Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: There are two spirits in opposition to one another. The Spirit of God is better.



- Rachel teaching Jonathan

- We are “mature”; our instinct is to “do God one better.”

But as children redeemed by the spirit, we really should know better. Our Father created us, knows what we are created for, and desires to grow us in conformity to him. Our challenge is to let him be God.

There are two Spirits

- Ru’ach, Pneuma (pneumonia, hammer)

- Gives life (12 / 13) physical breath (Adam, the World)

- Gives understanding

They are opposed to one another

- Life says “It’s all about you”

- God says ‘Humble yourself…’ & Phil 2:5

- Looking in the mirror all your life?

- Miller Lite commercials – false dichotomy

- Escape the premise – His is the only framework that works.

- Truth & Happiness

The Spirit of God is Superior

Verse 7 says that this Spirit looks to our glory. If we are created in the image of God, then when we live in the spirit of God, we are glorious creatures.

Look at Verse 11 – it says that the only way to know a person’s thoughts is to have their Spirit. Well that’s what the Holy Spirit is – God’s thoughts

And look at verse 13 – it says that we have the Spirit of God who is willing to teach us. It will interpret spiritual truths to those of us who are spiritual.

Conclusion – Lance Armstrong / Floyd Landis

Our Father really does know best.

I love listening to Rachel talk. Let’s face it, even as four year-olds go, she’s a talker. I love watching her “teach” Jonathan about how he’s supposed to act in the world. When she’s doing it right, I hear words that I know cam straight out of Susan’s mouth. Sometimes, not so much. It’s like there are two spirits in Rachel – and there’s a battle to see which one will come out of her today.

As we grow up and break away, our instinct is to believe that we have matured in our own world, capable of discerning the thoughts of God, and doing him one better. I know that I have learned to say “If only God would listen to me” sarcastically, but the truth is I want to teach God a thing or two sometimes.

But as children redeemed by the spirit, we really should know better. Our Father created us, knows what we are created for, and desires to grow us in conformity to him. Our challenge is to let him be God.

Paul knows this. When he wrote 1 Corinthians, he wrote it to a bunch of children. He wanted them to grow up too, but they needed to grow up right. So, as a Father works to get his children to learn to choose the right on their own, Paul is going to have a very simple message for his child church. Learn to choose well, he says.

He’s going to start by telling his church – there are two ways you can go. You can’t have them both – these paths are in opposition to one another. But one of them is superior. It may not look better, but choosing it means choosing life. It’s a basic message, but it’s one that is only doable when you start from the premise that your heavenly Father is right.

There are two spirits

The first thing that I hope you noticed in this passage is that there are two spirits. There is the Spirit of the Age and there is the Spirit of God. These are very different things. But, they are both spirits, so I want to ask the question, what is a spirit?

Well, at the most basic level, spirit is breath. When Genesis says the Ru’ach – the Spirit of God blew over the waters, when it breathes life into Adam; at one level it’s just saying ‘breath.’ The Greek word is pneuma, and if you’ve ever had pneumonia or seen an air-powered pneumatic hammer, you know that. And, that pneumatic hammer helps, because you see how the air gives it life. When we talk of an animated being – and that’s just the Latin word for spirit and breath, we’re all getting back to the same thing. The spirit is the breath of life.

But what is it, then, that this breath – this anima, this pneuma does? Well, our text boils it down to two things: It gives life physically, it gives life spiritually.

Look at verses 12 & 13 again. 2 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, [Why?] that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

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