top of page
  • Writer's pictureericleerisner


Rhythms Sermon Recap from 4.29.18

"A State of Surveillance (Pt. 2)"

TEXT: Romans 7-8; Gal. 5; Mt. 15; Rom. 1; 2 Tim. 3



1. Jesus declares that the lives of His followers will be characterized by a commitment to prayer. He goes as far to say that His Church will be “a house of prayer.” Statements similar to these, made by Jesus throughout His earthly ministry and preaching, help us discern what is necessary in order to joyfully involve ourselves in the advancement of the gospel. Heaven is paying close attention to our lives, helping us to recognize and repent of what the Bible says will “hinder our prayers.”

2. Trusting in your personal good works is essentially declaring yourself to be superior in holiness to Jesus. Self-righteousness fails to address the ‘heart’ of sin—our internal desires and motivations.

3. There are numerous lists provided in the NT that detail the actions and attitudes that following our flesh produces. Every person must deal with their flesh, and the flesh of others, as they seek to serve and worship Jesus (our flesh doesn’t go away the moment we commit to Christ). If one finds themselves apathetic towards this battle, while making no effort to ever sanctify the works and desires of their flesh, it is entirely possible that such a person is deceived. The children of God do not fret about being perfect but are surely led by the Holy Spirit to fight against the sins that so easily beset humanity.

4. There are many false doctrines associated with believers battling their flesh. But Paul provides us with divine insight regarding this issue in Romans 7-8. The path to victory over sin comes down to how one personally processes their relationship with their flesh. We have been ‘born-again’, but still wrestle with our flesh. Meaning, on this side of eternity, our sin nature co-exists with our new, born-again nature (which is made possible and covered by the perfection of Christ). As we wrestle our flesh, we are told not to identify with that sin; it is our old nature. Our “real” and “true” self is the born-again nature. Our identity now comes from our union with the perfect Christ, not our union with sin, disobedience, and darkness. Don’t hate yourself, hate your sin/flesh.

5. God’s plan is to bless your life and make you aware that He is responsible for those blessings. But He is unable to do this if you neglect battling your flesh. Following our flesh leads to death, therefore God can’t bless our lives if we are headed down a path that brings death (it would hurt our souls and perception of truth).

6. Simply attending church, while making no effort to be transformed and fight your flesh, is not ultimately helpful to one’s spiritual development. If someone can routinely attend worship services without ever receiving truth that leads to spiritual maturity and personal sanctification, the Bible seemingly steers us to understand that as an extremely stiff-necked and destructive practice.

7. Who is most likely to experience your flesh to the highest degree? Your spouse. We have the tendency to let the works of the flesh “creep” into our most common and trusted relationships. Meaning, we are often around our spouses more than others, and a lot of the time you are dealing with common, everyday life issues, so the temptation to let your flesh rule seems to be increased. It is about ‘proximity’. We can often cut the ones closest to us the deepest. The children of God should be aware of this reality, fight against it, and strive to show the unbelieving world a “better way” concerning this aspect of life.



1. What are the ways in which a local church establishes itself as a 'house of prayer'? Both in practice and in theory.

2. Why is self-righteousness a flawed methodology for addressing the heart of sin (internal desires and motivations)?

3. Are you aware of specific false doctrines, within American evangelicalism, that are related to personal sanctification and fighting our flesh (Truth 4)? What are they? How has the Charismatic (or Pentecostal) church contributed to the destructive ideas that get taught concerning our dual natures (Spirit and flesh)?

4. Why does simply 'attending church' (without fighting your flesh) turn out to be such an unhealthy practice?

5. How can we be "on guard" against our flesh in our most common and trusted relationships (Truth 7)?



Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:

  • To be full of hope as we battle our flesh; that our church would properly understand this revelation

  • To be led by the Spirit in our most common and trusted relationships

  • For those who only 'attend church' to be brought near and experience the presence of God


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page