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Help In The Daily Battle
Scripture: Romans 6:11; Romans 6:18; Philippians 4:...
Track 6 of in the series
Running time: 53 minutes, 23 seconds.
To experience practical, everyday holiness, we must accept the fact that God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to allow this daily battle with indwelling sin. But he does not leave us to do the battle alone. Just as he delivered us from the overall reign of sin, he also made ample provisions for us to win the daily skirmishes against sin.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Help In The Daily Battle

A couple weeks ago we dealt with how we were not to let sin reign in our bodies. Do you remember why? The reason was because we died to sin. Because of our union with Jesus in His death, we also died to sin like he did. Now we are freed from sinís reign; we are no longer its slaves. We are to count on this fact and resist sin so that it does not reign in our mortal bodies.

In our last lesson we saw how sin still lives in our lives, waging its guerrilla warfare through evil desires and deceiving our minds. If there was any hope for holiness two weeks ago, last weeks lesson seemed to take away that hope. Sin is in us and will always be in us. What good does it do to be told that the war with sin was won by Christ in His death on the cross and still be harassed and often defeated by sin in our hearts?

To experience practical, everyday holiness, we must accept the fact that God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to allow this daily battle with indwelling sin. But he does not leave us to do the battle alone. Just as he delivered us from the overall reign of sin, he also made ample provisions for us to win the daily skirmishes against sin.

There is a very important principle in Romans 6:11 we need to take a look at. There are two points to the verse. We have already studied the first point. We are dead to sin. It is the second point I want to look at.

Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Just like what we saw last week, not only did Jesus deliver us from the dominion of darkness, he brought us into the kingdom of Christ. Paul said it best in

Romans 6:18; You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

What do you think is the significance of being alive unto God? How does it help us in our pursuit of holiness?

1) We are united with Christ in all His power: Christianity is not a do-it-yourself thing.

Notice the attitude of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

How does this set of verses apply to our walk in holiness?

Our reactions to circumstances are a part of our walk of holiness. Holiness is not a series of doís and doníts but conformity to the character of God and obedience to the will of God.

What was Paulís secret to contentment? How did he get it? Christ gave him the strength to get it.

Look at what Paul told the Colossians in Colossians 1:11:

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

Where do endurance and patience come from? They come as we are strengthened with Godís power.

So the first fact we have to come to grips with is ďbeing alive to GodĒ means we have God in us and at work in us to strengthen us with his mighty power. The first thing that will happen is Satan will come along and try to convince us we might as well give up. We cannot overcome sin. And he is correct. It is true we cannot do it ourselves. But we are alive to God, united to Him who will strengthen us. He gives us the strength to fight the temptation.

This is real important! This is not just a theory I am teaching that we are to admire and remember. To count on the fact that we are dead to sin and alive to God is something we must do actively. We must form the habit of continually realizing that we are dead to sin and alive to God.

How are habits formed? Of the habits you have, how did you get them? Practically speaking, we do this when by faith in Godís Word we resist sinís advances and temptations.

What role does Godís Word play in our pursuit of holiness? Can we lead the life God wants without it?

2) The second implication of being alive to God is that he has given us His Holy Spirit to live within us: Looking at our union with Christ, it is real important to understand that the Holy Spirit is the agent of this union. It is the Holy Spirit that gives spiritual life and the strength to live that life.

Romans 8:9-11 You however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

There is a direct connection between the giving of the Holy Spirit to us from God and living a holy life. He is called the Holy Spirit and He is sent primarily to make us holy Ė to conform us to the character of God.

1 Thes. 4:7-8 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. How does He strengthen us to holiness?

1) He enables us to see our need for holiness. He enlightens our understanding so we begin to see Godís standard of holiness.
2) He causes us to become aware of our specific areas of sin. He prevents us from becoming blinded by Satan, unable to see our sinful character.

As we grow as Christians, we face the increasing danger of spiritual pride. We know the correct dos and doníts. But we may not see the poverty of our own spiritual character.

Why is this dangerous and how does spiritual pride work? What does it cause us to do?

Rev. 3:17-18 You say, ĎI am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.í But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

David was like this when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He committed this horrible sin and then had her husband murdered to cover the sin up. Did that bring repentance and humility to David? No, he was blind to the sin. He was even ready to judge another man for a much lesser crime and to sentence him to death. How could he do this, He was blinded by his own deceitful heart.

You Are the Man

It is the Holy Spirití ministry to make us see that we are poverty-stricken because of our sins. He comes to us and says, ďYou are the manĒ. It is the Holy Spirit who also enables us to accept it and say as David did, ďI have sinned against the Lord.Ē He opens up the inner recesses of our hearts and enables us to see the darkness and the sin hidden there. This is where He begins His ministry of making us holy.

What is the danger here? When we are shown our sins and we are accused as in the case of David, what negative result can happen? This could lead to despair and brokenness. The natural result the Holy Spirit brings is found in Philippians 2:13

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

The Holy Spirit leads us to holiness. He does this by creating within us a hatred of our sins and a desire for holiness. Pursuing holiness is a painful and difficult task. There are too many failures. The habits of our old nature and the attacks of Satan are too strong for us to persevere unless the Holy Spirit is at work in us to create a desire for holiness.

How does the Holy Spirit create the desire within us? He does it by showing us our sin but he also does it through the scriptures.

Here is another distinction we must make between what God does and what we must do. If the Holy Spirit uses scripture to show us our need and to stimulate a desire for holiness, then doesnít it make sense that we study Godís word on a daily basis? Through the scriptures He helps us see and accept Godís standards.

There is one more thing he Holy Spirit must do for us. He must give us the spiritual strength to live a holy life. Galatians 5:16, Paul tells us to live by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

What does it mean to live by the Spirit? To live in obedience to and dependence on the Holy Spirit. There must be a balance between our wills express by obedience and our faith expressed by our dependence.

For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is a mystical being. They have heard of Him but donít really know much about Him. He is found in the scriptures but they do not have a personal relationship with him thus he canít have much impact. Having the Holy Spirit in our lives is vital and using Him to the fullest is key in our pursuit of holiness. For without the Holy Spirit, it will be impossible to be successful in our pursuit. We need to depend on Him daily or His affect will diminish.

A city dweller moved to a farm and bought a cow. Shortly after he did, the cow went dry. When he reported this fact to a neighbor farmer, the farmer expressed surprise. The city man said he was surprised too. "I can't understand it either, for if ever a person was considerate of an animal, I was of that cow. If I didn't need any milk, I didn't milk her. If I only needed a quart, I only took a quart." The farmer tried to explain that the only way to keep milk flowing is not to take as little as possible from the cow, but to take as much as possible. Is that not also true of the Christian life? Those who only turn to God in need miss the real joy that flows from a daily infilling of His Spirit.