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Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2020 8:00 am

Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 5, 2020 8:00 am

The importance of living by the power of the Holy Spirit; four practical insights regarding keeping in step with the Spirit.

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I want you to understand that the key to keeping in step with the Spirit, number one, is to walk in faith. To walk in faith.

Now faith simply means I put my trust in Christ. Are you struggling with sin today? Here's some good news from Galatians 5 verse 16. Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Hello and thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. What does it mean to walk by the Spirit?

How can we be set free from our sinful flesh and walk in Spirit and Truth? Well, Pastor Paul is standing by with answers, so stay right here if you can. But remember, you can always visit to listen anytime on demand. That's

You can also download the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Keeping in Step with the Spirit. Galatians chapter 5.

There I'd like you to look with me at the first six verses. Paul says this, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mark my words. I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again, I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ.

You have fallen away from grace. But by faith, we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. We'll pause our reading there as we continue to examine key portions of Paul's letter to the churches in Galatia. And when he moves into this section of the letter, Paul continues to expound the theme that we have seen him speak of off and on through the letter, which is the importance of experiencing and enjoying freedom in Christ. He is writing to people who have been heavily influenced by the Judaizers, persons who have come through the churches and insisted that these Gentiles who are accepting Christ must become Jews if they are going to be saved. Their claim was you cannot be saved merely by putting your trust in Christ.

You have to also follow that up with becoming a Jew. So they insisted that the Gentiles had to be circumcised and they had to have strict adherence to Jewish law in order to be saved. This of course was not in line with the preaching of the gospel.

It was contrary to what Paul and the apostles taught because they understood that salvation was by grace through faith and it had nothing to do with trying to be converted to Jewish law. And so he is continuing to expound this point and he insists here that it was for freedom that Christ has made us free. A very interesting phrase. He said he set you free so that you could really be free. He didn't set you free so that he could take you into another form of bondage. He said he set you free because he wanted you to be free to serve God, free to love God, free to do God's will and to understand that you had blessed assurance in Christ that when Christ died on the cross he canceled all of your sins and he made you free to enjoy life as a child of God. And so he is insisting that they learn to walk in that freedom and he says I want you to stand firm. In other words do not let anyone move you back into legalism.

Do not let anyone tell you that you've got to obey the law in order to be saved. He said take your stand against these people and what they have taught and enjoy what Christ has done for you. In fact he says you who are caving in and you who are saying okay they must be right I have to be circumcised. He uses very strong language.

Look at what he says. He says for in your case Christ is of no value to you at all. In other words if you can be justified by your works then you have set aside, you have canceled what Christ did on Calvary. And I want to let you know you've got to settle it in your life even today in the 21st century that salvation only comes through one means and that is by putting our trust in what Jesus did on that cross and allowing him to be the savior and the lord of our lives. Fact of the matter is if you could pull off being justified by virtue of the way you live your life Jesus would have never come from heaven to earth. If you and I could pull off having right standing with God then there would have been no need for the cross.

The cross is our sign and symbol that none of us could ever be righteous enough to please God and to have a relationship with him. We are dead in trespasses and sins with no hope of resurrection without Jesus Christ. He's the only reason you're saved and I want you to know that as we begin to explore a key theme in this passage. I want to let you know that you are saved for one reason and one reason alone and it's because of what Jesus did. Some of us have to understand that because some of us think that we are almost good enough to be like the fourth person in the Godhead.

Some of us really don't get it. You really don't know how messed up you are. You don't know how far short you fall and so I want to make sure you have no deception. If you read Romans 3.23, all have sinned and come short. Some of you all think well see y'all came shorter than me.

No, no, no, no. All have sinned. All have come short. In fact that phrase all have sinned has to do, it's an archery term. It has to do with an archer aiming at a target and pulling the string back and letting the arrow go. And the arrow comes nowhere close to the target. That's what Paul is saying. All of us took our best shot and we come woefully short of God's standard. And no need of marking where your arrow is versus mine.

You get the picture? Don't do that. Don't try to estimate the value of sin. Well see your sin counts for 10 points.

No, no, no, no. All unrighteousness is sin. Whether you are good at lying or stealing or cheating or being sinfully angry or being bitter or being hateful. No matter whether you are an adulterer or a fornicator. No matter whether your sin is heterosexual or homosexual. No matter whatever is going on in your life. All have sinned and Jesus came because he was the only one who could hit the target.

And here's the good news. When he hit the target he didn't hit it for him because he was God. He didn't need to be justified. He was God. When he came the Bible says he took our sins upon him. In other words when Jesus went to that cross he said I'm taking your shot. And instead of you shooting and coming short and being eternally condemned before God. I have come to hit the bulls eye and you put your trust in me and that's how you're saved.

I'm here to tell somebody the good news is you don't have to be lost. You can be saved right now. You don't have to be condemned.

You can be justified right now. You don't have to live in spiritual death. You can have life in Christ right now. You don't have to be eternally condemned. You can spend eternity in the presence of God right now.

Beginning right now. Why? Because Jesus hit the bulls eye for you. And Paul is saying you got to walk in that liberty.

You got to stand in that. You got to know that that's why you're saved. You are saved by grace through faith. That not of ourselves. It is the gift of God. You cannot earn your salvation.

I don't care how good you try to be. You will always come woefully short if you're simply trying to live in the power of your own flesh. And so Paul is trying to make this abundantly clear to these people. And he says I want you to know that it was for freedom that Christ set you free.

Don't you dare let somebody send you back to pick up the bow and arrow and say no I'm going to take my own shot. Because you will fall woefully short. Now I want you to notice in the course of making that point what Paul says in verse 6. He says for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision have any value. He said what counts is faith expressing itself through love. In this chapter Paul is going to make the point that the key to being the person God wants you to be is learning how to keep in step with the Spirit. He mentions that in verse 25 of the chapter. And this chapter is showing us what it looks like to keep in step with what God is doing in your life.

And here is the first key. He says I want you to understand that the key to keeping in step with the Spirit number one is to walk in faith. To walk in faith.

Now faith simply means I put my trust in Christ. Everything God has planned in my life is going to be executed not by my works but it will be executed by my putting trust in Him. Everything I want you to know, everything that God wants to do in your life it won't be done because you grit your teeth and you work real hard.

And you try to muster up enough righteousness to pull it off. Everything good that's going to happen in your life will happen because you simply put your trust in Christ and you follow Him where He leads you. It is His power that makes the difference.

It is His life in us that makes the difference. You and I will never be successful until we walk by faith. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with the second half of today's message.

But first, an important reminder. If you haven't already, be sure to download our free mobile app so you can listen to Destined for Victory right in the palm of your hand. The app is easy to navigate. It even allows you to take notes on Pastor Paul's messages.

Just search Destined for Victory in the app store and download it today absolutely free. Hebrews 11, 6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. How do we walk by faith? We'll find out next in the rest of today's message, Keeping in Step with the Spirit. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Faith is the delivery system that brings the grace of God into your life.

See it as a vehicle. Faith is the vehicle that grace rides in into your life. What is grace? Grace is God's favor that accomplishes God's purpose.

God's favor that accomplishes His purpose. Grace is the endowment, the ability God gives you to do what He wants you to do. See, way back in the Old Testament the Bible says the only way God could move in redemptive history to bring us to Christ is He had to bestow grace upon people. So there's a verse way back in Genesis that says Noah found favor in the sight of God.

It wasn't because of who he was, but God sovereignly chose to put His grace on Noah. And it is grace that accomplishes God's will. God's favor that allows you to do His will. That's what is going to be the key in your life.

How does that get into your life? How does God's power, how does God's ability, how does God's favor, how does God's blessing come into your life? It comes through faith. Faith is the vehicle system, the delivery system that brings God's grace. So everything good in your life, you've got to learn to walk by faith. That simply means when I get up in the morning I say, God, if I'm going to do your will today I can only do it by your power and by your grace.

So I'm going to ask you now to lead me and guide me and help me to follow you at every turn in the road. Because I want to let you know without the grace of God you're not going to make it. Without the grace of God nothing good will happen in your life.

Without the grace of God you're going to curse somebody out on that job. Without the grace of God you are going to make the biggest mistakes of your life. Without the grace of God you'll be full of hate and bitterness and anger. Without the grace of God your life will be out of sorts morally, ethically, and in every other way we desperately need grace.

And how does it come into our lives? It comes by learning to trust in God, the walk of faith. Everything good comes by faith.

That's why the Bible says the just shall live by faith. See faith saves us, it brings the grace that saves us, but then it doesn't abandon us. You've got to learn to have faith every day. I trust God every day that I'm saved. The only reason I'm saved is because every day my trust is in what Christ did. And the same grace that saves me is going to give me the power to live every day. And so I've got to learn that keeping in step with the Spirit means I walk in faith. I walk in faith. Secondly it says the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Through love. Faith expresses itself, Paul says, through love. So the second key to this keeping in step with the Spirit is not only walking in faith but walking in love.

Now let me park there a little bit because this is what we've got to understand. That the grace of God is changing our lives and conforming it to God's will. And one of the signs that you are keeping in step with the Spirit is you are expressing your faith in love. Now I don't know if you've met them but there are a lot of Christians I know who express so called faith but it is not in love. In fact some of the meanest people I know go to church every week.

You know any? Some of the most hateful people I know carry big Bibles. The problem is not going to church. Going to church is good. The problem is not having a big Bible. Having a Bible you can read and study, especially those with the notes and then all that. That's good.

Knock yourself out. I've got some great Bibles myself. But listen, what matters is faith, Paul says, that expresses itself in love. People aren't going to be impressed by your Jesus if you're representing Jesus to them and you're full of stuff other than love.

So we've got to get this. Faith has to express itself in love. What does he imply there? He implies that we've got to love in the way the great commandment calls us to love. Now we in the church often talk about the great commission. The great commission is what Jesus said to his disciples before ascending back to heaven.

He said go into all the world, preach the gospel, baptize them and teach them to observe everything that I have commanded you and I will be with you to the very end of the age. That's the great commission and so many of us focus on that. We've got to win the world for Christ.

Indeed we do. But you must understand that the great commission is to come to pass as a result of us focusing on the great commandment. The great commission is to go into the world, preach, baptize people and teach them to observe what Christ commanded us. But the great commandment is how Jesus responded to a question he received one day in Matthew chapter 22. Teachers of the law came to him around verse 37 or so and they said, listen we want to ask you a question. What of all of the law that Moses gave us, what is the greatest commandment? And Jesus without hesitation said, thou shalt love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Now he was quoting Deuteronomy chapter 6.

He was quoting right from the law that they were asking him about. And he said that is the most pivotal commandment in two parts, love God and love yourself. Because everything else God wants you to do is going to emanate from your obedience to those commands. So if the key to living the way God wants us to live is to obey this command which Jesus said was the greatest commandment, then we need to really focus on it.

Look at it. It says it is a commandment, thou shalt love the Lord your God. Now that might be a foreign concept to some of us because some of us think love has to do with our feelings. We live in a romantic society and many of us just equate love to a certain set of feelings. Some folk think love is the way you felt when you looked across that room and your eyes fell upon a person and you had a feeling. And a lot of people say that feeling was love.

In fact some of you your testimony would be if somebody asked you and your significant other or your spouse, when did you all first get together? One of you will proudly say, oh we fell in love in March of 2003. We were at the same function and I looked across the room and I saw him or I saw her and I was smitten and I fell in love. And some of you think that's love, it was the feeling you felt and you know there are wonderful songs that highlight that. And you know there's a song when I first saw you I said oh my. Oh my that's a dream.

That's my dream and the song is really wonderful and the strings come in, oh man it's wonderful. Way back in Cinderella when Cinderella used to, we were kids watching Cinderella on TV and what have you and she would appear at the top of the steps and the prince was down there dancing with all these folk and what have you and then she appeared and he looked up. And he was smitten. And then before long they are dancing together and the other folks standing off on the side hating.

And I remember them all of them making faces and what have you and he's dancing with Cinderella and he starts singing this song 10 minutes ago I saw you. See we love that kind of stuff. Nothing wrong with it. But the problem is you don't understand that that feeling is not a substantial love. There's nothing wrong with the feeling erotic romantic love has its place in a biblically committed relationship.

It's nice. I often say romantic love is a great feature in a marriage in the house of your marriage romantic love is a great feature but it's a poor foundation. Because it doesn't have enough substance to get you all the way through life. See cause feelings change how many know feelings change that feeling you felt when you looked across the room. That's not going to hang around forever.

It's not going to hang around forever. It's just the nature of feeling. So some of you who fell in love. Later on you were crawling out. You fell in.

And now I've seen you crawling out. Why because that can't be the foundation of a God ordained relationship. God's Word says that he began a good work in you and he will continue to perfect it until the day Christ returns. He's teaching you to live as Jesus lived which means you're learning to love as Jesus loved. Well if there is an area of your life that needs a little work learning to walk by faith learning how to love your neighbors as yourself the Destined for Victory ministry team would be happy to pray on your behalf. Visit and use the contact feature to send us your prayer requests. While you're there be sure to request Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement yours at no cost or obligation.

Now did you know that listenership to Destined for Victory is on the rise this year. During this season of uncertainty many people are looking for hope for meaning. Just one more reason why your prayers and financial support are so critical at this time. So for your generous donation to Destined for Victory today. We'd like to send you Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet little is much when God is in it.

If you've ever felt like your talent or your resources weren't enough to do much good. This booklet was written with you in mind. It's a great reminder that in the hands of God whatever you have is always more than enough. Again that's little is much when God is in it and it's our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Please call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory Post Office Box 1767 Fremont California 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Don't wait to feel something to love God. Love God because he is God. Reverence God because he is God. Reverence him because one day he will judge the living and the dead. And I want to be found having responded to his love by loving him in return. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message keeping in step with the Spirit. Until then enjoy the rest of your holiday and remember he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-05 14:59:54 / 2024-02-05 15:08:50 / 9

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