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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Something More than 5 Hour Energy

Not By Our Power - Empowered

Romans 8: 9-13

Intro
We are fascinated with super human accomplishments.  As kids we would pour over the Superman comic books and watch the exploits of Superman on black and white TV.  He was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound; he was more powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet.  He has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability, freezing breath, super hearing, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, longevity, flight, and intelligence.  In fact there is a remake movie coming out this June.  The games that are played on play station and the internet are of people who beat all the odds.  We are fascinated with speed and power. 
There was a survey done recently asking adults what superpower they would like most.  Here are the top superpowers that a USA Time poll found:
Superpower Fantasies The top single superpower adults would most like to have:

Mary Cadden and Suzy Parker, "Snapshots," USA Today (7-18-06), 1A

It is interesting what these adults answered –they wanted to be able to know what another person is thinking and feeling.  What were they going to do with that?  If you could read minds that puts more responsibility on you. 

Romans 8:9-13 (NIV)
9 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. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 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. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

The exhausting Christian life – if we expect to live out the Christian life on our own power we are fooling ourselves. To be a Christian is exhausting work. 

 

Romans 7 talks about our Christian walk as a major struggle with our fleshly desires.  Listen to the last part of Romans 7. 

 

Romans 7:17-25 (NLT)
17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

 

There is a battle waging in our lives.  I want to do what is right but I can’t because of my sinful nature.  Paul says that the power that makes me a slave to sin is still battle within us.

 

Paul says that it is inevitable that even when we try to do what is good evil somehow wins out. 

 

 

We are to exchange our efforts to manufacture a righteous spiritual life for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  We can’t live a spiritual Christian life on our own effort we will fail for the lack of energy and power.  We don’t have enough power.  The exhaustion we fill as Christians is an exhaustion that comes from us trying to be good and righteous on our own.

 

The power for the Christian life is Christ in you and Christ in me.  It’s Jesus Christ raised from the dead by his Holy Spirit living his life through us.

 

Now let me show it to you in Romans 7. Paul is at a place of desperation. Can you hear it in him?

 

 

Illustration:
One of the heroes I have in life is a woman by the name of joni Eareckson Tada.  Joni's Life-changing Prayer: 'Show Me How to Live'

(Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky; source: Marvin Olasky, "Loving Life," World (1-12-13)

 

 

 

Conclusion

Lessons from Apple Trees about Waiting on God

We had an old apple tree in our back yard: we lost to the wind this past year.  Though the apple tree produced apples there was one year that it produced more apples – when I started to investigate apple harvests I found something very interesting.  There are years with big harvests and then there are years that have little production.  Here is what I discovered:

Simple illustration:
Glove doesn’t do anything without being filled
We are not going to do much without being filled.

 

Please click here for attached slides to the sermon.