One Comment to “The Spirit of Christ”

  1. Donald McMahon
    August 26, 2019

    “The Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:1–17)(8.25.19)
    Romans 8:1–17 (NIV84)
    8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
    5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
    9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
    12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
    The word of God for the people of God.
    Title: The Spirit of Christ
    This past Tuesday night, while I was returning home from Bible Study, I saw an amazing demonstration of faith. It was about 8:20 PM, so dark, as I traveled south on route 9 in Absecon. Suddenly, on the shoulder, I saw a man. He had darker skin, a dark full beard, and he was wearing dark clothes as he rode on his skateboard. From his hand motions and his lips moving, combined with white earbuds, I discerned that he was jamming as he skated along. Imagine the kind of faith in God’s protection it takes to do that on a busy road…or maybe some other factor was in play.
    Maybe he was blind to the danger. Maybe he was willfully ignorant. You have heard people joke about going to hell because that is where all their friends are. This man represents much of the human race. We all have been warned against living sin filled lives. The Bible connects sin and death over and over again. In our natural state, we are hostile towards God. In the Voice translation it says here in Romans 8 that the natural man is at “war” with God. To whom, to what have we given control of our lives? Our mind and our spirit must be unified.
    You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. If is a big word. Your eternal life hinges on this IF – do you have the Spirit of Christ? Is Christ in you? You must be absolutely sure of your answer. The proof is not in professing lips but a professing life.
    Surely you have heard someone say something like, “It is my life. I will live it the way I want.” This is absolutely false. It is of the world. It is of the Devil. They are the words of rebellion against God. They are the words of the sinful nature in every human being.
    Psalm 139:13–16 (NIV84)
    13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place.
    When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
    16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
    In the call of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:4–5 (NIV84)
    4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
    5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
    Each one of us must choose Christ. We must choose life. The default is to choose death; to choose to live by the sinful nature. The natural man wants to think he is in control, but the sinful nature rules him or her. Experience proves it. Science proves it.
    Dr. Pam Peeke gave a TED Talk titled Hooked, Hacked, Hijacked: Reclaim Your Brain from Addictive Living. In Experiment with rats, using a PET Scan of the brain they observed the “reward center.” They gave the rats morphine, cocaine, and oreos. The response in the reward center was the same except it was greater when they consumed the oreos. They literally pulled the oreo apart and went for the filling. Sound familiar?
    Here is a picture of the reward center of the human brain. When the reward center is disrupted, it will lead to damage of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Through a fairly new science called Epigenetics, it can be reversed. It is focus on mind, mouth, and muscle. If you are a proponent of Weight Watchers, you know that your thinking, your diet, and exercise are all components of the new you.
    Dr. Peeke says, “Every single thought you have; every single mouthful of whatever you’re eating; and, every single step you take changes gene expression. It changes the way the whole body is talking to itself; and changes your destiny.” Curiously enough, she never addressed spiritual matters or eternal implications. She has left that to me.
    If we have the Spirit of Christ, we belong to Christ. Knowing to whom you belong reframes your identity. This truth threads throughout scripture. God chose a people and they belong to God.
    Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (NIV84) 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
    Mark 9:41 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”
    No. We are not our own. As people of faith in the Lord Jesus and His complete and finished work on the cross, we belong to Him. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV84) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    This week, I watched the only movie I have ever enjoyed that had Will Ferrell in it. It has an intriguing title: Stranger than Fiction. Harold Crick, is an agent for the Internal Revenue Service and he lives his life by his wristwatch. He begins hearing the voice of a woman omnisciently narrating his life but is unable to communicate with it. When this narrator mentions that Harold’s death is imminent, he becomes gravely concerned.
    Harold consults a psychiatrist who attributes the voice to schizophrenia, though they consider that if there really is a narrator, Harold should visit an expert in literature. Crick visits Jules Hilbert, a literature professor, and relates his story. When Jules recognizes aspects of a literary work in Harold’s story, he encourages Harold to identify the author. They believe that if they can speak with the author, then the questions about Harold’s life will be answered. You see, Harold is in fact a character in a tragic novel.
    Every human being is searching for the author of their lives. We are searching for our Creator. We are searching for that guiding narrator inside our head. If the Spirit of God lives in you; if the Spirit of Christ lives in you; then you belong to Christ. You are a child of God the Father. Then the voice in your head is the Holy Spirit.
    Again, like Dr. Peeke, spiritual matters are never addressed in this movie. Life after death is not spoken about. Eternal matters are the “elephant in the room” that no one mentions. This movie, Stranger than Fiction, has left these spiritual matters to me. I say to you, if you have the Spirit of Christ, your spirit is alive because of righteousness. You belong to Christ, the Son of God. You will have life in your mortal bodies through the Holy Spirit who lives in you.
    Paul’s argument in Roman’s 8 is replicated in Galatians 5:24–25 (NIV84)
    24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
    Remember last week’s demonstration for Children’s Chat: I used a steam to represent the Holy Spirit. Steam cleans thoroughly, softening hard and crusted dirt. Steam is powerful and used to drive engine pistons. Steam sterilizes by killing bugs and germs. Steam even takes out wrinkles, making the old new again.
    How serious is sin? The law of sin and death holds people in bondage. Sin is so serious that it was necessary for Jesus to come and rescue us – by making him a sin offering on our behalf. Sin is the opposite of living God honoring lives. Sin can control us. It damages us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Sin condemns us. Sin displease God, to say the least. Following the sinful nature, keeps you from God’s family. It robs you of your inheritance. In the simplest terms, sin kills.
    1) What are the two big ‘if’ conditions?
    2) What is being compared and contrasted?
    3) How do you know if you have the Spirit of Christ?
    4) What areas of your life do you need to give over to the Holy Spirit?
    5) Describe how your life in Christ should be manifested?
    6) How can you tune into the narrator of your life?
    7) Think not about what you have to give up. Focus on what you are gaining.
    8) From what rooms in your life are you locking out the Lord?
    I am here as a believer in a supernatural gospel—not with philosophy that may be framed out of the human life of Jesus, but with a religion that is based upon the supernatural life of the divine Christ.
    Submit control of every fiber of your being to the leading of the Spirit of Christ. You have been bought; you are redeemed. You are no longer your own; you belong to the Lord Jesus. This is not an intellectual exercise. If you don’t have the Spirit of Christ, you are eternally condemned – earthly decisions have eternal consequences. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you shall be saved.
    Amen and amen. Let us pray.


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