Summary: What you put on affects how you live. Put on Christ and take off the old man!
a. Over the past 3 weeks we have looked at the battle between the flesh and the spirit, between our old ways and our new ones, between our old man and the new creation we are in Christ.
b. We learned that because Paul wrote to 5 different NT churches and addressed this struggle, that it is a very important issue that all of us struggle with.
c. There have been several key principles that we have learned.
i. The flesh cannot be fixed. It must be put away, it cannot be cleaned up, dressed up, or made up. You cannot make a corpse look good. It is still a corpse.
1. That is our situation before we met and received Christ.
2. We were lost in our sins and under the power of the flesh (or self). We could not change ourselves. Anything we did was merely cosmetic.
3. Our lives will always produce fruit in accordance with its nature. If we are “in” the flesh, we will produce the fruits of the flesh, which are listed in each of the letters that Paul wrote dealing with this problem.
4. Ultimately, in order to produce good fruit, we need to be made “new creations” in Christ.
ii. To overcome the flesh we must walk in the Spirit.
1. We learned that the bible promises that “if you walk by the spirit you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
2. So if the “walking by the Spirit” is the solution to our problem, why aren’t more of us overcoming the self-rule in our lives?
a. The problem for most of us, is that we have never been TAUGHT how to walk by the Spirit.
b. We learned that we must be “led by the Spirit” – which I compared the difference between a pace car and a locomotive. Both lead, but only one provides power to those who are following. The locomotive leading is the best example of what it means to be led by the Spirit. We don’t follow in our own power and strength but depend upon the strength of the Spirit of God.
c. We must submit and stay connected relationally to God in order to walk by the Spirit.
iii. Another thing we learned two weeks ago, was that we will follow that which our minds are set upon.
1. If we set our minds upon the desires of the flesh, our actions will follow, if we set our minds upon what the spirit desires, our actions will follow.
2. We learned that self-consciousness is to walk in the flesh.
a. How much does self-consciousness affect us?
b. It causes us to do lots of things…
i. Like try to please people so they will like us
ii. Like try to act differently to be accepted
iii. Like try to do things for selfish reasons
3. We also learned that our walk in the Spirit is not supposed to be a “gas station experience” where we “fill her up” each week. It is supposed to be a “flow through” “immersed” experience not unlike a cup without a bottom that is lying in a river allowing the water to pass through it.
4. We operate in the Christian life not in the “storage” principle but in the “contact” principle (like a subway train that operates because it is CONNECTED to the power rail.
a. Victory is not you overcoming sin, Victory is Jesus overcoming you