(A few thoughts based on messages by Charles Price)
Don't concentrate on overcoming sin but on submitting to Christ. How to deal with sin -- two extremes: Legalism and License.
Legalism - reduce Christian life to a set of rules and judge those who don't live by your rules.
License - Because God is loving and I am eternally secure, it doesn't matter how I live.
Both extremes must be rejected as a means to holy living. It is not either - or - but something altogether different. Doing what we should do depends on knowing what we should know. Died with Christ – legally counted as though it happened to me. United with Christ -- what is true of Him is true of me as far as God is concerned. The wages of sin is death and I have paid in Christ. One baptism by the Spirit into Christ -- I became a participant in His death, burial and resurrection.
Water baptism is a picture of that. Died to sin - don't let sin reign because of evil desires. Christ died to sin once for all. How? Death is always a consequence of sin and the wages of sin were fully paid on the Cross. Christ received the full wages of sin and sin owes Him nothing. I am in Christ and sin is no longer my master and though I still battle it, it cannot destroy me. My citizenship is changed and the old country has no authority over me. Jesus died for me and lives in me. I cannot die because Christ died to sin and I died in Him.
CHOICE -- instrument of wickedness or righteousness? An instrument is of no use unless in skilled hands. The most important thing about an instrument is whose hands it is in. Not legalism or license – both are human ways. But by Life - God in me playing His music through a yielded instrument. This is Freedom - the Resurrection Life of Jesus in me reflecting the character of God.
The Law - The Ten Commandments -- we've broken the Law. The Glory of God -- we've come short of the glory (Romans 3:23), we've missed the mark. The Law and the glory of God are the same thing, the representation of His moral character. We were created in His image to reflect His character, to reveal what God is like. When we break the Law/miss the mark/come short of the glory -- we misrepresent Him. Why did God give a Law we could not keep? For the revelation of Himself and the revelation of our need. Without the Law we could sin with a clear conscience because we wouldn't know we were sinning. The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The Law does not say do not lie, steal, kill, commit adultery, etc., etc., to make it inconvenient for us - but - because God is not a liar, thief, murderer, adulterer, etc., etc., and we were created to represent the truth about Him.
First Husband - LAW: good and righteous but can only command and condemn with no regard for our weakness. Second Husband - LIFE: good and righteous, makes the same commands but indwells and enables. When we fall, He picks us up, restores and continues with us. Never condemns because there is no condemnation. The wages (Romans 6:23) were paid on the Cross. The wages of sin is death and because there are no wages remaining to be paid (Jesus paid it all and we paid in Him), there is no condemnation remaining. Adam took all humanity, in him, to death. Jesus took all humanity, in Him, to the Cross, death, burial, resurrection, new Life. We have been crucified with Christ, dead to sin, dead to the Law. Jesus died for all - provided fully for all but all are not saved.
A marriage is not complete when the bridegroom says, "I will." The bride must also say, "I will," then they're married. With His arms open wide on the Cross, Jesus said, "I will." Now God asks each individual, "Will you take .....?"
There is civil war within the soul. A Christian knows what is good, approves what is good and determines to do it. He knows what is bad, disapproves what is bad and determines not to do it. FAILS ! ! ! ! !
Temptation is only a problem because sin is attractive. We're never tempted to do what doesn't appeal. Vs.15-24: All about I, I, I, me, my -- and nothing about Christ. This is a Christian trying to live the Christian life in his own strength. IT CANNOT BE DONE. Don't always blame the devil; our own corrupt nature is very capable of every wrong. The law of sin is as real as the law of gravity. I cannot defeat it or overcome it. But there is a higher law - aero dynamics. (I cannot fly but I can be flown). The higher law does not cancel the law of gravity but when we're in the plane, aero dynamics has taken over. The law of aero dynamics has made me free from the law of gravity. (8:2) The Law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. How to explain ... 1 John 3:9 - that which is born of God does not sin, cannot sin. ... 1 John 1:8 - if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. Jesus is the begotten of God and His Life in us does not, will not, cannot sin. Discipline does not put godliness within me. God's Life within me enables discipline. I will always be aware of my sinfulness - in my flesh dwells no good thing - but as I yield to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to live His Life in and through me, others will be aware of the difference. In my flesh – no good thing - my corrupt, fallen nature will not be improved; now I am a partaker of the Divine Nature and all that I am is to be exchanged all that the Lord Jesus is.
Romans 8 is the pinnacle chapter in the message of this book, this book which is essential to us if we desire the knowledge of full salvation and holiness. It is all about FREEDOM.
We've seen our position - crucified with Christ, dead to sin; that is our standing with God. But our condition must be brought to experiencing Life in the Spirit. What the Law could not do (3) - God did (4) so that the requirements of the Law would be fully met IN US by the Spirit. The commands of the Law have become the promises of the Spirit. COMMAND - thou shalt not (and failure). PROMISE - with the Spirit, you shall not (and liberty). But it is not a passive life.
Mind and will must be set to work with the Holy Spirit. (5-11) MIND - Mindset; flesh controlled by unholy desires or controlled by the desires of the Spirit. The mind of the flesh is ALWAYS hostile to God. Set your mind, seek those things which gratify the Holy Spirit. Co-operate with Him for mind renewal.
(12) WILL - we are debtors, obligated to put to death the deeds of the flesh. There will always be temptation but the issues have already been settled. Repentance after the fact is good but Life in the Spirit gives something better - preemptive repentance. We see clearly and embrace His power to live in Christ's victory over the flesh. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we will meet the requirements of the Law because the Law reflects the character of God and we are being restored to His image, in which we were created.