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← Enslaved to the Desires of The Flesh (Part 4) - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 4 created 05/02/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Okay, brethren, we find ourselves
  2. in Ephesians 2 once again.
  3. This is part four of a five part series
  4. on these first three
    verses of Ephesians 2.
  5. We can read those together.
  6. I've called this series:
  7. "How Dead is Dead?
  8. The Five-fold Fallenness of Man."
  9. Today's part four.
  10. Today, we're going to focus on the flesh.
  11. We've looked at man dead in sin,
  12. dead with regards to the world,
  13. dead with regards to the devil.
  14. Today, dead with regards to the flesh.
  15. Next week, Lord willing,
  16. the wrath of God.
  17. Our deadness to God.
  18. Ephesians 2:1,

  19. "And you were dead..."
  20. You were.
  21. Only if you're a Christian, you were.
  22. If you're not a Christian, you are.
  23. Let me just tell you up front here,
  24. nobody needs to embellish how bad man is.
  25. All we need to know
  26. is the reality of the situation,
  27. and it's bad.
  28. "You were dead in the trespasses and sins
  29. in which you once walked,
  30. following the course of this world,
  31. following the prince
    of the power of the air,
  32. the spirit that is now at work
  33. in the sons of disobedience,
  34. among whom we all once lived,
  35. in the passions of our flesh
  36. carrying out the desires of the body
  37. and the mind,
  38. and were by nature children of wrath
  39. like the rest of mankind."
  40. So there you have it.
  41. Three verses that spell out
  42. this five-fold fallenness of man.
  43. Last week, when I got done preaching,

  44. one of our younger theologians came up
  45. after I was done and asked me
  46. why I hadn't included any application.
  47. I preached about the prince
    of the power of the air.
  48. This young man wanted to know
  49. how do I apply that to my life.
  50. And brethren, what I told him,
  51. is that sometimes when we're confronted
  52. by the Word of God,
  53. I told him it's enough if at times
  54. we're just simply left worshiping.
  55. Brethren, that is not a bad
    application of Scripture.
  56. If we simply are confronted by it
  57. and we come away seeing God as big
  58. and ourselves as incredibly small.
  59. That is profitable.
  60. That is good.
  61. Look, I recognize that in these verses

  62. that we're dealing with -
  63. following the course of this world -
  64. you know, we could just get consumed
  65. with the world,
  66. and how do we overcome the world,
  67. and how do we not love the world,
  68. and you know what?
  69. Scripture deals with those
    things in other places.
  70. But what I want to do is
    what Paul wants to do.
  71. And right now, Paul is not telling
    us how to overcome the world.
  72. Right now, Paul is not telling us
    how to overcome the devil.
  73. He's not telling us how
    to overcome the flesh.
  74. You know what he's doing right now?
  75. He is concerned that we have
  76. some recognition of the exceedingly
  77. immeasurable greatness of God's power
  78. toward us who believe.
  79. He wants us to measure it.
  80. And by measuring it, what he wants to do
  81. is he wants to take us down
  82. into the depths of the pit
    from which we came
  83. over against the exaltation
    to which we've been saved.
  84. And it's in that contrast;
  85. it's in that difference
  86. that he wants us to step back
  87. and just be amazed and be in awe
  88. at the power of God.
  89. And brethren, if we look at these things -
  90. the wretchedness, the
    brokenness of mankind
  91. and we're left saying, "Wow!"
  92. You know, that's enough?
  93. Do you know if you're left coming away
  94. from the Word of God
  95. and you fall down on your face,
  96. don't we get the sense that
  97. that's exactly why God does
    everything that He does?
  98. Because in the end,
  99. it's not so much just about
    the application to our lives
  100. in the sense that, you know,
  101. I have to walk out this door
  102. and now I have a list of things to do.
  103. Brethren, what God really wants us to do
  104. is walk out this door,
  105. and fall down on our faces and say,
  106. "Wow! Thank You, Lord!
  107. Thank You! Thank You!"
  108. You know what He wants us to do in this?
  109. He wants us to recognize
  110. what sort of people we were
  111. that He rescued us from His wrath.
  112. That's what it is.
  113. The end in view is worship.
  114. The end in view is awe.
  115. Brethren, we need to be gripped.
  116. We need to be changed and amazed
  117. that God would actually unleash
  118. His great might on such people as we were.
  119. That's the issue.
  120. So, today, part four.

  121. Turn our attention towards the flesh.
  122. Brethren, what we have is man
  123. like an animal, but worse.
  124. Because we have a mind.
  125. Look at it.
  126. Right at the end of v. 2,
  127. "the sons of disobedience."
  128. The devil was at work in
    these sons of disobedience -
  129. look what it says -
  130. "among whom we all..."
  131. All of us.
  132. Among them we lived.
  133. In other words, we were one of them.
  134. All of us.
  135. This is a summation, a summary statement
  136. of all mankind in their natural condition.
  137. We lived among these sons of disobedience
  138. "in the passions of our flesh,
  139. carrying out the desires of the body
  140. and the mind."
  141. Now, just get a feel for this.
  142. The New King James:
  143. "We all once conducted ourselves
  144. in the lusts..." the lusts.
  145. Lust. What a word.
  146. Just let that roll of your tongue.
  147. Lust.
  148. That produces imagery in our minds.
  149. "...The lusts of our flesh."
  150. Or the New American Standard,
  151. "We too all (all!) formerly..."
  152. We - Christians. This was us too.
  153. "We all formerly lived in
    the lusts of our flesh."
  154. King James Version:
  155. "We all had our conversation..."
  156. That doesn't mean just what we speak.
  157. That's the full-orbed life of the man.
  158. "We all had our conversation in times past
  159. in the lusts of our flesh."
  160. So, here we have it.
  161. Man - dead in sin is very much alive
  162. to the lusts of the flesh.
  163. Man, like an animal, like I said,
  164. he's an animal: base.
  165. Animal: lust.
  166. But worse, because what
    he breaks this out into
  167. as he seeks to go deeper,
  168. as he seeks to break this thing out
  169. into some subcategories,
  170. he goes to the mind.
  171. You see, we have a mind
  172. unlike the animals,
  173. but even that mind is just an expression
  174. of the lusting, the cravings of the flesh.
  175. Pollution. That's what
    we're talking about.
  176. We're talking about the dirtiness
  177. and the filthiness of man.
  178. He's one big bag of lusts.
  179. This is man like an animal, lusting.
  180. Lusting.
  181. Brethren, like a dog driven to its vomit.
  182. You say, oh, that's about people
  183. who once made a profession
  184. or maybe even were teachers
    and they came back.
  185. Yes, but you think about that.
  186. For Scripture to liken a man like that
  187. to a dog that returns to its vomit,
  188. you know what that implies?
  189. He was once at the vomit,
    left it, and came back.
  190. Man at his vomit is a picture -
  191. or dogs at its vomit.
  192. You know how many times

  193. Scripture likens sinners to animals?
  194. We're likened to pigs
  195. and we're likened to dogs.
  196. And you think about a dog
  197. licking up its vomit.
  198. You say, that's gross!
  199. That's us.
  200. That's mankind.
  201. That's ugly.
  202. This is the ugliness of mankind.
  203. This is the dirt, the filth, the muck.
  204. You think about a pig.
  205. Listen, my uncle raised pigs.
  206. You ought to see a pig and hear a pig
  207. and watch them eat
  208. and watch what they swim in.
  209. You may have some refined idea.
  210. You know, you walk out of here
  211. after it's been raining,
  212. your foot steps in grass
  213. and it's a little muddy.
  214. You ought to see it firsthand.
  215. You get an idea of what God sees
  216. when He sees man in all the lusts.
  217. Just like a pig greedy to
    plunge into the slime.
  218. Brethren, what I'm saying here is, again,

  219. this isn't embellishing on
    the badness of man.
  220. This is the picture.
  221. So often Scripture is likening us
  222. to some sort of animal.
  223. Believer, this was you.
  224. Unbeliever, this is you.
  225. All of us - we lived in lusts.
  226. Somebody says,
  227. "I'm not a murderer."
  228. "I'm not part of the drug cartel."
  229. "I'm not like these
    homeless drunks out here."
  230. "I'm not like that."
  231. "I'm not like the woman
    that prostitutes her body
  232. so that she can
    satisfy her drug addiction."
  233. "I'm not like that."
  234. "I wasn't born on the
    wrong side of the tracks."
  235. "I'm not like those sinners."
  236. "I wear a white shirt when I go to work."
  237. You know what Paul does?
  238. He puts out his finger,
  239. and he places it on our lips.
  240. Shhh...
  241. Stop.
  242. Just stop.
  243. This is you.
  244. Or this is what you were.
  245. He closes our mouth here.
  246. All of us.
  247. "Among whom we all once lived."
  248. Shhh...
  249. Stop the boasting in what you were,
  250. because this is you.
  251. This is me.
  252. Lusts of the flesh.
  253. It's an ugly picture, I know.
  254. Paul means it to be.
  255. This is man as he is.
  256. His base, polluted, vulgar, offensive,
  257. lusting self.
  258. But brethren, this is where we ought to
  259. go out and just fall down before the Lord.
  260. The absolutely astounding thing
  261. is that God would ever ever ever
  262. want something to do with us.
  263. Thank You, Lord.
  264. The flesh.

  265. Look at it.
  266. "The passions (or the lusts)
  267. of our flesh."
  268. The flesh.
  269. We've got to be confronted by this term.
  270. The flesh.
  271. Because it's used in Scripture.
  272. It's used quite often.
  273. Paul especially uses this terminology.
  274. Perhaps you're not aware.
  275. We have friends in different places
  276. that have been involved
  277. in various degree of debate
  278. over the meaning of this word.
  279. There is a debate among men who we know
  280. concerning what does it actually mean?
  281. And what are the consequences
    of what it means?
  282. And what should we expect from Christians
  283. because of what it means?
  284. We have to ask the question:
    What is Paul referring to?
  285. And the first thing we need to recognize
  286. is much like we looked at when
    we dealt with the world,
  287. so it is with the flesh,
  288. that it's a word that carries
  289. different shades of meaning.
  290. So we need to recognize that right away
  291. that when you come across the word flesh
  292. in your Bibles, it's not
    just enough to say
  293. it means the same thing all the time,
  294. so it must mean that right there.
  295. We actually have to examine the context
  296. to really figure out
  297. what in the world we're dealing with.
  298. I'll just tell you this right off,

  299. in the ESV, you don't see it,
  300. but if you've got another
    translation in your hands,
  301. you may well see that the term "flesh"
  302. is actually used here twice.
  303. The ESV says "flesh" the first time,
  304. "body" the second time.
  305. But in the original, same word.
  306. Same word.
  307. What's he doing?
  308. Is he just redundantly repeating himself?
  309. He talks about the passions
    or the lusts of the flesh,
  310. and then he talks about the passions
  311. or the lusts of the flesh again.
  312. No, he's actually giving us an overall,
  313. and then he's subdividing it
  314. into two categories.
  315. He's not just redundantly
    repeating the same thing.
  316. And the reason it's not the same thing
  317. is because he's actually using flesh
  318. with two different meanings here.
  319. And you have to recognize from
    the context what's going on.
  320. But just very quickly,

  321. I want to run through
    some shades of meaning
  322. that you find in the term "flesh"
  323. when you find it in Scripture.
  324. For instance, it can just simply mean
  325. "human nature."
  326. In other words, Paul is using it
  327. in a very negative way,
  328. when he talks about
    the lusts of the flesh.
  329. That obviously is the ugliness of mankind.
  330. However, we have the word used this way:
  331. "the Word became flesh
    and dwelt among us."
  332. Or, "tabernacled among us."
  333. Christ became flesh.
  334. That obviously carries no negative
  335. overtones or undertones.
  336. Not at all.
  337. What does that mean?
  338. He became a man.
  339. It has to do with our human nature.
  340. "In the days of His flesh,
  341. Jesus offered up prayers and supplications
  342. with loud cries and tears."
  343. So, just like the world can,
  344. flesh can carry meaning
  345. that is no way negative.
  346. Or how about this?

  347. It can mean our common ancestry
  348. or our bloodlines.
  349. For instance,
  350. the New King James Version,
  351. Romans 11:14,
  352. Paul is speaking about
    provoking to jealousy
  353. those who are "my flesh."
  354. And I refer to the New King James
  355. because it actually translates it "flesh."
  356. He wants to provoke to jealousy
  357. those who are my flesh
  358. and save some of them.
  359. Well, the ESV says, "fellow Jews."
  360. The New American Standard
    says "fellow countrymen."
  361. You see, what he's talking about there.
  362. Flesh are those that he's related to.
  363. My own flesh and blood, we might say.
  364. It has to do also with
    just this earthly life.

  365. Single people,
  366. Paul would say to you -
  367. again, I'm going to read from
    the New King James
  368. because it's actually not
  369. trying to translate this
  370. away from the original meaning.
  371. Paul says, look, if you marry,
  372. you have not sinned.
  373. And if a virgin marries,
    she has not sinned,
  374. nevertheless, such will
    have trouble in the flesh.
  375. The NAS translates that: "this life."
  376. Single people, you really
    badly want to get married.
  377. Paul says I'll spare you.
  378. You'll be spared problems.
  379. I know he says that - I've tried both.
  380. I prefer the married life
    a whole lot better.
  381. I commend that.
  382. But anyways, you see,
  383. that's getting away from the flesh.
  384. The flesh.
  385. This life.
  386. Or how about sometimes it
    just means all mankind.

  387. It means human beings in general.
  388. Luke 3:6, "All flesh shall see
  389. the salvation of God."
  390. That's just all humanity.
  391. Or John 17:2 where Jesus is speaking
  392. of His Father having given Him
  393. authority over all flesh.
  394. The New American Standard
    says "over all mankind."
  395. "...To give eternal life to all
    whom He has given Him."
  396. Sometimes flesh means the
    soft part of our body.

  397. For instance, Luke 24:39.
  398. Jesus says, remember - they're blown away.
  399. Here's the risen Christ.
  400. He just kind of appeared in the room.
  401. You can imagine they're a bit amazed.
  402. They're not certain what they're seeing,
  403. and He wants to assure them,
  404. "I'm here. I'm here as a man.
  405. I'm here in flesh and blood."
  406. And He says this to them,
  407. "See My hands and My
    feet that it is I Myself.
  408. Touch Me and see, for
    a spirit does not have
  409. flesh and bones as
    you see that I have."
  410. See, flesh is over against the bones.
  411. The flesh is that which covers the bones.
  412. It's the soft part of us.
  413. It's the stuff our bones are covered with.
  414. And I often think,

  415. Brother Charles Leiter,
  416. he often refers to the fact
  417. that the Romanian
    translation of the Scripture
  418. literally translates this "meat."
  419. In our Bibles, it's "flesh."
  420. In the Romanian Bible,
    every place you see "flesh"
  421. it says, "meat."
  422. "The lusts of the meat."
  423. What a word.
  424. Sometimes, this idea of flesh,
  425. it's the whole body.
  426. "For we who live are always
    being given over to death
  427. for Jesus' sake, so that
    the life of Jesus also
  428. may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
  429. Just our mortal bodies.
  430. It's interchangeable with that.
  431. But brethren, the most sinister,

  432. the most dark -
  433. that way that it is used
  434. when it's just the base ugliness of man.
  435. If you search it out in all of its uses,
  436. you know what you so often see?
  437. It is that which pertains to our humanity
  438. which is contrary to the Spirit of God.
  439. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh.
  440. That which is born
    of the Spirit is spirit."
  441. It is that which is separated from,
  442. contradictory to.
  443. You've got flesh. You've got spirit.
  444. Oh, that separation - that distinction,
  445. yes, right there is made
    by our Lord Jesus Himself,
  446. but so often it's Paul
  447. who sets that on the table for us.
  448. "For to set the mind
    on the flesh is death,
  449. but to set the mind on the Spirit
  450. is life and peace."
  451. Or this, "the desires of the flesh."
  452. They are against the Spirit.
  453. And the desires of the Spirit
  454. are against the flesh.
  455. Flesh is used in this fashion to express
  456. that which is in complete antithesis
  457. to the Spirit of God.
  458. It is opposed.
  459. The flesh is all that man is.
  460. It's his man-ness.
  461. It is his humanness
  462. apart from the work of
    the Holy Spirit in him.
  463. Just think about these words
  464. that Paul spoke to the Corinthians.
  465. You know them. Remember,
  466. they're acting carnal.
  467. Even there - carnal.
  468. Some of the translations use carnality
  469. in 1 Corinthians 3.
  470. Carnal.
  471. Remember the Romanian translation: meat.
  472. What is the Spanish word for meat.
  473. Carne.
  474. Carnal.
  475. It's the meat.
  476. It's the lusts of the meat.
  477. It's the lusts of the man-ness of man -
  478. the humanness.
  479. Listen to this.
  480. 1 Corinthians 3:3,
  481. "You are still..." and he's
    speaking to Christians here.
  482. You don't want this said of
    you if you're a Christian.
  483. "You are still of the flesh."
  484. You are still of the meat.
  485. You're carnal. You're carne.
  486. "For while there is jealousy
    and strife among you,
  487. are you not of the flesh
  488. and behaving only in a human way?"
  489. Or, your translation says,
  490. "behaving like mere men?"
  491. You say, well, that
    doesn't sound that bad.
  492. Just to behave like a mere man?
  493. That doesn't sound so bad.
  494. Don't you hear what Paul is saying?
  495. All men are sons of disobedience
  496. and we all lived - or still live -
  497. among the sons of disobedience
  498. carrying out the lusts
  499. of our mere man-ness.
  500. That's the issue.
  501. You say that doesn't sound that bad
  502. to merely be a man,
  503. but to merely be a man
  504. means everything rotten about man
  505. who is without God;
  506. who is separated.
  507. Mere man-ness - don't you recognize?

  508. Mere man-ness is ugly.
  509. It is depraved.
  510. He looks at these Corinthians.
  511. They were whoring after prostitutes still.
  512. 1 Corinthians 6
  513. He has to talk to them about drunkenness.
  514. The rich are getting together
  515. and despising the poor,
  516. and they're glutting themselves
  517. and getting drunk.
  518. They're taking each other to court.
  519. They're full of envy.
  520. They're full of jealousy.
  521. They are pitting one another
    against each other in disunity
  522. and exalting man.
  523. That's mere man-ness. It's ugly.
  524. It's horrible.
  525. Now these different shades of meaning

  526. are important,
  527. because just look at the text.
  528. "The sons of disobedience,
  529. among whom we all once lived..."
  530. First, "in the lusts of our flesh,
  531. carrying out the desires
  532. of the flesh (or body) and the mind."
  533. The word flesh shows up here twice.
  534. It carries two different meanings.
  535. I mean, this is clear
  536. to the translators of the ESV.
  537. That's why they translate
    it two different ways.
  538. First, flesh, then body.
  539. The first use of flesh -
    it's this broad concept

  540. which contains - notice -
  541. it's the broad concept.
  542. It contains both the desires of the flesh
  543. or the desires of the body
  544. and of the mind.
  545. And you see, the
    ESV translators are right.
  546. Body - because what?
  547. It's that part of our humanness
  548. over against the mind.
  549. You have it used flesh
    in this broad ugly way,
  550. and then it's used of the body.
  551. When it's used of the body,
  552. it doesn't necessarily need to carry
  553. any negative connotation,
  554. just like "mind" by itself
  555. doesn't carry any negative connotation.
  556. But because these are outworkings
  557. of the lusts of the flesh,
  558. it's all negative here.
  559. And what Paul does is he narrows in
  560. on these two particular ways
  561. in which these lusts of the flesh
  562. manifest themselves.
  563. The desires of the body,
  564. the desires of the mind.
  565. So let's look at these two things.
  566. First, think about the body.

  567. The desires of the body.
  568. You know, what's interesting here
  569. is we first have the term passion
  570. or lust - isn't that a desire?
  571. Yeah, that's a desire.
  572. And then he uses the term
  573. that's translated "desire" again.
  574. It almost can sound like
    he's being redundant here.
  575. The second word that he uses
  576. is the idea of the will.
  577. It's determination.
  578. You need to think about this.
  579. As lost people, our bodies -
  580. they are determined.
  581. They are willed.
  582. There is something at work
  583. that is driving - driving.
  584. It's the will.
  585. Paul is hitting on what slaves we were
  586. to our bodies as they willed
  587. to have done to them certain things.
  588. There was the determination.
  589. This is sin.
  590. We see this concept over in Romans 6.
  591. Sin that seeks to reign in the mortal body
  592. and to have us obey the
    passions of the body.
  593. Sin is at work. It's pressing us.
  594. The will of the body.
  595. The determination of the body to gratify.
  596. There's an urge. There's a driving.
  597. There's a lusting to gratify its passions
  598. in a way that opposes God.
  599. That's the issue.
  600. That's how sin seeks to reign.
  601. Look, we have to recognize,

  602. the appetites of the body
  603. were created by God.
  604. And it was good.
  605. He created us to hunger.
  606. That's good.
  607. He created us with these appetites.
  608. Thirst.
  609. You know, He designed pleasure.
  610. Do you know He designed the nerves
  611. that release that into our brains
  612. which get processed and produce
  613. feelings that are good and pleasurable.
  614. He did that.
  615. (incomplete thought)
  616. Some of my children, you know,
  617. you try to scratch their backs
    when they were younger,
  618. and it just tickled them,
  619. and they couldn't stand it.
  620. To me, it's wonderful.
  621. You massage my wife's
    feet, she just melts.
  622. You touch mine and it's
    like, ugh, I can't stand that.
  623. But God created in His kindness,
  624. He created our ability to have
  625. somebody scratch our back,
  626. and it's like, ah, that feels so good.
  627. Isn't that kind of Him?
  628. He didn't have to do that.
  629. Kind of Him.
  630. Have you ever taken a big scoop
  631. of carrot cake or cheesecake,
  632. and it's like, that's wonderful!
  633. He's created that.
  634. I mean, men and women
  635. look forward to their honeymoon.
  636. Why? They are going to experience
  637. such things as - I mean,
  638. they're a picture of our
    relationship with Christ.
  639. Just absolutely good.
  640. Very good.
  641. That's how He created us.
  642. And so, we don't want
    to despise these things,
  643. but listen.
  644. He created these appetites for us
  645. to be in control of,
  646. not for them to control us.
  647. And He created these
    appetites to serve Him.
  648. He created these appetites
    to be for His glory.
  649. Not for His glory to be
    dragged through the muck.
  650. That's the issue.
  651. What happens is sin seeks to reign -

  652. reign!
  653. It seeks to commandeer these appetites
  654. and use them against God.
  655. That's what happens.
  656. This is the ugly part.
  657. And these passions, these appetites,
  658. they're in the grip of sin.
  659. And what happens?
  660. They scream at us to be satisfied,
  661. and they're relentless in their demands.
  662. And they don't care what God has said
  663. or what has commanded.
  664. Just do it because
    it's going to feel good!
  665. Do it! Do it!
  666. And they drive us! Do it!
  667. Oh, God will understand.
  668. God will understand. You hear that.
  669. "I'm going to leave my wife
  670. because I don't love her anymore."
  671. Why? "I think God just
    wants me to be happy."
  672. No, designed us to glorify Him.
  673. And He gave us these
    appetites to glorify Him.
  674. And we're just driven.
  675. We'll go from one woman to the next
  676. or one man to the next.
  677. You just see this works out
  678. in such a hideous, ugly way
  679. when you get the drug addict
  680. who they've just got
    to have their next fix.
  681. And you say, oh, I'm not like that.
  682. Yes, you are.
  683. Even if it hasn't manifested
    itself like that.
  684. You are.
  685. Our will held captive.
  686. We love to think, oh, we're free.
  687. We're free.
  688. The guy dragging on his cigarette -
  689. "I could give it up anytime I want.
  690. I just don't want."
  691. That's exactly right.
  692. You could if you wanted.
  693. But you see, your body
    screams for nicotine.
  694. And you know what?
  695. When these lusts scream at us,
  696. we don't have the power to resist.
  697. One lust may trump another.
  698. I've seen plenty of sinners
  699. get rid of one for another.
  700. But you don't have power over them.
  701. One stronger than the one you're presently
  702. if you're lost, controls your life.
  703. A stronger one may come along
  704. and boot that one out.
  705. Kind of like the stronger demon
  706. comes along and boots out the lesser one.
  707. That may be true.
  708. You've heard of the bondage of the will -
  709. here we are.
  710. We are given to the will of the body.
  711. That's what he's talking about here.
  712. God gave us appetites
    to be subordinate to us.
  713. He wants us to keep them under control,
  714. but they dominate.
  715. They dominate.
  716. What happens is we
    buckle to their authority.
  717. God is to be on the throne.
  718. But what happens?
  719. Sin takes the place on the throne,
  720. and our passions take
    a place on the throne.
  721. We get down and we bow before them.
  722. And we bow, and we bow.
  723. You find people out here,

  724. they eat when they're not hungry.
  725. There's enough fat on their bodies.
  726. They don't need to eat.
  727. And they eat.
  728. Undoubtedly throughout this city,
  729. people will drink today
    who are not thirsty.
  730. And they will drink to get drunk.
  731. And they will bow down to that.
  732. Drug use. Prescription pain killers.
  733. People just bowing down, bowing down,
  734. bowing down.
  735. And then there's sex.
  736. Sex is a god in this country.
  737. And how many people bowing down -
  738. sex-crazed, pornographic society.
  739. And brethren, the thing is,

  740. we're not talking just
    about the society out there.
  741. Paul is saying this - Christian -
  742. this was you.
  743. Unbeliever, this is you.
  744. This is man in his ugliness.
  745. We all know about these things.
  746. We all know about the relentless demands
  747. of our bodies and how we serve them.
  748. Now, let's go to the
    other subcategory here.

  749. Look at the text.
  750. It's not just carrying out the desires
  751. of the body... "and the mind."
  752. Paul doesn't stop. There's more.
  753. And see, both of these things
  754. are subgroups of the overriding lusts -
  755. lusts of the flesh.
  756. There is this other subdivision,
  757. this other component.
  758. What? The mind.
  759. Think about the filth of the mind.
  760. The thoughts of fallen man.
  761. I know there may be those who imagine,
  762. look, I'm not some great sinner
  763. like you're describing.
  764. I never got drunk in my life.
  765. Never fornicated with my neighbor.
  766. I've not done drugs in my life.
  767. Well, it's true, you may not have.
  768. We may think ourselves
    not like the gluttons,
  769. not like the drunks,
    not like the drug addicts,
  770. but you know what Paul says?
  771. He said you just wait a second.
  772. Again, before there's any boasting,
  773. shhh...
  774. Hear what God says about your condition.
  775. There's the mind.
  776. What are we talking about here?
  777. That part of the flesh
  778. that has to do with the thoughts,
  779. the thinking, the intellect,
  780. the affections.
  781. This is just as much an expression
  782. of the carnal lusting of our flesh
  783. as is sexual immorality,
  784. gluttony, sloth.
  785. What are these desires of the mind
  786. or the will of the mind that is
  787. such an expression of the flesh?
  788. We're talking about anything
  789. you live for and dwell on in your thoughts
  790. apart from God.
  791. We're talking about godless thoughts.
  792. We're talking about the
    things that you're after.
  793. And see, this is the thing,
  794. what God has designed us for is Him.
  795. God has designed us to worship Him.
  796. God has designed our minds
    to be used for His glory.
  797. And when your mind is after
  798. other things than Him,
  799. and not after them for His glory,
  800. but after them because that's
    what you've got to have,
  801. and you've got to have them at any price,
  802. and that's what you're driven.
  803. And it's lust, and it's driving.
  804. And there you go.
  805. You're plowing deeper and
    deeper into this thing.
  806. And you're dwelling on these things.
  807. And you're filling your mind full of them.
  808. What you have to understand
  809. is God looks at that and He says,
  810. that is like a dog running to the vomit.
  811. That is that disgusting.
  812. That's what that's like.
  813. It is unclean.
  814. It is dirty.
  815. It is the pollution of man.
  816. It's in the mind.
  817. When we think about the dog
  818. going to its vomit,
  819. it isn't just like the man -
  820. you know, the man,
    you try to clean him up.
  821. He's been a drug addict.
    He goes to drug rehab.
  822. He comes back out again,
    and he runs back to it.
  823. Brethren, don't you recognize
  824. what we're talking about here?
  825. We're talking about people
    who in their mind
  826. are full of jealousy.
  827. You can't escape that.
  828. We're talking about minds full of hatred.
  829. Bitterness, malice, envy, jealousy.
  830. Jesus hits on it.
  831. It's not the guy that
    sleeps with prostitutes
  832. and you try to clean him up
  833. and he keeps going back.
  834. It's the man who sits at his office
  835. and lusts after the secretary.
  836. Day after day.
  837. And his mind is filled
  838. with the pornographic thoughts.
  839. It's everything you go after
    in your mind apart from God.
  840. It may be learning.
  841. It may be having books, having classes,
  842. being in the university,
  843. just lusting after more knowledge;
  844. lusting to learn;
  845. lusting after degrees.
  846. It can be very white collar.
  847. It can be very clean.
  848. It can look really neat.
  849. You're not visiting the brothels.
  850. You're not over in India
  851. dealing and plying with
    the sex trade over there.
  852. No, but you're in the college classroom
  853. and you're doing the same thing
  854. in your dirty, filthy mind.
  855. And you're full of hatred towards others
  856. because you're a god in your own mind
  857. and other people challenge that
  858. and you're jealous because you want
  859. what other people have.
  860. And you're envious.
  861. Brethren, this is mankind.

  862. And we know the filth of it.
  863. We know the dirt of it.
  864. This is where Paul is saying,
  865. do you not recognize the power of God
  866. that takes you up out of this?
  867. There may be those here
  868. that have never gotten drunk.
  869. I know it. Never been high on cocaine.
  870. Never had sex outside of marriage.
  871. Never... never, but you just simply
  872. can't escape jealousy.
  873. Because it's right there.
  874. You want what they have.
  875. Covet. Covet.
  876. You need wealth.
  877. You need popularity.
  878. You need a car like the neighbors.
  879. You need your children
    to succeed like theirs.
  880. You need this.
  881. And we're just driven all our lives.
  882. Brethren, is that not how it
    was when we were lost?

  883. No care for God. No care for His glory.
  884. Even religious. Religious. Do this.
  885. Self-righteous. Earn your way.
  886. Be something before God.
  887. Be good enough!
  888. You don't need that Christ.
  889. You don't need that.
  890. You don't need justification.
  891. You need to be good. Work it out.
  892. Keep the law. Keep going.
  893. Just driving, driving.
  894. The lusts of the flesh.
  895. This lust of pride
  896. to be able to stand before God
  897. and say, "Look at me,
  898. and look what I've done."
  899. Rather than bowing and saying,
  900. "Thank You, Lord. I know what I was."
  901. Brethren, this is it. Just think.
  902. Think. Think.
  903. A desire to be right.
  904. A desire to win the debate.
  905. A desire - this desire -
  906. lusting after social media.
  907. Lusting after all the gossip of it.
  908. Just wanting to hear the latest thing.
  909. Hear the garbage. Hear the trash.
  910. Have something to debate about out there.
  911. You want to win.
  912. There's just this lust after video games.
  913. Why? It makes me feel good.
  914. It does something in my mind.
  915. It produces these things in my mind.
  916. I need more. I need more.
  917. You make your resolutions.
    Anybody ever been there?

  918. As a lost person, I made resolutions.
  919. Okay, I'm not going to do this anymore
  920. when I get out of high school.
  921. And I did it and I did it worse.
  922. Okay, I'm not going to do this
    when I get out of college.
  923. And you know what?
  924. Shortly before God saved me,
  925. I just came to resign myself:
  926. I'm never giving those things up.
  927. I didn't have the power to do it.
  928. The first time it was really sinking in -
  929. all our resolutions are trash.
  930. They don't go anywhere. Why?
  931. Because inside of us
    there is this craving,
  932. there is this driving -
  933. that's the idea: lusting.
  934. Lusting, lusting.
  935. We've got to have.
  936. See, we so often think about it
  937. just in the category of sexual immorality.
  938. But we're talking just our desire
  939. in our mind to have whatever it is.
  940. Movies coming in or TV -
  941. just lusting after it.
  942. I've got to know the next episode.
  943. Just some new thing - fill my mind.
  944. We've just got to have - always looking,
  945. always some new thing in this world.
  946. Never content in God.
  947. Always needing something more.
  948. That's why our sin just
    gets worse and worse.
  949. That's why the drug addict,
  950. they can handle a little bit at first,
  951. but then they've got to have
    more and more.
  952. The drunk - a little bit in the beginning.
  953. More and more and more.
  954. Sexual people that reach
  955. these stages of perversion.
  956. It doesn't start that way.
  957. It's more and more. Why?
  958. Just lusting, lusting, lusting!
  959. Brethren, this is what we were.

  960. Can you imagine God looking
    at such people as us
  961. and saying, "I think I'm
    going to send My Son
  962. to die under My wrath in their place."
  963. Paul wants us to look at that and say,
  964. "What have You done, Lord?"
  965. What have You done?
  966. In such a state of lust,
  967. none of us can stand before God.
  968. Can you imagine walking before
  969. the holy, holy, holy God?
  970. Children of wrath like
    the rest of mankind.
  971. We'll be engulfed.
  972. We'll be consumed.
  973. Paul seeks to put his
    finger to our lips now.
  974. I have heard sinners say,
  975. "Well, when I stand before God,
  976. I'm going to tell Him..."
  977. One sight of the holy God,
  978. you won't be saying anything.
  979. You may cry "mercy," but it's too late.
  980. But God has unleashed such power
  981. through the Son of God
  982. and His coming and His life
  983. and His death and His exaltation
  984. far above all rule and authority
    and power and dominion.
  985. And there is such a power here.
  986. A power like Peter talks about.
  987. We no longer live for the
    passions of the flesh,
  988. but for the will of God.
  989. There is a power whereby we no longer
  990. surrender our members
  991. as these servants of unrighteousness.
  992. But now, to righteousness,
  993. the body becomes the
    dwelling place of God.
  994. The very temple of the Holy Spirit.
  995. Brethren, there is power in regeneration.
  996. Transforming power.
  997. That is where the power of God unleashed.
  998. It's in His Son.
    It's in the cross.
  999. And that's what Paul is doing here.
  1000. He's just wanting to show us
  1001. this wretchedness of man,
  1002. so that it magnifies the power
  1003. and the grace of God.
  1004. Isn't our salvation just amazing?

  1005. Amen.
  1006. Thank You, Lord.
  1007. You're dismissed.