Summary: Sermon 19 in Galatians series. We are all marked people. We either belong to God, marked as his by the blood of Jesus, or the ONLY other alternative, we belong to Satan, and bear his mark, the mark of the beast which is symbolic. The head and hand sybol
08/12/07 TITLE: “A Marked Man”
Use of forehead and arm in symbolic sense
Eze 3:9 (forehead symbol of mind / attitude)
Deu 26: (arm / hand of God symbol of His actions)
In Deuteronomy 6:8, God told His people to take his word and permeate their lives with it. He told them to bind it as a symbol on their foreheads and on their arms. They took him literally. You may have seen Jewish people with little boxes called Phylacteries on their foreheads with scrolls of scripture in them, or with scripture bound on their arm. They should have seen what the symbols were pointing to. They are good at missing the point of what symbols are pointing to. The forehead is a symbol for a person’s mind, their thought life. We are to saturate our mind, our thoughts with the word of God. The arm is a symbol for our actions. We are to live out God’s word through our actions in day to day life. That is what is meant by the “Mark of the Lamb”
John uses similar language in Revelation when he talks about the “Mark of the Beast”. Again people want to take this literally, but it has similar symbolism to what we just talked about. You can tell Christians apart from unbelievers by what they think and what they do.
We are marked by our thoughts, our heart, our attitude, and our actions. We are instantly and permanently marked as His, sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Him as our Lord and Savoir. Do you really think God needs some external mark to identify you?
Jesus said “I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me”(John 10:14)
We are all marked people. We have either the mark of the lamb, or the only other choice, the mark of the beast.
Gal 5: 16-26 (NIV) 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
I THE CONFLICT (FLESH VS SPIRIT)
II. THE CRUCIFIXION OF SIN NATURE
III. THE CONFOMITY TO HOLY SPIRIT
I: THE CONFLICT (FLESH VS SPIRIT)
The text tells us that the flesh and the spirit are in opposition to one another (v17). The flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh. This is a struggle that happens in every person. The unbeliever has no hope in this struggle (Paul in Ro 7).
THE SPIRITUAL ODD COUPLE (Felix and Oscar)
We have, inside each of us the ultimate odd couple, the flesh and spirit
They are at war with each other.
The flesh is our sin nature. Our sin nature is an unholy monster, and the more we feed him the bigger he gets and the more control he gains.
In someone without the Holy Spirit living within them, the only positive force to oppose the sin nature is our God given conscience.
But without the Holy Spirit, we are in big trouble. We are fallen, depraved, natural enemies of God and his law written on our hearts (Ro 2:15)
Ro 8:7 (NIV) the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
The unbeliever is controlled by the desires of the flesh.
He has no hope of escaping this, he is a slave to it
The internal battle is hardly fair. It’s like an 800lb gorilla sin nature, fighting Bubbles the chimp spirit of natural man.
A. Deeds of the Flesh
The deeds of the flesh are obvious because everyone has a God given sense of right and wrong (Ro 2:15)
1. Three Sexual sins: sexual immorality , impurity (porneia / fornication), and debauchery. Sexual sins are often placed first in these types of negative lists because of their large impact and immense consequences.