Sabbath: Living by the Spirit
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Read for This Week’s Study: Gal. 5:16-25Deut. 13:4-5Rom. 7:14-24Jer. 7:9Hos. 4:2Matt. 22:35-40.

Memory Text: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, ESV).

One of the most beloved Christian hymns is Robert Robinson’s “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Robinson, however, was not always a man of faith. The death of his father left him angry, and he fell into debauchery and drunkenness. After hearing the famous preacher George Whitefield, Robinson surrendered his life to the Lord, became a Methodist pastor, and wrote that hymn, which originally included the lines: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”

Uncomfortable with the line about the Christian heart’s wandering, someone changed the words to read: “Prone to worship, Lord, I feel it, Prone to love the God I serve.”

Despite the editor’s good intentions, the original words accurately describe the Christian struggle. As believers we possess two natures, the flesh and the Spirit, and they are in conflict. Although our sinful nature will always be “prone” to wander from God, if we are willing to surrender to His Spirit, we do not have to be enslaved to the desires of the flesh. This is the thrust of Paul’s message in the texts for the week.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 16.
Amen!(48)

Comments

Sabbath: Living by the Spirit — 15 Comments

  1. It is true that we struggle in life but only God can give us the grace to overcome the sinful nature in us each day.The nature you feed will overcome each day n your life.

    Amen!(22)
  2. I have always seen the words Prone to leave the God I love... Like the Bible any changes after the author's original pen, ceases to be the original and intent of the author . That person should write their own song/ testimony. So too, we should leave all these translations that remove us further away from the intent of the author of the Bible. May we Abude.

    Amen!(13)
  3. The struggle is real. We need God's guidance daily . We need to turn to Him and to rely on Him. The mind is willing but. The flesh is weak

    Amen!(19)
  4. The story of Robert Robinson is one of the most inspiring stories that accurately describe the nature of the Christian struggle and the way to victory. Paul describes two natures that we possess and are in conflict with each other.
    The desires of the flesh, and the spirit. Galatians 5:17. Paul is explaining how the Spirit can make changes that affect our lives.
    In Robert Robinsons lines of the song that say prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love, are well written. Galatians 5:16-26,Paul describes the steps needed to change the desires of the flesh. Walk in the Spirit is an activity of life. What our everyday lives consist of if led by the Spirit,our choices.

    Amen!(16)
    • This is one of my favorite hymns. Praise God that someone show "the error of their ways" and changed Robert Robinson's song back to the original lyrics. Our hymnal reads the verse as follows:
      "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
      Prone to leave the God I love;
      Here’s my heart–O, take and seal it,
      Seal it for thy courts above."

      Amen!(1)
      • We used to sing this hymn at Helderberg College in the late '50's and early '60's and I remember we sang the original words. I never noticed the difference because for the past 50 years we have been worshiping in an Afrikaans-language church. I can't remember when last we sang it (does the organist notice the words as she plays?!) Thank you for 'reviving'the original words - we shall sing the song this coming Sabbath in it's original form!

        Amen!(0)
    • Would you like to expand on what this statement means? I know we like to quote this (Mark 9:24), but what does it do for us?

      Amen!(3)
      • EGW said regarding this very verse in Mark 9:24 that we would never perish as long as we stay in this attitude of asking God to help our unbelief.

        I love king David's words in Psalm 40:6-10 which to me are messianic verses. And then right after those 5 messianic verses are 11 and 12 that always give me so much hope because of those 5 messianic ones before those two, 11 "Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy loving kindness and "Thy truth" continually preserve me. 12 for innumerable evils have compassed me about; mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me."

        Amen!(2)
  5. Paul's injunction: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh." is extremely important for all human beings who follow Jesus. He was speaking to the difficulties we would meet in life and was assuring each one that the solution is always to “walk by the Spirit” (verse 16). Our lives lived by the Spirit of God are assured of victory in the end. This is good news - the gospel news is that when we "walk by the the Spirit" God does the rest for us. We do not follow God using our strength and power but His. A further point to note is in verse 18: “If you are led by the Spirit you are not under law.” Keeping God's law of love becomes an outward expression of our love for Him who died to save us from death. Further, verse 22 is refreshingly insightful when it says: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace....” Needless to say that this can only happen if we “walk by the Spirit." Christ said: “Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.” (John 15: 4 - 5). Its very important to understand what walking by the Spirif means. It is to keep ourselves securely in step with the living Christ. When you walk by the Spirit you will not gratify the desire of the flesh but you will enjoy the marvellous blessings and have contentment as we rest peacefully in the promises of God.

    Amen!(5)
    • We were recently 'culling' books in our house and came across the book, "Sometimes I Don't Feel Like Praying!". I think the characterization of Paul encouraging living without Law is 'kinda like' 'once saved, always saved', and ain't it cool I'm [always, henceforth] now walking in the Spirit. From time to time we need to come, again, 'under' the School Master - else we perish.

      Amen!(0)
  6. What is the story of Robert Robinson's tells us.

    He was willing to hear.

    "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear!"
    Twice in the story of sower
    Why? It affects the eternal destination

    Hearing
    Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[g

    Surrendered
    surrender means to give up something to another person.
    It's relinquishing control, rights, power, direction, all the things you do and say. It's totally resigning your life over to his hands, to do with you as he pleases.

    Jesus himself lived a surrendered life: "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38). "I seek not mine own glory" (8:50). Christ never did anything on his own. He made no move and spoke no word without being instructed by the Father. "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things...for I do always those things that please him" (8:28-29).

    Became
    if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
    Lived

    Amen!(1)
  7. What are desires?
    Did Christ have sinful desires?
    He did not fulfill His sinful desires…
    Did Christ Desire to be sinful?

    Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam's place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner's behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing, every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.

    Are babies born with a sinful nature prone to wander?
    What is the evidence of their sinful nature?
    Are children enslaved to the desires of the flesh?
    What happens to that nature at the age of accountability?

    Amen!(0)
  8. our desires tend to pull us from God but as we see paul here is telling us of we die in self we live in christ galatians 1:20

    Amen!(0)

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