Faithlife Sermons

Ordering Your Inner Orientation

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The power of the Holy Spirit will help you order your inner world.

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One of my favorite childhood memories was visiting my friends Brett and Matt Conor… They lived on a farm just outside of our town that I grew up in ..and when I visited them we got to do things like ride motorcycles, shoot 12 gauge shot guns and on a couple of occasions we slept outside under the stars… I remember it being freezing cold and we bundle up with blankets and spend half the night looking up at the vast expanse of the stars above us.. We spent hours star gazing for shooting stars and tracking Satellites orbiting above the earth… these were simpler times before the internet and iPhones...
Man has always been captivated by heavenly bodies.... David wrote in Psalms 19:1
the Heaven Declare the Glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork… Something captivating about the vastness of the universe
Everyone who ever lived before Copernicus assumed that everything in the universe orbited around the earth… They believed the earth was the center of the Universe… .. Then in 1543 this changed when Copernicus announced that the Sun, and not the Earth was in fact at the center of the solar system. He pointed to the Sun and said “Behold the Center of it all...
Our understanding of our Orientation in relationship to the Sun changed...This morning I want to talk about ordering our inner orientation....
Paul in Romans chapter 7 and 8 deals with the gravitational pull that exists within the inner life… Paul shares with us his own struggle… that there is a law (a principle) that is in operation that his flesh and the spiritual are pulling in two different directions… The desires of human nature or (lower nature) are not compatible with the Spiritual life (the higher nature)… In fact it even seems that our lower nature has this ability to sabotage any progress we make in our spiritual Journey… it has self destructive tendencies.. Paul says that he finds that he is continually drawn towards — doing what is wrong.
Romans 7:20–21 ESV
Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
Paul brings up the battle within him.… as if it was if there were two armies waging war within him… He differentiates between the natural man and the spiritual man.... Between the Spirit and the Flesh… John Piper says that...
The flesh is anything minus (without) God, or anything not done in reliance on him or for his glory (cf. Matthew 16:23). And The things of God/the Spirit are anything in life seen in relationship to God—to their beginning with God, being sustained by God, and existing for the glory of God....
The Spirit and the Flesh are incompatible Companions…the flesh pulls away from God and the Spirit pulls us towards God..
Paul explains a law that he finds within him.
He tell us that it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me - He identifies the culprit as sin that is embedded in human nature…
In the last two verses of Chapter 7... Paul asks the question will the believer have to spend his whole life frustrated with by ongoing defeat of indwelling Sin?
Paul asks the question....who is going to deliver me from this body of death?… then he immediately answers His own Question… Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ
With Christ death burial and resurrection came freedom for the Law — The Law no longer exercised power over a believer…
John Knox fearless preacher during the Reformation and shaped the developing Protestantism in Scotland - Knox left a legacy of some 750 000 Presbyterians in Scotland and 3 Million in the United States. Knox was said to have never feared or flattered any man”
Knox said…
Jesus died on the cross God “signed the death warrant of sin.”
Christs death did not eradicate Sin but rather broke the power and hold over us… Sin was served a sentence...
Meaning the power of sin was broken and there is a new law in effect the law Spirit of life in Christ Jesus ….
Paul realized that even though the sinful nature is not eradicated from a Christians life.... It no longer has power over us… Because Jesus death changed our orientation towards the sinful nature… we are no longer under law… that brought condemnation but rather we now rise above the Law by the power of Spirit - which has has set us free… from the Judgement and Condemnation of the Law..
Romans 8:1–2 ESV
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Up to this point in Romans, Paul has only mentioned the Holy Spirit a couple of times, but now this chapter speaks of the Holy Spirit 18 times.
One of the facets of the good news in Jesus is that when we are saved from our sin, the Holy Spirit enters into our lives to transform our thinking
The Spirit works
In the same way, the law of gravity acts to keep a plane from flying. But when a plane reaches a certain speed, the law of aerodynamics takes over and frees the plane from the effects of gravitational force.
The Holy Spirit has a unique role within a Believers heart..
We have a new Orbit pattern… we are no longer influenced by the Kingdom of this world but by the Kingdom of God...
We have been transported from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of light… The Kingdom of God is a major theme in the Bible....John McArthur said that, “the Reign of Christ is the apex of human History.”
Most of the OT is about Israel trying to establish their own Kingdom and God desiring to be their King. When Jesus began his ministry he came proclaiming the gospel of God and preaching the message of the Kingdom of God…
After the John the Baptist was arrested Jesus officially began his ministry He proclaimed Good News that the Kingdom of God had Arrived.. Jesus spent three years with the disciples and his primary teaching had to do with the kingdom. After He died and rose again, He appeared to them over a period of forty days giving them commandments pertaining to the kingdom of God…
When you think about it..
Every Kingdom on earth has had a begining and an ending...Alexander the Great founded one of the greatest empires in the entire history of the world, but Greek Empire is no longer... Jesus came to proclaim an Eternal Kingdom — with an eternal King… a kingdom that would never end...
When the Bible talks about the Kingdom of God it’s not talking about physical place... but the Heb word means the “reign of God.” it speaks of the domain ruled by a king or queen.
It refers to the authority of God, rather than a definite geographical area. To be in the Kingdom of Christ means to be under His influence and direction today.
Jesus spoke so much about the Kingdom that in Luke 17:20 the Pharisees challenged Jesus!! … they asked him where is the Kingdom that you keep on talking about?
Luke 17:20c–21 ESV
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
Jesus responded that it is not a Kingdom that can be observed with the eye… Because the Kingdom is in your midst.. or the Kingdom of God is within your....
The kingdom is both here and it is also a coming Kingdom.. theologians talk about the tension of the “already—not yet” Presently Christ’s kingdom exists on earth internally in the hearts and minds of believers.
This is the tension in the inner life… Is embracing or Rejecting Christs Reign in our lives… .
We have a choice what Realm we are going to live in… if we choose the flesh we are going live our lives according to the Patterns of the World… If we choose the Spirit we are choosing to walk in the Realm of the Kingdom of God. Jesus encouraged his disciples to in Matt 6:33 to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.
Paul after dealing with the tension of the dual nature… he shows us how to live under the Reign of Christ...
Romans 8:5–10 ESV
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 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. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
T/S We walk under the Christ’s Reign when we....

1. Organize our thoughts around our Heavenly Identity.

Paul breaks it down in two choices
There are two modes that we can live our lives in everyday… We can live according to the dictates of the Flesh or we can live according to the dictates of the Spirit…We can not do both..
If you attempt to live in both Kingdoms you will fail… Trying to obey the law through the flesh is like trying to climb a sheer rock face with no foothold or handhold, without equipment. It can’t be done. Paul says those who live according to the flesh have their minds on things of the flesh and those who live according to the spirit have their minds set on the spirit… Two different orbits…
Now Paul tells us something important here… is that living in the Spirit is a mindset...
[Whatever we set our minds will set the direction of life]
The mind is the seat of human consciousness, thought and desires
The phroneo means to set ones mind — tense is important in the GR it is written in the present indicative… meaning this is a real action that is to continue…
Then mind is where we forge our belief system and then we live out those beliefs… Our thoughts are little bit like concrete.... soft and eventually harden… and we develop a mindset..
We make a huge mistake when we think living for Jesus was a one time decision…
Emma brought a Prius and there are times that you don’t even know that you are driving… Whenever you stop at a light… the battery Charges itself… It storing up energy… we do not store up grace… we have to stay in contact with the one who is the source of all life and power…( I am not talking about assurance of your salvation— I’m talking about living in the Kingdom)
— Being a Christian is an everyday event… and Everyday Decisions…Everyday we Need Grace… Everyday we need to Walk in the Spirit… Every Day I need to put on Christ and put on the mind of Jesus.
Renewing the mind has to be a continual process.. 2 Corinthians 10: Tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds…
2 Corinthians 10:5–6 ESV
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
We are to take Captive of our thought lives l of what we set our minds..
Not all captivating thoughts come from painful experiences. Our thoughts can be held captive to someone or something that builds up our egos or satisfies our fleshly appetites. Simply put, captivating thoughts are controlling thoughts, things you find yourself meditating on far too often.
Taking thoughts captive to Christ does not mean we never have the thought again. It means we learn to “think the thought” as it relates to Christ and who we are in Him. When we relate our thoughts to Christ, they cause us less and less despair. They will not control us. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will control them.
Paul gives us the tools that we need every day to live for Christ.
We need to first need to acknowledge that the mind is hostile to God.... that it doesn’t want to summit itself to the Reign of Christ… The flesh does not want to walk in obedience.... the flesh doesn’t desire righteousness....the flesh does not please God..
… But on the other hand Holy Spirit...But the spirit does want to those things… The Holy Spirit wants to Glorify God…
J. I. Packer said the work of the Spirit is to be like a floodlight... A floodlight shows you the building, but it doesn’t show you itself. In fact, you can hardly see where the floodlight is coming from? In the same way, the Spirit doesn’t talk that much about himself. That’s really not what he’s there for. He’s there to show you the glory of God, and that’s the point… The Flesh is Hostile to God… it cannot please God… But when we set our minds on the Spirit… We walk in obedience --- We will desire righteousness.. We will come under Christs authority.... we will please God...
“Our liberation is expressed as a reality only in the places of our lives where the free Spirit of God is released. We are free when, and only when, He is in control.” Beth Moore
. we know that we are living under Christs reign when we are abiding in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:11–13 ESV
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. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
T/S We walk under the Christ’s Reign when we....
1. Organize our thought life around our Heavenly Identity.

2. Prioritize our life Orientation around our Heavenly Identity.

Paul tells us that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells within the Believer… It is the HS that Quickens our mortal body.... the best picture of being quickened is that of a battery being regenerated… Before Christ there was no spiritual life in the battery…no grace nothing… Then Christ regenerated our hearts… we became a new creation in Christ…
Our orientation has changed.... we went from being Hostile to God to being United with Christ…
WE don’t simply believe in Christ or imitate Christ from a distance; we have been united to Jesus Christ by the power of the Spirit..
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “It is not that a man just changes his beliefs and no more. No, he was in the realm of the flesh, and he is now in the realm of the Spirit. He was dominated by the flesh before, and governed by it. … He is now in a realm which is governed and controlled and dominated by the Spirit.” You and I cannot make this change ourselves.We now have a different Orientation --- Everything is different..
Living our life focused on the spirit changes everything, so long as the Spirit of God lives in us. The in-dwelt life is one of life and peace
Five times in Romans 8 we are pictured as being Containers of Christ and the Holy Spirit..… We are in Christ and He is in us…through our identification with Christ in baptism… We are in Christ (he is the container) not only are we in Christ by he is us through his spirit and we have his indwelling spirit with in us…
Every country has different Rules… One of the best things about driving in US is being able to turn right on a Red light… most countries you sit at the red light… What happens when you move into New Country --- You have to start living like you belong there....
Now imagine if Pam and I decided that we were going to continue to live like Africans in the USA.... We were going start driving on the left side of the Road…ignore traffic signals… pedestrians don’t have the right of way… If we choose to live like this we are going to be in constant conflict… We have to our align our thoughts with New environment…
With our new Orientation means — we no longer have Obligation to the flesh… Just the other day the reminder came up on my phone to make a payment for my student loan… I am grateful for my education… but it took a while to pay it off… We made the final payment on that a few month ago… I am no longer Obligated to Salie Mae.... Paul says in the New Orientation of being United with Christ you are no longer obligated to obey the desires of the lower nature… As long as you alive you are going to get notifications… that payment is due...
The lower nature does not automatically fade away when a person comes to Christ. The need to put to death the evil practices of the body is ongoing. When we walk in fellowship with the indwelling Spirit, the desires of the lower nature are not met.
For all practical purposes they are put to death. It is only when we break fellowship with the Spirit that our sinful nature is able successfully to reassert its fraudulent claim on our lives. The key to freedom from what we were is constant reliance on the active presence of the Spirit
Romans 8:14–17 ESV
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
T/S We walk under the Christ’s Reign when we....
1. Organize our thought life around our Heavenly Identity.
2. Prioritize our life Orientation around our Heavenly Identity.

3. Align your Present Suffering with future Glory

Paul tells us that true sons and daughters of God are those who are led by the Spirit… Being led by God’s spirit is evidence of once Union with Christ.... Tim Keller says that
Though I can come up biblically with a hundred things the Spirit does, the main thing the Spirit does is he makes Jesus real to you.
Being led by the Spirit is realizing that not everything is orbiting around you… but our lives orbit around the Father.... and his agenda...
We are living in the Obit of the Kingdom of God… and we don’t have to fall back into slavery again… because our union with Christ has brought us into a new relationship… We have been adopted as Sons and Daughters… we are children of God.. It is the spirit that bares witness with our spirits.... “that endorses our inward conviction that we are children of God”
Abba” expresses a “consciousness of sonship,”
The idea that we are God’s children draws us back to Genesis 1. When God creates humans to rule, he creates them to reign in his stead as his beloved children.
Some relationships have special privileges. As a Christian, you can cry out to your Father because you enjoy a unique relationship with him. You are his child—his son or daughter. My children have certain privileges that come from their relationship with me. They can call me any time, day or night, and have my help with any problem. They can access my resources and will someday receive an inheritance. Relationships have privileges..
With Sonship comes ruling - This is our Orientation in the Kingdom of God… We are Sons and daughters of the King… We are his chosen people a royal nations....a peculiar people belonging to Him… God’s Kingdom is an unseen Kingdom but it will be made manifest.. It is a coming Kingdom… an everlasting Kingdom…
We need to be careful that we don’t allow… the difficulties of life to absorb our attention, they will effectively blot out the glory that awaits us. Our focus needs to be on things above (Col 3:2), spiritual concerns of eternal significance
Kyle Idleman who is a pastor and author of tells of a time in his ministry that he was working long hours and not sleeping well… he was stressed and anxious... trying to make things happen.. In the middle of the night he remembered what happened during their move a few years earlier…
During the move kyle had saved the heaviest piece of furniture for last—the desk from his office.
As he was pushing and pulling the desk with all my might, his four-year-old son came over and asked if he could help. So together we started sliding it across the floor. He was pushing and grunting as we inched our way along.
After a few minutes, Kyle says his son stopped pushing, looked up and said, "Dad, you're in my way." And then he tried to push the desk by himself. Of course it didn't budge. Kyle says that it was then that he realized that he thought he was actually doing all the work, instead of me. I couldn't help but laugh.
Kyle says that at the moment he started laughing at his son's comment, he recalled that middle-of-the-night incident and I realized why God was laughing at me. I thought I was pushing the desk. I know that's ridiculous, but instead of recognizing God's power and strength, I started to think it all depended on me
This morning it doesn’t depend upon you… We have God’s power and strength available to us… We don’t have to live under condemnation… but we have been set free.. We are no longer obligated - or debtors to the flesh… we can trust him.. my prayer this morning… is that we would experience more Grace… more of the HS outpourings in our lives… and we have freedom.!!
Paul realized that this battle with the Flesh is going to be constant thing. Our mind has to be reformatted... the Old operating System...Powered by the desires of the flesh... New Operation System... Powered by the Holy Spirit.. It's high bread operating system where you have to sign into the Spiritual OIS doing this buy Setting on the mind of the Spirit...
Living in the Realm of the Kingdom of God takes new thinking and abiding in the Power of the Holy Spirit.. Spirit is getting us Kingdom ready..
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