Andrew Fountain - Led by the Spirit

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Full sermon notes - Led by the Spirit

Knowing God’s will

  • Ephesians 5
  1. for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
    Walk as children of light
  2. (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
  3. and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.…
  4. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery,
    but be filled by the Spirit:
  • How do we know what God wants?
  • Paul’s experience of hearing God in Act 16 on his missionary journeys
  • We are not necessarily going to have all the experiences Paul had
    • God gave him some special gifts to back up his new revelation
    • E.g. handkerchiefs or clothing from his body
    • God can still do this today, but we can’t demand he do the same for everyone
    • God is not a slot machine we can say the right prayers and get a gift dispensed
  • Nevertheless, there are some powerful promises:

Paul says in Romans 8

  1. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
  • What does it mean to be led by the Spirit of God?
  • Can it happen nowadays, here in Toronto?
  • Rosalind Goforth, Climbing pp.23–25
  • but: George Whitfield and Howell Harris
  • Flying V guitar

The Problem:

  • There are two principles within us—the Spirit and the flesh.
  • For 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. (Rom 8:5)
  • What is “the flesh”?
  • But 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. (Rom 8:9)

Galatians 5

  1. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
  2. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;
    and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.…
  3. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
  4. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Points:

  1. There are two principles within us—the Spirit and the flesh.
  2. Sometimes we cannot hear the Spirit because the flesh is shouting so loudly

James 5:3–5

  1. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
  2. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
    Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
  3. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

John 10:3–5

  1. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice;
    and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
  2. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
  3. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him,
    for they do not know the voice of strangers.
  • John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Discerning God’s voice

  • There is a simple way to learn how to discern the the voice of the Spirit —Romans 8:
  1. For if you live according to the flesh you will die,
    but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
  2. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Points:

  1. There are two principles within us—the Spirit and the flesh.
  2. Sometimes we cannot hear the Spirit because the flesh is shouting so loudly
  3. There is a simple way to learn how to discern the the voice of the Spirit
  4. God’s Word is the route to intimacy with him in the Spirit

God’s will written on our hearts

  • Romans 8:7–9
  1. For the mind that is of the flesh is hostile to God,
    for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
  2. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  3. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
    if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.
    Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
  • You need the new life of the Spirit to be born into you

And finally, this leads to intimacy

  • See the progress:
  1. putting to death the deeds of the body
  2. being led by the Spirit
  3. Through the Spirit having such intimacy with the Father we can call him “Daddy”
  4. A feeling of belonging to God in the present and assurance of being together with him in the future

Updated on 2013-07-09 by Andrew Fountain

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