Galatians 5:16-26, Invite The Holy Spirit Into More Of Your Life
1. Allow The Spirit To Guide You To Victory (v16-17)
2. Be Directed Away From Sin By The Spirit (v18-21)
3. Cultivate Fruitful Life In The Spirit (v22-23)
4. Follow The Spirit In Each And Every Step (v24-26)
Galatians 5:16-26, Invite The Holy Spirit Into More Of Your Life
Galatians 5:16-26, Invite The Holy Spirit Into More Of Your Life
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Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:00:00]:
Here's we look at Galatians chapter 5. I've titled the message, invite the holy spirit into more of your life. Invite the Holy Spirit into more of your life. And this is an exhortation and encouragement for all of us, no matter how much we've known the Lord, no matter how long we've walked with the Lord, there is infinite opportunity for us to experience a greater degree of the holy spirit's working in more and more of our life. But in order for us to experience that, in order for us to have that experience of the Holy Spirit working and moving and leading and guiding, there needs to be an invitation. An invitation from us to him. Invite the Holy Spirit into more of your life. You can think about it this way. The Holy Spirit is all powerful, but never forceful. The Holy Spirit is all powerful, but never forceful. That we understand that working of the Holy Spirit is incredible. And beyond what we're able to really comprehend, it is an amazing thing what the holy spirit can do. You know, there's, of course, the idea that people hold on to and believe that people cannot change and varying degrees of, you know, belief about that in the world around us of whether or not people can change. But what we know as believers in Jesus is that people can change, but not through our own efforts or through our own power. But the power of the holy spirit to transform a life is monumental. It's huge. The Holy Spirit is all powerful and there's nothing in our lives that the Holy Spirit is limited in his capability other than the limitations we give in not inviting the Holy Spirit into those aspects of our life. But the Holy Spirit is not forceful. He doesn't force himself upon us, It's never that the the Lord forces us to submit to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is waiting for that invitation from us. He is all powerful, but he's never forceful. And so this morning, I encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit into more of your life. Of course, we know the truth. Every believer in Jesus has the Holy Spirit in dwelling within them. This was the promise that Jesus gave in John chapter 14 as he's preparing his disciples for his departure He says, I will ask the father. He will send another advocate who will never leave you. He is the holy spirit. And Jesus explains to them, you know him because he's with you, but later on, he's going to be in you. Now Jesus was sharing this with his disciples before the cross, and so indicating after the cross, they would experience a new relationship with the holy spirit, that the Holy Spirit would be within them, not just with or beside them. It's a similar way to what every believer has experienced in a relationship with the holy spirit before they were born again and then once they were born again. That before we are born again, We don't have the holy spirit dwelling with it. But we have the holy spirit with us and we heard the voice of the Lord we experienced the leading of the Holy Spirit bringing conviction to our hearts, speaking to us, leading us. There there was that with relationship that we had with the Holy Spirit, but then when we are born again, to be born again is a work of the Holy Spirit. It is a transformation that takes place where we are given spiritual life by the Holy Spirit. And when that takes place, when we believe in Jesus Christ, that is we respond to the work of the Holy Spirit and the witness of Jesus, and we believe that Jesus is the savior, that in Jesus we have life, that in Jesus we have forgiveness from sins and that we have everlasting life. This is the testimony of the Holy Spirit as he is with us. And as he is testifying of those things, and we come to agree, we come to believe the witness of the Holy Spirit. When we believe, we place our trust in Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit has been encouraging us too, well then something takes place. We are born again by the Holy Spirit. In talking to the man Nicodemus, in John chapter 3, Jesus explains, you must be born again. This is a requirement. You cannot enter into the kingdom of God without being born again. And he goes on to explain, you must be born of the spirit. There is a birth that happens when we believe in Jesus where the holy spirit regenerates us Spiritually, we were dead, but by faith in Jesus Christ, we have spiritual life and the Holy Spirit From then on dwells within us. And so we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us as believers in Jesus. And if you don't have the holy spirit indwelling within you, then you are not born again, and you are not reasonably hoping for eternity because it is the only way into the kingdom of heaven. You must be born again. You must believe in Jesus Christ. You must receive this transformation work by the Holy Spirit. But it doesn't stop there. It doesn't end at that point. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us as believers in Jesus. And now, the rest of our life, the rest of our experience on this earth is going to be a walk, a pursuit, a path of learning to allow the Holy Spirit to work, in every moment in all aspects. We can refuse the Holy Spirit, we can grieve the Holy Spirit, we can deny the Holy Spirit, or we can invite the Holy Spirit into more and more and more of our lives. The apostle Paul in Romans chapter 8 verse 11 tells us that the spirit of God is the 1 who raised Jesus from the dead. That is the demonstration of his power, resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. And he says, the Holy Spirit or the spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. You have, within you, the Holy Spirit, who has the transformation power, the resurrection power. Again, he is all powerful. But never forceful. And so the question is, how much power are you allowing How much of the holy spirit are you allowing into your life and into the various aspects of your life to experience that resurrection power to the greatest degree. And so we're gonna walk through this passage here in Galatians chapter 5 verses 16 through 26. 4 points to help us invite the Holy Spirit into more of our lives and to experience more of his power within us. Gonna look at verse 16 and 17 for point number 1. Here it is. Allow the spirit to guide you to victory. Allow the spirit to guide you to victory. Verse 16 and 17 says this. So I say, Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives, then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the spirit wants. And the spirit gives us desires that are opposite of what the sinful nature years. These 2 forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. Here Paul is wrapping up some arguments and some conversations that he's been having verse 16 starts out saying, so I say, or your translation might say, therefore. In light of what he has been addressing up to this point, in light of the false doctrine of the judiizers that has been there. In light of the bad doctrine that the Galatians have been grabbing hold of, and Paul has been refuting that, in light of their pull towards legalism in light of the personal conflict that was happening between people in light of their struggle with the sinful desires within their nature, in light of all of these things, Paul says, here's the answer. Here's where we need to focus and pay attention. Let the holy spirit guide your lives. Now the the Galatians, this was a region that Paul was addressing here, the believers in this region, were really going through some serious battles with some false teachers who had come in and were calling the people to follow the law of Moses. And so they were calling people, yes, you believed in Jesus, and that's great, but it's not good enough. If you want to have real spiritual life, if you want to have real victory in your life. If you want to really be the best believer that you can be, then you need to then follow the law of Moses, and they're they're pulling the Galatians toward legalism. And it's not that surprising that this teaching was going out, this teaching has been going out from the beginning and continues to go out even to this very day. But Paul was absolutely surprised that the Galatians were buying into it. He was shocked. I can't believe you're turning away from the gospel to something else that is not even the gospel. It cannot even save legalism and the law of Moses cannot get you entrance into the kingdom of heaven. But the Galatians were buying into it. It's interesting to consider this because why would you buy into this? I would suggest to you that the Galatians, they were not buying into this false teaching because they hated God. Were because they didn't need any deliverance or they didn't have any problems in their lives because they were so great at keeping the law, that's why they bought into this, that This is a doctrine that is appealing to people who want to know God better. It's a doctrine that is appealing to people who want to be delivered from sin, who want to be delivered from things that they know they don't want to do and that they don't even like the results in their lives, but they find themselves continuing to do it. And so it's appealing to think, oh, this law, following these rules, perhaps this can help me achieve a greater relationship with God. And Paul here is answering that and saying, no. The way to experience all of those things, all of your goals in regards to relationship with God, all of your hopes and dreams about being delivered from those issues that you have internally and within your own sinful nature, all of the growth and development that you want to experience, all of those things take place as you let the Holy Spirit guide your life? The answer is a greater invitation to the Holy Spirit, not a greater application of rules and laws and regulations. This is for us to consider, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:12:15]:
To let the Holy Spirit,
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:12:17]:
where some translations will put it to walk in the spirit. This command here, it is a command, is given to us. It's present imperative, active. Those are technical things about the Greek word that is there translated to let the holy spirit or walk in the spirit. It's in the present tense, which speaks to us that it's ongoing. It's repeated. It's continual. It's not a once and for all kind of thing, it is a all of the time kind of thing. So let the holy spirit guide you is not something that we just did at our conversion when we were born again, but it is something that we must do Every day, every hour, every moment, every year, every decade, it is something that is ongoing for the rest of our time here on this earth to let the holy spirit. It's an imperative verb, which means that it's a command. It's not an optional thing. This isn't, hey, you know, you can be a pretty good Christian without the holy spirit, but, you know, if you wanna really be a Christian, then you need to do this. This is a command for every believer. It's not optional. It's not if you, you know, want to or desire to. It is for every believer. It's instruction for all of us. And and it's in the active voice, which means that it is something that we must choose to do. It's a choice that must be made. You and I must make a deliberate choice, or put it another way, must make a deliberate invitation to the Holy Spirit to guide our lives. And Paul says, if we do that here in verse 16, then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. You see, again, the Galatians were tempted toward this doctrine of legalism because what they wanted was to stop doing what their sinful nature was craving. They saw their action and recognize it. This is sinful. I don't want to behave this way. I don't want to live this way. And so when the false teachers came in teaching that, well, you can stop that. And here's how, but their solution Let's go back to the law of Moses. Start by being circumcised and then follow the rest of the Levitical commandments and then you will stop doing what your sinful nature craves. And Paul is saying, no. That is not how to stop doing what your sinful nature craves. Those things that you do that you don't want to do, making laws and rules and regulations, whether they be old testament laws or laws you just made up right this moment, it doesn't work. That will not stop you from doing what your sinful nature craves. If you want to stop doing those things, then you must allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to victory. We have this sinful nature. And Paul says in verse 17, the sinful nature wants to do evil. We all can relate to this. We all know what it's like because we all have a sinful nature that desire is evil, that craves sin, that desires and pursues after.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:16:02]:
Things that are not of God, things that even we ourselves, with our mind, we know it's not good, it's damaging, it's destructive. I don't want to do it, and yet we have this pull, this tug of our sinful nature to do
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:16:15]:
evil. But as believers in Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwelling within We also have a Holy Spirit verse 17 giving us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. So we've got a pool towards evil from our sinful nature, but we also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that is pulling us toward the things of God. And Paul says, these 2 forces are constantly fighting each other. So that you're not free to carry out your good intentions. We feel this tug of war. We feel this battle within. We want to do good. We want to be right with god. We want to grow and develop in our relationship with god. We we feel that that pull of the spirit towards the things of the lord. And we also feel the pull of our sinful nature towards the things of evil. And there is this struggle. There is this battle. So that we wrestle. It's hard to carry out our good intentions. Because of these 2 struggles, these 2 2 forces working within us, we have to make a decision
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:17:39]:
about which 1 we will allow
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:17:43]:
to lead. Pastor Thomas constable puts it this way. It's impossible for us to remain neutral. We either follow 1 or the other. Note too that we cannot blame Satan and his demons for all the conflicts we experience. Our own sinful nature is responsible for many of them. We have internally this the sinful nature, this this pull and desire for sin. And we cannot remain neutral We cannot just not make a decision. We cannot Try to stay in the middle and try to, like, live with enough of Christ and then enough of the flesh. We're we're choosing to pursue 1. We're choosing to allow 1 to lead. And if you want to be set free, from that bondage to doing what your sinful nature craves?
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:18:50]:
You don't break those bonds
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:18:53]:
with heavy laws and hard rules, you break those bonds with a submission to the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to victory. Again, he is all powerful but never forceful. Sometimes we're kind of waiting for the Holy Spirit to just take over, and we have no say, we have no part, and, you know, it just all the good happens, and we we didn't contribute to it at all. No. That's not how it works. There's AAA joint operation that the holy spirit wants to perform, and and he's waiting for that invitation from us. Not a 1 time. It's not 1 time you allow the Lord, but it's ongoing. It's that hand in hand, we continually invite the Holy Spirit to guide us, to lead us, and we follow the direction that he is giving to us. Well, that leads us into verses 18 through 21 for point number 2. Be directed away from sin by the spirit. When you allow the holy spirit to guide you, he is going to guide you away from sin. When you don't allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, then your sinful nature will be pulling you towards sin, and it's going to be very evident Which 1 you're giving rain to? There's clear results that we can see here in verses 18 through 21. And then on into the next couple verses we'll look at as well. So let's go ahead and read verses 18 through 21. It says, but when you are directed by the spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear. Sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, correling, jealousy, outburst of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God. Very serious words that Paul shares here in these verses. It's why it's so important that we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and to guide us, that we invite the Holy Spirit into more of our life. When you are directed by the spirit, Paul says, you're not under obligation to the law of Moses, the false teachers, we're seeking to make the Galatians obligated to the law of Moses. And Paul is saying, when you are directed by the spirit, That obligation does not apply when you're directed by the spirit. It doesn't mean that the Law of Moses never had any place. The Law of Moses was appropriate for its time, the time that God had appointed for it, but then came the time of the new covenant And that is when you are directed by the spirit. Here, when he says when you are directed by the spirit, he's speaking to individual occasions, as opposed to what we looked at before. Let the holy spirit guide you is ongoing all the time, repeatedly, never ending when you are directed, he's saying, in those occasions where you do allow the Lord to lead you and guide you, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. On other occasions, where you are not submitted to the holy spirit, and the holy spirit is not leading you. You're not allowing him to guide you. Well, In that case, you would be obligated to the law of Moses. But in those occasions, in those times, those instances, when you're directed by the spirit, You're free from those things because the Holy Spirit is always going to lead you in what is good and what is helpful in what is edifying and what builds up. And so you don't need the Law of Moses in those to times in those moments because the Holy Spirit is gonna lead you into the things of God and the things that are good. But in those moments, when you're not directed by the Holy Spirit, then what you'll be doing is what he says in verse 19, when you follow the desires of your sinful nature. So this is the option. This is the choice that we get to choose. Door a, door b. Be directed by the Holy Spirit or follow the desires of your sinful nature. I'm not pointing at this room when I'm talking about sinful nature on purpose. I don't know your life. Right? But we have a choice to make, a path to choose. Be directed by the spirit, or follow the desires of your sinful nature. And again, legalism was appealing to the Galatians, because they wanted to be better Christians.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:06]:
They they wanted to be delivered from their sinful nature.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:13]:
And these false teachers were convincing them that obligation to the Law of Moses would bring that deliverance. But obligation to the Law of Moses was taking them away from being directed by the Holy Spirit. And so what would end up happening? It's kind of weird to think about it, but here's how it works. When you desire to be right with God and to grow and develop and and and pursue the things of God, and so you apply legalism, a system that God has not ordained or applied to us, you you have good intentions many times to start, there's a kind of legalism that doesn't have good intentions. That's separate thing. Let's not address that. But, oh, yes, I want to be right. It sounds appealing yes to no God and have his you know, word alive in my life and and work clear demonstrated in my life? Yes. And so the there's a way to apply legalism to that and to think yes, this is going to answer those things. But to reject the grace of God and the spirit of God, to embrace this system of rules and regulations. It's a work of the flesh. It's a trick. And we get deceived, and we buy into those things which takes us away from a reliance upon the Holy Spirit. And it gives occasion for the desires of our sinful nature to rise up And when that happens, he says, the results are very clear. What are the results? Well, he lists. Some of these results. This is not an exhaustive list that says every possible result. But here's a few examples. Sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, Now we could spend a lot of time analyzing each 1 of these words, but I'm not going to do that. Because here's what I would guess. You know in this list, the ones that are highlighted for you. And it may not be the same list that is highlighted for each of us, but there's there's things here that are the works of the flesh, the desires of the sinful nature that is Yep. Yep. I I feel that tug. I feel that pull. I know the sinful nature and me desires those things. I don't think it's a great doctrinal thing. And if we only had a precise definition of this word, then we could be free and delivered from it. No. It's really not that. It's not meant to be that. Now there's value in diving into those things, and so I would encourage you to do that. Perhaps later on, you can kind of dive into some definitions and and understand this list. But for this morning, I would ask you to consider which of these are the highlights for you. Sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quirling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and then he says, and other sins like these. So even if yours is not listed there, Paul includes it. Our sinful nature desires and craves and is pulled toward these things. And when we follow our sinful nature, we will find ourselves engaged in these things. Many times knowing I don't want to do this, I don't want to go this way, I don't want to go this path, But here I am again finding myself in this situation.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:35]:
Paul said, at the end of verse 21, let me tell you again as I have before that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:44]:
Paul says, these are serious things and you need to pay attention to them because living this kind of life engaged in these kinds of things, having these practices in your life is a serious indication of where you're at with God and where you stand for eternity. If this is what dominates your life, Paul says, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. If you continue on in sin, continue on in disregard the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now, that doesn't mean that we are always perfect and without room for failure. Sometimes we can find ourselves involved in a work of the flesh And many many people can begin to wrestle. Does that mean I don't have the holy spirit? Well, not necessarily. It means that you chose to ignore the Holy Spirit. For that time, But do you always choose? Is that your habit that you choose to ignore the holy spirit and so you find yourself living that lifestyle? That's a different thing than an occasion where you have fallen as a result of weakness. Do you ever disregard what Google Maps says? You're walking down or driving down the road, tells you to turn right, and you go, I don't think so. I don't think that's the best way. And you know it's hit and miss with Google Maps. Sometimes it's right and sometimes you're right. When the Holy Spirit is leading you, and you decide to go a different way, it's always the wrong way. It's always the wrong path. Now, when Google Maps tells you turn right and you keep going straight, does that mean you don't have Google Maps?
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:30:40]:
Now, you still have Google Maps, and it'll even update and say, well, recalculating. Right? Okay. Now, turn right up here then.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:30:47]:
And and it's up to you whether or not you're gonna start to listen to it at that point. In in a similar way, there are occasions where we disregard what the holy spirit says, It doesn't mean that we don't have the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit updates and says, okay, well, you're already there. So now here's what to do from here Here's guidance. Here's direction. Here's how to get back in right relationship with the Lord. But if you always disregard, if the majority of your life is disregarding what the Holy Spirit is saying, then Paul says, you need to be alert and take warning because those who are living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God. We will fail on occasion. There will be instances and seasons of weakness in our life. The Holy Spirit is gonna be directing us away from sin. Martin Luther says, those who sin through weakness are not denied pardon as long as they rise again and cease to sin. There is nothing worse than to continue in sin. If they do not repent, but obstinately continue to fulfill the desires of the flesh, It is a sure sign that they are not sincere. There needs to be a sincerity. A real desire to turn away from sin and be directed by the Holy Spirit. It requires an invitation from us. The the Holy Spirit is all powerful, and there is no sin that he cannot help you conquer. There is no sin that he cannot help you be delivered from. But he's never forceful. And so it requires that ongoing, that invitation from us, Again, when he talks about being directed by the spirit, it's those occasions. And so occasion and occasion and occasion and occasion, we need to continue in every occasion to come back and invite the Holy Spirit to direct us. So that we can be directed away from sin. So that we can choose the path of holiness with the Lord. Moving on to verses 22 and 23, we get point number 3, and that is cultivate fruitful life in the spirit. Cultivate fruitful life in the spirit. If you want the holy spirit, to have greater access to your life, greater access to all the different aspects and parts of your life, this right here is a key thing for us to understand. It's really about cultivating the fruitful life that the Holy Spirit wants to produce. Verse 22 and 23 says, but the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things. No law against these things.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:09]:
Paul puts that in there because again, the legalists are telling them you need a law in order to have power in your life.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:21]:
And Paul is saying, no, you need the Holy Spirit. And what the Holy Spirit produces in your life, you don't need laws against those things because the Holy Spirit is always going to be producing what is good and godly in your life. Again, legalism was appealing to the Galatians because they wanted to be better Christians. They wanted to know God more. They wanted to experience more of God. The false teachers were telling them, if you follow this path of legalism, that's how you'll have victory. That's how you'll experience growth and development in your relationship with God? And Paul is saying, no. That path leads to the works of the flesh. Even though it starts out perhaps with you hoping that you can be closer to God in this way, it leads you away from God. And fills your life instead with the works of the flesh. And Paul here is saying, Look at these lists. He's putting them side by side so we can easily compare the results. The results are clearly evident. The works of the flesh Clearly evidence, always the case that these are instigated by the sinful nature and things that are destructive and harmful and not of God. The fruit of the spirit, only produced by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit's working in our life. And these are your choices, to pursue the flesh, the sinful nature, or to pursue the spirit and experience the fruit that he produces. Either way you choose, there's clear results. So you don't have to have like some great mystery in your life. Boy, am I inviting the holy spirit in my life? Am I being led by the Holy Spirit. I don't know. How can anybody know? Here's how you can know. How's your week been? Works of the flesh, fruit of the spirit. How's your year been? Works of the flesh, fruit of the spirit. Compare these 2. Look at your life. What is being produced? The results are clear 1 way or the other. You're pursuing 1 or you're pursuing the other. He says in verse 22, but the holy spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives. See, here's the contrast. But the Holy Spirit produces something else, something different. This is what the Holy Spirit produces in your life. It's not like spiritual gifts,
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:09]:
where different people are gathered together by the Lord and given different spiritual gifts so that collectively we have the operation, the full operation of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the spirit.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:22]:
I like how Leon Morris, the commentator describes it. He says it's a cluster that is to be manifested in each believer. It's a cluster. This is all of these for every believer. This is what the Holy Spirit produces in us. He develops these characteristics within us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Now again, we could spend a lot of time going down through precise definitions of all of these, which I'm not going to do. There's value in it. I encourage you to do it. But this morning, I would direct your attention to, this is the list of fruits not so that you can know and then try to work on it. Okay. Gotta work on peace. First of all, let me get the precise accurate definition of peace, and then I'm gonna work really hard to have peace. That's not what Paul is saying here. Paul is saying here, when you invite the Holy Spirit into more of your life, This will be the natural result. As you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, to guide you, to direct you, this will be what is produced in your life. Not so much that you have to have a lot of determination, and plot your own course and chart how you're gonna have patience. You don't have to figure out how you're gonna have patience. You gotta figure out how you will allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you. And he will develop the patience, and he will develop the kindness, It's fruit that is produced by the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. And so our job is not to figure out the plan, our job is really to cultivate that relationship with the Lord in the Holy Spirit, to cultivate fruitful life. 2 years ago, for our anniversary, we picked up a couple plum trees and planted them in our yard. We didn't have any fruit that year because we just barely planted them. Then the next year, last year, we had 7, 7 plums, like this tiny, We didn't get plums overnight just because we planted it. Over the past 2 years, we've been working hard to cultivate, taking the right things, pruning at the right time. We don't know what we're doing, so we're making up as we go. But watering regularly, consistently, trying to do what we can to provide the nutrients and and things to to cultivate these trees that we planted. This year, we get about 7 plumes falling off the tree a day. Big difference from a year ago where we had 7 in total so far you know, we're tripling that quadrupling that. Who knows how far it will go this year? But we didn't have to work hard to produce the fruit. We didn't have to, you know, come up with a plan. Our our focus is just try to give it everything that it needs. What do trees need? Good soil, water, sun. Good soil, water, and sun. This is what you need. To have the Holy Spirit produce fruit in your life, you need good soil, soft, receptive heart, as Jesus gave the parable of the soils, talking about the different kinds, and and the kind that is soft and receptive. That's the the kind that received the word, and it took root, and it produced much fruit. And we get to choose the soil of our hearts. We get to choose how soft and receptive we are to what the Lord is saying. We provided water for our plum trees on a regular basis. We can consider this in a way for ourselves as time in the word. Being washed in the water of the word. We need that refreshing, that renewing That ongoing and regular consistent time in the word of God. And time in the sun, we need that. Time with Jesus. Listen, if you will keep your heart soft, and spend time with Jesus, and spend time in His word, The Holy Spirit is going to have a field day with you, and he is going to be producing good fruit, but not overnight. And that's 1 of the challenges for us. We can see more results with legalism, faster, But we don't see the end result, and that's the problem. The end result is bondage and misery. But when we submit to the Holy Spirit, We don't wake up the next day and everything is dramatically different. Sometimes it's 3 years later. And we've been cultivating for the past 3 years, and now we're finally starting to see the fruit, but now the fruit is abundant and more than we can contain. This is the way the Holy Spirit works in us as well. We cultivate And by faith, we trust God, and we continue in the path that he set before us. And if we don't see results in year 1, we don't lose heart, we don't give up and revert to legalism, we continue on into year 2. And when we see just a few little examples of fruits, a little examples of God at work and the character of the Lord being produced in us. Don't get discouraged and give up and say, well, cut down that tree. Forget it. That was useless. We only got 7 plums.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:43:15]:
Now, you keep going
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:43:17]:
because God's word will not return void. And he who began the good work in you will be faithful to complete what he started in you. Keep cultivating. Keep yourself in that place of soft and receptive heart, immersing yourself in the word of God, and putting your faith into the sun and receiving the presence of the Lord and spending time with Jesus. Because year 3 will come around or whatever season the Lord appoints. And there will be fruit upon fruit upon fruit. And when you reach to this point, there's an exponential growth that takes place. In the parable of the soils, in Matthew chapter 13, Jesus talks about that, the seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand god's word and produce a harvest of 30, 60, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted. There's exponential growth in the right season for those who have cultivated that fruitful life in the spirit. That's what you desire. That's what you're craving nurture your relationship with God. Continue to invite the Holy Spirit to move, to lead, to guide, to work. He is all powerful, and you will be blown away at the fruit that he can produce in your life, but he's not forceful He's all powerful, but not forceful. He will not force you to bear fruit. He will not force you to cultivate. A fruitful life. But he stands at the ready, whenever you're ready. You can invite him in. You can water. You can plant. You can soak up the sun in the presence of the Lord and begin to see the development of what he wants to do. Well, finishing it up in verse 24 through 26, we get point number 4, follow the spirit in each and every step. Verse 24 says, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the spirit, let us follow the spirits leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceded or provoke 1 another or be jealous of 1 another. Paul says those who belong to Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to the cross. It's kind of picking up the thread of what we studied on Wednesday night from Galatians 02:20. My old self has been crucified with Christ It's no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. We've had a change. If anyone is in Christ, behold, all things become new. The old is gone. Here is this new life in Christ. The old life crucified with Christ. It's our identity. He represented us. We were included with him upon the cross when we believed in Jesus Christ. And so now we have a new life, a new opportunity to live by feath in the son of God. And so Paul says, those who belong to Jesus have done this. They've nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to the cross and crucified them there. We've removed those things, turned away from those things. As we have life in the Holy Spirit. And so since we are living by the spirit, since we've been born again, Paul says, let us follow the spirit's leading. Let us follow the spirits leading. Now, it sounds very similar So what he says in verse 16, let the holy spirit guide your lives, but the words in the Greek are different. In verse 16, it speaks of just a basic kind of walking. Here in verse 25, literally, he's talking about marching. To follow the spirits leading is talking about marching in unison with a company. Now, when you are marching,
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:48:10]:
you're not leading,
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:48:13]:
unless, of course, you're the 1 leading. But in regards to the things of the Lord in our spiritual life, we understand we're not the ones leading. And so here's what we need to understand. We're marching. That means we don't get to decide the length of our stride. When a company is marching together, if 1 person is taking longer steps than everyone around them, they're no longer marching. It's gonna be disruptive. It's going to break the flow. It's not gonna be kept in sync. When you're marching, you don't get to decide your stride length. And you also don't get to decide your direction. No. You follow where the leader is taking you. Along with everybody else in your line, you have to keep in step in the direction where the leader is taking you. And you also don't get to decide your pace. You can't go faster or slower than others around you than the 1 who is leading you. It's very constraining this idea of marching. And this is what Paul is saying. Follow the spirits leading. Keep in step with the holy spirit. Don't run out ahead. Don't change directions. You don't get to decide the pace. You don't get to decide how far or where or when. You are to keep in step, to be watching the Lord closely, and letting him dictate this far, this length, this distance, this direction, this pace. Follow the spirit in each and every step. If you follow the spirit in 50 percent of your steps, it's still not marching. There's there's gonna be a lot of disruption. It's not gonna be effective. Paul says here in every part of our lives, The Holy Spirit leading us and us following the Holy Spirit is not limited to the Sunday morning church service, but in our home, in our workplace, in our vehicles, at the grocery store, at the ballgame, wherever we might be. This is what the Lord calls each of us to. The Holy Spirit is all powerful, but never forceful? How much of the Holy Spirit are you allowing to work in your life? Understand and recognize, yes, there is an appeal.
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:51:01]:
There's a desire to
Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:51:06]:
grow, to develop. There's a temptation to resolve things that we're facing and accomplish things that we want. By means of legalism, rules, and regulations, religion, rituals. It was appealing to the Galatians because they wanted to become better Christian. They wanted to know God more. They wanted to remove sin from their life. And you're gonna face temptations like that. But the solution, what you're really looking for is not a system of rules. It's not a bunch of rituals. It's a submission to the Holy Spirit. Invite the Holy Spirit into more of your life. Pastor Thomas constable to finish up with 1 quote, says the holy spirit leads every Christian. But not all choose to follow his leading. What kind of choice are you making? The great thing is, no matter what choice you've been making all week long, today you can make a different choice. Now, that also means tomorrow you can make the wrong choice again, So we we need to keep ourselves in that place of making the right choice. Coming to God with the desire for him to work with a reliance and a dependence upon him. Invite the holy spirit into more of your life. Let's pray. Lord, we pray that you would help us to do that. Help us to hear your voice and your call clearly, God. And I pray, lord, that you would bring us to that place of dependence upon you. Teach us. To invite you, to call out to you, to rely upon you, and to cultivate in our lives, that strong fellowship with you, Lord, that you might have your way. And I pray for each 1 of us today, Lord, that you would bring to completion the work that you began. And Lord, just in your grace and mercy, would you give us little peaks and evidences of the fruit that is to come? Or we understand it's not gonna be the whole thing. There's much more that you have in store, but such hope. Lord, that we receive as we see those glimmers of the work that you're doing in us. Lord, would you help us to trust in you and to be faithful, to seek you in all things. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.