neither of them want the cigarette.  One woman says, “no thanks, I’m trying to quite” The other woman gets offered a cigarette and says, “no thanks, I don’t smoke”
One person is fighting the other person is dead to it…
The whole miracle of salvation is found in baptism -it is the point where you die to your old self and are raised to a new life…
If you want to find victory over sin, you have to die to it.  -you have to give it up, to lose it…  it still has hold over your life, because there is a part of you that still likes it.
But it’s not just a death, it’s also a resurrection – because in Christ, you are given new life – a new hope..  That’s how it’s done, Living moment by moment letting the Spirit lead you…
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:This week, my family and I went down on Wed. to the Woolarock drive through zoo in Bartlesville, we literally waited 30 minutes in line to go .3 miles.  We were about to turn into the drive – when a guy exiting had his window down.  I yelled at him, “was it worth it?”  he put his arms in the air and said, “eh..”  Ha, that was all I needed.  I flipped around and got out of there.  I was done.  Look, I’m telling you as a man who has lived on the other side of sin – if you are asking me if it’s worth it… I’m telling you, “eh…” it’s not…
what are you waiting for?  Why are you sitting in line just waiting for the next time sin gives you it’s turn…  I’m telling you turn away – die to it.  just get out of the line…  Jesus is waiting to free you.  If you aren’t a Christian – you can’t do this on your own.  You need to get baptized and join Jesus..
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Romans 6:2-14We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Potential OrderStart with vs. 12-14Ask the question – how can he say this?He can say it, because he’s been making the argument that when we got baptized we died with Christ and buried our old self in the ground and now we are alive with Christ, united with Him in His resurrection
Read 12-14 againnow, why do we say things like, “we’re all sinners..”-this is a sad excuse for us to still live in our old dead self.  -we were meant to die to those old sins – not fight them
ILLUSTRATION:it’s the difference between the person who says, “I don’t smoke” and the person who says, “I’m trying to quite smoking”-both are doing the same activity, not smoking-one is dead to it, it’s not a thing in their life and one knows it’s still and thing and is still fighting it
Part of the reason we still sin, is because deep down we still like what we get out of it…
But with Sin comes death – it’s literally the pay that sin puts on your check-most of your drama comes from the sin in your life-most of your broken relationships come from the sin in your life-even some of your sicknesses come from sin
Elderege’s book – the utter relief of Holiness-Most of us look at holiness as a drag – but holiness is the path to wholeness
You must die to be reborn
ILLUSTRATION:Have you ever heard of the immortal jellyfish – if it gets injured or doesn’t have enough food, it can reverse it’s life cycle and go back to the stage of being a polyps and restart it’s life over…
This morning I want you to experience the hope of being whole-being wholly who God made you to be
Having a God based confidencenot dealing with tremendous guilt or shamebeing able to focus on what really matters
wholeness starts in holinessholiness starts when we live moment by moment in a relationship with Jesus

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