Summary: This is sermon #2 in the series "Life in the Spirit" dealing with the difference between living from the "Inside Out" and living from the "Outside In." Romans 8 is the text for the sermon.
Living from the Inside Out (Life in the Spirit #2)
CHCC – December 11, 2011
Last Sunday we talked about how humans are made of BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT. The body is ... the body. Soul is Mind, Will, and Emotion. Spirit is the part of us that can connect with God’s Holy Spirit. Of course, BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT are interconnected. But looking at ourselves this way helps us understand what it means for a Christian to have LIFE in the Spirit.
You see, most people live life from the OUTSIDE IN. What I mean is that most of the time our moods and actions are based on our CIRCUMSTANCES. You can see this on the chart:
Circumstances -> Body -> Soul (mind, will, emotion) -> Spirit
(and the spirit get’s pretty much ignored under everything else)
If things go your way, you have a good day --- If things go wrong, you have a bad day --- If it’s Friday, it’s all good. If it’s Monday, it’s all bad.
Even though Christians aren’t supposed to live from the OUTSIDE IN … too often, we do. We even base our faith on our CIRCUMSTANCES. Did God answer my prayer? Did God heal my sickness? Did God make sure I got that job? Did God save my marriage? Did God make that person stop annoying me? Did God make me feel happy? If we can’t see God at work in our circumstances, our faith gets weak and we wonder if God cares.
This is the opposite of Life in the Spirit. Romans 8:4 says that Christians “don’t live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Becoming a Christian means the Holy Spirit has joined with my spirit to give me new life. It means that now I can live from the INSIDE OUT. Here is what that progression looks like:
Spirit -> Soul -> Body -> our actions
(our spirit indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit)
Romans 8:10 says, If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
God Himself --- in all His wisdom and power --- has connected with us on the deepest level … forever and ever. He lives in our heart --- and because of that Christians never again have to live “under the circumstances.”
Today we’re going to talk about what it means to live from the INSIDE OUT. We’re going to talk about what happens when the Holy Spirit connects with our human spirit. The human SPIRIT can be described in 3 parts: CONSCIENCE, INTUITION, and COMMUNION (See Watchman Nee, "The Spiritual Man" Part 5, Chapters 1-3 for more on this)
* CONSCIENCE is that part of us that feels guilt when we do wrong.
* INTUITION is deep knowing and understanding … the kind of knowing that goes beyond mere intellectual knowledge
* COMMUNION is the desire to worship, and have fellowship with God
The Holy Spirit gives life to our spirit and transforms us. First we’ll talk about how the Holy Spirit changes our Conscience.
1. The Holy Spirit INFORMS our Conscience
Romans 8:1-2 says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
The Holy Spirit changes your conscience from an instrument of condemnation to an instrument of guidance. For non-believers, the main power of the conscience is to condemn. The unregenerate conscience is dark and dead --- it tells us we’re guilty and worthless and hopeless.
When we BELIEVE in Jesus, an amazing thing happens - the Holy Spirit brings our spirit to life. Our conscience is set free from the law of sin and death.
Now, don’t misunderstand --- your conscience still tells you when you sin … in fact, as a Christian you may be even MORE aware of your failures and weaknesses. But the Holy Spirit changes your conscience from a harsh judge and jury to something more like a GPS system.
We affectionately call our GPS "Clive" because Clive has an Australian voice … How do we react when Clive says, “recalculating … take the first available U turn and get back to Highway 35.” We don’t slam on the breaks and sit there beating ourselves up for making a wrong turn. We just do what Clive said … and soon we find ourselves back on the right road.
As a Christian, you NEVER need to wallow in your guilt … to label yourself as a worthless, hopeless failure. That is living from the OUTIDE IN --- it’s the opposite of living by the Spirit. For a Christian, there is now no condemnation.