Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25 (NIV84) 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. … 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
See also Ephesians 4 & 5
If you’re going to make “changes”, you have to understand what “change by Jesus” looks like.
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV84) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT) Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
The nature of change
1. Change by Jesus is gradual.
2. Change by Jesus is inevitable.
John 11:25 (NIV) “I am the resurrection and the life…”
3. Change by Jesus is internal.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT) “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
4. Change by Jesus is symmetrical.
1 John 4:20 (NIV) Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
What must I do “on the regular”?
• Crucify the sinful nature.
James 1:13-15 (NLT) And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
• Keep in step with the Spirit.
– Pay attention to your environment.
Growing Deeper Together
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
• After this hearing this message, do you have a good view of what being changed by Jesus looks like?
Have you begun to see these types of changes in your life?
If you see that something is missing, come to the Prayer Lounge after service and pray with someone for there to be growth in your life and faith that will show good fruit.
• Do you see the fruits of the Spirit evident in your life?
In your prayer time, ask God to reveal where you aren’t growing as he’d want you to.
Talk about it with a Christian friend or family member and ask for their perspective. What fruit do they see? What is missing?
• In what ways do you check in to see that you’re “keeping in step with the Spirit”?
It’s easy to think of belief and faith as a ‘one and done’ idea, but we need to keep our focus on God and staying within his good will for us.
As part of your quiet time this week, pray prayers of surrender asking the Lord how your life lines up with scripture in different areas like: family, finances, calendar, conflict, temptation, etc.
Meditate on Romans 12:1-2, offering your whole life to God in worship.
Wednesday | 6:30pm