02 Apr 4/2/16 “I WANT TO PLEASE GOD” – Pastor Shane Idleman
Complete Sermon Notes
I Want To Please God
– Rm. 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Context – the Law cannot save and ends with Paul’s famous struggle, 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Many use this verse as an EXCUSE to yield to sin, but that’s not the case – “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Rom. 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Condemnation is a death sentence and the fulfillment of it. Christ sets us free and those who are set free will walk as free men.
WHICH WAY DO YOU WALK – are you free or bound?
“The church is notorious in using outside pressure to make a sinner act like a Christian. You can teach anybody to do almost anything. Baptize him, confirm him, and feed him the Lord’s Supper regularly; instruct him in the faith, and after awhile he begins to act like a Christian” (AW Tozer).
He is not a Christian – there’s no inward change compelling him to live for Christ.
Vs. 3 “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin.”
There are not 5 points – there is 1 point: Our thought life pleases God.
Wait a minute – what about our actions? “As a man thinks, so is he”…
Don’t condemn yourself because there is a struggle – that’s normal. Romans 8 is about victory.
“Moses’ law has right but not might; Sin’s law has might but not right; the law of the Spirit has both right and might.” ~ Morris, L. (1988). The Epistle to the Romans (p. 301). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.
5 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.
Your mental diet determines how healthy you are spiritually –
1. unbelievers are dead – carnal nature is ruling and reigning
2. carnal Christians are sick & dying spiritually – carnal influence is ruling & reigning
“It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be” (AW Tozer).
Vs 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh.
Set “the eye gate” and the “heart gate” – what you allow in and out.
Fear – crime and horror shows; the news – do you email or call friends who fuel
Depression – hopeless movies and books and friends
Lust – Fast & Furious, gym at peak hours, no protection on your phone.
This is what we eat and we wonder why we’re very unhealthy.
“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit.” Isaiah 30
Counsel 2. Plans
Vs 7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” – The carnal mind is void of God [darkness].
Enemies can be reconciled with human effort, but enmity cannot – the carnal mind will never set you on the right course.
Darkness is often used of those who are carnal. It can also describe the nature of sin and ignorance to spiritual truths. “The devils rule is over those who are in a state of sin and ignorance, not over those who are sometimes sinful or ignorant” (William Gurnall – The Christian in Complete Armor).
Darkness is often used of those in great distress. “Darkness fills the heart with terror. The wicked have no peace. Even when they sleep…They eat in fear, drink in fear, celebrate in fear. They do not have a single pleasure in this life that is not tainted by its putrid stench” (William Gurnall).
Filling your mind with darkness produces the same results – “PLEASE GOD” by CHANGING YOUR DIET
C. S. Lewis, “A man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.”
Vs 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
“But if”… He gives us life but we have to choose it – eternally & spiritually.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 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. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
A debtor lives according to their debt.
“If you live according to the flesh” is in the same vain as Galatians 5:21, “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The Spirit bears witness – is He bearing witness in you? This sets Christianity apart from all other religions.