Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Wrestlings: Laws at War

“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”Romans 7:23


Let’ us first remind ourselves how we opened our last article, in “My Wrestlings: I Find a Law”… 



The word “law” in Romans 7:21-23 presents many facets and dimensions of God’s law as it pertains to the sinner saved by grace. Because we are “dead to the law” (Romans 7:4) as Christian disciples, some may want to refer to “law” as merely principles of truth. It would not be wrong to define “law” in this way, as principles of truth, for so they are; yet, they are also more than that.



Preaching Christ CrucifiedI perceive a different law in my members.  “Another law” is translated from the Greek words ετερον νομον (heteron nomon), meaning “different law.” Does this mean that God has given another or a different law than that which is understood in scripture? No, I suggest that what Paul sees as a disciple of Christ, and what you and I should perceive, is a different dimension of the law, because now, in Christ, the statutes of God have been put in our inward parts, written in the new hearts given us by God’s grace (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). So, what is this different law in my members?


Knowledge of the law, apart from Christ and outside of His free grace, seemed merely a system of do’s and don’ts. After Christ fulfilled the law both actively and passively, I not only see the law as something I cannot keep in perfect righteousness as a sinner separated from Christ (Romans 7:9-10), but the depth of the truth of corruptions that still remain in me grows in my awareness. I see; that is, I perceive the law in a different way, as if it were a different law. That which is in my members has a willingness to freely choose to act according to God’s will and good pleasure or act independent of God’s will and good pleasure.  Just as Adam had that freedom through his created innocence in the Garden of Eden, we also have that freedom as those redeemed by Christ. Yet, there is a difference; for we were born naturally as descendents of fallen Adam, and as “we are carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), I will have a greater willingness to willfully move in a direction to sin against God in my members, “warring against the law of my mind.”


“The law of my mind” is that truth of the law that I do have a new heart and new spirit. My mind, which is the seat of my decisions and the source of my will, is renewed by the washing and cleansing of the Word of God through the law of Redemption (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Titus 3:5).


This different law in my members is “the law of sin” that, if I am not submissive to the grace of God in Christ Jesus, cleaving to Him alone for mercy in time of need, which will bring “me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members;” that is, arrest me to commit sin because I still possess an earthly humanity in a body of flesh, and that I have not been made immediately sinless in perfection, nor will I ever attain sinless perfection in this body: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12).


This is why we are taught in scripture, that though the flesh has been crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:2; Galatians 5:24), we must still kill (mortify) our flesh (Colossians 3:5).


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.


Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.


Read the previous article in this series, from Romans 7:21-22,My Wrestlings: I Find a Law.”


DogeCoinMy Doge Address is:

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Preacher's Giveaway Extravaganza

“…freely ye have received, freely give.”  Matthew 10:8


The passage above is not about meeting people’s “felt needs” as that ridiculous The Purpose Drive Church would suggest (but we won’t get into that now— that will follow in a few articles to come). What is freely given Christ and Him Crucifiedis the gospel of the “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 10:7); in other words, the good news of God’s salvation through His anointed One has come.


Let’s get the word out about the Word of God. I’ve prayerfully decided to make this year, 2014, the year of the giveaway… giving away books of preachers who preach Christ crucified: Spurgeon, Bunyan, and others, including yours truly. For the next two weeks, I will be giving away a PDF eBook of my best selling Christian apologetic, Christ and Him Crucified to anyone who comments on Preaching Christ Crucified that has this time counter.




No signing up for my email. No jumping through hoops. As soon as you comment, you will receive an email from me with a link to download the book. No fuss no muss.


Pastor Charles SpurgeonBut that’s not all. For the next two weeks, while this giveaway is running, everyone who comments on this article, and also the subsequent article posts running with the same time counter, will be entered in a drawing to receive a 100+ year old copy of Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 10. This book came from a Funk & Wagnall’s 20 Volume set that was published earlier than 1902 (I know this because one of the copies was inscribed with that year). It’s a hardbound edition in great condition. What better way to kick off a Preaching Christ Crucified giveaway than by giving away a volume of C. H. Spurgeon’s sermons? London’s “Prince of Preachers” truly preached Christ, and Him crucified.


Not only that, for those entering this giveaway, your names will be compiled as time goes on and we will have a huge giveaway in the summer and a final giveaway at the end of the year, with smaller giveaways in between.


And since this is all about getting the Gospel Word out, tell your friends and family so they can get a free copy of Christ and Him Crucified… oh yeah, and a paperback edition of Christ and Him Crucified will also be given away at the end of this month.


IMPORTANT NOTE: By the way, when you comment, please use a good email address where I can send you your digital copy of Christ and Him Crucified.


So what are you waiting for?


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT and let us know your thoughts.



Preacher's Giveaway Extravaganza

The Greatness of God's Love

Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.” — Psalm 106:44-45


Vintage SpurgeonDear friends, every promise in the Bible is a part of the covenant. The covenant that now stands between the believer and his God is on this wise, that you take him to be your God, and he takes you to be his people; he gives his promises to you, and you rely upon them; he will bless you in this life and perfect you in the world to come. The tenor of the covenant is not according to your deservings, but according to the greatness of the Lord’s love. In making this covenant, it is clear that God knew from the beginning what he was doing; he made no mistake, and said no more than he intended to fulfill. He deliberately said, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people;” and in the day wherein we believed in him he guaranteed to us that we should never perish, neither should any pluck us out of his hand. This covenant was made with such judicious deliberation and infallible foresight, that there is no conceivable reason why it should be revoked. God is not a man that he should lie or repent.


Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

from a Message Delivered on Sunday, February 14, 1886

at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol.32, Sermon No. 1886

“God’s Remembrance of His Covenant.”



The Greatness of God's Love

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Wrestlings: I Find a Law

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” —Romans 7:21, 22


Preaching-Christ-CrucifiedThe word “law” in Romans 7:21-23 presents many facets and dimensions of God’s law as it pertains to the sinner saved by grace. Because we are “dead to the law” (Romans 7:4) as Christian disciples, some may want to refer to the “law” as simply principles of truth. It would not be wrong to define “law” in this way, as principles of truth, for so they are; yet, they are also more than that.


As the apostle describes it of himself, I can also look at this struggle within my own Christian life through this warfare within me, as God continues a sanctifying work within me because of this experience. As I am declared holy, immediately sanctified when I am justified by God’s grace at the moment of salvation, I am also growing in that grace by experience as the revelation of this truth is manifested in my daily life.


“I find then a law” that is far greater than the 613 commandments that were codified in the Hebrew Torah given by God to Israel through His servant Moses. I find a law that expresses the blessed holiness of God in His entire revelation of Himself from Genesis to Revelation, because it “was ordained to life” (Romans 7:10). I find a law that is “holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12) because it came from God. I find a law that manifests the righteousness of God in His holy justice, which condemns every descendent of Adam (Romans 3:19); yet, I also find a law that expresses the beauty and excellence of God’s righteousness set forth in its utter and complete fulfillment in and through and by Jesus Christ (Romans 3:25-26). Therefore, though I am “dead to the law” through Christ’s atoning death (Romans 7:4), and because I have been “raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:4), I find a law that, being fulfilled in Christ, reaches into the depths of my being; a law that is found in every line and every precept of holy writ; a law that “is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). It is a law that I find that is so lofty, so holy, and so indescribably pure because it has its entire fulfillment in Jesus Christ, I cannot possibly attain to the least of its commandments; that is, “when I would do good,” when I desire to do what is right and well-pleasing before Jehovah God, I find “evil is present with me.


I find the Word of God, a law, and see it for what it is: the revelation of Jesus Christ, in all His divine glory as God, all His righteous humanity as the pure and perfect Man, and in all the excellence and supremacy of His holy sacrifice, which reconciles me to God by grace alone. Because of Christ I find God’s law to be even holier than ever I thought it before; therefore, I recognize that even in my desire to please my holy heavenly Father, there are areas in my life that still contain corruption; areas that are still stained with sin, that are still infected with iniquity.


Therefore, though I cannot keep the law in the perfection and holiness that is required by the law, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). Why? The reason why, as mentioned above, is that I find a law that is now written on the fleshly tables of my heart (Jeremiah 33:31; Ezekiel 36:26-27), that expresses to me more fully the glory, the beauty, the majesty, the splendor, and the excellence of Christ, who fulfilled the law. I delight in God’s law according to my inner being because the law, in its fulfillment by Christ, allows me to see more of the majesty and eternal excellence of Christ Jesus, my Lord.


Again, this truth should drive me, even more earnestly, to desire to embrace God’s grace, to surrender daily to His mercy, to trust continually in Him, to cling to that old rugged cross, and to cleave to Christ alone as my Savior, my Lord, my King, my All and my Everything.


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.


Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.


Read the previous article in this series, from Romans 7:19-20,My Wrestlings: Accountable, Not Condemned.”


DogeCoinMy Doge Address is:

D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i


Friday, February 7, 2014

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Wrestlings: Accountable, Not Condemned

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”Romans 7:19, 20


Preaching Christ Crucified“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:19).  My nature is flesh. I am a human being. I am a sinner because I am a descendent of Adam. Yet, by God’s grace, through faith in the righteous life, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, I am a new creature, or creation, in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Although this has happened, I still believe I only have one nature; that is, my humanity, which has never changed, and will not change until Christ come again, as we who are in Christ are told: that we “shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). I HAVE a nature, but it is no longer “natural,” meaning unsaved and reprobate (1 Corinthians 2:14). My nature, now abides with a new truth because I have been saved by God’s grace. Regeneration has given me a new heart and a new spirit; but I hesitate to call it another nature. My new nature is spiritually divine because it comes by heavenly origin, through the regenerative work of the very Spirit of God, and therefore, I must call it supernatural. You may perhaps refer to it as a “divine nature” just as other preachers and expositors have in the past. So, now, as a saved man, I have my flesh, my humanity, my nature, which has sin and is filled with sin and is full of sin, as we read last time in Romans 7:18,



“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”



Yet, that notwithstanding, I also HAVE that “divine nature,” or rather, that supernatural quickening that has made me alive in Christ by the regenerative work of the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 17). Again, let us tread lightly. Let’s not suppose that it is the same as Christ having two natures, being both fully Man and fully God. Jesus is fully Man, yet sinless and wholly righteous; our human nature is full of sin. Christ’s divine nature is deity because He is very God of very God. Our divine nature is a soul that is alive unto Christ through regeneration by God the Holy Spirit, whereas we were in the past children of disobedience who were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1, 2). We should endeavor to remember that God’s indwelling presence and empowerment do not make you and I God. There is only One. Because of the real nature of humanity that exists, and also this new creation that I am, by regeneration and the indwelling Spirit, there is not only a struggle between the doctrine of sin and law in our minds, but also spiritual warfare between flesh and Spirit.  In Galatians 5:17 it is written,



“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”



Just as we saw a few articles ago that Galatians 3 runs parallel with our understanding of law and grace in Romans 7:1-13, Galatians 5 runs parallel with our understanding of our warfare between flesh and spirit.


“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:20). We are not suffering from some sort of schizophrenia here (although sometimes it may feel like it). It’s not two people at war within or some kind of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde episode taking place within our existence. To suggest that would be almost imply a removal of our accountability and responsibility. Paul does not do that. He is only expressing the wrestling between flesh and Spirit in a way that could be understood by our finite minds. The apostle expresses the same thought in Galatians 2:20,



I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”



As the apostle continues to use the first person pronoun, “I” he takes responsibility for his actions. He is held accountable to the Lord for his every wrong; yet, he realizes that the origin is within the nature of his fallen humanity: “but sin that dwelleth in me.”


I am accountable with God for my every thought, word and deed for He is holy, just and good. We must not cast off our culpability before God, nor shirk our responsibility to Him, neither avoid our accountability with Him; yet, we rejoice in the sufficient sacrifice of Christ, embracing His beloved grace, for I am not condemned— we are not condemned. Because sin, still dwells within the humanity of fallen flesh, I must ever surrender to Christ, coming confidently “unto the throne of grace [to] obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.


Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.


Read the previous article in this series,My Reality: Hating My Actions.”


DogeCoinMy Doge Address is:

D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Reality: Hating My Actions

“Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”Romans 7:17, 18


Preaching Christ CrucifiedThis is a truth that reminds us that we must not forget from where it was we came, and also with what we have been previously taught. Although I am dead to the law and resurrected unto Christ, the law is unchanging as a standard of God, which is made even more visible and apparent through the perfect obedience and righteousness of Christ, wherein the law has been fulfilled. As my saved soul has been declared justified, having my sins imputed to Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sins, and having Christ’s righteousness accounted to me, I still have mortal flesh because I amsold under sin” (Romans 7:14, remember, present tense). Understanding this, the apostle reminds you and I, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”


Does that remove my culpability before God, my accountability with God, and responsibility to God? No. In fact, the use of the first person pronoun indicates quite the contrary; Paul does not want to remove from himself the responsibility, accountability or culpability. Furthermore, he absolutely cannot and neither can I; nor can any one who is saved by God’s grace through Jesus Christ.


Although I have been “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:24, 25), and have been “buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,” I should also “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), so that I should no longer obey the sinful lusts of the flesh (Romans 6:12): and although I desire to walk pleasing to God (Romans 7:18), I fail miserably to even keep the least of His commandments (Romans 7:15-20). Why?


The reason why is because the righteousness of the law, which is revealed through Christ, fulfilled by Christ, and exemplified in Christ, can never be completely attained by me because of the soiled corruptions of my flesh, because of my mortal person as a descendent of fallen son of Adam. Through the illumination of the holy Son of God in human flesh, in His utter perfection as a man, even my humility is full of pride compared with His. Though I believe that no man is deserving of the least of God’s attentions or the smallest kindness in His affections, and that every man is deserving of only eternal death because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and yet, having become a recipient of God’s grace, that truth should humble me to the dust, for I can do nothing to attain or maintain the humility of Christ.


Does this truth leave me in despair? It will not, as we will find as we continue through the scriptures presented in this blessed letter. Yet, alerting us to this truth, it will make the reality of clinging to the Cross, embracing grace, and cleaving to Christ a more firm foundation in the truths of scripture by the grace and mercy of God’s Spirit….


The apostle expresses his inability to act righteously in verse 18, “how to perform that which is good I find not,” as an obvious truth because he has just explained in verse 17 and previously that his own performance is sinful, “sin dwelleth in me.” As our righteousness rests wholly upon the holy, imputed righteousness of Christ, the good works that spring forth in actuality, must spring forth from gospel truth, by gospel grace, through gospel faith. The truth of this reality actually exalts and magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ while amplifying God’s grace. This truth will enfold more and more through this epistle.


LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.


Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.


Read the previous article in this series,My Reality: Hating Sin.”


DogeCoinMy Doge Address is:

D8gkz1d4VNj5VcbMu6DFZ9L3jwxxLW9R5i