Keep On (2) - Notes
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh 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.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
The Bible teaches that there are 2 different aspects of our relationship with the Holy Spirit, like the 2 rails of a railroad track. Our life needs to run on both rails.
1. Our Conflict
The Flesh vs the Spirit
The Flesh – The nature we were born with. Not always as bad as it can get, but always independent of God and bent toward self, and therefore, sinful.
The Spirit – If the Flesh stands for what we were born with, the Spirit stands for what we are Re-Born into. We have new life and are alive by the Spirit who now lives in us.
2. OUR CHOICE
To Follow the Flesh or to Follow the Spirit
In Christ believers are truly free. Our ability to choose has been set free. Whereas before we were in bondage to our flesh because we couldn't help but choose the flesh. Now we don't have to. We can choose to follow the Spirit. But this new freedom cuts both ways. We can also choose the flesh. That's how free we are. That's why Paul says in verse 13 - You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Instead, we are to freely choose to follow the Spirit!
3. OUR Fruit
The Works of the Flesh or the Fruit of the Spirit
Our free choices lead to lifestyles and even destinies.
By their fruit you will know them.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
4. Our victory
We HAVE crucified the Flesh (Leave the criminal up there)
We ARE to keep in step with the Spirit (Follow His lead)
The Key to Victory IS ...
The Spirit leads and we follow
The Spirit leads and we go our own way
We lead and the Spirit follows
The Flesh leads and we follow
THE KEY IS
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SPIRIT
IT’S A PARTNERSHIP!
St. Augustine – Without God, I can’t / Without me, God won’t
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
We must stop using the fact that we cannot earn grace (whether for justification or for sanctification) as an excuse for not energetically seeking to receive grace. Having been found by God, we then become seekers of ever-fuller life in him. Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort. The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed “into his likeness” by more information, or by infusions, inspirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now-common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency. At the core of the human being is will, spirit, and heart. This core is reshaped, opening out to the reshaping of the whole life, only by ENGAGEMENT.
St. Karl – With me, God will / With God, I can
THE KEY IS
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SPIRIT