Walking in the spirit

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DATE: 3/6/2011 am Part 2
TEXT: Galatians 5:16-25 (i.e. 16, 25)
In Matthew 7:13, 14 Jesus said that there are 2 ways someone may go in life
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”
“Because strait
is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
Our Lord here contrasts that strait” gate to the wide” gate
The word strait” simply means narrow
The thought refers to an out-of-the-way gate or that which is not the popular way
There were numerous gates to the city of Jerusalem
Some were the broad magnificent gates through which the rich and powerful entered the Temple
Others were narrow and humble, used for more mundane functions such as delivery, animals or even disposal of dung

The word destruction” is referring to ‘perishing’ or being ‘lost’

There have been two traditional views as to the application

of this truth -

(1) Jesus is alluding to the fact that the popular road that most are traveling, though broad and crowded, misses the relatively unknown gate leading to eternal life through Christ
John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”
The world is heading at breakneck speed down the expressway of life toward hell,
For the most part ignoring the exit that points to eternal life in Christ
An alternative position is that:
(2) Jesus is referring in the context to God’s people and how many of them never seem to find the narrow path of righteousness and obedience which leads to fullness and blessing of the Christian life
In defense of this view, it may be noted that though life is mentioned, it is not referred to as eternal life

And indeed, many Christians go through life on the broad road of doing as everyone else does,

But reaping heartache and misery because they never were willing to use the narrow gate of faithfulness, consistency, separation, and genuine spiritual living
In any event, God’s way is the way of the minority
Whether it be of people missing the gospel altogether or of

Christians missing the road of spiritual maturity, those who go God’s way are a minority

Once someone is Born Again they can never enter into death
John 5:24 -  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life”
But, we can find ourselves walking the wrong way
If you believe that becoming a Christian means that you cease to sin, then I remind you of -
I John 1:8-10 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us”

While we have literally passed from death unto life (as the Bible says) …
A dead, ineffective and fruitless spiritual life will always be the result of walking the wrong way
(Not to mention the disaster that will follow)
On the other hand, to walk in the right way is to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord
It will make us fruitful and effective in all that we do for His glory
Walking in the Spirit is to experience that Abundant Life of which Jesus spoke of in John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”
Our text this morning is warning us,
Warning us, to be careful, careful how we walk in life
And I’m confident that no one here wants to be a spiritual Disaster
Therefore, let's look together at our verses and see the lessons that can be gleaned as we think about -

Walking In The Spirit”

Walking in the Spirit is also known as The Spirit Life
To walk in”, means to surrender to
John 16:13a – Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth:”
Ephesians 5:18b – “…but be filled with the Spirit;”
We will be lead by either our flesh, or the Holy Spirit
Which one wins depends upon which one we yield to -
Romans 6:16 – Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Therefore, either my flesh will win
James 1:14 – But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed”
Or the Spirit will win

Our Text says - Galatians 5:16 – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”

The Spirit will defeat the flesh, if we will allow Him to –
I John 4:4 – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”
I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”
Galatians 2:20 – “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
We still have a say in what we allow in our lives!
We need to avoid places, people, things, images, music, anything that brings temptation to us!
If we mess around with it, we will give in to it!
Proverbs 6:27 – Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”
We are still Commanded by God's law (His Word)
But we are no longer Condemned by it!
This verse declares the truth that the Law was made for those who walk after the flesh
The Religious, those that feel that they need to do works of righteousness to please God
When we are yielded to and walking in the Spirit …
The Law serves no purpose in our lives
Because, we automatically have a desire to fulfill the Law of God as it is written in our heart
I Timothy 1:9 – Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”
Therefore, for the Saint, the Law of God is not a condition to be met for salvation
But rather, by obedience to it, it is an indicator of our love for Jesus Christ

John 14:15, 21 – If ye love Me, keep My commandments”

He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of

my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him”
Regardless of what you say about Jesus, your life shows whether you love Him or not!
The threat of judgment is removed when we live the Spirit filled life –
Colossians 2:13, 14 – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;”

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”
Ephesians 2:14-16
Simply stated, we do not have to remain in the tug of war pictured in v.17
We make the determination as to whom we will surrender our lives

vs. 22-25
Notice, the flesh produces "works"v.19
A life of Labor (active)
Proverbs 13:15 – “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard”
The Spirit produces fruit - (passive) - v.22
A life of Leisure
Fruit is a natural result of abiding in the vine
Turn with me to John 15:1-5
The branch never struggles to produce fruit
As it abides in the vine and allows the life of the vine to flow through it, the fruit is automatically produced on the branch
In the life of the believer, the Spirit always produces fruit

Matthew 7:20 – “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
By the way, these are characteristics which are to be present in the life of every believer, without exception!
Just like evil works characterize the lives of the lost,
The fruit of the Spirit is proof of one's salvation
1. Love” – of God and man
Matthew 22:37-39
I Corinthians 13:1-3
There is a proper order for life
Ill. In English, we conjugate our verbs as follows:

1st Person: I am; 2nd Person: You are; 3rd Person: He is

Most other languages like French, Italian, Latin, and German all conjugate their verbs the same way

Therefore, we would say, “I love, you love, he loves”

Hebrew, however, has a different approach

In fact, it is totally the opposite

Their verbs are conjugated this way:

1st Person: He is; 2nd Person: You are; 3rd Person: I am

This is the way Jesus taught us to love (isn't it)?
He is to be first, my neighbor is to be second and I’m to be last

2. Joy” – is a Constant delight in God
Nehemiah 8:10 – Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength”
I Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore”
Ill. A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, “What do you put on your face to make it shine?” With surprise the man of God answered, “I don't put anything on it!” His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, “Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. I've seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay.” Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, “Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It's not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It's the reflection of the light of God in our hearts”
3. Peace” - When the Spirit rules in our lives,
We will experience peace in three areas:
With God, With Others and With Our Self
Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
4. Longsuffering” – Is more than just waiting patiently on people
It means willing to accept and bear injury
Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you”
Matthew 18:21-35 (Peter asking how often he should forgive)
Luke 17:3-5
5. Gentleness” - A sweet attitude
Easy to get along with and easy to please
That is, not always griping and complaining
But always kind and sweet
Gentleness is merely the attitude of kindness
6. Goodness”
A willingness to do good and help others

Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”
Ecclesiastes 9:10a – Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;”
Literally, this is nothing but Christian love in action
I John 3:18 – My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
James 2:15, 16 – If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,”
“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be
ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
7. Faith” - Ability to trust in God and to be trusted by God and man (includes Faithfulness)
Mark 11:22 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God”
Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”

Romans 14:23 – And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
I Corinthians 4:2 –“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”
Every child of God should be faithful to God
Not because the preacher says so, but out of love for the Lord
Ill. When Louis Lawes became warden of Sing Sing Prison in 1920, the inmates existed in wretched conditions. This led him to introduce humanitarian reforms. He gave much of the credit to his wife Kathryn, who always treated the prisoners as human beings. She would often take her three children and sit with the gangsters, the murderers, and the racketeers while they played basketball and baseball. Then in 1937, Kathryn was killed in a car accident. The next day her body was laid for viewing in a house about a quarter of a mile from the prison. When the acting warden found hundreds of prisoners crowded around the main entrance, he knew what they wanted. Opening the gate, he said, "Men, I'm going to trust you. You can go to the house." No count was taken; no guards were posted. Yet not one man was missing that night.
Love for someone who had loved them made them dependable
Christ has revealed the Father's grace to us
while we were yet sinners” - Romans 5:8
Because of what He did on Calvary, we have been freed from sin's bondage and the condemnation of the law
Unlike those prisoners, we don't have to return to confinement
Yet the same motive that kept them from running away should also account for our faithful service to Christ
May our love for Him, more than fear, shame, or even duty, be the reason we want to do what's right
8. Meekness” - Restraint - Power under control
Not using one's power in the Lord for evil or for revenge
The meek Christian does not throw his weight around
Doesn’t demand his way
Meekness is not weakness!
Jesus was meek –
Matthew 11:29 – Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”
Moses was “very meek”

Numbers 12:3 – (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”
Deuteronomy 34:7 – “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated”
Yet neither of these men would be considered weak
9. Temperance” - Self Control
Refusing to do those things you have in your power to do
I Thessalonians 5:22 – Abstain from all appearance of evil”
This is an attitude where we search our lives and submit to the will of God in Christ Jesus
All weights and hindrances are laid aside and besetting sins are dealt with,
Hebrews 12:1, 2 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”

This is the opposite of the majority of lives
Most people feel that they are allowed to live as they please
However, the opposite is true of the Christian!
Every child of God is commanded to render his life as a living sacrifice –
Romans 12:1, 2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”
These things can never be truly counterfeited by an unbeliever
It is absolutely impossible for an unsaved person to possess all the fruit of the Spirit
Note: These are not fruits (plural), they are fruit (singular)

You don't get one and then another and so on …

God expects all of them to be present at all times
How is that possible?
Only by learning to rest in the Vine and by yielding to Him
v.24 - The Christian who flirts with the flesh is in effect playing with the dead
Colossians 3:3 - For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God
Romans 6:2, 7, 14! –“God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

For he that is dead is freed from sin”

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace”

The Holy Ghost will defeat our flesh and give us the victory over it as we surrender to Him!

We are to give evidence that we are alive in the Spirit and dead to the flesh
v.25 - If we say that we are saved then we should seek to walk like the Bible says that a saved person should walk
And that is by His will and in the power of His Holy Spirit

Because if you are saved, then you are alive in the Spirit, whether you walk there or not!

All God is saying is that we are to act like what we are
All others members of creation understand this truth, wouldn't it be a blessing if men could?
I John 2:6 – He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked”
Judge your life by the results it is bringing to pass
Are you bearing fruit to the glory of the Lord?
Or are you producing the works of the flesh?
Regardless of your answer, you can begin, right now, being the Christian God wants you to be
If you are not saved, now would be a good time
If you are saved, now is the time to be obedient
Baptism, Membership, Full surrender
All you have to do is “Walk in the Spirit”


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