Andrew Fountain - What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

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Sermon notes - What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

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Walking in the Spirit or the Flesh — Structure of Galatians 5:13–6:5


  • Do you ever say to yourself “why am I such a failure as a Christian?
    • I just seem to keep falling into the same old patterns
    • If I could only find the answer!
    • Are you with me here?
  • The second issue is,
    • I don’t want to just be surviving as a Christian, I want to be moving in power! I want to see victory for the kingdom!

Two Questions:

  1. When we try to live in a way that follows Jesus, why do we keep failing?
  2. How do we have more of the Spirit’s supernatural gifts?
  • Turn out to have the same answer:
  • Walk in the Spirit!

Answers

  1. The New Reality of the Spirit
  2. Galatians 5 - Walking in the Spirit
  3. Four steps: A B C D
  • The New Creation (Kingdom of Heaven)
  • Invisible realm
  • Visible & Invisible
  • Flesh and Spirit (why)

1. Some New Creation Theology

Romans 1:3–4

  1. concerning his Son, who was descended from David
      according to the flesh
  2. and was appointed the Son of God in power
      according to the Spirit of holiness
      by his resurrection from the dead,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
  • “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead” [Col 1:18]
  • This sounds odd—surely Jesus is already the Son of God
    • Some translations have weakened it to “declared the Son of God”
    • But this is a new dimension to Jesus’s sonship
    • The resurrection is a new beginning for the New Creation
  • The N.T. constantly repeats that it is by the power of the Spirit that Jesus was raised

1 Corinthians 15

  1. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
  2. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
  3. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
  4. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
  • “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” [Rom 8:11]
  • The key event that brought about the New Creation was Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
    • His death was an act of self-giving love—and that defines the very air we breathe in the New Creation

Laws of the New Creation

  • The substance of the creation is the Spirit (as opposed to flesh & blood)
  • To live is to love. We live in the new as much as we love (following Jesus)
  • We exist as dependent beings (can do nothing by ourselves)
  • We access this new power whenever we follow Jesus by stepping out in love
  • We live in both realities, and can walk in both
  • We can choose to live in either mode
  • Imagine you had a flying car (they’ve been delayed, but another couple of years...)

2. Walking in the Spirit (Gal 5)

Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:13–6:5 Handout

  • Give everyone a copy of the handout
  • Walk through the story, unfolding the paper

A. The Law of Love

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The Law of Love

B. Opposite to the law of love

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The opposite to the law of love
  3. The opposite to the law of love
  4. The Law of Love

C. Walk in the Spirit

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The opposite to the law of love
  3. Walk in the Spirit
  4. Walk in the Spirit
  5. The opposite to the law of love
  6. The Law of Love

D. War with the desires of the flesh

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The opposite to the law of love
  3. Walk in the Spirit
  4. War with the desires of the flesh
  5. War with the desires of the flesh
  6. Walk in the Spirit
  7. The opposite to the law of love
  8. The Law of Love

E. The old Law doesn’t operate in realm of the Spirit

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The opposite to the law of love
  3. Walk in the Spirit
  4. War with the desires of the flesh
  5. Law doesn’t operate in realm of the Spirit
  6. Law doesn’t operate in realm of the Spirit
  7. War with the desires of the flesh
  8. Walk in the Spirit
  9. The opposite to the law of love
  10. The Law of Love

F. Works of the flesh & the Spirit

  1. The Law of Love
  2. The opposite to the law of love
  3. Walk in the Spirit
  4. War with the desires of the flesh
  5. Law doesn’t operate in realm of the Spirit
  6. The works of the flesh and the Spirit
  7. The works of the flesh and the Spirit
  8. Law doesn’t operate in realm of the Spirit
  9. War with the desires of the flesh
  10. Walk in the Spirit
  11. The opposite to the law of love
  12. The Law of Love
  • Analogies of what this means:
  • When I was 17 a girl started coming to our church who was totally into bicycle racing
  • tuning fork
    • resonating guitar strings

3. How we do it

How we do it

  1. Attention! Don’t be mindless, but recognize the flesh/Spirit issues quickly
  2. Believe in the new reality: Cosmic & eternal. This is about far more than your little issue but the Kingdom of heaven against the old reality.
  3. Confidently Call in support. Ask for help, and it is there for you. Jesus defeated the enemy
  4. Dependently step out. Acting in love will access the power of the Spirit, tuning in to the Kingdom.
  • As you do this more and more, you are widening the channel through which the power of the Spirit flows into your life.
  • You are tuning in more and more to the realm of the Spirit, the realm of the New Creation
  • As you widen this channel and get more in tune, then supernatural gifts will be more and more manifest in your life.
  • Motivations are everything
    • Sometimes the best way to serve others is to be angry with them.
    • Not a doormat. Serving others doesn’t mean we don’t get angry.
    • Not “Miserable Worm” theology
  • Conversely: Being nice to people for the wrong reasons.
    • Larry Crabb says “I hope my congregation is noticing how pastoral I’m being”
  • Receiving more of the Spirit
    • This is exactly the same as living in the new dimension of the Spirit
    • Walking in the Kingdom
  • There was only one church in the book of Revelation where Jesus threatened to remove the Spirit.
    • It was Ephesus

Rev 2:5–4 Ephesus

  1. …you have abandoned the love [for others] you had at first!
  2. …Do the deeds you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand [the Holy Spirit]
  • Why? because gifts without love will just puff up. (1 Cor is about this)
  • John 14 teaches the opposite, positively

John 14

  1. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments [to love one another].
  2. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth…
  3. If anyone loves me, he will keep my word [to love one another], and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
  • John 15 uses a really powerful image

John 15 – Abide in the Vine

  1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser…
  2. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
  3. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
    • So how do we abide?
  4. If you keep my commandments [to love one another], you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

Gal 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me. ”

Gal 2:20

It’s no longer I that liveth
But Christ that liveth in me

It’s no longer I that liveth
But Christ that liveth in me

He lives! He lives! Jesus is alive in me!

It’s no longer I that liveth
But Christ that liveth in me

Updated on 2017-08-29 by Andrew Fountain