Freed Through Christ      Rom. 7:4-6, 14-25      Nov. 06, 2005
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    Do you sense the spiritual freedom you have because of Christ? If you don't, just get around a person all wrapped up in a list of don'ts. In most cases my life-style is similar to the person with the list of don'ts, but my focus is on the positive of the freedom we enjoy because we are Freed Through Christ.

1.    Accept The . . Death of the Life Freed Through Christ. 7:4-6

A.    Accept the . . Putting of the Death. 7:4
        4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the
        law through the [crucified] body of the Messiah, so that you may belong
        to another-to Him who was raised from the dead-that we may bear fruit
        for God.

B.    Accept the . . Passions of the Death. 7:5
        5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the
        law in every part of us and bore fruit for death.

C.    Accept the . . Privilege of the Death. 7:5
        6 But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what
        held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the
        old letter of the law.

        We may accept the putting to death of the old person because as the text tells us "you also were put to death in relation to the law." In this manner we were crucified with Christ, and likewise raised with Him. This enables us to accept the death of our fleshly passions; as we belong to the Lord. Do you find these passions frequently want to resurrect? We need to focus on the life He gives and emphasize His freedom. So now we may rejoice in the privilege of this death to sin as we serve in the Spirit and not the letter of the law.

2.    Admit The. .Desires of the Life Freed Through Christ. 7:14-16

A.    Admit our . . Puzzling Desires. 7:14-15 a
        14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am made out of flesh, sold
        into sin's power. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing, . . ."

B.    Admit our . . Practical Desires. 7:15 b - 16
        ". . . because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.
        16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

        Most of us in Christ must admit to desires that puzzle us, and also those that seem very practical. We have to be puzzled at times because we act or think in a manner we really don't like. The other side of this in a very practical sense centers in the fact we are still living in a body where the flesh occasionally gains control. We have positional righteousness in Christ but must practice a performance type of righteousness, and sometimes we fail. It is puzzling, but even Paul occasionally practiced what he hated. It was not his lifestyle, but a lapse into occasional sin.

3.    Acknowledge The . . Difficulties of the Life Freed
        Through Christ. 7:17-23

A.    The . . Contrasting Difficulties. 7:17-18
        17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For
        I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to
        do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.

B.    The . . Contriving Difficulties. 7:19-20
        19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I
        do not want to do.  20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the
        one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.

C.    The . . Contradicting Difficulties. 7:21-23
        21 So I discover this principle: when I want to do good, evil is with me.
        22  For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God's law. 23 But I see a
        different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my
        mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.

        We are free in Christ but because we live in our flesh we will have difficulties. The contrasting difficulties cause a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Not only do we have this contrast, but also sin contrives to get us to do what we do not really want to do. The flesh desires to contradict the mind set on Christ. Which gets fed more in our lives; a mind set on Christ or one set on worldly things? The world system feeds the worldly mind, but we have to work to feed the mind set on Christ.

4.    Affirm The . . Delivery of the Life Freed
        Through Christ. 7:24-25 (HCSB

A.    Affirm the Delivery through . . Confession. 7:24
        24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of

B.    Affirm the Delivery through . . Confirmation. 7:24
        25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I
        myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

        Paul confessed slavery to the flesh, and his need for a deliverer. When people confess their need, they may very well be on their way to recovery. Paul was a brilliant man, and realized he needed a deliverer. Then he made the confirmation of what Christ had done, and was doing in and through his life. Paul makes a contrast between the flesh, and the mind. On this earth we can possess the mind of Christ, but we will not receive the flesh of Christ, therefore we must be Freed Through Christ! Amen? Amen!