Faithlife
Faithlife

Wholly His

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Theme: For the God to wholly sanctify us we must be in submission to Him not only in our spirits, but in our minds and bodies as well.

Introduction: Since He has won our freedom, we can live in that freedom. Our part in maintaining that freedom is to be in submission to Jesus through the Holy Spirit not only in our spirits, but also in our minds and bodies. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When sin came it not only affected our hearts or spirits, but also our minds and bodies. God does not only want our hearts, but He wants all of us, spirit, soul, and body. But it is upon these fronts that the flesh wars against the Spirit.

I. Battleground of our minds (vv. 5-8)

A. Composition (we can only speculate)(“The idle mind is the playground of the devil”)

1. Intellectual capacities (Creativity, reasoning , experiential knowledge, academic knowledge, logic/reasoning)

2. Moral capacities (ability to know right from wrong, ability to choose it, proof in the human wide phenomenon of rules and laws; will)

3. Emotional capacities (Feel things, have moods, etc)

B. The struggle of the two minds

1. The sinful mind

a. Set upon fleshly things (Galatians 5:19-21: “19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”)

b. Hostile toward God (v. 7, James 4:4: “4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”)

c. Cannot please God (lacks trust/faithlessness; Hebrews 11:6: “6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”)

2. The mind dominated by the Spirit

a. Set upon what the Spirit desires (v. 6: “life and peace”; Philippians 4:8: “8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”)

b. Hostile to the world’s standards (2 Corinthians 10:5: “5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”)

c. Seeks to please God (undivided devotion to the Lord; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35: “32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”)

II. Strategy of the believer (vv. 9-10)

A. To be “in the Spirit” (v. 9; Use of 2nd person indicates Paul is going from abstract instruction to personal application)

1. Communion with the Spirit (Availability of an intimate relationship with the Spirit; through Him we sense Christ’s desires, displeasure, His leading, relational knowledge of Himself/Christ; “To know Him, and make Him known”; A Kempis, 14th Century monk: “Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.”)

2. Controlled by the Spirit (The direction of life as determined by the Spirit; result of the intimate relationship)

B. To be “united with Christ” (v. 10: “if Christ is in you ...”; John 17:23: “23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”; whatever you think, it is Christ thinking it.)

1. An exercise of faith (Ephesians 3:17: “17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love”)

2. Hope of eternal life (Colossians 1:27: “27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”; Colossians 3:4: “4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”)

III. Victory through the Resurrection

A. We have life through the Spirit

1. Christ was the victory over spiritual/physical death ( Acts 2:24: “24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”; 1 Corinthians 15:56, 57: “56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”)

2. The indwelling Spirit brings righteousness (equated the Spirit living in us with Christ in us; indwelling Spirit brings indwelling Christ who brings life; John 14:6: “6 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”)

B. We have healing through the Spirit

1. Future resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-52: “50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”)

2. Present resurrection of sorts (v. 11: “will give life to your mortal bodies”; wholeness through the healing of our spirits, our minds/intellects and bodies; Isaiah 53:5: “5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”)

Conclusion: Is your mind dominated by the flesh? Or is it dominated by the Spirit? Victory in the daily struggle against the flesh is ours. It is ours not only in our spirits, but in our minds and bodies as well. That victory by the grace of God has already been won we have but to reach out in faith and grasp it. We grab it by laying down our whole self in surrender to Him; surrendering our spirit, our wills, our minds, our intellects and bodies to His control through His Spirit. Let us hold on to Him for all we are worth and let Him hold on to us.

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