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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : Victory Over Sin : The Old And New Covenant

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Each of us must face the truth that we cannot rescue ourselves from the power of sin. It is not possible for any person to deliver himself from sin's dominion. This work can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. There is a twofold problem that must dealt with in accomplishing this.

The first problem is, God has to cause the sin-bound and rebellious person to want to be free. The selfish person, does not really want to be delivered from his sin. The truth is that this selfish person is so stubborn he even refuses to respond to the grace and mercy of God. God needs a way to show this person the true crime and exceeding sinfulness of his sin. This person has to come to the place where he is sick of his sin. He needs to know how wicked and destructive his sin truly is, before he will have any desire for deliverance. He has to come to the end of himself, where he sees he is being ruined by sin. He must realize that he is totally helpless, wretched, empty, ensnared, absolutely guilty and totally deceived by sin.

The second problem is, God has to cause the sin-bound person to see the absolute uselessness of his efforts to set himself free. We are certain that we can break free of our own chains. We think if we just struggle more and work hard enough we will be able to free ourselves from sin's hold on us. God must bring us to a point of total surrender, where we submit our struggle completely into God's loving hands.

How does the Lord accomplish these two things in man? How does God cause the sin-bound person to see his own sin as exceedingly sinful, and to give up the fight in his flesh, admitting, "I cannot do it. I am completely helpless to free myself from this sin. Lord, you have to do it in me".

This twofold work is done in us by law or the Old Covenant. We can not fully understand or receive the blessing of the New Covenant until the Old Covenant has achieved this dual work in us. The Old Covenant was designed by God teach and show enslaved man how high and holy God really is. The moral law is a representation of the heart and nature of God. No man can ever reach this standard of holiness, purity, righteousness in his own strength.

Gal. 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

This standard of holiness was set so high to show all of mankind that we never could accomplish the law in our own strength. God placed us in a school to teach us how completely wicked and sinful we really are. This schooling is not complete until we see ourselves as completely and totally dead to any hope that we might have a way of freeing ourselves from the bondage of sin. If you have the slightest idea that you can achieve holiness on your own, you are still living under the Old Covenant's ministration of death. God's design of this covenant is to send us to our death. The Old Covenant has finished its work only when it has put you on your face, before God. You will know then you are empty, helpless, weak and without any hope in your self. You must be fully persuaded that you cannot by human strength and will power obey or please God. You must see yourself as completely spiritually bankrupt. You must know that you have no strength, and can do nothing in your own ability. Your sin is too powerful of a force to deal with, the chains too heavy. You are too wicked to ever free yourself from it. You must come to the point when you know that you need a miracle. When you get to this point all you can do now is cry "HELP ME GOD!!"

There are two lessons God wants to teach you by the law.

One was the lesson of the law and sin. The lesson of the law was to show you a true sense of your sinfulness and hopeless lack of any power to deliver yourself. Without an intense longing and desire for deliverance from sinning and your chosen selfish state you will fall back into the power of the law and the flesh.

The other lesson is of the holiness of God. This lesson teaches you that the triune God fully commits, promises and guarantees to do all within you that He commands. He undertakes and assumes total responsibility to give and keep the new heart, to give His own Spirit, to give you the will and the power to truly obey and do His will. The law CANNOT ever give life or make any person holy. The purpose of the law was to make you truly guilty and helpless before the holiness of God. After you see your true guilt, God will reveal His LOVE to you and His FREE offer to make you a partaker of His holiness and divine nature.

You must come to the real knowledge of the power of sin and your absolute lack of any power to cast sin out, or to work in yourself anything that is good. ONLY when a person learns this, often by their own experience can they possibly fully enter into the blessing of God's true provision. Man in his sinful state has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in himself to give himself the TRUE LIFE he so desperately needs. ALL that any person will ever accomplish in his own efforts is continual and perpetual failings and disappointments. The answer to this problem lies in the wonderful assurance that God, by His Holy Spirit, undertakes to work everything that He requires within you. The desire to be free from the life of daily sinning and then giving up any hope of securing this by your own efforts prepared you for understanding and accepting God's true and only way of salvation. Now it is Him HIMSELF really working in you all that is pleasing in HIS sight.

Many people never really know how completely wicked their heart really is until they fail God over and over again. They find they have no true love for Him but somehow they think, "only if I tried with more zeal and effort I could really do it". This is total UNBELIEF! As long as you think that somewhere within you, that you have the power or the capacity to obey Him then there is NO HOPE.

I went through many years of failing over and over again. This was my schooling. I had to experience for myself my total bondage to sin under the law before I could have a clear insight in my actual need for deliverance. I had attempted to use the means of grace and striving to live in accordance with God's will and yet I continually failed. The reason for this failure is that there was a SECRET ROOT OF EVIL which had to be removed. That root was the spirit of self effort which only hinders true faith that knows that God will work all and freely yields to Him to do it. Now I know I have made free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. God HIMSELF actually provides me with everything I could possibility need to live a holy and victorious life.

During my schooling period I was full of unbelief. This fact alone prevented me from attaining God's true provision. Without faith it is impossible to please Him and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Unbelief prevented God from giving me the freedom that He so desperately wanted for me. I could have believed (and should have) at any time but I had a hidden secret dependency on MYSELF. I thought I had to keep the faith but I had no faith to keep!! When I attempted to produce faith I always failed. I thought it was truly up to my ability and power to place my faith in God.

How could God do anything for me except let me fail time after time? I had to experience for myself and prove to myself that I was TOTALLY helpless and without power. I had to fail over and over until I really knew that I had zero ability or power to produce any requirement of God even for one millisecond. I really did not have any capacity to ever put myself in a position to get His true provision. I really knew that I had nothing within myself and every future act would only push me further away from Him.

OH, what a faithful GOD!!!!! Here I was in unbelief and sin struggling to obey him but God showered me with His grace. I do not know of a greater expression of love than for Him to let me experience and prove to myself my complete sinful and total criminal heart. What else could God really do?? I had to die to self effort. Before I could die I had to totally exhaust every possible self effort I could imagine and prove to myself it would never work.

In this state of total wretchedness and despair God showed me that HE had the very solution to this very problem that I was then in. I saw that His free gift actually fulfilled all the demands of the law and the gospel. It was so simple all I had to do was to believe Him and take Him at His word. I had died to self effort, my secret root of evil was now truly gone. I had proved it to myself over and over again for many years attempting to please God but always failing.

When I saw God's provision I turned my heart away from all my past experience of failure and disappointment that was caused by nothing but my own unbelief. I admitted fully and heartily what this failure had really taught me about my absolute impossibility walking in God's law or obedience in my own strength even for a millisecond. Seeing this failure and God's true provision I could easily turn my heart quietly and trustfully to a totally faithful and loving God who will do exactly what He says He will do. Now I can rest in the fact of God's Almighty power and the Holy Spirit working in me both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.

The law could never provide me with the necessary holiness required. What would the point for God to have a new covenant if it did provide for actually the fulfilling and securing true obedience? Make no mistake, God expects perfect obedience under the New Covenant just as he did under the Old. The true gospel does not do away with obedience it provides the only solution where holy living is possible. Any preaching that attempts to do away with the actual obedience of the Christian is a FALSE gospel that only deceives a person in his totally sinful state. The problem with the old covenant was that man broke it. Man showed his total unfaithfulness and his failure to do his part. God provides a new and better covenant in which he would make it impossible for the one in it to be ever be unfaithful, or not do his part. God swears that HE HIMSELF will prevent a person under this covenant of grace to ever break it. HE truly secures mans part as well as His own. The new covenant CAN NOT BE TRULY BROKEN by man because GOD undertakes man's obedience at all times.

I needed to be shown by my own experience of trying to please God but failing time after time. I ended in proving for myself my own unfaithfulness and failure. Now under God's provision, God will prove what HE can do in me, all unfaithful and feeble as I am when He is allowed and trusted to do ALL the work. God HIMSELF keeps His part and then even performs my part for me. He makes this an Everlasting Covenant by promising that He will never leave me and sees to it that I will never leave Him.

When I discovered my total lack of power and my hopeless captivity under the power of sin, then God gave me loving grace. He revealed to me the freedom from sin and self. The love that He required was only found IN HIM! I could really count on Him to fulfill all the requirements of the law within me, knowing He would do exactly what He said.

I knew that freedom from sin was possible, but even this knowledge did not help me. In fact this knowledge just made me worse because I knew freedom was possible but I always failed to achieve it. Looking back, I can now understand just what the problem really was. I knew that God had a true solution to this very problem I had. I also knew the only thing that prevented my true freedom was faith. This is where I missed it. I thought it was up to me to produce the faith needed. I thought I had to mix the Word with MY faith to get God's result. My unbelief was in the fact that God said HE would do it. I did not truly believe Him. I had sought to use the religious methods to produce the required faith. Instead of believing God, I attempted to receive His promises by my own efforts. I was really still in control of my life. I had never given myself to God to let HIM accomplish His desires in me. This was sin! When I saw that all my own self effort was truly sin and the fact of His promise of the actual performance of it, I could easily truly believe God to do all that He had said He would do. To put it simply, I believed God to give me the required faith without using any of my self effort at all.

Here is a way to test yourself to see if you still need more schooling. If you sin and return to your old habit or lust once more, do you promise God that you will never sin this way again? Or, do you ask God,, "Lord, where were you when I needed you? Why didn't you give me the power to resist this temptation? Where was the Holy Spirit to stop me from giving in?" Or, do you wallow in self-examination, trying to find some new measure of commitment to recover and move on?

If this is the way you react to a failure or sin, you are still living under the Old Covenant. Your cry may come directly from your flesh, not from God's Spirit in you. Your flesh feels sorry for itself because it did not accomplish the deliverance. And now it is asking for one more chance begging, "Hang in there with me God, let me try one more time."

This is an ongoing problem with many Christians. We look to the Holy Spirit as some kind of booster shot, to empower or energize our human will. We expect him to build up our power of grit and determination, so we can stand up to temptation the next time it comes. We cry, "Make me strong, Lord. Give me an iron will, so I can withstand all sin." But God knows this would only make our flesh stronger, enabling it to boast. Before we can really be strong in the Lord we have see how weak we are without HIM.

If the Old Covenant had truly done its work in you, you would already be "dead." You would not have any tears left, any strength to cry out, any confidence in your flesh whatsoever. The truth is, most of our weeping, begging and striving come from our continuing expectation that something good can rise up out of our human nature to offer the Lord. But that is simply never going to happen. We are always going to be too weak and frail in our flesh to produce holiness. Yes, we are commanded to be strong, but only in the power of God's might, and not our own.

Your prayer to God daily should admit, "Lord, I confess my inability to obey your commandments. I acknowledge my total helplessness to deliver myself from sin's dominion. In all my strivings to get free, I have failed again and again. So, now I come to you as a dead man, in full surrender. I confess my need to be delivered from my sin, and I admit I cannot do it on my own. Oh, Lord, your Old Covenant has accomplished in me two important things. I know in my heart I want to be free. I truly want sin's dominion over me to be crushed. I do not want to excuse my sin anymore, and I do not want to be given over to it. My heart's desire is to walk holy and blameless before you. Whatever it takes, father, I want to be delivered. I want to live wholly dependent on your power. I now abandon all hope of ever getting free by my own strength. I realize my only hope of freedom from slavery rests in YOUR mighty power. I come to you now by faith, Lord, casting myself into your loving hands. Show me the blessings and provisions of your New Covenant. I need a new revelation, a new plan. The old one has only brought me to despair."

God did not send His son to earth to punish sinners. Jesus came to save and seek those who are lost. That was the whole reason He went to the cross.

John 3:17 "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved".

The Lord has made full provision for us, by offering us more than just deliverance. The New Covenant promise does even more than provide pardon and forgiveness. Not only does He offer complete deliverance, but the Bible states that the Spirit of God actually "subdues" our sins and turns us from them. Think of it, not I, but my God, will subdue and conquer all my sins, by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

Micah 7:19 "He will turn again, He will have compassion on us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

MANY FIND IT EASY TO BELIEVE GOD'S WORD ABOUT FORGIVING AND PARDONING OUR SINS, BUT HAVE DIFFICULTY BELIEVING HIS WORD THAT HE WILL SUBDUE OUR SINS AND TURN US FROM OUR INIQUITIES.

Under the New Covenant, the battle is not ours, but the work of God's Spirit. Indeed, Jesus has invested all of his might and power in the Holy Ghost for this battle. The Holy Ghost is the great gift of the New Covenant, and He was sent to do in us what we cannot do in our own ability or strength. He is the one, after all, who wooed each of us to Christ. And now He has been given all power and authority to spoil sin's dominion over our lives. Therefore, we must have God's Spirit dwelling in us. Otherwise, scripture says, we do not belong to Christ. The Holy Spirit does nothing set apart from the cross and the implanted grace of Christ.

If you throw yourself at the mercy of the Holy Ghost, trusting Him completely, believing He is able to fulfill everything God demands of you, what enemy could stand against His power to accomplish all things in you? What temptation could overwhelm his might, which abides in you? The Holy Ghost simply asks that we come to Him believing He has all power and authority to break sin's dominion over us.

Please understand that this New Covenant promise does not apply to anyone whose belief allows them to continue in live their sin and iniquity. Such people are libertines, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. The promise of the New Covenant is given to those who hate their sin and those whose one great desire is to walk righteously before the Lord. The New Covenant offers power from above to destroy sin's dominion.

GOD HAS SWORN BY AN OATH TO GIVE US A NEW HEART, A HEART THAT IS INCLINED TO OBEY.

Jeremiah 24:7 "I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart"

Ezekiel 36:26 "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."

God has promised us not only to give us a new heart, but to write on our hearts his commands. In other words, He promises to cause us to know Him. Again, the Holy Spirit is the one who accomplishes this work in us. He teaches us about the father's nature and ways and in the process, He transforms us into Christ's divine image.

Our Lord has sworn a sovereign oath to be merciful to us in our struggles against sin. And until full victory comes, He will be patient and loving with us, never casting us aside. He promises, 'No matter what I demand of you, I will supply you with all the power you need to accomplish it. I will not ask anything of you for which I have not made provision." Today, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and which enabled Him to fulfill God's law through a perfect, sinless life now abides in us. God's own Spirit is alive in us, providing all power over every work the enemy tries to bring against us. He promises to demolish all demonic strongholds.

Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might, nor by power but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts"

Our part in this is faith and trust. Faith is the requirement in submitting to the Holy Spirit's work. By faith, we are to cast ourselves completely into His care and trust Him to lead us out of every satanic snare.

When the enemy comes flooding into your soul, enticing you toward an old lust, call upon the Holy Ghost. Listen to His every whisper, and obey His every command. Do not shut Him out. His deliverance will not work for you if you do not really want to hear what He has to say. But if you are prepared to do whatever He empowers you to do, He will not withhold His word from you. You will hear Him behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it."

You can move out of the Old Covenant and into the New in a single step. It happens when you see how impossible it is for you to overcome sin by your own human efforts. It dawns on you that a covenant keeping God has sworn to give the Holy Ghost to all believers who ask, and that He will accomplish in you what the Lord has promised by oath. So, finally, you can abandon yourself totally to God and his promises. You must believe that He will perform what He has promised.

Yes you can step in the fulness of the New Covenant right NOW as you read this. Are you ready to declare your self dead to all human effort and take God at His word?

Jer. 32: 39-40 "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good, and I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me."

Ezek. 36: 25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances."

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Jer. 24:7 "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Ezek. 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

Ezek. 36: 25-27 "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances."

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Jer. 24:7 "And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Jer. 31:31-34 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Ezek. 11:19-20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

These scriptures and many other like these show that the fact that it is GOD and CHRIST HIMSELF, who actually brings about the required obedience. It must not depend at all on mans faithfulness or even mans faith. What good is the provision of God if it does not secure the true required obedience? The real good news of the Gospel is that God gives you a NEW heart that NEVER fails.

Examine these passages again and see for yourself that God's true provision actually gives you the required heart that meets every possible requirement and demand of the gospel.

The only real question is will you NOW believe God to do all everything HE swears that He will do?






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