A Matter of Life and Death

Sermon notes 8-21-11: Pastor Milton Vincent, Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

So then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 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. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:12-14

FIVE TRUTHS THAT SPIRIT-INDWELT CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO TAKE TO HEART

1. We are indebted to the Spirit, to live our lives according to the Spirit (v. 12). 
We are under obligation not to the flesh, but to the Spirit (inferred).
Walk in love and freedom. Love, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through His Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). Freedom, because we have been set free from sin and works (Rom 8:2).

2. We are no longer indebted to the flesh, to live our lives according to the flesh (v. 12).
We owe the flesh NOTHING! We are under no obligation to give heed to the flesh. Don’t measure how much you have grown spiritually by the temptations you face, but measure spiritual growth by how you respond to temptation.

3. If we are living our lives according to the flesh, we are heading straight toward death (v. 13).
Literally in Greek: you are about to die. The mind set on the flesh is death (Rom 8:7). Death is separation, hostility, insubordination and powerlessness. There are many layers of death.

-Inward separation (between you and what you know is right).
-Separation from the enjoyment of fellowship with God.
-Separation from others (deceiving others, hiding your true self, dying in relationship to others).
-Powerlessness. Powerless to see God. Powerless to hear and understand His Word. (Matt. 5:8)
-Eternal separation from God. Those who continually live their lives according to the flesh show themselves to be lost having never really enjoyed a true conversion/salvation.

A true believer will not want to experience death on any level!

4. If we are killing personal sin through the Spirit, we will truly live (v. 13; also see Col. 3:5).
How to kill sin:
-Don’t let sin be born. Kill it at first though. (James 1:14-15)
-If you have given birth to sin, mortify it through confession and repentance. RUN to Christ. God is delighted to forgive.
-When tempted to sin, don’t think compromise, toleration, or coddling…think MURDER (of sin).
-Cut sin at the root. Remove stumbling blocks.
-Don’t think that to kill sin means to kill the desire for it.
-Set your mind on things of the Spirit and feast on Christ. Don’t obsess on what we can’t do, but turn from sin and feast on the goodness of God’s Grace.

Sin may be pleasant at first and make you think you are its best friend. But, sin’s goal is nothing less than your complete destruction.

5. If we are allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we show thereby that we are sons of God (v. 14).
Because this is what sons of God do! (More on this next week?)

About Terrie van Baarsel


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