Thursday, February 16, 2006
Beginning Of Messages
Galatians 5:16-26 “WALK IN THE SPIRIT”
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
THE COMMAND Galatians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Many of us are really trying hard to live the Christian life. Its more than just trying. If you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfill those desires. More than just grim determination, trusting the Holy Spirit. Trying.. like football team, but better to have training. Flesh = Old nature before you became a Christian. The Christian life is a struggle within. The Christian does experience bad desires but is at war with those desires by the power of the Spirit. There is something worse than conflict on the soul, that’s no conflict. If no conflict.. then I doubt if you are a believer. If you think you don’t have to struggle with sin, then you are not a Christian or you have hot rock bottom. And you don’t know it. Coasting.. its all down hill. If you have a struggle take heart. 150 years ago the wagon trails left ruts in the dirt. Before you became a Christian there were some ruts on your life. Patterns of thinking and behaving. But many times we wind up back in the rut again. God says don’t do that I want you to walk in the Spirit.
THE WORKS OF THE FLESH Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
4 categories : 1. Sexual sins. 30 years ago people would say : “that’s right!” But now its any sexual activity outside of marriage. Sexual immorality any sort of immorality pornography, Impurity :filthy jokes and thinking Sensuality :to commit sin with no shame. Any shame for High school girl to get pregnant? No its just the way it is. There needs to be some kind of shame. People flaunt their sexuality.
2. Religious sins idolatry : anything taking the place of God in our lives. Things people careers. Anything taking first place sorcery = drug use. Witchcraft and that but anything mind altering.
3. personal relationships sins. Enmity.. hateful people. Strife :not getting along competeing
Jealousy Anger fits… no excuses. Rivalries I want more and more
Dissensions :enjoy causing trouble Factions : talented personality ego problems
4. Sins of Excess self evident drunkenness, wild parties.
“Things like these”.. not exhaustive list just suggestive. What your old nature is like.
FACT: THESE are the actions of a lost person. “Do” : habitual lifestyles. He is not referring to one act but to an entire lifestyle. We struggle with these things and we all fall into some of this stuff. If this is your habitual lifestyle there is a problem. You are not a Christian Heaven is inhabited by people who already have heaven in their souls.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
We do not have to live the other way. If the Holy Spirit is alive inside of you and you are being filled by the Holy Spirit these graces will be evident in your life:
1. My relationship with God.: love joy a godly holy optimism in trying circumstances peace contentment.
2. My relationship with others : patience (longsuffering) a courageous endurance kindness a gracious disposition
goodness love in action if not in action then nothing there.
3. Relationship with self: faithfulness : keep word vows gentleness right use of power
self control my desires are under God’s control we say what God wants us to say… we are not out of control people.
I am commanded to walk in the Spirit. Its difficult: there is a war going on! How am I doing? Check with these lists: If I walk in the Spirit I don’t do these things. My life will be changed.
HOW TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT
1. I NEED TO KEEP MY FLESH CRUCIFIED Galatians 5:24 (ESV) Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Mortifying the flesh: Rom So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus There is a cave where a dragon lives. Christ comes into your life.. a mortal wound given but that dragon will bleed out and die as long as you live. There will be battles with that dragon. You have to ruthlessly not compromise with sin. “God understands” We get away with stuff for awhile.. We think God says its ok.. don’t worry about it. He wants us to deal with it before the consequences hit.
2. I NEED TO KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT Galatians 5:25 (ESV) If God now dwells in me my life must be different Day by day I am doing what the Spirit wants. Duty roster: Soldiers drill instructor. Men marching. Its almost like that. He the Holy spirit is our leader…we got to keep in step. Some days its nice you can rest by the way, refresh yourself. But other days its front line activity. Depend on God through His Word. I will choose to follow His ledership by the Word of God.
3. I NEED TO KEEP MY HEART RIGHT TOWARDS OTHERS Galatians 5:26 (ESV) Theology has got to change the way you live. When it comes to the Christian life: If you look at others this is what happens: vs 26. Are you envious? Proud of where you are? Are you finding yourself provoking other people all the time?
Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the time. You’ve got to be consistent. The Christian life isn’t a 100 meter dash. It’s a marathon and we make progress until the day we die. Do you really walk in a careful way? We need more than ever to think on the things that are holy pure good: Phil 4:8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Somebody is watching you all the time especially when they find out that you are a Christian wanting to know if you are the real thing, monitoring your every action and word. We can get way to comfortable with our Christian lives: We are doing ok.. we don’t feel a struggle because we have given in too much.
Amy and Bethany both went to the RTA this week. It made me think about how often we are tested on quite finite matters like driver’s tests, vision tests, vocational tests, cholesterol levels. It’s possible for people to go through their whole lives and never really do an assessment of their souls, which are eternal.
This weekend, we are starting a series on the Fruit of the Spirit. In his letter to the church at
(Galatians 5: 22-23) We are going to do a little “RTA thing” right here. Write down the numbers 1-9 lengthwise on your paper, and we will walk through the Fruit of the Spirit. I’ll give you a couple of questions to prompt your thinking. Here’s the scale: “S” if you would say you are “
Number One: Love How tender is your heart towards God and towards other people?
Do you find yourself habitually engaging in acts of servanthood? Do you ever have a critical, judgmental spirit in your heart? Rate yourself “S” or “P” or “N.” How are you doing on the “Love fruit” these days?
Number 2: Joy What is your current “irritability factor?” (If you’re not sure, the person next to you may be willing to give you a little help.) Are you more inclined to speak words of complaint or gratitude?
How often did you laugh this week? How much fun did you have? Are you able to choose Joy in times of frustration or difficulty? Do you find yourself, even now, rationalizing your lack of Joy?
Number 3: Peace To what degree are your heart and mind at rest in God?
How consistently are you troubled or anxious? Would people who know you describe you as being contented or discontented? How do you come out on Peace?
Number 4: Patience How do you respond when you don’t get your way or you’re frustrated?
Are you able to wait gracefully? Would people describe you as a “peaceful, patient waiter?”
How do you handle it when people aren’t moving as quickly as you would like? How are you doing on Patience? If you have already moved on to Number 5, give yourself an “N,” because you need Patience!
Number 5: Kindness How inclined are you to lend someone a helping hand even though you’re busy, or you know you won’t get credit? How are you doing at encouraging and affirming people? Do you consistently take the time to actually notice people and listen to them?
Number 6: Generosity goodness What portion of your time and material resources are you actually giving—not just thinking about giving—to God, to the poor, to other people? Do you ever find yourself wanting to give just the least amount acceptable? Is your heart to give growing or shrinking? That’s Generosity. Rate yourself.
Number 7: Faithfulness Would people around you say that you are dependable? When you say you are going to do something, it gets done. Do you ever use words to deceive or to put a spin on things? Do you ever wrestle with procrastination? If you haven’t started your list yet, give yourself an “N” on this one!
Number 8: Gentleness How successfully do you speak the truth with grace? Do you ever get angry and inflict pain on someone just because it will feel good in the moment? Over the last week, how often have you come along side somebody who was hurting to give them comfort? How are you doing on Gentleness?
Number 9: Self-control Have any bad habits? Ever give into an impulse?
How’s your mouth doing these days? Rate yourself on Self-control.
First, our rejection of the flesh is to be MERCILESS. Crucifixion was a horrible form of capital punishment. It was violent and vulgar, reserved for the worst sort of criminals. Even the Bible says, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Gal.3:13). When we crucify our old "passions and desires" we are to have no mercy or pity. We are to ferociously fight against it. It is the source of evil within us and must be stamped out!
Second, our rejection of the flesh will be AGONIZING. Crucifixion was a slow, extremely painful death in which one suffocated by the weight of his own body. Anyone who struggles to deny his own sinful "passions and desires" will find agony and pain. Paul said, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom.7:24).
Third, our rejection of the flesh must be CONSISTENT. Crucifixion was a deliberate, gradual death. No one nailed to a cross survived. Once a person was nailed there, he was left to die. Soldiers guarded the condemned to prevent friends from taking him down before he died. When you were saved, you nailed your old nature to a cross. To daily crucify the flesh is refuse to take those "desires" and "passions" down again.