Today, the methodology of the Spirit.
APRIL 28, 2021
Today, the methodology of the Spirit. On this edition of Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown, he teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the fifth chapter of Galatians and we’re spending a pretty long time in that. And we’re looking at some, we’re going to look, I know you’re thinking, just get to it Brown. We’re going to get to the fruit of the Spirit. And we’re going to talk about those things, but, but I’m sharing three things with you that are preliminary and important, if you’re going to look at the fruit of the Spirit, We saw that first, the fruit of the Spirit, as opposed to the works of the flesh, will not call attention to you or your work. That’s Galatians 5:19. And we had a lot to say about that. And then secondly, we took note that when one has the fruit of the Spirit, one will find himself or herself within the bounds of the law. In other words, the best citizens, any president or any emperor can have in their nation is Christians. We make a nation better, not worse. That’s what they don’t understand in China. That’s what they don’t understand in places where Christians are persecuted. We’re good for you. We’re not bad for you. You ought to encourage, that’s what Constantine did. You ought to encourage Christians and see us grow, because your nation will be better and stronger and more righteous than it is when you don’t have Christians around. Now, let me show you something else. Please note in these verses that I read to you earlier, that the methodology whereby the Christian appropriates the fruit of the Spirit, is by appropriating the power available by the Holy Spirit. Look at the text, the 16th verse. But I say to you work hard at this, because it’s important, it doesn’t say that.
But I say, walk by the Spirit.
Led by the Spirit
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by this Spirit.
Now, I’m not going to give you a lesson in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit 101. By the way, I wrote a book on that, and I think it’s still available at Key Life, and it’s called Follow the Wind. And it’s a book on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. And frankly, it was a really hard book to write, you know, why it was so hard? It was so hard, because the Spirit’s job description is to point to the first and second persons of the Trinity. In other words, this Spirit, when the Spirit works in the Christian, reminds us of Jesus and God the Father. And so it’s kind of a behind the scenes, be quiet, pull the strings, do the work, make a difference, but don’t give him the credit. And I gave him the credit in my book, Follow the Wind. And it was like pulling teeth, every line I wrote in that particular book, but it was Biblical, and it was a study of the Holy Spirit. But we’re talking about the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the believer, not the fruit of the Spirit being the object of the direction in which we go, or the works of the flesh mentioned in the text, being the things that we just have to avoid. Paul says, walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, live by the Spirit. Let me show you a process. And it’s nothing atherial or super spiritual or esoteric or anything like that. First, a desire. Secondly, an act of the will. Thirdly, an act of faith. And fourthly, real obedience and surprising. The mission statement of Key Life is getting you home, and those you love home, with a radical freedom, infectious joy, and here it comes, surprising faithfulness. That’s what the Holy Spirit does, works in you. It gives you a desire, a desire to follow Christ. Luke 22:33, after the denial was foretold.
“Lord” Peter said, “I’m ready to die with you. To go to prison or to death.
And then secondly, Peter exercised that desire until he got into his will, his discernment, John 21.
Three times the resurrected Christ said to Peter, do you love me and receiving an affirmative response Jesus told Peter, to feed his sheep.
In other words, it had moved from a desire, and it moved to doing his will. And then thirdly, what started with desire and moved to an act of a will, there came an act of faith, I Peter. And it’s good to use Peter, as an example, I Peter 1:8-9.
Without having seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy, as the outcome of your faith, you obtain the salvation of your souls.
And then fourthly, what started with desire and may move to an act of the will, became an act of faith, and it was manifested in obedience, I Peter 1:1-2.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the exiles of the dispersion, chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ.
That’s the process. And that’s how it works. But don’t forget that the obedience, is a thing of joy. And it’s always a surprise. You think about that. Amen.
I always enjoy learning more about the person of the Holy Spirit. Great insights today. Thank you, Steve. We will continue from here tomorrow, and yes, Steve, we’ll get into the teaching on the fruit of the Spirit. Make sure you join us for that. So, are you working at getting better? How’s that going, if we can be honest, just for a moment, struggling to get better all on our own, is just a exhausting. If that’s you, then you might be interested in a sermon Steve did, teaching from Ephesians 2, about how our sanctification actually happens. Take a listen to a section of that talk, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
You’re getting better and better every day in every way. Well, if you are, I praise God for that. And I’m glad. And you don’t have to listen to this sermon, but if you struggle, if you think sometimes you’re getting worse than you were when you started, I’m here to help. I have a missionary friend who wrote me last week to tell me about the family pet gerbil, his name is Jerry. Jerry got out of a cage not too long ago and they couldn’t find him. The kids were screaming, daddy, we got to find Jerry, they’re afraid they’re gonna step on him and squash him or the cat’s gonna eat him. And for three days, Jerry stayed lost. And my friend said, I was getting ready for bed one night and looked at my pillow. And Jerry is sitting on my pillow, grinning at me. Jerry evidently was lost, because he wanted to be lost. And when he wanted to be found, he knew where to come, to me. He was tired. He was dirty. And he was hungry, but he came to me. If you were here last week and listening, you never listen to me, you know that talked about being lost and how to be saved, and that it has to do with God’s grace and that alone. Colossians 2:6 says, as you received Christ, in other words, as you came forward, as you prayed the sinner’s prayer, as you leaned in on Jesus, as you’re rested in Him and felt forgiven and loved and promised, so walk in Him. If you remember, last week I gave you four truth propositions that had to do with being lost. And since Colossians 2:6 or 6:2, I’m not a navigator and I’m doing the best I can, because of the teaching of that particular text, those four truth propositions have to do with getting better too. The first you remember was, dead people hardly do anything. Erik Guzman, who’s one of our colleagues in Key Life has been reading a book this week by Chuck C. It’s called A New Pair of Glasses. It’s one of those books written by a recovering alcoholic. His story’s a dynamite story. He got drunk, one time, absolutely plastered, almost died. And this doctor said, you do this one more time, and you’re a dead man. And he managed to stay sober for a little while. And then he fell off the wagon. And for four weeks he was in a coma. He said, when he came out of it, he thought I’m dead. And he decided, as Paul said, reckon yourself dead. I am dead. I don’t have any ego anymore. I don’t have any needs anymore. My life is gone. It’s over. And for the first time in his life, he said he was free to love and serve and not give a dink what anybody thought about him, because he was dead. This is what he wrote.
I’m convinced, in my own mind, totally and completely convinced from my toenails to the top of my longest hair, that there’s only one problem in this life. One problem that includes all problems. And one answer that includes all answers. I’m totally convinced that the only roadblock between me and you and God is the human ego.
If trying to muscle your way toward getting better has left you spent, I think you’re going to get a lot out of this sermon. We put the whole thing on a CD, that we would be delighted to send to you today for free. How can I get it, Matthew? Glad you asked, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
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If you’re in Canada, send your request to
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Just asked for the CD called Getting Better. Finally, if you’re able, would you prayerfully consider giving to Key Life? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include gift in your envelope. Or just grab your phone, it’s right there. Text key life to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.