sermon: Teaching Us to Think
God is putting His children through a demanding educational program designed to teach godly values and impart spiritual maturity. Learning is at its core hard work, requiring immense and sustained discipline, dedication, and sacrifice, often the breaking of old habits and the formation of new ones, always the ability to admit one is wrong. God's education of His people promotes a definite work ethic, a quality denigrated by Protestant anti-works theology. It takes intense work to mortify the flesh. If one realizes at the outset that God's way of living requires sacrifice, it will become easier to endure trials; they permit God to transform a carnal mind into one oriented to the spirit. God's people cannot learn spiritual lessons apart from God's Holy Spirit. The context of the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5 is the apostle Paul's admonition to God's people that they vigorously put to death the desires of the flesh and walk according to the Spirit, bringing the mind under the control of the Spirit, that is, developing the mind of Christ.
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