Keep On (2) - Questions
The Bible teaches that there are 2 different aspects of our relationship with the Holy Spirit, like the 2 rails of a railroad track: 1) Special Experiences with the Spirit and 2) Daily Walking with the Spirit. Our life needs to run on both rails. In your experience, which rail seems to come first? Do special experiences with the Spirit lead to daily walking with the Spirit or the other way around? If you can, give examples from your life.
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.
1. Our Conflict
The Flesh vs the Spirit
What is the Flesh? Who is the Spirit? How have you experienced this conflict in your life?
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!
Why does God leave the choice up to us? Why is choice such a sobering gift from God? Are we on our own when making choices?
3. OUR Fruit
The Works of the Flesh or the Fruit of the Spirit
Our choices lead to lifestyles and even destinies. Which works of the flesh have you struggled with? Remember, this isn't an exhaustive list. Is there a work of the flesh that you have struggled with that's not listed here? Which fruit of the Spirit do you need to see more of in your life?
4. Our victory
We HAVE crucified the Flesh
If we have crucified the flesh, why do we still struggle with it?
We ARE to keep in step with the Spirit (Follow His lead)
What do these graphics say about keeping in step with the Spirit?
IT’S A PARTNERSHIP!
Why is a partnership with the Holy Spirit the key to victory? What does that practically look like?
Why is getting in shape using a treadmill a good illustration of this partnership?
React to the following ...
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
Where has the Spirit been leading you? What is your next step in following the Spirit's lead?
How can you group pray for you?