The Work of the Holy Spirit
Water, Fire, Oil, The Dove - 07-07-09
Pastor Marlin Harris

We will pick up at the Book of Genesis, and of course we are teaching on the ministry of the Holy Spirit and we are teaching about the Holy Spirit's ministry by utilizing four of the symbols of the Holy Spirit to kind of categorize and structure our thoughts and our teachings throughout this summer series.  I just want to make mention again for clarity sake that I know there are several other symbols of the Holy Spirit, not just these four, but we have intentionally designed our teaching around these four symbols because I think they have a fairly comprehensive teaching of the Holy Spirit's ministry in scriptures, so we chose to look at water, oil, the symbol of the dove and lastly the symbol of fire.  Weíve already investigated water, and studied about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and its infilling and indwelling in our life and what that means to us as believers, what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is and the teaching of it.  Weíve also looked at the oil symbol of the Holy Spirit, the teaching of the anointing of the Spirit of God and how we are anointed by the Spirit and what that means and how our lives are lived under that anointing.

Then, of course, we began a few Tuesdays ago talking about the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit and what its teaching symbolizes, and of course it symbolizes a personable attribute of the Holy Spirit that we will do a little bit of study with tonight.  We began last time looking at the issue of the dove being a symbol of the Spiritís peace, or the fact that the Spirit brings us into peace with God.

This is initially seen in the earliest story that we have of the dove and that is in the Book of Genesis, chapters 6-8.  And of course as we shared with you last time we were together, that this is the story of the flood and as the reason and purpose for the flood is because of the wickedness of man on the earth, and I want us to do a retro look and then we will speed forward to how this impacts our understanding of our walk with God today.  A little retro look just to emphasize the whole notion of the wickedness of man and thatís the purpose for the flood.  We kind of breezed through that issue last time we were together and I did not want us to do that. 

So in Genesis 6:5

5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

That 5th verse is probably one of the most poignant verses in the OT, or in the whole Bible, that really describes the moral condition of the earth at the time that the flood came, or just prior to the flood coming.  It says here very carefully that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  If you were to read this in a version of the Bible called the Septuagint, which is a Greek version of the Hebrew OT, you would see what would be considered just a repetitive use of superlatives, a repetitive use of adjectives to describe.  Itís like over describing the wickedness of man; giving it extra effort.  When we read it in our English translation, it is somewhat watered down from the way a Hebrew would read this, or from the way a Jew wouldíve read this 2,000 years ago. 

It says 5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,

Just in that verse alone, in a superlative capacity, about how great manís wickedness was in the earth, that this is not a group of men, or this is not a set of people, this is the totality of mankind was completely wicked.  So wicked that it was considered to be a great wickedness in the earth.  And then it mentions that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart.  That really is a watered down version . 

When you read it in the Greek version of this, it speaks of him thinking of nothing but evil things.  That every thought that he had was an evil thought; that he never had a good thought and some of the commentators who have argued the opposite to taking such a harsh stance to that verse, they argue at the mere improbability of that statement, that it is very improbable that any person would think evil thoughts all the time, and every thought, thatís what the Bible says ďevery thoughtĒ would be evil.  And here is the rebuttal to that particular argument.  Itís not that the person walked around thinking thoughts that were just evil, but even the good thoughts that the person was thinking was thought out of an evil heart. 

So even the good thoughts that people had came out of an evil mind, and so its kind of like what Jesus says a little later -- He mentions that out of an evil tree, or out of a bad tree, canít come good fruits.  Itís just not possible.  So the issue is not just the thinking of the people, as much as it is the heart of the people.  So whenever it is translated in English it says that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart Ė do you see that.  These are the thoughts, not of his head, but the thoughts of his heart. 

This deals with his character and what it is saying is that the character of man, universally on the earth, was absolutely and totally wicked.  That the character of man was universally on the earth absolutely and totally wicked.  Now we have a comparable doctrine that kind of accents what this verse is saying is a doctrine that is called ďThe Total Depravity of Man.Ē  That mankind, us, we are totally depraved.  Depraved simply means ďevil, wicked, ungodly, nongodly, we are totally depraved.  When you think of a personís depravity you think of his baser nature, the dark passions of his heart, a dark side, an evil heart, evil character, and the scriptures teach us repetitively over and over again; I didnít take the liberty to point it out because I think it would just add on to what I want to teach tonight.  I have taught this in the past before that our heart is wicked; that the heart of man is wicked.  The Bible mentions in the Book of Romans that there is none good no not one.  Nobody is good.  Everybody, everybody, everybody is evil. 

Now I want you to know I know how that sounds, okay.  As a matter of fact, while Iím saying it there is so many of you guys who are thinking in your heart and mind that, youíve got a split deal going on, where intellectually you understand the doctrine but emotionally and personably you just donít want to accept that everybody is not good.  And so to help argue the point that some folks are good, and you can take it even further, that most people are good.  You can take it even further that most people are good.  To argue that point a lot of folks will say ďLook at all the good things are people do.  People do some good things.Ē  Iíve got to admit to you, people do some pretty nice things.  There are folks who do random acts of kindness and you are like ďDog that was niceĒ.  It has restored my faith in humanity, in human virtue and all those things.  But you make one critical error, big error, and that is you are attaching a human definition to a divine spiritual term. 

Good is never to be defined by human means, because if that were the case I would consider a person as good if they stopped and helped a crippled animal, and this person stops their car, gets out and helps this crippled animal and puts it in their car and takes it to the vet and the animal lives and everybody would say that is a good deed.  I agree with you that is a good deed.  If you say thatís a good deed I would agree.  Or you see somebody on the side of the street and they are hungry, compassion fills your heart Ė you jump out of your car, give them money or take them to dinner or you give them a job, whatever you consider to be a good deed. 

May I tell you that a million times a million good deeds donít make a good person.  A million times a million good deeds do not make a good person.  Goodness is only defined by God and God is so clear Ė you know the Bible teaches this, God is good.  It didnít say that God was the highest good or one of the goods or the best good, it says God is good.  That the standard, the bar for good is set at God, and the Scriptures never ever speak of any degrees to goodness.  I have never found anything in the Bible that references that there are certain degrees to goodness.  I mean either you are good or you are not good and the Bible says God is good. 

Now by deductive reasoning, if God is good and I am not God, then therefore I am not good.  Are you getting it?  Itís tough, I know.  I will give you another one that is even harder than that.  God is Love.  Isnít that what the Bible says.  I am a person for instance, for example, who says ďI donít believe in GodĒ or ďI donít have a relationship with God, or I donít know God, but I am a person of loveĒ.  I say to you that is not possible.  It canít be.  If God is love and you donít know God, you donít believe in God, you cannot love without God.  Now by human definitions you can have loving emotions, loving deeds, acts, kindnesses, affection, tenderness and care, protection Ė you can have all of the loving characteristics but that is not making a loving person.  You can have good characteristics but that doesnít make a good person.  God is good. 

So what do I do if I want to be good.  Just be like God; I canít do that Ė I canít be like God Iím man.  The only way I could ever be good is if God imputes His goodness to me.  If God empowers me with His goodness.  The only way I can be love is if God empowers me with His love.  Thatís why it is called the fruit of the Spirit; its not my fruit itís the Spiritís fruit because apart from the Spirit I cannot do it.  Even if I have a good week I am going to have a bad day.  If I have a good year, Iím going to have a bad month.  Are you understanding me?  And the first sin eradicates the whole idea of me being good.  I kept it up for six days but on the 7th day dog it I dropped it, and what God says is that good deeds donít make a good person no matter how many good deeds you may do.  Hold your place there in Genesis and lets go to Romans 3. 

Romans 3:

9What then? are we better than they?

What he is saying is ďAre we Jews better than they the Gentiles.  Are we that are chosen, better than those who are not?Ē

No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;


10As it is written,

Here are some very strong words. 

There is none righteous, no, not one:

11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Hereís what this means.  They are none that naturally understands God.  There are none that naturally seeks after God.  Then it says.

12They are all gone out of the way, [out of the righteous way or away from righteousness] they are together become unprofitable; [that in Godís economy of goodness and righteousness and purity, holiness, we are absolutely unprofitable.  We provide no profit to Godís economy of purity, holiness and goodness.  God can get no use out of us naturally when it comes to producing purity, righteousness and holiness.  It says.

there is none that doeth good, [there it is] no, not one.

Now there are plenty of folks who do good deeds but doing good deeds does not make a good person.  He goes on to say

13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17And the way of peace have they not known:

18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

19Now we know that what things soever the law saith [the doís and the donítís of life], it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become [there it is] guilty before God.

How much of the world?  All of the world guilty before God.  Every man in this room, every person not in this world is guilty before God.  Somebody says I just canít accept that.  You mean to tell me there are people who are not good, and I know them to be good.  So I say ďThrow a name at me and tell me if that person is goodĒ.  And youíll say Ė Iím just choosing a name, Billy Graham, you canít get no better than Billy Graham.Ē  Iíll agree with you, you canít get any better than Billy Graham.  Lets say for argument sake that Billy Graham is the highest of good.  Now hereís Billy Graham, highest of good Ė give me the percentage of his goodness.  Is he 100%  You know better than that, but doggit Billy has got to be 98%. 

Hereís my argument, the 2% of Billyís wickedness messes up the whole 98% because God doesnít look at the 98% and say almost got it, God is holy and the holiness of God requires a holy communion with man and 2% is just enough unholiness to knock Billy Graham, as good as he is, out of communion with God. 

Name somebody else, just throw a name.  Gandhi, you canít get no better than Gandhi.  Whatís his percentage, because we know he ainít 100%.  You mean heís never ever in his whole entire life (you havenít read his history, his biography).  Are you getting the point Iím making.  Your grandma, granddaddy, aunt and them, everybodyís got this little percent but if the truth be told itís 45, 50, 70 percent.  Iím just being kind to stress my point, and hereís the point.  What God is saying is that a little bit of leaven, leavens the whole lump.  A little bit of sin destroys the whole character.  Are you hearing me.

Come back to Genesis.  Somebody say thank God for Jesus,  Without Christ there is no other way to goodness.  I canít stress that enough.  Without Christ there is no other hope for goodness because on my best day if I could ever, and I never have, but if I could ever have a day where I did nothing wrong, on my best day I promise you tomorrow ainít going to be that good.  Even on my best day, where I didnít do a thing wrong at all, I got this heart, I got this old man, I got this Adamic nature in me and that Adamic nature is a fallen nature and on my best day Iím still struggling with sin.

The difference between Genesis 6 and 2009, today, the difference is this sin was unrestrained.  It was unrestrained wickedness, it was unrestrained evil imaginations, no restraint.  Today, thank God, we have restraint and the restrainer is called the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is our restrainer.  The Holy Spirit is one of our means of Grace.  Common grace, even given to man, the Holy Spirit empowers the church so the church can be salt and light in a dark and bland world.  The Holy Spirit is our restrainer.  For those who are saved, He restrains us inwardly and for those who are not saved, He preserves them outwardly.  But in this day there was no restrainer.  There was no indwelling of the Holy Spirit known to man at all.  And hereís what it says.

6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Now many folks want to know what it means by repenting, and it means simply that God felt sorrowful about manís condition.  There are folks who have argued that God second guessed Himself Ė should I have made them people.  I am not going to sit in the seat, I have looked at this word repenteth in every language I can think of that would be close to what it was written in and it means what it means.  Sorrowful, to repent, to be sorrowful about a decision or an action, to feel sorry about it, and thatís what it means.  All I can say is man mustíve been really wicked for God to look at man and say ďMan I feel badĒ.  Man mustíve been really wicked for God to have sorrow about making him. 

Then the big question then comes up and people want to argue and say ďIf God felt sorry about making (I didnít say sorry, but sorrowful), if God felt sorry that He made man, repented that He made man, I mean He regretted (and I didnít use that word, but many people do) that he made man Ė why did He do it in the first place.  If He is an omniscient God who knows all things and He is supposed to know the future, He mustíve known man was going to do this  -- here is God regretting (I didnít use that word but others do), that God regretted making man but He made him anyway.  What kind of God does that, He doesnít even know what He wants?  And whenever I hear that argument I donít debate it at all.  There are some who could debate it and do a good job at it.

When I hear that argument it makes tears burst upon my eyes and makes me want to holler and shout because that person making the argument, is making the argument for Grace.  That God would make man knowing man would sin and break His heart and He made him anyway.  That God would create man knowing that man would sin, be wicked, to where the wickedness would make God sorrowful of heart.  It would break the heart of God and you say ďregretĒ (Iíll go ahead and go that far) but yet he made a man that He knew was going to break His heart; man what kind of love is that.  

Mom and Dads -- take your child right now, in your mind take your child in your mind and ask yourself ďIf I knew, if I knew that this child was going to break my heart in such a grievous deep dark way, I wouldíve never had the child.  If you say that, if you say that what kind of love, what kind of parent, what kind of mom or dad Ė are you getting the point Iím making.  So when you tell me that a mother who loves their child and doesnít have omniscient, doesnít know everything, has the child and says ďNo matter what that boy does Iím going to love him anywayĒ.  Now thatís great love but take God who has omniscience, who knows what the child is going to do, who feels the sorrow and the pain of the childís sin before the child ever sins, and still creates anyway.  Now thatís LOVE! 

I think that maybe one of the most redemptive statements in the whole of Scripture is when it says that ďIt repented God that I have made manĒ.  Maybe one of the most redemptive statements in the whole Bible.  That God, knowing what He knows, made me anyway.  I will be frank with you if I was God, and I knew me the way He knows me, I wouldíve said ďNo, thatís okay, Iím not going to make him, forget it, no thank youĒ.  But God knew me, knew I would break His heart, knew He would have to judge me, knew I would break communion and fellowship, knew (and this ainít true in my case) but He knew men would reject Him, deny Him and die without Him but He made them anyway. 

He knew men would hear the gospel, understand it and still not receive it but He made them anyway.  He knew men would say ďI donít even believe in you, I donít even believe you exist, and yet God loved them so much that He said ďI donít want to experience any portion of my eternity without youĒ.  Thatís LOVE!  Itís the child who is over in the corner telling the mother the whole time I hate you, I hate you and the mother canít make the child love her, the mother canít make the child come to her, the mother canít make the child come any closer, and the child in the corner ďI hate you, I hate you, and the mother in the corner with no ability to bring that child to her says ďI love you, I love you, and they both die that way Ė now thatís love. 

Somebody asked ďDoes God love the people who die and go to hell and I say ďOh absolutelyĒ.  Absolutely.  Well then why did He send them to hell; there sin sent them to hell but the whole time they were living for the 75 or 80 years they were alive God was every single day wooing them and calling them and pulling them and wooing them unto Himself and every single day they rejected GodEveryday He gave them sunshine and sunlight and rainfall and food to eat, He gave them family and love and emotions and caring Ė are you getting what Iím saying to you and everyday they saw the Grace of God and pushed Him further away, and God said tomorrow I will try it again.  Maybe one of the most redemptive statements in the whole Bible is what it says in verse no. 7.  He knew they would break His heart to the point where it would make Him sorrowful that He made them, but yet He made them anyway. 

8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah was one of those people who broke the heart of God, He was a sinner but Noah came running back to God.  Noah repented, Noah came to God, Noah allowed God to _______ there. 

9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Alright now, have we done a fairly decent job expressing the wickedness of man and the Love of God. 

What I am going to say next is painful.  Love does not erase justice.  Love does not erase justice.  As a matter of fact, love in character demands justice.  For many people we want God to love us and excuse us of our sin, and God is saying that love does not erase justice because if I love you and excuse you from your sin, thatís not pure true love.  The same case it is with your child.  If you love your child and you say your child can do no wrong.  Your child is never chastised, your child is never corrected, there are no rules in your house for your child, there are no standards by which you raise your children, they can do whatever they want to do free of rules and consequences, free of chastisement and punishment and the reason you give for that is ďI love himĒ.  The reality is that you donít love that child.  You like him a lot.  Anytime love requires the reversal of who you are in order for it to be expressed is not true love.  Anytime you have to be somebody different in order for you to love the person that you are loving, itís not genuine love.  That experience is not true love.  For God He must remain who He is in order for His love to be genuine.  God is a Holy God, thatís who He is.  If He were to love us and in doing so Heís got to become unholy in order to love us, then love that requires the reversal of who I am is not love at all.  Are you getting it?

Do you know anybody who has ever been in a relationship where the only way the person can be loved is if you change who you are.  And the only way you can be loved by the person is if you become somebody different, so you spend your whole life becoming somebody different just so they can love you, or just so you can love them.  At the end of the day that is not love, that is codependency.  The reversal of who you are must never take place in order for you to love.  Love is the gift that you offer, whether it is taken or rejected it is the gift that you offer, and if it is rejected the love is not that I give you a gift and the gift is going to be so good you are going to take it, love is I give you a gift and even if you reject it, I still give it to you over and over again.  I will never take this gift back no matter how many times you reject it and Iíll never change who I am in order to give you the gift.  God is a just God and because He is a just God, He must judge sin, and in judging sin it requires Him to judge the bearers of sin, and the bearers of sin are the objects of His love.  Could that be the cause for His sorrow?  Could it be the cause for the brokenness of the heart of God that He must judge the people that He loves.  Could it be that is what broke the heart of God.

Well you know the story that Noah built this ark, God brought judgment, the judgment came, the judgment is a form of Godís wrath, and when His wrath comes He judges the world by the flood and in judging the world by the flood, when the flood is over and complete the way that we know the judgment is passed, or the wrath is passed, is the dove returns with the olive branch or the leaf in its mouth.  When the dove comes back, as the dove returns this sign of the returning dove says that the waters have ceased, which means that the judgment of God has now been over or it is finished, and that judgment being finished is seen by the sign of the dove -- hence man is restored in peace with God.  Man and God are now at peace with each other.  Now we see this restoration being the ministry of the Holy Spirit in Romans 8.  So come back with me please to the Book of Romans.  We read only one verse last week but the whole section speaks of how the Holy Spirit administers this peace that we have with God. 

Romans 8

 1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Now I want you to understand this in respect of the Holy Spirit.  You see it is mentioned in every verse.  First of all it says that the Spirit of Life (this is the Holy Spirit) hath made me free from the law of death.  The Spirit of Life made me free from the law of death.  Some people understand and think this means if I have the Holy Spirit I donít have to ever worry about keeping, learning, listening, to or following the law.  THAT IS TOTALLY NOT WHAT IT MEANS AT ALL.  It still means that the law is spiritual, it is right, the things it says are right, the Spirit of the Law is correct, all of that is true, but the Law of the Spirit is a new principle introduced in my relationship with God whereby I no longer have to suffer the penalties of the law of death, which is death (I donít suffer that penalty) because a new principal has freed me from that penalty, or from that bondage or from that chain.

Now the chain or bondage of the law is not in the keeping of the law.  The chain or bondage of the law is when it is broken, it brings about a penalty.  The Spirit frees me from the penalty of a broken law.  Now Iíve broken a lot of them, havenít you.  Breaking the law and then walking away scot free doesnít say ďWell I ainít got to keep it.  We ainít under the law, we are under Grace, I no longer have to keep the law.  Thatís not what it says at all.  Breaking the law and walking away scot free says there is another principal at work that has freed me from that penalty.  It doesnít mean Iím guiltless or innocent.  I am guilty, I committed murder or I did theft or whatever the law says Iím not supposed to do, I did it, I am guilty, but the penalty for breaking it is no longer being exacted upon me because another principal has freed me from that penalty.

SEE SOME PEOPLE USE THE TEACHING OF GRACE THROUGH THE SPIRIT AS A LICENSE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, AND ITíS NOT.  THIS GRACE IS NOT I DO WHAT I WANT TO DO.  GRACE IS I DO NOT GET WHAT I DESERVE.  Grace has to do with the consequences, not the freedom of my actions.  I am not free to kill somebody.  I am not free to do that.  If I kill somebody and get away with it legally, I got to answer to God.  God is not going to close His eyes and say ďOops I didnít see Marlin kill nobody because after all he is under GraceĒ.  That is a crazy kind of way of looking at God, looking at justice and looking at law.  What He says is ďMarlin committed a sin, he killed somebody, now the law says he ought to die but the Spirit of Life has freed him from that penalty.  Now Marlin and me must deal with each other in our relationship and in our union and in our fellowship.  Are you getting it. 

I was bound to be free (youíve got to be bound right).  I was bound to the law of sin and death.  The law of death is I die when I break the law Ė thatís the law of death.  The law of sin says ďI canít help but break the lawĒ.  The law of death says ďI die when I break the lawĒ.  The law of sin says ďI canít help but break the lawĒ because sin in me is a normal natural principle of life.  Paul said in me dwells no good thing.  I am sold under sin.  I have an old nature, itís a part of my nature.  So the law of sin says ďYou cannot help breaking the lawĒ.  The law of death says ďAnd when you break it, which you will, you will die.  The soul that sins it shall surely die. 

The Spirit of Life in the finished work of Christ on the Cross erases that law and the Spirit of Life says if you break it, you will not die.  Wow, thatís Grace.  Then it says I will give you power to not break it.  I will convict you, I will empower you, I will birth in you a heart for God.  I will put something in you that has never been in you before which is why you keep breaking it because you donít have this thing I am going to put in you.  But whenever the Holy Spirit comes and lives on the inside of me, He puts in me a heart, a tenderness, a holiness towards God whereby I no longer want to break it like I used to want to break it.  The Spirit frees me from the law of sin and the penalty of death.  Real quick Romans 6.  Iíll start at verse 1 but the meaty stuff doesnít start until verse 11.

Romans 6

 1What shall we say then?

[Iím saved, Iím a Christian, I ainít going to hell, I can do what I want to do and still go to heaven, this is a good deal dude.  It donít work like that.  But pastor ďwe are under Grace.  If Iím under grace I can do whatever I want to do and God is still going to let me in the gates.  Peter knows my nameĒ.  No, when you get to heaven Peter ainít going to know who you are.] 

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

 2God forbid.

Hereís the million dollar question.

How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 

Heís not asking a question of intention or desire, heís asking a question of probability and possibility.  He is saying how is it possible for a person who is dead to sin to still live in it.  Heís not saying that youíll never desire.  Heís not talking about desire or intention.  You may still desire it.  You may plan on doing it.  You still remember how the liquor taste, you remember that, he ainít talking about that.  What he is saying is that there is something about your life now that makes it not possible, makes it impossible for you to be dead to sin and still thriving in it.  Heís not saying you ainít never going to want to sin no more, yes you are, yes you are, what he is saying is that something changed on the inside of me.  Something regarding sin died in me so that now whenever I know how it taste, and remember how the sin was, when I remember that and I want that and I crave and desire it, there is something in me that has died to that.  And when it has died to it, that thing which Romans 8 tells me is the Spirit of Life, the Holy Spirit.  But in Romans 6 he is building to it so he doesnít name it just yet, but whatever that thing is it made the inclination, the peace (thatís the word), the peace I had when I was sinning, it made the peace to sin die.  So now when I do it, I canít live in it.  You ever been somewhere you couldnít live.  I mean you are in it, but Iíve got to get out of that, I cannot live in this.  Because something about your environment is foreign to you, whereas before I got saved, before the Holy Spirit came into my life that was my hood, that was my element.  Iím in my element.  I am at total peace unless my conscience bothers me, and my conscience bothers me because of something I learned, was taught, some ethical principle or I hurt somebody, and I wasnít raised like that. 

 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

 4Therefore 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.

 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [Heís speaking here about the baptism and the symbol of baptism as dying or being dead to sin, dying with Christ.]

 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  

You canít get any clearer than that.  He never said you wouldnít want to sin.  He never said you wouldnít have a desire to sin.  He never said you wouldnít commit a sin.  What he said was is that the thing that is in you that has died, makes it so that you cannot serve it, or be a slave to it, or live in it.

 7For he that is dead is freed from sin.

 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

 11Likewise reckon [consider yourselves to be, account yourselves to be] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now in Romans 8 he tells us how that life came into being. 

 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

He that is dead is free from sin, the Bible just said.  If Iím dead Iím free from sin.  The Scripture here now says the Spirit of Life in Christ have made me free from the law of sin.  So the mechanism through which I died, or administered my death, was the indwelling and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Now what does all this have to do with peace. 

 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 

To be spiritually minded, influenced, controlled, driven, filled is life, the opposite of what I get when I break the law, and peace the opposite of what I get whenever I donít please God.  When I donít please God Iím not at peace with God.  Are you getting it.  It goes on to demonstrate this further and it says hereís the reason why.

 7Because the carnal mind is enmity [or the fleshly mind, non-spiritual mind, unholy mind, no dove mind, no Holy Spirit mind] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

He says if you are not spiritual that person does not have peace with God.  They are at enmity, at odds with God.  They are deserving of Godís justice because they are at odds with God.  This is the same picture I painted for you earlier where God says ďI love you, I love you, I love you, and the child is saying ďI hate you, I hate you, I hate you.Ē  It is the exact same picture.  Last passage and then weíll go home.  Romans 5.

Romans 5

 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  

We know Godís love by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.  We give Godís love by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.

 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  [And of course thatís good by human standards.]

 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Do you see this illustration being poignantly given.  God is saying I love you, and we are saying I hate you.  God is still dying for the child who is rejecting him all the while.  It says

9Much more then, being now justified by his blood [for those who accept His death, being justified by his blood], we shall be saved from wrath through him.  

We are brought into peace with God, that when we accept Him as our saviour we are saved from His wrath.  His wrath is what gives us death when we break the law.  The peace we have with God because of the finished work of Christ, ministered to us through the Holy Spirit says the wrath of God we will not receive. 

 10For if, when we were enemies [not at peace with God], we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Hereís the bottom-line.  We are sinners, we are wicked in every possible way.  It is the blood of Christ that provides for us the ability to be saved.  The Holy Spirit when He comes to live inside our heart in our life something in us dies.  Some evil element in us dies and when it dies the death of that brings us into peace with God.  Jesus Christ dies for our sins, our old man is crucified with Him and God receives us in peace.  The wrath has been covered.  The Bible calls that ďjustificationĒ.  Do I still want to do things wrong, absolutely.  But there is something in me now whereby I canít live in it, I canít have joy in it, I canít do it the way I used to do it because something in me died so that the life of Christ now lives.  Whereas I deserve wrath, instead I receive Grace.  Thatís the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. 

I hope you got it and I hope you understand.  Stand on your feet if you would.