#2 Have A Friend & Guide


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Good News About Being a Christian #2
You Always Have A Friend & Guide
by Tim Bond

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#2 Have A Friend & Guide

  1. 1. Good News About Being a Christian #2 You AlwAYs HAve A Friend & Guide by Tim Bond http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=44935&Sermon%20You%20Always%20Have%20A%20Friend%20&%20Guide%20by%20Tim%20Bond
  2. 2. If we were to go around the room this morning, I wonder how many could tell what your life insurance policy would pay if you suddenly died? How about your auto insurance policy? What is the maximum dollar amount it will pay if you are in an accident and someone sues you?
  3. 3. How about the benefits of your health insurance policy? Most of us would probably have to say we are just not up on those details of our lives (though there are probably a couple of you who could rattle off that information in a second!)
  4. 4. We aren’t stupid! We were aware of the details back when we purchased the policy, but then we put the paperwork in a safe place and let those details pass from our conscious minds.
  5. 5. But you know, there is a danger of the same thing happening to us in another area of our lives. If we have made Jesus our Lord, we have tremendous benefits that come to us, yet often we are ignorant of them.
  6. 6. Like the person who buys an insurance policy, brings it home and tosses it into a drawer, we neglect and maybe even fail to realize the tremendous benefits we enjoy as Christians.
  7. 7. And these are not just benefits reserved for the warm retreat of the sweet by and by. They are the treasures God intends for us to enjoy in the cold, hard here and now. As a matter of fact, they are gifts given to us by God so that we can be everything He designed us to be.
  8. 8. We need to enjoy the privilege of being a child of God. As we talked about last week, we need to be fully aware that because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we are no longer condemned for our sin.
  9. 9. But there is more to salvation than lack of condemnation. Paul moves on to remind us that when we turn our lives over to Jesus, we are no longer on our own. We are given the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  10. 10. Now we are not alone any more, so we shouldn’t live like it. We need to be tuned into the reality of our ever- present companion. We need to live arm in arm with the Holy Spirit.
  11. 11. There is a great ridge of mountains in North America that extends from Alaska, southward into the Rocky Mountains. It continues to weave its way through the U.S. into Mexico, then into Central America along the Sierra Madre. That immense ridge of mountains is referred to as the Continental Divide.
  12. 12. Over the years I’ve had my picture taken next to signs perched at peaks of this dividing line of North America. You see, the peaks of this mountain range divide the continent into two great watersheds.
  13. 13. Theoretically, if you poured a cup of water down the western slope of those mountains and that water didn’t evaporate or have its flow stopped in some other way, it would make its way into the Pacific Ocean.
  14. 14. In the same way, if that cup of water were poured onto the eastern side of those mountains, it would make its way to the Atlantic. The peaks of that range determine the course of the flow of water.
  15. 15. When Paul comes to Romans 8:5, he is ready to point out the dividing line that separates the life of a Christian from one who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior. The dividing line that He identifies is the motivation that drives a person’s life.
  16. 16. In other words, "What voice do we listen to when we determine what we are going to do in life?" To use the language Paul uses, you can tell where a person is headed by what they have set their mind on.
  17. 17. And he says there are only two things that anybody can set their mind on. Only two voices people can listen to. One is "flesh" and the other is "Spirit."
  18. 18. Romans 8:5 NET For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace,
  19. 19. 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Paul says that there are two ways of thinking, only two real ways of living your life.
  20. 20. You can live with your mind focused on flesh or on Spirit. Really, what he is saying is that you can live your life focused on things that are physical and don’t last very long, or you can live focused on things that are spiritual and last forever.
  21. 21. You see, if you look at this world from God’s perspective, there are only two kinds of things, those that will last forever, and those that won’t. The things that make up the physical part of this world really don’t last that long.
  22. 22. Think about it, how long does your money last? (not very long if you are like me) How long does a car last? Your house? Your health? Your body? But you know what? It is very easy to waste your life chasing after things that don’t last.
  23. 23. "the outlook of the flesh" that Paul talks about is the mind which thinks only about things that are physical. If you let them, buildings, bodies and baked goods can fill your mind and your heart until there is no room for anything else.
  24. 24. It is possible to get so wrapped up in the things of this physical world that you forget that there is anything else. Paul’s warning is that if you do, you are on a dead end street.
  25. 25. Romans 8:6 NET For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  26. 26. But he moves on in verses 9-11 to say Romans 8:9 NET You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him.
  27. 27. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.
  28. 28. Make sure you don’t miss this! When you accept Christ into your life, you have the opportunity to focus on things that are not temporary! In Christ you can set your mind on things that go beyond this material world.
  29. 29. As a matter of fact, Paul says that if you are in Christ, you will become tuned in to the spiritual realities that make up this life. God gives you a gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  30. 30. God takes up residence in your life and becomes a part of you. You, are no longer only a fleshly being subject to death. When the Spirit of God comes to live inside of you, you are a spiritual being set free to really live!
  31. 31. Now no doubt most of us who have been baptized, have been told about the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us. Listen to what Peter told his listeners on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:38 NET Peter said to them, "Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  32. 32. “and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” That sounds pretty cool, but I wonder how many of us really don’t know what that means. A whole lot of Christians file that idea away in a drawer somewhere and don’t pay any attention to the benefits of His presence.
  33. 33. I wonder if that doesn’t explain why so many Christians go through life with weak constitutions. I wonder if that isn’t why so many Christians accept sin in their lives. I wonder if that isn’t why so many Christians are apathetic about spirituality.
  34. 34. Could it be that we Christians are so fleshly at times because we haven’t recognized the blessing, the incredible benefit of having the Spirit of God living inside of us? That is what was happening to Christians at Corinth. Some of them were getting involved in sexual promiscuity, so Paul reminded them in
  35. 35. 1 Corinthians 6:19 NET Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
  36. 36. Just so that ignorance is not our excuse, let me just mention 3 of the hundreds of benefits that come our way by having the Holy Spirit as part of our life.
  37. 37. 1. we Are enliGHtened to Know How to Follow God 1 Corinthians 2:12 NET Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God.
  38. 38. 13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.
  39. 39. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is understood by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? (Isaiah 40:13) But we have the mind of Christ.
  40. 40. Did you hear what Paul said? Without the Spirit we are stumbling along in life, and the things that are right seem wrong. The things that are wrong seem right. Even down to the most fundamental thing.
  41. 41. Without God’s Spirit, there are millions, billions of people in this world who don’t know why they exist. They think they are here to make money or to produce babies, or to have fun. And there are a whole lot of them who have no idea why they are here.
  42. 42. They are just stumbling through life. But when we accept Christ as our Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit in our life and He gives us guidance. We know why we are here, to serve Him, to give Him glory. That purpose drives our lives and gives us motivation.
  43. 43. One way He guides us is through the Word of God. In Ephesians it says that the Word of God is the "sword of the Spirit." This book contains wisdom of God to lead you in every situation you will ever face. The Psalmist wrote "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
  44. 44. If you want to know how to follow God, which way to walk, know that the Holy Spirit is speaking powerfully to you through this Word. Now I won’t say that the Holy Spirit doesn’t guide us in other ways,
  45. 45. but I will say that He doesn’t expect us to sit around looking for writing on the wall when He has already written guidance for us in this book. Having the indwelling Holy Spirit does not give us an excuse for laziness. We can’t sit around and say, "I’m just going to sit here and listen for God’s voice to tell me what to do."
  46. 46. If you want to hear God’s voice clearly, you have to get to know what it sounds like by listening to this Word. The first benefit of having the Holy Spirit in our life is that we are enlightened to know how to follow God.
  47. 47. 2. we Are empowered to live A GodlY liFe Romans 8:12 NET So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (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. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
  48. 48. With His Spirit living in us, we are no longer entrapped by the flesh. Without His Spirit, we live fleshly, physical lives. Our minds are on earthly things. We can’t help it because we are earthly creatures. But with the Holy Spirit as our friend and guide living inside us we are empowered to rise above the flesh.
  49. 49. Galatians 5:16 NET But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.
  50. 50. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions,
  51. 51. 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self- control.
  52. 52. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.
  53. 53. You know, there are some groups who I could read that first list to and they would scream "Yeah! That’s what we want!" Sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies, selfish ambition. Those are a driving force behind much of what happens in the world. But not for the Christian.
  54. 54. We should be the ones who get fired up about having love, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Those in the flesh scoff at that type of character. But those in the Spirit yearn for those characteristics in their life. God is working in them to produce that kind of fruit.
  55. 55. 3. we Are inviGorAted to live BY FAitH insteAd oF FeAr Through His Spirit, we are given the ability to live without fear. I am convinced that one of Satan’s most effective tools is fear. He uses it as a wet blanket to suffocate the work of the Spirit in our lives.
  56. 56. When God’s Spirit prompts us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with someone, what stops us? It’s that little voice that says "What if they laugh? What if they get angry? What if they are offended?"
  57. 57. And that fleshly fear paralyzes us. Realize that voice you hear is not the Spirit! Paul told Timothy, For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 NET
  58. 58. Romans 8:15 NET For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." When a 5-year-old little boy gets afraid, you know what he wants? He wants his daddy.
  59. 59. He wants daddy’s physical presence and if it means crawling up in bed with him in the middle of the night or hollering for him to come, that’s what is going to happen. When we realize that our Father’s Spirit is alive and well inside of us, we are empowered to be courageous.
  60. 60. We don’t cower in the face of challenges. We are invigorated to step out by faith and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit that is guiding us. Knowing God is with us gives us courage to face whatever life sends our way.
  61. 61. There’s a story about a wealthy but miserly lady who lived in New England early last century. When they brought electricity to her part of the country, she was among the first to sign up, and people in the area were amazed.
  62. 62. But the guy who read the meters was surprised the first time he came out to see how much electricity she had used. He wondered if the meter was broken. He went and knocked on the door and asked her if everything with her electricity was alright. She told him it was.
  63. 63. He said, "Well, I was just wondering, it didn’t seem like you used much." She said, "Oh, I don’t. When the sun goes down I turn on a lamp just long enough to light my oil lamps, then I turn it off."
  64. 64. There are a whole lot of us who live in the Spirit about that much. We’ve got the power of God in our lives, but we are miserly in the way we use it. But God has blessed us abundantly and we only use a trickle of that power for living.
  65. 65. What could our lives be like if we gave up living in the flesh and really experienced the fullness of life that God wants us to have? There is Good News folks! God has given every Christian a friend and guide to help us along the way in this life.
  66. 66. We need to let Him lead our lives, and we need to start right now. Do you hear the call to turn your life over to God? That is the voice of the Holy Spirit.