Family Bible Study lesson for July 27: Good News! Controlled by the Spirit!
July 11 2003 by Kim D. Shaver , Galatians 5:16-26; 6:7-10

Family Bible Study lesson for July 27: Good News! Controlled by the Spirit! | Friday, July 11, 2003

Friday, July 11, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for July 27: Good News! Controlled by the Spirit!

By Kim D. Shaver Galatians 5:16-26; 6:7-10

Have you ever remarked or heard someone comment about a godly person by saying something like this: "He (or she) is really Spirit-filled." That's a wistful kind of comment. The implication is, "They've got something special, and I wish I had more of that."

However, the fact is that the moment a person trusts Jesus as their personal Savior, they receive all of the Holy Spirit that they will ever have. Therefore, it is not that some people have more of the Holy Spirit; it is that the Holy Spirit has more of them. As long as we live in this fallen world, we will struggle with an inner conflict between the indwelling Holy Spirit and our sinful, selfish nature. Daily, we choose to surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to control our thoughts, words and actions, rather than following our self-centered desires and sinful impulses. We choose daily to give more of ourselves over to the leadership of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a ghostly creature or an impersonal force, but is a person. He is a person just like Jesus. He is the third person of the Godhead. And, wonder of wonders - this divine person is "Christ in you, your hope of glory" if you are a believer in Christ (Col. 1:27).

Obeying the Spirit's Control (Galatians 5:16-18) "So I say, live by the Spirit," Paul exhorts. To live by the Spirit means we are led by the Spirit, influenced by the Holy Spirit and, ideally, controlled by the Holy Spirit. This sounds simple enough, but a Spirit-controlled life is not an "auto-pilot" type of dynamic. In His sovereignty, God has allowed the inner conflict between the "sinful nature" and the indwelling Holy Spirit to go on within the believer.

Our loving and all-wise Father doesn't allow this conflict simply to exasperate us. His purpose is that we will experience victory through daily yielding to Him as He dwells within us. We make this choice to yield to Him when we begin each day with prayer, asking God to live through us. Often, my morning prayer springs from the words of Galatians 2:20 - "May it not be me who lives today, Lord, but Christ who lives through me." We choose victory when we pursue God through a consistent devotional life. Familiarity with God's word saturates us with the "mind of Christ." This gives us the sensitivity to discern between our emotions and personal preferences and the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit. God's word tunes us in to the will of God. And, God's word equips us for victory in the internal battle between self and the Spirit.

Rejecting Sinful Attitudes and Actions (Galatians 5:19-21) In this passage, Paul gives us a list of sinful activities ranging from jealousy to selfish ambition. We all have evil desires, and we can't ignore them. In order for us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, we must deal decisively with our sinful nature. The sinful nature is sometimes called the "old man," while the new, spiritual nature is called the "new man." Perhaps this word picture will be helpful to you: "Starve the old man and feed the new man." If you do this, the old man grows weaker and weaker, while the new man flourishes. We starve the old man by avoiding certain places, people, books, magazines, movies, TV shows and practices. We feed the new man by fellowshipping and worshipping in a local church, reading our Bibles and devotional materials, through praying and actively serving God.

Showing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26) As we increasingly yield to the control of the Holy Spirit and "feed the new man," the victorious result is that the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in our lives. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Notice that the fruit of the Spirit is singular. This one fruit, however, manifests itself in a beautiful cluster of nine graces. Spiritual fruit is singular because it flows from the one true vine - Jesus Christ - dwelling within you. None of us can "muster up" fruit in our own strength. But as we increasingly know, trust, love, remember and spend time with the one true vine, we give Him more room to grow and flourish fruitfully in our lives.

Reaping a Transformed Life (Galatians 6:7-10) What kind of seeds are you sowing? Every thought, word and action has some kind of results. If you plant to please yourself and the "old man," you will reap a crop of sorrow, emptiness and despair. If you plant to please God and the "new man," you will reap life and peace.

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7/11/2003 12:00:00 AM by Kim D. Shaver , Galatians 5:16-26; 6:7-10 | with 0 comments
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