Faithlife Sermons

What Controls You?

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What Controls You?

Romans 8:11 KJV 1900
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:8–11 KJV 1900
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Spirit or the flesh
Control: do we have any control freaks this evening?
All your tools are marked, cleaned and placed in the proper place…all your nuts, bolts, and fasteners have their own little marked container.
You not only expect for things to be done a certain way, but you clearly believe…“it’s really the only way” to do this thing.
If control freak “A” and control freak “B” end up working on the same project, or going on the same mission trip, or serving on the same committee…be assured…there will come a time they fiercely argue about how something should be done as they wrestle for “control” of the situation.
Webster defines “control” like this…“to have under command; to regulate, to check to restrain, to direct…as a noun it is “authority” “power.”
The pilot controls the plane…the driver controls the car…the engineer controls the train. Being out of control, in any of those vehicles is a very very bad thing…I think I want a little bit of a control freak flying my jet.
So, I’ve got a question for you this evening …“who controls your life?”
I am accountable for taking those temptations and those thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Christ…the only people who can do this are Spirt filled, born again followers of Christ.” God’s Spirit sets our minds on what His Spirit desires. (v. 5)
So, who controls your life?
Or, what controls your life? Is it God living in you? Directing…keeping in check…restraining…and propelling? Once again there are only 2 options, 1) self, the sinful nature or 2) the Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ.
God’s Word makes it very clear…we will live in either of one of two realms (the word “realm” means Kingdom). We will live in one of two kingdoms…and it will be clearly evident who’s our King.
Illustration of control -
Survey on what controls lives:
Money
Food
Job/career
Relationships
Weight
Appearance
In this text we have the flesh and the spirit
Galatians 5:16–17 KJV 1900
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
What controls you
What motivates you
Gives you joy
James reveals four distinct stages in the process of sin. Allow me to describe these for you, so you can understand what’s going on inside you.
Bottom line you can not do it one your own
You need the spirit of God to work through you
Galatians 6:8 KJV 1900
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Since we are talking about the spirit and the flesh
The battle between the flesh and the spirit

I. Stages in the Progression of Sin- James 1:13-16

James 1:13–16 KJV 1900
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

1. Desire

The first stage in the process of sin is desire. You have the desire for sin lying latent in your own heart. It is part of your spiritual DNA. It is your desire. Therefore you must recognize it, own it, take responsibility for it, and not blame anyone else for it.
Its our sin nature
Notice in the Scripture the words “his own lust.” That says it perfectly. It is your own lust, your own desire that causes you to sin. If you didn’t desire it, you wouldn’t do it. No one outside of you is forcing you.
The compulsion to sin comes from inside you. Jesus said so (Matthew 15:19-20) and here James agrees.
Matthew 15:19–20 KJV 1900
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
It’s not the devil’s fault. It’s not someone else’s fault. It is certainly not God’s fault. The desire comes from your own heart. 
�  “Satan knows what your flesh wants. He knows what you’ve fallen prey to before. He chooses the bait that you find attractive.
Notice the words “carried away and enticed.” The first word is a hunter’s term that means to be ensnared in a trap. The second word is a fisherman’s term that means to be lured by bait. Satan knows what your flesh wants. He knows what you’ve fallen prey to before. He chooses the bait that you find attractive.
If I offered one of my friends some cocaine, the opportunity to get high right now, he might respond with great nervousness.
He sees the powder. He remembers the high. He starts to twitch. His mouth waters. He wants it. I make the same offer to another friend, and there a totally different response. This friend has never taken drugs of any kind, and has absolutely no desire to start now. The lust lies within us. We are tempted when we want it. We are not tempted if we don’t.

2. Deception

The second stage in the process is deception. We believe the lies that we tell ourselves in order to give ourselves permission to move further. That is why James said very plainly, “Do not be deceived.” Deception is always a part of the process.
Galatians 6:7–9 KJV 1900
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
What are some of the many lies that are part of the temptation to sexual sin?
They usually go like this: “Just this once.” “No one will know.” “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.”
“I deserve this.”
“I can stop any time.”
“God’s still blessing me, so it can’t be that bad.”
“I can always ask for forgiveness later.”
The biggest lie, of course, is that a holy God is not offended or that He is not right there watching the whole sordid episode, providing the way of escape that you are not taking. Temptation always looks good on the outside. That’s part of the deception.
�  “Temptation always looks good on the outside. That’s part of the deception.
Not only have we been deceived in the past, but we continue to deceive ourselves.
After we’ve been in sexual sin for a while, we KNOW where it leads. We know the emptiness of the lie. We know the inevitable feelings of guilt, recrimination, condemnation. We know the end of the affair. But we lie to ourselves again, pretend that we don’t remember, and head right back down the spiral of degradation one more time.

3. Disobedience

Then after desire has conceived it gives birth to sin.” What begins in your mind results in actions. It starts in your imagination, but moves into behavior.
You act it out ..
What you flirt with, you will fall for.
The best example from Scripture is King David. Having spied a woman bathing, he desired her.
But if, at that point, he had turned his heart towards the Lord, confessed his desire as an offense against a holy God, it all would have been over in a moment.
But he didn’t do that. He inquired about her. He was told that she was a married women. Imagine the lies he had to tell himself at this point to make it okay. He invited her over and took her to his chamber. The evil fantasy that was conceived in his heart gave birth to sin in his behavior. It always does. And it only got worse from there. It eventually ended in:

4. Death

The inevitable result is always death. It was death for Adam and Eve. It was death for David.
And it is death for us. Every time. It is death to our conscience, death to our sanctification, death to our relationship with God. Every time we die just a little more. Eventually, if we stay that way, it will be spiritual death for ever. The stakes are that high.
Allow me to take you to the verse just ahead of our passage in
James 1:12 KJV 1900
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
James is telling us throughout this passage that temptation and trial will come upon us often and in various forms. If we endure and persevere, we receive (the crown of) life, but if we fail, give in to the flesh, and pursue the sin, we receive death. Life or death; the choice is always ours to make.
What controls you the flesh or the spirit .....
I hope you are beginning to see just how dangerous these so-called subtle sins can be.
We also need to recognize the fact that sin grieves the heart of God.
That is why He made it possible that we could not only be forgiven of our sin, but that we could live above sin. That is God’s desire. Why allow sin to remain when we realize that it was our sin that sent Jesus to the cross in the first place?
The good news is that sin has a remedy. There is a cure for our sin-sickness! That cure is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is for everyone. Nobody needs to be left out. The Gospel means Good News. It is the good news that Jesus came and paid the price for our sin (see John 3:16).
There is never a day that we don’t need the Gospel. You see, we were born in sin. We have all sinned personally. And we are never so good on our own that we don’t need what Christ has done for us. That’s because none of us are 100% effective at living the life God called us to live, on every level (word, thought, deed), 100% of the time. The grace of God is what makes it possible for us to be acceptable in His sight. Praise God!

II.Flesh vs the Spirit

Romans 8:8–11 KJV 1900
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
One of the identifying marks of a Christian is the controlling of the spirit.
Flesh can not please God vs 8
It is no surprise, therefore, that those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Think of that! There is nothing an unsaved person can do to please God—no good works, no religious observances, no sacrificial services, absolutely nothing. First he must take the guilty sinner’s place and receive Christ by a definite act of faith.
8:9 When a person is born again, he is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit.
example - 1988 i wanted to please the father
He lives in a different sphere.
Just as a fish lives in water and a man lives in the air, so a believer lives in the Spirit. He not only lives in the Spirit, but the Spirit lives in him.
8:10 Through the ministry of the Spirit, Christ is actually in the believer.
It is amazing to think of the Lord of life and glory dwelling in our bodies, especially when we remember that these bodies are subject to death because of sin. Someone may argue that they are not dead yet, as the verse seems to say. No, but the forces of death are already working in them, and they will inevitably die if the Lord doesn’t return in the meantime.
In contrast to the body, the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Though once dead toward God, it has been made alive through the righteous work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection, and because the righteousness of God has been credited to our account.
8:11 But the reminder that the body is still subject to death need cause no alarm or despair. The fact that the Holy Spirit indwells our bodies is a guarantee that, just as He raised Christ from the dead, so He will also give life to our mortal bodies. This will be the final act of our redemption—when our bodies are glorified like the Savior’s body of glory.[1]
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