Sunday, October 9, 2011

They Must Be Giants - Part 6: Flesh


They Must be Giants
Part 6 – A Giant Named Flesh
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We are continuing our series entitled “They Must be Giants!”

Most of us are familiar with the story of David & Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.

Remember these points from David & Goliath from the last few sermons;
We have spoken on;

        David & Goliath
        Unforgiveness
        Fear
        Anger
        Hate

Un-forgiveness can hold us captive and literally make us a slave to it.

Fear can cause us to make irrational decisions, or even do nothing at all.

Remember, we spoke about how we have but two emotions.  Love & fear, the rest are behaviors that stem from one of those two emotions.

Hate comes from unresolved anger. Anger comes from the emotion fear.

We are told in the scriptures to do everything in Love for God is love. And those who do not have God, do not have love.

Everything positive, uplifting and righteous, including our behaviors, comes from the emotion of love.

When battling against the giants in our lives, we do need to remember the lessons from the story of David and Goliath.

The battle between the Palestinians and the Israelites was a spiritual one. 

We must remember these points in our lives as well when we face things.

1.      It’s a spiritual battle
2.      We have the Holy Spirit
3.      The battle is the Lord’s

I.       WHAT IS OUR “FLESH”?

1.      Today we are talking about our flesh. More specifically the battle between our flesh and our spirit.
1.      I took creative writing in school, and there were three major themes we saw repeated in novels. man-against-nature, man-against-man, and man-against-self.
2.      Like many a great books, one of the plots that intrigue us as human beings is man-against-self.
3.      We live “man-against-self” everyday as a Christian.


2.      Romans 7:21 - 25
21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

1.      This is why we need to win the war within our minds.
2.      As the scriptures say; to take every thought into captivity of Christ Jesus.
3.      The battle is in our minds.  Not to say that it does not exist, but that it exists and lives in our minds!


3.      Here is something very interesting, when we accept Jesus Christ, our souls are redeemed.
1.      BUT, our flesh is not! Our flesh is not redeemed when we become Christians. We are redeemed souls living in corrupt flesh.
1.      Have you never wondered why even though you accept Christ, you are still going to die and you are going to receive glorified bodies?
2.      God will never contradict His Holy Word.
1.      God warned Adam that if he ate of that tree he would surly die.
2.      The scriptures say that it is appointed to man to die once.



4.      Genesis 3:17 – 19
17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife (instead of God’s Word) and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' (committing sin)
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

1.      Our flesh has been cursed because of sin.
2.      When Adam sinned, when he chose unrighteousness over righteousness, when he behaved in fear instead of love, God’s spirit was severed from Him.
3.      Fear of what?
1.      Adam could have behaved in love for God and His Word.
2.      Love for his wife, knowing that God warned not to eat of the tree.
3.      But he behaved in fear, perhaps fear of rejection from his wife.


5.      Relationship & communion with God was broke, and the spirit of God which sustained Adam and Eve was removed.
1.      From this point on, food would sustain them, but only for a time.
1.      Their flesh must be returned to the dust. This is the curse.
2.      When we make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we return to relationship with God the Father.
1.      Our souls are redeemed through the Holy Spirit.
2.      But our flesh must return to the dust as the Lord has said.


II.   THIS FLESH OF OURS IS CURSED
1.      So our flesh is cursed even after we accept the Lord.
1.      This is why when we become Christians, we are not, and can not become perfect.
1.      We can never be perfect, because our flesh is sinful, and UN-redeemed
2.      As the scripture says, it is a constant battle between what our redeemed soul led by the spirit WANTS to do, and what our corrupt flesh led by worldly desires wants to do.
2.      This is why we are told to walk in the spirit, because although we have accepted Christ and are redeemed, we can still walk in the flesh.
1.      Walking in the flesh only leads to sin and separation (Galatians 5)
2.      It’s easy to act in unrighteousness.


3.      King David is a perfect example.
1.      He received the Holy Spirit at a young age, and yet, gave into his flesh and sinned with Bathsheba.
1.      Jeremiah 17:5
This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
2.      We put our trust in people, in ourselves, in flesh.
3.      We depend on people, on others, on ourselves for getting things done.
4.      Flesh is not our strength, but our weakness.
5.      For the flesh of man is not redeemed, but cursed.


III.                        CAN WE STILL LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY?
1.      Does this mean we cannot live righteously?
1.      No, absolutely not, righteous living is obtained through walking in the Spirit of God.
1.      It is in my weakness He (the Lord) is my strength!
2.      But we cannot live righteously all the time.
1.      Eventually, somewhere in your life you will slip.

2.      This is told to us in the scripture.
1.      We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God.
1.      But we don’t stay in that sin.
2.      We recognize our sin, confess to the Lord and repent so that we can have forgiveness, and mend our relationship with God.
2.      If we continue to live in sin, or unrighteousness, we are choosing to separate ourselves from relationship with the Lord.
3.      The scriptures say the Lord does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous.
1.      This is a very important scripture to remember.


3.      When we walk in the flesh instead of the spirit, we are living in unrighteousness, and God cannot hear us.
1.      Save but one prayer, Lord forgive me.
2.      Forgiveness only comes through confession to the Lord and repentance. That's it.
4.      So we battle against our flesh.
1.      Our flesh which is not, and cannot be redeemed.


IV.SO HOW DO WE “WALK” IN THE SPIRIT?
1.      How do we live righteously?
1.      How do we choose love over fear?
2.      Believers have the Spirit of Christ, the hope of glory within them.
1.      Colossians 1:27
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
3.      Those who walk in the Spirit will show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness.
4.      Not that we won’t slip and fall occasionally, but that when we do, we get back on our feet and continue forward in righteousness.
5.      This is brought about by consciously choosing by faith to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in thought, word, and deed.
1.      Romans 6:11-14
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

2.      John 3:3
“In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

3.      Philippians 1:27
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

6.      We can know that we are walking in the Spirit if our lives are showing forth the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).

7.      Being filled (walking), with the Spirit is the same as allowing the word of Christ (the Bible), to richly dwell in us.



1.      Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”


2.      The result is thankfulness, singing, and joy.
1.      Children of God will be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).


3.      When Christians choose not to walk in the Spirit, thereby sinning and grieving Him, provision has been made for restoration through confession of the wrongdoing.
1.      Ephesians 4:30
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

2.      1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

3.      To “walk in the Spirit” is to follow the Spirit’s leading.

4.      When the devil tempted Jesus, He tried to tempt His flesh, His human side, underestimating and not understanding that the righteous have the Holy Spirit.


CLOSING

It is essential to “walk with” the Spirit, allowing Him to guide your steps and conform your mind.

Just as we have received Christ by faith, by faith He asks us to walk with Him, in His Holy Spirit, until we are taken to heaven and will hear from the Master, "Well done!" (Matthew 25:23).

If you are at war with your flesh, your mind, sin, unrighteousness, come forward today.  Let us pray for you.

Walking in the spirit is possible, and living a fruit bearing life is possible through walking with the Lord.