November 1 Sermon Excerpt (Part A)

Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, once said, “The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.”  One of the great enemies to the faith is…us!  But, there is an antidote and it's found in following Jesus, walking by the Spirit.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (5:16).  Living by the Spirit guides our behavior, guides our thoughts and shapes our identity.  When we’re living by the Spirit, we’re living for the sake of the Jesus and not for ourselves.  Our decisions and choices are being guided and led, not by us, but by God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit…  Paul’s uses this word “walk,” which creates a wonderful picture of the Christian life.  It is a continuous walk that is guided by the Holy Spirit, shaped by the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  As we walk with Jesus He changes us and conforms us to His will.  So Paul’s image of walking by the Spirit shows us that as we move toward Jesus we will want more of Him and less of ourselves and less of sin.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (5:16).

Flesh is translated from the Greek word sarx.  The sarx, was known as the sinful part of the person.  Now, if you’re a Christian, please know, that there is a constant battle raging in you, two natures are at work. The sinful nature, the sarx, and the Spirit are engaged in a war.  Have you noticed this in your life?  

As a Christian we have the Spirit in us, but the “desires of the flesh” remain, it is the sin desiring part of us. It is that part of us that wants what we want.  The battle is real and active and we need Jesus in order to stand firm in the faith.  If not, we will submit to the desires of the flesh and fall into sin.  Following the desires of our flesh will take us places that we wished we’d never have gone...

Here is a wonderful quote from the pastor and writer Francis Chan, “The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be. This often incredibly painful process strips you of selfishness, pride, and fear.”

Here is amazing reality, God changes us from the inside out through the work of the Spirit.  As we press into Jesus, change comes, not because of anything we’re doing, but because of the Spirit transforming our minds and our hearts.  Pursue Jesus today...