Walk Worthy / Week 11 / Walking by the Spirit
Walking by the Spirit Various Passages March 28, 2021 I. Introduction: A. I have a concern that too many Christians are trying real hard to live for Jesus and too many preachers are calling people to commit more and give their all for Jesus. 1. Now those are not bad things but they are not the basis for the Christian life, but actually they are outcomes when someone lives from the right starting point. 2. It is the difference between me living for Jesus and Jesus living for me! It is the difference between trying and trusting! It is the difference between the power for the Christian life coming from me or coming from the one who lives in me! 3. Listen to 2 Cor 4:6-7 a) Treasure of the glory of God in the face of Jesus dwelling inside our bodies, our clay pots b) The power for the Christian life is supposed to come from God and not from ourselves. 4. Simply to walk by the Spirit means I am trusting the One who lives in me and not trusting myself so that the surpassing power in my life might be from God and not from myself! B. All Christians trust in the substitutionary death of Jesus for their salvation, but few are trusting in the substitutionary life of Jesus for their walk. 1. So for many of us, we get saved by trusting Jesus Christ’s death for us but then we move on to our own working hard for spiritual growth. a) The North American culture has engrained into us that we are self-made people! The American dream has convinced us that if we work hard enough we can achieve anything we want! b) So there is always a feeling that there is more for me to do, even if I do not know what that more to do is! 2. We are saved by faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross and we are to walk by faith in what Jesus is and will do in my heart 3. I love the way Bob George says “Jesus gave His life for us; so He could give His life to us; so that He could live His life through us.” • Let’s start with the: II. Series of slides regarding walking by the Spirit! A. The truck will be dumped on you today but I am putting these slides with the verses on the website along with my notes by the end of this coming Wednesday. It will take time for these truths to sink in and it will be worth the review and study on your own and even re-watching this message a few times on YouTube. B. Slides 1. Humans/creation– original design (Adam and Eve) a) This slide speaks to the way we were created as 3 part beings and how each part is connected to that around them! b) Turn and read Gen 2:7 c) I Thess 5:23 d) Body – relates to the environment; soul – relates to others and our unique personality. Spirit part of us that relates to God 2. Lost/fall - this is what happened to mankind at the fall and the state we were in before we were saved. This shows our depravity a) At the fall man was depraved, that means he was corrupted from his original design. Man has been totally depraved! (1) Total depravity does not mean that man is as rotten as he can be. (2) Total depravity means that every part of man’s being (his body, soul and spirit) has been touched by corruption. b) Turn and read Gen 2:16-17 – something died that day and it was not their bodies or souls but rather their spirits. (1) Death does not mean the cessation of life but rather separation from life! (2) Listen to Eccl 9 description of the dead, read 9:5-6 (a) Simply they no longer share or participate in what is taking place here on earth. (b) We know physically when a person dies their body stops functioning but their life (soul and spirit) does not cease but continues on either in heaven or hell. (c) And the same way when Adam died spiritually and we were born spiritually dead, that meant we are separated from God and unable to share and participate in the things of God. c) Turn and read Gen 5:1,3 – since Adam, everyone that has been born has been born in Adam’s image – that is the image of God but corrupted in every part of his being. (1) Sin entered into man’s body and began the process of death in his body. Rom 6 teaches us that the body is the place where sin operates and dwells. Rom 7 teaches us that this body is dead when it comes to doing God’s will – unable to obey God. (2) Sin impacted his soul so that man’s mind, will and emotions have been corrupted. Note on slide (3) Man’s spirit is dead and is at heart a sinner. (a) Read Rom 5:12 - because of Adam - all died (b) Rom 5:19a - because of Adam - all became sinners (4) The Bible calls that our old self/man and who we are in Adam d) Remember we just learned in Eph 4:17 that the lost have a futile mind that operates apart from God and His Word. 3. Saved a) This slide speaks to the way we are as a new creation in Christ. Read 2 Cor 5:17 b) To be saved, a person’s spirit must be born again – read John 3:3. Gospel opportunity c) Rom 5:19b -because of Jesus - all believers became righteous! d) Now our spirit is made holy and righteous - read Eph 4:24 e) Eph 4, Rom 6 and Col 3 calls this our new self f) You are no longer just a sinner saved by grace but rather a saint transformed by grace. g) But as saved people, our bodies and souls stay the same. h) And this defines our core problem – we are saved people living in an unsaved body! We are brand new creatures at the core of our being who are separately linked to a fallen flesh! 4. The ministry of the Spirit is simply to make me holy – that is called sanctification. Listen to Gal 5:16 a) Dismantle sin in me, that is in my body, that is my flesh! Turn and read Rom 8:13 - keep open because we will come back b) Fill us with resurrected life to overcome the deadness of our bodies and give us the ability to obey God. Turn and read Rom 8:10-11 c) The Spirit also is the one who defeats Satan in our lives. Read 1 Jn 4:4 d) And the Spirit of Jesus is the Guardian and Shepherd of our souls! Read 1 Pet 2:25 5. Walk by the Spirit a) Read definitions on left side of slide b) We already learned that we do not have the ability to do God’s will. Death is the ultimate weakness, impotence, inability, emptiness, powerlessness! c) So when I depend upon everything that I inherited from Adam – body and soul to overcome sin or do God’s will I am walking in the flesh and I fail every time. d) But when I depend upon the indwelling Spirit of Jesus He overcomes sin and can do God’s will in and through me! Turn and read Rom 8:2-4. e) I need to transfer my trust from myself to the One who lives in me! My dependence is not upon myself but the One who lives in me. Read Gal 2:20 f) But to be clear I am not talking about being passive. (1) We should not consider the engagement of my soul and body as in opposition to walking by the Spirit but rather as complementary! (2) We tend to go to extremes in either depending upon Spirit and not engaging our soul and bodies or depending upon our souls and bodies but not engaging the Spirit. (3) This is depending upon the Spirit as the source and I engage my soul and body as the resource to dismantle sin and empower me to do God’s will! g) If we are to trust Christ will work in us, why are there so many commands in the Bible telling us how we should live? When I read command verses, I take it that is my responsibility to obey. (1) Yes it is my responsibility to obey those verses but the way I do it is by turning to and trusting the Spirit of Jesus to enable me to obey in a manner that is pleasing to Him. (2) Phil 2:12-13 (3) Heb 13:20-21 • Now let me close by just directly quoting some of the things III. Watchman Nee says about these things! A. Love the way he starts the book where he lays out his premise for the normal Christian life: 1. What is the normal Christian life? 2. We learn it is something very different from the life of the average Christian. 3. Indeed a consideration of the Word of God – of the Sermon on the Mount for example – should lead us to ask whether such a life has ever in fact been lived upon earth, save only by the Son of God Himself! But in the last saving clause lies the answer to our question. 4. The Apostle Paul gives us his own definition of the Christian life in Gal 2:20. It is “no longer I, but Christ” I live no longer, but Christ lives His life in me. a) In all of God’s dealing with us, He works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place. The Son of God died instead of us for our forgiveness and He lives instead of us for our deliverance. b) So we can speak of 2 substitutions – a substitute on the cross who secures our forgiveness and a substitute within us who secures our victory! B. Listen to just a few more key quotes from his chapter on the Spirit! 1. To live in the flesh is to do something “out from” myself as in Adam. It is to derive strength from the old natural sources of life that I inherited from him. Living in the Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I could not do myself! a) It is not a matter of trying but of trusting! 2. We think of the Christian life as a “changed life” but it is not that. What God offers us is an “exchanged life” a “substituted life” and Christ is our substitute within! 3. Now what is the law of sin and death? a) If someone passes an unkind remark about me, at once something goes wrong inside of me. That is not the law of sin, that is sin. But if when different people pass unkind remarks, the same “something” goes wrong inside, then I discern a law within – law of sin! Like the law of gravity, it is something that is constant and always works the same. b) Now as to the law of death – death as we have said, is weakness produced to its limit. Weakness is “I cannot.” Now if when I try to please God in this particular matter I find I cannot, and if when I try to please Him in that other thing I again find I cannot, then I discern a law at work. c) There is not only sin in me, but a law of sin! And there is not only death in me but a law of death! How can I be delivered from the constant repetition of weakness and failure? d) The law is there, but another law superior to it is operating to overcome it, namely the law of life. e) God delivers us from one law by introducing another law. The law of sin and death is there all the time, but God has put another law into operation – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, and that law is strong enough to deliver us from the law of sin and death! f) The law of life in Christ – the resurrection life that is in Him has met death in all its forms and triumphed over it! 4. Let me close with this one – why do men use willpower to try to please God? a) They may be born again and the life is there, but they have not learned to trust in that life! b) It is no longer a question of our will but of His life! C. This is me now and not Watchman - you have heard me say this before – the way we are saved is the same way we walk with Christ! We are saved by transferring our trust from ourselves to what Jesus did for us on the cross. We walk by transferring our trust from ourselves to what Jesus will do in my heart. 1. Whether we walk by the Spirit or walk by the flesh is all the difference between: joy and frustration, fruitfulness or bareness, praise or discouragement! Between rivers of living water flowing out of your heart and just a drip of the Spirit, experiencing the surpassing greatness of the power of God or constant defeat!
Duration: 48 min