Friday, November 6, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 4

Galatians 5:16-23


Prayer:

Father God, we honor You, in spirit, soul, mind, and body. We desire to walking in the Spirit, so we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Father, in the name of Jesus, we commit ourselves to walk in the Word. Your Word living us produces Your life in this world. We recognize that Your Word is integrity itself, steadfast, sure, eternal, and we trust our life to its provisions. You have sent Your Word forth into our hearts. We desire it to dwell in us richly in all wisdom. Bless us to meditate in it every day and night so that we may diligently act on it. Thank You, Lord, Your Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all the truth. He gives us understanding, discernment, and comprehension so that we are preserved from the snares of the enemy, the evil one.  Bless us today to walk in the Holy Spirit each day of our lives. Bless us to be prepared for Your return by walking in the Spirit today, AMEN.

 

Study 4            Walking in the Spirit:

Let's Walk………………

Scripture Reading:     (Galatians 5:16) (2 Corinthians 5:17)


We need a new life in order to walk in the Spirit of God. We need a new life, new birth, because we cannot walk a holy life without God's Holy Spirit. We must be born-again as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews (John 3:1-2).  This new life is the new birth, born of God.  We are new creatures in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We gain a new heart when we are born-again of God's Spirit. How are we born-again?  We are born-again by God's Holy Spirit. Jesus also explained this to Nicodemus in (John 3:4-6), as stated by Jesus himself.

All kinds of people come to faith in Christ. Some are rich, some poor, some are attractive, others not, some are athletes, others nonathletic. The family of God is very diverse . . . a mosaic of different nationalities, personality types, and talents. Yet each one of us is special to God. Even if we don't feel very special, we are. To God, we are. No matter what earthly things we bring with us when we come to Christ (whether good or bad), God has a plan to change us for the better. We must understand, however, that this is primarily an inward change at the heart level. While all of us might wish to be more attractive or more athletic (or any one of a number of other things we might wish for), that is not what matters the most to God. He is primarily concerned about our character. It may turn out that in the course of time, God makes us more talented or develops our skills in a certain area. But the change that He is most interested in concerns our inner person. God's desire is to make us more like Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:9-14 tells us that we now have a "new self" which is being renewed: ". . . to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him . . . . So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." When we come to God, we come just as we are . . . warts and all. We may have been a very moral person (by humans 9 standards) or we may have been on a very sinful path leading to self-destruction, but we are no longer that person we used to be. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." Regardless of what our morality may have looked like beforehand, the truth is that all of us were sinners who needed a Savior. We stood condemned before a Holy God, and it is only because of His grace that we were shown mercy. Now God is pleased to call us His "beloved." Having come to God through faith in Christ, He is now ready to begin an overhaul project with us. He will work in our life (and it will be a lifelong process!) to chip away at the rough places as He conforms us into the image of Christ. This means God is going to make us holy. We cannot make ourselves holy, but God works to make us more Christ-like, and in doing so He makes us more holy. This is not something we can do for ourselves (we don't have the power in ourselves to do that). Rather it is a growth process. Let me illustrate. When we were born physically, we needed good nourishment and exercise to grow physically and develop a healthy body. Similarly our spiritual new birth should result in spiritual growth. Once again we need good nourishment (through reading the Bible and listening to good Bible teachers), and we need exercise (opportunities to exercise our faith and act upon what God is teaching us). In addition God gives us a new source of power to respond to Him in obedience. This power comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we believe God and cooperate with His Holy Spirit, we grow spiritually.  To sum up, as a new Christian you are already clean in God's sight. Because you have exercised faith in Christ, God has done two very important things for you. First, He has forgiven all your sin for all time. Second, He has given you the righteousness of Christ. In Philippians 3:9 the Apostle Paul spoke about this gift of righteousness when he described His joy in being "found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." Paul was describing in this verse His positional righteousness, how God actually viewed him. Even though we are forgiven and possess a righteous standing in God's eyes, He desires to transform us practically into the image of Christ. So my new image is Christ: I now have His righteousness and God is at work in my life to transform me by making me more Christ-like.


Walking in the Spirit means we walk after the things of the Spirit, and we walk with new hearts because we have been raised from the dead through the Holy Spirit. What does it means to walk in the Spirit?


Believers have the Spirit of Christ, the hope of glory within them (Colossians 1:27). Those who walk in the Spirit will show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness. This is brought about by consciously choosing by faith to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11-14). Failure to rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance will result in a believer not living up to the calling and standing that salvation provides (John 3:3; Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27). We can know that we are walking in the Spirit if our lives are showing forth the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23). Being filled (walking) with the Spirit is the same as allowing the word of Christ (the Bible) to richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:16).

The result is thankfulness, singing, and joy (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16). Children of God will be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). When Christians choose not to walk in the Spirit, thereby sinning and grieving Him, provision has been made for restoration through confession of the wrongdoing (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:9). To "walk in the Spirit" is to follow the Spirit's leading. It is essentially to "walk with" the Spirit, allowing Him to guide your steps and transform your mind. To summarize, just as we have received Christ by faith, by faith He asks us to walk in Him, until we are taken to heaven and will hear from the Master, "Well done!" (Colossians 2:5; Matthew 25:23).

I           Renewed Heart:

Ezekiel 36:26:             Birth of a new spirit

John 1:13:                   Of Divine origin

John 3:3:                     Essential to spiritual vision

2 Corinthians 5:17:     A new creation

Titus 3:5:                     Necessary to Salvation

I Peter 1:23:                By the Word of God

I John 5:1:                   Obtained by Faith

Ezekiel 11:9:               New man

Galatians 6:15            New man        

Ephesians 2:15, 4:24  New man

II         Raised from Spiritual Death

Ezekiel 37:10:             Spiritual Quickening

Luke 15:24:                 Spiritual Resurrection

Romans 8:11:              Spiritual Quickening

Ephesians 2:1:            Spiritual Resurrection

Ephesians 2:6:            Spiritual Resurrection

Colossians 3:1             Spiritual Resurrection

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature, nor did we decide to re-create ourselves anew, nor did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat. Second, "old things have passed away." The "old" refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.  Along with the old passing away, "the new has come!" Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world. The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind. The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We "put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9), and put on the "new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  What about the Christian who continues to sin? There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new life hate the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to "let sin reign" or to count ourselves "dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter. 

The new creation is a wondrous thing, formed in the mind of God and created by His power and for His glory, therefore we must walk in the Spirit to communicate with Him.


Questions:

1).        How are we born-again?      

2).        Where do our change starts?

3).        What do a renewed heart means?

4).        How is grace applied to our life?

5).        Explain the growth process for the physical and spiritual develop.

6).        What are the two most important things God has done for us?

7).        Walking in the Spirit means what?

8).        Explain a renewed heart.

9).        What is the different between spiritual quickening and spiritual resurrection?

10).      What do 2 Corinthians 5:17 means to you?

11).      What do John 1:13 tells us about the new life?

12).      Explain what we loved before the new spiritual birth.

13).      What do the new spiritual birth brings into our lives?

14).      Our new life hates the _____ that still has a hold on us.

15).      How is the new creation created, and by what?

16).      What have you learn from reading Romans 16- Galatians 6?        


Exercise:         Week # 4         Walking in the Spirit today:

What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?

Extra: Goodness

I choose goodness. . .I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

Personal Prayer:

Father God, thank You for all of the goodness You have shown me in my life. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to forgive others as You have so freely forgiven me.  Please help me to see others (even people I think are hopeless, or do not think the way I think) the way You do.  Help me to show Your love and compassion to all people and all situation all the time. Remind me that I too am in need of forgiveness and mercy. Help me to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of others. Help me to find creative ways to show kindness to people around me. Help me to let Your light shine.  Help me to be a living example of Your Great Goodness.  In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen.

Weekly Reading:        Week # 4         (Ephesians 1-Philippians 1) Monday through Sunday

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace