9. Living in the Spirit
What kind of life do you want? Jesus makes a promise to us in John 10:10: “I come that they have life and have it to the full.” We can claim that promise by living life in the Spirit. Paul teaches us a great lesson in Galatians 6:7-8: “People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit.” Think of yourself as a farmer and your life as a crop. What do you want to grow in your life? If we sow seeds of selfish desires, we grow a crop that reflects that.
"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." -Romans 8:5-6
Two Kinds of Lifestyles:
However, we can sow seeds according to the spirit and have a crop that produces wonderful, spiritual fruit. Listen to Paul describe that difference between the two kinds of lifestyles in Galatians 5: "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
"Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." - Ephesians 4:30
Produce Good Fruit:
What kind of crops do you want to harvest in your life? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you right now and help you to sow according to His way. He wants to bless your life and produce good fruit. You just need to trust and obey Him.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
The purpose of this conversation is that every believer will know their true identity as a New Creation in Christ and how to live from a place of righteousness.
A Renewed Mind:
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
What does this verse say God wants to do to us?
What does he want to transform us from?
How does that transformation take place?
The scriptural term for changing the way you think is "Repentance".
To stop going where you were going and change direction
To stop thinking the way you were thinking - and change direction
BORN AGAIN INTO A NEW KINGDOM:
John 3 - Nicodemus, a religious leader seeks out Jesus secretly in the night and wants to know more about this "Kingdom" he has been speaking about.
"Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit."
Question: Tell me about the moment you were born again. What was it like?
Romans 14:17 (NIV)
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Question: What is righteousness?
Mirriam-Webster: acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin
Oxford: the quality of being morally correct and justifiable.
Question: Can you be 50% righteous?
Righteousness is a "digital" concept. It is "on" or "off". Either you ARE righteous or you are not.
The Old Nature:
Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me."
"All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else."
This describes who you were BEFORE you were born again.
Your New Nature:
But you are a new creation in Christ now.
2 Corinthians 5:17
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
"Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him."
"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy."
Question: What have you learned from these scriptures?
Be Dead to Sin:
"So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus."
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
"Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
"For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die."
Question: How do you think someone becomes dead to sin?
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