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July 9, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Walking In the Spirit.” Today’s scripture passage is Galatians 5:16-17.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today on The Daily Platform or continuing a study series entitled walking in the spirit which is a study of Galatians chapter 5. Let's listen to today's message for Steve will show us what it is like to walk in the spirit from Galatians chapter 5. Take your Bibles this morning, and please turn with me to the book of Galatians Galatians chapter 5 that's what I want us to look at this morning. Verses 16 and 17, when Paul says, here's my advice here's the way Christian liberty will work in all of our lives and he says walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh Christian liberty only works when believers accept their responsibility to conduct their lives according to the spirits control is not just a list that we follow but it is a surrender of our life to the spirits control in our life and walking in the spirit is the only way to live the Christian life and nothing else works, and the sooner you understand that the better off everybody will be that we must all be personally responsible to walk in the spirit so let's look at that this morning. What is Paul mean when he says walk in the spirit. The first thing we're going to see is that this is a command of God to all of us walk in the spirit so first of all, what is in the spirit mean and secondly, what is meant by wall start with the idea of what it means to be in the spirit. I want to go back to the book of Galatians chapter 3, if you will not want you to know just a couple of key verses with me in verse 14 of Galatians 3, God makes a promise to Abraham that a blessing would come to the Gentile nations through his family, which was ultimately in God's son, Jesus Christ.
When in verse 14 he says that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.
So question what is the blessing that comes on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ and noticed Galatians 3 in verse eight he tells us in the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preach the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying in you shall all the nations be blessed. So then they wish to be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. What is Paul saying here he is saying that God's blessing that was promised to Abraham fulfilled in Jesus Christ, is the blessing of salvation for all the nations.
So, all people throughout all the world can experience God's grace and justification. God making us right with him and Paul goes on to say that.
Included in this salvation is the gift of the Spirit. Look at verse 14.
He says that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith, so that when you and I are say what we receive as a gift, we receive not only eternal life, but we receive the gift of the spirit so what's the significance of receiving the gift of the spirit in two basic things. Number one, that when you receive the spirit. The spirit is the one that gives you spiritual life dear Eliza, before your Savior. Spiritually dead.
Dead as a doornail, no life, no relationship with God. You are in this world you may believe in the existence of God, but you don't have a relationship with God.
But when you are say the spirit of God resurrects you from the dead. Paul says you were quick and your made alive within. Secondly, the Holy Spirit is given to you and he the spirit makes real your personal relationship with God. Look at Galatians 4 in verse six he says we are God's adopted sons and he says because you are sons, God is sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba father was at me.
It means that the spirit of God makes our relationship with God. Genuine, real, and how do we know that because from our hearts. We cry out to God, but do you know what Abba is is the Hebrew word for daddy. I'm on the first times I went to the city of Jerusalem and I saw a little Jewish boy grabbing his father's hand and saying, Abba, Abba, and that's exactly what I thought here. What is the spirit of God do. He makes us alive spiritually.
Any makes our relationship with God so special that we talked to him just like we talked to our own father. It is the spirit of God that makes your relationship with God. Authentic and genuine and real now since we have this relationship with God, then we have a responsibility to that relationship and what is that it stay only in the word wall. What we mean by the word wall in the spirit will first of all, it's a command it's a choice of the will is a decision that you have to make it is to be made, every single day. Nothing the best way to understand the concept of walking is basically from two worlds.
First of all, the Hebrew world and secondly the Greek world. Let's look at it from the Hebrew world where can we go and discover what the word wall means is one that we all understand and it's Jesus and his disciples.
In biblical times. The whole idea of a disciple was someone who lived with the Rabbi, the rabbi of the Jewish form of instruction has never been to sit in the classroom where teacher teaches for 50 minutes and you get the lesson and that's it.
No, it's actually living with the Rabbi. So what did the disciples do they live with Jesus walk with Jesus. They talk with Jesus. They constantly question and asked him questions back and forth and they observed his life and as they lived with him as they listen to him as they learn from him.
Over time they became like him. So we read in Luke chapter 6 in verse 40 a disciple is not above his teacher, but when we are fully trained.
It says we become like our teacher that is a disciple is to become like kids Rabbi so walking in the spirit has to do with listening with learning and suddenly our life begins to change. And then there's a second illustration that's really from the Greek world and we see this in the great teacher.
Aristotle and his students. The Greek word for walk here that you read in Galatians 516 is the word para-Patapsco para-protect the students of Aristotle and Greek were called para-botanic's that simply means is that everywhere the teacher went. They went and they walk withing they would asking questions and they listen to them and they learn and they obeyed him so fundamentally to wall means to live with to listen to learn and in time you become like your teacher. So when Paul says walk in the spirit. How does this for us today practically take place on a daily basis. Here is a student and Bob Jones University. How can I be walking in the spirit and I think Jesus gives us the answer in John chapter 8 and verse 31. Listen to what Jesus said. He said to the Jews which believed on him. If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed what makes a person a disciple of Jesus is one who continues in Jesus's word and since the spirit of God is the author of the word of God. When you and I are walking in the word that is we are listening. We are learning we are living with the word so that we become like the word when we are walking in the word that we are walking in the spirit. For example, we have two verses.
I think that backs this up these verses very well known in Ephesians 518 it says be filled with the spirit and then you should speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. He says be filled with the spirit, we come to clutches 316 it says let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, Paul takes the idea of singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs. And in Ephesians, he says be filled with the spirit in Colossians, he says be filled with the word and fundamentally spirit filled living is word filled living to walk in the spirit is to live in the word and as we are walking in the spirit. What are we doing we are, we have a passionate pursuit to know God through his word and to be conformed into the likeness of our teacher.
I Rabbi Jesus Christ.
So let me just stop here and say this, that if you are not in God's word and I'm not talking about sitting in a Bible class. I'm not even talking about coming the chapel, I'm talking about you in your own responsibility pursuing to know God through his word I'm talking about daily devotions daily meditation memorization of Scripture getting into and giving your heart to God's word if you're not in the word and you're not in the spirit if you're not in the spirit obviously you're in the flash and one of the greatest problems at Bob Jones University is not the absence of God's word on the presence of this campus is the fact that students really are not in the word. It's not that the words not here is that you're not really pursuing to know God through his word and when you're not in the word here in the flesh, it comes out in your life. So he says wall in the spirit and then he gives us this incredible encouraging confirmation and that is, he says when you walk in the spirit what's going to happen. He says you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh that is written to give us an incredible sense of encouragement and confirmation, especially those who understand the nature of the flash that were walking in the spirit we will not be fulfilling the sinful desires of the flesh. So let's ask a couple questions. First of all, what is he mean by the loss of the flash while think is important that we define the term flesh and I think the best definition is actually the biblical definition in Romans chapter 7 verse 17 Paul writes these words listen to this now, then, is no more I that do it, but sin that dwell in in me, for I know that in me, that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing Paul defines for us what the flesh is, it is sin, dwelling inside of you. Your lies it when you became a believer. God did not remove the presence of sin within your own body. All of us here have the flesh. Now how does the flesh operate well it works through the creation of strong desires. Paul called it the loss of the flesh, and these desires. First of all our internal that's inside of you. Number two, they are evil and corrupting and number three. They are extremely powerful and controlling and your sinful desires are constantly crying out for fulfillment and how does the desires of the flesh find fulfillment. It does it through your bodily members just like a violinist plays through the violin so the flash actually plays through your bodily desires and your bodily members and these desires are deceitful because they make a promise that if you will yield to these desires, it will bring you satisfaction and fulfillment and the reason why it's deceitful is because it's telling you a lot.
It doesn't bring fulfillment. It brings bondage. It brings guilt. It brings conflict and confusion and these desires that is the desire to come out of our flesh or the basis for what we call Tim Tatian what is Tim Tatian is when these strong desires that are inside of you.
Test your will to give into or to yield to those desires when he said again attempt Tatian is when the loss of your flash test your will to give me an end to yield to those desires. James 114.
Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and entice the one thing I know everybody in this room at the flesh. Therefore, everybody in this room has the lust of the flesh. Therefore, I know this is that there is a conflict that is perpetually raging in the hearts of everybody in this room because everybody in this room has sinful desires. So the flesh creates the desires and the desires cry out for fulfillment.
So the question then is this what happens when your will gives in and obeys these desires. For example, let's say you're in your room and you're happy and content and your roommate comes in and says something that irritates the fire out.
You how many of you have ever had an irritating roommate, would you raise your hand. Okay. And at that moment bears their wells up inside of you some strong emotion and those emotions are crying out for fulfillment.
Now you may feel that in your heart you may be tempted to respond and react in a negative sinful way, but you may not do it when you get into those desires.
What actually happens. James 115. It tells us that when lust has conceived to bring for sin, and sin, when it is finished. Bring 1/4 death. When you yield to your lustful desires.
What are you doing you are sending so it becomes quite clear that the spiritual battle that we all face is that gap between our desires.
What we feel in our decision. Paul says in Romans 614 let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies that you should obey it in the loss thereof. Sin rains when your will obeys your lost and it is with this reality that the apostle Paul presents this an amazingly encouraging confirmation because everybody in this room understands if you're a believer you understand the lust of your flesh. You understand the struggle you face, but notice what Paul says if you walk in the spirit. You shall not fulfill the lusts of your flesh. You know Paul could not of said it any stronger. It is a dogmatic emphatic assertion. It's in the Greek and what we call a double negative.
It's if you walk in the spirit you will know not fulfill the lust of the flesh. He is denying the very possibility that when you walk in the spirit. It is not even possible to fulfill the desires of your flesh. Are you saying Steve that the that the human will is strong enough to fight and defeat lots absolutely not the spirit is willing but the flesh is what we what Paul is saying is that it's not that we do it by the strength of our willpower is that we have an inner power that is greater than our inner lust and what is that is when we are walking in the spirit that we will not fulfill the desires of our flesh. Maybe you're saying wow may not be thrilled to find out it understand the dynamic of this experience, but to be honest I have not found this to be true of myself. So how can I truly be confident that what Paul has said is true, is that really true because that's not true of my own experience. How can I be certain that if I walk in the spirit I'll not fulfill the lust of the flesh that leads me to the last point I want to make this morning and that's found in verse 17 for verse 17 is simply a statement of confidence that if you walk in the spirit you not fulfill the lust of the flesh and notice what Paul says. He says for that means. For this reason he's explaining his statement. While the spirit you not a frivolous question here is why he says for the flashes against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would was Paul saying your number one. He is saying that we all have two unchangeable natures within our own hearts. All of us here are believers we have the flesh and the spirit we have we have indwelling sin and we have the indwelling son Christ in you the hope of glory.
And these two natures are mutual opposites.
They are inherently different, the desires of these natures are in total contrast to one another. Furthermore, these natures cannot change, nor can change each other. In other words, is not the goal of the Holy Spirit to change your flash and the Flats does not have power to change the spirit of God that is within you. You have them both living inside of you. And secondly these natures on or unalterably antagonistic by what Paul says. He says the flesh lusted against the spirit, the spirit is against the flesh. These are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would what is he saying he is saying that there is a symbol more of the soul.
It's raging in our hearts. All of our hearts. And these two natures recoil one another when they come in the contact just like magnets, recoil one another. You're not from the state of South Carolina and if you didn't grow up here to be hard for you to understand what about, say, but in the state of South Carolina. There are only two football teams only to use another's many many more obviously and often South Carolina there's a university South Carolina gamecocks and their the Clemson Tigers and if you grew up in South Carolina and you were raised here. If you Paul for one team you can, not whole for the other. Otherwise your schizophrenic. I grew up in Columbia, the capital city saw him again cut for. I'll never pull for Clemson.
I don't even like him there rednecks they play up there and we play down there and that's just the way I grew up. The two natures oppose one another, so much so that when one nature would lead you to do something the other natures there to oppose you and you all understand this. For example, when you feel like you should pray is not something on the inside of you say will maybe now is not a good time to get too much to do when you feel the burden to share the gospel in the spirit of God moves you to share the gospel. Maybe something on the inside of you says will maybe now is not a good time or when you have an evil desires you ever sent something on the inside of you saying you better not think that I do that also. In this way, I find that a law that what I would do good, evil is present with me. It's amazing.
We had the struggle within our heart.
No wonder Paul says all wretched man that I am so here is the compelling question can I overcome the strong desires of my sinful nature and the answer is absolutely the desires of the spirit are stronger than the desires of the flesh when God saved you. It was a perfect salvation to perfect you in Romans eight verse two it says for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. The principle of the spirit makes you free from the principle of sin and death is like the law of gravity in the law that aerodynamics the law of gravity will always be in effect what goes up will come down but we discovered a higher law, the law of aerodynamics so that a plane can literally overcome the law of gravity.
If it operates under the laws of aerodynamics and it can fly. By the way, if the plane stops operating in law of aerodynamics what happens. Gravity takes over and the Scripture says the law of the Spirit is more fun, more powerful than the law of sin and death. Salvation does not remove the presence of sin out of my life, but it does give me the power to overcome. You cannot avoid the battle but you don't have to be a prisoner of war you may you you cannot avoid temptation, but you can avoid transgression, and that my friend is freedom and the reality of the spirit within you is greater than the reality of the flesh within you. Do you believe that when you are struggling hard with temptation and sin have you come to the place where you cried out you said oh God deliver me and you experience that God energizes you with his power to overcome sin. So as we conclude this morning.
First of all let me say that if you're a believer you understand this conflict. If you're sitting there and you're like totally clueless to what I've said you probably need to be saved, because if you're a believer your own heart is saying this is true we say secondly that that that if you are a believer you do have a strong desire to experience victory over your flesh. If your believer even if you're backslidden even if you're away from God.
You have a strong desire in your heart if your believer to overcome the flesh.
So what's the problem. The real problem is this is a lack of consistency in your own personal walk.
It's actually your fault the reason why you are not overcoming the flesh is because you're not walking in the spirit and what you need you need to be broken. Some of you need to be broken over your love for the flesh you love yourself more than you love God, some of you need to be broken broken over your negligence of the word of God. You actually believe you can live without the word and you can't and you need to be broken over your own self effort because many of you have tried hard to live for God, but you fallen on your face while because you're operating by the flash self effort and not operating by faith and dependence on God spirit, but Paul has given us this confirming statement of incredible confidence that if we walk in the spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Would you believe that take God at his word and walk in the spirit father, please bless us.
Lord I pray that there will be a great groundswell of brokenness over self and a surrender to walk in the spirit in Jesus name, amen.
Goblins you been listening to a sermon from the study series in Galatians chapter 5 by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform