Flesh vs. Spirit Sermon - Pastor Steve Winter

This is my text that I used for tonight's 12/23/2004 sermon
It should be available in audio format at
http://www.pentecostal.biz/audio

The Christian life will be a battle of flesh and spirit. This will continue until you endure till the end. The "end" will be your physical death or the rapture of the Church.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my nameís sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Here are some considerations.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard

The Christian life is the far better choice but while the burden is light there is a burden and while the yoke is easy the yoke is there. We need to understand that there is a duty of the Christian.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

That is one of the reasons that it is abomination for so called "Oneness Christians" to observe heathen holidays like Xmas and Eostre etc that are based upon lies (you don't honor the Spirit of Truth by making a LIE regardless of how much money some preacher is raking in during the season). It is necessary to be in the world but we do not have to be conformed to the world. Think about this a minute! Where does the buck stop? Who is it whose job it is to prove what is acceptable to God?

Is it some big name preacher? Is it some church that has a talented music program or big choir?

If you have been baptised in Jesus Name and have been filled with the real Holy Ghost of the Bible with the evidence of tongues then it is YOUR responsibility to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

No this does not mean that Paul was a sinner as the false-christian cults teach but is to help us understand that Paul was HUMAN just like we are!

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The above verses point out that even the great Apostle Paul had a war between his flesh and Spirit as we all do. Those verses do not mean that Paul was a sinner as some cults teach, but that he had the same battles all humans have. Did you think that you were the only one with fleshly lusts that had to be subjected to the Spirit?

We have some awesome and generous promises from God. Yes we are soldiers in spiritual warfare, but we have God on our side when use our free will to place ourselves on God's side.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

I would also point out that this wonderful promise from God also is double edged because it also shows us that there is no excuse for sin. This is a beautiful thing about the Word of God that it gives us knowledge and strength to resist the devil.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

How does one overcome the flesh with its ungodly lusts?

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

That is one of the reasons that Holiness standards are so important. To keep us out of trouble. That is another reason that real Christians don't have televisions or watch movies or many other worldly entertainments. We don't want to make provision for the flesh for sin. That is why Christian young people don't "date" as the world dates where they practice arousing that which should not be aroused within themselves and then learn to deal with the emotions of breaking up from "relationships" that should never have been ignited to begin with. That pattern gets them in perfect emotional shape for a life of marriage and then DIVORCE!

Holiness is not a burden for the Christian, holiness is a valuable gift from God to keep the burdens OFF OF YOU so that you can keep your FREEDOM and your soul!

The world regards holiness standards as a horrible burden and lack of freedom, but the devil is leading most of them around by the nose and in this hour often with an actual ring in their nose! Sinners that don't care a bit for them sit around in board rooms and dictate what they will wear, how they will talk, what music they will listen to. The sinner is not free. The smoker or drug user is not free. The devil is a liar!

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christís sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other menís matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 ∂ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 ∂ But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Pastor Steve Winter