Romans 7: 7- 25
Step 1: My life has become chaos and unmanageable and I surrender my problem and life to Christ, His Lordship for my recovery.
Paul is excited and is agonizing with the conflict of our sinful nature and what we are saved to do. In the English, we feel he is sounding more like Dr. Seuss than the Apostle of God. But in fact, Paul's argument is logical and sound, that we can "delight in the Law of God," even though we cannot keep it. Even though we will have conflicts between our sinful nature and His Holiness, and between our faith and the ways of the world, nevertheless verse 25 lays to rest that conflict in the ultimate and final sense. We will prevail through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can take our comfort in this, and that through Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit will give us the means to persevere and overcome all things: if not in this temporary life, then in the life to come. So our hope and trust is purely through our deliverance by Christ.
· It is human sinful nature and our depraved hearts that cause the problems we face. It is Christ who is the healer who can help us and carry us to recovery!
· We cannot live with just common sense and our religion. Our struggle is complex; we are new creatures, yet we still have our fallen nature. Thus the struggle is between the dominance of the two, our struggle and His help. God's purpose and our growth and maturity are found here (I Cor. 4:4; Gal 2:20; Phil. 2:12-18; 3:20).
· One aspect of our being is agony, with our sin or struggle as Christ bore it; the other is triumph as Christ did after the cross, and we are in total identification from suffering to freedom in Christ. We are then to loath sin and embrace Christ.
· One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to do what the Lord desires us to do, away from our desires (Gal. 5:22-23).
· The Holy Spirit keeps our love relationship with Christ alive and exciting, causing us to desire Him and not our ambitions and sin. His Spirit will continue to reveal our nature and His Holiness; we are to work it out (Phil. 2:1-18).
· We are not to live a separated life (Rom. 6:15-23). We are to be true and surrendered to Christ, as in a good marriage where the spouses are in love and supportive and not there as an arrangement of convenience. Our role is being a fighter of sin and any addiction or dependency we may face. Remember, you are not alone! Be the one who embraces Christ.
· When we are "ourselves," we are just planning our own funeral. Thus, we need to carry it to the end so we are dead to ourselves, then we can let God be God!
Jesus knows us intimately; He knows our situation, our struggles, and our opportunities. He wants us to take hold of His grace and love so we can focus upon Him and lean on Him both in our jubilations and also in our struggles. The key in this passage is to stay faithful in our Christian identity and our leadership of others, and to remain loyal to Christ. We are not to allow our doubts, fears, or state of affairs to occupy His place in our hearts and minds.
The bottom line is this, if you want help over your addiction and dependency no matter how hard or much or long you have had it, you must surrender to God. He is the only Way you can be helped effectively and completely. And please see a qualified therapist or licensed counselor if you have any chemical addictions. You also need their help and intervention too. IntoThy Word recommends Rapha Treatment Centers at www.rapha.info!Questions
1. Have you ever been so excited that your words came stumbling out like nonsense?
- Have you ever faced crises because of your struggles in this?
- Have you been destructive to others? If so, why? If not, could you be? How does Jesus feel about these behaviors?
4. Have you or have you known someone who has closed himself off from Christ's work (either from letting Christ work in him or his working for Christ)? If so, what were the factors that caused it to fail and what would have or could now rekindle that relationship?
- How would you describe the anguish or grief or problems this has taken on your body? What about family? Friends? School or career or?
6. When people put their hope in pleasure, such as drugs, what do they expect to get out of it in the long run?
7. "The Law does not take into account our failings or weakness, it is absolute." So, what does?
8. If you or someone you know has not been convicted by the Holy Spirit, what needs to happen for the Spirit to convict?
9. What causes despair (vs. 18)?
10. There is nothing we can do until we realize who Christ is and who we are! So what did you, or do you need to do to make this happen?
11. We cannot turn a sin into a right, so why do so many people try?
12. What can happen if we just use "common sense" and our "religion" to make decisions?
13. We as Christians still struggle between the dominance of our fallen nature and our new life. So, how can this struggle help you out of your addiction or dependency and into recovery? What about knowing God and yourself and growing in maturity?
14. Think of your favorite sport. What would your spiritual life be like if it was converted into a score; you, with God as your coach vs. Satan and the world. How is the game going?
15. What do you think of the daytime talk shows or news that show people (of the world) who live in comfort and harmony with their sin, who fight for it and even rationalize it?
16. What was the key that unlocked your will to loathe sin and embrace Christ?
17. What steps would a Christian need to do to live a separated life from Christ?
18. How can the church help you to better fight your battle or issue? How can they help you be a fighter of sin while being the ones who show the world how to embrace Christ?
19. Read Duet. 33:27; Rev. 1:17. What do you need to do in your life and in the life of your church to fall at His feet, dead to yourselves?
20. When we are "ourselves," we are just planning our own funeral, thus, we need to ____________________________?
21. Righteousness cannot be achieved by any human effort; we can do nothing outside of Christ. So why do we Christians worry so much?
22. God's will is in complete control, so what can you do to live your Christian life with complete trust and faith?
Mediate on these passages for the next week or more: Psalm 5; 20:2-3; 147:10-11
© 1990, 1998, 2004, Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org