LET FREEDOM RING!
“The Anchor Holds”
Hebrews 6: 13-20
Steve N. Wagers
Gardenview Baptist Church
“The Anchor Holds”
Hebrews 6: 13-20
Pastor Steve N. Wagers
The Pledge that is Unbreakable!
A) The Pledge that was
B) The Pledge that was
The Provision that is Unmovable!
A) Help in the Present
B) Hope for the Future
The Person that is Unchangeable!
A) He cannot be
B) He cannot be
October of 1991, a storm stronger than any in recorded history hit the coast
off Gloucester, Massachusetts. The storm was officially known as “the
Halloween nor’easter of 1991.” It has become known as the “Perfect Storm”
inspiring both the book and movie with the same title. It is called the
“Perfect Storm” because it was three storms combined into one—Hurricane
Grace that was beginning to die out in the Atlantic, energy coming across
from the Great Lakes, and an old frontal system that was around the New
Sebastian Junger in his book “The Perfect Storm” wrote: “A mature
hurricane is by far the most powerful event on Earth. The combined nuclear
arsenals of the United States and the former Soviet Union don’t contain
enough energy to keep a hurricane going for one day.”
the case of the Perfect Storm, when these three storms combined, it
regenerated the hurricane creating an almost apocalyptic situation in the
Atlantic Ocean. Boats encountered waves of 100 feet—the equivalent of a
ten-story building. Winds blasted over the ocean at more than 100 mph. Waves
30 and 40 feet high battered the New England coast, destroying 200 homes,
and property damage totaling $500 million. Nine people died, including the
six-man crew of a swordfish boat named the Andrea Gail from Gloucester,
One need not be a Christian very long to encounter the storms of life.
It might not be in the form of a hurricane, but it could be through
the loss of a job, the break-up of a marriage, the problems in a church, or
the death of a loved one.
Suddenly, by the storm of disease, the storm of defeat, the storm of
depression, the storm of discouragement, or the storm of death our life can
become like the Andrea Gail, tossed like a loose piece of garbage, on the
angry sea of life. It is not a
matter of “if” they come; it is only a matter of “when” they come.
Yet, through it all, we have the assurance that God is still God; He’s still
on the throne; He’s still in charge; He’s still the Master of the Sea; and,
the anchor still holds.
As C. H. Spurgeon said, C. H. Spurgeon said, "There is no attribute more
comforting to His children than that of God's sovereignty. Under the most
adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that
sovereignty has ordained them, overrules them, and sanctifies them. There is
nothing for which the children ought to more earnestly contend than the
doctrine of their Master over all creation-the Kingship of God over all the
works of His own hands-the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that
throne...for it is God upon the Throne whom we trust."
As I ponder the verses of our text, I am drawn to the wonderful song penned
by Ray Boltz:
The anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The anchor holds, though the sails are town.
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the waging seas,
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm.
In verse 18 the writer speaks of how we have
consolation.” The word “consolation” is the Greek word
paraklesis that Jesus used to speak of the ministry of the
Holy Spirit. He is the
Paraklete, or One who comes alongside to help us.
It is a word that speaks of exhortation and encouragement.
The adjective “strong” is a word that means “powerful, mighty.” It was used
at times to speak of an army. The writer is telling us that we have a mighty
source of encouragement. This source of encouragement acts like an army or
fortress against any discouragement in our life.
A.W. Pink said of our text: “These words are a most glorious message
which is designed to set the hearts of God’s children at perfect rest, allay
their fears of uncertainty, strengthen their faith, and cause them to look
forward to the future with the most implicit confidence.”
In other words, the writer of Hebrews is reminding that regardless of what
we are fighting, what we are facing, what we are feeling, what we are
fleeing, or what we are fearing, we have a mighty source of consolation and
encouragement because “The Anchor Holds.”
From our text we find 3 reasons why the anchor holds in spite of the storm.
First of all, the anchor holds because of:
1. The PLEDGE that is
In verse 18 we read that it is
for God to lie.” The writer assures us that what God has said
is absolutely reliable; and that God cannot break His promises.
I read about a fifth grader named Johnny that was always late for school and
he always had a big lie explaining why. The teacher was fed up with his lies
and told him that if he was late again she was going to take him to the
principal. The next day he showed up two hours late. His story was, “I left
home two hours early today so I had time to fish in a pond on my way to
school. I caught a 17-pound trout and had to take it home. If I hadn’t
cleaned it and put it in the freezer, my mom would have been mad. That’s why
I’m late.” The teacher took him by the arm and escorted him to the
She explained what had been happening and told him the story Johnny had just
told her. The principal thought to himself, “I’m going to tell this boy a
lie so big he will never tell another lie again.” The principal sat down in
front of Johnny and said, “Let me tell you about you my trip to school this
I was walking to school through the park when I heard something behind me. I
turned around and there was a giant grizzly bear behind me. He was 24-feet
tall and had 6-inch fangs. He was going to eat me, Johnny! Just then a
little dog ran out from the bushes, jumped on the bear, killed it, and ate
the whole bear right there in front of me. Now, what do you think of that,
Johnny?” Johnny smiled and said, “Oh yeah, that’s my dog Sparky. That’s his
third bear this week.”
A new book, "The Day America Told the Truth," reveals that only 13
percent of Americans see all 10 Commandments as binding on us today.
91 percent lie regularly, at home or work.
In answer to the question, "Whom have you regularly lied to?" the
numbers are staggering. 86
percent lied to parents, and 75 percent to friends.
One-third of AIDS carriers admit not to having told their lovers.
Most workers admit to goofing off for an average of 7 hours a week, and half
admit that they regularly call in sick when they are perfectly well. 
There is one thing you can be absolutely certain about and that is God will
never lie. He cannot lie! Titus 1:2 tells us that one thing God cannot do is
that He “cannot lie.”
It is not that He has not lied, or He will not lie; but HE CANNOT LIE.
His word is unbreakable.
To illustrate this truth, the writer of Hebrews used the illustration of
Abraham. He reminds us of how God assured Abraham of the total reliability
of His sacred pledge that is unbreakable. First, notice:
A) The Pledge that was GIVEN
Verse 13 speaks of God making a promise to Abraham. What was promised is
identified in verse 14:
Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”
We find God giving Abraham a 7-fold promise in Genesis 12: 1-3 to make of
him a great nation, bless him, make his name great,
make him a blessing, bless them that blessed his seed, curse
them that cursed his seed, and that all of history’s families would
be blessed through him. That is the pledge God gave to Abraham.
But, just as God gave Abraham a pledge, God has given us many wonderful
pledges. In verse 12 we are
“That ye be
not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit
2 Peter 1: 4 states that we
given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might
be partakers of the divine nature.”
In other words, this Book is filled with the many pledges and promises that
God has given us to enjoy and experience.
Furthermore, God wants us to experience the reality of these
We not only see the pledge that was given, but also:
B) The Pledge that was GUARANTEED
We read in verse 17,
God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the
immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath.” The
word “immutability” simply means that God’s promises are unchanging.
To say it another way, if God makes a promise, He will keep that promise.
In the case of Abraham, to assure him that He would keep His promise, he
it by an oath.”
In other words, God gave a pledge and then guaranteed that pledge by an
oath, or a covenant.
God gave Abraham a promise in Genesis 12 and then confirmed that promise in
Genesis 15. In Genesis 15:9 we read that God told Abraham: “Take me an
heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of
three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then, we
read that Abraham “took unto him all these, and divided them in the
midst, and laid each piece one against another.”
In the Old Testament there were three kinds of legal covenants. There is
what is called the covenant of salt. Salt was a preserver, and
the salt covenant was symbolic that a covenant would endure and be
preserved. An example is found in 2 Chronicles 13:5 where God gave the
covenant of salt to David, and his sons, regarding the throne of Israel.
There was also the covenant of the sandal. An example is found
in Ruth 4: 7-8, where Boaz “drew off his shoe” to buy a piece of
land. One would take off their
shoe or sandal and give it to another to guarantee the transaction. Today,
we would call it lien.
The third type of covenant was called the blood covenant. It
was this kind of covenant that we find in Genesis 15 between God and
When two people would close a deal, or as we would say, notarize a contract,
they would take sacrifices and divide them. Then, the two would walk between
the sacrifices sealing or guaranteeing the covenant by blood.
When God asked Abraham to take and divide the sacrifices, He was telling him
that He was going to guarantee His promise by a blood covenant.
However, as you read the story you find something interesting happening. We
read in Hebrews 6:13,
God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware
You read in Genesis 15 that as the sun was setting a deep sleep came upon
Abraham. While Abraham was sleeping, God passed through the sacrifices by
God was telling Abraham that the keeping of His promises did not depend on
Abraham, but totally upon Him. It was an oath that God took alone in which
He was saying to Abraham, “I have made you a promise and I will keep that
promise. It is a promise that is binding on me and me alone.”
Just as God gave and guaranteed His pledge to Abraham, He gives and
guarantees the reliability of His promises to us in Hebrews 6. He is saying
to us, “I have given you my pledge, and it is guaranteed.
If I said it, I will do it.
I will keep my promises, because it doesn’t depend on you, it depends
While a member of Congress, Abraham Lincoln was once criticized by a friend
for his seeming rudeness in declining to test the rare wines provided by
their host. When challenged, Lincoln replied “I mean no disrespect, but I
promised my precious mother only a few days before she died that I would
never use anything intoxicating as a beverage, and I consider that promise
as binding today as it was the day I gave it.”
The friend objected, “But, there is a great difference between a child
surrounded by a rough class of drinkers and a man in a home of refinement.”
Lincoln replied, “A promise is a promise forever, and when made to a mother,
it is doubly binding.”
The writer of Hebrews spoke of
immutable things” in verse 18. Those two immutable things are
His “counsel” and His “oath.” There is the pledge itself and
the oath by which God confirmed that pledge. Thus, it is a “doubly binding”
promise, and a promise from God is a promise forever.
W. E. Daniels comments, “In a promise, the assertion of an intention is
made; in an oath, the person’s character is publicly and solemnly put behind
the assertion. In a promise, we
look at the words of the person; in an oath, we look at the person behind
the words.” 
The eternal character and integrity of God is on the line here.
Either He keeps His promises or He doesn’t.
But, the text states that God has given and guaranteed His pledge.
Let me put it this way. If God
has pledged to save, you can rest assured that He will save.
If God has pledged to secure, He will secure.
If God has pledged to sustain, He will sustain.
If God has promised to supply your every need, you can take it to the
bank that, He will supply your every need.
You say: 'It's impossible.' God
says: “All things are possible.” (Luke 18:27)
You say: 'I'm too tired.'
God says: “I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: 'Nobody loves me.' God
says: “I so loved the world that I gave my only begotten Son.”(John
3:16) You say: 'I can't go on.'
God says: “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
You say: 'I can't do it.' God
says: “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”
You say: 'I'm not able.’ God
says: “I am able.”(2 Corinthians 9:8)
You say: 'It's not worth it.'
God says: “The sufferings of this present world are not worthy
to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”(Romans
You say: 'I can't forgive myself.’
God says: “I forgive you.”(I John 1:9)
You say: 'I can't manage.'
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians
You say: 'I'm afraid.' God
says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
You say: 'I’m at my wits end, and I don’t know what to do.'
God says: “Cast all your cares on ME, for I care for you.”
(I Peter 5:7)
You say: 'I feel all alone.'
God says: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
God has given us His pledge, He has guaranteed His pledge through His
counsel and His covenant; thus, if God said it, HE WILL DO IT!
The anchor holds because of the sacred pledge that is unbreakable.
Secondly, the anchor holds because of:
2. The PROVISION that is UNMOVABLE!
verses 18-19, the writer moves from the promises of God to the provision of
God. His pledge is sacred and
unbreakable. His provision is
special and unmovable. He
describes a place of safety and a position of security.
so doing, he reminds us that, through this provision, we find:
A) HELP in the PRESENT
verse 18, he states that we
strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set
before us.” His
reference is to the cities of refuge that God appointed in Numbers 35:16.
appointed 6 cities as a place of refuge for someone who accidentally and
unintentionally killed someone. In case an angry family member or friend
sought revenge, a person could flee to one of these cities. These cities of
refuge were built on high hills or mountains so the one seeking asylum would
have no difficulty seeing them or keeping them in sight.
roads that led to these cities were lined with stones to serve as a guide.
Once a person was inside one of the cities of refuge, no one could harm them
or lay a hand on them.
names of these 6 cities of refuge are a message in themselves.
The name Kedesh means, “Righteousness.”
The name Shechem means, “Shoulder.”
The name Hebron means, “Fellowship.”
The name Bezer means, “Fortress.”
The name Ramoth means, “Heights.”
The name Golan means, “Exiled.”
you see the connection between those names, the meaning of those names and
our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ?
The writer says that we have a
consolation” and can flee for
to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
other words, in times of danger, distress, depression, desperation and
discouragement, we can come to Christ who is our Kedesh, and gives us His
“righteousness.” Then, like a
“good shepherd,” He becomes our Shechem and carries us on His “shoulder,”
and we enter into Hebron or “fellowship” with Him.
name becomes our Bezer, or our “fortress.”
As believers, we are now seated in Ramoth, in the “heights” of
Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, even though we belong to Golan, and are
nothing more than “exiles” in this world.
I once read how in a certain section of the Holy Land the wild rabbits had
learned a secret found in large lily patches that protected them from the
wild dogs. The rabbits would run to these lily patches and the fragrance of
the lilies prevented the dogs from picking up their scent and finding them.
Thank God we have a refuge when the hounds of hell and trouble are on our
trail. We can run to the Lily of the Valley, who is our City of Refuge, and
find help in the present.
But, as if that wasn’t enough, we not only find help in the present, but:
B) HOPE for the FUTURE
writer reminds us that we not only find help in the right here and now, but
we have hope for the sweet bye and bye.
In verse 19, he describes it,
we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth
into that within the veil.”
tells us that our anchor is not anchored in this world, but in the very
presence of God. The word “sure” stresses the indestructibility of
the anchor. The word
“steadfast” refers to the incorruptibility of the anchor.
This anchor knows no weakness and cannot be weakened by time.
Stuart translates the phrase, “We have an anchor the soul that is
unfailing and firmly fixed.”
In other words, this anchor of the soul, the Lord Jesus Christ, gives
us help in the present and hope for the future.
WE have the anticipation of a better day, and the assurance of a
once came across an ad that read:
100% Pure Water Free
Immunity from Accidents
Best of Society
SECURE A CONTRACT TODAY FOR THE NEW JERUSALEM
Praise God I have secured a contract for a new world. The old account was
settled long ago and I know that I will live in a land where:
No chilling winds, nor pois’nous breath,
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more!
believers, we are not vagabonds, who have no home, or strangers, who are
away from home; but, we are pilgrims on our way home.
We are headed to a land that is fairer than day where there will be
(Rev. 21:1), no
more pain, no more death
(21:4) and, no
Thanks be to God, this life is not all that there is, because the “half has
not been told.” My Heavenly
Father owns the property on both sides of the river, and what lies ahead is
a bigger day, a brighter day, and a better day.
The anchor holds because of the sacred pledge that is unbreakable, the
special provision that is unmovable; but, also because of:
3. The PERSON that is UNCHANGEABLE!
What a glorious thought, the pledge that is unbreakable.
What a glorious thought, the provision that is unmovable.
But, all of this is made possible because of the person that is
is this person? It is the Lord
Jesus Christ Himself, and the writer reminds us that:
A) He cannot be RIVALED
verse 19, we are reminded of the
the soul that is sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the
veil.” What or,
a better question would be, Who is this anchor that has “entered…within
answer is given in verse 20,
Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.”
You can say, “Preacher, how can you be so sure that the anchor will
hold through all of the storms, struggles, stresses, problems, perils,
predicaments, difficulties, dilemmas and discouragements of life?”
know that the anchor holds, because the anchor is none other than the
unrivaled person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Anchor of the
love the picture of the Forerunner that is given to us in this text. The
picture is that of an ancient sailing vessel finding its way through a
narrow entrance into a harbor. This was one the trickiest maneuvers the
captain of a ship had to make. As his ship moved through the opening, he had
to guard against a gust of wind running it onto a reef or a sandbar.
minimize the risk, the captain would lower the ships anchor into a smaller
boat, which would then be rowed through the narrow entrance of the harbor.
The anchor would then be dropped and the ship, with its sails down, would be
pulled past the obstacles, through the narrow opening, and into the safety
of the harbor.
writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is our both our Anchor and Forerunner.
As our Anchor He will never be moved; as our Forerunner, He has already
entered the harbor, “into that within the veil,” into the very
presence of God. He has a hold of us and is pulling us into the harbor.
Seeing that He is already there guarantees our safe arrival.
has not left it up to anyone else, but Jesus Himself has gone ahead and is
the presence of God assuring us that He will bring us home safely.
say, “Pastor, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take it, or if I’m
going to be able to make it!”
If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, I guarantee you that you can take it, and
I know that you will make it, because the He is the anchor that, through all
of the troubles of life, is pulling you to Himself.
cannot be rivaled, and thank God:
B) He cannot be REPLACED
is our “anchor of the soul.”
He is “sure” and “steadfast.”
He is our Forerunner. He
is the Lord of Glory. He is the
Lord of Lords. He is the Lord
Jesus Christ who cannot be rivaled and He cannot be replaced.
writer states that He has been
high priest FOR EVER after the order of Melchisedec.”
In other words, the position of Christ can never be replaced or
superseded. God placed Christ
into this position, and no one else can ever step into it.
He cannot be impeached, He cannot be replaced, and He cannot be voted
out of office.
Levitical high priest did not enter the sanctuary as a forerunner, but as a
representative. He entered a
place into which no one else might follow him, in the people’s stead.
That was the Old Economy.
the New Economy, Christ is the High Priest, but He has gone somewhere as a
“forerunner” where His people CAN follow Him.
In other words, He has gone “within the veil” into the very
presence of God to pave the way for us to come “boldly into the throne of
grace” into full fellowship with God, both now and forever.
think of the time that the renowned Lloyd C. Douglas visited an old man for
his daily violin lesson. One
morning, Douglas walked into his teacher’s studio and said, “Well, what’s
the good news for today?”
Putting down his violin the teacher walked over to a tuning fork to strike
it bluntly and said, “There is the good news for today.
That, my son, is the musical note ‘A.’ It was ‘A’ all day yesterday,
it is ‘A’ all day today; and, it will be ‘A’ all day tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen, He was “the anchor of the soul” all day yesterday, He
is “the anchor of the soul” all day today; and, He will be “the anchor of
the soul” all day tomorrow.
stands in a class all His own.
He is forever the Great Unlike.
He is without rival or replacement to His person, His position, His
prominence, His preeminence, and His power.
So, in the midst of:
can create a world by stepping out from behind the curtain of nowhere onto
the platform of nothing, and speak it all into existence.
He can part the waters of a sea simply by blowing His nose.
He can sustain 4 million people on manna and water for 40 years, and
none died of starvation.
can touch the womb of a virgin and cause her to give birth to a Son and call
His name Jesus. He can walk on
the water, He can open blinded eyes, He can give life to the dead, He can
make the lame to walk, He can turn water into wine, and He can come back to
life after being dead 3 days.
can take a hell-bound, hell-deserving sinner, an outcast of society, a
murderer on death row, and make him a brand new creature.
He can do all of those things; but, He cannot FAIL US, He cannot FLEE
us, He can FORGET us, and He cannot FORSAKE us.
Why? Because the anchor holds!
All you need to do
is drop your anchor on the “anchor of the soul” that holds today,
tomorrow and forever.
"Disciplines of a Godly Man," R. Kent Hughes, pg. 123.
Hebrews, W. E. Daniels, pg. 57.
“A Question Every Man Must Answer”
Job 14: 14
Pastor Steve N. Wagers
During an impassioned sermon on death and facing judgment, the visiting
evangelist said forcefully, "every member of this church is going to die and
face judgment." Early on in the
sermon he noticed a gentleman smiling on the front row.
The minister kept pushing his theme, "Every member of this church is going
to die." The guy smiled even
more while everyone else in the congregation had a very somber look.
In an effort to get through to the guy, the preacher repeated it
several more times forcefully, "EACH MEMBER OF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO DIE."
Each time the phrase was repeated, the man smiled more.
This really got the preacher wound up and he preached even harder.
The man still smiled.
The preacher finally walked down off the platform to stand just in front of
the smiling man and shouted, "I SAID EACH MEMBER OF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO
At the end of the service the man was smiling from ear to ear. While
everyone else was looking pretty grim from the prospect of entering
eternity, the man seemed quite happy.
After the service the preacher jumped down off the platform and
worked through the crowd to find the man.
Pulling him aside, the preacher said, "I don't get it. Every time I
said, 'Every member of this church is going to die,' you were laughing.
I want to know why you did that?"
The man looked the preacher square in the eye and said confidently,
"Because, I'm not a member of this church."
One of the Bible’s greatest forms of communication is by means of questions.
Cain--“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Abraham--“Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?”
Moses--“Who is on the Lord’s side?”
David—“Is there not a cause?”
Malachi—“Will a man rob God?”
James—“What is your life?”
Jesus—“What shall it profit a man?”
One of the greatest questions is asked in Job 14: 14,
“If a man
die shall he live again?”
That is a great question because it is a question everyone
must answer. Everyone faces the
question, and everyone must find an answer to the question,
“If a man
dies shall he live again?”
It leads us to consider:
1. The FACT of Death that
LIES BEFORE Us!
Throughout his discussions with God Job asked many great questions.
“Why did God bring man into being?”
Can a man really know God?”
Does God really care about man?”
Does a good man have a chance with God any more than an evil man?”
All of those are great questions, but none greater than the question,
“If a man
die, shall he live again?”
It is a great question because it brings into view the fact
of death that lies before every one of us.
I'm sure most of you have heard the expression, "The Dead Man's Hand."
It originated on August 2, 1876.
Wild Bill Hickock sat down at a poker table in Saloon #10, in
Deadwood, South Dakota, and began to play his hand.
Jack McCall entered the saloon, pulled out a gun, and shot Wild Bill Hickock
in the back. As he laid there,
those around noticed the cards that remained in his hand, a pair of Aces,
and a pair of 8's. That
combination, ever since, has been known as "the dead man's hand."
Every one of us has been dealt, and at some time or another must play “The
Dead Man’s Hand.” The facts of
death are astounding.
The death rate is 100 PERCENT.
In other words, 1 out of 1 person dies.
That’s 3 every second; 180 every minute; 11,000 every hour, 250,000
every day play “The Dead Man’s Hand.”
The fact of the matter is that death is just as much a part of life as is
birth. The day we are born is
the day we begin to die. Death
is not a fable or a folly; it is a FACT!
There are no excuses, no escapes and no exits.
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
“Man that is born of a
woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a
flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.”
“By one man sin entered
into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned.”
“The wages of sin is
“It is appointed unto
men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth I was considered the most powerful
woman on earth. But, as she was
dying, she said, "Oh my God! It
is over. I have come to the end
of it. To have only one life,
and to be done with it! To have
lived, and loved and triumphed; and now to know that it is over!
One may defy everything else, but none can defy death!"
In his book, “Can Man Live Without God?” Ravi Zacharias relates a
conversation he had with British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge.
Svetlana Stalin, daughter of the evil Soviet dictator Josef Stalin,
spent some time in the Muggeridge home.
According to Svetlana, as Stalin lay dying, plagued with terrifying
hallucinations, he suddenly sat halfway up in bed, clinched his fist toward
heaven, and fell back on his pillow, dead.
We all share the same common denominator.
We are all sinners; and, we all must die.
Outside of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, NONE OF US ARE
GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE!
Death is unpredictable. Death
is unmistakable. Death is
unavoidable. It is a fact that
lies before us.
With the fact of death that lies before us comes:
2. The FEAR of Death that
LIVES within Us!
When it comes to death, most of us are like the late, great preacher B. R.
Lakin, “If I knew when I was going to die, I wouldn’t go there!”
Death is an uncomfortable subject.
It is a subject that creates fear and unrest.
It is a subject we do not like to think about, much less talk about.
Much of the fear is created because of the mystery of death.
It is unknown territory.
It is unchartered territory. It is unseen territory.
In fact, the proof of the fear of death lies in the fact that man has
sought to find an answer to what lies beyond the grave.
“Is this life all that there is?
Is there something beyond this life?”
No after life, because there is no God.
Some form of immortality
Believe that man will come back in some shape, form or figure.
In one of his works, Edgar Allen Poe pictured a man strapped to a pit and
above the pit was a giant pendulum.
The pendulum would swing with a sharp blade on the end of it.
Every time the pendulum would swing, it would get closer, and closer
to the man. Poe would say,
"I am the man strapped to the pit of life, and with every beat of my heart,
I'm just that much closer to death."
The fact of death that lies before and the fear of death that lives within
us must cause us to consider:
3. The FUTURE of Death that LOOMS beyond Us!
“If a man
dies, shall he live again?”
The word “live” speaks of much more than physical, temporal
existence. Literally Job is
asking, “If a man dies, will he live immediately after he dies?”
The indication is that THERE IS something on the other side of the grave.
He goes on to say,
days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
and I will answer thee.”
Apparently, Job expected something on the other side of death.
He recognized that death had a future that loomed beyond this life.
Let’s find an answer to the question, “If a man dies, shall he live
again?” Let’s ask:
The Rich Man/Lazarus (Luke 16)
The rich man died and was BURIED.
Lazarus died and was CARRIED (“by the angels into Abraham’s
“If a man dies, shall he live again?”
Both would testify that after a man dies, he will live again.
However, the rich man would say, “Absolutely!
If a man dies rejecting Jesus Christ, he will live again forever and
ever apart from God in hell.”
Death for someone who rejects Jesus Christ is altogether different from some
who receives Jesus Christ.
Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11: 25)
“If a man dies, shall he live again?”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
Paul’s final letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
“If a man dies, shall he live again?”
Paul writes, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my
departure is at hand.
I have fought a
I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
The word “departure” was a word that carried many pictures.
It was used to speak of yoke being removed from the ox.
The days’ work was over, the labor had ended, and it was now time to
Paul is saying, “My work is over.
My job is complete. My
labor is ended. It is now time
to remove the burdensome yoke of this life and go to rest on Heaven’s bright
The word “departure” was also often used to speak of a ship ready to
set sail on its voyage. The
ship would pull up its anchor, hoist its sails and be ready to sail to a new
Paul is saying, “I have stepped on board of The Old Ship of Zion, and I
am ready to lift up my anchor, my sails are hoisted, and I ready to sail to
God’s new land.”
“If a man dies, shall he live again?”
Let’s allow the same man who asked the question to answer the question.
Job goes on to say, “All the days of my appointed time will I
wait, till my change come.
and I will answer thee.”
How can you be so sure Job?
“For I know that my
redeemer liveth, and that
he shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth:
my skin worms destroy this
body, yet in my flesh shall
I see God:
I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;
though my reins be consumed
(Job 19: 25-27)
Let’s ask Wallace Gene Jewell, “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
If he could answer, he would answer, “If our earthly house
of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not
made with hands, eternal in the heaven.”
For, “To be absent from the body” is to be “present with the
Lord.” (2 Cor. 5: 1, 8)
Wallace Jewell, “if a man dies, shall he live again?”
His answer would be,“O
where is thy sting? O grave,
where is thy victory?
The sting of
death is sin;
and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to
which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Cor. 15: 55-57)
Wallace Jewell, “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
His answer would be, “Blessed are the dead which die in the
Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labours; and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14: 13)
Wallace Jewell, “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
He would answer, not because he was a good man, but because he was a
grace man; not because he was a successful man, but because he was a
saved man, “You better believe it!
I’m more alive now than I’ve ever been before!”
Back during the days of the Civil War, following a battle which left many
wounded, hurting and dying, a Confederate surgeon was going from body to
body giving comfort and aid to the wounded.
For about 3 hours he had done everything he could do, and as a
result, he was totally exhausted.
He found a stump and sat down to rest.
Suddenly, he heard a faint voice in the distance calling, "Here!"
He pulled himself up off the stump and said, "Son, I'm coming," and
he used that faint voice as his guide.
Finally, he came to an 18-year old Confederate soldier who was just a stub
of a man. His wounds were so
severe that the surgeon knew that he was dying.
The surgeon stooped down and said, "I'm here, son, and I'll do
everything I can do to help you.
I heard you calling 'Here,' and I'm here now to help."
Almost immediately the wounded soldier opened his eyes and said,
"Sir, I wasn't talking to you."
The surgeon, somewhat surprised, said, "Son, you've been saying 'Here, here'
for the last 3 or 4 minutes. If
you weren't talking to me why were you calling out?"
The soldier replied, "Sir, about 10 minutes ago they began to call
roll in Heaven. About 3 minutes
ago I heard them call my name; and, I was telling them that I was 'Here!'
Wednesday morning at around 8:00 a.m. they began to call roll in Heaven.
At 8:55 a.m., they called the name of Wallace Gene Jewell and because
he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior he answered,
“I’m here! I’m here!
And some glad morning, the Lord of Glory will step out on the
clouds of glory give a shout of glory as the
angel of glory blows the trumpet of glory so the
children of glory can be taken to their home of glory.
At that moment, every one that has been Glory Born will suddenly become
Glory Bound. For the child of
God death is not something we need to fear because our Father owns property
on both sides of the river.
What a great homecoming day,
What a day in Heaven twill be.
When we bid this world goodbye,
And our home at last we see.
What is your answer to the question, “If a man dies, shall he live
again?” 100 years from now
you will be able to answer that question, because 100 years from now you
will be more alive than you’ve ever been in 1 of 2 places, Heaven or Hell.
You’re not ready to live until you are ready to die!
But, once you are ready to die you are then ready to live.
The only way you are ready to die is to invite Jesus Christ into
“Get Dressed for the Battle”
Eph. 6: 10-18
In his book “The Holy Spirit,” Billy Graham writes about an Eskimo
fisherman who came to town every Saturday afternoon. He always brought his
two dogs with him. One was white and the other was black. He had taught them
to fight on command.
Every Saturday afternoon in the town square the people would gather and
these two dogs would fight and the fisherman would take bets. On one
Saturday the black dog would win; another Saturday, the white dog would win
-- but the fisherman always won!
His friend began to ask him how he did it. He said, 'I starve one and feed
the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger.'
We have two natures within us, both struggling for mastery. Which one will
dominate us? It depends on which one we feed.
A. W. Tozer said, "The untended garden will soon be overrun with weeds;
the heart that fails to cultivate truth and root our error will shortly be a
A) By BIRTH
God’s soldiers are not drafted, they are born.
B) For BLESSING
Battle is not meant to break us/bless us
God is in the business of making Giants for Christ.
To have a fight, we must have a foe.
A) An INTERNAL Foe
[Gal. 5: 19-21]
Our flesh is capable of anything.
Without the devil, we would still sin.
We are not sinners because we sin; we SIN BECAUSE WE ARE SINNERS!
We are born with the propensity and capacity for sin.
Thus, our biggest enemy is ourselves.
God and the devil get blamed for a lot of things they have nothing to
Maude: “The devil made me do
it.” Not true!
[James 1: 13]
“Drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”
B) An EXTERNAL Foe
“the rulers of the darkness of this world.”
World: Gr. kosmos
World system or order
This world has always been opposed to truth, to Christ and to Christianity.
We fight against the world system every single day.
I.e. Media, politics, religion
C) An INFERNAL Foe
Our real enemy is exposed.
The devil is like a bully on a playground.
His goal is to use our flesh and the world to defeat us; then, he
stands back and watches.
Our infernal foe uses our internal foe and external foe to try to defeat us.
Child always crawls through the fence to go next door to play and tear
something up. He always blamed
it on the devil. Mother said,
“The next time the devil comes say, “Get behind me Satan.”
The next day the boy was next door again.
He said, “I told the devil to get behind me, then he pushed me
through the fence.”
The Bible likens Satan to 5 different animals.
Genesis 3, he's a serpent trying to deceive God's people.
Matthew 13, he's a bird trying to despoil God's harvest.
John 10, he's a wolf wanting to dismantle God's flock.
1 Peter 5, he's a lion trying to devour God's children.
Revelation 12, he's a dragon wanting to destroy God's Son.
God has not left us empty-handed.
He has given us everything we need for “life and godliness.”
A) Our MIGHTY WEAPONRY
(belt held everything in place)
(Breastplate covered from neck to waist.
Protected vital organs.)
(Sandals gave sure footing on rocky ground.)
(Shield made of wood covered with leather.
Primary means of protection.)
(Helmet protected the head-mind)
(Prayer is the life-line.)
At the beginning of every day, we must go to battle FULLY CLOTHED!
Every piece of the armor is important.
B) Our MARVELOUS VICTORY
We Have STRENGTH from the Lord
We’re not fighting in our strength, but in His strength.
We Can STAND in the Lord
We don’t have to back down from the world, the flesh or the devil.
Kingdom authority is spiritual authority.
Many Christians are praying for something that God has already given
He has given us everything we need to fight the fight.
We just need to SUIT up, SHOW up, and STAND up!
There is nothing to protect our back, because we aren’t to be retreating,
We’re not to be on the defensive, but on the OFFENSIVE.
We not to be moving back; we’re to be moving FORWARD!
Jesus has already won the war!
We’re not fighting to win; we’re fighting because we’ve ALREADY WON!
Martin Luther tells how he overcame the devil.
He said, "When he comes knocking on the door of my heart and asks,
'Who lives here?'" The Lord
Jesus goes to the door and says, "Martin Luther used to live here, but he
has moved out. Now, I live
Then, the devil sees the nail prints in His hands and he takes flight.
A tiger met a lion as they set beside a pool.
Said the tiger to the lion, “Why are you roaring like a fool?”
“That’s not foolish,” said the lion, with a twinkle in his eyes,
They call me the King of all beasts because I advertise.
A rabbit heard them talking, ran on like a streak.
He thought he would try the lion’s plan, but his roar was just a squeak.
A fox came to investigate and had his lunch there in the woods.
And, so my friend, when you advertise, BE SURE YOU’VE GOT THE GOODS!
As believers, we’ve got the goods.
We have everything we need to fight.
The Word of God
The Truth of God
The Son of God
The Spirit of God
The Promises of God
The Power of God
The Presence of God
The Authority of Christ
The Blood of Christ
The Cross of Christ
The Name of Christ
The Provision of Christ
The Work of Christ
All we need to do is get dressed for the battle.
“Free at Last”
Romans 6: 1-14
At Abraham Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address, shortly before his assassination
in 1865, he spoke of how both parties deprecated war, and yet war came.
He stated, "Neither party expected the way, the magnitude, or the
duration, which it has already attained. Each looked for an easier triumph.
Both read the same Bible, and prayed to the same God; and each
invokes His aid against the other."
And with that, Lincoln let his own feelings show through as he spoke of how
strange it was, "that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance
in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces."
Ultimately, the black slaves were set free.
Theoretically, it became legal as early as the first day of the year,
1863, in what has come to be known as the Emancipation Proclamation.
The word spread from Capitol Hill down into the valleys of Virginia, and the
Carolinas, and evens into the plantations of Georgia, Mississippi, and
Alabama. The headlines read,
'Slavery Legally Abolished!'
However, the greater majority of slaves, in the South, went right on living
as though there had been no emancipation.
They went on living like they had never been set free.
How tragic. A war was being
fought. A document had been
signed. Slaves were legally set
free. The word is emancipation.
And yet most continued to live out their years without knowing anything
about it. They had chosen to
remain slaves, though they were legally free.
Even though emancipated, they kept serving the same master throughout their
Yet, 200 years after William Wilberforce helped end the slave trade in Great
Britain, and 144 years after Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in the United
States, the scourge of slavery still exists.
Today 27 million people are enslaved throughout the world.
Between 600,000 and 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are
trafficked across national borders each year.
According to the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, human trafficking
generates an estimated $9.5 billion in annual revenue.
Some 14,500 to 17,500 are trafficked into the U. S. lured from
poverty stricken nations and they're subjected to force, fraud and coercion
for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Although slavery has been abolished nationally, it has also been abolished
spiritually. Yet, there are
many believers who, though they have been set free, continue to live as a
I saw a sign the other day that read, “I’m a slave for Christ,” and the back
of the sign read, “Whose slave are you?”
One of the dangers of preaching salvation by grace alone is that it can be
interpreted as a license to do whatever one wishes.
Baptists, who hold to the fundamental doctrine of the security of the
believer, are often ridiculed because others think that we are advocating a
license to sin.
“You are saved forever, so go live like the devil!”
The Apostle Paul begins Romans 6 as if he already knew what the objection
would be in regards to the grace of God.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
J. B. Phillips, “What a ghastly thought.”
Paul is saying that it is ridiculous to think that because we have
been saved by grace we can continue to live in sin.
He then goes on to point out that, as believers, we are “Free at Last!”
There are 3 key words to understanding Romans 6:
“KNOW, RECKON and YIELD.”
Understanding and appropriating these 3 words in our lives set us free at
last from the presence of sin in our lives.
1. KNOW by IDENTIFICATION
times (v. 3, 6, and 9)
Above everything else, Paul wants us to know and understand our
identification with Christ.
A) The FACT of It
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with
him, that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
At the moment of our salvation, WE DIED WITH CHRIST ON THE CROSS.
He died for sin; we died with Him TO SIN!
It is not that we should die to sin; we HAVE DIED TO SIN!
Greek aorist tense
--It is done
--It is accomplished
--It is finished
--It is final.
R. Kent Hughes:
“Our spiritual history began at the cross.
We were there in the sense that in God’s sight we were joined to Him
who actually suffered on it.
The time element should not disturb us, because if we sinned in Adam, it is
equally possible to have died to sin with Christ.”
We died to sin, in the past tense, when we accepted Christ as our Savior.
It is not a fable or a folly…IT IS A FACT!
B) The FORCE of It
Paul paints a picture to clarify our identity/union with Christ.
It is the picture of baptism.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism
into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we
have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in
the likeness of his resurrection.”
Botanical term-“grown together.”
Pictures a branch bound to a tree.
They are grafted together.
At salvation, we died with Christ.
At baptism, we were buried and raised with Christ.
In other words, we died with Jesus at the Cross, and we have been raised
with Him so that we now share in His resurrection life.
Eph. 3: 20—“according
to the power that worketh in us.”
Many view the Christian life as a gloomy struggle.
They look at these verses as the end of the matter.
There are deaths, but they are for a purpose.
Jesus didn’t die just to die.
He died for a purpose; the purpose of redemption.
Likewise, when we died with Christ, we didn’t die just to die; we
DIED IN ORDER TO LIVE
Jesus died in history. Jesus
rose from the dead in history.
We accepted Christ in history.
We will be raised from the dead in some real, historical moment.
Now, Paul is saying,
“LIVE LIKE IT!”
We are live on the basis of what has happened in the past, as though we were
already in the future.
What is the effect of our identification with Christ?
that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we
believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being
raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he
liveth unto God.”
2. RECKON with DETERMINATION
We “know” that we died with Jesus, have been buried with Jesus, and raised
to “walk in newness of life” with Jesus.
How do we make it work in our daily lives?
We must reckon by determination to understand:
A) The POSITION that is SETTLED
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin.”
“To calculate/impute to one’s account.”
Because Christ died for sin—once and for all—because we died with Him, our
position is settled—once and for all.
By faith, we “reckon” and lay hold of what Christ has imputed to our
Jesus died in history. He rose
in history. We accepted Christ
and died in history. We will be
raised again in some historic moment.
Thus, we “reckon” by faith and live on the basis of the great truth that our
position, with Christ and in Christ, is settled.
Then, we determine:
B) The PROGRESSION that is SOUGHT
We died with Christ. We will be
raised with Christ. We must
“reckon” these things by faith, and then:
also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus
Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that
ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
This is PREVENTIVE THEOLOGY!
We often use CORRECTIVE theology—1 John 1: 9.
However, we should practice PREVENTIVE THEOLOGY.
We don’t have to be bound by sin.
We don’t have to be burdened with sin.
We don’t have to be blinded by sin.
The present tense of the verb, “Keep on counting yourselves dead unto
sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
There is a vast difference between failing to be perfect and allowing sin to
reign in our lives.
Paul is saying, “Reckon, calculate by faith that you died with Christ and
are dead to sin, but you are alive to God.
Thus, do not allow sin to trespass and be the king in your life.”
I heard of a missionary whose wife was very fastidious. They moved into a
small hut, and soon she noticed that the floor was filthy. The first thing
the wife wanted to do was to scrub that floor, so she scrubbed and scrubbed
but to no avail. She began to wonder if she would ever get the floor clean.
Finally, somebody told her the problem. It was a dirt floor! The more she
scrubbed the more dirt she stirred up.
Sin is the dirt floor. We don’t
need to scrub it, we need to seize it and not allow it to have any place in
the lives of dead people.
3. YIELD through CONSECRATION
Francis Shaeffer writes, “We have died to sin.
We are, in the present tense, alive from the dead.
We have, in the present tense, everlasting life.
All right, then, let’s yield ourselves to God.” 
That sounds great, and he is absolutely correct, but we must consider:
A) The PROBLEM We FACE
In verse 13, we face a serious problem.
The verse indicates that there is a possibility that we will “yield”
the “instruments” of our body to become sinful tools.
“Arms or weapons”
Our minds, mouths, eyes, ears, hearts, hands and feet can be, and many times
are, used as arms, weapons and tools of Satan to battle against God.
B) The SOLUTION We FIND
We don’t have to “yield” the “instruments” of our body to sin.
There is a solution to the problem.
yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: yield
yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members
as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have
dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Herein lays the key to living free at last.
Know your identification that you have died with Christ, been buried with
Christ, and will be raised with Christ.
Reckon, by faith, your determination not to allow sin to be a trespasser on
Then, yield by consecration not to allow your body to be a weapon of the
devil, but a weapon of righteousness to God.
Major Ian Thomas:
“To be in Christ, that is redemption; but, for Christ to be in you, that is
sanctification. To be in Christ
makes you fit for Heaven; but, for Christ to be in you makes you fit for
earth. To be in Christ changes
your destination; but, for Christ to be in you changes your destiny.
The one makes Heaven your home; the other makes the world His
Captain Reginald Wallis tells of an incident that took place during the
American Civil War when men were drawn by lot to join the army.
A young man named Wyatt was called up to fight for the South.
He was the sole breadwinner for his very large family.
Realizing this hardship, another young man named Pratt volunteered to
go instead. He was accepted and
drafted, bearing the name and number of Wyatt.
Eventually, Pratt was killed in battle, and having died as the substitute in
the name of another man, the full name of Wyatt was recorded as being killed
At a later day, Wyatt was again called up for service, but at the recruiting
office he stated that he had “died already.”
When the entry was researched, it was discovered that although the real
Wyatt was alive and well, he was dead in the eyes of the authorities,
because he was identified with his substitute.
Therefore, he went free.
In the same way, when Jesus died, I DIED WITH HIM; therefore, I AM FREE AT
Charles Trumbull wrote, “Christ does not want to be our helper, He wants
to be our life. He does not
want us to work for Him; He wants to do His work through us.
Just as we use a pencil to write with, Christ wants to use us as the
fingers of His hand.” 
Jesus died in history. Jesus
rose from the dead in history.
We accepted Christ in history.
We will be raised from the dead in some real, historical moment.
I died with Jesus. I have been
buried with Jesus. I will one
day be raised with Jesus.
So, I say with the late, great Martin Luther King, in the words of the great
Free at Last
Free at Last
Thank God Almighty
1) Romans-Righteousness from Heaven, R. Kent Hughes, pg. 124.
2) The Finished Work of Christ, Francis Schaeffer, pg. 161.
3) The Saving Life of Christ, Major Ian Thomas, pg. 19.
4) The Victorious Life, Charles Trumbull, pg. 118.
“Dead Man Walking”
Romans 7: 14-25
Galatians 2: 20
The 1995 film, “Dead Man Walking,” based on the book of the same
name, tells the story of Sister Helen Prejean, played by Susan Sarandon, who
establishes a special relationship with Matthew Poncelet, a prisoner on
death row, played by Sean Penn.
The title comes from the traditional call in America of "Dead man walking,
dead man walking here!" from a prison guard as a condemned prisoner is led
onto Death Row. The phrase
originated from the 1909 poem by Thomas Hardy titled “The Dead Man
They hail me as one living,
But don’t they know
That I have died of late years,
I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulse less mould,
A pale past picture, screening
Ashes gone cold.
And when my Love’s heart kindled
In hate of me,
Wherefore I knew not, died I
One more degree.
And if when I died fully
I cannot say,
And changed into the corpse-thing
I am to-day.
Yet is it that, though whiling
The time somehow
In walking, talking, smiling,
I live not now.
I believe it is safe to say that Paul qualified as a Dead Man Walking.
In Romans 6, we learn that we died with Jesus on the Cross; thus, we must
KNOW, RECKON, and YIELD.
In Romans 7, the battle still rages.
The dead man is still attempting to live.
1. The STRUGGLE that He ENDURED!
Romans 7 has been a chapter of controversy for years.
Who is the subject?
There are 3 basic views:
1. Non-Christian Pharisee under
the law. This was the view of
the Greek Fathers.
2. A Carnal Christian.
3. A Normal Christian.
This is the held of Augustine, Luther and Calvin. 
The 3rd view is correct.
Paul writes in the 1st person to describe the struggle he
had to endure.
A) A SPIRITUAL Struggle
“For we know
that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
delight in the law of God after the inward man:
I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and
bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
The law is not evil, but essential.
In fact, Paul states in verse 16,
then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that
it is good.”
The law was given so that sin “might appear sin.”
The law is our “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.” (Gal.
It is through the law that a man comes to realize his guilt, and his need of
the Lord Jesus Christ as His Savior.
The law does not get us into Heaven; but, it brings us unto Jesus who gets
us to Heaven.
The law reveals our sin. It
numbers our sin. It lists our
The law of God demands satisfaction, and that satisfaction is only found in
the finished work of Christ.
Paul’s spiritual struggle was that there were 2 natures at work.
One delights in the Law of God.
The other wages war against God.
Paul wants us to feel the emotion he experiences in trying to live up to
God’s standards in his own strength.
He reminds us that A BELIEVER WHO TRIES TO PLEASE GOD IN HIS OWN STRENGTH
WILL FAIL EVERY TIME.
It is not that it won’t be done, or it hasn’t be done; but IT CAN’T BE DONE!
Why? Because the
spiritual struggle leads to:
B) A MORAL Struggle
are some of the most sobering words for a believer in the N. T.
“For I know
that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is
present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For
the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
What is the moral struggle?
“Now if I do
that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with
Someone has said that “Paul must have been a golfer, because all golfers
know that what you want to do you don’t do, and what you don’t want to do,
The greatest Christian, apostle, writer, preacher and pastor that ever
lived, outside of Christ Himself, admits that a moral struggle wages within
He wants to do right, but finds it hard to do.
He doesn’t want to do wrong, but finds it easy to do.
Paul says, “I cannot blame the law.
The law is good. Thus,
the problem is not the law, the problem is ME!”
This is the cry of a believer who is trying, but relying on himself to serve
God, please God and honor God.
Most Christians should want to do right, yet we struggle everyday to do it.
Thus, contrary to our good desires and intentions, we find ourselves slaves
to sinful appetites, ambitions and attitudes.
We don’t want to lose our tempers, but we do it constantly.
We don’t want to use those words, but they just fly off our tongues.
We don’t want to watch those movies, but our fingers are frozen from
changing the channel. We don’t
want to have those thoughts, but our minds fantasize constantly.
It’s not that we don’t have the right intentions, but we are trying to
please God in, and of our own sinful flesh.
Christ has justified us, but we are still part of a fallen world.
Legally, our guilt has been removed; but, factually, we are still waiting
for the redemption of our bodies.
Until then, we will endure a spiritual struggle, a moral struggle, and:
C) A PHYSICAL Struggle
We feel Paul’s disgust, and we hear Paul’s desperation in 7: 24,
wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body
of this death?”
Wretched: “miserable condition”
A murderer, who wasn’t sentenced to crucifixion, was sentenced to be chained
to the dead body of the person he had killed.
He would be chained hand to hand, and foot to foot with that dead body for
the rest of his life.
Eventually, as the dead body began to decay, the decay would spread to the
living man; until, ultimately, the man would die a slow, awful, horrendous
That is the picture here. Paul
is saying, “I am chained to this body of death.
I am disgusted. I am
desperate. I am miserable.”
In one of his works, Edgar Allen Poe pictured a man strapped to a pit and
above the pit was a giant pendulum.
The pendulum would swing with a sharp blade on the end of it.
Every time the pendulum would swing, it would get closer, and closer to the
man. Poe would say, "I am
the man strapped to the pit of life, and with every beat of my heart, I'm
just that much closer to death."
Those words perfectly echo the feeling of the apostle Paul.
He has to endure a spiritual, moral and physical struggle.
2. The SECRET that He ENCOUNTERED!
In Paul’s cry of desperation, he does not say, “What must I do?” but rather,
“Who shall deliver me?”
He found the answer to that question in verse 25:
“I thank God
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In spite of the struggle that he endured, Galatians 2:20 reveals the secret
that he encountered.
Paul discovered the secret to being a dead man walking.
A) The EXTINGUISHED Life
How could Paul “thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” in the
midst of his great struggle.
It is because He discovered the blessed truth, “I am crucified with Christ.”
Paul seems to come to the end of himself with his spiritual, moral and
physical struggle; thus, he cries out, “Lord Jesus, I died with you.
I am crucified with you.
This is your problem; so, you take it!”
IN other words, Paul is saying, “The Law is not enough.
It will never be enough.
But, Christ is enough. I am
crucified with Him. My life is now finished and extinguished.”
I reiterate what I said before, Jesus died in history, He arose in history;
we accepted Him in history, we were buried with Him in baptism in history,
we will be raised in some glorious, future historic moment.
WE ARE DEAD, SO LIVE LIKE IT!!
Our live has been extinguished.
We are crucified with Christ.
Thus, every time the flesh loses its temper, utters vulgar speech, beholds
obscene images, thinks ungodly thoughts, we are living an UNNATURAL life.
A dead man cannot do any of those things.
Thus, the extinguished life leads to:
B) The EXCHANGED Life
am crucified with Christ”
that is the extinguished life.
“nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
That is the exchanged life.
When we came to Christ, our life was put to death.
Our life was extinguished that it might be exchanged with the life of
Lloyd John Ogilvie said, "Today's personal Calvary, death to self, makes
way for resurrection living tomorrow."
What is the exchanged life? It
is the Holy Spirit living out the life of Christ in us, and through us.
There has only been 1 person who has ever lived the Christian life, and that
is Jesus Christ Himself.
Thus, the Christian life is nothing more, nothing less than Jesus.
The Christian life is “the outliving of an indwelling Christ.”
The real question is not is He residing in you; but, IS HE LIVING THROUGH
If He is it is because the old life has been extinguished and exchanged with
3. The SUCCESS that He ENJOYED!
Paul found the secret to pleasing God.
He could not do it, so He allowed Jesus to do.
His old life of sin had been extinguished, and exchanged with the new life
of the Savior.
F. B. Meyer: “This is Paul’s
confession of the power of the cross in his own life.
It stood between him and the past.
His self-life was nailed there, and this new life was no longer
derived from vain efforts to keep the Law, but from the indwelling and
overflowing of the life of Jesus.” 
How was it that he enjoyed such success in his Christian life?
A) The Christ-Life was APPROPRIATED
Paul had been “crucified with Christ,” but he says, “I live.”
That is only half of the story.
The rest of the story is,
not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God.”
Paul was saying, “I live, but it’s not really me who lives any longer.
It is Christ living out His life in me, and through me.”
Paul could say, it is:
Not I, but Christ
And His Death
And His Life
And His Faith
And His Love
And His Grace
Leonard Ravenhill writes:
“Paul had no reputation, and so he had nothing to fight about.
He had no possessions, so he had nothing to worry about.
He had no rights, so he had nothing to defend.
He was already broken, so no one could break him.
He was dead, so no one could kill him.
He had lost everything, so no one could defraud him.
He had nothing, but he needed nothing, because Christ, the
all-in-all, was everything to him, for him, in him and through him.”
Let me repeat: The Christian
life is JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.
It is no denomination, affiliation or participation.
It is not codes, creeds, or even conduct.
It is nothing we do, but everything HE IS!
So, how do we appropriate the Christ-life?
faith of the Son of God.”
We learn it. We love it.
And, then we trust Christ enough to LIVE IT!
In his book, “They Found the Secret,” V. Raymond Edmon writes:
“Just as salvation is by faith, so is the exchanged life.
Just as we accept the Lord Jesus by faith as Savior, so by simple
faith we receive the fulness of His Spirit.
Just as we took Jesus as our sin-bearer, we take the Spirit as our
burden-bearer. Just as we take
Jesus as our penalty for sins that are past, we take the Spirit for power
over sins that are present. The
Savior is our atonement, the Spirit is our advocate.”
We have same the same old engine, but we have received a NEW
Thus, because we are “crucified with Christ,” we can now SHIFT TO
A NEW GEAR, WE NEVER HAD BEFORE!
B) The Christ-Life was APPRECIATED
Paul seems to become overwhelmed with the emotion of it all.
He learns that he no longer has to endure the spiritual, moral and
He has found the secret. It is
the Christ-life. It is all made possible, because, Christ “loved
me, and gave himself for me.”
He appropriates who Christ is in him; but, now he appreciates what Christ
has done for him.
This “outliving of the indwelling Christ” is all because Christ loved
us enough to remove the penalty of sin, and be our victory over the power of
In South America many years ago, an engineering firm was commissioned to
work on a major project.
Ultimately, the task had to be abandoned because so many died of malaria.
But, before the work was totally abandoned, the thickly wooded land
was set ablaze in order to cleanse the infected area.
About 2 years later, the workmen returned to resume operations and were
surprised to find the blackened ground, that had been burned, covered with a
new and unknown type of plant with an exquisite blue flower.
The only conclusion they could make was that the bloom had resulted
from the fire.
Yet, in the same way, from the sentence of death to our sinful flesh can
spring up the blue flower of victory in Jesus.
As Daniel Whittle expressed:
Dying with Jesus by death reckoned mine,
Living with Jesus a new life divine.
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.
Moment by moment, I’m kept in His love,
Moment by moment, I’ve life from above.
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.
You might say, “Pastor, I’m doing all I know to do to try to please the
That may very well be the problem, because you can do nothing to please God
I say to you that it’s time to quit TRYING, and start TRUSTING.
We are dead men walking; so, it’s time we start living like it.
Romans: Righteousness from Heaven, R. Kent Hughes, pg. 142.
“Not I, but Christ,” Stephen Olford, pg. 27.
3) “They Found
the Secret,” V. Raymond Edman, pg. 55.
“What Does Jesus Look Like?”
Galatians 5: 22-24
A little boy was punished, confined to his room, but he would always sneak
out after his parent’s went to bed.
He would escape from his window, and then climb down an old fruit
One day, his father told him that he was going to chop down that fruit tree
because it had not borne any fruit for years.
That evening, the boy and his friend bought a bushel of apples and,
during the night, tied the apples on the branches of the true.
The next morning, the man could not believe his eyes.
He said to his wife, “Honey, I can’t believe it.
That old tree that has been barren for so long is covered with
apples. And the most amazing
thing is that it is a PEAR TREE!
Did you know that the Bible compares every good, godly and growing Christian
to a tree? It is because a tree
bears fruit of itself to indicate that it is not dead and lifeless.
I think of the little boy who was disappointed with the smallness of the egg
his bantam had laid. He went
downtown, returned with a large package, unwrapped it, and pulled out a
large ostrich egg. He held it
up to his little bird and said, “Now, take a good look at this and try
I’m sure that is the way many Christians feel as they look at their
unproductive and unfruitful lives.
Major Ian Thomas said, "Through the Holy Spirit, man can make himself
available to God, and God is prepared to make Himself available to man.
The Spirit becomes the Agent of a mutual inter-availability.
All there is of God is available to every human being who is
available to all there is of God."
Let’s review what we have discovered so far from the past several weeks.
We are in a battle against the world, the flesh and the devil.
But, we have been given the “whole armor of God” to use in the
We learn some truths that many Christians never learn.
We have been crucified with Christ.
The day that we were saved, our “old man was crucified with
We died with Jesus on the cross.
As he died for our sin, the day we were saved, we died TO OUR SIN.
We must “know” this blessed fact.
Then, we must “reckon” ourselves “dead unto sin, but alive unto
God through Jesus Christ.”
Once we “know” that we died with Christ; we then, “reckon” and determine
that we will not allow sin to “reign in our mortal bodies, that we
should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
Then, once we “know” and “reckon,” we then “yield” the members of our
body as “instruments of righteousness.”
Paul knew that his old man was crucified with Christ; he reckoned
himself dead unto sin; and, he yielded his members as instruments of
righteousness; but, the BATTLE RAGES ON!
He admitted that “in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.”
And, the good things that he desired to do, he found hard to
do; and, the bad things he despised to do, he found easy to do.
He felt as if he was chained to a dead, defiled, and despicable body when he
cried, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver from this body of
He didn’t ask, “What can I do?” because he discovered that he couldn’t do
anything to win the battle against the flesh. Instead, he cried, “Who
shall deliver me?”
Galatians 2: 20:
Apparently, Paul found the secret to his struggle, because he
declared, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet, not
I, but Christ liveth in me. And
the life that I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Paul was saying, “Lord, I died with you.
I was buried with you in baptism.
I will be raised with you some glorious day, so this is your battle.
You take it. You fight
it, because you’ve already won it.”
Paul reminds us that any Christian who tries to serve God, honor God, please
God, or live for God in their own strength, will FAIL EVERY TIME.
There is nothing we could ever do in our flesh to please God.
The only thing God will accept is the finished work of His Son.
Thus, God never intended for us to do anything, except die so Jesus can live
the live only He can live.
So, we have established the blessed truths that Jesus died in history, he
was buried in history and He rose again in history.
Thus, as believers, we died with Christ in history, we were buried with
Christ (in baptism) in history, and we will be raised from the dead at some
future historic moment.
In other words, we are DEAD PEOPLE; IT’S TIME WE LIVE LIKE IT!
We are dead positionally, and must die progressively, every day, so that
Christ can live the live only He can live through us.
When that happens, how will we know?
What will Jesus look like? It is revealed in Galatians 5: 22.
This is the resume of Christ.
It is known as the fruit of the Spirit.
These are not the “fruits” of the Spirit, but the “fruit of the
Spirit.” It is not 9
different fruit; but, it is ONE fruit with 9 flavors.
When we are dead, the Spirit of God becomes alive and manifests the fruit of
Christ in our lives. It is
manifested inwardly, outwardly, and upwardly.
1. The INWARD ESSENCE of Christ!
Being “filled with the Spirit” is not an option, but a COMMAND.
We are to constantly, continuously and completely be filled with the
The result is the “fruit” of the Spirit or the inward essence of Christ.
The reason that this quality is referred to as fruit is because fruit is:
can see it
will know it
A tree is known by what? By
How do we know if we are dead, and Christ is alive in us?
By the fruit of His inward essence,
Love: WHO HE IS
[1 John 4: 8]
“God is love.”
Love is the badge of Christianity.
All of the attributes have their root in love.
If we are people whose hearts are consumed with love, then we are not
filled with the Spirit of God.
Peace/Joy: WHAT HE GIVES
We gain peace with God, through salvation; then, we get the peace of God,
With love comes peace; and, with love and peace comes joy.
“The joy of the Lord” becomes our “strength.”
Jesus is Joy. He came to give
us not just life, but overflowing, superior, abundant life.
2. The OUTWARD EXPRESSION of Christ!
When He is at work on the inside, He will be at work on the outside thru
“longsuffering, gentleness, goodness.”
God is long-tempered. God is
gentle. God is good.
And, when we die and He becomes alive in us, we will deal with others
the way God deals with us.
3. The UPWARD EVIDENCE of Christ!
We are right inwardly, we will be right outwardly; and, it will be because
we are right upwardly.
“Faith, meekness, temperance”
Faith is KNOWN
God gives to every man “the measure of faith.”
When Christ is alive and well, and the Spirit of God is in control, our
faith will become known.
Faith is SHOWN
Meekness is not weakness…POWER UNDER CONTROL.
Faith is GROWN
The maturity of our faith is grown to the point that because we know WHO we
are and WHOSE we are, we need not worry about what others may think.
Watchman Nee recounts his day of full surrender:
"I returned to school to seek the filling of the Holy Spirit, and
the love of Christ, but I found that I still count say with conviction that
all was well. At last, on
February 13, 1922, I was willing to lay aside the relationship that had
dominated my course, and then I knew an experience of great elation.
On the day I was converted, I shook off the burden of my sins, but on
this later occasion, my heart was emptied of everything that would separate
from God. From then on, people
began to be saved. The old man
was dead, the NEW man was alive.”
One day, a little boy went into a flower shop.
He had his fist full of money and a bundle of newspapers under his
He walked up to the counter and said, “I want the biggest bouquet of flowers
you have in the store. I’ve
been selling newspapers all day, and I’ve sold 37 cents worth.
Today is my mother’s birthday, and I want to buy her the biggest
bouquet of flowers with my 37 cents.”
This moved the owner, so she went to the back and came back with the biggest
bouquet of flowers she could find.
He asked her, “How much?”
She replied, “37 cents.”
He shouted, “Wow! That’s
exactly what I have, 37 cents.”
He went bouncing out of the store with that fresh, new bouquet of flowers
under his arm.
Within a moment, the shop owner heard an awful crash outside her store.
She rushed out and found the little boy lying under a big truck.
He was taken to the emergency room, but the situation was completely
A Christian doctor, who knew the boy, attended to him, but there was nothing
more he could do. About that
time, the little boy looked up to the doctor and asked, “Doc, I’m not going
to make it, am I? The doctor
replied, “No son, unless the Lord intervenes, you are going to die.”
The little boy said, “Do, it’s all right.
I know Jesus and I’m ready to go, but there is something I want you
to do for me. It’s my mother’s
birthday. I want you to tell
her that I love her and take these flowers to her.
And tell her that it’s only 37 cents worth, but it’s all I’ve got.”
Have you ever said that to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Have you ever said, “Lord, I’m not much, I don’t have much, and I
can’t do much. I’m only 37
cents worth, but if you can use me, you can have me, ALL OF ME!
What does Jesus look like? He
will look like
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance”
through your life if you will die so He can live.