[00:00:00] Well, good morning, everyone. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Welcome on all of our campuses, wherever you are. Welcome to those of you who are watching this online. Uh, we always start by including you because you matter. And a welcome to those of you who are in the room with me right here right now. And Hey, I want to talk about two weekends right now, before we get going.
I want to talk about. Next weekend. And I want to talk about last weekend. Next weekend is going to be very, very special. Every summer. We, as a church hosts, this event called the global leadership summit this year, it's August 4th and fifth, and we're going to hold it on our Mesa campus on our Gilbert campus, in our queen Creek campus.
And it's an opportunity and literally thousands of us go to this thing and we learn how to lead better. And it's for everybody. I really want you to consider coming. But every may, what we do is we have a weekend, we designate a summit weekend in which we give you a sense, a taste of what the summit is actually about and what.
As we usually play back a tape of one of the recording [00:01:00] of one of the presentations at the summit. So you get a feel of what it's like this year, we're going to do something different. We're going to, we were very, very blessed in that. We're going to have one of the speakers from last year, a guy named Albert Tate.
Who's going to be our guests in person here next week. And he was here a while back and I asked him, I said, what are the chances we can get you to come do this? And he agreed to do it. And we're totally stoked. Is a phenomenal communicator. He's the lead pastor of community church in Monrovia, California.
And he is, he is just a really, if you ever wanted to hear what really good preaching sounds like, and I know you're dying to hear it, you need to come next week and you'll be glad you did. But the deal is, is next week is the absolute cheapest you can register. So we run this thing, get as many people to sign up as we can, if you sign up next week and you're in.
You're like motivated to learn with your registration comes of the ticket to another event that follows Sunday night after the. [00:02:00] Which is a gathering that we do called beyond the summit in which I get to meet with you guys. And we get to debrief and I get to share my insights from the summit and you get to share your insights from the summit.
We did that last year, went over. Great. We're going to do that again. So that's the next week now, for those of you who are on this campus, and this is very specific to Gilbert intersection, next weekend of Jermaine and Lindsey is going to be closed. Did you see that coming in? So you are going to have to figure out how to get here without going through that intersection.
And I want to make sure that you're here. So just get it on your mind. You can go around in different ways. All right. That's next weekend. Now let's talk about last weekend. Last weekend. Last weekend was 140 eighth running of the Kentucky Derby. And I don't know if you follow horse racing at all, but any kind of racing like that.
It's always built on odds. Odds are people's best guests, people who are in. Who really believe they [00:03:00] know how it's going to turn out. They, they anticipate the results. They, they think about like what the possibilities are and then they determined the odds and the higher, the odds, the less likely the lower the odds, the more likely, and in this race last weekend, if you follow any of this, if you saw any of this, there was one horse in particular, there are actually two horses, but one named epicenter that most people would say was favored to win the.
And so he had the best odds. And so the race that's how that's going to go. There was another horse. So that entered the race. Now this one you got to understand, if you don't know, this is fascinating. This horse got in with 30 seconds to go. He got in with 30 seconds to go on the day before he got in, because another horse dropped.
He, he squeaked in as close as you could squeak in, but because he was the very last horse, he was in the, the 20th gate. He was on the wide, outside this horse, his name was rich [00:04:00] strike and they gave him at first, they gave him 99 to one odds before the race started, they dropped it down to 80 to one odds.
Let me translate what that means. This horse doesn't stand. It has an avid prayer don't bet on this horse is what that means. All the other horses had better odds. Now, if you know about the Kentucky Derby, it's a mile and a quarter. It takes just over two minutes to run. And I'm actually going to show you the last fourth of this race.
I'm going to show you the final curve as they're coming into the straight, the homestretch, the straightaway. And you're going to see a couple of arrows. You're going to see arrows on epicenter of the favorite horse. And you're going to see an arrow on this horse named rich strike. And I just want you to see what happened.
So. So associates next after three quarters in one minute, tended forfeit seconds. And now epicenter come splitting horses and has spoken up quickly. As problems pride takes the lead [00:05:00] around the car. Turn it is prov pride Bentley with mitigate their stride first drive epicenter, and so-so sit behind them.
CyberKnife screens up. Are they outside? Gets the rail run. The other end of the stretch pro cried and the epicenter is coming up.
You are why I love this church right there. I've won something so many times. Uh, yeah. What are the odds man? Uh, that, that horse, by the way, those horses typically costs around, uh, like half a million dollars [00:06:00] that horse got bought last year for $30,000. And the big deal is when you win the Derby, you, uh, you get set up for breeding and you, uh, you know, your genes are like really.
You know, you're popular. So anyway, that, uh, that horse has it made, but the reason I showed you that is, is just to make a point. That's going to lead us through the book of Galatians. Nobody predicted he could win nobody. All the odds maker said, don't put your money on this. All the odds makers who were in the know has said it won't happen.
It won't. Uh, it's a long, long, long, long, long shot. All right. And it was a totally unexpected outcome. Now in the book of Galatians, we've been talking about the fact that, uh, in Christ we've been set free, that Christ literally came to set us free. And, uh, in fact, let's do this open your Bibles to Galatians chapter five.
We'll we're gonna pick up where we've left off in Galatians chapter five. [00:07:00] And we've been talking about this freedom, freedom from. For freedom from living with a bunch of rules, uh, freedom from living under the bondage of religion, freedom from living with condemnation and judgment. And you know, all of this legalism bearing down on us.
Uh, it is, it is the way, uh, that people like to put other people in subjection, but Jesus Christ literally set us free from that now, instead of living under the law and the. We were given a gift that we've talked about called grace. Now grace means that, um, you, you don't earn it. It's a gift of grace means you don't deserve it.
It's a gift. Grace means that if there's any logical reason why it would be given to you, it wouldn't actually be grace. But, but what God did is instead of giving us a bunch of laws to live by, he gave us. To live. And I would say it this way, and [00:08:00] I've said it before. Grace means you don't get what you do deserve and you do get what you don't deserve.
You, you don't get what you do deserve is you deserve. And I deserve to go to hell for the sense of. What I don't get hell, but I do get what I don't deserve, which is I get heaven because of what Jesus did not because of what I did. All right. And that's, and that's crazy. Now, if you tried to sum up the entire book of Galatians and uterus, try to capture it in a phrase.
You might use this one, listen carefully. We are free to live by grace. We are free to live by grace. You could also say we are free to no longer be. We are free to no longer live under the slavery of sin. Now those are mind-blowing ideas, but, but that's what we're going to talk about now, again, white, what does it have to do with the Kentucky Derby?
She, most people would bet the odds [00:09:00] that if God took the restraint off of us, we would go on court that most people would believe that if God took away the punishment. And the fear of punishment hanging over our head, that we literally would go into deep debauchery, that we would literally go off. The deep end, hit the skids and all the odds would say, that's exactly what would happen, except God said, I'm going to give you this thing called grace.
And it says if God knew what people didn't know now, there are all kinds of. Who love to keep us in bondage to religion. And again, we've covered this. There's all kinds of people that want to, you got to do this, and if you want to please, God, you got to do that. And here's the list and here's the boxes and you got to check them all.
Um, but, but somehow in all of this, the, uh, the truth of the matter is God, God goes, you know what? I'm going to, I'm going to take the restraint off and it's going to do exactly opposite what you anticipated doing. Okay. [00:10:00] So again, the odds are takeaway, restrict. Since going to abound, God goes, no, it won't because of something he knows.
And what he knows is what we're going to discover today. Now, uh, what would happen if God set us free something you'd never, you'd never guess. You'd never guess. All right. So let's do this. Let's getting to Galatians chapter five, verses 13 to 26 is our text. We'll do what we normally do is we'll take it in three little chunks.
And so just a follow along, always do bring a Bible. It makes it so much easier. So Galatians five, 13 to six. Uh, let's just dive in here. Okay. So you, my brothers and sisters, we're called to be free. The whole theme you have been called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather serve one.
Another humbly in love for the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your. As you love yourself. If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you'll be destroyed by each other. So right out of the gate, the first thing [00:11:00] Paul says is you've been set free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.
Why does he have to say that? Because when we hear we're free, many of our minds go to, oh, that means I can get away with anything. I can do anything. I don't have this. I don't have this burden to, you know, to do the right thing anymore on me because it's taken away. It's not like it doesn't make sense.
But like, why, why, you know, why would we think we would indulge the sinful nature? And the answers are because most of us wish our first choice would be to indulge the sinful nature. Now, let me now let me say something, listen very carefully to this. You have an, I have a sinful nature. What does that mean?
It means that I am inclined to sin. I don't have to try to sin. I don't have to think about sending. Uh, plot sinning. I don't have to work myself up into a plan to sin. Sending comes naturally to me. All right. [00:12:00] And, uh, it's just as easy. It's the second. It's why I want to say second nature. It just comes and, and unless you think I'm making a confession, I, again, want to repeat, it does the same thing to you.
It's just in you. I don't know if you've ever met anyone who is, um, naturally. Uh, I mean, it's like, no matter what they eat, no matter what they do or don't do with working out, they're just slim. And if you've ever talked to somebody who's naturally slim and you, you know, you might have, how do you do it?
Often? The answer they'll give you is genetics. Others just go it's in my genes, man. I just, my metabolism, you know, I just, I can eat anything and my metabolism and I don't have to work at it. It just comes naturally. You know, what's in my. To get fat that's in my genes. I have to work at not getting fat. I can put weight on very, very easily.
Okay. But my biggest genetic problem is [00:13:00] not, I have a slow metabolism. My biggest genetic problem is I have a sinful nature that craves things that are harmful to my soul. All right. That, that is the state. That's the natural genetic state now. Paul said it this way. He said in Romans seven 18, and you might be familiar with this.
He said, I know, and this is the guy that wrote this, by the way. He said, I know that nothing good lives in me that is in my sinful nature for, I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out for what I do is not the good I want to do. No, the evil, I do not want to do this. I keep on. Now if, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me that does it now, now follow what's being said here, I have a natural tendency to want to live by rules.
I have a natural tendency to have somebody telling me what I [00:14:00] can and can't do as far as religion goes as do you. So that's why people can take advantage of us because they'll give you all the lists of. Uh, that's an external bondage. You subject yourself to that and less, or two weeks ago, we talked about don't submit yourself again to a yoke of slavery to that stuff, but that's an external, I have an internal tendency.
I have an internal tendency to default to sin. I have this thing inside me that I could very quickly become a slave to. If I became a slave to sin, sin would literally be my taskmaster. It would tell me everything I do. I could very easily tell you I could fall into that quickly as could you. And so again, what are the odds?
Well, it depends. If I'm by myself, I don't stand a chance, but God knows something. And that's what I want you to see. So there's an external bondage I have to resist and there's an internal bondage look [00:15:00] closely at the second part of verse 13, as he, Paul said, Do not use, but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve one another humbly in love.
Did you see that? W what serving the flesh have to do with serving one another in love, though? It has everything to do with it. You see, the flesh is all about me. My sinful nature is all about me. It's about getting what I want living, how I want to live. The idea of serving others is all about. It's about putting you ahead of me.
And what he's saying is is that if you don't check this, you don't die to yourself. You just live for yourself. You're going to indulge yourself, fish, nature. You're just going to do it. Everything you see, you want everything you want, you go for, then matter of as good or bad you want it and you're going to go for it.
But, but when you start to think about other people and like, what are the implications of this for us? [00:16:00] Uh, it starts to change the formula. All right. Uh, the apostle Peter said it this way in first, Peter, two 16 live as free men, but do not use your freight or your freedom as a cover up for evil live as servants of God.
So I've been given freedom, but not freedom to do what I want to do for me. I've been given freedom to do what you need me to do. And I know this is hard for us to get. Uh, in fact, if you look at Galatians five 14, it says it really well for the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. You can sum it all up, do this one thing.
Love your neighbor. As you love yourself. Now here's the deal. You can't love your neighbor. As you love yourself. If all you're occupied with is yourself, you can't put the needs of your neighbor anywhere, a head of your own needs of all you care about it or your own. So we say, look, there's two natures.
There's going to be this nature. It's all about you. Or there's going to be this [00:17:00] nature that you could use your life to make a difference to people, use your life to make a difference to people. Now, let me say this though, inside me and inside you, I have a war going on all of the time. I have a battle going on.
I have opposing forces that are fighting. I have a desire to do good, and I have a desire to do bad. I have a desire to do the right thing and I have a desire to do the wrong. Uh, if you look down at verses 16 to 18, he, he says it in this way. So I say walk by the spirit and you will not carry out that, oh, you're not gratify the desires of the flesh for the flesh desires.
What is contrary to the spirit and the spirit? What is contrary to the flesh? They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the. So I have this nature, which is evil that wants me to do [00:18:00] wrong. And it is very much, uh, inside of me, it's really bad.
And I have the spirit of God, which is inside. Which is really good and wants to do the right thing. And these two battle, uh, first Peter two 11 said it this way. Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. What's the war you can live by legalism.
Are you going to live by grace? Are you going to live by the spirit or are you going to live by the flesh? Are you going to live for the good, or are you going to live for evil? Are you going to live a life of. Listen, this, or you're going to live a life of selfishness. These are battles. All right. Now, two questions.
I want to ask you two questions and you don't have to say it out loud, but I challenge you to ask yourself, ask yourself the question answered, honestly, in your heart, you've got two natures in you as I have two nature, which one right now, currently right now [00:19:00] is winning the battle, which is where we're the evidence point.
The evil nature or the spirits leading the second question, which ones inev, inevitably, ultimately going to win. Now a lot of us say, well, yeah, I'm losing the battle now, but in the end, you know, we get in, we get on a road, that's going a certain direction and that direction goes to a certain destination.
If right now, the flesh is currently dominating my decision-making I'm on the road to destruction. And ultimately that if I don't get off that road, that's where it's going to lead me. And so, you know, we gotta, we gotta wrestle with this now. Uh, I want to just say this about the battle. We have to fight all good generals.
And before you go into war, you got to know your enemy. You got to know what you're up against. You got to know like, what, what is this thing you're [00:20:00] dealing with? How, uh, how strong is the enemy? What are the armaments? How much ammunition? So, so just think about the Ukraine, Russian conflict, all right. The war that's going on over there.
And just whatever you think about that, did Putin understand the opposition? Most people would say he missed misjudge. He, he didn't estimate accurately their ability to defend themselves. And so you get into a war and you don't realize what you're up against, and then it's hard to extricate yourself because everything you thought wasn't what it was.
I want to show you what Paul does here. Paul Paul goes, look, you got two natures, you've got two, you've got a battle going on inside of you. Let me make sure you know who the enemy is. Let me make sure you know, what you're dealing with. So he lists all the sins of the flesh. Now, like all, like he lists a whole list of.
This is what the flesh looks like. Alright, look at verses 19 to 21, the acts of the flesh are obvious sexual [00:21:00] immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry, and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy fits of rage, selfish, ambition, dissensions factions and envy drunkenness, orgies, and the like I warn you as I did before that those who live like.
Will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now we can spend time on each and every one of those words, and I could show you, you know, that the, the first word you'll sexual immorality is a Greek word porneia, which is where we get pornography, which is, I don't think we need to do that. I think the list is pretty clear.
I think we get it. That that's the, that's what I'm fighting against in me. All of that. All right. That's, that's that sinful nature. And if you didn't catch it, by the way, all of those things. Pleasing you it's all about what you want for you. That's what that's about. And by the way, James said this, where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and [00:22:00] every evil practice.
When it's about me, I am literally going to slide into a deep life of self-centeredness. So what am I going to do there? W what is the life of the spirit look like? So if the flesh is in control, I'll be doing those things. If the Spirit's in control, look at verses 22 and 23, but the fruit of the spirit is love.
Joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control against such things. There is in the law. You don't need to legislate against any, and that's all good stuff. You don't have to tell him what not to do that. So which nature. Is the one that describes the one that you're living, you're living out.
And by the way, on that second list of the fruit of the spirit last summer, we did an entire series called the credentialed life. We took each of those words and spend a week on it. You might want to go back and listen to it just so we understood it really well. It's just the fruit of the spirit. This is the spirit.[00:23:00]
If the spirit has this way, this is what will happen. If the self has its way in you, the first list is what's. So, what did God know? He knew that he was going to give us his holy spirit and that was going to tilt the odds. It was the game changer. In fact, let me do this. Let me, let me show you four takeaways.
And, uh, that, that this text, like for practical things here they are. Number one is having the spirit of God within us that tilts the odds that we can live. The life we were called to live. The odds makers didn't count. What the spirit of God could do and how the spirit of God can direct my life. It didn't count on the fact that when I walk with Jesus and I do things I shouldn't do the spirit of God puts his hand on my shoulder and presses against my, my heart.
It makes me aware that I'm getting off the path. She, the odds are you take off all restraint. I'll just go crazy. But not with the spirit living in me. The spirit [00:24:00] living in me changes it. And it guides in a direct. And if you have Jesus, by the way, you have the spirit of God in you, you can't have Jesus and not have the spirit.
You have the spirit. The question is, are you utilizing the spirit? So what do I do when that sinful nature starts asserting itself? Well, here's the answer is I got to turn to the spirit of God and I have to plead for help for strength. There's this old story that's told you. Might've heard it about a hillbilly up in the Appalachian mountain.
Uh, he wanted to go get a new ax because it was actually he'd sharpen it. And it was Dolan just felt like he needed a new one. So we went to a hardware store in town and he went up to the guy and he said, Hey, I need to, I need to get a new ax. And he explained, and the guy said, why don't you get a chainsaw?
Chainsaw would make a big difference. He goes, what are you talking about? He goes a chainsaw. What it will do is an act. You can cut maybe a half a cord. Uh, but with a chainsaw you can [00:25:00] cut four or five chords. It makes everything easier. You should just buy a chainsaw and the guy goes seriously, four or five chords.
He goes, yeah, it'll change your life. It was okay. I want one. So he buys it and goes back up into the Hills. And the first day he gets out and goes to work and cuts a quarter of a quarter. Wood is so discouraged. So the next day he got up earlier and stayed up a little bit later, he cut a half a quarter would the third day he went to work and he worked and worked and worked and he caught, he was able to cut through quarters of.
And by this time, he's so ticked off, he feels so taken by this hardware store owner. He went back in any, literally takes us all back and he demands his money back. He says, you lied to me. You said, you promised me. And the guy said, what are you talking about? Cause I tried a quarter of a quarter to half, a quarter, three quarters of accord, nowhere near five courts.
You lied to me. And the guy just scratched his head. He goes, well, I don't know what's going on and what's wrong with it. And he pulls the cord and gets it started. And all of a sudden the guy jumps. What's that noise[00:26:00]
folks, the skirt of God, you've got to rip the cord. You got to pull the cord. You got to access the power of the spirit. If you don't and you're just, you got the spirit, but you're just doing it by yourself. You're not going to make progress. Pull the cord. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel like I'm going down a road, I shouldn't be going.
Plea with God through his spirit to come to your rescue. It'll tilt the odds in your favor. A second one. There's two choices to take away two choices. All true believers have to make. One is I have to choose to crucify the flesh. And we've talked about this, you know, Galatians two 20, I've been crucified with.
You gotta be, you gotta desire. You got to choose to say, I don't want to live this self-centered life where it's all about me and indulging my sinful nature. And you have to let the spirit have control. You got to crucify the [00:27:00] flesh. You've got to let the spirit have control. You have to submit yourself to the spirit of God.
I find it interesting in first Thessalonians five 19, Paul Paul teaches that we literally can quench the spirit. I find that a fascinating thought fascinating. Uh, when you're thirsty and you're dying of thirst, you quench your thirst. You literally, you pour water on it and you satiate it. You can quench the spirits.
So think of a fire. The spirit of God is a fire. This burning inside of you, that God wants to give you the odds that you're going to succeed this life. But every time you choose not to listen, you're just dumping water on the fire. And it didn't go out, but man, it's really not what it was. And you're just dumping another pail of water on and another pillow water.
You've got to make a decision. I don't want to, I don't want to live by the flesh. I don't want my life to be all about me. I have to learn how to, uh, submit myself. Here's the third one. Understand this? [00:28:00] We will all at times fall, get back up. Let me explain. Um, No matter how hard I try, no matter how hard you try, you're not gonna, uh, you're not always gonna submit to the spirit.
You're just not. And the problem is, is when you fail to submit to the spirit, you can literally convince yourself God's done with you, that you, you literally, you disqualified yourself and you can become, as you can convince yourself, God is as disgusted with yourself. As you have become disgusted with.
It's not true, but you can convince yourself of it. If you do that, you, you literally can take yourself out of the game, out of the race by just going. I just, I'm horrible. Now there's a story told of a, a guy that was trying to get certified as a race car driver. And it was, he was in a school kind of like a bonder on school of driving.
If you know what that. And, um, he was [00:29:00] coming down to the final test. And so he was in this race car. He had a, he had a guy that was, uh, critiquing him. Uh, you know, very skilled driver was watching every move and, you know, literally scoring him and how he did. He's doing fantastic. He's ripping and tearing through the curves.
And everything's awesome until it wasn't, he, he literally slid off the. And when he slid off the track, everything inside them, discussing gotchas quit, they didn't do that. He, he put it back in gear and he got back on the track and he finished the race and he got to the end and I pulled the car over and stopped the car.
And he looked at the guy and he goes, I failed that night. And the guy said, why do you think you failed? He goes, cause I slid off the track and the guy looks at him and he goes, everybody slides off the track. As you slid off, the track makes you normal. You, you know what you did remarkably well. How quickly you got back on the track that was noteworthy.
Oh no, you pass folks. I slide off the track sometimes. How long am I going to stay off the track? How long are you going to [00:30:00] stay off the track? Get back on the track as quickly as you can and forth. And lastly, you will ultimately choose who wins this battle. You're, there's a war going on the spirit of God and the sinful nature.
And they're contesting for your loyalty. And you're going to decide, I'm going to decide again, to take you back to the same two questions, which one's currently winning. If it's not the one you want to have wind in the end, make a change, do something different because if you keep, you know, I I'm choosing poorly, I'm choosing poorly.
I'm choosing before you know it. You're going to get in on a road in a direction, headed towards your destiny. Get off that road and get on a different road, headed to a different destination. Um, one last story is two dogs that were in a fight. These two dogs were going at each other. Same guy owned, both dogs, and these dogs were fighting, going at each other and they [00:31:00] were comparable size and they were comparable, strengthened, and they're going at it and they're just fighting and the guy let him fight.
And then another guy asked the owner of the dogs. He goes, which are these two dogs who is going to win. The conscious look and he goes, well, it's really simple. The one I feed the most, so which is going to win in me, my sinful nature or the spirit led life. The one I feed the most, what's going to win in you.
The one you feed the most, uh, I'm going to pray right now and, and several things are going to happen. Uh, I'm going to pray and then I'm going to ask no one leave. Uh, as soon as I get done praying on all of our campuses, our worship leaders are going to come out and they're going to lead a song. That's kind of a prayer about submitting control to the spirit of God.
I want to encourage you to pray the words of this song for you over you [00:32:00] over your life. And, uh, if you'll do that, then listen carefully to the words. I think you might see something. And then as soon as that's done. Um, I want to ask you to stick around Caleb baker. Our lead student pastor has an announcement he wants to make that.
I think you want to hear, so why don't you stick around and hear that? So let me pray and then we'll continue on. So God, thank you for this help. Help me father to not let the sinful nature have its way with me. I can genetically blame it. Um, I'm, I'm just prone to sin, but God, I want so much more and I know that the odds are that without your help, uh, there's not a chance.
But God with you in me, in your spirits, working and guiding, and my day-to-day living, God, I know that, uh, I can, I can win this race. It's in me because you're in me and it's not just in me, it's in each and every person hearing me, but God, we've got to pull the cord and [00:33:00] we've got to let you be you and do what you do.
God, may we rely upon you. May we trust in you and may we submit to you and this, we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Listen to these words.