Alive And Well
The Holy Spirit dwells in you. If you acknowledge this -- through the fact that He's there and you're yielding to him -- you're really, really going to live.
Alright thank you very much, always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I remember the announcer back in the 1930s who put me on the air; I was on live every morning in that particular station. He was hung-over one morning and didn’t feel too good so he put me on the air and forgot to shut off his microphone. He said to himself, “That ought to hold him.”
Well I’m glad for my friends and I’m glad for you my listening friend, how in the world are you? You doing Alright today? Well bless you, glad to be back with you. The mile’s drop away and it’s just as though as I were sitting there with you in the kitchen or beside you in the car as you’re on your way to work; or sitting with you in the living room late in the evening just before the day closes up, well whatever. We’re together around the Word of God and I love it, don’t you? Oh it’s great. Thanks for being there.
We’re looking into 2 Peter this chapter that is full of the description of people who are counterfeit Christians operating within the structure of the local church and Peter’s pointed out that they’re living what he says after the flesh – the lusts of their flesh. And I gave you a little rundown of what that meant there in 2 Peter chapter 2 you recall that.
Now we’ve turned to the opposite side because what I want to do is give you a contrast between the counterfeit and the real thing. Living what Paul calls “after the Spirit,” not after the flesh and we turn to Romans 8 for that.
And that’s where we were the last time we got together. Where does this matter of living in the Spirit start? Well it starts with the commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. There’s “therefor now no-condemnation that them that are in Christ Jesus.” To be in Christ means to have committed yourself to Him by faith. Not in that promising, or paying or joining or doing anything—“By grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast.”
The works come as a result of salvation. “We are His workmanship created unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” And so commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ by simple faith, repenting of sin, turning to Christ – Paul says to the people of Thessalonica – how you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God and then to wait for your son from heaven, that’s the procedure.
You turn from something to somebody, turn to God from idols; repentance and faith go hand and hand and they bring you then to the foot of the cross and you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as the savior to whom you have committed your life and your eternal destiny, that’s step one in starting to live in the Spirit.
And then you’re living according to a new law of life, the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. My old theology Prof in seminary Dr. John B. Champion used to dwell on this fact and say, “Well young ladies and gentlemen, every law has its own life, the life of the pollywogs – the life of the frog and the life of the oak trees, the life of the acorn and the life of the sprout of corn is the seed of corn. Every life has its law and it develops according to that law. You’ve been living according to the law of sin and death. More effort means more sin and more sin brings you more surely to eternal death. Now you’re living under a different law, the law of the spirit of life in Christ.” A new commitment results in a different life with a different law, and so that’s the second step.
And then, what? And then there’s a new focus – by the way—“the result of living according to the Holy Spirit is that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, we who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” You end up obeying God because the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within you, motivates you to obey God’s Word. “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure”.
Then you go on to verse five and there’s a new focus, a new mindset. A new set of priorities – “They that are after the flesh do mind” – that means pay attention to and follow. “They that are after the flesh pay attention to and follow the things of the flesh. But they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit; you’re not of the flesh but in the Spirit if so be in the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he has none of His.” And so if you’re born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God dwells within you according to this passage of God’s inspired Word.
And so He, the Holy Spirit, gives you a new mindset, “If any man be in Christ he’s a new creation all things are passed away – behold all things are become new. Let this mind be you which was also in Christ Jesus”. Paul said in another place, “We have the mind of Christ,” and he said over in Hebrews, “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. So then the wrap up of that whole subject is the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in you starts a new thought process, a new mindset, a new set of values and priorities so that you pay attention to eternal things rather than just the desires of your old sinful human nature. A new focus, a new mindset, new priorities are involved in living in the Spirit.
Then of course slipping down to verse 11 is new dynamics, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwell in you”. Now something refers to the – to the ultimate resurrection of our bodies and I’m quite willing to agree that the Bible teaches the resurrection of the body. I believe that there would be a resurrection body given to everyone of us when resurrection time comes. It says that the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible we shall all be changed and so on. So I believe with you in the resurrection of the body that I do think that we have a right here to look at the words themselves as it’s your mortal body. Now when am I mortal, before not after I die?
I’m corruptible after I die, this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption says Paul. He himself makes the distinction in 1 Corinthians 15. And so I think we have a right not only to believing the ultimate resurrection of the body and also the spiritual resurrection of a spirit that’s dead in sins. Ephesians 2:1 – you have been quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins, now that’s a spiritual resurrection that occurs when you’re born again. We believe also that that is true, don’t we?
But here in this verse I think we have a right to say that God will quicken your whole human nature, your mortal bodies he said. By His Spirit that dwelleth in you – now does that mean I’ll never get sick? No, it doesn’t, it didn’t in the days of Paul. He left some people at different places because they were sick, and see not everybody got healed then and not everybody gets healed now. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get sick, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get old, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get arthritis or whatever – we’re living in a sinful world and we’re living in bodies that are touched by the results of Adam and Eve’s sin that has come down through the centuries, no doubt about that. But he says he will quicken, now what does that mean?
Well go over to Corinthians he says, “Though our outward man perish that our inward man is renewed day by day.” To quicken you means to make you capable, alive and wonderfully capable of obeying God so that in Philippians 4:13 is fulfilled in you, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. It will make you gloriously alive – alive enough to do what God wants you to do in any given setting. Whether it be in youth or young adulthood or middle life or older, senior citizen life or old age whatever it is. Quicken means to make you able to do God’s will when He wants you to. You’re gloriously alive to do what God asks you to do, that make sense? Quicken.
Yes, I believe in the ultimate resurrection, yes I believe in the spiritual resurrection; your spirit was dead to God and he’s giving you new life Ephesians 2:1. Yes I believe that but I also believe that God will touch you body, soul and spirit and make you able to do his will when he wants you to do it any given time. And I find that then in this wonderful passage – his spirit that dwelleth in you.
Now here’s an interesting concept in verse 12 he says, “Therefore brethren we are debtors not to the flesh to live after the flesh for if you live after the flesh you’ll die; but if you live through the Spirit, to put to death the deeds of the body then you shall live”. What’s he talking about? He says you’re debtors, that is to say this is a matter of oughtness – this is something that a sensible thinking person ought to do, why? Because it’s the only way it works.
It’s the only way it works. He said that if you live after the flesh, you’ll die. There’s no other possibility as a result of a self-indulgence, self-willed, presumptuous, God-neglecting life than just to come to the end of it and you’re physically dead as well as spiritually dead. Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death”. In Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment,” and so that’s everything that you can look forward to. If a person is determined to be unsaved don’t blame him for his excesses because that’s all he’s got left, that’s all there is and after he’s gone that’s it, all he has left is to face the judgment of God.
But he says if ye through the Spirit now where is he, it says the Spirit that dwelleth in you – verse 11, He dwells in you. Alright the Holy Spirit dwells in you and if you through the fact that He’s there and you’re yielding to Him; to put to death the deeds of the body that is to say you turn from them and you yield yourself to God instead, you’re really, really going to live. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” The spilling over abundant life of God in you; he said, how do you do that? Yield to the blessed Holy Spirit.
Now I am not a fanatic on things, I don’t have any wildfire in me. But I think many of us who are conservative evangelicals miss out on realizing that the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us and then if we’ll just be quiet before God when we start to pray for example, don’t just start out with a laundry list of things but just wait on God and the indwelling Spirit of God is going to nudge you. He’s going to remind you of things that you need to say to God by way of adoration, by way of confession, by way of thanksgiving, by way of supplication. See, if ye through the Spirit do this, he says put to death the deeds of the flesh – how do you do that? You turn yourself away from – you turn to God from idols says Paul to the Thessalonians.
And so you steadfastly, you turn away from – Paul says reckon yourself dead in deed and just sin but alive unto God. It’s a matter of which way you’re facing – it’s a matter which way you’re facing. You know you don’t really get rid of your alcoholic habit by keeping a fifth of “Old Dead Eye” for medicinal purposes; I can guarantee you you’ll need some medicine before supper! Not that kind.
See, you have to turn away from it to God and so he said through the Spirit, through the Holy Spirit now how do you do that? You trust him to give you real victory. Well, God bless you my dear friend and keep you in His wonderful care.
Father God in Jesus’ name, may the indwelling Spirit guide us to obey Thee, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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