SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS REAL!
INTRODUCTION: My prayer is that we will be informed and encouraged as we realize anew the spiritual battle we face, the enemy that fights against us and the victory we are offered in Christ Jesus. We face three spiritual enemies that resist the spirit within us: the world, the flesh and the devil. Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Peter 5:8-9. Our greatest enemy is not the devil or the world; it is our flesh. The apostle Paul tells us all about our struggle with our flesh: Romans 7:14-25.
I. WHAT A CONFUSING SITUATION!
We face a very confusing situation: Romans 7:14-17. We also along with the apostle Paul sometimes wonder: “Why do I do the things I do?” At times the only honest answer is “I don’t know why I did that!” We try to blame God, the devil, our parents, our spouse or our children. It doesn’t work very well. James 1:12-15; Romans 7:15. Knowing and doing are two very different things. We can know exactly what we should do without doing it. The truth about all of us is we are not as good as we think we are and we are worse than we would like to admit. That is true of all of us Christians.
II. WHAT A FRUSTRATING BATTLE WE ALL FIGHT!
Romans 7:18-23: You and I will never be perfect in this life so we need to quite acting like we are! Perfect people are not allowed into our church. Remember Jesus words: Luke 5:32. The apostle Paul explains our spiritual battle: Galatians 5:16. That verse is absolutely true but it is easier said than done. Romans 7:18; Romans 7:21-23. We all have a sinful nature and we all struggle with that sinful nature on a daily basis. When someone says “Pastor I am so happy to tell you that I have finally overcome my sinful nature, I always am walking in the Spirit of God and have not sinned in weeks.” There is a very important Biblical word for that: Baloney! 1 Corinthians 10:10-13. Our Lord has told us a place of victory for every Christian but it is not in ourselves: Romans 7:24-25; Psalm 130:1-4.
III. PAUL’S WORDS OF HUMILITY!
Paul asks a very pointed question: “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul realizes and we must come to that same realization that we cannot win this battle on our own. Honesty says “I am a wretched man” and humility says “I cannot save myself.” There are three things we can do with our sin: 1. We can deny our sin and many people do that. 2. We can try to deal with it on our own. We will all learn that does not work. 3. We can admit our sin and turn to our God and there find forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:8-10; Romans 7:24-25. Who will deliver us from this body of death? Our Lord Jesus Christ! Our victory over our sinful nature is not a formula, it is a Person! Romans 8:1-2. Our struggle with sin is meant to drive us into the arms of our Lord Jesus. Our struggle reminds us that our only hope of victory is found in walking in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 8:35-37