Summary: The Holy Spirit brings us to life through a heart transplant and a renewed mind
Keys To Life Series July 18, 2004
Life by the Spirit
This summer we are doing a series called “Keys to Life.” Jesus gives us life through his death and resurrection on the cross, and he promises that life will be an abundant life. We engage that abundant life by following Jesus’ ways.
The problem is that it is not always easy to follow his ways. The scripture says that it is impossible to do this on our own – our hearts always lead us a stray. It might not be that we are drawn to every kind of sin that lead to death, or even the most “spectacular” sins, but each one of us is prone to stray from God’s ways in our own way.
The problem is not that God’s ways are too hard – they lead to life! The problem is that our hearts are too hard. God’s solution to the problem is a heart transplant.
Heart Transplant (1-4)
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in our sinful nature, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Trying to follow God’s ways on our own will never put us in right relationship with God, because we can’t do it. So God sent Jesus to live among us and die for us to pay the price for our sin, so we stand before God as pure people as if we had never sinned! But not only that but he changes our heart so that we now have the power to follow God’s ways!
Ezekiel prophesied this great thing that God has done:
24 " ’For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36)
Jeremiah describes it this way in Chapter 31
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD .
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, ’Know the LORD ,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD .
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."
Nicky Gumbal say that this switch is like going hiking. When you start out, you have your lunch in your pack on your back, and it weighs you down, but when you stop and eat it it is no longer a weight on your back, but fuel in your belly. In the same way, God has taken his law that was a weight on our backs and put it on our hearts so it is no longer a weight, but fuel for holiness. This is what happened when God Gave us the Holy Spirit. The law used to be a weight on our backs, but now the Spirit of God resides within us and he has written the Law of God on our hearts, so that it is no longer a weight, but a power within us to do the will of God. There is this beautiful thing that the Spirit does for us – he make us desire to do God’s will and then he empowers us to do it!
Paul in his letter to the Philippians says it this way: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (2: 13)
He gives us more than a heart Transplant, he transforms our mind
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.