Pastor Curtis A. May
Go with the Flow
Sermon for March 26, 2023
Romans 8:5–6 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
The word is flesh, but the meaning is all sinful desires. Some might think that when we are talking about sinful desires, we are talking about those things we associate with sexuality. In truth all sin, sexual or otherwise stems from our desire to please ourselves in one form or another.
Not that all desires are sinful, but those that are sinful are also harmful. What is harmful is harmful to the flesh, and more so to our souls. When we live for the flesh we become weak and fall easily to the temptations of this world. And the world is quick to justify itself and justify your fall into sin and try to snatch away your spirit.
Romans 8:7–8 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
We should see this as plain as day, the world is angry and hostile toward God. The world works to turn every head away from God in its own cunning way. And the world is of the flesh, not of yours but of its own sinful desire. The world is ruled by the evil one who is trying to justify to you and everyone, that God does not exist, and the true king of this world is your sinful desires. And many are falling because we turn further and further away from God with each little white lie. We start to believe in these white lies, and we continue to die.
Many think they can go it alone and feel if they are normally good, everything will end good. This is one of those little white lies that will ruin you in the end of time. Most believe that as long as they are not hurting anyone else, they can experiment with their desires and see how far they can push the envelope. Little white lies grow and so does the danger they hide from us.
Romans 8:1–2 1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Life is like a canoe trip where friends gather to brave the river together. Some will go fast and try to miss the difficulties the river presents to them. They might end-up being entangled in a fallen tree’s branches.
If you have ever canoed, you know you might hit the one rock that juts out enough to tip your canoe over and you get wet very fast. And some think they are going to go against the flow of the river and wonder why their journey is taking too long. Their arms grow tired and the river takes over and the flow of God’s will, takes where you need to go.
Look at the river, watch and follow the flow of the water. The flow will take you to where you are going, and the water flows around the obstacles that get in the way. Truly the will of God is to save you. Rather than follow instead we think we can conquer everything on our own, and that is when we find ourselves soaked, cold, and wondering why we could not conquer.
A canoe is like a church, it takes the team work to go with the flow of God’s will. We, as a church, work together and together we reap the rewards. Of course, when you try to go against the flow of God’s will you get tangled in the fallen branches of the world, but everyone who is with you in the church will help you.
There is only one who can save us when our canoe capsizes. That person is the Holy Spirt. The Holy Spirit will use others in the church to help you turn your canoe right side up and get you back in your canoe and put you into the flow of God’s will. Jesus is the one who saves us from drowning in the rivers law, and dying in the rivers weight that wants to hold you under.
Romans 8:3–4 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Jesus came to save us from the law and from death as He is the only one who has the power and wisdom to save us. He came in our weakness of flesh to fulfill the terms of the law and pay the ransom that our sin has caught up in. We are the church; we are then the body of Christ. Together Jesus Christ, the word of God and the Holy Spirit work through us the body of Christ.
Therefore, yes, we need the church, though we the church, the body of Christ cannot save ourselves and each other. We have a savior who saves us from the cross. Our savior is Jesus Christ who died on the cross to save all who will believe and follow through the flow of faith in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:9–10 9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
We can no longer be in the flesh as Jesus Christ justified us to the Father and the Holy Spirit sanctified us to be with the Father. So, our spirit will live on and receive the new body that will be more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:11 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
We will be resurrected into a new and immortal body to live with our Lord and prosper in the joy of our Heavenly Father. This is true and this is where the flow of God’s will is taking us to all eternity.