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How to “Walk by the Spirit”   



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     How to “Walk by the Spirit”
       Lesson 1: Introduction: The Key to Understanding This Life

Hi! I’m Breanne, and I’m Joseph, and welcome to this b4worldview Mini-Course on “how to walk by the Spirit.”

We’re glad you are taking this course. We hope for many who take this course that this may be the most useful 45 minutes you’ve ever spent.

So, let’s get into it.

In the Bible, God tells us, in several places, to “walk by the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:16 says, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Walking BY the spirit is different from living in the Spirit. In Galatians 5:25, we are told, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” So, it’s possible to be a Christian and live by the Spirit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will be WALKING by the Spirit.

So, what exactly does it mean to “WALK by the Spirit” and how do we do that?

Well, it turns out it is REALLY important, if we are going to be able to experience the abundant life on this earth that Jesus promises us.

The Bible tells us it is the opposite of “walking by the flesh.” But what does THAT mean?

In Ephesians 4 [Eph 4:22-24] we are told that it is talking about putting off the old self and putting on the new self by being renewed in the spirit of our MIND. But how are we to be “renewed in the spirit of our mind”? Well,… the mind is where thinking occurs. So,… what is that we are supposed think about? How does what the “new self” THINKS ABOUT differ from what the “old self” THINKS ABOUT? And evidently, this THINKING is influencing how we are LIVING. In other words, what we THINK does make a difference in how we live our lives. And how we live our lives has everything to do with how we go about getting the needs of our soul satisfied. That is what we want to talk about in this short mini-course. Let’s examine how we go about getting the needs of our soul satisfied, and what that has to do with what we are thinking about, …and how all this impacts how much ABUNDANCE we experience in this life.

We want to start with a thought about the STORY of the Bible. Story is important. We can divide the STORY the Bible tells us into four parts. Each part of the Bible’s story has its own separate theme and each theme relates to the others.

The first part of the story is contained in the first two chapters of Genesis. That would be part one. And the theme of part one is God is very good and speaks goodness into existence to bless us.

The second part of the Bible’s story is contained in the first seven verses of Genesis chapter three, which we will look at here in a little bit.

The fourth part of scripture, (I know I haven’t talked about the third part, yet), are the last two chapters of the book of Revelation.

And then the third part of scripture is everything BETWEEN Genesis 3:7 and the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation.

The first two chapters of Genesis talk about how God wants things to be. The last two chapters of Revelation talks about how Jesus will put things back the way God first set them up to be in the first two chapters of Genesis. So, the first part of the story and the fourth part of the story are like bookends. They are mirror images.

That second part of the story, Genesis 3:1-7, is a deep and profound explanation of why everything went wrong in this world. It is a description of the Christian’s “old self”—our fallen nature, or sometimes called our “natural self.” These seven verses contain the key to understanding what it means to walk in the flesh and they also explain why we walk in the flesh.

So, again, the Bible’s story starts out in Genesis chapter one with God providing all good things through His spoken word and it was very good. There are three things in there that we need to see. God provides, God provides good, and God provides good through His spoken word. Those are THREE KEY THEMES in Genesis chapter one.

If you thought the story was great in Genesis chapter one, in Genesis chapter two it even gets better. God defines fulfilling roles for humans and activities and status and He gives us tremendous authority. This is also all from the spoken word of God and it is also ALL good.

Then we get to part 2 of the story—the first seven verses of Genesis chapter 3. If we can understand what is in these seven verses, so many things that seem confusing and mysterious about our every day lives, all of a sudden become crystal clear; and much of what is confusing and puzzling about life just gets laid open and easy to understand— if you can understand these seven verses.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Rom 8:6)

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:7-8)

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