Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Christian’s Obligation for Resistance, Part 4

In this sermon Pastor Babij teaches on the several responsibilities that pertain to learning Christ and the several results produced when a Christian is led by God’s truth and not his feelings.

Full Transcript:

In 1 Peter 5:9, I’m really fleshing out the ways to resist the enemy. I went through the book of 1st Peter, and now we are at the end of it and we’re looking at how to resist the enemy. I’m going to be more in Ephesians 4:20, but first, let’s read 1 Peter 5:

But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Then, in Ephesians 4:17-24, it says:

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Let’s pray:

Father, as we look at the word of God and as we consider being in this world, it’s current thoughts, philosophies, ideologies, the flesh, and enemy that we war against, I pray that You would enable us to understand what it means to resist him and stand up against him. Lord, I know that Your word is sufficient to give us ways to do that. There are more than five, but I pray, Lord, that we would consider them very seriously and implement them in the practice of our everyday life. That we may follow what James says and resist the enemy, so that he may will flee from you. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.

As I’ve been saying, there has been exhortations that Peter has given in this epistle such as the exhortation of humility, vigilance, and resistance. Now, we have been considering ways to resist the enemy. As I thought about it, I was up to five ways, but now I’m up to eight ways, and I will probably do those too. The word of God gives us an ample number of things to put on His armor, so we can stand up against the enemy.

So far, we have looked at the first one and that was to resist him in the faith. In other words, God has given believers the detection system, and that detection system is the very word of God delivered to the saints and the church. That alarm system is the faith where we have a personal confidence in God and His word to be able to use against the enemy when he flings his lies and deceptions toward us and our life.

Truly, as Christians learn the truth, they become strong in the faith and they’re able to detect with the light of Scripture the very dark mixtures of lies and truth that Satan mixes together. He’s a master twister of the word of God, and we can know when he’s actually working.

A second way we resist the enemy is by discerning our own strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies to sin, and fighting against them with the word of God. In other words, we know what our patterns of sin are, we recognize our particular bends towards one way of sinning, and we take care of that. We recognize what they are, and we put them aside. Then, we also detect other people’s patterns of sin, so we can come alongside of them to empathize with their struggles using the word of God. We are to do so in a very gracious and non-judgmental.

Thus, a believer who grows in their knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ become more self-aware. They become aware of a lot of things. When we’re Christian’s the light poles get turned on about everything, and we can see way more clearly as we learn the word of God on what to do to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. As a result, we begin to struggle with our own sin in order to lay it aside and replace it with righteous behavior.

Thirdly, we resist the antagonist by maintaining a sanctified imagination. Specifically, imagination is important to control because it’s either going to be the playground of good or evil. Remember, the ability to imagine has been a God-given gift to us, but if the imagination becomes filthy or soiled by what we’re putting into it by allowing our mind to think of it, then it becomes a place where it just breeds other kinds of sins, and not only sexual sin begins with imagination.

Therefore, we need to feed the imagination with the word of God, and the word of God tells us that the Lord guards are heart and our mind in Christ Jesus. As we allow Him to set up sentinels and post armed guards before our mind, our emotions, passions, will, and not allowing things to enter in that is going to drop our peace and soul, which comes when we learn to have a sanctified imagination. In other words, we evaluate what we’re thinking about, how long we think about it, and what are the things that are driving our thoughts, and we’re able to evaluate them with the word of God.

In continuation, the next one is that of resisting the adversary by putting off sin and putting on righteousness. According to Ephesians 4, Christians are different from those in the world because Christians are being conformed to the image and likeness of God. This transformation shows that new life has been implanted in the heart of a born-again believer, who now belongs to a new family. They live in a new Kingdom, and, of course, they have a new Master and a new Father.

As Christians, we are different, and we know it. Once we believe in Jesus Christ, we sense the change, and unbelievers know it too. Now, we go into our families, our workplace, and we’re talking about the Lord, were talking about the Bible, were talking about what we’re learning, and it’s like a foreign language to them. Unless some of our friends and families are believers themselves, they don’t get that. Thus, we’re different and unbelievers detect that were different.

Then, they watch us and soon as we do something wrong they are pointing it out. Rightfully so, they ought to be doing that, o then we know that learning Christ is the key to the Christian Life. That is the ever-growing knowledge of Jesus Christ, which includes being done with our old way of life.

When we become believers, we have actually a new responsibility because we have a new life. We are to put on and we’re to grow in this new responsibility. There are three terms that show us what we are to do as believers, who have met Christ, who have received Christ, and who are now learning Christ every single day of their lives. Meaning, that we are to first put off our old way of life. Ephesians 4:22 says:

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

Here, the verb to put off means to make a definite concluding action concerning your old manor of life once and for all. The way you used to do things, the way you used to say things, the way you used to respond to people, the way you used to think, the way you used to plan, the way you used to even buy things, and all those former manners of life needs to be re-evaluated, as a believer, and laid aside, stripped off, and done with. In other words, at once and for good. The idea is to throw in from you as fast and as far as you can, and to put off your former way of life, your past conduct, and past behavior. That old man and unregenerate self needs to be done with.

The Bible tells us that we are enabled by God to perform this action. The Bible never asks us, tells us, or commands us to do something we’re unable to do. We are actually able to do it because now we’re in God’s family. We have God’s spirit and word to actually do what the Bible says. In our text, it is giving the sense of urgency, so we are to do it with urgency.

In Ephesians 4:22, it gives us the reason for the urgency. First, it’s because of the corruption presently taking place in the old nature. Meaning, that there is an ongoing process of decay going on. The old, former self was not only corrupt, but ever growing more and more corrupt. The old nature behavior is putrid, crumbling, and like rotting garbage. It’s like stinking cadavers.

If you have ever been around anything that has been dead for a few days, that the smell is so distinct that you know it’s a dead body. Recently, Dwayne Muller and I had to discard of a raccoon that we found. When we found the racoon, it was already hard. The reason why we found it was because we smelled something, so we looked everywhere to find it, we finally found it, and it was a big raccoon which such a distinct smell that you could not stand there and smell it too long. I couldn’t wait to get fresh air. We cleaned it out and I doused it with Clorox a couple of times just to get the smell out. Dead things do not have a pleasant smell.

The point being that you have to look at your old manor of life like that. You have to look at it as it stinks like rotting garbage and dead bodies. Why would I want to drag that around with me? You can’t drag that into the new life. If you drag it into the new life, then most people will say that nothing has changed in your life. Nothing has changed, and that corruption is still there and present in our lives. Also, in Ephesians 4:22 it says:

… being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.

There is still this destruction presently working in the old man, which is this strong deceitful lost that you are still there. Even as a believer, you know temptation is powerful when it is presented to you. Well, that is not your new nature responding, but your old corruption that still remaining in you. However, we can overcome it more and more as we are heading for Glory.

When Satan dangles his temptations before you and me, we feel the power of that temptation, and we get tempted in our affections and our desires to go that way. Sometimes, we do it and Satan wants to try to trip you up, so you don’t think about it first. He goes right for the desires and the affections first. After you commit sin, is when you say:

I should of thought of it. I knew the Scripture. I knew the principles that God wanted me to put into practice. I did not think about it and evaluated first before I gave into that bait on the hook, took it, and was hooked. I didn’t resist the enemy when temptation came.

The persons old nature with its lust is their own executioner bringing them closer and closer to eternal death. If someone is not a believer, that corruption and destruction are in separately connected. In Ephesians 1:19-20, we’re exhorted to throw off this strong, corrupting desire, this old nature, and all the vanities and devices of the Pagan world:

and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.

The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is given to Believers to overcome their sin. We can we have resurrection power provided to us because of our Union with Jesus Christ. Because of the spirit of God that dwells us, we have the power to say no to any temptation whether it comes from the world, from our own remaining corruption, or directly from a demon.

We are reminded what a Christian is already supposed to know. We’re supposed to know that as we live our lives. Thus, Christians are first to put off the old way of life by throwing off the strong corrupting desires of the old nature and by exercising the power already at work in them as a believer. If you take off dirty clothes, then you go take a shower, when you come back, you don’t put on your dirty clothes. I’ve never heard people doing that.

If we put off our sin, we’re cleanse by the blood of Christ. Why would we want to go back and put on our sin garments? The Scripture is showing us that we don’t have to live that way anymore, and we’re going to be tempted to go back to the old ways. However, the Bible is telling us that we are not to do that and get rid of that stuff and put it aside.

Secondly, Christians are to go on being renewed in the Christ-like way of thinking. Ephesians 4:23 says:

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Meaning, the believer’s whole life is to be evidence of a constant interchange of their thinking, outlook, and behavior. There’s got to be evidence that this resurrection power is working in your life by the changes that are taking place on You by God himself as you cooperate with the holy spirit of God. Then, Ephesians 4:24 says:

and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Thirdly, we are to keep putting on the new way of living. As we think of that, we could see that there’s no vacuum left for a believer. When you put off the old, you take on the new and you put that on. If you’re sinning in a certain way such as hate, then you put off the hate, repent of that sin, and put on the opposite righteous behave of hate, which is a loving spirit and you esteem others higher than yourself. By putting on that forgiveness, gentleness of spirit, and patience that comes from the holy spirit of God, it will keep off that old stinky dirty garment of hate.

The true Christian is constantly being renewed in the image of His creator and after the likeness of God. Part of the image of God’s righteousness and holiness is going to be manifested in our life. It’s a communicable attribute of God. God is righteous, believers, in Christ, can be righteous. God is a God of truth, believers, in Christ, can be people of truth. It all goes together because we have the power given to us by God.

When one comes to Jesus Christ, a transformation starts and continues to take place until the day the Christian steps through the door of death into glory. Then, we drop off these bodies and we step into the presence of God, which is going to be a very good day. Death is defeated in Christ, so that’s the hope of the believer.

Putting off the old way of life includes living in the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 5:18 says:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit

Again, Ephesians 1:23 says:

which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Then, in Ephesians 3:19, it says:

and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

The fullness of Christ is actually something very practical. It comes when someone has realized what God has done for them in Christ Jesus. With this understanding, they no longer belong to themselves. Their new purpose in the world is to show the world that the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered them from sin by His work on the cross and that they have been made Holy and God is preparing them for heaven.

From the word of God, the progression is given by the Apostle Paul in Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:16-19:

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Being filled up with the fullness of God is connected to being filled with the Spirit and the Word. If Christ is in me and in you, then all the fullness of God is in me and you, which is the quality of God’s life that is in me and you.

A believer is different because of the very life of God in their soul. Then, we must stop thinking in terms of quantity. Rather, we must think in terms of quality. It is the quality of God’s life that is in the believer. The qualities of the communicable attributes of God are given to believers to communicate to the world that they are different because of their union with Christ. What are some of those communicable attribute’s believers are to communicate in their life?

The holiness of God, righteousness of God, justice of God, goodness of God, love of God, mercy of God, compassion of God, loving kindness of God, long-suffering of God, and faithfulness of God are all attributes of God that we can actually live out in our life. Now, how does that look practically? What is true of the believer who knows what it is to be filled up with the fullness of God? What does it mean to be filled up with the fullness of God?

First, it means that God dwells in us in such a way as to control us. Lord controls are thinking and our feelings. If you have the right theology, it’s going to also control your feelings. In other words, it’s not my feelings that lead me. Rather, it is truth that leads me. When I’m led by truth, then truth has a way of organizing my affections, and puts them in the right place.

Today, people are pretty much led by their feelings. If we have truth, then our thinking is going to be dominated by God. The great difference between a Christian’s mind and a non-Christian’s mind is that the non-christian’s mind is controlled by the world, its current thoughts, by their flesh, and also by Satan. The Bible says he is the God of this world, so behind the scenes, he is pulling the strings.

Whatever is going on in Washington is not just human and foolishness, but Satan’s behind the whole thing because he wants to not only take down the church, but the nations as well. However, they’re too blind to the fact that there’s anything Spiritual. In fact, if God is thrown out of our country or from the governmental level, then all they are doing is making decisions based on their own desires, affections, passions, what the what the world says, and how the world is pressing them.

Thus, we have all this confusion in our political system because truth is not there anymore. God is not the standard anymore. The Ten Commandments have been thrown out. Well, what do you think? There’s no way to guide your behavior or your thinking. You’re on your own and when we are on our own, we are always on the road to destruction. Unless Christ intervenes and becomes your Lord and Savior, you can never recover from that.

Thus, the Christian mind is a mind that has been transformed and is being renewed by the Holy Spirit. The whole mode and method of our thinking since we become believers has changed. Before I became a Christian, somebody gave me a Bible. I didn’t have a Bible, so they told me to take it and read the Gospel of John. I was going to the Marine Corps, but he told me when I had time, to read, so I never forgot what he said.

I brought the Bible with me. I got my first duty station and I was free to read the Bible, so I had my Bible on my bunk and I’m reading it, and this guy asked me what I was reading. I told him I was reading the Gospel of John, and he replied, "Oh, you’re born again." I said, "What’s that? I’m a Christian." Because he was a believer, he knew right away that I didn’t know. I didn’t know where I was at spiritually, so I could not understand the Gospel of John. I tried to read it, and then he says, "You know, I want you to come with me to a Bible study."

I went with him to a Bible study, and I go into this room filled with Sailors and I’m the only Marine in there so it’s like oil and water. There were no seats, so I went to the bookshelf in the back. It just so happened that I made eye contact with the preacher. I’m hearing him preach the word of God as reading my Bible, and He is giving the Gospel. I’m thinking to myself, "you know what, I never asked Christ to save me."

I’ve never repented of my sin of unbelief and believe in Jesus Christ. I’ve never done that it’s all about what I was trying to do to work my way to heaven. That day I trusted in Christ as my Lord and Savior, which was on July 25, 1977.

I trusted Christ on that day, and what blew me away the most was when I picked up the Gospel of John, read it, and understood it. I went from darkness to light. I could not believe it. I read John 3 about being a born-again and I understood what he meant by that. I was so psyched that the word of God became alive to me. Everything exploded in my life. The whole world exploded. When I became a believer, it never changed, and it has never been different. My desire and love for the word of God has not waned but increased.

That day, I knew this was different than what I ever experienced. I didn’t have any kind of shining light bolt and there were no earthquakes, but I could understand the Bible because the spirit of God came into me. I didn’t understand that point. The thing with the military is that there’s nowhere else to go, so when I had my free time, every day I studied the Bible with other believers. Every day for seven months, we studied the Bible.

After seven months, I came back come back to the United States on December 25th, I got baptized in, Florida. I only did it because I saw it in the Bible. All the believers are showing me in the Bible what I needed to do. Then, the Lord just keeps feeding you and expanding your knowledge and giving you confidence in what He has done in Salvation. What Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross and your whole life is different. Your hope is is alive your future is secure. See, that’s what a Believer is, this is not a whole-hum existence. This is real life. Just like it says in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16,

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

There’s the difference right there. What does it meant to be filled up with the fullness of God? Our thinking is dominated by God and His word. Secondly, our emotions are brought under control. When God controls our heart, we have ceased to be governed by ourselves. It’s not about ourselves anymore. When the love of self goes out, the love of God comes in.

Then, our actions are brought under control. If you do have the mind of Christ, will you not be different in all respects? Will you not think differently? If you have the mind of Christ, will you not speak differently? If you have the mind of Christ, will you not act differently? If you have the mind of Christ, we will be different in every way such as in our emotions, actions, thinking, and behavior. We will be different because the fullness of God dwells in us by His spirit.

Also, it means to be filled up with the fullness of God. Number two, it means that God dwells in us in such a way as to give us a desire to know Him. John 17:3 says:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The desire to know Him is in us. We want to know more of our Christ, our Lord Thirdly, it means that God dwells in us in such a way as to increasingly conform us to the pattern of the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control;

We comprehensively are being made like Christ in all those areas all at one time. I don’t know how that happens, but the Lord does it. Lastly, it means that God dwells in us in such a way as to satisfy us completely. Jesus says in John 4:13-14:

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

In other words, God satisfies the rumblings of our souls. He satisfies the longings of our souls. We don’t know what the long for, and that’s why people long for things that sometimes even destroy them just to get some kind of some kind of fulfillment in this life. The he Bible says if you come to Christ, Christ will satisfy you completely.

A true Christian is definitely someone who is completely satisfied. The Lord has been so good to me, and He has so blessed me in the Spiritual realm that I can do nothing else but give Him glory and honor and I am satisfied. I don’t want anything else. That’s what it means. I don’t want any other thing except Christ because He’s the one who allows me to not thirst for anything else.

However, if you and I are filled up with the fullness of Christ. There are going to be results to that and what are the results. Ephesians 5:19-21 says:

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

As a result, the fullness of God in my life are results I can actually see. The first result would be that we have joy. As our life becomes more like Christ, we find ourselves constantly repeating and rejoicing over the truth of Scripture and we end up singing and whistling songs because we have songs in our heart, which captures Biblical concepts. We sing hymns because the hymns were written to capture Biblical Concepts. We’re not just reading the word, but we’re hearing the word sung.

Meaning, the object and the focus of a Spirit-filled person is the Lord, not themselves, not their problems, but the Lord. They are occupied with spiritual things and meditating upon the enjoyment of them. In other words, they have joy. They have real joy on the inside, and they express this joy outwardly in the fellowship with the family of believers and with their brethren.

When the focus of a believer’s heart is the Lord, then Christian joy is presents. In the spiritual fellowship, we address one another not with worldly chatter, but in Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs. Here, the word speaks in classical Greek means to chirp or to babble like a small child. Here, the imperative command is to talk or converse with, and implied it is the purity and the joyful simplicity in which the Spirit-filled believer converses with others about their Lord.

Songs are very powerful. The whole book of Psalms are songs written by David and others. Psalm 95:1-2 says:

O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Then, it goes on to list some of the great things God had done in that passage of Scripture. It always sings about the nature and the work of God, and that comes from inside of us because what we understand what the Lord has done. Hymns are songs of praise and some hymns are usually directed at the redemptive work of Christ.

In Acts 16:25-32, Paul and Silas were praying in prison and singing. When they got done singing, there was an earthquake. The soldier who was guarding them was going to take his sword out and thrust it through his belly. In the Roman culture, if you let the prisoners go free under your guard, you’re going to die, and Paul cries out to him in a loud voice:

But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.

In this Incredible situation where they’re in prison, they’re singing hymns of praise, and as they’re singing hymns of praise, God is using that to speak the Gospel to this jailer. This was something that they could not do, but God did, and they had joy in their heart.

Theologians say that spiritual songs are directed at the Holy Spirit of God or things pertaining to the spirit. Revelation 15:3-4 says:

and they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! 4“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED.”

In other words, Moses was a deliverer, the Lamb of God was the deliverer, so that’s where the songs of praise come out from. Thus, Spirit-filled Believers joyfully converse with others exhorting them to worship their Lord and practice a Christ conscious life. All music originates in the heart. When a person is at peace with God, they know it because of the Blood of the Lamb.

Thus, the heart of that person indicates not so much the place as the manor and the attitude in which they are singing. They know what they’re singing about, and they willfully want to do that from their heart. They bring honor and Joy to the Lord. One Christian Pastor said:

The definition of Christian joy is an emotion springing from a deep-down confidence that God is in perfect control of everything. In fact, there is no event or circumstance that can occur in the life of a Christian that should diminish that Christian’s joy except for sin.

The thing that robs you of your joy is your remaining sin that you have not put off, so go back, put that sin off, and the joy will return to you. When David sinned, he prayed to God to restore the joy of His salvation. Believe me, when you don’t have joy as a believer, you know it. You’re restless, all kinds of stuff going on inside of you, you’re getting knocked from pillar-to-post spiritually, and you are not peaceful inside.

Therefore, you have to look for your sin, find out where it is, confess, repent of it, put it off, put on righteousness, and go on with your Christian life. We know from 1 John the Lord is faithful. When we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Secondly, in Ephesians, another evidence is gratitude. Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you thankful? Are you joyful today because of what Christ has done? Rather than being discontented with what you have, Christian’s find pleasure in what God has given them. However meager it may be as far as the world standards or your neighbours, I’m thankful for the humble abode to live in, the jalopy that I drive around, the occupation that God gave me, or the family that I have with all the dysfunction.

Every family is dysfunctional because we’re sinners. We are living in the dysfunctional world. You’re born dysfunctional. You can’t get away from it, but God can change all that, and gratitude is is something that is very much needed in the world, in our families, and especially in the church.

There are few times and few circumstances in which we do not give thanks. In fact, the Spirit-filled believer has a thankful character about them. They’re always thanking the Lord and the Father for all things.

For instance, at the men’s conference, the men I never met were just thanking the Lord for this, for that, for the day, the messages, the singing, and the fellowship with each other. They were just thankful.

It is true that a grateful person is a Godly person. That godliness and gratitude go hand-in-hand. In our text, it communicates that thankfulness is the preeminent sign of being filled with the spirit of God. You cannot be grumbling and complaining and be walking in the spirit. Sorry, but it doesn’t happen. Thankfulness is the characteristic the spirit of God produces in us. Ephesians 5:20 says:

always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

I’m thankful to the Lord for what He has given me. Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:21:

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks…

People in the world do not recognize the common grace that God gives them every day. Just to wake up and have life is the goodness of God. Some people, who do recognize that there is a Creator may get up and thank God for the beautiful creation. Hopefully, that unknown God that they worship in their heart will become known by Scripture, and that they may be led to believe in Jesus Christ, who is the creator and believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.

It’s tragic but true that there is little thankfulness in the world, and sometimes often in the church. However, people of the spirit are characterized by constant thankfulness. Because the spiritual believer is rooted in Jesus Christ, they grow and abound in thankfulness. Colossians 2:7 says:

having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Meaning, you could never be thankful enough. Overflowing means you have a glass and it just keeps coming out the top. That’s how we’re to grow in gratitude and thankfulness. In other words, we become exceedingly rich in our thankfulness to God. We become outstanding. It actually could mean here that you become an expert in thankfulness.

Is it easy to be around people were thankful? Yes; it is easy to be around people who are joyful.

Yes. It’s easy to be around people who are joyful. In fact, a lot of things get done because of those attitudes. They think: this is what God wants us to do, so let’s do it with joy, let’s do with thankfulness, and let’s get it done. Let’s get the Gospel to people who have not yet heard it. Let’s get it done.

We need more people who personified such gratitude, especially in these difficult days we live. Paul told Timothy when he was going to pastor this church of Ephesus that in the last days difficult times would come since men will be ungrateful. We live in a world where ungratefulness smacks us in the face.

Lastly, it leads to harmonious relationships. Ephesians 5:21 says:

and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Simple, it means that when we’re at peace with the Lord, when we have the joy of the Holy Spirit in us, and the the gratitude and thankfulness that’s produced by the Spirit in us, then we get along with people, especially since it is not about us, but about them. It’s about our Lord.

We get along with people because we are not insisting on our way. It does not bother us if something doesn’t get done exactly the way we want. For a spiritual believer, unity is essential in dealing with people. Spirit-filled Believers are subject to others, and they have reverence for the Lord.

The reason why they strive for a harmonious relationship is that they genuinely have reference for God, love for God, joy for what God has done, and thankfulness for what God has done. They reverence God to the point that they do care very deeply about what God says about everything and they’re willing to submit to the teaching of the word of God, His authority, and their Godly fear encompasses both terror because He is God, but it also includes reverence.

He is a holy God, and that brings me to submit to Him because He’s a good God and give Him all in my worship because He’s an almighty God, who has done great things.

In this fourth way, we resist the devil when we put off sin, and put on righteousness because it leads to walking in the Spirit and manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit and the fullness of God in our life. The practical end of this theology is that we can actually see it. Amen. Let’s pray:

Lord, thank You for your kindness to us in teaching us the word of God. If we did not know these things, we could not know what to look for, and we would not know what to do. Lord, You have given us these things and You’ve taught us from the word of God. Lord, I pray as we go our way, that we would think deeply and long about them. I pray, Lord, that we would implement them in our life. If there is something that’s robbed our joy, something that has causes us not to be thankful, causes us not to want to keep the unity in harmonious relationships, then I pray, Lord, You would point it out to us. Point out our sin. Allow us to see it, to put it off, put on righteousness, confess it before You, and go on to live and grow in Christ-likeness. I pray this in Your name, Amen.