Text: Galatians 5:16-17 (HCSB)
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
“Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35 (HCSB)
Intro: New Year, resolutions, desire to do things different, better – something new. All sorts of thoughts go through are mind at the beginning of a new year. With that said and done those thoughts can be good ones with good intention: however, we must first answer the question WHO IS IN CONTROL? Is it the spiritual nature or the worldly nature (meaning the flesh)?
THERE IS TWO NATURES that need to be address with this text. Two thoughts I want to share with you today that might be the two biggest challenges you will face this year!
Application: “Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the FLESH!”
1. The Desires of the Flesh: “For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit!” The flesh, the old man the deprived man, the lost man, the carnal man everything but right with God. This person is living for self and the desires of the world and the love of God is not in him Old sin nature! You the individual and the church must decide how we are going to move forward this year? The opposite of moving forward is not moving at all or going backward.
“The flesh” refers to the fallen nature still with the believer. The body itself is not sinful; appetites are not necessarily sinful, but the tendencies of the old nature are downward. In Romans 6, Paul tells us that the old man has been crucified and that we can overcome the flesh by reckoning ourselves dead to sin and by yielding ourselves to God. Here in Galatians, Paul spells out the conflict between the believer’s two natures.
The answer to conquering the lusts of the flesh is the Holy Spirit of God. The believer is to walk in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is the only conceivable way he can keep from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. No person has the power to control the lusts of his flesh—not within himself. Why is clearly seen in the four reasons given by Scripture.
1. The flesh fights for dominance. It lusts against the Spirit, struggles and fights to control the man. The picture is that of a tug of war. The word "lusts" means a yearning passion for. Every person has experienced the flesh...
Every person knows what it is to have his flesh lusting after something, to have it yearning and yearning to lay hold of something. The flesh is very strong and difficult to control. 1 What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:1-2 (HCSB)
2. The flesh is contrary to the Spirit. A man senses the desire to do what he likes, to lift the restraints and follow his own inclinations, desires, passions, and emotions. This is what the Bible means when it speaks of the "lust of the flesh."
However, the genuine believer has another force within his life—the force of the Holy Spirit.
3. The flesh keeps a person from doing what he would. Everyone has caved in to the flesh and done something that he did not want to do. He fought against doing it—knew it was harmful or hurtful—yet he did not resist the flesh. He gave in to the power of the flesh and did it. He...
did evil things
cheated, like or stole
4. The flesh fails to keep the law. No person keeps the law all the time: the flesh causes us to fail, and no matter how much we try, we cannot do everything the law says—not all the time. What then is the answer? It is essential to know the answer, for every time we fail to keep the law, the law is broken and we stand condemned. We cannot satisfy the demands of the law, not perfectly. Therefore, we are guilty and must pay the penalty. Our consciences condemn us. They bother and bug us if we are trying to live for Christ and yet continue failing time after time. Again, what is the answer?
Romans 8:5-11 (HCSB) 5 For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.”
2. The Design of the Spirit: “Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the FLESH! That is the design of the spirit. When you focus on God’s will you will not carry out the desires of the flesh, it is that simple, however; it is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to try to do in your life!
Spirit: (breath, wind) pneuma pnyoo'-mah
When the believer feels the constraint and the pressure between the flesh and the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is giving the power to overcome the flesh. The believer is to know no such thing as peaceful co-existence between the flesh and the Spirit.
Holy Spirit frees us to live as Christ lived, to actually live out the life which Christ lived. The active energy of life, the dynamic force and being of life—all that is in Christ Jesus—is given to the believer. The believer actually lives in Christ Jesus. And the Spirit of life which is in Christ frees the believer from the fate (law) of sin and death. This simply means that the believer lives in a consciousness of being free. He breathes and senses a depth of life, a richness, a fullness of life that is indescribable.
He lives with power—power over the pressure and strain, and bondages of life—even the bondages of sin and death. He lives now and shall live forever. He senses this and knows this. Life to him is a spirit, a breath, a consciousness of being set free through Christ. Even when he sins and guilt sets in, there is a tug, a power (Holy Spirit) that draws him back to God. He asks forgiveness and removal of the guilt.
1 John 1:9, and immediately upon asking, the same power (the Holy Spirit) Forgives and allows you to continue to live free from the quilt or constraint from the flesh.
It is the design of the spirit and the desire of God for mankind to reap the rewards of being set free of the bondage of sin thru a relationship with Christ.
Conclusion: Our standing in Christ determines our walk in Christ. Those who live by grace depend on the power of the Spirit. To “walk in the Spirit” means to have our daily lives under His control, and this means under the direction of the Word of God. To be “led of the Spirit” means to be delivered from a life of bondage to legalism. Christian character comes from within, by the power of the Spirit. The Spirit seeks to transform us into Christ’s likeness.
Philippians 3:12-16 (HCSB) 12 Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever [truth] we have attained.”
“Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the FLESH!”
In : Sermon
Tags: opposites "new year"
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