Faithlife Sermons

Two Dilemmas

Romans: The Righteous Shall Live By Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:44
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Christians are at war with the world,the flesh and the devil. Satan enpowers the world to attack believers externally ,persecuting ,deceiving and seducing them. Internally, sinfulness frustrates the efforts of believers to serve God fully.

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Romans 7:15–18 ESV
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Thesis:
Christians are at war with the world, the flesh and the devil. Satan empowers the world to attack believers externally, persecuting, deceiving and seducing them. Internally, sinfulness frustrates the efforts of believers to serve God fully.

I. The world is an enemy

The world adds to our dilemma in choosing how to act...
Jas 4:4 “world” here refers to the sinful human race, hostile to the truth and to the people of God.
James 4:4 ESV
4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
See also Ro 12:2; 1 Jn 2:15–17; 1 Jn 5:4
Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 John 2:15–17 ESV
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 5:4 ESV
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

A. The world hates Christians

We must always remember that the world persecuted Jesus and will certainly persecute us...
John 15:19–20 ESV
19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
See also Mt 5:10–12; Jn 16:2; Jn 17:14; 1 Pe 4:12–16; 1 Jn 3:13; Re 13:7 The beast may represent the world’s antichristian persecution.

B. The world has its own false teaching and religion

Making our dilemma even more difficult is the enormous amount of false teaching in the world...
Colossians 2:8 ESV
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
See also 1 Ti 4:1; 2 Ti 4:3–4; 1 Jn 4:1; 2 Jn 7–11; Jud 3–4; Re 13:11; Re 19:20 This beast is thought to represent antichristian religion.

C. The world seeks to seduce Christians

The world and the flesh actively seduce the Christian, making complex our dilemma to act...
1 John 2:16 ESV
16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
See also Lk 12:15; Lk 12:19; 2 Ti 4:10; Tt 2:12; Heb 11:24–25; Re 17:1–5 Babylon may represent the world’s seduction.

II. Sinful human nature is an enemy

One of our two dilemmas directly is ourselves...
Galatians 5:17 ESV
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
1 Peter 2:11 ESV
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Passions must be tempered through self-control...
See also Ro 6:12; Ro 7:14–23; Ro 8:13; Ga 5:24; Col 3:5; Heb 12:4; Jas 4:1
Romans 6:12 ESV
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
Romans 7:14–23 ESV
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

III. The devil is an enemy

Many follow Satan and his army is not our friend; his system is not our recourse...
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
See also Mt 13:39; Jn 17:15; 2 Th 3:3; Re 2:10; Re 12:17

A. He seeks to tempt Christians

There is active effort to sway you away from God and Godliness...
1 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV
5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
See also Ge 3:1–6; Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15

B. He seeks to deceive

Be aware that your sincerity will be tempted in order to lead you astray...
2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Revelation 12:9 ESV
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
See also Ge 3:13; 2 Co 2:11; 2 Co 4:4; 2 Co 11:4; Re 20:3

C. He constantly seeks to accuse believers

Satan does not stop or take a break from his goals...
Revelation 12:10 ESV
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
See also Job 1:9–11; Zec 3:1

God’s Plan of Salvation a Dilemma for Mankind

Hear - Believe - Confess - Repent - Be Baptized - Remain Faithful

Romans 10:17 ESV
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Matthew 10:32–33 ESV
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Acts 17:30 ESV
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Galatians 3:27 ESV
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Ephesians 6:13 ESV
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
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