Walking by the Spirit - Part 2
Passage: Galatians 5:16–5:16
So far in his letter, Paul has gone to great lengths to remind the Galatian church of their freedom in Christ. This godly freedom should be used to serve one another, but to do so, the Galatians have to walk by the Spirit and not satisfy the desires of the flesh.
We respond to the Spirit by actively participating with Him in order to grow in Christ and put off the flesh. To accomplish this, we have to hear the Spirit through His Word, and submit to His desires through obedience to the truth. In other words, to respond to the Spirit, we have to both hear and do the Word.
How Do We Respond To The Spirit?
- By relying on Him. (Romans 8:11; Colossians 1:11; John 14:26; John 16:8; Philippians 2:12)
- By hearing Him. (John 14:16; Hebrews 10:15; John 16:8; Ephesians 518; Colossians 3:16; Romans 15:4,13)
- By Submitting to His Will. (James 1:22; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Peter 1:14,15)
Do we participate in our own sanctification?
Yes. This is evident in the following: Romans 8:13; 12:1; 13:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 9:27; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:1; 5:1,18; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:5; James 1:21; 4:7; 1 Peter 2:11; Galatians 5:16.
NOTE: The first part of this mini-series, Walking by the Spirit, can be found here.
Below is a full transcript of the quote read towards the end of the sermon. It is from Martin Lloyd-Jones's Sactified Through the Truth.
Sanctified Through the Truth
D Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"Perhaps I can put it best with another negative. God does not do this work in us directly, but indirectly, through the truth. This is a vital principle. So many people think that because we say that this is fundamentally God’s work then it is, as it were, something that God does immediately and directly upon our souls and we just have to accept what he does, we just have to ‘let go and let God’ do these things to us. But that is a false understanding of the teaching of Scripture especially at this point. In our Lord’s own words, he does not do the work immediately but mediately through his word, which is the truth. And so he does not teach us to surrender ourselves and every sin to him, and then trust him to deliver us out of those sins, or to take those sins out of us. Some teach that all we have to do, having told God that we want to be delivered, is to believe he has done it, and them we shall eventually find that it has happened. But I do not understand the teaching of Scripture in that way. I do not know of a single scripture – and I speak advisedly – which tells me to take my sin, the particular thing that gets me down, to God in prayer and ask him to deliver me from it and then trust in faith that he will.
Now that teaching is also often put like this: you must say to a man who is constantly defeated by a particular sin, ‘I think your only hope is to take it to Christ and Christ will take it from you.’ But what does Scripture say in Ephesians 4:28 to the man who finds himself constantly guilty of stealing, to a man who sees something he likes and takes it? What am I to tell such a man? Am I to say, ‘Take that sin to Christ and ask him to deliver you?’ No, what the apostle Paul tells him is this: ‘Let him that stole, steal no more.’ Just that. Stop doing it. And if it is fornication or adultery or lustful thoughts, again: Stop doing it, says Paul. He does not say, ‘Go and pray to Christ to deliver you.’ No. You stop doing that, he says, as becomes children of God. My friends, we have become unscriptural. If you want further evidence, lest somebody thinks it is only the teaching of Paul, let me come to the teaching of the apostle Peter, which is exactly the same; it is the whole teaching of Scripture, which we seem to have forgotten. We read in 1 Peter 1:14 and 15, ‘As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.’ It is something that you have to do. You must turn your back on these things because you are a child of God. Peter puts it still more strongly, in a sense, in 1 Peter 4:1-4: ‘Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God’ – then listen to the argument – ‘For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.’
You must not do it, says Peter. He does not say surrender it to Christ and ask him to deliver you from it; what he says is, realize who you are and stop doing it. That is the teaching of Scripture: it tells us that if we really are what we claim to be, then we must stop sinning and we must purify ourselves. It reminds us that God has saved us in Christ, and has put the Holy Spirit into us, and that we already have the power within us, in the Holy Spirit. What we must learn to do is not to grieve the Spirit, but to yield to his promptings and to the strength and power that he gives us. It is we who are exhorted to do these things; God does not do this work in us directly but indirectly."