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2021 online sermons » Dr. David Jeremiah » David Jeremiah - The Spirit and the Flesh

David Jeremiah - The Spirit and the Flesh

David Jeremiah - The Spirit and the Flesh
David Jeremiah - The Spirit and the Flesh
TOPICS: Romans VIII: The Greatest Chapter in the Bible, Flesh, Selfishness

It was June 12, 1979, and Bryan Allen was making aviation history. He actually flew a pedal-powered plane across the English Channel, a plane that you pedal that makes no motor, just you pedal it. The amateur cyclist and pilot powered The Albatross to the rehearsed speed of 75 revolutions per minute and he took off from a point near Folkestone. In England at the time the Channel conditions and wind were ideal for the crossing. Problems began to affect the aircraft and Allen's radio failed for a while and he was only able to communicate with the accompanying boats by hand and head movements and his water supply ran out. He began to get dehydrated. He got cramps in his legs from pedaling the dumb thing.

With increasing headwinds, concern grew that the flight would have to be called off, and the coast of France was still not in his view, an accompanying boat maneuvered in front of The Albatross and was gonna hook on to the airplane and kind of pull it the rest of the way, but just before the hooking procedure, Allen flew a little higher and he found less turbulence and he continued to pedal the aircraft to see if he could complete the flight. With the help of a calming surface wind, Allen eventually landed on a beach in Cap Gris Nez in France, totally exhausted. He had completed the 22.2-mile crossing, took him 2 hours and 49 minutes, achieving a top speed of 18 miles per hour and an average altitude of 5 feet.

Now, the contrast between a pedal-powered airplane and a commercial jet which flies at an average speed of 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet is a little like the difference between life in the Spirit and life in the flesh. I hope you're listening carefully today because you don't wanna spend the rest of your life pedaling your airplane 5 feet off the ground. You wanna learn how to soar and that's what God wants us all to do, to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. And not just to survive, but to thrive. Romans 7, which comes before the chapter we're studying, is all about what happens when we try to live life ourselves.

Interestingly enough, the whole chapter's full of words like, "I," and "Me," and "My". And then you come to Romans chapter 8 and there's a huge change because in Romans 8 those words kind of go away and the Holy Spirit shows up in Romans chapter 8, 19 times. And throughout the epistle, Paul has always relied on this little teaching thing he's going to do: contrast. For instance, some places he talks about Adam and Christ, some place he talks about slavery and freedom, some places he talks about death and life. But here in this chapter, he's gonna talk about the difference between the flesh and the spirit. And he's gonna teach us that how we respond to the Christian life with regard to these two things, the mental way that we go after this will determine everything about us as Christians going forward.

Now let me read the first three verses of our text which begins in verse 5 of chapter 8, and I wanna talk with you as I read these verses about the mind of the Spirit in you. Please notice the words that I have set aside and color coded so you'll understand the emphasis that Paul has in these few verses. He said, "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally," or fleshly, "minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God".

Four times in these verses, the apostle Paul uses the word "mind" to contrast two different ways of thinking. "It all starts in your mind," says Paul. "Those who are of the flesh think about fleshly things, and those who are of the Spirit, think about things that please God". In the first few parts of this passage, he actually uses a term which is really interesting. He said, "They set their minds". It's a Greek word that refers to the basic orientation of your whole system. It's your bent in life. It's your thought patterns of the mind. I wrote down another word in the margin of my notes. It's your grid. It's how you open your mind up to things and that's a word we all understand because of computers. It's the grid, it's how you look at things.

How you look at things is everything, isn't it? It's how you interpret them, how you come at them. What is your bent in life? And Paul says, "You need to set your grid on spiritual things so that you look at life through a lens that isn't just what's going on in the world around you". It is what we think about, it's our assumptions, it's our values, it's our desires, it's our goals. It's what we are most deeply interested in. What we constantly talk about. When you set your mind, that's what you're doing.

Now, Paul is not simply saying that people are either fleshly or spiritual because of how they think. No, he is saying instead that people think about fleshly or spiritual things because of who they are. You get to make a choice. You get to set the grid. You get to determine the ramifications of how you're gonna think about life and how you're gonna go through life. This is the message that Jesus tried to give to Nicodemus one day. Remember he said to Nicodemus, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit". The fleshly mindset, according to this passage of Scripture, doesn't mean that people who have that mindset are some sort of criminals or gross or vicious people.

How many of you know the flesh can be very educated? The way you think about life if you don't think about godly things you can still be refined and cultured. I know a lot of really refined, cultured people who wouldn't know Jesus from a swear word. But I wanna help you understand what the word "flesh" means. I told you it's not the skin that's hanging on your bones. I mean, that's a certain kind of flesh but that's not what Paul's talking about. I found a little way to remember what the flesh is and if I share this with you, it will probably help you remember and understand it. So up on the screen you have the word "flesh," F-L-E-S-H. Here's the little deal: take your pen and scratch out letter "H". You got it? The letter "H," let's say that stands for Him. Now, spell the word backwards and what does it spell? S-E-L-F. Flesh is yourself without Him.

Someone told me one time that your flesh is who you were before you got saved. That's a pretty good statement. You say, "You mean it's possible for me as a Christian to go back and live my life the way I used to live before I got saved and live in the flesh"? Absolutely, and all of us have done it, have we not? So flesh isn't what's hanging on your bones. Flesh is self-centeredness. Flesh is living your life without God. You can be a Christian, listen to me, and a practical atheist, did you know that? You can be a Christian and live your life and you're still a Christian but you've put God over here. Maybe you've put him on a time warp and you're gonna get to him when you get to be 80. But you can be a Christian and not live like a Christian. You can be a Christian and live a self-centered, fleshly life. Flesh minus "H" spelled backwards is Self.

Donald Bailey has a picture of this that I think's very intriguing. Humanity is a circle facing God at the center. Listen to this. He said, "In that circle, we ought to be standing linked together with joined hands, facing toward the light at the center which is God. And as we do that, we see our fellow creatures all around the circle in the light of that central love which shines on them and beautifies their faces. But," he said, "instead of that, some of us have each one turned our backs upon God and the circle of humanity and faced the other way so that we can see neither the light at the center nor the faces on the circumference and, indeed, in that position, it is difficult even to join hands with one another". You're in the circle but you're going the wrong way. And Bailey says, "Therefore, instead of playing God's game, we play each one our own selfish little game. Each one of us wants to be the center, and there is blind confusion, not even any true knowledge of God or of our neighbors, and that is what's wrong with us," he said.

As Christians, if we're not careful, we forget that this isn't about us. We're to be centered on him. The Bible says: "Center your life on things above, not on things on this earth". And the Bible tells us if we don't do that, certain things are true. Listen to what Peter says about this. He said, "Those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority, are presumptuous, self-willed, and are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries". Paul adds this appraisal: "They are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, whose glory is in their shame and who set their mind on earthly things".

So let me ask you this today. What is your grid? You're a Christian. I'm gonna assume you're all Christians. But what is your grid? What is your thinking process? What lens are you looking through as you see life? The Bible says we're not to "love the world or the things that are in the world, and if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world". Ultimately, Paul says in Romans 8:6 that "a dispossession that is controlled by the flesh not only leads to death but is living in death even now".

Now, he's not talking about physical death. He's saying the death of meaning in your life goes away when you forget what meaning is all about. When you turn your back on the circle and you forget who's in the center and then you don't see anybody around you, and you lose contact with what life is all about, that's a kind of dying. And the Bible says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of it is the way of death". So the fleshly mindset is, and just go back to our little word. It's FLESH minus H, spelled backwards, it's SELF. Oh, how easy it is for us, even as Christians, when we fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ because of what he's done for us on the cross and paid the penalty for our sin and nothing more important to us in all the world when we first get saved, but to love him and thank him and then all of a sudden, we get caught up in what's going on around us and, pretty soon, we find ourselves turning around in the circle, and it's about us.

Now, that's the first mindset, but notice Paul doesn't stay there very long. He goes on in Romans 8 to tell us about the spiritual mindset and that's what I wanna talk to you about 'cause this is pretty exciting. He says in verses 5 and 6: "But those who live according to the Spirit," in other words, they set their minds on the things of the Spirit, "are spiritually minded and they have life and peace". In other words, Christians should think differently. They dwell on the things of the Spirit. In verse 6, Paul zeros in on two particular descriptions of the spiritually minded person. He says they're full of life, and they're full of peace.

Now, I know that some people think if you're really walking with the Lord and you're walking in the Spirit, you're gonna be sort of sober and sad and, you know, not enjoying life. No, the Bible says if you have the Holy Spirit at the center and you're walking in the Spirit, you're full of life. The most exciting people I know are the people that I know are walking with the Lord and they're excited because every day's an adventure and you don't know what's gonna happen next and you just can't wait to see what God's up to in your life because you're walking in the Spirit. The Christian is a person who's been made alive by God's Spirit and, because of that, spiritual matters now make sense to them. Before you became a Christian, you were dead in sin.

Now you're alive to a whole new world of reality and you're at peace with yourself as never before. That's one of the most commonly stated results of becoming a Christian: "I found peace. I got rid of my guilt. I realized that God is not mad at me, that God loves me, and I've made peace with God". "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus," remember that? On more than one occasion, Jesus described this life that I'm talking about. On one occasion he said that "he had come to give us this life, and to give it to us more abundantly". That's life. In John 17:3 in his high priestly prayer, Jesus said, "This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent".

Let me tell you something. When you walk in the Spirit, when you make your life as a Christian: "What does God want"? When you turn yourself around so that you're in the circle looking at God, that's what it means to be alive. That's what it means to truly live. The Bible says: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". Romans 14:17 says this: "The kingdom of God," now listen to this. What is the kingdom of God? What does it mean to be a Christian? "The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". You're a Christian so you can't enjoy the things of the world 'cause the Holy Spirit's gonna make you miserable, right? Right? You act like you've never been there. And if you're a Christian, and you're over here, you can't really fully devote yourself to Jesus Christ 'cause you've got all the world pulling at you over here.

So what Paul is saying is when you get both feet on the same side of the fence and you get your grid correct and you begin to think spiritually about life, that doesn't mean that you don't have joy. Let me tell you this. If you are a Christian and you know you're going to heaven, and you know your sins are all forgiven and you're not guilty before God, how can you not be full of joy? How can you not walk every day just excited to see what God's gonna do next? Jesus says when you get the Holy Spirit in your heart and we're gonna talk about that in a moment, he brings peace. I've been ruminating in history a little bit these last days. I guess you do that when you hit these special birthdays.

Thinking about life, almost exactly at this particular time, 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer that, at the time, had a very poor survival rate. Shortly after my diagnosis, I went to the Mayo Clinic and I was operated on immediately. The surgery was called a laparotomy and, really, what it was is they cut me open from stem to stern, like a fish. After my surgery, I was taken to another floor to recover, and I remember this like it happened yesterday. On this particular floor, the patient rooms were in a circle and the nurses' station and desk for staff were in the middle. And as soon it was possible, the doctors told me that I should get up and try to walk.

So knowing this was an important part of my recovery, I pushed myself to do a full lap around the nurses' station, starting at my room and passing every other patient's room until my room came up again and then I went back in and got in bed. My goal that first day was one lap, that's all I wanted, one lap. And that was pretty challenging. And I was barely able to finish it. So the next day, I decided, "I'm gonna go two laps today". My plan was to do one more each day than I'd done the day before, so I set out walking slowly around the circle. By a strange coincidence, the doctor who had performed my surgery was dictating his notes about me when I shuffled by his desk. All I remember hearing him say was, "A pastor from California who has stage IV large-cell lymphoma cancer".

Now, that might not seem important to you but nobody had told me I had stage IV cancer. I had cancer, but I didn't know I had stage IV cancer. l wasn't even sure what that was but I know it was worse than stage III. Somehow, I completed those two laps and got back to my room. And I remember sitting there feeling really scared and overwhelmed. But then, that feeling completely left me and it was replaced by another. I realized, "I'm not in control of my life". I told myself that. But the Spirit of God is in control of me. And a sense of what I can only describe as peace began to come over my heart. I'm gonna let God do his work, and I'll do mine. My only thought was, "Well, tomorrow, I'm doing three laps. I don't know what you're doing, God, but I'm doing three laps tomorrow, right"?

If things are bad on the outside, listen to me, but the Holy Spirit is in charge of the inside, he will give you peace, and the Bible says it's peace that passes all understanding. Isn't that true? And you know, you can't understand it unless you've been there and you can't tell somebody, "Oh, I've been where you've been. I know". No, you don't. You don't know what I've been through 'cause you haven't been through what I've been through. And I don't know what you've been through, but I know this: when you go through something like that, that actually pulls at the very fabric of your life, if the Holy Spirit is in your heart, and you're walking with the Lord, he will give you peace and it will be something like you can't even explain to someone else. And if you try to tell a non-Christian about it, they'll just look at you like you're weird, you know? So it's how you think about things, it's your mindset, it's setting your mind.

I read this in a book that someone gave me by Max Lucado and here's what he said. He said, "You probably know this but in case you don't, I'm so thrilled to give you the good news that you get to pick what you ponder. You didn't select your birthplace or your birth date. You didn't choose your parents or your siblings. You don't get to determine the weather or the amount of salt in the ocean. There are many things in life over which you have no choice. But the greatest activity of life is well within your dominion: you get to choose what you think about. You can be the air traffic controller of your mental airport. You occupy the control tower and can direct the mental traffic of your world. Thoughts circle above, coming and going. If one of them lands, it's because you gave it permission. If it leaves, it's because you directed it to do so. It turns out that one of our most valuable weapons weighs less than 3 pounds and sits between our ears. Think about what you think about".

Set your mind on the Spirit. These verses raise a fundamental question about all of us: how are we forming our minds? What are we putting into our minds? What are we exposing them to? Christians who read nothing but the latest novels, who watch nothing but network television, who talk to nobody but non-Christians all the time, all the input they're getting is from one direction. They're allowing their minds to be set by other people instead of setting it themselves. And they will ultimately reflect the value system that becomes the grid of their mind if they don't get over this and take control. If we're serious about progressing in the Christian life, we have to seek everyday to feed our minds with spiritual food. We all know that. I'm not trying to get in your face about it and make you feel bad if you're not doing it. I'm just telling you, this is what the Word of God says. Set your mind.

Phroneo is the Greek word and it means to take control of it, set your mind. The mind of the Spirit in you. There's the fleshly mind, FLESH minus H spelled backwards, SELF. And there's the spiritual mind, putting the Holy Spirit at the center, making sure you're turned the right direction in the circle, and going forward. Now, let me talk with you just a few moments about the measure of the Spirit. Because in verses 9 to 11, this is what Paul says. He says, "You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you".

Now, beginning with this verse, Paul shifts from the third person to the second person. It's interesting. He's gonna talk directly to his readers instead of about them. He's going to exhort them to acknowledge the Spirit in their lives and he begins by telling them that the Holy Spirit inhabits us. Verse 9: "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now," listen to this, "if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he's none of his".

Now, I grew up in a culture where a lot of preachers preached that when you become a Christian you get Christ but then you've got to have a second work of grace to get the Holy Spirit. You ever hear that? Some people say, "Well, have you been baptized in the Spirit"? Yes, I have. Every one of us has been baptized in the Spirit because the Word of God says when you become a Christian, Spirit baptism happens automatically, imperceptibly, in your life. To be baptized in the Spirit means you become a part of the body of Christ. So let me just settle this once and for all and then I'm gonna read this verse again. You cannot be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit. It's impossible.

Listen to what Paul said: "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, that person is not His". You're not a Christian. If you're a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit. Are you a Christian? Yes. Do you have Christ? Yes. Do you have the Holy Spirit? Absolutely. Don't let anybody come and tell you that if you're a Christian you need to go get the Holy Spirit 'cause, listen to me, I wrote a book one time about this, a little pamphlet, and it was called this: "Is the Holy Spirit Original or Optional Equipment"? He's original equipment, amen? So you got the Holy Spirit. He dwells in you. The acid test of being a Christian is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And Paul says that you can be certain of your salvation if, indeed, the Spirit of God dwells in you, and the word "dwell" is a wonderful word which means he's at home in you.

So the first thing he wants you to know is that the Holy Spirit inhabits you. You may not even know that and let me tell you, if you don't know the Holy Spirit is in you, you will never call upon him to help you. Have you ever prayed in the morning, "Holy Spirit, this is gonna be a really tough day. I'm not sure how I'm gonna get through this day, but I know you're with me, so guide me and direct me and help me through this day. Holy Spirit, help me". Not only does the Holy Spirit inhabit you but Paul says he invigorates you. Verse 10: "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness". Paul does not deny the effect of our fallen nature. We all have a fallen nature. We're Christians but we didn't get rid of the old nature when we became Christians. We just got the new nature. There's a more powerful agent working within us. It's called the Holy Spirit. And while, outwardly, it may appear as if sin is having its decaying effect, there's another force at work.

The Bible says: "If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness". I love this verse in 2 Corinthians because it puts all of this in perspective. It tells us where we should put our emphasis. Now I know a lot of us put our emphasis in the body. Did you see what the Bible says about the body? It's dead in the water. It's over. Now, you've gotta do the best you can to prop it up for as long as you can 'cause you kind of need your body to do what you're gonna do. I remember walking into a chiropractor's office one time and seeing a big sign up on the wall. It says: "If you wear out this body, then where are you gonna live," right? So you need your body. But you only need your body for as long as you're here. You need your Spirit here and forever. And the Bible says that you should not just think about taking care of your body, but also think about taking care of your Spirit.

Here's 2 Corinthians 4:16: "The outward man is perishing, but the inward man," the Spirit, "is being renewed every day". The Bible reminds us that even though we have been redeemed from the power of the flesh, we can still live fleshly lives if we don't yield to the power of the Holy Spirit. We must let him control our lives or we will fall back into old patterns of sin and the flesh. You see the Bible is so clear about this: that we have to make a choice. We're Christians. Now we know because of what Paul has said that we are Christians who have the Holy Spirit living in us. Here's the difference in Christians. Some people have the Holy Spirit as a resident in their life, and some people have the Holy Spirit as the president of their life. Which are you?

Over 100 years ago, a group of pastors had gathered to make plans for a citywide evangelistic campaign, and one of the men suggested that the well-known evangelist D.L. Moody be considered as a possible speaker. The pastors discussed the suggestion and several spoke favorably about Moody, but one young preacher wasn't in favor of inviting the evangelist and he stood up and he said with a note of sarcasm, "From the way some of you talk, you'd think Mr. Moody had a monopoly on the Holy Spirit". The room became quiet and another seasoned pastor spoke up. He said, "No, Mr. Moody doesn't have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody".

Does the Holy Spirit have a monopoly on you? Is he a resident in your life or is he the president of your life? The Holy Spirit inhabits you but when you put him in charge, he invigorates you. Have you ever had even one experience in your life as a Christian where something happened to you that was beyond anything you know you could ever do yourself and you knew that the Spirit of God had done it? It was a God thing. 'Til you get to that experience, you don't know what you're missing. So many of us have sold ourselves so short all of our Christian lives 'cause we become Christians and somebody taught us that the Holy Spirit helped us get saved but now we're on our own and we've got to somehow muddle through 'til we get to heaven. No, no, when you become a Christian, you get everything you need to live this life of peace and excitement and adventure and the only problem is if you don't take advantage of it, there's nothing anybody can do about it. The Holy Spirit lives within you.

Now, if you allow him to begin to infuse your life, the Bible says in Ephesians 5: "Be filled with the Holy Spirit". What does that mean? It means to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, be absolutely like when you're filled with fear, you're to be filled with the Spirit of God. Let him control your life. Notice, third thing and this is truly interesting. The Holy Spirit insures you. The Holy Spirit is your insurance policy, and the Bible actually says he is the downpayment that God gives you that one day you're gonna spend eternity with him. He is your earnest. He's your earnest money. You know what that is? When you go buy something, you give 'em a downpayment that says I'm gonna bring the rest of the money at closing? Well, the Holy Spirit is God's earnest payment in your life. The Holy Spirit is your insurance that one day you're gonna spend eternity with the holy God. Most often we think of God the Father as the one who raised Jesus from the dead, but in verse 11 we learn that the Holy Spirit was involved in that process too.

Let me read it again: "But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you," now listen carefully, "he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you". Even though we have been made alive by the Holy Spirit at the time of our salvation, our bodies are still subject to death and decay, but the Bible says that a future day of resurrection awaits us when our mortal bodies will be clothed with life immortal and the Holy Spirit who lives within us will regenerate us by the power of God to be in our forever, rejuvenated, 100% made-over bodies, amen? So we will have new life in our bodies. The Holy Spirit comes to inhabit us, he comes to invigorate us, and he comes to insure us that one day we're gonna spend eternity with the Lord.

I love the story about H.A. Ironside who was riding on a train in Southern California when a gypsy got on the train and came over and sat down by him, not knowing for sure what she was doing, I'm sure. She said, "How do you do? Would you like to have your fortune told? Cross my palm with a silver quarter, and I'll give you your past, your present, and your future". Well, Mr. Ironside said, "Are you sure you can do that"? "Yes," she said, "I can give you your past, your present, and your future. I will tell you all". Ironside then said, "It is not really necessary for me to have my fortune told because I've had it told already, and it's written in a book and I have the book right here in my pocket". And she said, "You have a book in your pocket that tells you your future"? "Yes, it tells me not only my future but my past and my present". He said, "Let me read it to you".

So he reached in his pocket and he pulled out his New Testament and he began to read from Ephesians chapter 2, and Ephesians chapter 2 says, verses 1 and 2: "For as for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient". Ironside turned to the gypsy and said, "That's my past". The woman who had been startled when he pulled out his New Testament now tried to get away. "Oh, that's plenty," she said, "I didn't want to hear more". "Oh," he said, "you have to hear more. Here's my present". And he turned to Ephesians chapter 2, verses 4 through 6 and he read: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace we have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus". "No more," she said, "no more". "But," said Ironside, "you have to listen to one more thing. I want you to know that in this book is not only my past and my present, but my future. I am giving it to you today for nothing. You don't have to cross my palm with a quarter".

Ephesians 2:7: "In order that in the coming ages he may show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus". By now, the gypsy was halfway down the aisle of the train saying, "I got in the wrong car. I sat down next to the wrong man". As Christians, Paul wants us to know because of the Holy Spirit we've been saved from our sin, because of the Holy Spirit we have life everlasting, life abundant, life full of joy and peace, and because of the Holy Spirit who lives in our body, he's the downpayment that God gave us that one day we're gonna be resurrected even as Christ was and spend eternity with the Lord.

So back to the beginning. What is your mindset? You see, we can only be effective in the spiritual realm sort of in the same way that we become effective in the physical realm. In the physical realm, if you don't eat right, if you don't exercise, if you don't do the right things, you won't be healthy for long. In the spiritual realm, if all you get is what you get when you come on Sunday, you're gonna struggle. You're gonna find that life is kind of overwhelming you. And when you're fragile, you need more than what you can get from your pastor on Sunday. You need to get some books to read, some Bible commentary, some things that will build you up.

You know, the old adage is that you've got these two natures and whichever one you feed is the one that's gonna dominate in your life. You can either be spiritually minded or you can be fleshly minded. It's not something you just decide, it's something you do. Can we just say, "Thank you, Lord, for your Spirit who's come to live within us and give us peace and love and hope and guidance and direction and to guarantee that we're gonna be with the Lord someday," and allow the Holy Spirit not just to be the resident in your life but to be the president in your life.
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