ROMANS 7:1-25 Sanctification is Spirit Transformation not Self- Reformation

 

In chapter six of Romans Paul began to discuss the life of sanctification. In Romans 7 Paul now turns to those who have relied upon the law as a means to making them righteous before God. In this chapter Paul will show that the law was never meant to accomplish such a task, but was to expose people as utterly sinful. There is no way a person can work their way into salvation; and there is no way a person who is saved can work their way into sanctification.

 

The introduction to chapter seven actually is traced to Romans 6:14 which states:

 

  • Romans 6:14 – “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”  [1]

In Romans 7 the apostle Paul is inspired by God to discuss the futility of trying to live the Christian life, the sanctified life in one’s own strength. This discussion involves the use of the Law because those who try to live a sanctified life in their own strength do so via The Principle of Living Under the Law that we referred to in our study of Romans 6. You can’t be sanctified in life by trying to keep a set of rules or laws. The reason that such an endeavor is doomed to failure is that the law was meant to expose sin not make one righteous and when one tries to live by the law in their own strength, rather than lead to a sanctified life, the law and trying to keep it actually has the opposite effect of inciting, exacerbating, and arousing the flesh or carnal nature in the believer. This truth is presented to us here in Romans 7. In Romans 8 the means by which we can be sanctified in life is discussed, which is, life in the Spirit.

The End of the Law

Romans 7:1 – “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?”  [2]

In Romans 7, Paul turns to those familiar with the law, the Jews. The Jews tried to live by the law and based their “righteousness” on keeping the law. Paul is now going to show where the law ends. The law ends at death.

Romans 7:2-4 – “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another— to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”  [3]

Paul points out by way of marriage as an illustration, (he’s not really concerned with teaching anything about marriage) that when a spouse dies, the partner is not obligated to keep the marriage vow. Death sets the spouse free from the obligation of the vow. In the same way, the Jew was obligated to keep the ordinances of the law, but when, in Christ, they died with Christ, they were set free from the law. Only death frees a person from the law.

God wants to fellowship, to become one with us, but He is holy and we are sinful. In the law God made provision for humanities’ weakness and sin, the substitutionary sacrifice of an animal. Humanity was bound to this as long as they lived. But God makes a new way to bring us into oneness with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus (Romans 3:19-31). 

Now even after we accept Jesus as Savior, we still live in our fleshly bodies prone to sin. How can a righteous God have continued fellowship with us when we still sin? By our death to our old life by faith, so that sin cannot rule over me. Earlier in Romans 6:1-8 and also in Paul’s letter to the Galatians he is inspired to write about this when he says: 

·         Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. “  [4]

 

By being crucified with Christ, by identifying by faith with the death of Christ, we are dead to the law and the law can no longer condemn us because we are dead to it. If a person speeds and is killed in an accident, the dead corpse is not brought into court to be held accountable to the law (7:4). In Christ we live not under the principle of keeping the law, but under the principle of living in the Spirit-filled life of our saving relationship with Jesus.

The Law “Arouses” The Flesh

Romans 7:5 – “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.”  [5]

The law “aroused” our “sinful passions” in that it exposed them as present in us and as the root cause of spiritual deadness. Ever tell a child not to do something? Before you tell them not to do something, (i.e. lay down the law) they might never have even thought of doing what you are telling them not to do. But when you tell them not to do a particular thing, doing that thing becomes their new primary reason for being. That is true not only for children but for human beings at every stage in life and even after one becomes a believer. The law arouses the flesh, the self-centered, self-serving, sinful nature in humanity. Living by law only serves to arouse our flesh and expose our inability to keep the law in our strength (“the flesh”). But our works have nothing to do with our right standing before God, which is established by Jesus in the Spirit, not by us. 

What is “the flesh”?

The word “flesh” is translated from the Greek term SARX (Strong’s #4561 - savrx sarx, sarx) which can refer to the material skin of an animal or human, the physical body, or more importantly for our study, human nature in all its limitations and sinful inclinations and passions.  [6]

The meaning of and use of the term “flesh” in the New Testament can be summarized as follows as referring to: The physical body (1 Corinthians 15:39; 2 Corinthians 10:3); humanity as a whole (Matthew 24:22; John 1:13; Romans 3:20); the incarnation of Jesus (Hebrews 5:7); the fallen human nature (Matthew 26:41; Romans 6:19; 7:5; 8:3,8,9); the sinful root in human beings (2 Peter 2:18; 1 John 2:16); human efforts of self-reliance usually sought by religious means (1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Corinthians 10:2-3; Galatians 3:3 ; 6:8; Hebrews 9:10); human relying on natural ability (John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 5:16). [7]

TO BE “IN THE FLESH” THEREFORE, MEANS THAT A PERSON IS RELYING ON THEIR OWN HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY IN CONTRAST TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND POWER OF THE SPIRIT. The foolishness of this was expressed by Paul who was inspired to write:

  • Galatians 3:1-3 – “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”  [8]

To rely on your flesh is to not trust God or His word. This is characteristic of one who is immature and young in their faith.

What Characterizes a Person “in the flesh”?

Paul described people “in the flesh” when he wrote to the Corinthians.  Keep in mind that the Corinthian church was filled with people who had a wealth of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12; 14), but they lacked something. They were in their flesh. What were they like? Paul described those who are carnal of fleshly in the following passage:

  • 1 Corinthians 3:1-5 – “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal [Greek SARKIKOS – lit. “fleshly”], as to babes in Christ.2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?” [9]

The fleshly Christian is the immature and weak in faith Christian.

Anyone who tries to make themselves perfect in their flesh is doomed to frustration and failure. You can’t perfect your flesh. Apparently, Jews who had accepted Jesus were trying to live their new life in a legalistic way by keeping the law. Paul was showing them that this was futile.

LOT – THE EPITOME OF CARNALITY

The carnal nature of “the flesh” is something every Christian deals with and therefore it is important to know the nature of this aspect of humanity in order to seek help from the Spirit to deal with it. In Genesis Lot is a picture of the epitome of carnality.

 

What is “CARNALITY”?

 

“Carnality” is another term the Bible uses to refer to the person who lives according to their flesh (see 1 Corinthians 3). Carnality is defined as, “Having the nature of the flesh”; sensual; controlled by animal appetites; governed by human nature rather than the Spirit of God. The person who is carnal could be described as follows:

 

·         To be pleasure oriented.

  • To put your personal interests before everyone else's interests and say, “ME first!”
  • To be WORLDLY. To live by the world’s standards and wisdom rather than God’s revealed Biblical truth. To depend on your own ability, wisdom, strength. To depend on humanity rather than Divinity.
  • To act first, then seek God’s help saying, “LORD, bless this mess.”
  • To be less than totally committed or surrendered to God.

 

Lot, the nephew of Abraham, gives us a perfect picture of what a carnal person is like and how they function. What does his life tell us about carnality? Below are some aspects of Lot’s life that give insight into the priorities and practices of the one who is carnal. When you consider Lot ask yourself, “How much am I like him?” Are you a lot or a little like Lot?

 

Life Decisions Made By Sight Not Faith in God

 

  • Genesis 13:6-11 – “Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.9 “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other.”  [10]

 

In Genesis 13 there arose strife between Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s herdsmen. The land could not sustain both groups (13:6-7). Abraham trusted God in the matter by giving Lot first choice of the land (13:8-9). When we consider Abraham we see a man of faith who consulted with God and trusted Him in life decisions (Genesis 12; 15). On the other hands, Lot made his life decision without consulting God in prayer, but entirely based on what he saw, the lust of his eyes. Lot chose the land that looked good to him (Genesis 13:10-11; 1 John 2:15-17). The result for Lot was the beginning a downward spiral of ever deepening sin and trouble.

 

Some people are a lot like Lot in that they make their decisions based on the horizontal plain of reality; they base their decisions only on what they see in this world. The carnal person makes decisions based on earthly values. The spiritual person looks vertical, they look to God for direction and they do that before they make their decisions not as an afterthought.

 

Toying with Sin Like a Moth to a Flame

 

  • Genesis 13:12 – “Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.”  [11]
  • Genesis 14:12 – “They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”  [12]
  • Genesis 19:1 – “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.”  [13]

 

When we look at the life decisions of Lot we see a man moving closer and closer to a sinful environment. Lot “pitched his tent” toward the sinful city of Sodom (Genesis 13:12). The next time we here of Lot he “dwelt in Sodom” (Genesis 14:12). Finally we see Lot “sitting in the gate of Sodom,” (Genesis 19:1). To sit in the gate of a city was an expression that referred to a place of leadership. Lot finally was not only moving toward the city of sin, or even living in it, but in the end he is a prominent leader and totally enveloped in the city of sin.  Lot toyed with sinfulness and was drawn deeper and deeper into sin, like a moth to a flame (13:12; 14:12; 19:1). As we will see, when you toy with sin or hover around it like a moth to a flame, you will be burned.

 

How about you, are you toying with certain sins in your life? Are their certain questionable things in your life that you have chose to overlook or turn a blind eye to even though God in His word warns against them? Are you moving closer and closer to sin or are you moving further and further away from sin? The Bible tells us to stay away from even the appearance of evil in our lives. Paul was inspired to write:

 

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – “Abstain from every form of evil.”  [14]
  • Ephesians 5:8-18 – “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.14 Therefore He says: 1 “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”   [15]

Don’t lower your godly standards to fit in with the world. The world lives by sinful standards not spiritual standards. If you go to the world for advice, the advice you get will lead you in the way of Lot and the flesh.

A Distant Compromised Relationship with God

 

  • Genesis 19:1-3 – “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”   [16]

Later in Genesis we see that God met directly with Abraham who is a picture of a spiritual man of faith. In contrast to Abraham’s relationship with God (Genesis 18), God did not meet directly with Lot, but sent two angelic messengers to communicate with Lot (Genesis 19:1). Lot’s relationship with God was distant unlike Abraham who was close with God, worshipped God, trusted God and was led by God (Genesis 15:1; 18:1; 21:12; 22:1-14).

 

What is your relationship with God like? Is it more like Abraham’s or is it more like Lot’s? Are you a lot like Lot in that you are spiritually insensitive to God, closed to what God might want to say to you? When was the last time God “spoke” to you? God may not speak to you audibly, but He does speak to us through His word (Psalm 119; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12), godly people (1 Corinthians 12; 14) and various other ways (Hebrews 1:1). Would you describe your relationship with God as distant? If so, you’re a lot like Lot. God has a plan for you and wants to communicate with you, hear Him (Matthew 17:5; Revelation 2 and 3).

 

While God met with Abraham personally in a Theophany (Genesis 18), he sent angels to meet with Lot. Lot’s compromise with carnality led to him being surrounded with sinfulness that curtailed his ability to fellowship with God (Genesis 19:2-3). When you allow sin in your life is hinders your ability to hear God and that limits your relationship with God.

 

Do you have a second hand relationship with God? Does God have to speak to you through other people because you aren’t in tune or sensitive to His voice? Don’t let your relationship with God be second to anything. Don’t compromise your relationship with God.

 

Compromise Endangers the Innocent

 

  • Genesis 19:4-7 – “Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!”  [17]

Lot’s compromise endangered his holy guests (Genesis 19:4-7). Because of Lot’s compromising with sin he exposed those around him to sinful perversion and lusts. Sin is never private; it always spills over to affect the lives of those around the sinner.

 

We should note here that homosexual sin is used here to demonstrate the depth and severity of the sinfulness of the city in which Lot chose to reside. Homosexuality is a result of rebellion against God and rejection of His creation norms. We saw in Romans 1 that homosexuality and its propagation indicates the lower parts of the shameful sinfulness of humanity who rejects God.

 

Are you a lot like Lot; is your indulgence in some sin endangering innocents around you? Stop whatever sin you are indulging in and do not put innocents in precariously dangerous situations. Repent, turn from your sin and ask God to forgive you and get you on the right track again.

 

A Warped Perspective and Wrong Priorities

 

  • Genesis 19:8 - “See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”   [18]

 

Lot’s carnality led to a warped perspective and priorities and questionable decision making (Genesis 19:8). No matter what cultural mores existed in the time of Abraham and Lot, if Lot hadn’t compromised with sin he would have never been in a situation which forced him to consider using his own daughters to buy protection from the sinners he had surrounded himself with. Lot’s sin led to worse and worse situations for him.

 

How about you, are you like Lot, are your carnal decisions leading to worse and worse situations in your life? Are you being forced to compromise or sacrifice your families’ welfare because of your sin? Don’t do it, turn to God for help and direction.

 

Life Out of Control

 

  • Genesis 19:9 – “And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.”  [19]

 

Lot’s carnality led to a dangerous situation because his indulgence in sin led to a life out of control (Genesis 19:9). When you toy with sin and choose to live in a sinful environment, you’re playing on the devil’s playground and playing by his rules. Satan doesn’t play fair and he’ll turn on you at every opportunity and his goal is to destroy you in every way. Lot’s carnal choices led to a situation where he may have thought he was in control, but he found that he wasn’t at all in control, indeed things got out of control very quickly. The carnal life is precarious and undependable, you never know when the sin you indulge in will bite you. When you indulge in sin, you may think you can control it, but sin will ultimately control you. Jesus said the one who sins is a slave of sin (John 8:34). If you indulge in sin, even secret sin, you may think you can control it, hide it, but inevitably it will get the better of you and get out of control. Don’t play with sin.

 

How about you, are you like Lot, have you indulged in some sin and are finding out that your life is out of control? Did you start out thinking you had everything planned and under raps only to find yourself riding a bucking bronco of sin that is threatening to throw you for a hard fall? God can bring things back under control, but you have to come to Him in repentance and sincere confession of sin.

 

Looked Upon As a Joke

 

  • Genesis 19:14 – “So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.”  [20]

Because Lot’s life was carnal with God as an afterthought, when it came time for him to speak of spiritual things he had no credibility with his family members, they looked at him as a joke. When your walk does not match your talk, you have no credibility or authority concerning the things of God.

One of the biggest problems in the family are parents whose lives contradict the lip service they pay to God. If a parent tries to instruct their children on spiritual things while they themselves are carnal and unspiritual, their children won’t listen or respect what they say. Saying, “Do what I say not what I do,” doesn’t work in the world and it doesn’t work in the Christian household either. If you tell a child not to drink or do drugs and you yourself drink and do drugs, the child will do what you do, not what you say. This truth can be applied in all areas of life. Credibility and authority come from the linking of and living out of what a person says and does. This is true for the believer on the in the family, on the job, in society and in all areas of life. When the world sees ministers living in luxury and lavishing wealth and then hears them cry for money to support ministry, they see a contradiction that is comical to them, a message voice of authority that just doesn’t ring true. The minister doesn’t have to live a spartan life, but they should live with simplicity and not as though their investments are in this world rather than the next (see Matthew 6).

How about you, are you a lot like Lot, viewed as a joke in spiritual matters because you have compromised with the world and lived carnally? God can empower you by His Holy Spirit; give yourself to Him and ask Him to help you set proper priorities that are pure from worldly infection.

 

Resisting God’s Will

 

  • Genesis 19:15-16 – “When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.”  [21]

Lot’s carnality led him to linger and resist the will of God aimed at saving him and his family (Genesis 19:15-16, 19). Lot was spiritually insensitive to God’s warning and plan because his heart had been deadened by the carnal sinfulness he was in. Sin dulls us spiritually. Sin is like a narcotic; it’s addictive and dulls the spiritual senses. That’s why sin is so dangerous because when we indulge it, we’re under its influence. Like a drunken driver hurtling down a twisting road out of control, that is what the carnal believer is like. A carnal believer is like a drunken driver who thinks they are able to drive but are so impaired that they are blinded to the reality of their drunkenness.

 

In the letter to the Ephesians Paul is inspired to say, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18).  [22] The context of this passage is God’s call to avoid the darkness and sin of the world and live in His light. The point here is that “wine” is a symbol of worldliness. People in the world indulge in drinking wine that leads to “dissipation” or a dulling of the senses and inhibitions. That is true of everything in the world when it becomes your reason for living. When you live for the world and its things, it dulls you spiritually. A house, a car, a job, a family, money, all these things are gifts from God (James 1:17), but when they become your reason for living rather than living for the Giver, it dulls you spiritually. Instead we should be continually filled and guided by the Holy Spirit.

How about you, are you a lot like Lot, have you missed out on God’s best because of carnal compromises?  Do you drag your feet when God reveals a truth that He wants implemented in your life? Are you even aware of having missed out on God’s best? If you aren’t, I pray God reveal that to you and convict you of any carnality in your life so that you can get right with God and get back on the right track in the Spirit. God wants His best for you, don’t pass it up or cash it in for lemon the world is offering you, God’s gift is eternal life. Eternal life is a treasure the world just can’t match.

 

Doomed to Insignificance in God’s Plans

 

  • Genesis 19:17-20 – ‘So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords!19 “Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die.20 “See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”   [23]

 

Lot’s carnality led to a place of insignificance in God’s plans (Genesis 19:17-20). Lot was instructed to flee to the mountains, but he resisted seeking a similar city dwelling place. His carnal compromise was granted and he was allowed to go to the city of “Zoar.” Interestingly, the name “Zoar” means “insignificant.” The believer who insists on living in carnal compromise will always be insignificant in God’s plans because in reality they are not interested in God’s plans.

 

How about you, are you a lot like Lot, do you even care to be used by God? Are you entangled in the things of this world to the extent you have no time for God or interest in His work? Is God and His work low on your list of “to dos” or priorities? If it is you’ll never experience the fullness of God’s abundant life and you are settling for far less than God wants for you. The Bible says:

 

  • 2 Timothy 2:4 – “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”  [24]
  • Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  [25]

The witnesses that surround us are the Abraham’s and Lots of life. The Abraham’s look down and encourage you to resist carnal compromises and urge you to remember the crown that awaits the spiritual believer. The Lots beg you mindful of their own regret and loss they suffer because of their carnal choices on earth. Who will you follow, faithful Abraham or carnal Lot?

Barely Escaping God’s Wrath

 

  • Genesis 19:29 – “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.”   [26]

 

Lot’s carnality demonstrates that a carnal person barely escapes the wrath of God (Genesis 19:29; 1 Corinthians 3:15, “as through fire”). The carnal believer seeks to live as close to the world as possible while still having enough of God to gain access to heaven. And so the carnal believer walks a tight rope precariously stretched over the flames of hell because in some ways they are closer to hell than to heaven. What a sad state for those whom God in Christ has died for. Lot just barely escaped the judgment of God and his wife did not. Remember Lot and what his carnal choices led to. Don’t stay in a position where the flames of hell are licking at your feet. Trust in God and rise up with wings of an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).

 

Familial Upheaval

 

  • Genesis 19:30-38 – “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave.31 Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth.32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.”  [27]

 

Lot’s carnality jeopardized his family (Genesis 19:8, 30-38). It jeopardized the purity of the family members (19:8); it led to the loss of credibility with family members (19:14); it led to the loss of family members (19:26); it led to carnality in his children (19:30-38). Lot’s carnality led to chaos in his family. That’s what the carnal life leads to, it always leads to less than God’s best and in the end the loss of the things that are nearest and dear to you, and that includes family.

 

We live in a world where the family is breaking down. Parents have little or no direction in parenting because they are ignorant of God’s manual for life and family, the Bible. Parents lack authority and direction with their children because they are relying on themselves or secular sources to get help. Walk into a supermarket or store and you will inevitably see a child using the weapons of tears, tantrums, and turmoil to control their parents. What is sad is that we see the same thing in the church. Walk into a church and often what you will see are parents at the mercy of their children, children totally out of control behaviorally, but totally in control of their parents who throw up their hands in frustration and indecision. Parents don’t know how to parent. Why don’t parents know how to parent? Because they are seeking to parent in their flesh and not in the Spirit who leads by God’s word.  The Bible speaks of discipline (see Proverbs and Hebrews 12), order (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40), planning (Jeremiah 29:11-14). Parents need to go to God for help first and implement His word in the family by the Spirit. The family is God’s instrument to raise up a generation of disciples (See Deuteronomy 6).

 

How about you, are you a lot like Lot, is your family in turmoil because of carnal compromises you’ve made in your life? Have you lost credibility with your family as a Christian because the life you’ve lived has been carnal, worldly and a compromise with sin from the get go? There’s only one way out and you probably already know what you have to do, you need to repent, confess your sin to God and turn back to Him for direction and help. Don’t risk the loss of your family for worldly lusts of your flesh. Turn to God and seek the Spirit’s cleansing and change.

 

 

God is Merciful to the Carnal Person

When we look at the life of Lot, we see God’s mercy toward him. Living a carnal life leads to all kinds of problems and pains, but God is always there trying to draw the carnal person into a deeper, fuller spiritual walk with Him. This gracious way of God with the carnal is illustrated in the life of Lot in the following ways:

 

1.)      God often rescues the carnal person from the fixes they get themselves into (Genesis 19:10-11).

2.)      God is concerned for the carnal parent’s family (Genesis19:12).

3.)      God clearly warns the carnal person of the danger they are in (Genesis 19:13).

4.)      God urges the carnal person to leave carnal worldliness (Genesis 19:15).

5.)      God provides a means of escape from carnal situations (Genesis 19:17; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

6.)      God is patient with the carnal person (Genesis 19:18-21).

7.)      God heeds the prayers of holy people on behalf of the carnal person (Genesis 19:29; 12:5; 13:8; 14:14).

 

The carnal believer is out of touch with God in many ways and certainly grieves God and the Spirit, but God loves them nonetheless. God’s grace reaches down like a grieving parent trying to get through to a rebellious child hoping to impart to them the very best. Unfortunately the carnal child does not always listen and must learn the hard way.

 

Righteous Lot?

 

It’s important to note that, even carnal Christians are righteous because righteousness is based on God’s grace not people’s work or efforts (2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9). Lot is referred to as “righteous Lot” (2 Peter 2:6-8). Lot may have been “oppressed” or “tormented” by “the filthy conduct” he saw in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7), but not enough to leave! His lust for pleasure and things outweighed his sense of right and wrong. Lot was a very unhappy person. Why? Because Lot had too much of the world to be happy in the LORD, and too much of the LORD to be happy in the world. He was double-minded (James 1:8). That is the miserable plight of the carnal believer.

 

Remember Lot’s Wife

 

Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). Jesus wants us to remember the danger of living a life that lusts after this world. He wanted us to recognize the danger and possible fatality of carnality. God’s grace should motivate us to a loving appreciation of God (2 Corinthians 5:14). That love of God in us should manifest itself in a life surrendered to God (Romans 6; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 5:16, 24). The carnal person says, “LORD, do I have to . . . ?” The spiritual person says, “LORD, what do You want me to do?” (Acts 9:6).

 

The Danger of Carnality

 

Dag Haamaskojold, the Secretary of United Nations in late 1950s, made the following statement regarding human nature that is worth our consideration. He said: 

 

 

“You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds.” – Dag Haamaskojold (Secretary of United Nations in late 1950s).

 

God has so much more for us than that settled for in the carnal way of life. Later in Romans Paul is inspired by God to write about the contrast of living in the Spirit as opposed to living in the flesh. He is inspired to write:

  • Romans 8:5-8,13-14 – “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”  [28]

What is this life in the Spirit like? We will get the compete answer to that question in Romans 8. But we get a partial answer now as Paul continues to discuss the problem of the flesh.

A Lot Like Lot?

As you observed Lot in Genesis did you find that you are a lot like Lot? Lot is the epitome of carnality and his life was characterized by chaos. He was blessed by God in that his uncle Abraham was a godly man of faith. Abraham believed God and God imputed righteousness to him (Genesis 15:6). Abraham was the man, the father figure in Lot’s life (Genesis 11:27-30). Think of the influence Abraham must have exerted on Lot, yet when we look at Lot’s life we see little in the way of Abrahamic character. Lot had a choice to make, he could follow in the steps of Abraham the man of faith, or he could follow his flesh. Lot chose the latter and the result was chaos, confusion and an insignificant place in God’s plans. Lot was given great opportunity, but because he followed his flesh and lived carnally, he missed out on God’s best.

How about you, are you a lot like Lot? Are you missing out on God’s best for you? Are you sick and tired of the quagmire of carnality in your life? You may feel as though your carnal ways have brought a plague on your life. There is a verse to take into account if that is the case. In Joel it states:

  • Joel 2:25a - “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,  . . .”   [29]

I am not saying that restoring you from the chaotic consequences of carnality will be easy or painless; it may indeed be complex and very painful. But if you desire God’s best for your life and the life of your loved ones, you need to turn from your carnality and turn to God. Ask God to search your heart, pinpoint the carnal sinful ways in your heart and cleanse and renew you in the Spirit. God will do that; He loves you so much that He is willing to restore you. But you have to ask, you have to be willing. When Paul was inspired to quote the Old Testament saying, “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14; Isaiah 26:19) [30] he wasn’t only speaking of unbelievers, but he was speaking to believers who were asleep spiritually. Lot was sleeping in regards to his spiritual life, are you? Are you like Lot, unready and unprepared for God’s visitation in your life? Are you spiritually in a state of disrepair like Lot? God is willing to do a wonderful work in you, wake up and ask Him to do so (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

The Newness of the Spirit

Romans 7:6 – “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”  [31]

When in Christ, we live “in the newness of the Spirit,” not by keeping the law in our “flesh.” Life in the Spirit is discussed by Paul in greater detail in Romans 8. But for now, know that “the newness of the Spirit” is a life dependent upon the guidance and empowerment of the Spirit of God. Paul speaks of the distinctive difference between living according to the Law and living in the Spirit when he is inspired to write to the Corinthians saying:

  • 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 – “And we have such trust through Christ toward God.5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  [32]

In these verses Paul teaches that in ourselves we are incompetent (2 Corinthians 3:4-5a), but our competence comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:5b). The word “competent” here means “sufficient; able; content; enough” (Strong’s # 2425 – HIKANOS - iJkanov", hik-an-os´). .[33] Paul draws a clear contrast saying “the letter kills” because the letter of the law exposes our utter futility to be righteous in our own strength. “But the Spirit gives life,” because the Holy Spirit empowers us and transforms us in sanctification.

Paul goes on to explain the contrast between the Old Covenant of Law versus the New Covenant of the Spirit by saying:

  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 – “But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  [34]

Paul tells us that the Old Covenant of the Law was glorious but that the New Covenant exceeds the glory of the Old Covenant because it involves the ministry or work of the Spirit directly in the life of the believer (2 Corinthians 3:7-8). The Old Covenant of the Law which exposed men’s sinfulness and so brought condemnation is far exceeded by the New Covenant of righteousness in the Spirit (3:9-11). The surpassing greatness of the New Covenant in the Spirit leads to a holy boldness because it brings effective lasting eternal changes in the believer (3:12-13). The Old Covenant lacked the power to transform lives (3:14-15). When a person turns to Jesus in response to the Spirit’s work “with” them, they are freed from the bondage of religious self-effort and works and a glorious eternal life transformation begins (3:16-17). Under the new Covenant of the Spirit we are “transformed into His likeness” that is the likeness of Jesus, by the Spirit.

We can sum up the new life in the Spirit by what Paul wrote to Titus when he said:

  • Titus 3:4-6 – “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”  [35]

You can’t be saved or sanctified by keeping a set of rules or laws; that is religion and that is unacceptable to God. God indeed gave the law to expose the futility of a religious self-reliant works oriented pursuit of God (Galatians 3:10-13).

Salvation and sanctification are works of the Holy Spirit in a person. But what does this work of the Spirit entail? What does the Spirit do in the believer?

The Three Transforming Works of the Spirit in the Believer

 

The night before Jesus went to the cross He met with His disciples and one of the last things He taught them about before He went to the cross was about the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to pray to the Father and that “another Helper” (literally “one just like Him”) would come to abide with them forever. Jesus said:

 

·         John 14:16-17 – “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” [36]

 

Jesus used two prepositions in the above passage to describe the relationship of the Holy Spirit with people. The Holy Spirit is “with” a person prior to conversion communicating God’s “truth” and persuading them of their need of salvation. The Holy Spirit comes “in” a person when they accept Jesus as Savior by faith and are born again. The Spirit comes “in” a person to regenerate them with eternal life.

 

Before we can examine the three works of the Spirit in the life of the believer, we need to consider the work of the Spirit in the unbeliever. The Spirit begins the work of salvation in the unbeliever by convicting the unbeliever of their need of salvation. Once saved, the Spirit begins the sanctifying process.

 

The Spirit’s Work in the Unbeliever – The Spirit “with” you

 

The first work of the Spirit in the unbeliever and the world is that of a Restrainer.  The Spirit works through the church to restrain evil in the world so that the world is not totally overcome with evil. This is supported by the following verses:

 

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 – “And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”  [37]

“He who now restrains” is s reference to the Holy Spirit and His work in the world. The Holy Spirit creates an environment where evil is checked enough to allow a person to exert free will to make a decision regarding salvation.

The second work of the Spirit in regards to the unbeliever is that of Convictor.  The Spirit convicts the unbeliever of their need of a Savior. Jesus defined this work of the Spirit with the following words:

  • John 16:8-11 - “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;11 “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judge.”    [38]

The Holy Spirit “convicts.” The word “convict” is translated from the Greek term ELEGCHO (Strong’s #1651 - ελέγχω elegcho, el-eng´-kho) meaning, “to confute, admonish; convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.”  [39] The idea conveyed by the word ELEGCHO is to “expose; refute, show one’s fault, [and] . . . convincing of that fault.”[40] We find the sense of this term in the following verses:

 

  • John 3:20 - “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”  [41]
  • Ephesians 5:11 – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”  [42]
  • 1 Timothy 5:20 – “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.”  [43]
  • James 2:9 – “but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”  [44]
  • Jude 14-15 – “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,15 “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  [45]
  • Revelation 3:19 - “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”  [46]

What is it that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of or exposes? The Holy Spirit convicts the unsaved world of three things.

First, “of sin because they do not believe in Me.” Jesus paid the penalty (death) for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2); the sin that dams to hell is rejecting the Spirit’s plea to accept Jesus as Savior (Mt. 12:31 – also called the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). A persons’ eternal destiny is determined by whether or not they believe in Jesus. This is what the Spirit convicts the world of.

Second, “of righteousness because I go to My Father.”  Jesus died for the sins of the world and was raised from the dead. His resurrection indicates God was satisfied with His sacrifice for sin. Jesus then ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God demonstrating that He is the standard and only acceptable means by which a person can enter heaven (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:11-18; 1 Peter 3:22). The Spirit convicts the world that works are inadequate to make one righteous and gain access to heaven because the standard of righteousness is Jesus, nothing less will be acceptable. Nicodemas was a very religious man but Jesus said he needed to be born again (John 3). The Holy Spirit exposes the futility of trying to do religious works to make oneself acceptable before God.

Third, “of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.” The Holy Spirit convicts the world that the god of this world, Satan was judged on the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:13-17). The hold of Satan on the unbeliever can be broken when a person accepts Jesus as Savior because when Jesus comes into a heart He is greater than Satan (1 John 4:4).

That is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the unbeliever. What does the Holy Spirit do in the life of a believer?

The Three Transforming Works of the Spirit in the Believer

 

There are three things the Holy Spirit does in the life of a believer to transform them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. There are three transforming works of the Spirit in the believer. They are as follows.

 

The first thing the Holy Spirit does in the life of a believer is INDWELLING them at conversion.  This is the “in” (Greek EN) experience referred to in John 14:17. In John 3 this work is described as being “born again.” Later in John 4:13-14 Jesus describes this experience as drinking “living water” that quenches the thirst for spiritual fulfillment in every human. In John 20:22 Jesus further describes this experience as receiving the Holy Spirit when He breathes on the disciples and tells them to receive the Spirit.  Disciples received the Holy Spirit as Jesus breathed on them. When the Holy Spirit comes to reside inside a person (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the process (sanctification) of being conformed to the likeness of Christ begins and continues throughout life (Romans 8:29). The Spirit bears witness and communicates the heart and truth of Jesus to the believer (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14). We are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). He works in us (Philippians 2:13). The power of the risen Lord Jesus is in us and it is the Spirit that brings that power to us (Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21). The love of Jesus works in us by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us (Romans 5:5). All these things are associated with the work of the Spirit in us.

 

The second thing the Holy Spirit does in the life of the believer is EMPOWERING the believer for service. As the believer is conformed to the likeness of Jesus by the Spirit, like Jesus the believer acquires a desire to be used by God to reach the lost in the world, to minister (Matthew 18:11; Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10). This is the “upon” (Greek preposition EPI) experience described by Jesus as torrents of living water gushing forth from the believer and as dynamic empowerment of the believer (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8). In order to minister like Jesus, the believer needs to be empowered by God. If the believer seeks to serve in his or her own strength they will be frustrated and fail (Romans 7). They need to be supernaturally empowered and the Spirit provides that power. This power is invisible like the wind but powerful like a tornado (Acts 2). It is a fiery, purifying and cleansing of the heart by God. The believer surrenders their heart to God in faith trusting Him to work to destroy those challengers and hindrances to total trust in God (Acts 2; 15:8-9). The cleansing work of this empowerment attacks inhibitions and barriers between God and the believer. There is an essential empowerment for service subsequent to initial Spirit filling (Acts 1:8; 2). This empowerment involves Spiritual Gifting (Ephesians 4:7-13). This empowerment is the sufficiency of God’s grace revealed powerfully in our weakness (2 Corinthians. 12:9-10). The love of God working not only in us but also through us. This is the second work of the Spirit in the life of the believer.

 

The third work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is that of ONGOING REFRESHING. The believer needs to be refilled or daily renewed and filled with the Spirit who refreshes and empowers. Those empowered at Pentecost were refilled later (Acts 4). There are subsequent re-fillings and refreshing by the Spirit in the believer’s life. The sense of this ongoing third work is found in Paul’s inspired letter to the Ephesians when he states:

 

  • Ephesians 5:18 – “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”  [47]

 

The word “filled” is translated from the Greek term PLEROO (Strong’s #4137  - πληρόω pleroo, play-ro´-o) meaning ”to make replete, . . .to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), . . . to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify . . . accomplish, . . . complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.” [48] In addition to this definition, the grammatical form of the term “filled” (Present/Passive/Imperative) conveys the thought of an ongoing and constant (Present tense) work that the believer receives or has done to them (Passive voice) that is absolutely essential (Imperative mood). Therefore, to “be filled with the Spirit” means to be constantly, regularly, daily filled up, satisfied, furnished and supplied with the Spirit for one’s daily needs and God-ordained plans.

 

The impact of such a daily filling is conveyed in the book of Acts where those who had experienced the empowerment of the Spirit at Pentecost again pray for this ongoing empowerment and refreshing. In Acts it reads:

 

·         Acts 4:31  - “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”  [49]

 

The New Transforming Life of the Spirit

 

This is the newness of the Spirit Paul is inspired to refer to in Romans 7:6. Is the Spirit in you? If you do not have the Spirit, you do not belong to God, you remain in your sins (Romans 8:9). Pray for forgiveness for your sins; put your faith in Jesus; receive the Holy Spirit and be born again.

 

Have you been empowered to serve the Lord? Are you frustrated and failing in your walk with God? Pray for His power and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Receive it by faith.

 

Have you been empowered but feel as though you’re running on empty? Pray for a refreshing and refilling of the Spirit in your life. Walk in the Spirit, filled and refreshed daily and receive this regular daily work by faith. Faithful is He who calls you to this and He will do it! (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

 

Sanctified Transformation by Faith

The primary distinction that needs to be made and upon which all success rests, is for the believer to realize that SANCTIFICATION AS WELL AS SALVATION IS BASED ON FAITH. Sanctification is something God does in us. In Paul’s opening inspired words he introduced this point by saying:

  • Romans 1:17 – “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  [50]

As we mentioned in the introduction to this epistle, God offers salvation to us in a gracious provision through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. A person is saved from their sin when by faith in Jesus Christ they admit their sin, repent of it, and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Sanctification is no different in that advance with the Lord in the power of the Holy spirit by faith, by putting our trust in God to do what He has promised to do in and through us which is, conform us to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29) and use us as His instruments of righteousness to reach a world lost in sin (Romans 12-16).

Read the role of faith in God’s work in us in the sanctification process of life described in the following additional verses:

  • Acts 15:8-9 - “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,9 “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”  [51]
  • Acts 26:18 – “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’  [52]
  • Galatians 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  [53]
  • Galatians 5:5 – “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” [54]

The sanctifying process of God in the believer takes place as the believer puts their faith and trust in God to do it. We surrender in faith to the Holy Spirit to do His holy work in and through us.

The Hall of Those Sanctified by Faith

Another portion of scripture that demonstrates the role of faith in living the sanctified life is found in Hebrews 11 where the phrase “by faith” is found no less than 18 times (!) not to mention the other allusions to “faith” found in this chapter (“through faith” is used twice and “faith” occurs a total of 24 times in 23 verses in this chapter as a whole). Sanctification is a lifelong process worked by the Holy Spirit in the believer and therefore when we see the lives of those who have put their faith in God for salvation we also see them advancing in the life of sanctification by faith. Take a look at the testimony of God’s sanctifying work in the life of believers throughout Biblical history:

  • Hebrews 11:1-40 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”  [55]

Notice that in all of the lives of the people of faith in this section of Scripture that faith involved “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The people in this hall of faith accepted as “substance” or real that which had not yet been reached in actuality. Faith is receiving as completed that which God promises will come to pass, based on God’s faithfulness to His word of promise. That God had promised them something was “evidence” enough that it was true and going to happen. For instance, Abraham accepted as true the fact that God would give him an heir, even though he and his wife Sarah were beyond child bearing years. They accepted it as substance, as reliable, as true, simply because of who God was and that God had said it. Their faith in God enabled them to rise above what they saw and trust God for what they did not yet see. (i.e. “the evidence of things not seen”).

The apostle Paul was inspired to write in another letter:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  [56]

To “walk by faith and not by sight,” means not that we walk in a state of denial, but that we do not allow what we see to deter us from pressing on to realize what God has promised but which has not yet been completed in us as yet. Faith is continuing on in life, relying on , living for, aimed at the promises of God. The substance of faith is not really something we do, but it is something based on God. Because He is faithful, we press on in faith. God’s faithfulness is the substance of our faith. God’s faithfulness fuels our faith. In reality God gives us our faith.

In all of the people’s lives mentioned in Hebrews 11, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David and the prophets and the people of faith in the Old Testament, in all of their lives God made a promise about something yet future, and they trusted that God was able to bring it to pass and that He was faithful to deliver on His word. That is faith. Sanctification is by faith in the sense that God promises to complete the work He has started in you and by faith we accepted as complete in us that which God has promised (Philippians 1:6; 2:13; Colossians 2:10). All the evidence we need to accept something as true and real is that God said it. Someone has coined the statement, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me.” That is our faithful attitude in the sanctification process. God has promised to conform us to the likeness of Jesus, when we look at the reality of where we are at, we see that that Christ-like conformity is not yet complete, yet God has promised to do it, so we don’t give up, we don’t despair, we forget what lays behind us and press on to the promised goal of God, Christ-likeness (Philippians 3:13-14). That is faith in the sanctification process.

Sanctification is a work of God and to be received and lived by faith. Just as a person cannot work to be saved, they cannot be said to work to be sanctified. Let me explain.

Spirit Transformation Not Self-Reformation

We have seen that it is the Holy Spirit that works in the believer to sanctify them. We have seen that the work of sanctification is something we receive by faith. If it is by faith, then it excludes works or our efforts. . Just as we have learned previously in our study, salvation is based on God’s gracious work received by faith, so too is sanctification a work of God in us received by faith. This is the point of Romans 7, that we aren’t saved to a legalistic or works mindset, but we are saved from it. If you try to be sanctified by your works, you will be just as frustrated as trying to be saved by your works. This is the very point Paul is inspired to make in his letter to the Galatians who were being tempted to add ceremonialism and religious works to their new life in Christ. Read what Paul had to say about this:

  • Galatians 3:1-3 – “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”  [57]

The word “foolish” here carries the thought of “unintelligent; sensual; foolish; unwise (Strong’s #453 – ANOETOS - ajnovhto", an-o´-ay-tos). [58] Vine’s comments, “it signifies “senseless,” an unworthy lack of understanding;” [59] To pursue God by works of the law after one has been saved by faith makes no sense whatsoever.

Depending on your own efforts to be sanctified is self-reformation. Anything that depends on and limits itself to human resources and efforts is doomed to fail because humanity by nature falls short of God’s glory and His plans (Romans 3:23). The failure to accept or recognize this truth is the reason for the impotence in social services and other human centered systems of reform. That which relies on “me” to bring lasting change is doomed to fail because “I” don’t have the power to change “me.”

The key to victory in the sanctified life of the believer is by faith surrendering to God for Him to do His work in the believer. The contrast between those who rely on self-reformation and those who look to Spirit transformation is explained by Paul in Romans 7 by referring to the purpose of the Law of God. What is the purpose of the Law and why aren’t we, why can’t we be sanctified by keeping the Law?

The Purpose of the Law – Exposing Sin in Me

Romans 7:7 – “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”  [60]

“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6b) in the sense that the letter of the law exposes our sinfulness and shows us our spiritual deadness; the Spirit on the other hand regenerates and gives us eternal life. By showing us our sin, the law does not become sinful. The law is good because it reveals our spiritual need to us.

The law was not given to make one righteous; it was intended by God to reveal our sinfulness to us (Galatians 3:19-25). The Law is holy in what it does (Romans 7:12), but the misuse of the Law brings some very unholy results. Now we are getting to the heart of the problem.

Since “covetousness” [Strong’s # 1939 – EPITHUMIA - ejpiqumiva, ep-ee-thoo-mee´-ah; a longing  for what is forbidden: concupiscence, desire, lust (after).[61]]  is a state of the heart, the law reveals the sinfulness of our heart to us. Covetousness points to the heart of the problem of sin. Sin is not merely an external act, but it is spiritual, a matter of the heart. (E.g. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount saying, “but I say to you”).

The Awareness of the Sinful Nature in the Believer

Romans 7:8-11 – “But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.”  [62]

Until the law said we shouldn’t covet, we were not aware of the sinfulness of coveting. Once the law said we should not covet, we became more aware that coveting was a constant sin in us. When there is no law, we are not aware of our nature. But when a law is set down, we become aware of our lust that drives us to break the law to fulfill our lusts. The law then condemns us for breaking it.

Paul was “once without the law” probably early in his conversion. But as he sought to keep the law as a means of living in Christ, he learned that the law sin revived and I died.” Paul only knew the law and when he tried to live by it after accepting Jesus as Savior it exposed his utter sinfulness to him. It’s interesting that in Romans 7 “I” occurs 25 times and “me/my” occurs 13 times and the chapter ends in wretchedness (7:25); a wretchedness that only Jesus can deliver us from.

We see this reality in our nature when for example we are told to not do something. Before being told to not do something, we may have not ever considered doing what we are told not to do, but as soon as we are told not to do something, we want to do that very thing, we feel we “must” do it! That is how the law exposes our sinfulness, “sin revived.”

Now this is true whether it happens before we are Christians or after we become Christians. Trying to keep the law to be righteous doesn’t make us righteous; it only fuels more wrong and sinful desires.

The Problem is In Me

Romans 7:12-14 – “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.”  [63]

The law is not sinful, we are! The problem is not with the law, it’s with me.

If sin is perceived as being merely an external law, it leads to smugness of those who say, “Well, I’ve never done that.” But the law exposes sin as utterly sinful in that it points to the thoughts and intents of people’s heart – Genesis 6:5.

The law helps us to see just how sinful we are. The law is spiritual in that it exposes by contrast our inner fleshliness. The law exposes our sinful desires.

“The law is spiritual,” (7:14), in that the Spirit uses it to work in us, to expose our helplessness regarding our sinful nature.

The Nature of the Sinful Nature

Romans 7:15 – “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”  [64]

It is a blessed thing to be forgiven of all our past sins. But when we are forgiven and saved, we soon become aware that there remains in us a bent toward sinning, a sinful nature. That is what Paul is describing here. We understand the ideal set down, but we are powerless to attain it.

Here we see the warfare that takes place in the believer. You know what you should do, but then go ahead and do what you actually “hate” to do. There are things you do that give you misery due to doing them. That’s warfare.

Sin Dwelling in Me

Romans 7:16-17 – “If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”  [65]

We recognize what is the right way to live (7:16). We know it’s good to be kind, loving, honest, genuine, sincere, mellow and peaceful; and yet we aren’t these things. Why? Because of the “sin that dwells in me.” (7:17).

If I don’t do what I want to do, it is the sinful nature in me that is doing it. My heart’s desire is to do the right thing, but my sinful nature leads me astray.

In Me Is No Good Thing

Romans 7:18 – “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”  [66]

In “me” there is nothing good, there is no good thing in me, and I am powerless to do what is right. We have a sinful nature, our flesh, in which there is no good thing. We are sinful and there is nothing “we” can do about it. Two modern paraphrases of the Bible translates this verse as:

·         Romans 7:18  - “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t.”  [67]

 

·         Romans 7:18 – “I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot.”  [68]

 

GOD CAN’T HELP US OVERCOME OUR SINFUL NATURE UNTIL WE RECOGNIZE AND ADMIT THAT IN US IS NO GOOD THING. As long as I think that I can control my sinful nature, I will continue to live in frustration, futility and failure. God will allow us to struggle with our sinful nature in our own strength until we exhaust ourselves and give up. God let’s us exhaust our self -sufficient efforts. The truth is then; man’s extremities are God’s opportunities. For God to work, we need to come to that point of despair and say, “In me is no good thing.”

Self –Reformation Doesn’t Work – We are Powerless on Our Own

Romans 7:19 – “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” [69]

The problem is not with our “will.” We desire and intend to do good, but are powerless to do it in our own strength. In our own strength, we are at the mercy of our sinful nature, no matter how much we know that what we are doing is wrong and sinful. Knowledge of right and wrong is not adequate; we need to come to a knowledge of our helplessness. Since self-reformation is for the most part based on gaining knowledge of myself and then relying on human strength to apply what is learned, we see that self-reformation just doesn’t work. Instead,  WE NEED TO GIVE UP AND GIVE IN TO GOD.

Self-Reformation is Powerless Against the “sin that dwells I me”

Romans 7:20 – “Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”  [70]

Here we see described the dual nature of man. We have no power in ourselves against the power of sin in us. Human efforts are powerless and impotent to change the sin that dwells I me. The “sin that dwells in me” is a spiritual entity that requires a spiritual response. The “sin that dwells in me” is a spiritual poison that requires a spiritual antidote. A person can even want to change; they can desire to change with every fiber of their being, but without the Spirit to help them, they are doomed to frustration and failure.

Self-Reforming Knowledge is Not Enough

Romans 7:21-22 – “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.”  [71]

KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ENOUGH. It is not enough to educate a person in right and wrong. People need to be educated in their own sinful nature so that they can surrender to God and so He can work powerfully in them to overcome their sinful nature.

The philosophy of the world is that humanity is changed by education and acquiring knowledge. If that were so, the proliferation of knowledge we see today (foretold by the way in the book of Daniel – Daniel 12:4) would have led to a lessening of crime, war and conflict. Is that what we see? Absolutely not! What we see is a proliferation of conflict and a greater capacity to destroy all of humanity. Knowledge is not enough. Unless the sinful nature, the flesh of humanity is dealt with, humanity will continue its downward spiral of sin.

Knowledge is not enough for the believer either. We may read the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) and desire to live that in our lives. But in life, when it comes to loving, we don’t do it. The love we read about in portions of Scripture such as that in 1 Corinthians 13 will do us no good unless that love moves from the pages of the Bible to our hearts by the Spirit. It is only by God’s work in us that such love can enter us and be a part of our lives. This is what we learned earlier in our study of Romans when Paul was inspired to write:

·         Romans 5:5 – “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”   [72]

 

But there is opposition to such love working in and through us. There is an entity in us that seeks to lavish love on self, in our flesh and on our flesh. There is a war within the believer. We need to acknowledge this war and fight it with spiritual weapons:

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  [73]

Now Paul here is primarily referring to our struggle against the devil and his strongholds in the world. But if the weapons we are to use against the devilish forces and strongholds in the world are to be spiritual, how much more should our fighting the war within each believer be fought with spiritual weaponry? Paul now acknowledges the war within and how it can be won.

The War Within is Won In Christ

Romans 7:23-24 – “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.24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  [74]

Trying to overcome our sinful nature in our own strength is a wretched state. The two warring factions are the law/principle of my mind versus the law of sin in me. To try and live a sanctified life by keeping the law only arouses our flesh and frustrates us more. Who will and can deliver me from this war? ONLY WHEN WE REALIZE OUR UTTER HOPELESSNESS IN THE PIT OF OUR SINFUL NATURE AND CALL OUT TO GOD CAN GOD DELIVER US. Lay all the formulas and methods and tricks down and come to God and trust in Him. DELIVERANCE IS OUTSIDE OF US; IT IS IN CHIRST.

It is a wretched state to know and desire to do the right thing, and have no strength to do it. We may make promises or vows to amend our ways, but they won’t work.

Notice Paul doesn’t say,” How can I be delivered?” But He says, “WHO will deliver me?” Who can and will deliver us from such a state? THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEM IS A PERSON NOT A STRATEGY OR FORMULA TO FOLLOW IN OUR OWN STRENGTH.

Transforming Victory in Jesus

Romans 7:25 – “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”  [75]

IN CHRIST GOD CAN DO FOR YOU WHAT YOU COULD NOT DO FOR YORUSELF. Only Jesus can give us victory and deliverance from our sinful nature.  And that final deliverance will come at His return and our glorification. Paul speaks of this in the following passage:

 

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 – “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  [76] (See also later in Romans 8:18-30)

Right now we live in a fleshpot and that poses many problems for us. But a time is coming when we will be completely transformed. The flesh we live in now is “temporary” and the work of sanctification being done by Jesus through the Spirit is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).  In Romans 8 we come to the path of victory for God’s children.

Conclusion

The path to be sanctified is Spirit transformation not self-reformation. In me is no good thing, to rely on “me” to reform sinful and harmful ways is therefore doomed to fail. The futility we see in Romans 7 describes the reality of those who try to rely on themselves to change. It just won’t work.

Albert Einstein once said, “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.” Does this mean it is impossible to deal with the flesh of humanity? No, what we find in the next chapter is that The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome the weakness of our flesh so that we can be more than conquerors.

Life in the flesh is frustrating and doomed to failure. Many have been discouraged and robbed of the abundant life Jesus spoke of (John 10:10) because they have sought it in their flesh. There is a better way guaranteed to bring victory. That way is the way of the Spirit.

 



[1]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[3]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[4]The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[5]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[6]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[7]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[8]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[9]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[10]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[11]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[12]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[13]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[14]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[15]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[16]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[17]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[18]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[19]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[20]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[21]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[22]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[23]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[24]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[25]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[26]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[27]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[28]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[29]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[30]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[31]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[32]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[33]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[34]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[35]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[36]The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[37]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[38]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[39]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[40]Swanson, J. 1997. Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor

[41]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[42]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[43]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[44]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[45]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[46]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[47]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[48]Strong, J. 1997, c1996. The new Strong's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.). Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[49]The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[50]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[51]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[52]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[53]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[54]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[55]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[56]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[57]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[58]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[59]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[60]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[61]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[62]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[63]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[64]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[65]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[66]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[67]Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997. Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

[68]American Bible Society. 1995. Holy Bible : Contemporary English Version. Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[69]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[70]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[71]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[72]The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Thomas Nelson: Nashville

[73]The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

[74]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[75]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[76]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.