Bridging the Gap from what I Know to what I Do 1
Bridging the Gap from what I Know to what I Do (1 of 3) nv 5/18/08am – Romans 7:7-25
OS: Two preachers were on the roadside with a sign that read, "The End is Near - turn around now before it’s too late". A passing driver yelled "leave us alone you religious nuts". Then the preachers heard a loud splash. One preacher said to the other, "Do you think we should have just said "Bridge Out".
I. 1 Bridging the gap from what I know to what I do.
A. To be a Christian does not mean that we no longer have a struggle with sin. – Romans 3:21 “All have sinned (PF) and fall short (P) of the glory of God” – “ALL” not “Ya’LL”
1. Illu – Prayer “Thank you Lord, I haven’t harbored bitterness today, I haven’t been impatient, unkind, or ugly to anyone... But, in just a minute I’m going to get out of bed and I’m going to need your help.”
2. Do you ever wonder how you can bridge that gap between what you know and what you actually do?
3. Internal causes of stress - #1 the gap
B. I know that God wants me to….but….
II. See if you can identify with our text this morning.
A. 2 Romans 7:14-20, We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
B. We don’t do what we want.
1. Deep down inside we want to be the kind of Christian God wants us to be. (daily time, prayer, study, evangelism, etc.)
2. Christian Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, etc.
3. Like: when your foot goes to sleep…you want to but just can’t seem to move. (Theater / Movies over / people waiting)
C. We do the bad things that we don’t want to do.
1. We struggle with bad habits, addictions, and everything else.
2. We say what we shouldn’t.
3. Like: Steering going out and the gas pedal stuck on floor.
III. 3 Series – Let’s get to the bottom of it. (Romans 6-8)
A. Bridge the gap
B. To bridge the gap we must first understand the gap.
C. Romans 7:21-24
I. 4 The Problem = Everyone has flesh (Sinful Nature)
A. What is meant by flesh?
1. Usually we think of results of such a life – Gal. 5:19-21, sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, bitterness, anger, selfish ambition, factions, divisions, envy and on and on.
2. Desires for fleshly pleasures?
3. Paul includes things like status, education, religious zeal, and commitment. (Phil. 3:3-6)
B. Good definition: All the habits developed over the years to meet our needs out of our own resources.
1. We all have developed patterns to help us cope with life, deal with our problems, succeed, relate to others, and escape intolerable situations.
2. Example: drugs and alcohol – when life gets painful these ease the pain…for a while.
1. We are born selfish (baby)
2. We live for self naturally.
D. Paul struggles with the flesh?! Uses hyperbole – overstating and exaggerating something to make a point.
1. (v15 NLT) “ I don’t understand myself at all!”
2. (v16 NLT) “I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong.”
3. (v17 NLT) “ I can’t help myself”
4. (v18 NLT) “ No matter which way I turn – I can’t make myself do right”
5. (v24 NLT) “ What a miserable person I am.”
E. Christians – forgiven, not perfect.
TS] So what are we supposed to do with this flesh – I know living according to the flesh is detrimental to my wellbeing and unpleasing to God – what does it mean to have this flesh problem?
II. 6 The Result – War. (note: v21 & 23)
A. War / Battle is what the statements of Paul describe.
1. Old habits and patterns – hard to break (from childhood)
2. They don’t really satisfy, and we know it.
B. Battle of good and evil / Fred Flintstone – ect.
1. Sometimes the flesh wins, sometimes the Spirit wins, and the Bible never says God is pleased when our sinful nature wins the tug-of-war.
2. Ephesians 4:17-24 (reminder – do not think according to the flesh)
C. Ever feel like giving up
1. Play church / “I’ll not commit” / not get involved
2. Congregationally (Budget – struggle about the challenge / doors open goal or ministry goal?)
3. Ever notice – the struggle in many ways goes away. Conscience gets seared.
4. Illu – Oak Tree / hollow inside / storm
D. Struggle is good.
1. If you’re on Satan’s side there is no battle.
2. Struggle will make you stronger.
III. 7 Bridging the Gap from what I know to what I do.
B. Vs. 24, “who will rescue me from this body of death?”
1. next verse – Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C. How do we bridge the gap? How do we overcome sin tendencies in our life?
D. Next 2 weeks….
1. Have you given up? Playing church? It’s easier, but in chapter 8 Paul will say, those who live by the flesh “cannot please God”