Summary: As those who’ve been declared righteous we have a duty, we can delight, and we can be assured of our destiny.
Allowing God’s Spirit to Lead You
Rev. Brian Bill
Just as Paul and Grace Becker have been led to a different ministry in Mexico, so too, the Holy Spirit leads His people today in ways that will bring Christ glory and expand the Father’s kingdom. Our students returned late last night from their mission trip to New York City and have given testimony to how the Holy Spirit did His work in them, and through them this past week. We’ll hear from these students, our 5-Day Club missionaries and Emily Bill as she tells us what God did in the Dominican Republic two weeks from today. Then, on August 26th, we’ll hear from our Kenya team and from Lindsay Carley as she shares what she experienced in Uganda. We’re also hoping that Kyle Robson, who served in Miami, will be able to join us this summer.
Pastor Jeff asked each of the students to write out what they learned this past week and then he sent their responses to me so I could post them on the blog. Here are some that really jumped out at me…
* God has taught me that I’m beautiful no matter what anyone tells me.
* I have been more brave by going to talk to people I have never met before.
* Don’t stereotype people…get to know them.
* First impressions are often wrong. Everyone is made in God’s image and is important to Him and therefore to us.
* The Holy Spirit is doing something amazing in me this week. Pray that I will continue to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to hear what He wants me to hear and do what God is calling me to do.
* When the Holy Spirit moves—He really moves!
Aren’t you glad that the Holy Spirit still moves in and among His people today? He’s going to do that right now as we look to His Holy and inerrant Word because He will illuminate that which He also inspired. Let me read 1 Corinthians 2:12 and then let’s pray: “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”
Two weeks ago we learned that there is no condemnation for the Christ-follower. Last week we rejoiced in the fact that we have been given the companionship of the Holy Spirit. As we continue in our sweet study of Romans 8, we come again to the little word “therefore,” this time in verse 12. This is a clue that Paul is now moving from instruction to exhortation; from what God has done for us to what is expected from us. As a result of having no condemnation and having the companionship of the Holy Spirit, Paul is going to describe our debt, our delight and our destiny. Let’s look first at our debt.
You and have been given so much, haven’t we? With all that we’ve received comes some responsibility. Check out verses 12-13: “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Paul uses the word “brothers,” which literally means “from the same womb” to remind us of the closeness that Christians have with each other because we are in the same family. The word “obligation” refers to one who owes another and is under duty to live a certain way. We have a moral compulsion as Christians and we’re obligated to the Almighty in at least two ways.
1. Don’t live like you used to. If you’re a born again believer, you are now someone you never were before as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Too many of us fall back into flesh-living instead of faith-living. Friends, you and I owe the flesh nothing because it has never done us anything good. In fact, we feed the flesh way too much already! Producing either self-indulgence or self-righteousness, living for the flesh leads only to death. I came across this acrostic for the word F.L.E.S.H. that is helpful to remember: Following Long Established Sinful Habits.
2. Put disobedience to death. Dr. Charles Ryrie has called Romans 8:13 the most important single verse on the spiritual life. Some translations use the word “mortify” which means “to kill.” We must avoid being passive about sin in our lives. “Putting to death the misdeeds of the body” refers to “slaughtering sin” in your life. This same word is used in Romans 8:36: “…We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” John Owen challenges the believer to “be killing sin or it will be killing you.” This is similar to what we emphasized last week: “Think about what you think about” in order to capture our thoughts to make them obedient to Christ. Too many of us cater to the flesh when God tells us to crucify it. There are two aspects of putting the misdeeds of the body to death that appear at first glance to be contradictory.