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CHAINED IN ADAM'S SIN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the combined retreat of Calvary Road
Baptist Church and the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Monday Evening, August 25, 2003


"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18).


I suppose that every lost person here tonight knows that he or she should come to Christ. You have heard us preach the words of Jesus many times:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

You know that you must come to Christ or you will be lost for all eternity in Hell. But you do not know how to come to Christ. You often say to yourself, "How do I do it?"

But you have often heard me say that those who ask this question do not get saved in that meeting. Years of experience prove this to be true. And yet it is a legitimate question, "How do I come to Christ?" It is often an honest question. But the answer to it mystifies you. I gave it last night.

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).

But that plain statement throws your mind into a state of confusion. I don't think this is bad at all. Your mind ought to be in a state of confusion on this matter. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the more you are confused the better. In fact, I hope that your confusion will turn into despair. I hope that you will come out saying what the apostle Paul said in describing his own intensely personal thoughts at the time of his awakening and subsequent conversion. Because Paul became confused, and then his confusion turned into despair. And I hope this will happen to you as well. Because despair is what you need most of all tonight. By despair I mean desperation, loss of hope, complete hopelessness. That is exactly the state of mind the yet-unconverted Paul was brought to by the mercy of God. "What," you may say, "Do you think it is merciful for God to cause a person to become hopeless and desperate?" Yes, I do think that. I think that you must come to a place of utter and complete hopelessness like Paul or you will never be truly converted. Paul's statement of horrible helplessness and hopelessness must become your experience as well, or you will not be converted. Your very heart must say,

"I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18).

Until you experience that, you will not be converted.

I. First, you must be brought by God's Spirit to see that
no good thing lives in your flesh.

That is the humbling work of the Holy Spirit, which shows you exactly what it means to be spiritually dead, as an offspring of Adam.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

Joseph Chan looks like his father, and thinks like his father. He even speaks like his father. And you are like your forefather Adam. You think like Adam, and you live like Adam, and you speak like Adam - because you have inherited in your genes, and in your heart, the seeds of Adam's rebellion and sin. You have the heart of Adam - a heart corrupted and ruined by sin. Therefore you must be brought to see that in yourself, that is in your flesh, dwelleth no good thing (cf. Romans 7:18).

This ruined, dead heart you have from Adam makes it impossible for you to have a truly good thought (cf. II Corinthians 3:5). Your Adamic nature is so dead that you are unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God. For

"the natural [unconverted] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"
   (I Corinthians 2:14).

Aren't these true statements concerning your heart tonight? Isn't it true that you can say no good thing, pleasing to God? Isn't it true that you can pray no real prayer, with life and power in it? Isn't it also true that you are unable to understand the simplest command of Christ? Even simple words like "Come unto me…and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28) throw your mind into a turmoil of confusion. Of course it is true - and you know it is.

It is not mental deficiency that is the cause of your confusion. Certainly not! Most of you have perfectly good minds and do well in school. There is nothing wrong with your mental ability. It is your heart that is wrong - and your heart is wrong because it is the heart you have inherited from your forefather Adam. You have Adam's nature. You speak like him and you think like him. You can say no good words because Adam could say none. You can pray no real prayer because Adam could pray none - but only make excuses in his prayers. You are unable to understand the simplest commands of Christ, such as "Come unto me…and I will give you rest," because Adam could not understand such words after he fell by sin. He could only hide from God in the Garden, as you hide from God, because Adam's heart was dead by sin - and so is yours. You have inherited his polluted, dead, and blind heart.

Going a little farther, you have inherited Adam's rebellion against God. Haven't you? Isn't it as true of you as it was of Adam, that your

"carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

When Adam sinned he was against God. He hid from God. He argued against God. He disobeyed God continuously. Adam was hostile toward God. And you have inherited his carnal nature and his rebellious heart. And author George Smeaton, in his classical book on the Holy Spirit, says, "This state [of your heart] has a determining influence on [your] will in all religious and moral judgments" (George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Banner of Truth, 1980 reprint of the 1882 edition, p. 179). However much you pretend to be a Christian outwardly, and however good you try to be outwardly, Adam's carnal nature rules  your  heart,  and  you  are  "dead  in  trespasses  and  sins"  because  of  it  (cf.  Ephesians 2:1).

You make resolutions and promises to be a better person, but you always break them. Why? Because the original sin of Adam controls your heart. You try to pray, but your prayers are only dead words. Why? Because the original sin of Adam dominates your heart. You try to listen to the sermons, but you forget them a moment later, because

"the devil…taketh away the word out of [your heart], lest [you] should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12).

And why can the Devil do this? Because the original sin of Adam controls your heart. And there is nothing you can humanly do to change this situation. That is, you are constantly in an inner argument with God.

God tells you to come to Christ, but you argue that you can't. Your mind is full of such arguments against God because your heart is a replica of Adam's heart. Am I not speaking things that you have already thought? Haven't you thought that you can't speak the things of God as a witness for God? Haven't you thought that you can't pray correctly? Isn't it true that you don't love God and don't really think about Him in a pleasant way when you are alone? Isn't it true that you rebel against God, and make excuses (like Adam) when God commands you to come to Christ?

Now God allows all these negative conditions to be experienced by you for a reason - to humble you and put you in a condition of despair and hopelessness. This is really the first step of awakening - the painful knowledge of your Adamic heart, poisoned by rebellion, and dead in sin. And God brings you to a place where you literally hate your own deceitful, rebellious and wicked heart, so you can say with the yet unconverted Apostle,

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18).

God thrashes you in your conscience, and beats you with the law, for the purpose of humbling your heart and making you see that you are in a truly hopeless condition.

God does not prick your conscience because He hates you. He does so because He loves you, like a father who disciplines his child. He hopes to discipline the child until it submits to him, because he knows the child will go the wrong way unless he is scourged into humility and obedience. And so God pricks your conscience by showing you your sinful Adamic heart, until you are humble enough to say, "What can a wretch like me do?" God is showing you that no good thing dwells in your flesh. He wants you to learn well that lesson - that your heart is no good as it is - and that you cannot change your heart yourself. He wants you to humbly submit to Him.

II. Second, you must be brought by God's Spirit to see that no "decision"
of your flesh can help you do that which is good.

"I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18).

You want to do the right thing, but somehow you simply can't do it. Your Adamic flesh is too strong - and the Devil has too firm a hold on you. You want to come to Christ, but you can't. Your heart is too rebellious, too controlled by your Adamic nature, and Satan's power.

So instead of doing the good you want to do, you plunge into the evil you do not want to do. Look at the text again,

"How to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do"
      (Romans 7:18-19).

Even though you want to do good, you cannot do it, because your very heart is Adamically evil. That is why you continually do evil - it flows out of your Adamic heart. Jesus said,

"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23).

You want to do good but you cannot. Your Adamic heart is dead in sin and rebellion. You try to do good, "but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19).

Hasn't that been true in your case? Haven't you tried to be good, only to find that you were smoking marijuana, or drinking, or smoking cigarettes, or filled with rebellious anger, or looking at pornography, or stealing - or worse? Haven't you found that you have committed the greatest sin of all - rejecting Christ, refusing to come to Him for salvation? Haven't you rebelled against your parents - even when they were right - and you knew it?

You must be brought by God's Spirit to see that no "decision" or act of your human will, in your Adamic flesh, can ever help you do what is right in the sight of God.

It is only when the Holy Spirit humbles you and breaks your stubborn will, and makes you see your utter hopelessness, that you will ever truly turn to Jesus Christ, and see Him as your only hope for salvation. Only then will you say with the Apostle,

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord"
    (Romans 7:24-25).

Unless you are humbled and your stubborn will is broken by God, like this, you will remain chained in Adam's sin until you are thrown into the Lake of Fire. Until you are humbled enough to come to Christ, you have no hope - none at all.


(END OF SERMON)

THE OUTLINE OF

CHAINED IN ADAM'S SIN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18).

(Matthew 11:28; John 6:44)

I.   You must be brought by God's Spirit to see that no good thing
lives in your flesh, Romans 5:12; I Corinthians 2:14;
Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1; Luke 8:12.

II.  You must be brought by God's Spirit to see that no "decision"
of your flesh can help you do that which is good,
Romans 7:18-19; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 7:24-25.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."