Hi, I'm David Feddes and this message is about the spirit of life, focusing especially on  Romans eight, verses five through 13. Romans eight is a wonderful chapter of the Bible in  many ways, and it's one of the richest parts of the Bible in telling us about the Holy Spirit. But it's certainly not the first part of the Bible to talk about the Holy Spirit. Let's backtrack a bit to  the prophet Ezekiel. God's people had failed again and again to obey God's law, and it  brought punishment upon themselves. But God made a wonderful promise in Ezekiel chapter  36. He said, I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you, I will remove from you  your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit in you. So their old  dead, stony heart would be taken away, and God's own Spirit would come to live and work  within them. And so God would give them life, in their spirit, but God would also do something else. After Ezekiel 36, of course, comes Ezekiel 37. And in Ezekiel 37, the prophet has a vision  of a desert Valley, very dry, full of dry bones. And God tells the prophet to prophesy to those  bones. And when he prophesies to the bones, they start coming together. And after they  come together, then flesh and blood and skin and everything else comes on those bones. And then he prophesies to those still dead bodies, and those dead bodies come to life. Ezekiel  says, I prophesied as God commanded me and breath entered them, they came to life and  stood up on their feet of vast army. So Ezekiel sees resurrection, the house of Israel is like  those dead bones. But God is going to raise his people to life again, he'll make the nation live. But there's also that hint of what's coming in a great resurrection of all God's people the Spirit makes alive within right now. But the Spirit also gives life to dead bodies. Jesus was meeting  with a religious leader named Nicodemus. And Jesus knew very well that prophecy of Ezekiel.  And Nicodemus as a teacher of Israel should have known it too. Jesus says to Nicodemus no  one can see the kingdom of God, unless he is born again. That which is born of the flesh is  flesh. And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. And Nicodemus was very baffled by this.  And Jesus said, You're Israel's teacher. And you do not understand these things. Jesus is  referring back to that prophecy from Ezekiel, where God is going to put His Spirit in them to  replace the old, stony heart. And on Pentecost, God's Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus  in a wonderful way with a sign of a mighty rushing wind, and with flames of fire on each  forehead. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to praise God, and to be a  mighty witness for the Lord. And when people ask me what's going on, then Peter stood up,  and he preached to the people. And he preached about the Lord Jesus whom they'd crucified,  but whom God had raised from the dead. And as Peter was preaching, the power of the Holy  Spirit was very mighty among the people who were listening. And the Bible says, they were  cut to the heart, again, an echo from Ezekiel 36 of being people who receive heart surgery,  who are cut to the heart, who have the heart of stone removed from them, and have a living,  beating heart placed within them by the work of the Holy Spirit. And on that day, the Holy  Spirit brought 3000 people to faith in Him 3000 people in one day, whom he gave a new  heart, and a new spirit. So when we think of the Holy Spirit, we think of him as the sphere of  life, the life giver, the one who gives a new heart to people who desperately need heart  surgery, and who writes his law right within their hearts so that we have God's word living in  us not just a word written outside us, that we can't keep, but a living power within us by the  life of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said it is the Spirit who gives life the flesh is no help at all.  The apostle Paul wrote in the letter kills, if all you have is God's law speaking to you from the  outside, it just kills you. But the Spirit gives life. And then in Romans eight he says, the law of  the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, set me free from the law of sin and death. The Spirit is life  because of righteousness. So you see those phrases the spirit of life, the Spirit is life. And as  we look at Romans eight, we see that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of freedom, who breaks our  bondage and it liberates us to live for God. He's the spirit of life. Later on, it says that he's the spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out to God and know God as our Father who loves us. He's  the spirit of expectation, who gives us a sense of wonderful things to come for ourselves and  for all of creation. And he himself is at work doing all those things in us and in creation. He's  the spirit of prayer so that when we don't even know what we ought to pray for, even so the  Spirit is working within us and groaning for us in prayers that go beyond words. Those are  some of the wonderful things that Romans eight says about the work of the Holy Spirit. And so today we want to focus especially on the spirit of life. Romans, chapter eight, verse five says, 

those who are according to the flesh, mind, the things of the flesh, here, I'm using my own  translation, just translating very literally, for those who are according to the flesh, mind, the  things of the flesh, but those who are according to the spirit, mind, the things of the Spirit, for  the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind of 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. You, 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. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because  of righteousness. If 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  dwelling in you. In those words, we see very sharp contrast between the flesh and the spirit.  So then brothers we're debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh. For if you live  according to the flesh, you'll die. But if by the Spirit you put to death, the deeds of the body,  you will live the spirit of life. What is the flesh? It's not just our bodies? It is humanity, apart  from God, humanity on our own, doing our own thing. What's it like to be in the flesh? Well, it  is to be dead. The fleshly mind has a fleshly focus, those who are of the flesh mind the things  of the flesh, you think about fleshly things, things that don't have God involved in them. And  that fleshly mind is death. It's cut off from God from the source of life. In fact, that fleshly  mind isn't just without God, it's against God. It hates God, it's hostile to God, it's allergic to  God. And so that fleshly self, and that fleshly mind just can't submit to God's law. It doesn't  want to that fleshly self cannot please God because it is the self without God, without his life,  without his mind without his power. It's a life, rather not a life, it's a death, but it's an  existence without Christ, without the Spirit, and those who are in the flesh are dead, and  headed for eternal death. Unless God intervenes, and thank God by His Spirit, He does. What  is it to be alive in the spirit? Well, the spirit's mind has the spirit's focus. The Spirit directs our  focus to the Lord Jesus Christ, who he is how wonderful he is. directs our focus to God, directs  our focus to what God has done for us in Jesus, in living a perfect life among us, in revealing  who God is in human nature, in dying for us and rising again, in ascending again to heaven  and the spirit lifts our minds to where Christ is right now at the right hand of God. So, a  spiritual mind, the mind of the Spirit has the spirits focus, and that mind and the Spirit is life.  You come alive, because the Spirit is in you and his mind is in you, and you're at peace. What  are the fruit of the Spirit is peace, love, joy, peace and all the rest of peace is a major fruit of  the Spirit and Paul said the spirit's mind is life and peace. The Spirit is God's Life inside you.  And that's a life that can't be taken away. That's a life that can't ever perish. It can't be  stuffed out, it can't stop because it's the life of God. And you have that life within you even  now you already have eternal life, which is not just life that goes on forever and ever and  ever, although it does, but also is the very life of God. So it's a length of life, but also a quality of life. And you have that life of God that life of the Spirit inside you right now, if you belong to Jesus Christ. And not only that, but the Spirit will also give life to your mortal body, through  His Spirit who lives in you. That's what Romans eight says he will raise our bodies to life. And  so the upshot of that if you're alive in the Spirit, and if you're headed for a resurrection body  made perfect for eternal life, well, then, by the spirit right now, kill the deeds of the flesh or  the deeds of the body, and you'll live. You have abundant life now, and you have resurrection  life forever. That's what it means when the Bible says, the law, the Spirit of Life set me free  from the law of sin and death, that we have life and peace in the Holy Spirit right now in the  Spirit, in fact, his life. The Apostle writes elsewhere about what it's like to be dead in sin, and  especially to be dead in our minds. And in our thinking. He says, No one comprehends the  thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God. The natural person does not accept the things of  the Spirit of God for their folly to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they  are spiritually discerned. So in a sense, we're literally dead heads, our heads, our minds are  just dead to God unless we have the Spirit of God to tell us and to show us what God is  thinking. He goes on to say in that same passage, I Corinthians two, no eye has seen no ears  heard no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has  revealed it to us by His Spirit. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who  is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. We have the mind of 

Christ, the mind of Christ, that's what it is to have the mind of the spirit, you have the mind of Jesus, at work right inside your own mind. And so the Apostle says something similar in  Romans chapter, he says, Those in accord with the spirit mind, the things of the Spirit, the  mind of the Spirit is life and peace. And a little later in the chapter, he says, Those who are  led by the Spirit of God are sons of God, we cry out to God, Abba, Father, because it's not just  us, calling God our father, but it is the Spirit of God's son living in us, who's relating to God, as a child of God. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. And when  we're praying, it's not just us praying, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us. And when the  Spirit is in our prayer, talking to God, our Father, then the father who searches our hearts,  knows the mind of the Spirit. You see, twice that phrase, the mind of the Spirit, in Romans  eight, very similar to that phrase, we have the mind of Christ. This is an extraordinary,  amazing supernatural, just mind blowing thought that you have the mind of Jesus, the mind of the Spirit, the mind of God Himself, right, within and operating within your own mind. That's  the ultimate mind. The Bible says that Jesus knows the father's mind. The Spirit knows Jesus  mind, the Spirit knows God's mind. That's the life of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  are of one mind and Jesus the Spirit, they know the father's mind. And the Bible says, we have the mind of the Spirit, we have the mind of Christ. So in some way or another, we are tapped  into God's mind. Now that's not to say that we have unlimited knowledge, that we are  omniscient, and know all things as God does. But it does mean that in our thoughts, our  thoughts that come from God, in our mind, is the mind and spirit of the Lord Himself. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Jesus thinks his thoughts in me, Jesus speaks his words  through me. Jesus unleashes his power in me. That's what it means to have Christ in me the  hope of glory. When Jesus Spirit lives in me, then Jesus thinks and speaks and acts in me and  through me, it's not just me, but it's Jesus, acting and living through me. I think his thoughts, I speak his words, I do his deeds. These are so the implications of having Christ Himself, living  within you, the Spirit of Christ living within you. And so that has a major impact on how we  think and what we think about. Paul says in Philippians, four, verse eight, whatever is true,  whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is  admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. If the Spirit is in  you. And if you're not grieving the spirit, but are in tune with the Spirit, then you're going to  want to think about the things that God thinks about that God delights in that are true, noble,  right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praise worthy. When the Spirit of God is the Spirit of  life in you, then he's also the source of your thinking and the goal of your thinking. The mind  of the flesh is death. That's what it says in Romans eight. And there's something similar that's said in the first Psalm. Psalm one is it says that people without God, and people who don't pay attention to the word of God, the wicked are like chaff, that the wind blows away. After you've  gotten the good grain out all there is fluff and chaff left it's dead stuff worthless, it's blown  away. And that's what it's like to be wicked, and lifeless. On the other hand, Psalm one speaks of those who think about God's word, day and night. And Romans eight says, the mind of the  Spirit is life and peace. Psalm one says that the person who's thinking about God's word is like a tree planted by streams of water, it yields its fruit in season, whatever he does prospers.  Because there is the source of life, the Spirit is life, and peace. How does that work out in our  lives as the spirit lives and thinks in us? Well, the Bible calls us to mind the things of the  Spirit. And among other things that involves reading God's word everyday, the Holy Spirit  inspired the scriptures, to tell us and reveal to us, the mind of God, and the great actions of  God. So if you have the spirit in you, and you want to mind the Spirit, then you're going to pay a lot of attention to that word of God, that the Spirit inspired. And you're going to meditate on the truths and applications that the spirit impresses on you. It's not just what was written long ago as inspired by the Spirit. But what the Spirit wants to lead you in now. And you need to  chew on the scriptures, you need to meditate on what's there. And the Holy Spirit will impress upon you some wonderful promises from God, some directions from God that He has for you,  sometimes a rebuke from God, but getting you in tune with God is what you're seeking. When  you meditate, not just read the scriptures, though, that's super important. But also meditate  and chew on and think about over and over again. And then pray or have your prayer set to  music. You can sing songs in the Holy Spirit in response to the word as the spirit leads you. 

And having read and meditated and prayed and sung, then keep a record, write some insights and events in a journal as a record of the Spirit's activity in your life. Those are four elements  of minding the spirit that can be very helpful to us, when we have the life of the Holy Spirit  living in us and the mind of the Holy Spirit thinking in us. I want to look especially at  meditation, and at journaling, because those are maybe two things that aren't as common  among Christians, or maybe not as well understood. I'm not highlighting them because  they're more important than reading the Bible. And praying because reading and praying are  of utmost importance about meditation, and keeping a record are less practiced, and yet are  often very helpful in living in tune with the Holy Spirit. In meditation, you meditate on the  scripture, and as you meditate on the Bible, the spirit shows applications to life events, and  Christ enters more deeply into your life. You're reading a passage of scripture. And that  passage, let's say it's talking about the way you use the tongue and you think about your own words and you say, Boy, I remember how I've misused my mouth and my tongue or maybe  you remember a word someone spoke to you. That was very encouraging. You say, Lord, that  was a great blessing from you. And anyway as you're reading about a passage. Then some  events from your life come to mind while you're meditating, and as that happens, Jesus is  entering more deeply into your life. And so it's really important just to just pause and really  think about a scripture passage in your mind kind of circulate to what's been happening lately with you and see what the Holy Spirit might bring to you. And the meditation also kind of can  work in the opposite direction. Sometimes you meditate starting with scripture, and then  moving towards life. Other times, though you're thinking about your life, you're thinking about this, that's happened, or other things that are coming up with the way somebody has been  dealing with you, of just some emotions you've been going through, you're meditating on  your life events, and your feelings and your thoughts. And then the Holy Spirit brings Bible  truths to mind, to connect what's going on in your life with the Word of God. And when that  happens, you're entering more deeply into the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then as you're meditating, the Holy Spirit is showing your spirit, which thoughts and emotions are from  Christ himself. Because it is important to be discerning, not every thought that you have, is a  thought from Christ, even though you have the mind of Christ, not everything that's in your  mind is coming from Christ. And it's important to learn by experience, and with the help of  God's word, to discern what's not from the Lord. And what is because sometimes, you're just  going to have thoughts that are a result of your digestion, or a bad dream you had, or just  getting stuck in a rut, and they're your own thoughts. But other times, you'll have thoughts  that come from God. I'll give an example from the Bible itself of somebody who had thoughts  from God, and thoughts from Satan, within a few minutes of each other. The apostle Peter was asked by the Lord Jesus, who do you say that I am? And Peter said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, Blessed are you, Peter, because flesh and blood didn't tell  that to you, it's my Father in heaven, who revealed that to you. So we have this thought from  God that recognized Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. And then a minute later, when Jesus  spoke about going to the cross, Peter said, Lord, this will never happen to you. And what did  Jesus say, Get behind Me, Satan, for you to not have in mind the things of God, but the things  of men. So in Peters mind, one moment, there's this great thought from God. And the next  Moment it's a thought from men, or even worse, a thought from Satan himself that has to be  rebuked by Jesus. And that's just one incident that tells us that sometimes we have thoughts  that come from God, but we may also be having thoughts from other sources from ourselves  or from even the evil one himself. When you're thinking, and when you're meditating, you  may have thoughts of a great love of God, of his kindness to you in Christ Jesus, of his blood  to given for you on the cross. And those thoughts are coming from God. You may have  thoughts about yourself as being treasured by God. And that's a thought from God. But you  may also have other thoughts, you can get really suspicious, say of your spouse, that they  don't really care about you or love you. You may wonder what was going on with your parents  and why they treated you this way. And you have very negative emotions. I'm a loser. I'm a  nobody. I am worthless, there is no point in my life, there is no purpose. And those thoughts  might be there, but those are not thoughts that are coming from God. Those are not thoughts  that are coming from the Spirit, the Spirit is life, and peace. And so something that comes 

with death and negativity, that comes only with trouble, and not with peace is not coming  from the Lord. Now, sometimes the Spirit does convict us of sin, and that sometimes hurts,  but it's very different, to be convicted of a particular sin, and may and to be shown how God  wants you to change that can be a wonderful thing, even though it hurts. But that's very  different from being simply given the sense that you're worthless, that you, your life is  pointless, that God doesn't care about you, because those are simply lies from the evil one.  Meditating involves listening to what God says in His Word, listening to your life, and how the  Bible relates to that. But then also sorting through and having the Holy Spirit help you discern which of your thoughts are coming from Jesus and from the Father, and which of your  thoughts are coming from other sources. So meditation is extremely important because you  do have the mind of Christ, you do have thoughts that come from Christ. And so don't grieve  the Holy Spirit or quench the Holy Spirit by ignoring that fact. By behaving as though your  thoughts are just your thoughts. Because you have within you the mind of Christ, you have  any thoughts that are coming from so be seeking them and paying attention to them?  Frederick Buechner says that part of listening to the Spirit is also just listening to your life. If  God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church,  and I think that he speaks to us largely through what happens to us, if we keep our hearts and minds open, as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all  deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt that however faintly, we may hear him, he is indeed speaking to us. And that however little we may understand of  it, his word to each of us is both recoverable and precious, beyond telling. God gave you your  life, for a reason. And his purposes are revealed through the events and experiences of your  life. And it's not always obvious what his purposes are. But pay attention, listen to your life.  And listen, with the awareness that you have the mind of Christ, the mind of the Spirit, right  now and the life of the Spirit. And you want to be paying attention to it, and saying, God, what have you been showing me through what's been happening recently, sometimes your mind  may go back even further. And you may be thinking about some negative events. But you're  thinking about them in light of the scripture that says, in all things, God works for the good of  those who love Him. And so now you're saying to Yourself, Lord, what good? Do you want to  bring out of those negative things that happened. Or you may be thinking about wonderful  and positive things, and be filled with gratitude for the blessings that God poured out on you.  But the point is, don't waste your life. Don't live a whole life, without paying attention to it.  Without thinking about the events and the occasions, and the experiences that happened by  God's appointment. Listen to your life, that's part of meditation. And then journaling, writing  down whether in a diary or on paper, or tapping it into an electronic device, like a computer or a tablet, but but kind of keeping a record sometimes. Why would you do that? Well, here are  some reasons. One is to just track God's activity in your life. You know what life is like, you  can go from one thing to another to another, and, and you're not paying much attention, or  even if something really struck you, and it impressed you. If you don't write it down, it may  just slip right out of your mind. But when you write it down, and look back at it later than you  see things that God's been doing, you see how God answers your prayers, when you're  praying about something for a while, write it down? And then later on reflect? How did God  answer? Did he give it exactly as I asked for it? Did he say no? Did he answer but in a way  more wonderful or more surprising than what I was asking about? Journaling helps you to  keep track of what you've been praying about? And then seeing? How did God answer that  prayer? Another benefit of journaling is as you're meditating, as you're thinking about your  life, about God's word, and its impact on your life and the Holy Spirit's direction for you. You  say, Lord, what are your purposes? What are your goals, and write down some things that  you're shooting for, that you're aiming for? And then go back and look at it and evaluate your  progress. I found that very helpful for me, for my own personal growth, for what I need to do  in relation to my wife and my children and grandchildren, for what I need to do in my ministry, to the church, or in my teaching ministry, to people in different parts of the world to think  about what needs doing, what do I need to work on? What are my aims and goals, and then  look at what those goals have either been fulfilled or not yet fulfilled, but it's a way of  tracking, it's important to just be realistic and know yourself. I have to admit that if you were 

to read my journals, some would be boring, because I write down some of the same old, same old sometimes over the years where, okay, I need to pay less attention to the news, and  spend more time with the Lord. And then I look at my journal a month or two later, need to  pay less attention to the news, and more attention to the Lord. There are certain things just  kind of keep going around and around and sometimes you make progress. Sometimes you'll  make less progress than you want, but at least you're getting realistic. And getting to know  what some of your tendencies are, and then start identifying how the Holy Spirit wants to  mold those tendencies in a different direction. It Helps keep your mind focused in meditation.  Sometimes the mind drifts. But when you're writing things down, it helps you to focus a bit  more on what you're really thinking about what God is really showing to you. Sometimes  Writing makes things clearer. It seems kind of murky or foggy, but then you start writing it  down. And sometimes things sharpen up and some insights come to you, and you get it in a,  in a much clearer form than if you didn't write. And of course, it just helps to remember. And  by the way, it also helps to support other spiritual disciplines your Bible reading, your prayer  life, your fasting, other disciplines that you may be pursuing. If you just write down in your  journal, what you've been reading or what you've been praying about, it helps you to read  more, and to pray more. So those are some of the benefits of journaling of living a life in the  Spirit. Sometimes we think of having a spirit of life and life in the Spirit as being just totally  spontaneous, and going with. However, the spirit moves me as the phrase sometimes goes.  But the spirit is not just a spirit of what's spontaneous he's also a spirit of, of order, and of  discipline. And so if you can just have the best combination of both that life and spontaneity  in the spirit, but also that order and discipline of the Spirit, then you can really grow in the  Lord and in the life of the Spirit. So again, set your mind on the spirit read Spirit inspired  scripture daily. Meditate on the truths and applications that the spirit impresses on you. Pray,  sing in response to the word as the Spirit leads you worship God, thank him. Let your heart  pour out in prayer, thank him for his love, as his spirit shows you that you're a child of God,  beloved of Him, and write things down. Write some events and insights in a journal as a  record of the spirits activity in your life. When you have the life of the Spirit, and the mind of  the Spirit, then walk in the way of the spirit. The Apostle says in another passage, Galatians  chapter six, do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one  who sows to his flesh from the flesh will reap destruction. The one who sows to the spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. The Spirit of Life is the one who gives eternal life and you reap  a harvest of eternal life. When the Holy Spirit is the source of your energies is the source of  your life is the one who's directing your paths. And so put to death. the deeds of the flesh, live by the Spirit, walk by the Spirit, and then you truly will experience what it is to live as a child  of God with his very life inside of you.

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