Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5. In our last message we stopped at verse 16 of chapter 5. Let’s take a look at verse 17 today. We will read it from four different translations.
(Galatians 5:17 The Passion Translation)
For your self – life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self – life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self – life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:17 Easy to Read Version)
The sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other, so that you don’t do what you really want to do.
(Galatians 5:17 J.B. Phillips New Testament)
For the whole energy of the lower nature is set against the Spirit, while the whole power of the Spirit is contrary to the lower nature. Here is the conflict, and that is why you are not free to do what you want to do.
(Galatians 5:17 New Living Translation)
The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Your mind must be renewed.
a) Before you were Born-Again you learned to think a certain way. You were born where you were born, you experienced whatever you experienced, you learned what you learned, and you became whoever you became. You did all of this without Christ and without His Spirit living inside of you. But then you heard about Jesus, you accepted the gospel, and you were Born-Again. At that point you are were new man, living in an old body, in need of a new mind. Your spirit was Born-Again, recreated and made new. But your soul was not. Your soul contains your mind (the way you think), emotions (the way you feel), and will (the way you make decisions). After you are Born-Again you must study the Bible and learn to be led of God’s Spirit, because this is the only way you are going to change the way you think, feel and make decisions, to line up with God and His ways. In a sense you WERE changed. But in another sense, as you walk with God, study His Word, and learn to hear and follow the voice of His Spirit, you are BEING changed!
b) In order to become the man/woman God has called you to be, you must be deprogrammed and reprogrammed to think like God. The goal is to think like Him every second of every day. This is why you cannot just go to church on Sundays, get a few minutes of Bible teaching, and think you are going to be alright. Unless you meditate on God’s Word day and night, you will lose the battle within. I believe this is one of the reasons why God directed me to share His Word every weekday. You need the Word on a daily basis.
Many people blame satan for this missteps, when the truth is they simply have bad habits. They were conditioned to sin before coming to God and after being Born-Again, they have never put in the work required to change their old ways. You must work on becoming the man/woman you are called to be. You must work to literally brainwash yourself — washing your mind of all the destructive practices you developed before coming to God. This only happens through God’s Word and by His Spirit. And it takes time. If you are not willing to put in the time or energy, the Holy Spirit will tell you to do something that pleases God, but your old tendencies and sinful urges will override the Holy Spirit everytime. You won’t make progress in Christ and it won’t be because of satan. It will be because you never put in the work to renew your mind! You have God’s Word, you are filled with His Spirit, and you are called according to His purpose. Now the question is: what are you going to do about it? Will you develop the discipline required to be a true disciple of Jesus, or will you continue to allow sin to ruin your life, even after being Born-Again. Sin may not unravel your righteousness, but you are still going to reap what you sow, so sin can certainly unravel your life! The choice is yours! Please make the decision right now that you are going to put in the work to renew your mind!
2. You must train yourself to choose ‘spirit over sin’ every time.
In our text for this morning, Galatians 5:17, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that once you are Born-Again, the Holy Spirit will lead you to do things that are pleasing in God’s sight. However, your old thinking will war against the Holy Spirit and attempt to get you to comply with your old nature and live in accordance with old habits. If you don’t train yourself to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and more importantly, to actually OBEY what He says, you will be Born-Again, but you won’t live like who you are! Because you are losing the war within!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I accepted Your Son, Jesus the Christ, as my Lord. I was Born-Again. Your Spirit lives in me. I must now learn to hear His voice, which is Your voice, and obey what He says, which are Your commands. To do so I must put in the time and work required to renew my mind. I declare that I do. I meditate and medicate on Your Word day and night. I hear Your voice and I have the discipline required to say whatever You tell me to say, to go wherever You lead me to go, and to do whatever You lead me to do when I get there. Even when Your leading is against my old habits, tendencies and ways. I die to self. I allow Your Word and Your Spirit to guide me. I become the man/woman I was born to be! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!