Life with God Through the Spirit 3

Life with God Through the Spirit 3

Text: Rom 8:9-13; Mt. 5-7; Lk. 18:9-14

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Introduction: The Spirit of Christ and an Obligation (Rom. 8:9-13).

  • The Spirit creates a new spiritual life and works to develop that life in you.
    • This new life that is being formed in us finds its fulfillment in the resurrection life with Christ.
  • A present obligation: we deal with the dynamic of sin working in our bodies.
    • The character of Jesus is to be formed in us and expressed through us as God’s Kingdom works in the world around us.
  • An essential question: What does this life look like?

Explore the Text:

 The Life of the Spirit of Christ Can be Described (Mt.5-7)

  • The Life You Were Designed to Live: This is not a life you make up as you go.
    • Our shallow substitutes have been easy for younger people to reject.
    • One model of discipleship in the 80s and 90s, emphasized people talking alike, dressing alike, and using the same religious language and pressures to enforce conformity.
    • In contrast, Jesus describes the broad contours of this inner work of the Spirit as we become unique individuals and unique churches in Christ for the glory of God.
    • Perhaps the word apprentice would clarify what we mean by the term disciple: we are being apprenticed by Jesus in this life of the Spirit.
  • A Clear Contrast in Mt. 5-7: Either the Reality Life in the Kingdom or the Endless (and Empty) Management of Impressions.

Jesus the Spirit-filled Master of this Way of Life with the Father.

  • Jesus knew how to live and recognized the shallowness of what we constantly substitute for that life.
    • What I thought having children would be like vs. the reality.
      • I remember hearing young, childless preachers telling parents what to do because they had taken a class or read some books.
      • My ideas of parenting changed dramatically.
    • As a patient, you recognize the difference between a great nurse vs. a nurse who checks in and checks out and tries to avoid mistakes.
  • When you experience someone with genuine knowledge & who lives with love, that person opens your mind to new possibilities. You want to be like them and see the potential of an authentic, Spirit-filled, Christ-like life.
    • You want the best mentor: my friend who travels to Austin 3 times a year for a week to learn from the best.
      • Practicing what you learn until it is integrated into your life.
    • Lifelong learning with Jesus.
  • Jesus Blesses People Who Desire More from Life (5:1-12)
    • Jesus Blessed the People Gathered to Hear Him and Invited them to Discover the Life of the Kingdom.
      • He often saw the crowds and their suffering and felt compassion.
      • They were like lost sheep—he would help and heal; he also taught.
    • Jesus knew the reality and joy of a relationship with the Father.
      • He knew that joy before the incarnation.
      • He experienced it in his life and his death on earth.
      • He invites us to know this abundant life now & in the age to come.

The Flow of Meaning Unfolds in the Sermon

  • Called to Be God’s Real Person in the World (5:13-48)
    • A Salt and Light presence that brings glory to the Father.
    • The contrast between managing religious appearances and the reality of knowing God.
    • You have heard that it was said…But I tell you.
  • The Secret of the Kingdom Life (6:1-18).
    • Three spiritual disciplines are mentioned; the issue is the practice empty or full? Is this about impressing people or being in the presence of God?
    • Disciplines as a secret life with God & no concern about others knowing.
    • At the Center is Prayer and Willing God’s Will on Earth!
  • Treasuring, Trusting, Seeking, & Relying on God (6:19-7:14)
    • 18:9-14: Jesus later told a story to drive the point home.
      • The proud, praying Pharisee is impressed with his own achievements and judges the tax-collector.
      • Note how prayer, giving and fasting can be empty expressions of spiritual pride.
    • Enjoying Life with Jesus Though Faithful Hearing-as-Obedience. (7:15-29)
      • Choose the Way You Will Go: narrow & broad way, good & bad fruit; wise & foolish builders.
      • When my mother spoke to me about doing something, she expected action. (“Did you hear me?” was not a test of my capacity to hear)
    • His listeners experienced Jesus as a teacher of genuine authority.
      • Aristotle, ethos, & persuasion: the most important factor for a speaker is ethos—the character of the speaker as experienced by the audience.
      • Jesus taught the way of life he lived daily in their presence. His love and compassion were the reality of what he taught.
      • He invited others to discover this life. He still does.


  • 1:9-14: Paul prays that his readers will be filled with the knowledge of God and of his will through the wisdom and knowledge that the Spirit gives.
    • Why? That our lives will be transformed and worthy of God.
    • Ethos: If God works in our lives, we have an authentic story to tell.
    • We can testify that the risen Jesus can change lives through the Spirit.
  • As your life with God becomes more intimate you become the kind of person through whom His life and love flow into the world through us.
    • Rivers of living water flow from you. Jn. 7:37-39.

An Invitation: Experiment with the Spiritual Discipline of Memorization and Meditation

  • Memorization: A Spiritual Discipline that Gets God’s Word in our Minds.
    • Gradually Memorize 23; Is. 40:11; Matthew 11:25-30
    • Memorize one verse (or just one phrase) at a time and use it for a day as you gradually memorize the entire text.
    • Avoid perfectionism.
    • Be patient with yourself and your memory
  • Meditation: A Spiritual Discipline that Deepens our Awareness of Jesus.
    • Meditate on the images of these passages as you think of Jesus as your good and loving shepherd who knows your name (John 10)
    • Accept Jesus’ invitation to be with him and learn from him.
    • The purpose is to have God’s word in your mind as the Spirit brings a genuine awareness of the presence of Jesus.

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