TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Romans 8:5-14
BOTTOM LINE: Paralyzed by our Flesh vs. Growing in His Grace
QUESTION: How do we go from a Child of God to a Son/Daughter of the King?
DOWNLOAD: D.L. Moody once said Our greatest fear should not be of Failure, but of succeeding at something that really doesn’t matter.
The Christian Life is the life of Jesus lived again through us! It’s not us trying to live like Jesus; or us trying to be Christ-like; it’s not even Christ giving us the power to live a life like His … it’s not of those!
It’s the Indwelling of Christ IN-US. You and I living His life AGAIN through us, and that life was designed to be lived right in the roughest … toughest … most difficult places on earth wasn’t it?
- our home
- our work
- in our every day circumstances
This is a great litmus test for us. In terms of are we tapping into the power and life of Jesus in us? is our Home different? I mean, we can look like everything is just the way it’s supposed to be in public. But what’s it like behind the front door?
Paul talked all about that in those first few verses here in chapter 8 … we are walking according to the Flesh and not according to the Spirit … and sometimes we ask …
- But Ken, what does it look like to Walk according to my Flesh?
- And … what does it look like to Walk in the Spirit?
And let’s look at these 2 sections together …
- The Analysis of Paralysis – 5-9
- The Possibility of Maturity – 10-14
The Analysis of Paralysis
Paul dives in a little deeper, where we discover the acting agent & motivating force, which takes this life of Christ and makes it available to us is the Holy Spirit … is The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The opposite side of the coin, the motivating force that makes the life of Adam available to us is the Flesh. It’s you and I defaulting to our own Self-Interest isn’t it?
When we look back to those days prior to walking w/ God thru Jesus, our primary concern and motivation was US … what’s in it for me? what’s best for me?
- our self can be introverted or extroverted
- it can mask in self-confidence or self aggressiveness
- it can mask in self-pity … or other things …
But when we experience Christ In-Us, and when we abide in Him and He in us, our life will bring forth FRUIT. We can EXPECT FRUIT, and THIS is what Paul is talking about in Walking in the Spirit.
Here’s the distinction. We can get a false idea bout what this means if we’re not careful, when Paul says set your mind on the things of the Spirit … does it mean that we have to go around thinking Holy thoughts about … and meditating on Bible verses all day long … and thinking about Heaven all the time?
And so then all the everyday things of life … Work … Kids … Dishes … all that stuff must be Things of the Flesh right?
And lots of people somehow get this impression that people Walking in the Spirit are sort of Super Saints who live some sort of Remote Life … and they’re so heavenly minded that they are honestly not much earthly good.
But that’s just not true. If somehow we’ve projected that image, that when we exchange our life w/ Jesus [that somehow we then have to put our mind on the shelf] our social life now goes in the closet, and we become some sort of Holy Roller, that’s just not the case.
ILLUSTRATION: How Do We View our Vocation? The way we make a Living? Do we respond w/ Well, it’s how I earn a living, and educate my children, and supply the needs of our life, and maybe even have some status in society? If that’s what our job is … we’re seeing it thru our Fleshly Lens.
However, do we see our vocation as God’s calling for us to overflow Jesus, a way that we have of glorifying Him by faithfulness and willingness to do what God collides us with every single day? Sure, it might be the avenue in which we earn an income … not only for our needs, but for God’s needs all around us … and we share in Abundance and are cheerful givers.
Is it a way we have of fulfilling the JOY of Giving? And yet at the same time, experience the God of Provision for our own family as well? And if that’s our mindset, I’d argue we’re walking in the Spirit.
Exact same work … just a completely different Lens and Source and Attitude.
The Possibility of Maturity
Some of us maybe read this and think … This is a verse about the promise that we would be resurrected some day, right? And there’s 1 word there I think that makes a HUGE difference … don’t miss this!
Mortal means not dead yet. And in the Greek, this word is translated as subject to death, therefore still living. So this is not a promise that God is someday going to raise our body out of the Grave here.
This is a promise that RIGHT NOW … in this life … our body can be made subject to the life of Christ … and His life lived through us that will transform our entire experience!
We become a genuinely NEW CREATURE in Christ!!
This is that process of Transformation … becoming a Child of God the moment we encounter Jesus personally … and we call God our Abba Father … and as we learn to Walk in the Spirit and experience more of God’s Presence in our lives … we are even called Son’s and Daughter’s of God!
Honestly, I think what we need is to get serious about listening for the Voice of God thru His Presence and Spirit in us, and walking according to God’s Leading.
What I need to do is be even more committed to taking the Word of God even more seriously in every area of my life …
- I don’t have to pray Lord Give me Strength … because He’s there to be my strength!
- I don’t have to pray Lord Give me Grace … Give me Peace … Help me thru this … because He is there to help us … and I just need to begin to Rest in His Truth … and Rest in His Presence … and live from His Truth and His Word that we already know.
And we don’t have to run away from LIFE to be a Follower of Jesus and Walk in the Spirit. But we can walk in Victory! Instead, we can walk thru every step of our life … look it in the eyes … and walk in the strength of God … and rise up like Son’s and Daughter’s of God … and walk in the strength of God in our life.