Developing Good Habits
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
- We are powerless to ultimately change our conduct without the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Successful people develop better habits:
- Personal walk with the Lord
- 90 percent of our behavior is habits. 75 percent of people fail to keep their new year resolutions.
- “righteous requirements of the Law” not simply worldly moral attributes. “losing weight, building muscles” while nice is only superficially fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law.
- Habits of a Christian: Being like Christ!
- Successful people develop better habits:
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
- Loving others as yourself
- Forgiving others
- Peaceful, not worry
- Walking in faith and talking faith
- Going to church
- Reading the Bible
- Praying always
- Being joyful
- Working hard
- Moderation in all things
- Breaking bad habits (cigarettes, drugs, sexual sins)
- Habits focused on personal improvement impresses others but falls short of the goal of the Christian.
- Athletes: Michael Phelps and drunk driving. 22 medals. Ray Rice, 2nd top rusher for Ravens.
- Some on a diet are very mean. Quit smoking makes you angry.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
- Spirit is the new law. It lifts us above the weakness of the flesh.
- Paul wanted to live by the “book” of the law, but he was too weak to uphold it.
- Illustration: Hold up Bible, get tired. Plane, law of lift, supersedes law of gravity.
- All flesh is the same. Everyone is a failure, even the best of us.
- No one is born with will power or self control. We get it through being born again and receiving the Spirit.
- Fruit of the Spirit.
- Sinful nature has been crucified
- Fruit must be cultivated.
- Let us keep in step with the Spirit
- Plant seeds and I water it. I make no personal effort to make the fruit grow.
- Power is in the seed itself. God planted the new nature in your and gave you the Spirit. You still must cultivate the new nature.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Feed your good habits.
- Old Cherokee tale about grandfather. Battle raging between two wolves. One wolf is evil. Another is good. These two wolves constantly fight. Little boy, “Which wolf wins?” “Which ever one you feed.
1 Cor 3:6
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
- With the new nature, God gave us the ingredients to grow the new nature: The Word of God.
1 Peter 2:2
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
- Grandson, August, constantly ate. picture of August with Tom. His parents gave him the genes to be human. It is up to him to eat.
12 you need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
- Eventually, as a infant you left milk.
- Solid food. Deeper revelations.
- How well would you have done in school if you played hooky half the time? How can you grow playing hooky from church and not reading the Bible daily?
- Band wagon feeding on people’s lack of self control:
- Diet programs
- Nicotine patches
- Alcohol and drug treatments
- Answer is the Word. Plant the Word. Grow in the Word. Get deeper revelations.
- Kenneth Copeland, tried giving up cigarettes. Threw them out of his car. Finally, attending a lengthy Christian meeting. Forgot to smoke.