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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 08/02/09
Dealing with the Old Sin Nature, addiction and lust of the flesh.
ROM 9:19 starts out by dealing with the fact that we all must learn to operate in faith-rest when we study passages that seem to contradict the character and nature of God.
There will be times when we will have questions like ROM 9:19, You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” Then answers like ROM 9:20-21 will be given; On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?
So we begin verse 19 with two debater’s questions. This is where Paul anticipates the doubts and arguments made by those who do not want to accept the truth or the challenge of Bible doctrine. Paul understands perfectly the concept that the unbelieving Jews are now up in arms about and will be antagonistic to what he just taught from ROM 5:1-9:18. When the average Jew was faced with any opposition they would fall back on one or more of the three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption, instead of accepting the truth and admitting their failure.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2TI 3:16-17)
Many believers today are just like the early Jews, saying they believe in the God of all grace, but simply denying their Old Sin Nature (OSN), and its personal strengths and weaknesses. They refuse to admit that all of us have some form of lusts or addictions manifested by human good or human weakness. They are always questioning the plan of God and accusing others of not living the spiritual life while ignoring their own OSN manifested by their personal strengths and weaknesses and their tendency toward addictions. There are many categories of lusts or addictions, all of which relate to old sin nature.
When it comes to lusts or addictions, all members of the human race are swimming in the same gene pool. If you are human, you have addiction problems in some measure, or in some realm. All of us possess an old sin nature in the cell structure of our bodies. Therefore, all of us as humans have areas of strengths and weaknesses. The majority of people in life go through life trying to compensate for inferior feelings. They inevitably destroy themselves through their area of weakness and their area of strength.
The addiction pattern of the old sin nature includes at least six categories.
a. Power addiction is the worst of all, for almost all other addictions are related to this one, especially if you have any inferiority problems. Power addiction is the most devastating force for evil in human history. It doesn't require leadership ability or a prominent position to have power addiction. You can be the lowest man on the totem pole, rejected by all, and have a strong power addiction. Being addicted to power is one of our greatest enemies. It comes in dozens of different packages and in many different ways.
b. The lust or addiction of approbation, which is a need or desire to be recognized and is merely one of the extensions of power addiction, but it is separate because some people do want approbation without power. A beautiful woman may not desire power at all, but she certainly wants someone to tell her she's beautiful.
c. Stimulation addiction has many parts, in which we cater to the nerve centers and functions of our body in the name of pleasure.
1)  Sexual addiction, or lasciviousness.
2) Drunkenness.
3) Drug addiction.
4) Mental stimulation or intellectual arrogance.
d. Killer addiction is the problem solving device of the weak. Inferior people trying to prove they are superior often resort to violence, torture, murder. Murder often occurs within one's own family, as with Cain.
For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
(1JO 3:11-12)
Please notice that once this addiction comes, it does not discriminate between family, friends, or enemies.
e. Anger addiction or cruelty. Anger can bring out a cruel streak. Some people are genetically mean and naturally cruel. Some people hide it well and some do not. This addiction is the evil desire to hurt others, e.g., the object of one's love, the object of one's hatred, or anyone who causes you a problem. Some people cannot stand glitches, and when anyone opposes them, whether it is a loved one or an enemy or someone at work, cruelty addiction surfaces. Some people by nature are kind; some are cruel, however, both can also be developed, and can also be overcome by both believers and unbelievers. Variations in cruelty addiction depend upon cosmic living.
f. Money addiction is called by the Scripture the “root of all kinds of evil.” It expresses itself in all the categories of evil. There is nothing wrong with having and acquiring money; that is not evil or sinful, as socialistic propaganda says. Marxism says people have no right to wealth; it belongs to the state. One index to the soul of every person can be read loud and clear by his attitude toward money. This doesn't mean that a person who saves is tight or stingy, nor that a big‑time spender is necessarily generous. But one's attitude toward money very clearly delineates one's overall philosophy of life or one's spiritual condition or lack of spiritual life. Look at our corrected translation of 1Ti 6-10.
But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life. For we have brought not even one thing into this world it is obvious that we cannot take anything out of it either. Now, having nourishing food and a change of clothes, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a trap also into many stupid and harmful desires or lusts which drown those individuals into ruin and destruction. For you see the love of money keeps on being a root of all sorts of evil through which [love for money] certain ones by intensively desiring it [money] have gone astray from the doctrine and pierced themselves with many types of pain. (1TI 6:6-10)
It is a fact that love for money can distract people from Bible doctrine. HEB 13:5 tells us, Let your life be free from the love for money, and be content [+H] with what you have. For He has said, “I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.”
The point is that many Christians are running from reality and using such passages as Rom 9 to do so. People are running from God’s call on their life. No doubt, some of you right now, you know that God has His hand on you. You also know God wants you to get more serious about your relationship with Him. God’s been dealing with you about not compromising, and about not getting addicted to the three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption, but serving Him with your whole heart (MAR 12:11-30). But you just keep putting it off you’re too busy, it’s too hard. Now you’re using all those things as an excuse to try to justify not dealing with the issues God’s bringing up. That’s running from God’s call, and many people today are doing just that: running away from the truth. The solution is simple: He did all the work.
“For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” (2CH 30:9b)
“Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (PSA 116:7)
“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” (ISA 44:22)
I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. (HOS 5:15)
Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. (HOS 12:6)
When you hear things like this you can do one of two things:
1. Reject what is being taught and live in one of the three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption.
2. Or like the Bereans in ACT 17:11, who received the word with great eagerness examining the Scriptures daily, {to see} whether these things were so.
Again, the debater’s technique of verse 19 is divided into two questions. Paul anticipates, he understands perfectly the concept that the Jews are now up in arms. The unbelieving Jews, the legalists, the Judaisers, these people who despise the message of grace are now antagonistic. Therefore, in order to anticipate their next question, Paul beats them to the punch.
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault?”
That's the first question, and the second question;
“For who resists His will?”
Part of debaters technique is to anticipate reaction during a debate. The professional debater would take either side in any argument and seek to win simply by the use of logic. This was highly developed in the ancient world, more so than probably at any time in the history of the human race since then. Look at these verses in 1 Co 1.
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well‑pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,
There are four great questions which are asked in verse 20.
1. “Where is the wise?”
2. “Where is the scribe?”
3. “Where is the debater of this age?”
4. “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
There were professional debaters who would take either side, without convictions about anything, and their objective was simply to win the argument regardless of which side he is on. Therefore, they would be under tremendous pressure from their approbation lust. Generally speaking the professional debaters were always opposed to the gospel, always argued against it, they tried to use logic in order to beat it down. That's because the Gospel was introduced as an absolute and dogmatic truth. All biblical doctrine is dogmatic in nature and does not permit any equivocation, and if there was anything a debater could not stand it was dogmatism.
God is absolute, and anything that comes from God must be absolute. It is impossible for anything which comes from God to be “either-or”. That is why we have such phrases in the Word as “Thus saith the Lord.” So, one of the reasons that Christianity was hated in the early days in the Roman empire was because; Christianity was the first institution of any kind that had existed in the Greek-Roman world which was absolutely, tenaciously, emphatically dogmatic about everything. So God is absolute, and anything that comes from God must be absolute and  totally perfect. Remember that the next time you have any questions about what you're going through.
Many people today are running from the truth. They know deep down inside what they’re suppose to be doing but they’re just refusing to do it. Some people are always running from the past. They’ve been hurt in a relationship before, or maybe they were mistreated when they were younger and now they’re carrying around all this un-forgiveness and bitterness in their heart. Every time God brings it up and tells them to deal with it and release it and let it go they just keep pushing it aside. It’s just too painful, too much trouble, it hurts too badly, it’s too easy just to turn and run.
When faced with opposition, problems, instead of falling back on one or more of the those three arrogant skills: self-justification, self-deception, self-absorption, we are to accept the truth and admit our failure and move forward. We are to live in, and operate in faith-rest, staying inside the plan of God for our life through the perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.
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