THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 6-22-14

LESSON TITLE: “CREATED IN HIS SPIRIT.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

GOOD MORNING! LET ME WELCOME EACH OF YOU TO OUR PROGRAM THIS MORNING. IT IS ALWAYS A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE YOU WITH US TO HEAR THE LIVING WORD OF GOD. WE ARE EXCITED THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO GIVE THIS TIME OF SACRIFICE TO OUR GOD. WON’T YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY THIS MORNING TO GIVE YOUR OWN REVERENCE TO GOD, AS WE TOGETHER OFFER THIS TIME OF WORSHIP TO HIM. MAY ALL THINGS BE DONE, TO GOD, FOR GOD AND UNTO HIS GLORY. LET’S BEGIN OUR OFFERING TO GOD WITH A PRAYER!

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE AND THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL, YOUR SON JESUS AND THE GREAT SACRIFICE HE MADE ON THE CROSS AS WELL AS HIS RESURRECTION ON THE THIRD DAY. FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU AND WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THAT GREAT BLESSING. BUT FATHER, WE KNOW THE GREATEST BLESSING OF ALL WILL BE AT THE END OF THIS LIFE WHEN WE ARE GIVEN THE REWARD AS THE FAITHFUL, THAT WE MIGHT LIVE WITH YOU ETERNALLY IN THAT HEAVENLY HOME. WE THANK YOU THAT ALL THESE THINGS ARE POSSIBLE ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND IT'S IN HIS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

ALL OF US IN THIS LIFE GET USE TO HAVING OUR OWN WAY. WE ARE BROUGHT UP IN A SOCIETY THAT SAYS THIS IS POSSIBLE AND SO WE VERY QUICKLY HAVE BOUGHT INTO THIS CONCEPT. HOWEVER, THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN COMMAND OF OUR LIVES. YOU GUESSED IT - JESUS! THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN WITH A SONG THAT TELLS US TO TURN THINGS OVER TO CHRIST AS OUR ONE AND ONLY GUIDE. SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “VICTORY IN JESUS.”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

THE BIBLE TALKS A LOT ABOUT DIVISION AND HOW WE ARE TO BE THOSE WHO ARE UNIFIED IN THE THINGS OF CHRIST. AT THE SAME TIME THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE ARE TO BE WILLING TO GIVE UP ANYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST. ONE SUCH VERSE IS IN THE WORDS OF CHRIST HIMSELF, FOUND IN LUKE 12:51-53. THERE WE READ, “DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT I CAME TO GIVE PEACE ON EARTH? I TELL YOU, NOT AT ALL, BUT RATHER DIVISION. FOR FROM NOW ON FIVE IN ONE HOUSE WILL BE DIVIDED: THREE AGAINST TWO, AND TWO AGAINST THREE. FATHER WILL BE DIVIDED AGAINST SON AND SON AGAINST FATHER, MOTHER AGAINST DAUGHTER AND DAUGHTER AGAINST MOTHER, MOTHER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW.” WHAT ON EARTH IS JESUS TALKING ABOUT HERE? WHY ARE WE TO BE WILLING TO GIVE UP THESE THINGS? ON THE OTHER HAND WE READ VERSES LIKE LUKE 9:56, WHERE JESUS SAID, “FOR THE SON OF MAN DID NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES BUT TO SAVE THEM.” SO WHAT IS THE POINT JESUS IS TRYING TO MAKE IN THESE VERSES? THE REAL QUESTION IS WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO GIVE UP FOR CHRIST? NOT THAT WE WILL HAVE TO GIVE THEM UP OR PUT THEM ASIDE, BUT ARE WE WILLING TO IF NEED BE? WHAT IS IT THAT TRULY COMES FIRST AND FOREMOST IN OUR LIVES? DO WE REALLY PUT GOD FIRST? WILL WE FOLLOW HIM AT ANY COST.

NO DOUBT THIS IS WHY JESUS COMMANDED US TO, “BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU.” GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN A JEALOUS GOD AND EXPECTS HIS FOLLOWERS TO PUT HIM FIRST IN ALL THINGS, EVEN IF IT MEANS GIVING UP THINGS OF THIS LIFE FOR HIS SAKE. JUST WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO GIVE UP FOR JESUS?

ULTIMATELY, JESUS CAME WITH THE MESSAGE PROCLAIMED BY PAUL IN 1 CORINTHIANS 14:33. THERE WE READ, “FOR GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION BUT OF PEACE, AS IN ALL THE CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS.” GOD DOES WANT HIS FOLLOWERS TO HAVE A GOOD AND PEACEFUL LIFE, BUT NOT AT ANY COST! IN THE END, WE ARE TO BE THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SERVE OUR GOD, EVEN IF IT MEANS GIVING OUR VERY LIVES FOR HIS CAUSE. SO, JUST HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO IN YOUR SERVICE TO GOD?

TODAY WE WILL BE CONTINUING OUR DISCUSSION ENTITLED, “CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING IS, “CREATED IN HIS SPIRIT.” SO STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE LEADING US IN OUR MAIN THOUGHTS OF THE DAY. BUT FOR NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THE HYMN, “WE HAVE HEARD THE JOYFUL SOUND.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE AGAIN RETURN TO GOD'S WORD AND HAVE THE PRIVILEGE NOW TO SEE WHAT THE WORD SAYS ABOUT ANOTHER LESSON FROM OUR SERIES ENTITLED, CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. AND THIS DAY WE WANT TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT WE ARE CREATED IN HIS SPIRIT. AS WE BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF BEING CREATED IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS, THERE REALLY ARE TWO WAYS WE COULD LOOK AT THE IDEA OF BEING CREATED IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD. ONE OF THOSE, WE ACTUALLY COVERED IN QUITE A DETAILED WAY LAST WEEK BECAUSE WE MIGHT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF THE SPIRIT SOMETIMES, IS THE ATTITUDE OF MAN. THAT WHICH IS OUTWARDLY SHOWN IN HIS CHARACTER AND SO LAST WEEK WE LOOKED AT THE IDEA OF BEING THOSE WHO ARE PERFECT OR PERFECTED IN HIM. AS HE WAS PERFECT, WE STRIVE FOR PERFECTION. AND WE SAW TOGETHER THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR THAT SPIRIT OR ATTITUDE, THAT WE MIGHT STRIVE TO BE FULL-GROWN IN SUCH THINGS.

WELL, THIS WEEK WHAT WE WANT TO LOOK AT IS MORE OF THE CONCEPT OF THE SPIRIT ITSELF. THERE IS CLEARLY A TEACHING IN SCRIPTURE THAT WE ARE IN GOD, OF GOD, AND FOUND IN NOT ONLY THE FATHER AND THE SON, BUT ALSO THE HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF. AND THE REALITY IS AS WE CONDIDER THAT TRUTH, IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE SO MANY PASSAGES HELP US TO SEE THE BENEFIT OF GOD'S SPIRIT AND EQUALLY AS WE FIND IN SCRIPTURES, THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS EQUAL TO THE FATHER AND THE SON. SO THE GODHEAD INCLUDES THE THREE: THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

I WOULD ALSO ASK YOU TO BEGIN WITH ME IN THE BOOK OF JOHN AND CHAPTER 3. IT IS WITHIN THIS TEXT THAT WE REMEMBER WELL THAT A MAN NAMED NICODEMUS CAME TO JESUS AND HE WAS ACTUALLY SPEAKING TO HIM IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE THINGS OF ETERNAL LIFE. NICODEMUS EVIDENTLY HAD AN INTEREST AS A JEW CONCERNING THE THINGS THAT JESUS HAD BEEN DOING ABOUT THE THINGS THAT HE HAS SAID. BUT ALTHOUGH HE WAS A BIT MAYBE CONCERNED AS TO WHETHER OTHER JEWS MIGHT KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING, HE STILL WANTED TO FIND OUT IF THIS MAN WAS REALLY THE CHRIST AND REALLY IF HE WAS THE MESSIAH AND IF HE HAD THE TRUTH. AND SO HE CAME TO HIM AND HE BEGAN TO ASK HIM SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING GOD AND THE SIGNS THAT HE HAD ALSO BEEN ACCOMPLISHING THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD. AND YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THAT JESUS TOLD HIM THERE IN VERSE 3 THAT A MAN HAD TO BE BORN AGAIN OR ELSE THEY COULD NOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND IMMEDIATELY NICODEMUS THOUGHT OF A LITERAL BIRTH AND HE SAYS, HOW CAN I ENTER INTO MY MOTHER'S WOMB AGAIN AND BE BORN AGAIN? AND THEN JESUS GIVES HIM THE ANSWER IN VERSE 5 TO EXPLAIN TO HIM THE BIRTH, THE NEW BIRTH, THE REBIRTH THAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. AND JESUS ANSWERED IN VERSE 5 AND SAID, “MOST ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT HE CANNOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” SO HE'S ALREADY SAID IF YOU'RE NOT BORN AGAIN YOU CAN'T ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN LORD IF YOU'RE NOT BORN OF THE WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT? AND THAT'S QUITE SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT JESUS, EVEN IN THIS BOOK, IS SAID IN CHAPTER 4 AND IN VERSES 1 AND 2 TO HAVE ACTUALLY COME AND BAPTIZED MORE IN WATER THAN JOHN THE IMMERSER. JOHN THE IMMERSER CAME AND HE WAS BAPTIZING PEOPLE IN THE JORDAN RIVER. JESUS CAME HERE IN CHAPTER 4 AND IT SAYS THAT HE WAS THE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVEN MORE THAN JOHN BEING BAPTIZED. ALTHOUGH IT DOES SAY THAT HE HIMSELF DIDN'T DO THE ACTUAL BAPTIZING, HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE WATER IMMERSIONS. ISN'T IT QUITE SIGNIFICANT THAT WITHIN THE SAME CONTEXT HE HAS JUST TOLD NICODEMUS THAT YOU MUST BE BORN OF THE WATER AND THE SPIRIT AND THEN IT TURNS AROUND AND SAYS THAT JESUS HAS BAPTIZED EVEN MORE DISCIPLES THAN JOHN HAS IN WATER. WELL, CERTAINLY THAT IS SIGNIFICANT AND WE EVEN SEE HERE WITHIN THE END OF CHAPTER 3 THAT THERE WAS A NECESSITY OF NOT JUST WATER BUT 23 SAYS MUCH WATER. SO, IT WASN'T TALKING ABOUT A HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM, IT WAS TALKING ABOUT A WATER BAPTISM. NEEDED MUCH WATER, A LITERAL IMMERSION.

NOW, WE CERTAINLY RECEIVED THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ACTS 2:38, BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS BEING DISCUSSED HERE. BEING BORN OF THE WATER, VERSE 23 OF JOHN CHAPTER 3, THEY WERE IN A PLACE WHERE THERE WAS MUCH WATER SO THEY MIGHT IMMERSE INDIVIDUALS. CHAPTER 4, JESUS WAS BAPTIZING MORE AND MORE AND THEN WE EVEN SEE A LITTLE BIT LATER THAT JESUS HIMSELF WAS WHAT? NOT HOLY SPIRIT BAPTIZED, JOHN ACTUALLY WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER AND HE BAPTIZED HIM IN WATER AS WELL. SO THAT'S THE CONCEPT OF THE WATER BUT OUR LESSON IS REALLY ABOUT THE SPIRIT SIDE. HE SAYS OF THE WATER AND BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT. THIS CONCEPT IMMEDIATELY MIGHT BE THE IDEA YOU WOULD THINK OF AGAIN THE PROPER ATTITUDE OR LIKENESS OF GOD. BUT IF YOU ACTUALLY GO WITH ME IN THE NEXT VERSE, VERSE 6, IT ADDS THIS, “THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH, BUT THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT.” THE REASON THIS VERSE IS IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE THE WORD SPIRIT IS USED TWICE AND IT ACTUALLY SAYS THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THESE SPIRITS. THERE'S AN ARTICLE THERE IN THE GREEK AND THAT ARTICLE IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE BECAUSE WHEN THE ARTICLE IS THERE, IT'S NOT TALKING ABOUT JUST GENERAL SPIRIT, IT'S TALKING ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT. SO, I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THAT WITH ME AGAIN THERE IN VERSE 6. THE ONE BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH, BUT THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. AND IN SO THERE'S A NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN IN ACTION OF WATER. WHY? BECAUSE ROMANS 6 SAYS WATER IS THE LIKENESS OF THE DEATH OF JESUS. WE ARE BURIED AS HE IS BURIED. WE WASH AWAY OUR SINS, ACTS 22:16. WE RISE AND GUESS WHAT IT SAYS THERE AGAIN IN ROMANS 6? THAT WE ARE RESURRECTED AS HE WAS IN THE LIKENESS OF THE NEW MAN. THE NEW CREATION. THE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.

YOU SEE ALL THOSE THINGS TIED TOGETHER BEAUTIFULLY. BUT THEN THERE'S AN ELEMENT OF THE SPIRIT THAT WE RECEIVE. THE SPIRIT. SO WE ARE BORN IN THE SPIRIT AND AS VERSE 6 SAYS HERE, “WE ARE BORN OF THE SPIRIT, AND THEREFORE ARE SPIRIT. THAT'S THE EXACT CONCEPT THAT WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING ABOUT FOR WEEKS. WE ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, NOT IN THE FLESH. GOD'S NOT FLESH AND BLOOD. FLESH AND BLOOD WILL NOT EVEN INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD, 1CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15. THE GOD THAT WE KNOW AND SERVE, JOHN 4:24, IS A SPIRIT NOT FLESH AND BLOOD. SO WE ARE MADE IN THE SPIRIT AND THEREFORE THE LIKENESS OF THE SPIRIT. THE SPIRITUAL ESSENCE. THE SPIRITUAL LIKENESS OF GOD. THE SPIRITUAL IMAGE OF OUR CREATOR. THAT FORM THAT IS PERFECT, NOT LIKE THE FLESH. THE FLESH, YOU CAN BREAK THE FLESH, AND IT'S HARMED. YOU CAN CUT THE FLESH, AND YOU CAN BLEED TO DEATH. THE FLESH IS IMPERFECT. GOD IS PERFECT. SO I WANT TO BE LIKE GOD. I WANT TO STRIVE TO BE LIKE MY CREATOR. I WANT TO IMITATE THAT LIKENESS. I DON'T WANT THE WEAK ASPECTS OF THE EARTH AND THE FLESH. I WANT TO BE THE ONE WHO IS BORN IN THE SPIRIT, AS THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND DEMONSTRATE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.

IT MIGHT HELP US A LITTLE BIT TO GO OVER ALSO TO THE BOOK OF FIRST JOHN. AGAIN, THE AUTHOR HELPS US MAYBE JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE DETAIL ABOUT WHAT IS BEING SAID HERE IN CONNECTION TO THE CONCEPTS OF THIS BORN IN GOD OR OF GOD AND WHAT DETERMINES THAT FACT AND HOW WE BECOME AS WE WOULD SAY THOSE OF THE NEW BIRTH. LOOK FOR INSTANCE WITH ME IN VERSE 9. THERE'S QUITE A BIT HERE THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO BEGIN TO READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER, AT LEAST BEGINNING IN VERSE 4. BUT THERE IN VERSE 9 NOTICE WHAT HE CLARIFIES FOR US ABOUT OUR DISCUSSION, “WHOEVER HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD.” WELL, SOUNDS LIKE WHAT JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, DOESN'T IT? THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD DOES NOT SIN. WHY? THERE'S NO DARKNESS IN GOD, 1JOHN CHAPTER 1. THERE IS NO WICKEDNESS. GOD CAN'T DWELL IN OUR TEMPLE, WHICH IS OUR BODY, IF WE CHOOSE SIN. IF THIS TEMPLE IS CAUGHT UP AND SAID GOD CAN BE A PART OF THAT FOR THERE'S NO DARKNESS AT ALL IN OUR GOD. SO THE ONE IS BORN OF GOD DOES NOT CHOOSE SIN.

NOW, AGAIN WE TALKED ABOUT IT A LITTLE BIT LAST WEEK. THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE ARE PERFECT. IF WE SAY WE DON'T SIN WE ARE LIARS, RIGHT? SO WE KNOW THERE'S STILL A PROBLEM WITH TRIAL OR PERSECUTION, OR EVEN TEMPTATION UNTO SIN. WE DO STUMBLE. WE DO THINGS THAT ARE WRONG BUT THAT SHOULDN'T BE OUR FOCUS. OUR FOCUS IS REALLY GOD DESPITE THE FACT WE STUMBLE ALONG THE WAY AND WE TRIP ALONG THE WAY FROM TIME TO TIME. BUT OUR FOCUS IS ALWAYS REMAINED ON THE SAME THING. SO THE ONE BORN OF GOD DOES NOT SIN. HE STRIVES NOT TO SIN BECAUSE THAT'S NOT THE SEED OF GOD BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD. AND NOW LOOK WITH ME AT VERSE 10. LOOK WITH ME AT VERSE 10. “IN THIS, THE CHILDREN OF GOD AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL ARE MANIFEST. WHOEVER DOES NOT PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD NOR DOES HE LOVE HIS BROTHER.” YOU SEE, HE SAYS IN A NUTSHELL WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER YOU'RE BORN OF GOD IS WHETHER YOU ARE STRIVING TO IMITATE THE IMAGE OF GOD. IF YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS AND IF YOU GO BACK UP IN THE SAME TEXT, GUESS WHAT IT SAYS THERE IN VERSES 6 AND 7? VERSE 7 SPECIFICALLY SAYS THE ONE WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUS IS RIGHTEOUS JUST AS GOD IS RIGHTEOUS. THE IMAGE OF GOD, IMITATING GOD, THE ONE WHO IS IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD. WE KNOW GOD IS RIGHTEOUS SO IF I'M BORN OF GOD, IF I'M THE CHILD OF GOD, I DON'T WANT TO SIN. I WANT TO BE LAW. THE LAW ABIDER. I WANT TO BE THE RIGHTEOUS, NOT THE UNRIGHTEOUS OR THE LAWBREAKER. AND SO CLEARLY HE IS TRYING TO HELP US TO UNDERSTAND HERE THE NEED THAT WE HAVE TO BE CHILDREN OF GOD. NOT OF SATAN, NOT OF THE DEVIL.

SO WHAT DETERMINES THAT? HERE CLEARLY HE SAYS OUR ACTIONS DETERMINE THAT. IF WE SERVE RIGHTEOUS THINGS, ACCORDING TO THE THINGS OF GOD, WE ARE CONSIDERED CHILDREN OF GOD. IF WE SERVE SIN, WE ARE AS IT SAYS HERE, THOSE WHO ARE BEGOTTEN OF THE DEVIL HIMSELF. SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THIS IDEA OF BEING THOSE WHO ARE CREATED IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD, WE ARE MADE BY GOD. THE SOUL WAS PLACED WITHIN US. WE ALSO NOW HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE FORTH AS SPIRITUAL BEINGS, ALTHOUGH HOUSED IN THE FLESH, KNOWING THAT GOD DWELLS WITH US IN THIS TENT OR THIS TABERNACLE, THIS PLACE OF GOD. THIS DWELLING PLACE OF GOD AND THEN IF WE STRIVE TO BE RIGHTEOUS AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS, HE HELPS US EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES, TO NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO DO THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO, BUT TO ACCOMPLISH OUR LIVES IN A PROPER WAY THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE NOT ONLY THE BLESSINGS OF GOD TODAY BUT THE BLESSINGS OF GOD ETERNALLY.

NOW, THE FINAL THING WERE GOING TO LOOK AT FOR JUST A FEW MOMENTS IS FOUND OVER IN GALATIANS CHAPTER 5. AND THE REASON IT'S SO SIGNIFICANT IS HERE. PAUL WRITING TO THE GALATIAN CHURCHES REALLY SUMMARIZES WELL THIS CONCEPT OF BEING IN THE SPIRIT, THE HOLY SPIRIT. BEING IN THE WALK OF GOD. IN FACT, YOU MIGHT NOTICE WITH ME THERE IN GALATIANS CHAPTER 5:16 WE ARE CHALLENGED FIRST OFF TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT. AND THEN HE SAYS, “THOSE WHO WALK IN THE SPIRIT DON'T FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH.” THOSE WHO WALK IN THE SPIRIT, THEY DON'T SIN. THEY'RE NOT INTERESTED IN THE THINGS OF THE FLESH OR THE WORLD. BUT THE SPIRIT, HE SAYS GOD'S SPIRIT AND THE RIGHTEOUS THINGS, WAR AGAINST WICKED, EVIL, AND SINFUL THINGS OF THIS EARTH. SO WE HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE. YOU'VE EITHER MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND YOU KEEP TRYING TO MAKE THAT CHOICE EVERYDAY TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO OR WE'RE MAKING THE WRONG CHOICE. I'M AFRAID SOME FOLKS MIGHT BE WANTING BOTH CHOICES. THEY SAY WELL, ON WEEKENDS OR ON SUNDAYS I AM THE SON OF GOD. BUT THEN DURING THE WEEK I'M THAT SON OF SATAN. WELL, IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT. YOU HAVE ONE OF TWO CHOICES TO MAKE. YOU'VE GOT TO EITHER BE HOT OR COLD. THAT'S HOW GOD SEES US AND SO THEREFORE AS YOU THINK ABOUT THAT WALKING IN THE SPIRIT MEANS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING THAT WHICH IS ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT.

I WANT YOU TO NOTICE SOMETHING ELSE AS YOU DROP DOWN IN THE SAME TEXT, VERSE 25. HE NOT ONLY SAYS TO WALK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD - GODLY AND RIGHTEOUS - PERFECT THINGS, BUT HE ALSO SAYS THERE IN VERSE 25 WE MUST LIVE IN THE SPIRIT. HE SAYS IT'S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO WALK ALONG IN THE SPIRIT, OUR LIVES 24/7 ARE ABOUT BEING IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD. IS THAT HOW YOU'RE GIVING YOUR LIFE TO GOD? AT ALL TIMES AND ALWAYS THAT YOU'RE ALWAYS FOCUSED FIRST AND FOREMOST ON YOUR CREATOR, THE SPIRIT OF GOD HIMSELF.

NOW TO ACTUALLY SEE THE FINAL APPLICATION OF THIS TEXT, IT'S QUITE INTERESTING THAT AFTER HE SAYS WE MUST LIVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE MUST WALK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT WHICH MEANS WE ABSTAIN FROM SINFUL, FLESHLY, WICKED THINGS AND WE SERVE RIGHTEOUS PURE AND HOLY THINGS. ONCE WE'VE MADE THAT DECISION, HE SAYS THERE'S SOME THINGS THAT WE THEN ARE ABLE TO KNOW BY ACTION WORD AND CHARACTER, WHICH DETERMINE WHETHER WE ARE REALLY GETTING IT RIGHT OR NOT. AND SO WHAT HE DOES, HE FIRST OF ALL TAKES IN VERSE 19-21, A LIST OF SINS WHICH INDICATE TO US IF YOU'RE ENGAGED IN THESE SINS YOU, AS HE SAYS HERE, WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. THUS YOU ARE NOT LIVING IN THE SPIRIT, YOU'RE NOT WALKING IN THE SPIRIT. BUT THEN HE SAYS THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE SEEN, THINGS THAT ARE IMITATED LIKENED TO THE CHARACTER GOD. THINGS THAT ARE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, AS WE ARE MADE IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THAT WE CAN DO SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT WE'RE BORN OF GOD. READ WITH ME THOSE THINGS THERE THAT ARE SO OBVIOUS. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT; THAT WHICH WE BEAR FORTH AS FRUIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL. AND IT SAYS THESE WHO HAVE DONE SUCH THINGS HAVE ALSO CRUCIFIED PASSIONS OF THIS WORLD. HAVE PUT ASIDE THE FLESH. WHY? THEY'VE CHOSEN THE LIKENESS AND THE IMAGE OF GOD ALMIGHTY.

SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL US AS WE LIVE IN OUR DAILY LIVES? IT SAYS THAT WHEN I STRIVE TO LIVE IN THE SPIRIT AND WALK IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND LOVE THEN MY FELLOW MAN AND GOD KNOWS THAT I AM CREATED IN HIS IMAGE AND THAT I AM STRIVING FOR FAITHFULNESS. WHEN I, ALSO AS IT SAYS HERE, STRIVE FOR JOY AND PEACE AND LONG-SUFFERING AND SO WHEN I DO THESE THINGS, PEOPLE SEE GOD IN ME. IT'S NOT ME, IT'S GOD IN ME, THEREFORE GIVING HIM THE GLORY AS A LIGHT TO THIS WORLD. THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW OUR GOD AND UNDERSTAND THAT HE ALSO REQUIRES OF THEM THE SAME THINGS. THAT, AS THEY ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND THE LIKENESS OF GOD, THEY AS WELL SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE CREATED IN THE SPIRIT.

SO AS THOSE BEINGS WHO ARE CREATED BY GOD IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS PLACED WITHIN THE US AS HIS TEMPLE, MAY WE LIVE EVERY DAY IN SUCH A WAY TO GIVE HIM GLORY AND PRAISE KNOWING THAT IF WE DO SO WE'RE GOING TO BE BLESSED EVERYDAY OF THIS LIFE. BUT NOT ONLY IN THIS LIFE, BUT ALSO IN THE LIFE TO COME. DOESN'T HEAVEN SOUND GREAT? WON'T HEAVEN BE WORTH IT ALL.

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN GIVING THIS TIME TO GOD. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND BLESSING TO ALL OF US. WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS SERVICE OF GOD!

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HOW WONDROUS IT IS TO KNOW THAT WE CAN IMITATE THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AS WE ARE CREATED IN HIS IMAGE. ARE YOU STRIVING TO IMITATE GOD IN ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?

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