Summary: A sermon discussing what is next in the life of a Christian. Audio, outline, & Powerpoint will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
‘So I say, “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.’
This was originally meant for those who have just received baptism, to tell you what is expected of you now. But I believe it is also a message for all Christians to hear. So, from this day forward … what’s next?
First of all, how many of you believe that your body has a spirit? Nearly all of you. What would you say if I told you that you were wrong?
Your body does not have a spirit. Your spirit does have a body, however. The body will disappear, but your spirit will live on forever.
We consist of three parts. We have a mind; we have a body; and we have a spirit. It isn’t your mind that communicates with the Holy Spirit as your mind focuses on the data of the world.
It isn’t your body that communicates with the Holy Spirit as your body is focused on the fleshly pleasures of the world.
It is your spirit that communicates with the Holy Spirit. Today, I want to discuss a teaching from the Apostle Paul, about the Spirit of God.
Let’s start by talking about …
1. OUR SPIRIT
Paul is talking about living by the Spirit. Of course, he is talking about the Spirit of God’s nature, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that was sent to be with us when Jesus left. The Spirit that remains with us yet today, if we will but let Him in.
But don’t let the word ‘Spirit’ fool you. We tend to think of a spirit as something vague, not real – something akin to Casper the friendly Ghost. But the Holy Spirit is as real a person as you or I. He can be grieved and made sad. These traits are only found in real living beings. And, being the comforter that God the Father sent to us after Jesus left, He lives with us by living in our spirits.
And Paul says to live by the Spirit and we will not satisfy our sinful nature. We are born into a world that is under the sway of the enemy, and the enemy is the world’s best liar. His only job is to kill, steal, and destroy what God has made – and we are in the center of his target.
Since we are born into this world, we have carnal natures, always looking for immediate gratification and fun. And there is no sin that is not fun to somebody to some degree. If sin were not fun, there would be no enticement to commit it in the first place. And that is our problem: Our carnal and worldly nature craves the fix we get from sin.
And Paul tells us to live by the Spirit and we will not gratify those desires of our flesh that we have. If you will notice, before Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, his first instinct was to walk with God. After he ate of the forbidden fruit, his first instinct was to hide from God. He had lost his way because he had disobeyed God and become a part of this world.
An airline pilot came on the loud speaker in the middle of a long flight and told the passengers that they had been flying with no radar, radio communications, or compasses for the last hour. He said the bad news was they were hopelessly lost. But he said the good news was they were making excellent time!
Too many Christians are living their lives like that pilot was flying his plane: Living a lost life, but making good time doing it. We have become so busy in our society that we no longer focus on details, but on the overall pictures. Unfortunately, big pictures are made up of small details, and when we miss them, we are distorting the bigger picture.
A man confided that his life was so busy that he no longer came home at night and asked his wife what was going on. He said he walks through the door and says, “Where are we going?”