Yearning For The Spirit's Power
Text: Romans 8:9-11
September 11, 2001 was called “a day that changed the world.” Indeed it did. The attack on Pearl Harbor was another day in 1941 because it brought America into the WW2. The assignation of JFK in 1963 was another event called “a day that changed the world.” Each of these in their own right, are correct. But there was another day that changed the world, in a much deeper and far-reaching way: that was the day the resurrected, glorified, and enthroned Christ, the world’s cosmic Lord, poured out the Holy Spirit on his disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-4).
*Why did it change the world?
- Because the Spirit would now dwell IN believers:
1. He would bring to remembrance the teachings of Jesus and lead them further into the truth,
2. He would empower them to take the message around the world and bring people to faith
*This coming of the Holy Spirit enacted a new covenant ministry through the Church that has done more to change the world than any other force since history began.
*Since that time, the Spirit has come to dwell in all belong to Christ. If you are a Christian, you experience help from the Spirit every day, even if you are not aware of it or credit His work.
*The reason we can say that is because if we belong to Christ, then the Holy Spirit dwells in us. He doesn’t lie dormant. However, we can grieve the Spirit or quench the Spirit, failing to live in His power.
*It is to that subject we are looking at today, living in the power of the Spirit.
*The chief aim I’m praying God would produce in you through this sermon: A desire to walk by the Spirit and live in His power.
Vs 9 - You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
- Notice that Paul says, “You,” the context here are believers. These are Christians in Rome. He says “You” are not in the flesh, but the Spirit.
- So we see that there are two states of being (if you would) that we can live by in any moment: 1. The flesh, or 2. The Spirit.
1. Flesh can mean two things in Scripture. One way is to simply refer to the body. We live in the flesh because we are human beings. Being human means having a body. This is fine. Not bad at all. The second type of reference to the flesh is negative. It is essentially anything you do where the Spirit is not relied upon and Christ is not glorified. This often plays out in corruption, but it can also be things that are not inherently sinful, but we just operate from our own capacity.
- So you are always either Operating according to the flesh or Operating by the Spirit.
2. It is operating by the Spirit that brings power. If the Spirit dwells in you, then you are not of the flesh. But here is a vital statement: if you don’t have the Spirit, you don’t have Christ. The Spirit and Christ go together. If we have Christ for our Redeemer, then we have the Holy Spirit as our Indweller, but if we have not the Spirit, we are not Christ’s. No disclaimers. No caveats.
Vs 10 - But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
- But if Christ is in you (through the Spirit), even though this flesh is corrupt because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of Christ’s righteousness. If are in Christ, then you don’t have to live in the flesh because the Spirit is a life-giving power in you. He drives this home.
Vs 11 - If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
- Paul reminders readers 1. That the Spirit raised Christ from the dead. Now before I keep going, let me push into this further. The Spirit’s power has been displayed throughout Scripture: in Creation, in Christ’s conception, in His resurrection, through attestation of works of the apostles, works of grace in saving sinners, etc. We see the Spirit’s work is always accompanied with power.
- Paul reminds them that the Spirit that raised Christ, 2. Dwells in them. If you’re a believer, then the Spirit dwells in you. He will give life to you, with power, in the same way He did Jesus. Your mortal body will have power to operate in a manner that pleases God.
- Galatians 5:16 -- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
*How is this possible? Because the Spirit gives power. You don’t have to succumb to sin. You don’t have to give yourself over to your impulses of the flesh.
*Are you living with this power, friends? Do you see the effects of this power displayed in your life? Are you walking by the Spirit?
His power isn’t ours to wield, it’s God’s, but we seek it.
**People don’t possess the power in themselves
**They don’t wield gifts with omnipotence
**Must trust God, not man or ourselves
*What is the work of the Spirit in our lives?
- put sin to death – prayer in our pain – perseverance in the faith – growth and maturity
- courage in the midst of persecution – signs and wonder – operation of spiritual gifts
*What does it mean to walk in dependence of His power?
- He occupies & influences thoughts, decisions, relationship w/ others (God’s presence)
- Ability to connect consequences of what has been done or will be done (Wisdom)
- Special discernment that enables a proper perspective in a situation (Understanding)
- Special words or wisdom that comfort, heal, warn (Counsel)
- Special strength to do God’s will when their physical body would have given up (Strength)