Summary: We must pray for and rely on God’s strength to get us through life.
Willing Spirit; Weak Flesh
March 22, 2015 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must pray for and rely on God’s strength to get us through life.
Focus Passage: Matthew 26:36-42
Supplemental Passage: Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB)
Introduction: John Piper says that sin (lust for example) "gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.” E. Lutzer, Putting Your Past Behind You, Here's Life, 1990, p.54.
What is temptation? Seduction to evil, solicitation to wrong. It stands distinguished from trial thus: trial tests, seeks to discover the man's moral qualities or character; but temptation persuades to evil, deludes, that it may ruin. The one means to undeceive, the other to deceive. The one aims at the man's good, making him conscious of his true moral self; but the other at his evil, leading him more or less unconsciously into sin. God tries; Satan tempts.
Fairbain, quoted in The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, J.D. Pentecost, p. 99.
I. Desire of the Spirit
a. Peter, James, and John wanted to do what was right – they were with Jesus
b. We, too, want to do the right thing; to please Jesus. We have good intentions.
c. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:16-17 NASB)
II. Desire of the Flesh
a. Peter, James and John were overcome by fatigue – they ended up disappointing Jesus
b. While we may have good intentions, our fleshly desires get in our way.
vii. Ambition, etc
c. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 NASB)
d. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17 NASB)
III. Hope for Tomorrow
a. We can take comfort in the fact that our strength comes from the Lord. God does not expect us to operate on our own righteousness; we have already failed at that. BUT, we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit!
b. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)
c. "Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7)
d. "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NASB)
Application/Invitation: Sometimes, we can see the weakness in the flesh of others. Sometimes, all that person needs is some encouragement to trust the Lord. Pray for them and support them. We are all in the same predicament. It is not always hard to see our own desire for good being overcome by our fleshly desires. We DO NOT have to give in to temptation! We have the power of the Risen Christ in our lives and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us! The Bible is true! “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
What settings are you in when you fall? Avoid them. What props do you have that support your sin? Eliminate them. What people are you usually with? Avoid them. There are two equally damning lies Satan wants us to believe: 1) Just once won't hurt. 2) Now that you have ruined your life, you are beyond God's use, and might as well enjoy sinning.
"Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." Charles Spurgeon.