Summary: A sermon on the interaction between Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Walking With Jesus In the Spirit Rom. 8:1-6
INTRO.: There are two ways to live: in the flesh and in the Spirit. “Flesh” means human nature in all its weakness and sinfulness. It is human nature apart from God. It is the flesh that gives Satan a chance at us.
Paul writes to Christians as those who were in the flesh previously. Rom. 7:5. In Romans 8, he warns those who are in the flesh can’t please God. 8:8. Being carnally minded is death because it is enmity with God. 8:6, 7. We are not in the flesh. 9. “If you live according to the sinful nature, you will die” 13.
The works of the flesh are listed in Gal. 5:19-21
the other way to live is after the Spirit. The word for spirit is “pneuma” and it is also translated “wind.” It always carries the idea of power from beyond man. Possibly, the wind was the most powerful phenomenon seen by the people of Jesus’ day. The word was used to refer to the Presence and power of God. So, to walk in the spirit is to walk in the Presence and power of God.
Jesus is our greatest example. To walk with Jesus is to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh.
I. We see this from the beginning of His public ministry:
A. John was baptizing in the Jordan. Matt. 3:1-6
1. A striking figure, he came with God’s message and attracted many.
2. His task: preach a message of judgement and prepare for the coming of Jesus.
3. Although many are baptized, there is no mention of the Holy Spirit until Jesus arrived.
B. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended. This seems mysterious.
1. Who can doubt He already had the Spirit. He was begotten of the Spirit.
2. This is a special manifestation of the spirit for our benefit. There is no other reason for the Spirit becoming visible.
3. Here is an object lesson to teach us the gift of the Holy Spirit is given at baptism.
II. Having received the Spirit, Jesus immediately goes into the desert. Matt. 4:1
A. Notice the Spirit led Him there.
1. The purpose: to be tempted.
2. We usually assume we are tempted when we get away from God.
3. This testing was a part of Jesus’ personal human development.
4. And it was risky.
B. ILLUS,: Imagine a Christian who tries to help an addict who repeatedly returns to the old ways.
1. He helps, believing someday the life will be changed by the power of God.
2. Others don’t help, perhaps because they don’t believe in God’s power to save.
3. The point: even though we may not be tempted with drugs, we may be tempted to lose faith in God and His people. There is always risk.
4. Hence the warning in Gal. 6:1
C. The Christian may be led into places where we are tempted to doubt God.
1. Just as Jesus was.
2. It may be God’s plan to test us this way. It may be the Spirit’s leading don’t be afraid to go.
3. But, remember, a knowledge of Scripture sustained Jesus in each temptation.
4. If we plan to walk with Jesus in the Spirit, we must be prepared to battle Satan.
5. Thus the importance of Bible study, prayer, fellowship with God’s people.
III. Following His temptation, Jesus embarked on a life of service.
A. The beginning of His public ministry: Matt. 4:17, 23
1. He began ministering in Galilee and gathered disciples.
2. He preached the Kingdom and ministered to the suffering.
3. He lived a totally selfless life, committed to the will of God.
B. Many good deeds are done apart from God:
1. Man, created in God’s image. Still has some good in him.
2. Non-Christians sometimes make real sacrifices.
3. Non-Christian organizations like Red Cross, Good Will, CARE, etc. Do much good.
C. What is the difference between good deeds and Christian good deeds?
1. Jesus’ ministry was different because motivated and enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. The Christian works by the same spirit and power as Jesus.
3. He works in God’s behalf out of gratitude for what God has done.
4. He can do more because God works with him.
5. Moreover, what he does endures for eternity and brings him into partnership with God.
IV. His ultimate struggle with self: Matt. 26:36-46
A. It seems this was His last great struggle.
1. His words in v. 38 must be taken literally. He would not exaggerate at such a time.
2. He takes His 3 closest friends. We see the value of companionship at such times of stress.
3. But, we see a need to be alone with the Father.