Be Filled With the Spirit of Christ, Sermon 02/03/2019

THE STEPS TO THE ABUNDANT LIFE

“Be Filled with the Spirit of Christ” (1)

 Ps. 27:1-5; Rom. 6:15-23

In order to have the abundant life, we should be filled with the Spirit of Christ. An Eskimo fisherman came to town every Saturday afternoon. He always brought his two dogs with him. One was white and the other was black. He had taught them to fight on command. Every Saturday afternoon in the town square the people would gather and these two dogs would fight and the fisherman would take bets. On one Saturday the black dog would win; another Saturday, the white dog would win, but the fisherman always won! His friends began to ask him how he did it. He said, “I starve one and feed the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger.”

This story about the two dogs is apt because it tells us something about the inner warfare that comes into the life of person who is born again. We have two natures within us, both struggling for mastery. Which one will dominate us?

It depends on which one we feed. If we feed our spiritual lives and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, He will have rule over us. If we starve our spiritual natures and instead feed the old, sinful nature, the flesh will dominate. Flesh, according to the Bible is evil, sinful, weak and ends with death. So flesh itself is against God. It cannot please God. Here flesh represents our desire to focus on self. Thus we must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Unless we are filled with the Spirit of Christ, there is no guarantee to win in our spiritual warfare.

What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit of Christ. It is to submit ourselves to Christ that our supreme desire is to do God’s will. When we come to Christ the Spirit comes to dwell within us-whether we are aware of His presence or not. But as we grow in Christ, our goal is to be controlled by the Spirit of Christ.

The essence of sin is self-will, placing ourselves at the center of our lives instead of Christ. The way to be filled-controlled by the Spirit is to place Christ at the center of our lives, instead of self. This only happens as we submit to the Lord. We are no longer living for our old master, sin. We have changed masters. Just as a slave in the first century might be sold and come under the ownership of a new master, so we have been purchased by the blood of Christ and we belong to Christ. We are bound to Christ, he is our Master.

Dear friends! Have we ever really told God as fully and as simply as we know how that we want God’s will in our lives, whatever it may be? We should be emptied of self-self love, self-will, self-ambition and be placed completely at the Lord’s disposal. When we surrender to God, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ controls and dominates us.

Then we will experience God’s abundant blessing in our lives.

We are to walk in faith, considering ourselves to be dead to sin. In the letter of Galatians 2:20, apostle Paul said, “…it is no longer, I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The filling of the Holy Spirit should not be a one-for-all event, but a continuous reality every day of our lives. It is a process. We must surrender ourselves to the Lord daily and every day we must choose to remain surrendered. In every situation involving conflict between self and God’s will, we must make our decisions on the basis of our constant submission to Christ.

The Scripture says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead” (Heb. 11:1).

The beginning point of faith is believing in God’s character; God is who he says. The end point is believing in God’s promises; God will do what he says.

Apostle Paul says, “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Dear friends! God works out all things for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn it around for our long range good.

The psalmist said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The Lord protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid. When evil men attack me and try to kill me, they stumble and fall. Even if a whole army surrounds me, I will not be afraid; even if enemies attack me, I will still trust God. I have asked the Lord for one thing; one thing only do I want: to live in the Lord’s house all my life, to marvel there at his goodness and to ask for his guidance. In times of trouble he will shelter me; he will keep me safe in his Temple and make me secure on a high rock” (Ps. 27:1-5).

Many of our problems could be avoided or handled far more easily by relying on God’s help and direction.

There is a story about a young Native American boy who had to undergo the customary ritual before assuming manhood. He had to prove to the community that he was brave and could withstand the troubles of the world. To do this he had to go out into the forest and spend a night alone. He could take nothing with him except a knife for protection. All night long he had to listen to the strange sounds and wait for whatever would come. It was only later that the young boy learned that his father had been standing nearby all night, watching over him.

Dear friends!

This is the way it is with us. God is always nearby, watching. We can count on it. His love and presence are with us forever whatever we do.

Let us trust in God always! Let us submit ourselves to God’s will whatever we do.

Let us be filled with the Spirit of Christ as we follow Him. Then our lives will be filled with the blessing of God.

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