Being able to see and partake of reality is very, very important. The religious world in Jesus’ day had been so misled by their own religiosity that when the greatest thing that could have ever happened to a people took place, they missed it! God Himself came down in a human form to minister love to them, deliverance, healing and salvation, and they responded by hating Him. They hated Him without a cause.
Remember when Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives and looked down upon Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem, Thou that killed the prophets, and stoned them which were sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not” (Matthew 23:37)? The same thing is happening today. Religion has become so perverse that people cannot see the truth. Man has a fallen nature and that fallen nature has to be changed. That is what it means to be born again. It is written in the Greek as “born from above” (John 3:3, 7). Nicodemus did not understand it and I think most people today do not understand it. He said, “Can a person enter back into his mother’s womb again and be born?” (John 3:4). No, it is not that way. It is being changed, having the fallen nature replaced by the very nature and life of the Lord God. He is coming forth this day to accomplish that.
The scribes, Pharisees, and ruling classes of the Jews rose up against Him. The people shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). So it is with one’s own nature; it will rise up to kill the Christ. Inside of us, deep down in our inner being, something of the Spirit of the Lord has come forth and created a hunger for Him, a desire to know Him, to really be born again. Then all the other aspects of our human nature rise up like a mob saying, “Crucify! Crucify!”
It is a nature change that we are looking for. We are not interested in just being forgiven. We want to be purified. We want the blood of the Lord that was shed on the cross to run through our veins bringing purity, erasing all of the influences and things of the flesh. All of us are going to face the problem of our nature opposing Christ. It is when He really begins coming forth in your life that the things of your flesh nature rise up against Him. You will find yourself feeling things and thinking things you know you should not feel or think. But you have to learn to separate yourself from your fallen nature. You and your flesh nature are not the same. You are what God is creating within you and the very fact that your flesh rises up to oppose Him is the evidence that Christ is coming forth in you. And if He is coming forth in you, never lose sight of the fact that He is coming forth as a conqueror. He is coming forth to conquer all the kings of your earth.
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man, as long as he lives?
As long as your flesh nature lives, the law has dominion over you. Do you understand what I am saying?
Romans 7:2 For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
As long as you are married to your flesh nature, you are bound.
Romans 7:3-7 So then if, while her
husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress
(the adulteress serves the law and Christ): but if her husband be dead, she
is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to
another man (we want to be married to Christ).
4 Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were through the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
The law reveals the sin but cannot remove the sin.
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (desires or lust). For without the law sin was dead.
There was a time when man didn’t know anything about sin. The law revealed sin when it said, “Thou shall not covet,” and then man knew he was guilty of coveting.
Romans 7:9-14 For I was alive without the law once: but when
the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
So, it is not the law per se but the carnality of the flesh.
Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
You find yourself coming to the place where the thing you know you should do, you don’t do. The things that you don’t want to do, you find yourself doing.
Romans 7:16-17 If then I do that which I would not, I consent
unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
As a Christian you are, in a sense, two men. One man is the old man of sin (your flesh nature) and the other man is the nature of Christ coming forth in you. Until Christ comes forth in you completely, you are in the process of putting off the old man with its deceitful lusts and putting on the new man which after God is created in righteousness (Ephesians 4:22-24). Learn to separate what you are in Christ from what you are in your old nature. Otherwise, you will be battling condemnation all the time. When your old man does something it should not do, understand that it was not you (the new man) but it was sin that dwells in you. Don’t condone it or make excuses for it or try to cover it up. Call it what it is. It is a Canaanite in your promise land! Let the sword of the Lord hack it to pieces!
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
That is one thing that I have gone through and learned. I know what is there, but I cannot overcome it. I found that the religious confidence that I once had does not work. I have no confidence in my own ability to overcome the flesh. That is what Paul meant when he said, “I have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). But when you come to the stark reality of the problems of your flesh nature and your complete inability to do anything about it, then the Lord can accomplish the victory.
Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
It is then that you realize a miracle is needed. This thing of being born again is a reality. It is a real thing, and the Christian world, in general, gets a little forgiveness and they claim to be born again. It’s all done and they are ready to go to heaven. Well, it is not all done as long as that flesh nature is still alive. When the born-again process is all done, the sinful flesh nature is dead. Listen to what the Apostle John says, “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin…He cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3:9).
Romans 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I know it is there, but it is not me! I do not associate with it. I do not accept it as me. What am I? I am a new creation coming forth in God. Maybe it doesn’t look like very much right now, just a smoldering wick or a bruised reed or something, but nevertheless it is there. All these old Canaanites of my flesh are rising up because God is going to slay them every one. I was reading in Micah this morning and it says that God is going to come out of His temple and tread the high places of the earth, that is, our earthen nature (Micah 1:3).
Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Do you think it would be good if your flesh nature was completely cleansed of all evil the moment you became a Christian? God just eliminated it all? The warfare, tribulation, and wrestling with God are needed. These are the things that create you and make you what you are. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5. We realize what we go through is very important. Even in the natural, a young person who never has any hard times, never had any battles, is usually very immature.
Romans 7:22-8:4 For I delight in the law of God after the
23 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 shall deliver me from the body of this death?
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.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath 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 sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Jesus said, “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it” (Matthew 5:17). In other words, it is Him in us that meets all the demands of the law. The law is fulfilled by Him, not by us. Our human nature is only overcome by Him.
God is saying, “We are going to win. I am going to overcome in you.” There will be a real born-again experience. There really will be a change of nature. We are not going to remain as we are. So when the time comes that you are going through it, remember that. We are really changing. This human nature is not going to last. Amen.
Copyright © 2009 by Henry DuBose