Thankfully, Jesus can save us from our slavery to our sinful nature and empower us by His Spirit to walk in holiness – that we might please God and be free to honor Him! What wonderful news! He can give us the power to respond to evil and sin with blessing and good. This is the foundation for our Christian walk, faith and living out our beliefs in our relationships.
When I do not have God’s Spirit filling me, my life will look like this (Galatians 5:19-21) – if I have ANY of these things going on, it is sin and it is time to repent and turn back to Christ! My sinful nature is in control when these things are in my life:
- sexual immorality (any sexual act committed outside of God’s plan for sex in marriage)
- debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures)
- idolatry (putting anything above our desire to know and please Christ – PS – the human heart is an idol factory, we must all CAREFULLY guard against this! It is breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments, “You shall have no other god before Me.” Exodus 20)
- hatred (this counts as mental murder in God’s eyes I John 3:15)
- discord (lack of unity and teamwork)
- fits of rage
- selfish ambition
- dissensions (lots of arguing and disagreements. Contention. Lack of forgiveness. Unforgiveness is a huge sin! Matthew 6:14-15)
- factions (people split into cliques or groups that don’t like each other)
- drunkenness (would also include drug addiction, using mind-altering substances)
I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
When the Holy Spirit floods my soul, my life will look like this (Galatians 5:22-23):
- I will have love for people even when they are unlovable
- I will have joy even in sickness, difficulties and trials
- I will have peace even in uncertainty and in the storms of life
- I will have patience when normally I would definitely NOT have patience!
- I will have kindness to extend to everyone, even to those who mistreat me
- I will have goodness to give to everyone
- I will be faithful to God, to my promises to others and to God’s Word
- I will respond gently when I am wronged – not in harsh anger, sharp criticism, cussing, screaming, yelling, throwing things, name-calling, character assassination, etc.
- I will have self-control over my temper, my words, my facial expressions, my tone of voice, my body language – and will bring glory to God through my behavior
LIVING IN THE POWER OF GOD’S SPIRIT
In order to be full of God’s Holy Spirit, several things must take place:
1. I must acknowledge my sin (my many wrongs) to our holy God and accept His gift of Jesus’ death in my place. Then Jesus becomes my Savior. He died and took my punishment on Himself so that I could live and take His life and holiness on myself.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (made right with God) freely by His grace through the redemption (He bought us back from our slavery to sin with His blood) that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
For it is by grace you have been saved (from sin and separation from God), through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
2. I must surrender my life totally to Jesus – asking Him to be my LORD. This means I am willing to obey Him no matter what He asks me to do. This is where SUBMISSION starts in my life. I begin by submitting completely 100% all that I have and all that I am to Jesus Christ. In marriage, I will submit to (honor the authority of) my husband BECAUSE of my love and reverence and submission to Christ.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
3. I must not cherish any sin (anything that offends God) in my heart, but must turn away from my sin and turn to God. If I hold on to sin, or cherish it, in my heart, I grieve God’s Spirit and am not filled with His Spirit’s power. So then I will begin to act in my sinful nature instead of in the supernatural power of God.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32
Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness. II Timothy 2:19
4. I ask God to fill me, to have me, to be fully in control of my life. I lay down my rights, my wisdom, my will, my plans. I die to myself and I pick up His wisdom, His plans, His goals, His will and desire His glory. I must live in faith, trusting Him to lead me and depending on His wisdom, not my own.
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20
5. I feast on God’s Word, fellowship with other believers, seek godly mentors, accept suffering as discipline and desire to grow and mature in my faith.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
‘The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons…. God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:6-8,10-11