Memphis Belle

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The Problem
Romans 3:21
United in Christ
The Power of the Gospel
The Old Man Is Dead
The Flesh
The Wages of Sin
Free from the Penalty
Our Life Before Christ
Romans 8:1-17
Romans 8:18-27
More Than Conquerors
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“THE FLESH”

Romans 6:6-22

 

Romans 6:6-22, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you:  for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  What then?  shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?  God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”  [King James Version]

 

Romans 6:6-22, “For we know that our old self [King James: “old man”] was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with [margin: be rendered powerless, inoperative], that we should no longer be slaves to sin---because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.  What then?  Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! [btw, “Sin is the transgression of the law” 1 John 3:4]  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey---whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  Then let’s not leave out verse 23, which concludes the thought.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Remember, we died to sin

 

“Open your Bibles to Romans chapter 6, let’s open our Bibles to Romans 6, and I’d like us to just review the first point, what we looked at last week.  This week, I’ll just tell you what we’re going to study today, we’re going to study the flesh---and what the Bible is talking about when it talks about the flesh, and the war that the flesh has going on in each one of us.  But before we look at that I really want to nail down the point that I made last week, and reiterate it, and hopefully re-enforce it in your heart.  In verse 2, the Bible says that we have died to sin.  Verse 2 says “we have died to sin.”  Death means separation, and that’s the basic bottom-line meaning of death.  [I always thought it meant a cessation of life.  Oh well.]  The word death doesn’t mean non-existence, it means separation.  When you die, in the physical sense, your soul and spirit [one and the same thing, according to some] are separated from your body.  And you go, if you’re a Christian, to be with the Lord.  [The Bible is very fuzzy on that subject.  Solomon in Ecclesiastes wrote that the human spirit in all humans---the “good, the bad and the ugly”---that die goes to heaven, and that the dead know nothing, i.e. the human thought process ceases within the human spirit, including all memory.  Solomon also goes on to say that the spirit that is in animal brains goes back to the ground, making a distinction between human spirit and animal spirit.  Other passages in the New Testament which are in parables, and allegorical at best, indicate the spirit in man, the human spirit, is conscious after death.  This places these beliefs in the purely secondary realm of Bible doctrinal teaching due to the fact that there is apparent disagreement between them.]  The Bible talks about physical death, and that is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.  The Bible also talks about spiritual death.  And that is separation of your soul and spirit from God, forever.  And so, people can be spiritually dead, that is, separated from God, and even be living and breathing and their hearts pumping their blood through their bodies.  And yet your body could die and be turning to dust and you could be very much alive with God [again, this is one interpretation of a bunch of Scriptures that differ from each other on this subject---whether the spirit’s of believers are conscious or unconscious in heaven.  The Ecclesiastes interpretation coupled to 1st  Corinthians 15 would be interpreted as those that die in the Lord rest in their graves (their bodies decay), their human spirits, unconscious at death go to heaven, awaiting the resurrection to immortality, and when these spirit’s are united with a new spirit body, made immortal, looking just like the individuals when they were alive, but shining like the stars and now immortal.  One instant the person was dead, the next conscious moment the person is being resurrected into an immortal body and is conscious again, never being aware of the passage of time from his or her death to that of their resurrection to immortality.  I bring this other interpretation out simply because it is another way to interpret passages that cover this subject, yet conflict with each other.  The final outcome---whether our spirits upon our deaths are conscious with God in heaven, or unconscious with God in heaven---is exactly the same at the point of our resurrection at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming, talked of in 1 Corinthians 15:49-56.  So this is a totally secondary doctrine, since passages covering the subject conflict with each other and it involves mere spiritual nano-seconds of our existence when compared to living on into eternity.  I don’t take sides in this debate, I merely make observations for the sake of the entire body of Christ that dwells online, knowing some believe one way, and others believe another way.  And when it’s unimportant, I point it out, as editor of this site.  This site is all about unity in the core gospel of Christ, and freedom of belief for the many diverse secondary doctrines of the Bible.  99 percent of what’s being taught in this section covering Romans 6 through 8 is primary gospel of salvation, gospel of Christ information, essential for one’s salvation.  Personally, I’m just as curious as the next guy about what really happens to my human spirit when I die.  I’m not worried about the being saved part, but I’m not going to be dogmatic on the subject when the Bible isn’t dogmatic about it.  For more on this subject, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]

 

Remember, we have a new nature in Christ

 

Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  So, it’s sort of a strange contradiction.  The Bible teaches us that we have died, been separated from sin.  Specifically, verse 6 says our own sinful self, “knowing this” verse 6, “that our old self” or “the old man” as one version says, or if you got that new feminist version “the old woman” (just teasing) “was crucified with him.”  That’s your old nature.  A nature is what makes you what you are.  A nature makes you do certain things, produce certain things, act a certain way.  An apple tree isn’t a pear tree because it’s a different nature.  A dog isn’t a sheep because there’s a different nature.  You can train a dog do funny sheep things, but you know when he gets a chance he’s going to just go back to his old dog-ish ways.  Jesus Christ came, he broke sin’s power in your life.  And I’m talking to Christians this morning.  If you don’t consider yourself a born-again Christian just listen along, because you’re going to see why it’s so important to be a Christian.  Christianity is talking about a change of nature.  The Bible says if anybody comes into Christ, that person becomes a new “species” of human being.  That’s what 2nd Corinthians 5:17 says, a brand new species, you are different, it’s a differentiation on the inside.  There is a new command center.  The old command center of the old nature is dead, it died when you accepted Christ.  And you don’t have an old nature anymore.  But you say, ‘But I’m still struggling with old things Mark!’  I’m going to get to that today.  But it’s not a nature that’s making you do those things.  You have a new nature in Christ.  Colossians chapter 1, verse 13 says “For he delivered you out of the kingdom of darkness”---the domain of darkness---“and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.”  We’ve been delivered from the domain of darkness.  We are no longer---in fact, we shouldn’t be calling ourselves sinners anymore.  We should call ourselves what the Bible calls us, and that is saints.  That’s what the Bible calls Christians, saints.  So you can greet each other either ‘brother’ so and so, ‘sister’ so and so, or ‘saint Mark, come here…’  But actually the Bible calls Christians saints, not because they never sin, but because they don’t have a sin nature anymore.  They are saints, they are holy ones, and Christ is in us.  Jesus Christ indwells us, and you’ve been set free from your old sinful nature.  Regardless of what the psychologists say, I don’t care what the self-help groups say, you have been set free in Christ.  This means more to me than anybody else’s books.  This means more to me than anybody else’s theories.  [Pastor Mark must be holding up his Bible.]  I base my life on “Thus says the Word, thus says the Lord.”  And you need to get your life in line with the Word.  It is a square by which you build your spiritual house.  The square [as in T-square] of the Word of God is going to go to line…you don’t bend the square to make a crooked wall match it, you change the wall to match the square.  Right [all you builders]?  For some of us our thinking is off, and we need to get it aligned to the Word of God. 

 

We’ve been set free from sin---the sin nature

 

He has set us free from sin, we died to sin.  Verse 7 says, “for he who has died is”---read it with me---“freed from sin.”  And you look again at verse 18, read it with me, “and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”   And finally the first part of verse 22, “But now having been freed from sin…”  We have been freed from sin.  It’s not “Oh God, free me from sin!”  You have been freed from sin, you little turkey!  [laughter]  Read the Word!  ‘Well then why does sin still bug me!?’  ‘Why am I still tempted?’  ‘Why do I still want to do some things that I know I shouldn’t be doing?  Why!?  Why!?  Why!?’  Well, before we talk about it, I just want you to understand, you have a new Master, you’ve been freed from the old ‘master’, the slavemaster of sin.  Remember, you have gone through a spiritual emancipation proclamation much like the Blacks in the Confederate States experienced during the Civil War [I would say, after the Civil War, to be more accurate].   They were declared free, now they needed to act like free men, and they…it was a little more complicated for them, they had to try to make their way to free land [which most of them couldn’t till after the end of the war].  But you don’t have the old master whipping you, saying ‘Now boy, jump boy! Jump boy!’  You don’t have to jump for him anymore, because he’s not your master, you don’t live in his land anymore, there’s a fence between you, barbed wire, electrified.  [I would say that there’s a sea between you and your old master, the Red Sea.]  And you’re freed from sin, you don’t have to do those things anymore.  You don’t have a nature in you to sin anymore, a nature that controls you anymore.  It’s like we said last week, it’s like having a new boss.  We don’t work for “S.I.N. Incorporated” anymore.  OK?  But the old boss calls you up at 2a.m. in the morning, and you’re so used to him calling you up at all hours of the night telling you ‘All right, now, we need you to come to the office right now.  We need you to do this, we need you to do that!’  And you’re so used to doing it, that you hop out of bed, get your pants halfway up, you know, and then you realize ‘Wait a minute.  I quit that job.  I’m out of that, I don’t work for them anymore.  What am I doing?  I’ve got a new job with normal human hours.  What am I doing?  Oh, I’m so used to living the old way.’  You have a new boss.  You don’t have to do what the old boss tells you anymore.  Doesn’t that make sense?  How many of you have changed jobs in the last year?  Raise your hands.  Look at this.  A lot of job changes.  Now if the old boss calls you and told you to go and do something for him, like he used to do, what would you say to him?  ‘Get lost!’  (Someone said, ‘Can I have my old job back.’  [laughter]---No.)  We have a new nature.  We’ve gone from being dogs to being God’s sheep.  No matter how much you try to fix up the dog and paint its toenails and fluff its fur, and put bows in its ears, the dog’s still going to go out and do doggy things, isn’t he.  He’s a dog, and that’s all he’s going to want.  He’s not going to want to eat sheep food.  Sheep food is grass.  Dogs only eat grass when they’re sick.  Right?  It’s just like the unbeliever, the only time they run to the Word is when they’re sick---‘Oh, I’m dying, read a Bible, quick, read the 23rd Psalm to me, would you?  I’m sick.’  You see, when dogs are sick, they desire grass.  The minute they get well, they don’t want it anymore.  But you see, a sheep loves sheep things.  I mean, if you’d tell the dog ‘How about walking among green pastures, and walking beside still waters?  How about following the shepherd?’  A dog would go ‘How boring.  No way!’  But a sheep, man, that sounds like fun stuff to a sheep, ‘Yeah, green pastures, yum!’  ‘Still waters, yeah!’  ‘I don’t like those raging rivers.’  ‘Following the shepherd, that’s not bahhh’d.’ [laughter]  So sheep love that.  I’ve often wondered how a caterpillar, how it feels to go from being a caterpillar to a butterfly?  I wonder what kind of things the caterpillar goes through on the inside.  I mean, when I was a kid we had a lot of Monarch butterflies in southern Oregon, it’s just really neat to live in a place where there are things like that, and your children can see.  And I remember watching the little striped caterpillars as they were munching on milkweed, and I decided one day I would try some of that milkweed they were munching on.  ‘Yuck!  Ooh, it’s bitter!’  ‘Ooh, it’s so bitter, and you can’t…’  I spit trying to get the taste out of my mouth.  It’s sort of like eating dandelions, if you know what a dandelion is.  A dandelion in Arizona is like a precious flower, but [laughter] in green places it’s a weed.  But it’s got a white milky kind of sap in it, you know, and it’s just as bitter as it can be.  And yet that’s what the caterpillar, crawling, he munches on the bitterness of life.  But then the day comes when he dies to that old self, he dies, and he hangs himself, literally, doesn’t he.  And he gets into that cocoon, and in the chrysalis change a whole new creation is made, and out comes, you know, after a period of time, you know what happens, a butterfly emerges.  Now what if the butterfly came out and he still was thinking like a caterpillar?  It just hit me funny thinking about that.  And you see this butterfly crawling on his little butterfly knees, he’s crawling.  And he’s coming up to a milkweed plant, and he doesn’t even have a mouth to eat that stuff anymore, and he’s trying to gnaw on a milkweed plant.  And along comes another butterfly and he says ‘Hey, Bud’  whatever you call a butterfly, Bud, the butterfly, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’  ‘Well, I’m trying to eat.’  ‘Why?  You’re a butterfly now.  You’ve got wings.  What are you doing crawling?  How embarrassing to see a butterfly crawl.  Stand up and fly.’  ‘I don’t feel like I have wings.  I feel the same.’  ‘You’re not the same, though!  A change has taken place.’  ‘But I don’t feel different.  In fact, I sort have got a craving for milkweed.’  ‘Yeah, but you’re a butterfly.  Hey I’m sipping nectar, that’s what we’re supposed to be eating.  What are you doing, you nut!’  And you give him a kick in the butterfly butt, behind, or whatever a butterfly has [laughter], and you tell him to get moving, man, start flying.  And, ah, maybe that’s the reason why Romans 6, 7 and 8 are written, to give us a little kick in our little butterfly behinds, and tell us to get flying---get going.  Because you’re not who you used to be before Christ.  OK, that was review.  Now new territory. 

 

Even though sin does not reign over us, it does remain in us, leading us into an internal civil war

 

Sin does not reign over us---it’s not our master, it’s not our boss!  We’re not caterpillars, we’re new creations, we have a new master.  We’re free from the old, it can’t tell us what to do anymore.  Even though sin does not reign over us, it does remain in us.  Verse 6, “Knowing this, that our old self”---the old nature---“was crucified with him that our body of sin”---now that’s something different from the old nature---the “body of sin,” as some translations say, “the body the sin indwells”---the body that sin lives in, that’s this body that we live in---“knowing that our body of sin might be done away with [margin: rendered powerless].”  Though I am a new creation, though I don’t have a sinful nature anymore, I still have sin living in me.  That’s why, it explains why even though I’m free and I have a new nature, I still struggle with sin, I still struggle with feelings of sometimes wanting to do things that I don’t really want to do.  But I do them sometimes.  Even after the new birth, even after we’ve been given a new nature, sin remains in our bodies.  These bodies aren’t born-again.  And the bodies don’t get to go to heaven.  They have to be changed, they have to be transformed [in the resurrection to immortality] before they can get to heaven.  So if you leave before the Lord comes, you leave the body, because it can’t go to heaven the way it is, it hasn’t been born again.  And if the Lord does return while you’re alive, you’re body is changed instantly---1st Corinthians 15 says---in a moment and a twinkling of an eye---because sin inhabits this body, it can’t go to heaven the way it is.  Look at verse 6, it talks about the body of sin, the body that sin inhabits.  Verse 12 tells us that sin wants to reign in our mortal bodies.  Well this of course leads to Civil War.  You knew that there was something going on inside you.  Yes!  It’s civil war.  Look at Romans chapter 7, verse 20, the last part says, “…sin dwells in me.”  See that?  Chapter 7:20, the last part “…sin dwells in me.”   Look at verse 21, “I find there the principle that evil is present”---where?---“in me…”  Look at verse 23, it says, “I see a different law in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind.”  Now let’s go up to the top, verse 14. Sin indwells our bodies, but it’s not a sin nature.    We’re going to see that Paul calls it “the flesh.”  Doesn’t have the power of a nature.  Romans 7, verse 14, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage of sin.  For that which I am doing I do not understand, for I am not practicing what I want to do, but I’m doing the very thing I hate.”  Now, some of you thought you weren’t Christians because you have said that very thing.  “I’m doing the very thing I hate!”  And Satan’s right there to say “Yeah, some Christian you are!  What makes you think you’re a Christian?  Why you’re not doing what you want to do, and you said you’re doing the thing you don’t want to do.  You’re not a Christian!  Get out of here!”  No, that is evidence that you are a Christian.  One of the greatest evidences of being a Christian with a new nature is that there’s now something to fight the body of sin, fight the flesh now.  The flesh, see, when you had a sin nature, the flesh and the sin nature were just right together, de-dum, de-dum, de-dum, you know.  There was perfect contentment, perfect harmony, perfect accord---Oh, it’s wonderful!---Oh they had a wonderful relationship together.  But now, you’ve got a new nature.  The new nature does not sin, 1st John tells us.  And so the flesh now is finding itself living with a Roomy it doesn’t like.  OK?  And there’s a fight that goes on.  And you don’t do the things you want to do sometimes.  Let’s read on.  Let’s read on, this is very important.  “I’m doing the thing I hate.”  Romans 7, verse 16, “For if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the law, the will of God, confessing that it is good.  So now”---read it---“no longer am I the one doing it, BUT SIN WHICH INDWELLS ME”---Hallelujah!  Do you understand?  This is what I’ve been telling you!  He’s saying, ‘Look, the real me isn’t wanting to sin!  The real me doesn’t want to sin.  I agree with God’s law!  I agree with God’s will!’  (I’m sorry, I’m excited.  I get loud.  Sound like a Baptist preacher.  Brother.  No, they’re OK.)  But it’s not me doing it.  He says, ‘Look’ in verse 18 and 17, ‘So no longer am I, the real new born-again me, the new creature me, I’m not the one doing it.’  What’s doing it?  ‘Sin which indwells me is doing it.’  Verses 17-18 of Romans 7 (NIV), “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 flesh (margin).  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”  Verse 20, “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.” Do you see guys?  You wouldn’t believe me when I said you don’t have an old nature anymore, because you were still feeling this type of war.  You said, ‘Oh Mark, I’m not so sure.’  You just weren’t waiting long enough to hear.  The Bible is telling you, ‘OK, let’s say you’ve got an alcohol problem, and you’re a Christian now.  You have a new nature.  You’re not enslaved to that anymore.  But your flesh wants it.  But you can say as a Christian “I am not the one doing this.  It’s the flesh.”  I don’t have a nature problem, no my nature agrees with the will of God.  I’ve got a flesh problem.  I’ve got a body of sin to deal with, and now in the next few weeks we’re going to talk about how to deal with this body of sin that we’ve got.  Hey, you deal with the nature by accepting Christ.  Amen?  You get a new nature by accepting Christ and the old nature dies.  You get a nature that wants to do the will of God, and Christ dwells in you.  But, now after you’re a Christian you still have this body of sin and you’re going to have it until the day you die and go to be with the Lord, here either by the Lord’s return or by death, you’re going to fight the flesh.

 

Satan’s evil broadcast into our ‘human spirit’ is at war with God’s Holy Spirit within us

 

There’s something inside each of us that responds to sin.  Now the sin can’t control you through the command center anymore, Christ has taken over the command center.  OK?  So, sin thinks ‘Aah, I’ve got to get control again, Aaagh, I’ve got to get control.’  And so sin uses the body to try to get control.  Now the body doesn’t have the power of a nature.  You see a body doesn’t make you what you are.  You’re nature is what makes you what you are.  Your body tries to get the power of a nature.  Now inside of us, each one of us, there’s something in us that responds to sin.  [Personally, considering Satan’s evil broadcast onto the “wavelength” of the “spirit of man”, I believe this evil broadcast is the sin that enters our “body”, it is the “body of sin”.  It enters into our minds through our human spirit, but finds Christ already dwelling there via the Holy Spirit that now indwells us---thus the conflict.  Our human spirit has now combined with the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.  So the sinful broadcast pulls on our flesh, but we have the nature of Christ in us.  Look at Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”]  We think, ‘What is the matter with me?’  ‘Why do I respond like that?’  And you know, the flesh.  I look at it, like, inside of me there is this guitar with 12 strings, OK.  And there’s this guitar inside of me, and these instruments are very interesting, they’re, the music they produce is produced by vibrations of the sound waves.  And even as I’m talking into this [he’s talking into the opening of a guitar] the strings are responding to, it’s called, sympathetic vibrations.  They’re responding to my voice.  They’re responding.  OK?  And if Tim were to go blow his trumpet and blow a G, you would feel the strings vibrate, they pick up on that sound.  Now my head doesn’t vibrate.  But there is in me something, this is the flesh, the Bible calls this the flesh.  [What he is talking about is that we are in tune with this world.  There are a few explanations of how that happens.  I personally prefer the idea that Satan has filled this earth with his evil broadcast of wrath, wrong sexual desires, sinful nature---all described in Galatians 5:19-21.  The “wave-length” Satan puts his broadcast on is that of the human spirit, the spirit in man talked of by Paul in Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 2.  This “law of sin” is really broadcast into us by Satan.  Our sin nature has been shut off by accepting Jesus, Yeshua into our lives.  But it does not turn off Satan’s broadcast into our human spirit.  This would explain the war going on inside of us, Satan, the world and our flesh, all warring against our new godly nature in Christ.  This explanation in no way goes against what Pastor Mark is saying.]  The Bible calls this the flesh.  Look at Romans 7, verse 18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is”---where?---“in my flesh.  For the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I wish to do I don’t do, but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.”  I mean, this is a born-again person.  “But if I am doing the very thing that I don’t wish”---he’s got a new nature, he doesn’t want to do those things anymore---“I am no longer the one doing it, but”---who is doing it?---“sin which indwells me.”  Romans 7, verse 21, “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do the good.”  In other words, I’ve got a new nature.  Romans 7, verse 22, “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man of my new nature, but I see a different law in the members of my body, the flesh, waging war against the law of my mind, my new nature, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members”---that’s the flesh.  This is incredible, guys!  If you get a grip on this it will change your life.  What he’s saying is, there is the flesh, you are born again, but the flesh was left.  OK?  And sin works through the flesh.  And there will be, even in a Christian---even as I’m talking I feel these strings vibrating, obviously you can’t feel them vibrate, but I can feel the strings vibrate.  Sometimes when they forget to turn the snare off on the drums, and they start playing music, the snare starts snaring.  [Comment: The human spirit gives the human brain its intellectual and computing power.  It is directly connected to “the flesh” in the sense that our flesh is controlled directly by the brain.  The actual flesh in a body is nothing, unless it is controlled by the human brain.  The human brain is given its vast intellectual and computing power by the invisible human spirit that resides in each of us.  Satan can broadcast into that human spirit, thus our “flesh” comes under his broadcast influence, just like sound waves are influencing those guitar strings.  Just like radio waves influence a radio receiver.  Again, this explanation does not disagree with what Pastor Mark is saying.]  Why does the snare do that?  Well, it’s vibrating sympathetically.  OK?  And so what happens is, temptation comes [who is the great tempter?] and it vibrates your strings.  OK?  It comes by, and you sympathetically, you hear the sound, and you begin to vibrate with it.  And you wonder, ‘Man, what’s the matter with me?  I thought I was a Christian.  And here I am vibrating to sin.  I’m responding to sinful temptation.  How could I have a thought like that and still be a Christian?  Because you still have the flesh.  [Here’s a Bible example of God placing a thought within the mind of king Cyrus.  God was moving Cyrus to do this by placing a thought directly into his mind via his human spirit.  Read 2 Chronicles 36:22, “…the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm…”  Also the same description is repeated in Ezra 1:1.  Cyrus obviously did not have the Holy Spirit indwelling in him, he was a pagan king, so God had to communicate to him through his human spirit.  The human spirit can also receive signals from Satan’s evil broadcast.  The world vibrates sympathetically to his evil broadcast which is described in Galatians 5:19-21.  That’s how evil thoughts come into our minds, sometimes without us understanding where they have come from, cf. Revelation 12:9]  Every Christian has the flesh to deal with.  You see a pretty girl, and your strings start to vibrate “Oh”,  you know.  Vibration is one thing, you know.  Getting down and really fueling the thought onward, that’s a another thing all together.  You know, temptation may come and vibrate your strings, and then you can say “No!”.  Like once in a while you’ll hear the music, and then you can say ‘No.’  Like once in a while you’ll hear the musicians, they’ll goof up, you know, and what do they do?---they go “Oh!” and stop.  Usually Tim does it during prayer.  But they stop it immediately.  And so when temptation comes and your strings vibrate, “No!  I’m in control.  I don’t have to play the whole song---‘I am nothin’ but a sinnner, sinnin’ all day.’”  That’s not who you are anymore.  You’re a new creation in Christ.  But you do have the flesh in you.  And it will vibrate sympathetically to sin, temptation comes and the flesh will go ‘Oooh,’ vibrate, vibrate ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes’, you know.  ‘No, no, I’m not gonna sin.  I’m choosing not to do that.’  If you do the same thing with a piano, it won’t work with these electronic keyboards, but a real piano, if you take any musical instrument like a trumpet and you lift the lid of the piano and you blow, play a strong C or B, you blow that note into that piano, the strings will re-vibrate the same sound back sympathetically.  Now, were they played?  No.  See, that’s what bugs us as Christians.  We think ‘I didn’t play the note, so why is it there?  Why is the sound there?  I must not even be saved.’  No.  Your flesh, you didn’t play the note.  That’s right.  But your flesh is in sympathy with sin.  And so when the right vibration comes, your flesh will sympathetically vibrate with it until you say “NO!”, you say “No.”  See, Christ died, not just to give us a new nature, but to give us victory over the flesh as well.  He condemned sin in the flesh, we’re told. 

 

You flesh is never done away with, but it can be rendered inoperative

 

Now look at Romans 6:6 one more time.  This is a pivotal passage in the whole understanding of the flesh, because in 6:6 he talks about the old nature and the flesh in the same verse.  And he says, “Knowing this, that our old nature was crucified with him that our body of sin”---that’s the flesh---“might be done away with [margin: made powerless, inoperative]  that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”  “That it might be done away with” is not a good translation.  It should be translated, and the Greek scholars all agree, it should be translated “rendered inoperative” or “taken out of action”, “put out of action.”  Your flesh is never done away with, but it can be rendered inoperative.  You can make it so it doesn’t “play”.   You control the flesh, you can say “No” to the desires of the flesh.  Now what are some of those desires of the flesh?  Let’s look at Galatians.  Keep your finger here in Romans, go back to the book of Galatians, you go to the right.  Galatians chapter 5, verse 16-17, “For I say, walk by the Spirit”---that’s walking in the new nature---“and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another.”---Have you ever experienced that?  All the time---“so that you may not do the things that you please.”  There is a civil war going on inside.  Don’t feel like you’re a miserable Christian because---maybe it’s dirty thoughts, you men, that you’re fighting with.  ‘Well, I must not even be a Christian!’  No, your flesh, that’s what it likes.  And you have to realize that because those thoughts come into your mind, and because certain things stimulate that in your brain, that doesn’t mean that you’re not a Christian, it means that your flesh is there.  It’s there.  And certain things will set it off [he strums the guitar], but you can say no to it.  You don’t have to play the whole song.  You didn’t strum it in the first place.  Temptation strummed it.  And you say “No”.   That’s why, it says, some sins we must flee.  And they are the sexual sins---it says “Flee immorality, flee youthful lusts.”  [Proverbs is full of these admonitions, pointing out where the spiritual minefields are.  See Proverbs 3.]  Because he knows if you stay there long enough, you’re going to play the whole song.  What are some of the lusts of the flesh that the body tries to control you with?  Sin wants to control your body through verse 19 and onward.  “These things, the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are”---top of the list are sexual sins---“immorality, impurity and sensuality”---that takes in all you could imagine (don’t), it takes pornography in, adultery, pre-marital sex, living together, everything is talked about.  That’s what those Greek words mean.  The word used for idolatry, verse 20, is sorcery.  That’s an interesting word, the word for sorcery in the Greek is pharmekia, pharmacy, drugs.  Sorcery and drugs tie together.  If you’re doing drugs, you’re on dangerous ground, because you’re opening yourself up to occultic practices is what that’s saying here.  Just like playing with a wejee board.  You’re smokin’ your dope, you’re shootin’ up, you’re hittin’ up, you’re doing whatever you’re doing---hey, you’re inviting Satan to come and bug you [i.e. you’re inviting demons to come into your life, and we’re talking about those who are not born-again, indwelt with the Holy Spirit].  You’re saying, “Here I am, I would really like to be hassled by you devil.”  “Enmities, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger [King James: wrath]”.  Man, we see that within our homes a lot.  Don’t we?  You know what that is?  It’s the flesh [in tune with Satan’s wavelength, broadcast.  These very attitudes, this laundry list are broadcast attitudes directly from Satan into the air surrounding earth.  Wrath is one of the chief attitudes of Satan.  Sorcery, withcraft, desire to practice such stuff all comes from him.  Everything listed here are attitudes broadcast by Satan to provide a downward pull into man’s society, bringing it low.]  No, buddy, it’s your flesh.  “It’s my kids!”  No, it’s your flesh.  “It’s my Mom and Dad!”  It’s your flesh, ruling you.  And it doesn’t have to rule you anymore, you turkey.  Why are you letting the flesh rule in your puny body?  You shouldn’t.  That’s the way the Living Bible translates it, “Don’t let sin control your puny body any longer.  Don’t give in to it’s sinful desires.”  “Jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envyings, drunkenness,”---Oh, it’s not a disease!  No, it’s a work of the flesh.  That’s what drunkenness is, a work of the flesh.  It’s a spiritual problem, and we have the spiritual answer for it.  Don’t we?  Understanding you’re a new creation in Christ, understanding that yes, if you’re struggling with drinking or drugging, you need to understand that your flesh wants that and craves that.  But you also know if you’re a Christian that there’s a part of you that doesn’t want it too.  [These works of the flesh, which do come from Satan, are important, and it’s important to read these verses through completely, just to see what is being said here. I will give the King James Version.  Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication [all sex outside of marriage], uncleanness (license to do evil), Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”]  And that brings me to my next point.

 

The key to victory:  Learn to use your chooser

 

My next point is: The key to having victory in your life, the first step to victory over domination of the flesh is to learn how to use your “chooser”.  You learn how to use your “chooser.”  We now can make a choice.  See the difference between a Christian [or Messianic believer in Yeshua] and a non-Christian when you’re talking about sinful problems, is a non-Christian doesn’t have any power on the inside.  Because a non-Christian has an old nature that is hand-in-hand, buddy-buddy with the flesh.  OK?  And so, I mean, all you can do with these programs and these seminars is you try to make up the dead man, you try to make the corpse look good, you try to change, you paint up the doggy, paint his toenails, put bows in his ears, and tell him that he’s a sheep.  And you haven’t changed the nature.  See, the reason why I’m a Christian, one of the reasons why I’m a Christian is that because I have seen the power of Jesus Christ to make people into new people.  And that’s not just talk, that’s not rhetoric, it actually happens through the miracle of what is called the new-birth.  You could be born-again today before you leave.  I’m going to give you that opportunity to give your life to Christ.  But you know a lot of us when we came to Christ, nobody told us what happened, it was just like “Raise your hand.  Go to the prayer room.”  “Raise your hand” or “Call us up” or “Walk down the aisle” and nobody told us “Now you’re a new creature!  Your old nature is dead!  You don’t have an old nature anymore, you have a new nature!”  Nobody told me about the flesh when I became a Christian.  And I became so discouraged I just about quit a few times, because I thought “How can I be a Christian and struggle with this, or struggle with that?”  Now I understand I am not under those old masters anymore.  I understand that I am no longer sin’s slave.  Sin is not my master.  Sin tries to reign through my body, yes, but it can’t be lord, it can’t be master, because Jesus is at the command center, I have a new nature.  Sin can never make me it’s slave or its captive again.  Paul’s whole point is, when a Christian sins, it’s not because he is a slave of sin and has to sin, but we sin as free men, we are sinning because we are choosing to sin.  [unless you are not a Christian, then you have no choice in choosing to sin, it’s the only thing you can choose to do.]

 

You don’t have to respond to Satan’s beeper

 

I want to read to you, going back to Romans, chapter 6.  I’m going to read the rest of the chapter.  Let’s read verses 12-22, and then I’ve got something that might help illustrate this too.   Romans chapter 6, verses 12-14, you follow along in your translation, I’m going to read it out of the Living Bible because I believe the Living Bible here is very accurate in its translation of the passage, and it’s very easy to understand.  OK?  So follow along and listen very carefully.  “Don’t let sin control your puny body any longer.  Don’t give in to it’s sinful desires, don’t let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness to be used for sinning.  But give yourselves completely to God, every part of you.  For you are back from death, and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes.  Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God’s favor and mercy.”  Hey, can you say Amen to that?  Now verse 15, “Does this mean that we now can go ahead and sin and not worry about it?  For our salvation does not depend on keeping law, but on receiving God’s grace.  Of course not.”  Verses 16-22, now he talks about your “chooser”.  “Don’t you realize that you can choose your own master?  You can choose sin, with death, or else obedience with acquittal.” [Obedience to what?  “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1st John 3:4). So this means obedience to the law, and in New Testament terms, the law of Christ, which is basically the spiritual application of the Ten Commandments minus the 4th Commandment.] “The one to whom you offer yourself, he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave.  Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you.  And now you are freed from your old master, sin.  And you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.  I speak this way, using the illustration of slaves and masters because it’s easy to understand.  Just as you used to be slaves to all kinds of sin, you now must let yourselves be slaves to all that is right and holy.  In those days when you were slaves of sin, you didn’t bother much with goodness.”---that’s an understatement for some of you---“And what was the result?  Evidently not good, since your are ashamed now even to think about the things you used to do.  For all of them end in eternal doom.  But now you are free from the power of sin and are slaves of God, and his benefits to you include holiness, and everlasting life.”  His whole point is, you guys, you’re free.  You don’t have to chose sin anymore.  You don’t have to obey the flesh when it says “Respond!”.  You don’t have to obey the flesh anymore.  You’ve been set free.  How many of you wear a beeper at one time or another?  Raise your hand really high.  Whoa!  Look at all these important people.  Ah, you have to have a portable phone to be really important nowadays.  Beepers are signs of slavery, aren’t they.  It really is, it’s 20th century slavery.  I mean, you can never get away, electronically they’ve got you.  But this beeper represents the flesh.  [Yes!  It’s a radio receiver!]  It’s as though, when we were born again, we used to work for the old master, he gave us this beeper, this is what we inherited when we worked for him, this beeper right here. [In reality, we’re born with the beeper in us---it is the “human spirit,” “the spirit of man,” or “spirit in man” as it is referred to by these various terms in the Bible]  Whenever he wanted us, he would just beep us.  Right?  “Beep, beep, beep”.  And what do I always do?  I always look, and it’ll give me a number “please call:xxx-xxx-xxxx”, or it will give you a command.  “Get to work” or something like that.  Now not all beepers beep, some of them vibrate.  Vvvvvvm.  OK?  So, some people don’t hear that call, they “feel” the call.  OK?  [laughter]  So, now, let’s see how this relates.  You’re already beginning to see how this relates.  When you came to Christ, you were taken out of the old job, the old master was blown away, dead and gone, he’s been killed [remember the Egyptian Army died in the Red Sea].  You don’t have to obey him anymore.  But you know what, his beeper was left with you.  The flesh, the body of sin you still have, and there’s no way to get rid of it till we go to be with the Lord.  But when you do go to be with the Lord…no more body that responds to sin.  So here you are, you’re Joe Christian, you’re a new believer.  You’re walking along, man, you’re free from sin.  You believe what you’ve been taught.  I don’t have a sin nature anymore.  And I don’t have to sin anymore [his beeper just went off], ‘Oh’, one day, you have this sinful urge, you hear something that makes you desire to go back to the old, there’s something that really responds to something that’s wrong.  Now is it because you really aren’t a Christian?  No.  You’re really a Christian.  Others of you were walking along, and one day [his vibrating beeper just went off] ‘Oh, I have this feeling, man.  Oh, I have this urge.  I’ve got to have it, I’ve got to do it’, you know.  ‘It’s there, man, it’s really there.’  Well, yeah it’s there.  You have the flesh, I have the flesh, and our flesh, once in a while lets us know it’s there.  You walk by, guys, you see a bunch of pretty girls [his vibrator beeper is going off] [laughter] ‘Oh…’  Girls, you’ve been daydreaming about this guy for the last three days, you know, all day long you’re daydreaming about him [his beeper goes off], the sinful desires go off.  Well, look, there’s nothing wrong, there’s no sin in this [vibrator-beeper goes off].  OK?  Everybody’s flesh vibrates at something.  Everybody’s flesh hears the call of sin.  That’s not sin.  You can’t help that.  What you can help is, [beeper goes off], ‘Oh, what’s her number, man.  I’m going to call her up.’  That’s dumb.  You don’t have to respond.  You’ll hear the call [beeper goes off], but you don’t have to call the number.  Or if it says ‘Hey, boy, come over here.’  You know, that’s the message that comes across the beeper screen.  You don’t have to do that.  You can chose not to do that.  The feeling comes [his vibrator beeper is going off again], ‘Ohh’, you look down and it says ‘Do it!’  Do you have to do it?  Does this make you have to?  No, it just stirred you all up.  Just got the strings [guitar] buzzing, you’ve got a lot going on right now, you’ve got your strings going, and you’ve got your beeper beeping, you know, so you got a lot going on.  It happens, to everybody.  You’re at home, and your wife, she knows the buttons to push, she knows what’ll push you over the edge, and your flesh says ‘Let her have it!’  [lot’s of laughter]  You don’t have to respond.  ‘Oh, but I feel it!’  Yeah, but it’s just the old commands, it’s just the old flesh.  You don’t work for him anymore, you don’t have to do what they say anymore, turn it off!  Turn it off!  And that’s interesting.  You know when you’ve really seen somebody very important, and their beeper goes off, and they look down, and say ‘It’s nothing’ and turn it off.  Someone went to all that trouble to get in touch with them and they hang this on them so they could never lose them, and they look down at that and they say ‘Oh, I don’t have to respond to that.’  I was always very impressed.  I think, Whoa, you know, ‘You’re important.’  You’re important.  And when sin comes beeping, you don’t have to go bouncing all over the walls.  When sin comes beeping, you can say ‘I don’t want to respond to this, I’m a new creature in Christ.’  And you’re going to feel it, guys [vibrating beeper goes off], you’re going to feel it.  Being saved doesn’t take away the desires of the flesh.  The Bible says to crucify them, crucify them [cf. Romans 8:13b].  So we all are living with this spiritual beeper on us, we’ve got the flesh.  For some of us, we’re very cool about it, you know.  Our flesh doesn’t go “BEEP, BEEP” and everybody sees our problem.  Some of us, you know, it’s that very quiet little vibration, but we’re struggling just as much as somebody who’s got the big obvious problem.  Now in the weeks to come we’re going to look more and more into how to gain the victory over this.  But today what you’ve got to know is #1, you’ve got a new nature.  Right?  Say yes, so we can get off of this.  [laughter]  You don’t have an old nature commanding you anymore.  Right?  But you do have sin dwelling in you.  Yeah?  Yeah.  But you don’t have to obey that.  Right?  Why?  Because Christ is in you.  Christ is in you.  Now some of you are obeying this beeper call just out of ignorance.  You didn’t know what happened to you when you became a Christian.  Some of you are obeying this out of habit.  Okay, okay, I react this way.  I see a pretty girl, “I LOOOOK”, you know.  It’s just the habit of your flesh.  And you need to slap it down, you need to go “NO! No!”, put it down “No!”.  You don’t have to play the whole song because one string vibrates.  You can say no.  Some of you are sinning out of rebellion.  And you’re going to have the fruit, which is a lot of hurt and pain.  But for those of you in the first two categories, hey, this is a sweet message today.  You’re free in Christ, free indeed.  You don’t have to obey the old master anymore.  So when temptation comes and you find yourself---I don’t know where we got the idea that if we became a new creature it meant that we would never have an old desire---new creatures still have the old desires.  But the old desires DON’T REIGN, because they’re living with a very raunchy roommate, the new nature does not like this.  The new nature is no fun to the flesh.  The new nature really cramps the flesh’s style.  And there is a battle going on.  You’re not a bad Christian because of it.  You are a Christian, and that’s the evidence of being a Christian [or Messianic believer in Yeshua]. OK?

 

Closing statement

 

Boy we’ve got some good stuff coming up in Romans 6, 7 and 8, don’t miss it.  If you missed the last few messages you’d better go over and get them [i.e. the tapes from their tape library], and get caught up, because this can change your life.  Let’s stand up together.  Oh, someone’s flesh just went off, I heard a beep.  Your watches are beeping.  What are they telling me?  To shut up, Mark.  Well, I don’t have to obey that anymore.  [laughter]  I’m under a new Master.  If you would like to be a new person in Christ, I’m not going to make a big emotional appeal, because it’s not an emotional thing, it’s a real thing.  It’s not just emotions we’re talking about---Jesus Christ, [Yeshua haMeshiach] can come into your life and change you radically, and give you power over your life, change your life, change your marriage, because he changes you.  He just doesn’t patch up outward problems, he’s into making you different.  And if you want to accept Christ, if you want to make sure that when you die you’re going to heaven, if you need what you’ve heard [or read here], then what I want you to do, before you leave, I want you to go over here to the prayer room.  See, the sign over the door “Prayer Room”?  Just make your way over there…[Sermon transcript of “Romans 6:6-22, THE FLESH” given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, P.O. Box 39607, Phoenix, Arizona  85069.]

          [Should you wish to view a prayer asking for Jesus, Yeshua to come into your life, go back to the previous few sermons.  One should be there at the end of the transcript.  editor]

 

 

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