Adopted and Free 3

Chris Gardner

February 25, 2018

Romans chapter eight. And, uh, looking forward to diving into this passage this morning. I've had a fun journey through Roman so far. I hope you guys have enjoyed it as well. So we've been talking about Romans and about being adopted and free and what that means. And so we talked about his dwelling. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us. He lives in, he dwells with us, and this should make a difference in every single aspect of our lives. Everything changed because the holy spirit now lives inside of us. Not only that, but then we found my debt.

We talk about being a debtor and Paul repeats this a few times in the book of Romans, and this is one where he talks about being in debt. There's an obligation that I have as a follower of Christ and we talk about that a little bit as well. Then we go to our delight. So if you got the paper, it's already filled out. You're like, this is the weirdest handout ever. Don't worry. These handouts last forever because it usually takes me a lot longer than one week to cover them. So we talked about our delight and what are delighted us. Our delight has changed. Speaking of our delight and what we enjoy doing has changed. It's different now today because we're a follower of Christ this week. Um, I had the privilege of going to a. I didn't have the privilege. I was hungry and I went to chick filet in the morning.

It's not really, although chick filet, if you live outside of Georgia is a privilege, but so I'm, I'm sitting there, we'd could walk into chick filet and uh, w w got a mobile order granting my mobile order started walking out and I saw this man right here named Daniel Gates. And he was sitting across the table from a another guy and with a Bible Open and sharing the gospel with him. I was like, man, this, some are mobile order became a, I'm going to sit down order and wait for this guy to finish this discipleship so I can talk to him and find out what kinds of crazy people do that. And uh, because I, I think I'm the only one that I owe chick filet of big debt of gratitude for because of the amount of time I spend discipling people inside of there and heard about our delight to have changed.

What we enjoy doing is now different. What we used to look forward to is different. Now we enjoy things we didn't enjoy before. And so we come to our delight is different. Our delight is different. And so they not only that, we find with the Holy Spirit in verse 14, we find this, his leading is true. When the Holy Spirit leads us to do something, we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's the right thing to do. Now, may I say this, your fillings are almost always the exact opposite of that. Your feelings are not something that you should follow. Now we have fillings, but we don't follow our feelings, but his leading, the leading of the Holy Spirit. We know if we follow what the Holy Spirit tells us to do, there's only a hundred percent chance that it is true. It is right and it is what needs to be done. There's only about a 99 point nine percent chance that if you follow your feelings, it's false.

You said, Chris, I don't know that I can agree with that. Go on facebook and look at all your Christian friends, how they use their fillings to post up on facebook. That is just you're reading and you're like, oh my goodness. Really? They fill and because they feel they do these things, so we talk about our delight. Our delight is this. His leading is true. We know that we are children of God because we are led by the spirit of God. We are led by the spirit of God and this is where, and last week we talked a little bit about this. This is where people mess up more than anywhere else that I've ever seen. We use these specific words all the time and we have no idea what they mean. Eight. We say stuff like, well, I believe it's the will of God that I and usually the next words out of your mouth are words that are scary because there's no way that that would be the will of God for your life. You're talking to somebody. I've talked to people in, sitting down with them, talking to them, and they go, Chris, I just feel that it's the will of God for my life to marry this person and I go, what does that person, no believer, no,

but I noticed the will of God. I prayed about it. It's the will of God for my life, and I'm like, well, how does the will of God contradict the word of God? And as a pastor, one of the hardest things to do is keep a straight face with whatever comes after the words that say this, I feel that the will of God for my life is. And at that point you go, oh Lord, help me keep a straight face. Help me keep a straight face. Helped me keep a straight face because they're going to say something really dumb. Now, that's what tends to happen all the time and the will of God. The funny thing is this, I've been in ministry now for 25 years, full time, just spending all my waking hours helping people, being a part of people's lives in 25 years, I don't know that I've ever heard somebody say this, Chris, I've been praying about it and I really feel this is the will of God from my life, that I share the gospel more with those that are around me.

If you'll know that somebody said that to me because I'll die of a heart attack, or I'll at least be in the hospital recovering from an from an did that. Because we love using stuff like, well, the Holy Spirit told me to, well, the Holy Spirit never operates outside of this book. He doesn't operate outside of this book. He doesn't say, I once said this, but I didn't really mean it, and now it's different. He doesn't do that. He doesn't do that. Last week I shared, I actually know people had a man and a wife married the man was cheating on his wife with another woman in the church and wrote a seven page letter front and back, eight and a half by 11 explaining how he knew the will of God for him to do that because this new woman was a Christian, but when he married his wife, she wasn't a Christian and God could never joined a Christian or non Christian together

and you're sitting there going, how in the world could you come to that conclusion? Well, I noticed the will of God and man, he pulled out passages and he had all kinds of things to say about it. We gotta be careful when we use these things, the will of God, because here's what we know about the will of God. The will of God is always true. The spirit of God is always true and where he leads us, it's always in a direction to be more like Christ, not less light. Christ. One of the biggest tests you can make about the will of God is this. One of the biggest tests you can make about the will of God is this, does this war against my flesh or not? Does this war against my flesh or not? Because guess what? The spirit and the flesh war against each other. Does it work against my pleasure? So look at verse 14. The Bible says, for as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The question is this, is it warring against your flesh? Is it's something Chris? Well, I just don't feel that it's the will of God for me to to, to, to, to, to disciple that person because they want to be discipled at 9:00 AM and I don't get up before 9:30.

I don't know if you know this or not, but that wouldn't be the Holy Spirit telling us to do that because the Holy Spirit leads and you always know. It's the Holy Spirit leading when it's a war against the flesh, when it's a war against the flesh, because let me just tell you what my flesh wants is way different than what the spirit of God once and it's a daily decision, an hourly decision to wake up and to say, I will live in a way I am lead by the spirit of God. Is it warring against? No. I said this last week and in case you didn't catch it, let me say this once again. If the. If you feel that you're being led to comfort instead of sacrifice, there's only about a hundred percent chance. That's not the Holy Spirit leading you there. There's only about a hundred percent chance. That's not the Holy Spirit leading you there. You can know that you're a child of God because you are led by the spirit. Children are Christians that live in a careless indifference to the spirit or an open defiance of the spirit is at best, a living contradiction, and at worse, a spiritual imposter. They are not children of God and we know it because they don't follow the spirit of God. They don't follow the spirit of God. Many times those were those things that we call

the will of God directly contradict the word of God. Well, things are getting hard, so she's. Things are getting hard. I don't think it's the will of God for me to do that anymore.

What can you imagine Paul in jail looking at? People ain't going. I don't think it's the will of God for me to profess Jesus anymore because that gets me in all kinds of trouble, so I'm just going to stop doing that. Was that too much? What we tend to be led by the spirit has to come under the control of the spirit and to be alert to his prompting. The amazing thing about this promises, Dah, Dah. Here's the deal. It's a constant truth. It's a constant truth in our lives. The Holy Spirit is a gift, not a dictator, and we, last week we read in the book of Ephesians, it says, do not quench the Holy Spirit. He's not sitting there twisting your arm, making you do stuff. He's sitting there whispering to your heart. He sitting there whispering to you saying, hey, this is what needs to be done to be led by the spirit to come under the control of the spirit. Those who actively follow the spirit will bear unmistakable. Actively follow the spirit there on your paper. Now you can fill out those who actively follow the spirit will bear unmistakable evidence that he is leading. There's going to be unmistakable evidence that you're being led by the spirit of God. You're going to be unmistakable evidence, Chris, I've been praying about and I just don't think it's right for me to volunteer near as much or for free to help near as much as I am. I just got to quit that because it's too much work, but I am up to date on Netflix now. Binge Watch, binge watched, 13 shows in the last three months, and then funny the way we tend to say stuff because the truth of the matter is this, we can all say we're busy, but if everybody were as busy as they say they were, netflix would go under.

Would you not agree with that? If everybody was as busy as they say they were, nobody would be paying for Netflix and nobody would have any time to be watching Netflix or Hulu or Amazon prime or youtube. You wouldn't even have time to do because you're so busy. The truth of the matter is this, we're busy, but we're busy about the wrong things are busy about the wrong things. Those who actively follow the spirit will bear unmistakable evidence that he's leaving. Let's go to relations chapter five and this is where we're gonna land today and talk quite a bit about Galatians chapter five. There's going to be unmistakable evidence that he is leading. There's going to be no doubt about it. People are going to look at you and they're going to be like, there's something different in that person. The Holy Spirit is leading them. They are growing. They're maturing their book or growing closer to Christ. In galatians chapter five, verse 18, the Bible says verse 18, but if you'd be led of the spirit, you're not under the law. There again, being led by the way not being pulled,

not being pushed, being led. You know the problem with being led, you've gotta be willing to be led is like, Hey, I want to follow, but I'm going to sit here. No, that's not the way it works. If you're being led by the spirit. The Bible says, verse 18, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are these, and wouldn't it be nice if there was just a list of things? Oh, there he is. Hey, wouldn't it be nice if there was just this really cool list of things that would say, you can know that these things are of the flesh are the things of the flesh and works with the flesh are manifest, which are these adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, or we love those first ones, don't we? Well, I'm a good church going person. I'm a good church going person, so man, I'm of course not committing adultery or fornication, uncleanness or lasciviousness, because I don't even know the definition of that one. So No, I'm not doing that one. Idolatry. No, I don't send my life. I took off. There's no idols in my life and we're just going to skip all over all that and just pretend that it's all okay. The next one he says, Hey, you know, here's another one that you can know is the work of the flesh.


Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding. He'd just sit home. Didn't he didn't hit home in your life. I know he did in my life because you know what? There's nothing that I enjoy more in the world than hate and the right people.

Are you not the same way as our life, not full of bitterness and hatred? Well, guess what? He flat out laid it out there for you to look at it and say, do you want to know how to know whether you're led by the spirit of, well, the spirit's going to lean this way. The flesh is going to link this way, and let me just give you a few examples of what that is. The Bible says, hatred, hatred, variant, and did variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies envies, murderers, drunkenness, reveling since such like the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. He's here's a whole list for you to know whether you're following the flesh or not, and is it not true that we tend to follow the flesh way more than we would like to admit that we followed the flesh.

So Chris, I don't have idolatry in my life. I grew up in Peru. Seeing a lot of idols improved. You say, Chris, I don't have any of those kinds of idols. No, but you have other idols because you expect other things in your life to fulfill that which only God can fulfill. That's what an idol us. You're sitting there going, well, I expect my budget to be able to fill what only God can fill. I expect my marriage to Phil. What only God can fill. We all live in a day and age where we struggle and we fight against our flesh and he says here the deeds of the flesh, just so you know. Here's, here's, here's what the. Here's what they are. He says, they're manifest. You know exactly what they, and then he starts

verse 22, and what I love is this, when I love is this

every Christian bookstore or every Christian website, they love quoting Galatians chapter five, starting in verse 22, but they don't understand or at least say they agree not to do anything about the verses before because what he's saying is this. There's two sides to this coin. One side is the flesh. One side of this is the spirit. There's one way meeting, there's another way and you have to choose

which one matters. The Bible says, but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such. There is no law. He says, here's the deal. You can know exactly where the spirit leads you to do because there it is. That's the fruit of the spirit. That's the fruit

and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the effects where the with the affections and lessons. If you're a Christ, what you've done is you've crucified the flesh. It's a struggle. You've got to quit. You've got to stop it. You've got to through the Holy Spirit, be conquering these sins in your life and you're saying, well Chris, that's just who I am, and when you say, well, Chris, that's just who I am, is what you're saying is this, the Gospel is not big enough and is not strong enough to change me. Let me just say this. If this is just who you are than your God has got a little gene, not a big g when you use these things, and he said, well, Chris, you don't understand. That's just who I am. What you're saying is that's just who I am and you're not looking at really who is the true I am. You're not looking at God and saying, God through you alone. Can I face this day for through you alone cannot conquer San through you alone.

Can I do these things and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust. He said, if we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit, our daily walk that has to be led by the spirit of God in our daily walk. Let us be led by the spirit of God. This week I was looking through some ideas for this passage and I heard a message from a friend of mine that I thought would be perfect for learning in this passage. So if you hear it and you're like, man, that's brilliant. You can just know what mine is stolen. Um, but I thought, Nah, this, there's not much that I could see saying that would be better than what's being said here. As you see the truth of being led by the spirit of God and going at war with the flesh, I want to ask you a question that I think helps clarify this. If you're walking in the spirit, here's the question I want to ask you. What really matters? I mean, if God is really God, then what matters? If God has God, than what matters.

If for life is a vapor, nothing but a fleeting moment, when in time then what truly matters? If we must one day stand before God himself, then what really matters? If people are lost, helpless, searching, lonely, confused and without God week, and we have the answer to that, then the question is this, what really matters? The saddest part is that we really do know what really matters, don't we? There's really no doubt in our mind as Christians, we know what matters, but I don't think that US knowing what matters necessarily reflects in our calendars. I don't think it reflects in our bank account. I don't think it reflects in the way that we spend our time, what really matters. Somehow we choose to remain an active and distracted comfortably. Buck bunkered away in our own procrastination as well, and we so love the excuses. Well, I'm too young. I'm too weak. Fear dominates us, and we asked, what's going to happen if I fail? What are people going to think about me? I know what matters most, but I, I, you don't understand. I just can't

do it, and here's the truth. You're absolutely right. You can't do it and I cannot do it.

There is no way that you could ever do or that I could ever do what God requires of us to do, but we have one living inside us that can. We have one living inside of us that can God can to a direction as businessman on the other side of the desert and God said, Abraham, I'm going to make of you a great nation to its says to a scared to death farmer in the middle of the night. God says, Gideon, you're a mighty man of valor today. David. He said, you are more than just a watcher of cheap. You're more than one that is overlooked even by his own father. You are a king to an emotionally unstable, vacillating fishermen. God said to Peter, you will change the world. God is calling us to live a life that so much more than what we're living. God has called us to live a life that is so much more than what we're living. Come on folks. Let's wake up to this truth. May we live lives that are led and guided and all that we do by the Holy Spirit of


When your schedule is such that you cannot do what God has commanded you to do, then you've made your schedule, your God, when your finance or do not allow you to do what God has commanded you to do, you've made your finances, your God. When you're everything, you've got to decide, I will live a life that matters because I know what really matters. The day and age we live in is only such a small speck in the gigantic spectrum of time and we will die and the worst time of our life is now, but why do we live a life pretending that today has to be amazing? We live investing in today, not realizing that in eternity is what truly

matters. Maybe we live lives that are led and guided and all we do by the Holy Spirit because we truly know what matters. I really believe you know it matters. I know that I know what matters man. So many times in my life does not line up with what I say really matters because we truly know what matters. That is that our lives reflect, that we truly know and live that out because see, we live in a day and age where we love to know more and more doctrinally correct about stuff.

Is that not true? Don't we love to hear something that we've never heard before? Talk about itching ears. Those are itching. Here's you're sitting there going, Whoa, I've never seen that one before. That one's amazing. Let me show you this hidden truth and then nobody never knew that it existed before and I'm all for truth. What? I'm not forced when you pursue truth, but we don't pursue a life that reflects the truth that we now know we become these people that loves studying the scriptures, but our shoe leather has not touched the ground and so long that nobody around you even knows that you're a Christian.


but you don't understand. Chris, I know more Bible than you do. Well, great. Congratulations. What's it done for you? We live in a day and age that loves knowing

a little bit more, be a little more doctrinally correct, but doctrinal correctness truly matters. But if you want to know who is truly a child of God, you can know according to Romans, Chapter Eight, by those that are led by the spirit of God.

You're watching their life and you're going, and let me just tell you in this church, I can't share the stories because people will turn red in the face, but I wish I could share with you some of the stuff that's happening inside the lives of people where you see changes that you would have never dreamed to see before, but God deals with them and God's leading them and they're growing and they're seeing God move in their lives and they're being led by the spirit. And you watch that growth as it happens and it's amazing

and it's amazing. No amount of spiritual knowledge can substitute the guiding of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And here's the cool thing. You know Christ for one day, according to the scriptures, the Holy Spirit lives inside you. You have the same guide living inside of you that Billy Graham had his living inside of him.

You have the same guy living inside of you that every pastor, deacon, every person you've ever looked up to had. Now the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and guide you. Well, Chris, you don't understand. I have all these doctrines together and I know them up and down like I can quote the New Testament in Greek and I can quote the Old Testament and Hebrew and I even know what it all means when I say it. Well, congratulations. When's the last time you told someone about Christ? Well, Chris, let me just say I just read a book that's amazing. It's rocking my world. Well, if it's rocking your world, I hope it's rocking your world towards action

and not just towards knowledge.

I hope it's rocking your world to where you decide that you need to invest in other people in. You need to disciple other people. You need to have an open heart to help those that are around you and your life is changing because you're being led by the spirit of God.

In your life can quote scripture after scripture, and I can tell you all about the truth of them. Congratulations. Now the question is, are your actions are your deeds nowness? Things that show you, show that you are led by the spirit of God. Take him before a court to a jury of your peers and I'll even let you choose who they are. You bring 12 people up to a stand and I want them to either have to convict you of being a follower of Christ or not. Would you be found guilty? You might be found guilty of being a good dad. You might be found guilty of being a good mom. You might be found guilty of being a good neighbor.

You might be found, gets you to being the nicest guy in the neighborhood, but the question is this, would you truly be guilty of being

a follower of Christ? I'll let you choose your [inaudible]. Just think about it. What [inaudible] would you put up in the stand to be able to accuse you of being a Christian and what they truly know that you are a follower of Christ because Christ followers are known because they are led by the spirit of God, and this is a daily thing in our lives. Are Your deeds known as things that show that you are led by the spirit of God? If not, it might be worth trying to act to live that way over knowing the scriptures. People come to me all the time. They say, you're a young person. When they get saved, they really want to know more Bible. I've seen

quite a few people have. When they get saved, they'll come to me and they go, I want to know every single thing the Bible says. I want to be able to answer no matter what page of the Bible you open, no matter what you asked me, I want to know everything that can be known about the Bible and you know our biggest struggle with them.

It's teaching them that knowing the Bible is not the key. Living the Bible is knowing the Bible is not the key

living the Bible. Let's see. Knowing that Jesus saves is one thing. Knowing that we must forgive is one thing. Forgiving is a whole nother one can see. We all know what the truth is, but the question is, are we living the truth that we know? Is your God even big enough for you?

Is your God even big enough for you or is your God smaller than even you are because you love knowing, but our wives are not reflecting the fact that we know God. Our lives are not reflecting the fact that we know God. The Bible talks about the word being a lamp unto our feet, and that idea of a lamp to your feet. You know what it speaks of? It speaks to of its a lamp to your feet, not allowed to your horizon. It's a lamp to your feet and not a lamp. Two, a million miles away for you to know you can't pull out a 10 year plan and what you can know is this, you have enough light for your feet. I grew up and my grandparents lived in Adairsville, Georgia, and let me just tell you, you think that there's a George's redneck now it's way not redneck in comparison to what it was when we lived out there.

Eighty acres in my. My Papa used to to tell me to take the slop out to the pig. They had this compost. I think it's called nasty stuff. You said, Chris, why don't you like that kind of stuff? Because I've done it. Been there, done that, got the t shirt and burned it because it's nasty. That kind of stuff. You have to deal with. My Pap. I'll give me two, five gallon buckets and he'd give me a flashlight and that'd be sitting there and I. I'm to this day, there's two things that I am petrified of. I'm not talking about afraid of. I'm talking about petrified of. Okay. One of them is heights. Okay. I don't like heights. Me and heights don't get along well together. I think God created gravity so my feet can stay on the ground. I do not like high. Second thing, I can't stand our snakes. You can send a pit bull at me without a chain on it and he's going to rip my arm off and I'm not afraid of him, but you. Yeah, you take a little garter snake about that big and just be careful what happens. We're going to say, I will be swinging and I will have hatred in my heart and I will not forgive you. If you do that,

put that little flashlight in here and I still remember the age of six or seven. You're carrying it out and it's a. it's a lamp to your feet. The problem with us and want to know so much bible is what we're. What we're doing is this. We're trying to put the light on the horizon. When the Bible never promise that it would be a light for the horizon. He said, it's going to be a light to your feet. You know what it's going to tell you. It's going to tell you this is your next step. The word of God and the Holy Spirit leading you to say, this is your next step. Don't give me a 50 year plan how? By giving me your five minute process,

don't give me your 15 years or what you plan on doing. How about telling me what you're planning on doing the next five minutes it's gonna change because see, it's a lightened to our feet and we learn and as we learn, what we found out is this, and if you want to know the scriptures that are way over in that baseball field over there, you can know them. Do you know how you know you let the light illuminates your feet and you take one step and you get a little bit closer to that baseball field and before long you're over there, but you had to walk every step of the way because it's a lamp unto your feet. Yeah,

and the fat thing is we live in a day and age where we love lazy boy chairs.

Hell, we don't even realize that your shoes are made for walking. We don't even realize that your shoes are made for doing something more than what we're doing with them

is a lamp unto our feet. Where we have to know about the Holy Spirit is this, his leading is always true and you can know is leading because it's leading will always war against the flesh. I will always work in the flesh. You say, Chris, why that person doesn't deserve to be forgiven? Well good. That's the person you need to forgive.

No. Well, you didn't understand Chris. He doesn't deserve to be forgiven. No, no, I did understand because see, here's the deal. You've forgiven as you. What'd you do is you take one step and as you take a step, you're going to find it. The word of God illuminates your feet and the Holy Spirit of God sin sins. You walking forward one more step and can I beg you to fall out of love with the knowledge of Scriptures and to fall into love with the god of the scriptures and that you might walk in the path that he gives us to walk

instead of falling in love with black and white letters on a piece of paper that he meant to be correlating directly to the way we move our feet. I believe you all know me well enough to know that I spend a lot of time studying the scriptures like inordinate amounts of time studying the scriptures. I love studying to preach. I read the Scriptures, I study the scriptures. I read books about the scriptures. I read books about books, about books, about the scriptures. I love, Love, love studying the scriptures, but can I tell you that many times the biggest idol in our life has become this book we hold in our hands and the knowledge that goes to our head and it doesn't transfer into our heart and it doesn't transfer to our feet and we wonder why our lives are not different at all and I can tell you why, because we're not truly being led by the spirit of God. We're truly not being led of the spirit of God. Can I beg you to open the Bible? When you start reading the Bible and you say, Lord, show me something in your scriptures that will apply to my daily walk and helped me to follow in your footsteps because it truly matters. I'll close it, asking this question, what really matters? What really matters? If we really know what matters, would it really changed the way.

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