How To Walk In Victory
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How to Walk in Victory
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
There are two verses that deal with the two basic facts that enable us to walk in victory. And you remember one of them was in Romans 6:6 and it was the fact of our death with Christ. And it was vital for us you remember, we said to face that, and accept it, and believe whatever the evidence of our experience was to believe that what was said in the Bible was true. And you remember, that it says there in Romans 6:6 that our old self was crucified with Christ. And that took place so that we could live in newness of life. You remember in Verse 4 it says, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
And that is a fact that we accept you see. It’s not a fact that you argue about, you don’t get down and say, “I’m going to crucify myself. I’m going to kill myself. I must die with Christ.” The Bible says this is a historical fact, you have died with Christ there’s no question about it. We find it again in Galatians 5:24 which states that if you’re born of the spirit then this has taken place, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” And brothers and sisters we need to accept that.
If you don’t accept that you get into wild introspection and neurotic behavior you see, because you start saying, “Oh, I must crucify myself. I must die. I must die.” And it becomes Satan’s playground. It becomes a neurotic, morbid, preoccupation with death which is not what it should be. The Bible only has to do with life. It says the death has already died and we have died with Christ and that is basic. We put our faith in the fact of our death with Christ and that is one basic fact that we need to have faith in, in order to walk victoriously.
If you don’t have faith in that fact loved ones, then somebody comes up to you and criticizes you and you have no question in your mind. You say, “I’m a man alive with my own life to live you have no right to treat me that way.” And you just react to them and you cut them apart. But if you have faith in your death with Christ you respond inside yourself and say, “Father, I thank you that I’ve been crucified with Jesus. I thank you that I don’t have to defend myself; I’m already with Christ at your right hand. This poor soul here isn’t hurting me, he’s hurting an old corpse that the Holy Spirit has filled and Father I trust you to pull the tigers off, pull the wolves off when it pleases you.” And you see our cry is always we want to pull them off, pull them off early. We want to back them off.
Somebody gets angry with us, somebody is pressing us at home, somebody is causing strain in our hearts and our family and we want to get them back you see. We hold it so long by the strength of our will power and then we say, “No, no more. Get back. I’m not taking any more of that.” Now you see when you’re dead, when you believe that you’re crucified with Christ then you accept that and you say, “Well Father, you know when this body is going to be destroyed so it’s up to you. Holy Spirit, this is your temple it’s up to you to defend it when you want to. I’m not going to.” And then the Holy Spirit is free to prompt you to reply through your mind and emotions as you ought to.
But that’s the importance you see of our death with Christ. And many of us of course feel that that isn’t the case. Many of us feel Jesus has died for us so that we don’t have to die. Well, that’s not true, the only truth is that we do not have to die and go into outer darkness, but we died with
Christ. And so, Jesus did not die instead of us, he died for us so that we by faith could take part in his death. So that’s the vital first facts you remember, that we talked about last day.
And dear ones, you remember the other one is I believe it’s in Romans 8:13 and it’s the fact of the Holy Spirit. In other words, you put your faith in the past fact of your death with Christ and you put your faith in the present fact of the Holy Spirit in your life. And that’s Romans 8:13, “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” Now many of us say you see, “Oh well, pastor we can have faith in the fact of our death with Christ but I still get angry, what will I do?” Well, you put your faith in the past fact of your death in Christ and you listen to the Holy Spirit and it’s up to him to get rid of your anger. But you don’t tackle your anger with your own bare hands. You don’t tackle your envy with your own bare hands and your own will power. You trust the Holy Spirit to guide you how to respond and how to react.
So in the home dear ones, here’s a situation, the father is urging you on a certain course of action. He’s saying, “Now listen brother, you should not spend your summer this way. You want to spend your summer and you want to make money for the fall.” Now it may be that he’s right but I’m talking about how you respond to this. And he says, “Now, you must make all the money you can in some construction work. You can’t go off there and just trust God.” And you’re being pressed and you’re being strained. Now the way to react in the flesh is to say, “No dad, you just haven’t the depth of spiritual insight that I have received this past quarter. You don’t realize what heights of saintliness I’ve reached.” Or, that kind of approach you see. We don’t dare say that to him, but we get that message over so that the poor dad feels you see, well he’s one down. And we take that proud attitude.
Or we say, “No dad, I’m not going to do it I’m going to trust God.” Now, the way that you respond in Christ is you say, “Father, I thank God that I’ve been crucified with Jesus. I know that you will guide my dad to enable me to honor him and yet to obey you. Now Holy Spirit, I trust you. I trust you to show me how to respond to him if I’m to respond at all and when to respond.” And you put your trust in the Holy Spirit you see. And you don’t demand that the Holy Spirit will answer you before the deadline tomorrow or the deadline at the end of the month. You say, “Holy Spirit, I’m trusting you.” And dear ones, there’s no one who has put their trust in the Holy Spirit and accepted their place of death with Christ that has been let down. There is no one. The Father has absolute control of your life and there’s nothing comes to you but what he allows to come to you and much of it you see, we need. So that’s one instance.
Now loved ones, I would glad to give other examples because I think there is great misunderstanding about this. But I think the vital thing is that you accept your past death with Christ and you submit to the Holy Spirit. And you remember, what in fact we said it was like and – we just trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus. And you trust the fact of your past death with Christ and you obey the Holy Spirit and that’s the way to walk in victory.
Now we’ve talked a good deal about that place there. Now, I think we need to talk a little this evening about trusting the Holy Spirit dear ones. So if you’ll just be patient, I’ll try to outline to you what the Spirit does when he comes into your life in his fullness. I think if you think at all of the outline in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, you remember – maybe we should look at it 1 Thessalonians 5:23. It’s the biblical outline of psychology which we believe is God’s will for us in our understanding of our personalities. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now do you see those three parts of our personalities mentioned? Three levels really, they’re not three divisions; you can’t take out something and say, “That’s your spirit,” or, “That’s your soul.” But we exist at three different levels and this one is the spirit, and the next one is the soul, and then there is the body. And you can see that the body, there is no difficulty understanding it, here it is, it’s the body with which we communicate with each other. I speak through my voice and my lips, I point with my hands, and I gesture with my hands. The body communicates with each other.
The soul you remember, if you follow through all the divisions of the soul, and all the uses of the word soul in the Old Testament you’ll find that again, and again the Old Testament uses the word soul to mean at times the mind. And you remember, we followed it through one Sunday and I won’t go through the references again, but part of the soul is the mind, the intellect. Part of the soul also are the emotions, and part of the soul, if you follow it through in the Old Testament refers to the will. And you’ll find for instances, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David. Obviously, it was his emotions that were knit to the emotions of David. And you’ll find if you go through the other references you can identify mind, emotions, and will as being part of the soul.
You remember, we talked up here about the different parts of the spirit and we followed through the references to human spirit in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and we found that in one it was where we had communion with God. In another, it was where we received guidance from God in our intuition and the intuition of our spirit. Not primarily through our mind, but through the intuition of our spirit. We likened for instance Philip who had a revival going on in Samaria and the spirit told him to go to a desert road that leads to Gaza. If he had been receiving guidance in his mind he would have said, “That’s foolish there’s nobody on that road. I’ll stay here in the revival.” But he received guidance through the intuition of his spirit which often agrees with common sense and at times contradicts common sense.
So communion and intuition and you remember conscience was the other part that we found was our spirits. And that’s of course why when you preach the gospel you preach it to people’s conscience because it’s the most alive part of an otherwise dead spirit in the unregenerate man. Now, when a person is regenerated, what happens is this dear ones, the Holy Spirit comes in and makes that a capital S. And the Holy Spirit begins to reveal some of the full surrender that Jesus wants and that person starts to say, “Now, listen you get a bit proud of what you do for God.” And he begins to show you some hypocrisy in your motives, and he begins to show you some un Christ likeness in your reactions, and you begin to be conscious, even though it was there all the time, you begin to be conscious that there is a great capital I also inside you.
And when we talk about Romans 7, we’re talking about the battle that goes on in the regenerate man between the Holy Spirit inside him and the old I spirit. And there is only one final answer to that and that is the answer that we shared tonight, when a person realizes that the I has been crucified with Christ and that the I is absolutely wiped out and reduced into its place so that the Holy Spirit alone rules and that’s what we call the filling of the Holy Spirit. Now when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit he has to use his will to get his mind and emotions to submit to his spirit.
Now that’s important loved ones. A lot of us you see say, “Oh pastor, then everything’s finished, we’re filled with the Holy Spirit that’s all we need.” We just go in passivity the rest of our lives and we block out our minds, and block out our emotions, and we block out our wills and we sink
into Satan and into evil spirits. Because you see, that isn’t God’s will. God’s will is that we should then use our wills to submit our minds and our emotions to the Spirit so that in a person who is filled with the Spirit the direction is always that way, coming from the Spirit through the mind and emotions, exercised by the will in the body. And so the movement in a Spirit filled person is always outward, it’s always from the inside to the outside.
Now, that’s what I’d like to talk about tonight dear ones, the responsibility we have to submit the mind and emotions to our spirits. And that gets into some very practical things. All I can share tonight is some instances in the Bible where dear ones did not submit their minds and emotions to the Spirit and they do fall into some well known mistakes, I think, that many of us make. Because do you see, that at this point most of our temptation comes through deception. After you’re filled with the Spirit, and after you’ve entered into that crucifixion with Christ, you aren’t so much tempted to do sinful and rebellious things, though at times you are, as you are deceived by Satan’s tricks into not trusting the Father and into just wavering a little and grieving the Spirit a little.
Now here are some of these instances dear ones. I think one for instance is connected with the body and you find it there in Genesis 3:6. And this just gets very practical but it’s good for us to see that it’s a matter of submitting the body to the control of the Spirit. Some of us are foolish you see, and think once you’re filled with the Spirit you can walk into any temptations whatever. And no, if you walk into any temptations then there’s no point in praying to God, “Lead us not into temptation.” And there’s no point in expecting the Holy Spirit to pull you out of any kind of temptation.
Now Genesis 3:6, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,” she looked at it one moment longer than she should have. Now dear ones, we are responsible for submitting our eyes to the control of the Holy Spirit. Now brothers and sisters, those of us you see, who are just married or who are not yet married, you can see how important it is in the whole business of sex. It is just foolishness you see to say, “I’m filled with the Spirit now I’m crucified with Christ I can look at that short skirt as long as I want to.” No, the Holy Spirit will tell you how long and he will probably not give you much time. And so, there’s a need loved ones, to just be obedient to the Spirit you see not to be foolish about the thing.
But dear sisters, those of us who are older you see, it’s the same with Dayton’s (a department store) and you look at that lounge chair and you want it and the money isn’t there but you want it and you want it and you go back and you keep looking at it. And the fourth week you look at it again and the thing just rises up within you and soon you can’t control it and you buy it and then you argue with him over the bill. Well loved ones, you see the thing would be all solved and we could walk in continual victory if we would show instant obedience to the Holy Spirit, if we would submit our eyes immediately to the Holy Spirit.
See the dear Catholics started off on these things in the right way but they became legalistic. For instance, in the monasteries they have a practice called the custody of the eyes and you know that many of the Monks we picture them walking like that with their eyes on the ground so that they might not see anything that would draw them from God. Now do you see we have gone to the other extreme, we have said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter what your eyes do, the Holy Spirit will keep you.” No loved ones, he’ll only keep you if you show submission to the Holy Spirit.
Now another instance of it is you remember that tragic one in 2 Samuel 11 where really one – well if
not God’s most outstanding servant in the Old Testament was deceived by Satan into just gross sin. 2 Samuel 11:2-5, “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her.” And David looked one more moment you see, than the Holy Spirit told him.
And so there is a real – dear ones, you know, the Holy Spirit when he fills you gives you a fear of sin, that’s it. The Holy Spirit gives you a sensitivity to sin you see. When we talk about the victorious walk, we do not mean you can walk through anything, we mean you can walk through anything that the Holy Spirit wants you to walk through but the things that he tells you to avoid you must avoid them.
Now there are other instances brothers and sisters and I don’t think we should mention more. I think you can receive the message and you can see that we need to submit our eyes instantly to the Holy Spirit. Yeah, whether you understand it or not, this isn’t the time to argue, this isn’t the time to say, “Well, Holy Spirit now maybe I’m being a bit fanatical.” No, if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit the first prompting there is probably the Holy Spirit and you can afford to obey him instantly especially, when it takes you towards God. If it’s taking you away from God then you ought to ask, but if it’s taking you towards God then it’s better to abstain from even the appearance of evil, even if you’re being holier than God wants you to be which is unlikely.
Dear ones, maybe we should look at just another one and another one really is found there in the story in 1 Samuel 13 if you’d like to look at it. 1 Samuel 13:8-14, and again I believe it concerns one of the foremost servants certainly that God had, one that start off with great promise in the Father’s service Saul. 1 Samuel 13:8, Saul, “Waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel,” Samuel had said you see, “Wait for me. Wait seven days and I’ll come. I’ll offer the sacrifice.” He was the prophet of God that was his responsibility. “But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him,” from Saul, “So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came.”
In other words, God was just really testing Saul to see if he would wait and be obedient. “And Saul went out to meet him and salute him. Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ And Saul said, ‘When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come,’” you know, all the phrases of rationalization and justification, “And that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of the Lord’; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you; for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel for ever. But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’”
And you see what Saul did? He took the whole thing into his own hands. And again, and again the Holy Spirit asks you to refrain from self management. To refrain from taking the whole thing, the whole work of God into your own hands and trying to get yourself out of the trouble. Again, and again loved ones, we show that we are not crucified with Christ because corpses do not kick. But
our corpses kick away you see. When it begins to get too tight we begin like Saul, we begin to justify and rationalize and we begin to manage the thing ourselves. And you know that, that repeatedly you know, led children of God into trouble where they tried to manage the thing themselves. You remember old Uzzah and the ark, “Only certain people should touch that Ark.” The ark was about to tip, Uzzah touched it and he died, again, managing the thing himself. And again, and again in the body you see, in God’s work there’s a temptation to say, “The whole thing is lost, it’s lost unless we manage it.”
Now loved ones, God’s last moment is always a minute after our last moment. And you see, we trust the Father, you submit to the Holy Spirit. “No, I don’t care if the dad has said, ‘No you’re not going and it’s the 30th of June, and you’re to fly on the 1st of July.’” You trust in the Father, you submit to the Holy Spirit, you do not manage the thing yourself. Brothers and sisters, the same with finances you see, and with things in the family and things in school, we do not manage the thing ourselves, we trust the Holy Spirit.
Maybe we should just look, I know the time is really moving; maybe we should look just at two more. And one there is in, you’ll find a little of it I believe in Luke 21:34-26. Luke 21:34-36, “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.” And, “Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life.”
Loved ones, life lived in submission to the Holy Spirit is life lived apart from preoccupation with physical comforts. Now dear ones, we need to be especially careful of this you see in the States because we consume so much of the world’s consumer goods. And do you see the Holy Spirit wants us to be going out after Jesus enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ really ignoring the bodily comforts and the physical comforts and going out after Jesus. Loved ones, comfort is too close to self. Comfort is too close to self where we need just another coat, or another pair of shoes, or we need a better house, or we need this kind of insurance.
Loved ones, the Holy Spirit will lead us in a hard way, a way of self denial and really if you walk after the Holy Spirit it is a continuous process of increasing self denial. The way we used to increase in looking after ourselves and comforting ourselves, and indulging ourselves so for the Christian who is crucified with Christ it is an increase in self denial, it is a joy to do without the ice cream in order to give it to the Father, in order to give the money to the Father.
Now really, it is a joy you see. The person who is crucified with Christ takes the same joy in self denial as the person who was not crucified in Christ takes in self indulgence, that’s the difference. Don’t say brothers, “Ah, this is legalism brother.” No, it’s not the Holy Spirit, you’re submitting to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will always do in you what he did in Jesus; he is no different in you from what he was in Jesus. If Jesus had nowhere to lay his head then the Spirit will, at times, require you to do the same thing. But brothers and sisters it is a constant going on.
Loved ones, I can’t tell you how much the Father wants a Christian Corps of men and woman who care for nothing but Jesus and go into the 800 million in India, and the 900 million in China, and the 200 million in South America and live for Jesus and for him only even if they haven’t social
security. See loved ones? Loved ones, we need to get into it you know, the Father wants that kind of life. We’re missing so much. We’re missing so much because we’re not submitting wholly to the Holy Spirit we’re going part of the way. We’re saying we’re crucified with Christ but we’re not living like people crucified, no.
So the comfort and the indulgence, the Holy Spirit will lead us out of that. Maybe we should just look at this last one. You’ll find it in Genesis 20:2-3. And this only gives you some ideas loved ones, of submitting to the Holy Spirit. These are things you see, that we’re required to do above and beyond avoiding sin, you can see that. These things are not primarily concerned with sin; these are things that are inexpedient. These are things that maybe aren’t rebellion against God but God has told us to do them you see. And the Christian who is crucified with Christ goes way beyond sin. He shouldn’t be bothered about rebelling against God; he should be delivered from that. He should now be going on to positive obedience to God.
Genesis 20:2-3, “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, ‘She is my sister.’ And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man’s wife.’” And then you remember, in Verses 10-13 you get the sequel, “And Abimelech said to Abraham, ‘What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?’ Abraham said, ‘I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. Besides she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’”
Old Abraham was preoccupied with the difficulties and so was Peter. You remember, Jesus asked him to walk on the water but Peter did not receive his information from the Spirit, but he received his information back up this way from the body. He looked at the waves with his eyes, he listened to the sound of them with his ears and he said, “I’m going to sink.” And as soon as you look at the difficulties you cannot submit to the Holy Spirit.
Now brothers and sisters, if we’re submitting to the Holy Spirit we do not look at the difficulties. That’s why really; the Father cannot bring us anything but victory and success in the whole movement that he has started on our campuses. As long as we see that the movement itself is a miracle and that the difficulties therefore are unimportant. But as soon as you begin to be preoccupied with the difficulties, as soon as you begin to be preoccupied with, “Oh, now this brother is sort of criticizing the work, you know, he things maybe we’re a bit too wild, a bit too emotional, or he thinks maybe we’re preaching sinless perfection, or he thinks maybe we pray too much.” As soon as you become preoccupied with the dear one, and there will always be dear ones who say, “You know this isn’t right that isn’t right.” As soon as you look at the difficulties loved ones, you have troubles you see.
And it’s the same in our own lives, in your own personal lives. You look at the examinations and you lose the victory in the Holy Spirit. But look at the Holy Spirit, trust him, close your eyes, refuse to look at them, trust the Spirit and he will bring you through it. Ah brothers and sisters, I can’t tell you the times he has done that in my own life and it is a glory to look to the Holy Spirit, ignore the difficulties and he brings you right over them over the top.
Now loved ones, there’s a lot more, you know, could be said but I do think in fairness to each other we should close there and maybe share some of those things again.