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The Two Categories

socialmedia@cityrise.org May 10, 2021 sermons, church, cityrise, Good News, houston, Roger Patterson, romans, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Roger Patterson on Sunday May 9, at our West U Baptist Church campus. To view the sermon in full, please visit our YouTubpage.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Moms have a way with words, don’t they?  Words like…

“Don’t eat that cookie now and spoil your dinner!”

Or… Make sure you use soap in the shower.

Or… If you don’t shut your mouth, I’ll shut it for you.

Or how about this one? It’s my favorite.

“Boy, I brought you into this world, and I can certainly…”

Moms just have a way with words, don’t they?

What statement or sayings is your mom known for?

Julee’s mom Brenda, is here today, and she is known for sayings like:

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

Another one is:

Be sure your sins will find you out.

My mom didn’t have too many “go to” sayings.  Well, maybe this one…

“Get Dressed for Church!”

But she continually spoke into our lives as her four children grew up under her roof.

I was talking to my friend and yard man, Greg, the other day, and we were talking about life and all sorts of things. Greg and I do this every so often. I come outside, hand him a check and we start talking, trying to fix the world’s problems.

Well, this past Tuesday, Greg and I were chatting. Inevitably, as I have noticed this through the years, Greg will talk about his mom and things she used to say to him.  She is deceased now, but he still hears her speaking.

On Tuesday, Greg said something like…

“I was doing a yard and I got to thinking about something and I could hear my mom instructing me. I could hear her words. And do you know what?  She was right. I was too young to hear it then, but she was exactly right. Now, I see it.”

Application: Mom, I want to encourage you to day to keep speaking into your children’s lives. Keep proclaiming. Keep preaching. Keep pouring into them, because it truly makes a difference.

As we read our text in Romans 8, I’m going to frame up this message to address: What Christian moms should speak into their children’s lives.

Let’s read Romans 8:5-11 and then we will see what Christian moms should speak into their children’s lives.

Romans 8:5-11

 For 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. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 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.

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. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 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 who dwells in you.

Context: Now before I share with you my outline and before we start digging in, let’s make sure we set this within its context.

Remember, Romans 8 is about the way of Liberty. It is not the way of License of Romans 6 or the way of Legalism in Romans 7. It’s a different way. It’s the way of the Spirit.

And fur us to truly walk in liberty, we must intimately know the Spirit and walk with the Holy Spirit.

So, las week, as it came down to it, I asked us to reflect on our own lives to see if we were consistently bearing the fruit of the Spirit.

Now, why is this a message that every Christian mom ought to speaking into their kids?

It’s really simple.  The Readon we ought to proclaim this over our kids is because it is the way of life and peace.

Romans 8:6b

…but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

You see, when your children leave your home and stand on their own, you want them not to choose the way of death, but the way of life and peace.

So, here’s our outline as we walk through this portion today.

The Message Every Christian Mom Should Speak into their Children…

  1. There are 2 Categories of People

…that…

  1. Have 2 Very Different Mindsets

             …which…

  1. Lead to 2 ways of Life.

 

This message along with your speaking on it will help your children know what is expected from them, how to take this path, and how to discern the type of people they surround themselves with.

So, let us dig into this first statement Christian moms should speak into their children.

I. There are 2 Categories of People

Romans 8:5

 For 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.

What are the two categories of people?

  1. Those who live according to the flesh.
  2. Those who live according to the Spirit.

In Proverbs, it’s those who take the foolish path and those who take the way of wisdom.

Jesus talked about 2 roads and gates and the broad path that everyone was on and the narrow path and gate that only a few will take.

Now, what is this way of the flesh?

The word flesh is used by Paul to refer to the whole of our humanness viewed as corrupt or unredeemed.

Quote: C.E.B. Cranfield calls it…

“…our fallen, ego-centric human nature.”

Others call this the sin-dominated self.  These are those who are in Adam.  And that’s expressed in rebellion toward God through a variety of ways. We will look at those shortly, but those who walk in the flesh are not yet followers of Jesus.

The other category of person is those who live according to the Spirit.

When Paul speaks of the Spirit he is not merely referring to our “spiritual” selves, but to the Holy Spirit who not only regenerates but also indwells the people of God.

In other words, those who live according to the Spirit aren’t people we simply describe as spiritual because they practice a religion or are new age, but it is those who are in Christ.

Now, before we move to the next part of this message that moms, and let’s include dads here too, need to share with their children, let’s stop for a minute and be really clear.

Paul’s message is to Jews and Gentiles, isn’t it?

The Jews are the chosen race, the Gentiles are the rest of the ethnic groups all combined together. This is how he began this letter, speaking to these two distinct audiences.

And this is normally how we think of people. We separate them and segregate them as white, black, Asian, Native-American, latino, etc.

But Paul did this segregation to lead these people, both Jews and Gentiles, to the same place – that they both stand condemned, are in Adam, and need a Savior.

The world around us and the world our children are growing up in is Segregating and Separating and Dividing based on race, sexuality, and politics.  And Parents, its our responsibility to be trained with a Kingdom mindset and to train our kids to have this kingdom mindset and look past skin color and politics and sexual identity to get to the core issue that Paul gets to. That issue is that there are really only 2 types or categories of people – those who live by the flesh and those who live by the Spirit—those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ—those who are lost and those who are saved.

Now, that’s not to say that being an African American, a White American, an Asian American or Native American or even Latino American is not significant or an important part of someone’s story.  But it is to say that it’s not our dominant identity, though we often embrace it as so.

You see, the most significant part of one’s identity doesn’t have to do with one’s skin color or heritage, but rather the condition of one’s soul.  That is what is most significant and essential.

And if we are going to lead our children well, our theology must inform our identity and ideology, not the other way around.

So, there are two types of people.

Let’s look at our outline again as we pour into the next generation.

The Message Every Christian Mom Should Speak into their Children…

  1. There are 2 Categories of People

…that…

  1. Have 2 Very Different Mindsets

             …which…

  1. Lead to 2 ways of Life.

 

II. …That Have 2 Very Different Mindsets

Our mindset informs our action.

Illustration: I was on a call Friday morning with a couple of guys I am discipling and one of them brought up his mindset. He has just taken a new job and his new company had him take a battery of tests. They were thorough and comprehensive. These tests last 9 hours.

He had a great IQ. He had the leadership chops of an executive in many areas.  But there was this one area: Confidence. The test showed that he doesn’t have the confidence he needs at key times.  The trainer told him that this could be because he came from a bad situation, but it may also be accurate.

This young executive said, “I’m afraid it’s accurate. My back story often creeps up and it keeps me from being confident and leading well.”

So we talked about where we set our mind. We talked about what voices we do and don’t listen to. We talked about the way of the Spirit is one of life and peace.

Listen, your mindset will ultimately inform your actions.  One of the best things that you can do is to set your mind on the Spirit so that His life and peace flows into your life and into your home. Then, one of the best things that you can do is to teach your children to set their minds on the Spirit so that His life and His peace can flow their their lives.

Notice this in Romans 8:5-8.

Romans 8:5-8

 For 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. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 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.

Notice this phrase to “set their minds on.”

The idea of “setting the mind” has to do with what preoccupies us, of what ambitions drive us, of what concerns us or engrosses us, of how we spend our time and energy, and of what we concentrate on and give ourselves up to.

And what we must both model and teach our children is that our mindset has eternal consequences. The mindset of the flesh-dominated people is already one of spiritual death and leads inevitably to eternal death, for it alienates them from God and renders fellowship with him impossible in either this world or the next.

1 Corinthians 2:14

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Our mindset concerns our FUNDAMENTAL ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD. That set on the flesh is hostile to God, cherishing a deep-seated animosity toward Him. The one that is set on the flesh is ANTAGONISTIC to His name, His kingdom, His will and His people. They oppose His Word, His Son, His Spirit and His glory.

Those who live this way cannot please him because they cannot submit to His law.

However, the mindset of Spirit-dominated people entails life and peace. These are the ones who are “alive to God,” alert to spiritual realities and who hunger and thirst for God. Additionally, people who set their minds on the Spirit seek peace with their neighbor and walk in the peace within. They do this because they have peace with God.

Notice these instructions in Colossians 3.

Colossians 3:1-3

 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Application:  What is your mindset? Is it of the flesh or of the Spirit? Things on earth or in heaven?

  • Do you talk with your children about what ambitions drive you and why you spend your time and energy on what you do?
  • Are you proud of that and happy to articulate that to them, or is that something you keep hidden?

If we are to openly teach them these things, they must also see this pursuit in our lives so that they see the integration of our faith and our actions.

The word that is used to talk about “setting the mind” has to do with this integration…how the inner perspective shows itself in corresponding outward behavior. In essence, it is personal opinion expressing itself through action.

This leads us to our third point in the outline today, because our mindset leads to our actions.

The Message Every Christian Mom Should Speak into their Children…

  1. There are 2 Categories of People

…that…

  1. Have 2 Very Different Mindsets

…which…

  1. Lead to 2 ways of Life.

III. …Which Lead to 2 ways of Life.

Here is where we can clearly see someone’s identity. Here’s is where we can model, train, and challenge our children as well.

Notice what the Scripture says of the life of the flesh and the Spirit. What are these two distinct ways of life?

Romans 8:6

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 

First, we see that the way of the flesh leads to death.

Moms and dads, you need to proclaim this clearly into your children.  They need to know the truth. The way of the flesh leads to death – literal death, eternal damnation, death of relationships, careers, marriages and the like. How you live matters and how you yoke yourself with another matters.

Galatians 6:8a

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption…

What does this look like? What does sowing to one’s own flesh entail?

Galatians 5:19-21

 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Let’s leave that slide up there for a bit.

Is there anything on this list that is represented in your life today?

Anything?

If so, then you either do not know Jesus or you are in rebellion to him. And if you sow to the flesh, from that flesh will be corruption. It’s that clear. And we must pour this into the next generation.

Then, in contrast to that, there is the way of the Spirit. It’s the way of liberty, the way of life and peace and its fruit is found verse 22-25.

I’ll show it to you again, just like I did last week.

It’s the fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 

You see, the way of life and peace involves my own death. That’s what verse 24 says. I’ve crucified the flesh and continue to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.  And then I keep in step with the Spirit.  In other words, when the Spirit speaks to me:

  • I act then.
  • I don’t delay…
  • I don’t negotiate…
  • I don’t argue or hesitate.
  • I obey.

And the desire of my heart is that these fruits would be manifest in my life: the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I want that flowing through me and I want to see that flowing through others in my life.  I want to call others up to this and invest in them in ways so that they are supported in this journey. I want that in my home. I want that fruit in my marriage. I want that fruit in my parenting. I want that fruit to be so abundant, that my children can’t argue with the fact that they saw day in and day out the fruit of walking in step with the Spirit of God.

And, oh by the way, this produces a greater hope in us as well.  It’s a hope for today even as we walk through a global pandemic. And it’s a hope for eternity.

Let me talk to you about the hope for today.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this is so important.  Did you know that those who regularly attend worship services during the COVID-19 Pandemic had the highest percentage of people declaring they had excellent mental health?

This is from December of 2020 on the website, ChristianityDaily.com. It states:

On Monday, Gallup Poll reported that the only group of Americans whose state of mental health remained the same despite the pandemic were those who attend church frequently.

As reported, Gallup’s November Health and Healthcare survey reveals that only 34 percent of Americans consider their mental health as “excellent.” This is the lowest reported number since the survey was first conducted in 2001.

Of those who frequent church services weekly, however, 46 percent describe their mental health for the year as “excellent.” This number is 4 points higher than 42 percent who reported having “excellent” mental health last year. This is particularly significant, especially considering the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

The current result presents the highest number of Americans who rate themselves with excellent mental health compared to the 35 percent who only attend religious services nearly weekly/monthly and the 29 percent who seldom/never attend church.

Once again, my friends, our moms were right when they told us to get up and get dressed for church. They knew what they were doing, didn’t they?

Application: Your walking with the Spirit in community with other people leads to more hope in your life today!  And more hope for eternity.

Notice this in verse 11.

Romans 8:11

11 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 who dwells in you.

Friends, listen to me. When this is in your heart and mind, it flows outwardly through you as hope onto other people.

Let your children see this hope. Let your children know this hope. Let your children grab hold of this hope because they saw this hope in you!

Mom, I want to encourage you.  Keep at it. Keep fighting. Keep speaking truth. Keep loving unconditionally and keep speaking life into the next generation!

 

 

 

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