Summary: The power of the Holy Spirit is not just for salvation, but transformation,
May 27, 2007
Pastor Brian Matherlee
When you go to a theme park what kind of ride do you choose? Maybe you like those rides that spin you all around. Maybe you like the roller coasters. Many only like the monorail. Do you choose to ride at all? I like the roller coasters. They are fast, thrilling, up and down, twisting and turning. When we go to Carowinds I am trying to get my little girls accustomed to riding rides so when they are older, if I’m not too old by then, we can ride them together since my wife isn’t so keen on them.
Roller Coasters seem to me to be a good illustration of where we might be spiritually. What kind of ride do you like?
Living by the Spirit is an incredible ride. Life has ups and downs but the Spirit life is a life full of good things no matter the events and circumstances we find ourselves in. In contrast, the life without the Spirit is one of ups and downs and no consistency in our living because of the circumstances and events we find ourselves in. Good things happen, we’re thrilled, bad things happen, and we’re depressed.
Wouldn’t we all desire to live the kind of life God intended for us to live? That’s what Pentecost is all about. Pentecost is the birth of the church age. The time when the Holy Spirit was given to every believer for living a life that pleases God.
Notice 3 simple truths from Galatians 5:16-26
1. Living by the Spirit is an avoidance maneuver.
a. Spirit living replaces destructive desires & behaviors. (16, 19, 20, 21))
b. Spirit living gives no room for sinful choices. (17)
2. Living by the Spirit is freeing
a. I pursue the good rather than spend my life trying to avoid the evil. (18)
b. The Fruit of the Spirit is that which sets up my life and relationships for success and blessing. (22-23)
3. Living by the Spirit is a full-time endeavor
a. Paul teaches that those in Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. So why do Christians struggle? Because we keep going back and digging those things up.
b. Keeping in step with the Spirit means I walk down paths that don’t go past the graveyard of my old life.
What does it mean to be in step with the Spirit?
A. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us for guidance
1. He guides us to produce righteous living
a. There are 5 great righteous living lists in the Scripture:
i. 10 Commandments (Exodus 20)
ii. Beatitudes (Matthew 5)
iii. Increasing Virtues (2 Peter 1)
iv. Great Commandment (Mark 12:29-31)
v. Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)
b. The Holy Spirit is the seed of Christ that grows to produce the fruit of Christ.
i. John 15 tells us we are to remain in Him so that we will produce fruit that will last.
ii. Acts 2 tells us that we are given the Holy Spirit to witness.
2. He guides us to accomplish the impossible
a. A family from a remote area was making their first visit to a big city. They checked in to a grand hotel and stood in amazement at the impressive sight. Leaving the reception desk they came to the elevator entrance. They’d never seen an elevator before, and just stared at it, unable to figure out what it was for. An old lady hobbled towards the elevator and went inside. The door closed. About a minute later, the door opened and out came a stunningly good-looking young woman. Dad couldn’t stop staring. Without turning his head he patted his son’s arm and said, "Go get your mother, son."
b. Think of those examples in Scripture where God enabled people to accomplish the humanly impossible:
c. Accomplishing great things for God takes the move of God because we more often try only the things we think we can manage. Our faith is not stretched to believe. Just as we become weak when we don’t exercise our physical body, when we don’t stretch ourselves spiritually as the Holy Spirit directs we become weaker.
d. Peter may have sunk in the waves but he decided to believe big and took the chance. He didn’t fail…he found out keeping his eyes on Jesus would permit anything God willed to be accomplished.
e. What have you determined is impossible that God has encouraged you to go after?
3. The Holy Spirit guides us through gifts
a. Many lists of gifts are in the Scripture. They include teaching, preaching, mercy, compassion, prophecy, administration, serving, etc.
b. The Holy Spirit guides us in the use of spiritual gifts so that the church might be effective. 1Pe 4:10. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.