Romans 6:12-23

Introduction: One of Paul’s most identifiable themes that we as Christians can really relate to must do with Paul’s struggle to live as he’d like to, 100% of the time.

Romans 7:18-19, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.1 I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (NLT)

Application: I had someone in my office just this week looking for encouragement about this matter.

Transition: In these verses, Paul presents the idea of being indwelt by sin in the negative sense/form, to explain the remarkable statement, that nothing good lives in me.

Paul is addressing the sin that dwells within the “I,” that is, within one’s fleshly or carnal nature, which is not “a good thing.”

The point he is pressing, in any case, is that what indwells someone is what gives them the power to perform that which otherwise they would want to do but remain incapable of: literally, “for to will lies close to me, but to perform the good, not.”

“Without something “good” dwelling in me,” the “I” cannot bring the good will into reality; again, Paul is preparing the way for the contrast with the Spirit’s indwelling.

So we have this so far:

  1. Natural / Sinful nature in us is not a good thing.
  2. The Sin nature is what violates me doing what is right and what I really want and need to do.
  3. Without something “good” or “better” (which is the Holy Spirit), the struggle will continue.

Back to Chapter 6:16

  1. We become a slave or servant of who and what we give ourselves to.
  2. Either life (goodness) or death (decay) is what we will reap according to our choices.

Question: So what does the natural sinful nature look like?

Ephesians 5 mentions such things as obscene stories, foolish talk, coarse jokes, greed and immorality.

The list in Galatians 5:19f gets some little stronger naming things like lustful pleasures, outbursts of anger and jealousy just to name a few as part which is part of that which is natural.

Transition: Here is part of the key to understand: Galatians 6:8, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (NKJ)

Word sow(s) right? speiro {spi’-ro} Meaning:  1) to sow (plant), scatter, seed 2) metaph. of proverbial sayings Origin:  probably strengthened.

What you strengthen becomes strong!

Question: So, let me ask it this way? What Gym are you going to? How much time do you spend at the gym? What types of exercises are you constants?

Transition: So, what does make us strong? (If you go on internet, you will find a thousand different opinions!

Here are mine:

  1. Spend time in Word.


Psalm 119:105 – word lamp unto feet; light to path

Psalm 11:11 – hid word in my heart that I might not sin against you

  1. Spend time in reflection / meditation / prayer.

Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (NKJ)

hagah {haw-gaw’} Meaning:  1) to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, speak 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to roar, growl, groan 1a2) to utter, speak 1a3) to meditate, devise, muse, imagine

Genesis 24:63 “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.” (NKJ)

suwach {soo’-akh} Meaning:  1) (Qal) to meditate, muse, commune, speak, complain

  1. Be honest with self about personal condition (spiritual)

Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (NKJ)

James 1:23-24, “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.” (NLT)

  1. Have others in your life to whom who can be accountable or at least in fellowship with whom you can talk to, be honest with and trust.

Application/Illustration from David and Jonathan – 1 Sam. 18-20

  1. Be involved in a team and contribute to that team. Move more into a ‘not just for me,’ arena.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (NLT)

  1. Go to church! REGULARLY!

Hebrews 10:25 “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT)

Question: Does it have to be at church? We no, but where and how would we do this if not in the church?

Conclusion: Several campaigns have for years encouraged us about things like, “Milk it does the body,” and others like that

Well it’s true, our intake is critical to our success.