Summary: A little girl asked "if God is bigger than we are, and God lives inside of us, wouldn’t He show through?" She right, but what does Romans 8 tell us about how God does that.
OPEN: A little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me."
The mother said, "Oh! Why is that?”
The girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?"
"Yes, that’s true," the mother replied.
"He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?"
Again the mother replied, "Yes."
"Well," said the girl. "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"
APPLY: That’s what Romans 8 is telling us. Paul is saying that if we are Christians the Spirit of God dwells within us, and since God is bigger than we are - if we’re being led by His Spirit – God’s going to show through.
Now there are those who think the Spirit is a thing. They view Him as a lifeless blob that God sets inside of us that doesn’t physically affect us during our lives.
ILLUS: They tend to view God’s Spirit like a coin you put in a pop machine or a candy machine. The coin goes in and the candy comes out. But from that point on the coin lies dormant in the machine, doing nothing more of any value.
But Romans 8 is telling us that’s not so with God’s Spirit.
Romans tells us that the Spirit is a life giving, life changing force.
Throughout this passage Paul tells us the Spirit:
· helps us know what God desires for our lives (vs. 5)
· can help me control my mind (vs. 6)
· Helps me have life and peace (vs. 6)
· gives “life” to my mortal body (vs. 11)
· helps me put to death my “misdeeds” – helps me control my sin (vs. 13)
· testifies to the fact that I am a child of God (vs. 16)
When God places His Spirit inside us that Spirit becomes a life giving, life changing force.
Jesus said: "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." John 7:38-39
Up until Jesus rose from the dead the Spirit of God had not lived in anybody like He lives in you and me now. Now however Jesus tells us - because that Spirit does live inside of each Christian – He is a powerful force flowing inside us.
Now, as I was preparing this sermon several questions came into my mind that I felt needed answered:
1st - What does the Spirit DO in me?
What is it that He does that makes it so that God shows through me?
Well, primarily the Spirit is inside of me to change me.
He’s there to fine-tune how I react to life.
He’s there to remake me in the image of God…so I become more like God
Look again at Romans 8:5-6
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind CONTROLLED BY THE SPIRIT is life and peace.”
When I submit to God’s Spirit and allow Him to control my life, that Spirit teaches me what God desires – what He wants me to be like.
The best passage to explain this is Galatians 5:22-23
Turn there with me
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The Spirit’s job is to strengthen those traits in you and me so that:
· We become more loving. When we’re around others we show love. We care for them/ love them even if they’ve hurt us.
· We create an atmosphere of joy wherever we go
· When there’s a conflict at home/church/work we try to be the peace makers
· We become more patient, and good and faithful and gentle.
· We have more self-control of our thoughts and words and actions.
These characteristics are gas gauge that helps us know how much of our lives the Spirit controls. You can go to church/ Sunday School/ mission trips/ give half of your money to God, and God will be pleased with those things. But those aren’t really the marks of the Spirit living powerfully within you and I. It’s only when the Spirit reinforces His fruit in our lives that we really know He is there.
So the Spirit wants to change me and fine-tune me.