Walking in the Spirit, your heart and your will totally God’s. I present to the church a possibility, something only God can do. Will you believe?
[SW115] 11/16/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Walking in the Spirit”
The scripture: Romans 7:24-25, 8:1-13
The Apostle Paul writes to the churches in a particular way —
he writes of what can be as though it is.
He writes of the life that is possible for Christians to lead,
if his readers have faith,
and then challenges them to believe and live it out,
just as he believed and lived it out!
Keep that in mind as we look at these verses in Romans.
God’s great desire and purpose: That we become like Christ, conformed to the image of His Son, and thus become His witnesses.
Mind set on (5427) — mental inclination (a bending of the body or head in a bow, a disposition)
According to (2596) — by, after the manner of, to the uttermost in intensity. The controlling principle.
The Spirit (4151) — The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the third Person of the Trinity, the One who makes us holy — in a word, Christlike.
The flesh (4561) — (by implication) human nature, with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions, carnally minded. The human nature, corrupted and weakened by sin.
I either walk to the uttermost with intensity, controlled by my own self-interest,
a slave to sin and all the harm it does to me and others,
I walk to the uttermost with intensity, controlled by the Holy Spirit,
whose only interest is bringing honor to the Father and the Son,
free from slavery to sin and gladly a slave to righteousness!
If I look at these verses in Romans 8
without knowing that Paul speaks of possibilities
and then challenges the church to believe and live them out,
I’d have had to say that at that time,
I was not really a Christian.
But thank God, he speaks of the life it is possible for Christian to live!
When I first believed in Jesus and spoke words at an altar
He began to change me,
but I was still a mixture.
Some sins that I used to do B.C.,
I no longer did.
Some I still did.
My own interests were most important to me,
though now I had a desire to know God,
and I prayed to know Him more.
Was I really saved? Yes.
I believed God was my Father,
and Jesus was my Savior.
I had entered the kingdom,
but was not yet transformed.
I was an infant in Christ.
Was I walking to the uttermost in intensity, controlled by the Spirit? No.
I sometimes heeded/did what He was saying to my heart.
But most of the time I continued in my sins.
Was I really “converted?” Yes.
God’s Spirit was changing me, but it was a slow process.
Was I really “born from above?” Yes.
He corrects and teaches His children.
I knew He had begun to correct and teach me.
So how did I come to believe the possibilities
Paul challenges the church at Rome to believe? When did my heart become completely God’s?
It was when I surrendered my will to God,
when all I wanted was to know God intimately,
when I didn’t care what it took or cost me to get there,
I just wanted to know Him, really, really know Him!
From then on, I walked to the uttermost in intensity, controlled by the Holy Spirit.
And what it is it to walk according to/by/in the Spirit?
Walking in the Spirit means living in the Spirit,
filled with God to the highest degree that could be expected in a human,
your heart that is completely God’s.
It is living a life of intense following after Christ,
but in His strength, not yours.
No longer trying to be good,
but overwhelmingly conquering willful disobedience to God.
It means you have no desire for anything but Him,
and your heart is entirely His domain.
It is learning, learning, learning Christ
more and more and more,
and heeding what the Spirit says.
It is no longer being tugged and controlled by
your old ways,
your “gotta have it nows.”
But now controlled by the Holy Spirit,
wanting to and having the power to walk in Christ’s ways.
wanting what God wants,
which is for you to be like Jesus.
That’s when you become His witness.
Not that you simply go and tell people about Jesus,
But that He is unmistakably in you,
so what you say can’t be denied.
You live what you speak of,
and even those who know nothing of God,
know He is in you.
So what’s the big deal?
Why not continue walking to the uttermost in intensity,
controlled by the flesh?
Isn’t salvation enough?
Jesus Christ loves you enough to save you,
and loves you enough to change you
so you can stay that way.
Look at verses 6 and 7 —
The mind set on the flesh is death.
But the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (shalom/eirene) —
peace with God, wholeness, reconciliation —
you no longer disobey and are no longer hostile to Him.
Christian, Paul tells you that you are under obligation (3781) —
you are debtors, you are indebted to God —
to live to the uttermost intensity controlled by the Spirit,
to have your mind bowed down before Him.
Not by TRYING to set your mind on Him,
but totally surrendering to God’s will,
asking Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit,
so your heart is completely His.
Is it a perfect walk?
Do I always heed the Spirit’s warnings,
when He tells me a test is coming?
I’m asking Him to work it more and more.
But it’s not about perfect performance.
It is about a heart completely His.
No ifs, ands or buts.
A heart that is completely His!!!!
When the Lord shows me things
from the watchman’s wall,
He asks me to explain His heart,
and then to say what I see.
I see many who believe in Jesus,
and who are children of God,
but who, like Israel,
go their own way,
and keep on sinning.
If what I am saying is not true,
there would be no cruel treatment of pastors,
no church splits over the color of carpeting,
no power struggles,
The resistance to God’s message of complete wholeness —
a heart completely His, in a moment of time, separate from salvation —
is quite intense.
Many are offended to learn
that there is something else God wants to do in them.
Prayer is a must!
Through prayer, we can tear down strongholds
and everything that exalts itself
against the true, full, intimate knowledge of God.
The fault is not only with those who sit in our pews,
but also with those who are afraid to tell them the truth,
for fear people may leave the church,
or for fear they might be crucified by them.
This is the truth, beloved.
I am bold because I have only One to whom I am obligated,
One who is the source of all I could ever need.
If that is not true of you, pastor,
ask the Lord to make it so.
Then go and speak these things,
these uncomfortable truths.
Ask the Spirit for His encouragement,
for a steel rod in your backbone,
and follow Him intensely.
Teach others what He teaches you.
And you will be a good shepherd.
Some will heed what you say, and some will not.
But say it, and leave the rest to God.
Correct sin, just as Christ instructs in Matthew 18.
If you let it lie there, it will only fester,
like an infected wound,
until the whole head is sick, and the whole body is faint.
Heed the word of the Lord today!
Believe it! Live it! Teach it! Preach it!
O church, you will overwhelmingly conquer sin if you take heed!