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Summary: Sixth and final message in the Back to SCHOOL series – Living the Spirit-filled Life - Galatians 5:25

INTRODUCTION:

We live in a world of high-tech communication. Many of us carry a cell phone with us everywhere we go. How many of you have ever found that as you drove down the highway you had inadvertently set your phone down, but you had either not ended the previous call or the phone made a call to the last person you talked to? My sister-in-law Carol and my Dad have been notorious at letting this happen. Their phone would be sending me every sound in their car. I could listen to them sing along with the radio, talk with the person riding with them or even funnier talk to themselves. It can be interesting to listen in on someone when they don’t know you’re there.

How differently would you live if you knew that everything you said was being heard by someone else? If you knew someone were listening would you be careful about what you said? Would you be careful not to gossip? Would not sneak in a lie to cover up but always tell the truth? Would you stay away from telling certain jokes if you knew certain people were listening in on your conversation? Well the Holy Spirit is always listening in. Your cell phone to God never disconnects; God not only hears every word you say, but the Holy Spirit also listens in on every thought you have. Your cell phone may not broadcast your thoughts and conversations to Pastor George or me to listen in on (and I for one am glad I don’t have to hear everything that you all say), but God is listening to every word.

This is our final week in our Back to SCHOOL series. We have been looking at some of the basic (and essential) doctrines or teachings of the church.

Salvation

Conversation with God

Holiness and Sanctification

One Source – The Authority of the Bible

One God – Three Persons

Living the Spirit Filled Life

Galatians 5:25 (NIV)

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

This is where the rubber hits the road. It isn’t good enough for us to simply know the basics of our faith; we need to live the life. I have often said, “God isn’t like the public school system. God won’t push you into the next grade; you have to have a passing grade.” If you’re just starting out in your walk with Christ, if your spiritually in kindergarten, first or second grade, then God will leave you right were you are at until you learn the lessons He is teaching you. God will continue to give you the same test until you pass it; there is no pushing you ahead.

What then does it mean to “live by the Spirit?” Paul says living by the Spirit is to “keep in step with the Spirit.” Living by the Spirit is literally to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

ILLUSTRATION: One way to picture what it is like to “keep in step with the Spirit” is to imagine a marching band or soldiers marching in a parade. Hundreds of individuals are marching in step with each other. When a marching band in “in step” all the members are as one. But what happens if one individual is out of step? They stand out like a sore thumb. Everyone can tell if you are out of step with the others in the band.

As we discover what it means to “keep in step with the Spirit” we will likewise “live by the Spirit.” We’ll use STEP to help us understand what it means to live by the Spirit. To keep in STEP with the Spirit:

we Surrender to the Spirit

we are a Temptation Overcomer

we have an Empowered Witness

and we Pray with the Spirit’s help

Someone has said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Someone else said, “It’s important to start off on the right foot.” The first step is important, so we are going to spend the bulk of our time here.

Surrender to the Spirit

Galatians 5:25 (MsgB)

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.

It is not good enough that we can “talk the talk;” we must also learn to “walk the talk.” Or another way of saying it, “Our walk needs to line up with our talk.” We need to walk straight and keep in step with the Spirit and it all starts as we surrender control to the Spirit.

Notice what it says: living by the Spirit is more than an “idea” or a “sentimental thought.” Living by the Spirit requires that we work out the “implications in every detail of our lives.” In every thing we do and say we should ask ourselves, “How should I surrender to the Spirit so I can keep in step with the Spirit?”

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