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The Unwanted Tennant

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Sel1)  1-20-07…..AM….SBC

“The Unwanted Tennant”

Romans 7:14-25

Introduction:               Holiness in the OT[1]

Ø      Let’s look for just a moment at the OT to see how God has always been concerned with the heart when it comes to holiness

1-      The teaching presented in the OT Levitical Code was that animal sacrifices were never intended to save people from their sins or get them to heaven. 

2-      “The believer under the Old Covenant was counted righteous on the basis of faith in Yahweh and faithfulness to the covenant and its stipulations.”

3-      The external rituals of the sacrifice were to be symbolic of the internal attitude and disposition of the heart.

4-      Many writers of the OT Scriptures reiterate that God does not desire sacrifice, but repentance that leads to obedience.

Narrative:        Samuel speaking to Saul after not destroying the Amalekites

1 Samuel 15:22  “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? behold,  to obey is better than sacrifice.[2]

Poetry

16     Psalm 51:16-17  For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.[3]

3         Proverbs 21:3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.[4]

Prophets

Micah 6:6-8  With what shall I come before the Lord, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?[5]

Ø      As it is commonly used in the OT, the “heart” is used to symbolically refer to the center of man’s emotions, understanding, will and conscience.

Ø      As the source of your deepest feelings, beliefs and choices, your heart is the “real you”

Ø      God has always, since way back in the OT Sacrificial system, been concerned with the heart.


Proposition:  Our old sin nature will always have our hearts at checkmate until we throw ourselves upon God’s Spirit for power and victory.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ø      Failure to continue in reliance upon the power of the Spirit places us once again in a position inviting defeat.[6]

Ø      Our quest for Holiness is a gradual process that repeatedly takes the believer through this recurring sequence of failure through dependency upon self to triumph through the indwelling Spirit.[7]


Summary of v7-12:

Ø      we are picking this up in the middle of the conversation

  1. Paul discussion is on whether or not the Law of God given by Moses was good or bad
  2. Paul asserts that there is nothing wrong with the Law and in fact it is holy, just and good
  3. For Paul, the law created an awareness of sin and condemnation to those who tried to keep it and failed
  4. Coveting did not prick his conscience until the Law told him it was a sin against God
  5. the conclusion of the first part of this conversation comes in v12 – “the law is good” so we can’t blame our sin on the Law

Is this a regenerate or unregenerate person?

Grammatical Arguments-

  1. Paul uses the present tense indicative to describe something that is currently going on – this contrasts with the past tenses used in the previous section
  2. The Christian life is the theme of Chapters 5-8 (larger context) 

Logical Arguments-

  1. It is not biblically accurate to say that the struggle with sin is not a part of the believer’s life
  2. No believer is completely sinless – there is that within the believer which leads him sin even when he does not want to
  3. It can accurately be applied to both an regenerate and unregenerate but Paul’s language seems to be naturally speaking of his present experience rather than his recollection of the past

Quote:             Griffith Thomas

“The one point of the passage is that it describes a man who is trying to be good and holy by his own efforts and is beaten back every time by the power of indwelling sin”


Transistion:  Paul’s discussion then leads us to a detailed explanation of what we are going to call…

1) The Unwanted Tennant (OSN)      v14-25

A- Slavery is inescapable              v14-17

 

1-      Paul tells us that his struggle with sin is not just a potential possibility, but a current, right now reality

             (Indicative Mood)

2-      Paul reminded his readers that the law is spiritual. Since it has its origin in God, it must of necessity give expression to the holiness of God’s character.[8]

a-      In contrast, Paul acknowledged that he was unspiritual (carnal – NKJV).[9]

1.      Paul is referencing the weakness of mankind and the sin we commit because we are weak

b-      It takes very little self-examination for the Christian to agree that our life and conduct fall miserably short of the divine expectation.[10]

c-      It is possible to convince ourselves that we are not as miserable as Scripture tells we are

Illustration: Peter Kacner on our selfish tendencies vs our humility…

 “that is a pessimistic approach”

 

3-      Paul describes sin as the master who gains control of us – as the master who gains control of a purchases slave and makes the slave do what he does not want to do  v15-17

a-      Paul’s strong words emphasize that sin can continue to have dreadful power in a Christian’s life. The believer’s battle with sin is strenuous and life-long.[11]

 (even more reason to persevere)

Transition:  Paul goes on to tell us that….

            B- The Unwanted Tennant (OSN) has us in checkmate         v18-20

 

1-      In the previous section Paul explains that he cannot stop doing the things which he disproves of, and in v18-20 he says how he cannot carry into action the things which he approves of

a-      Paul has come to recognize (οἶδα) “how deeply lodged within him was the old corrupt nature.”[12]

b-      No matter how much good he wanted to do, his sin nature screamed “checkmate” at him

c-       It is the unwanted tenant who so often makes it impossible for Paul to do the good he wants to do.[13]

d-     Paul has illustrated for us the totality of Total Depravity

 

Transition:  Now Paul summarizes his thoughts on the law and its effects in  v21-24

 

C- The continuing presence of evil in a believer’s life is so universal that Paul refers to it not as an uncommon thing but as such a common reality – a continually governing principle.[14]

-          the law (small L) is the governing rule – it is the rule rather than the exception

-          Sin continues to crouch at the door, even of believers, in order to lead people into disobedience.[15]

1-      Paul gives further proof of this struggle in the next verse

a-      The apostle speaks of two opposing “laws.”[16]

b-      The first is God’s law - system of moral principles that is summarized in the ten commandments and in Matt. 22:37–40[17]

c-      “inward man.” =   heart (the part hidden from public gaze)

d-     In his “bodily members” Paul sees a different law, one that is constantly waging war against the law of his mind and is making him a prisoner of the law of sin.[18]

e-      These two laws are always at odds with each other

 

Ø      Paul’s response is “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death?” [19]

-          the law accomplished what it was intended to do

-          Paul saw himself in light of God’s holy character (same as Isaiah’s in ch 6)

Ø      Look at all of this bad news – this is definitely a glass that is half empty – Paul was clearly a pessimist

-          Maybe you’re thinking, “Thanks pastor, you really spoiled my weekend, I feel horrible now!”

Ø      this is the beauty of God’s designed plan for holiness        v25                  (gratitude)

-          this battle shows us that we are dependent on an outside source for our holiness

(like the farmer!)

-          it is because of this battle that our quest for holiness must be progressive

-          we must continue to pray for our hearts to be revealed to us

-          we must continue to renounce sinful practices

-          we must continue to be controlled by thoughts feelings and actions that reflect the image of Christ

Ø      Be prepared for a fight

Transition:       Hopefully you came here to worship God this morning, but maybe you now realize that because of this Unwanted Tennant (OSN) in your life you wonder how you can even worship God at all

Conclusion:                 How does this old sin nature affect our worship?[20]

1-      First of all, Worship is the effort to seek union with its beloved. The active effort to close the gap between our hearts and God is worship at its best.

-          but, without the presence of the Holy Spirit worship cannot happen

-          it is through the operation of the Spirit of God within us that enables us to worship God acceptably through Jesus Christ

     2- Our worship becomes unacceptable to God when we allow the Unwanted Tennant (OSN) to reign in our lives

-          we can offer no worship to God while harboring elements in our life that our displeasing to Him

-          we cannot worship God on Sunday and then have shady business practices on Monday

-          worship is s 24/7 type of activity

-          we are not worshipping God if we have compartmentalized our lives into areas of worship and areas of non-worship

-          Tozer:        “no worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in displeasing

displeasing to Him.”

3- Some mistake the music of religion as the only means to worship God

-          we have entire movements today that are labeled worship music

-          whatever elevates the mind and raises the soul to God is worship

-          apart from truth and the Holy Spirit there is no worship

-          this is why we work hard on choosing the right songs with the right message

-           

 

4- It is possible to worship God with our lips but not with our lives, but if we do not worship Him with our lives then we don’t worship Him with our lips either.

5- AW Tozer (early to mid 1960’s) fought against anemic Christianity and the infiltration of the work into the church

            Of worship he said this:

“If there is anything in me that does not worship God, then there is nothing in me that worships God perfectly.  I do not say that God must have a perfection of worship or He will not accept any worship at all.  I would not go that far, if I did, I would rule myself out.  And we would all hang our harps on the willows and refuse to sing songs of the Lord.  But I do say that the ideal that God sets before us is that we should worship as near to perfectly as we can.  And if there are areas in my being that are not harmonious and that do not worship God, then there is no area in my being that worships God perfectly.  See to it that there isn’t a spot or an hour or a place or a time or a day or a location that isn’t consecrated and given over to God.  Then you’ll be worshipping Him and He’ll accept it.”[21]

Ø      Our quest for holiness has direct reflections on how we worship.

Ø      What kind of worship are you offering to God?

-          is it deformed and handicapped because of displeasing areas before God

-          is it strong in the power of the Holy Spirit

-          if it is not then we are deceiving ourselves in our worship to God


----

[1] Walton: “A Survey of the Old Testament”, p107.

[2]The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 1 Sa 15:22.

[3]The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ps 51:16-17.

[4]The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Pr 21:3.

[5]The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mic 6:6-8.

[6]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 168.

[7]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 168.

[8]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 168.

[9]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 168.

[10]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 168.

[11]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 383.

[12]Robert H. Mounce, vol. 27, Romans, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1995), 169.

[13]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 234.

[14]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 389.

[15]John MacArthur, Romans (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994), 389.

[16]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 235.

[17]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 235.

[18]William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 12-13, New Testament Commentary : Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Accompanying Biblical Text Is Author's Translation., New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 235.

g [ch. 6:6; 8:23]

[19]The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 7:24.

[20] Tozer: Worship and Entertainment, Chapters 1 and 3

[21] Tozer, 42-43.

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