Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Make No Provision for the Flesh

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Make No Provision for the Flesh

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Make No Provision for the Flesh

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Brethren, there is no compromise with God. We are to make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. We are to measure ourselves against the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ. We are to fill the void caused by the removal of leaven, fill it with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Let this Passover and DUB season draw you closer to God, and help to strengthen the transformation process so we in this temple can all become more conformed to the image of our elder Brother.

Sermon Notes

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Make No Provision For the Flesh

The title for the sermon today is Make No Provision for the Flesh. Here we are – we’ve made it to

the First Day of Unleavened Bread. During this time of the year, we’ve gone through an

examination process, looking for the sin which can so easily ensnare us and striving to put all our

physical and spiritual spiritual leavening out. As fleshly beings it can be easy to find unpleasant

things, but harder to clean ourselves up. The incredible part is that when one repents and exercises

faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, at that point you stand righteous and clean before God. That's

amazing to consider - that we sinners can be righteous before God.

When you read about how our biblical ancestors lived, you find that just like you and I, they often

had unpleasant things to overcome. Let’s start this message in Luke 9. Here in Luke 9 we’ll see

that Jesus’ disciples had fleshly attitudes they had to battle. And this is just one of many examples

of their carnal attitudes we could turn to.

Luke 9:51-56 Luke 9:51-56 [51] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, [52] And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [53] And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. [54] And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? [55] But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. [56] For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
American King James Version×

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set

His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they

entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because

His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw

this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume

them, just as Elijah did?"

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them."

The disciples thought they were using their power for a good cause. But they had a wrong zeal.

Sometimes we’re guilty of this as well. At times we don’t truly understand our own spirit – we

think we’re doing right, we may even be zealous to do something “for righteousness sake”, but in

actuality we may not be pleasing God. And sometimes people can use the bible in a wrong way to

support their false zeal. Jer 17 describes the deceitfulness of the heart. Jer 17 shows that God

does test us to see what our heart and mind is like.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 Jeremiah 17:9-10 [9] The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? [10] I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
American King James Version×

9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Humanly we

can’t truly know and understand our heart and how incredibly wicked it is. But God knows our

heart. 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his

ways, According to the fruit of his doings. Another translation puts verse 10 this way:

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their

conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

So, God searches our heart and He tests us. He is examining our heart, just as we are to be doing

ourselves. With how deceitful our heart is, and considering how the men and women of the

bible often had their issues, we should expect to have found leaven in ourselves that we need

to be putting out. Of course during this holy day season, leaven is representative of sin. We

spent time and effort the last few weeks putting the leavening out. Now it’s time to fill the void.

 

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We strive to be walking in the spirit, and making no provision for the flesh. That’s the goal,

that’s how we are to live – walking in the spirit, and making no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its

lusts. We’ll look at a number of scriptures touching on those concepts today.

Turn to Num 20. Moses, said to be the most humble man on earth, at times he even battled a

problem with his spirit. Not a single one of us is without sin, and there is a reason we see recorded

the major sins that nearly every biblical hero had. Sometimes we can look at other people and

think, “They’re perfect, they’re better than I am.” However, all have sinned and fall short of the

glory of God.

Numbers 20:7-12 Numbers 20:7-12 [7] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [8] Take the rod, and gather you the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock: so you shall give the congregation and their beasts drink. [9] And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. [10] And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? [11] And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. [12] And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
American King James Version×

7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8 "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the

congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you

shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals."

9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them,

"Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses lifted his

hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the

congregation and their animals drank.

12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in

the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I

have given them."

At a prior time Moses had to strike a rock to bring water out. This time God wanted him to speak

to the rock, but for whatever reason, instead of speaking to the rock and calling out water in the

name of God, Moses took the credit for himself and he struck the rock. In a moment of weakness

Moses did what was right in his eyes.

.

.

There’s a saying that goes, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Let’s look at this said in

Matt 26. Again, often times we have good intentions, but reality shows it is more difficult, more

time consuming; it’s harder to do good and to do right. Peter had that happen to him here in Matt

26. This takes place just after that last Passover with Jesus Christ was finished.

Matthew 26:31-41 Matthew 26:31-41 [31] Then said Jesus to them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. [32] But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. [33] Peter answered and said to him, Though all men shall be offended because of you, yet will I never be offended. [34] Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, That this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice. [35] Peter said to him, Though I should die with you, yet will I not deny you. Likewise also said all the disciples. [36] Then comes Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder. [37] And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. [38] Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me. [39] And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will. [40] And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? [41] Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
American King James Version×

31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is

written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32 But after I

have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee." 33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if

all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble." 34 Jesus said to him,

"Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."

35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the

disciples. There intentions were good, but we know what did happen - all the disciples did desert

Jesus, and Peter did indeed deny Christ three times. But before this happened, earlier in the

evening we read verse 36.

   

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36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here

while I go and pray over there." 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and

He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly

sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible,

let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you

not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed

is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Our flesh often gets in the way of our rightful intentions. Just as that happened to our biblical

heroes, so it happens to us as well. We work to purge out that old leaven so we can become a

new lump. We purge out the leaven of sin, and hopefully fill the void with the spirit of God. And

we do this process over and over again every year, and hopefully even more often than that.

Let’s go next to James 3 and let’s look at what could be the most dangerous piece of flesh that we

have. What do you think I’m talking about? Let’s see James 3

James 3:2-10 James 3:2-10 [2] For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. [3] Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. [4] Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor wants. [5] Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! [6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. [7] For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed of mankind: [8] But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. [9] Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. [10] Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not so to be.
American King James Version×

2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able

also to bridle the whole body. (meaning that if you can control your words, that is a major victory

– perhaps the biggest way we can overcome this flesh is to overcome - the tongue) 3 Indeed, we

put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at

ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small

rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it

defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For

every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by

mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we

bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of

God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not

to be so.

This is pretty direct and to the point. We must be careful what comes out of our mouths. The

tongue can be very dangerous. Going on in chapter 4 we see that we ourselves can actually start a

war.

James 4:1-4 James 4:1-4 [1] From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? [2] You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. [3] You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts. [4] You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
American King James Version×

4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for

pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot

obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not

receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and

   

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adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever

therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

We are in a time where we are to put sin out of our lives, and fill that void by increasingly putting

on Jesus Christ. But it is a difficult process. We want to put sin out, we are striving to do that.

But we are fighting a war, a spiritual war. We do not war according to the flesh. We are

constantly having to resist being tugged back into our old way of doing things. Our old way of

speaking, our past thoughts that seem to resurface at the most inopportune time. We go through

this process, and we want to put sin out, but it is difficult. We are fighting a battle against a

spiritual foe, a foe who does not want us to resist him.

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He

will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded.

9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to

gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

This is the antidote. Resisting the devil, drawing near to God on a daily basis. Humbling

ourselves and allowing ourselves to come under the mighty hands of God.

We won’t go there, but Gen 4 –tells us if you don’t do well – sin lies at the door. Sin is always

there, on the other side, just waiting to be let in. I want to impress on us this battle we are facing,

and that we must overcome Satan, and make no provision for the flesh.

Next, let’s see some specifics of what the works of the flesh are. Gal 5. These again are things

that we can be drawn to, so easily ensnared to return to if we’re not constantly on guard. We must

keep all these things out of our lives.

Galatians 5:19-25 Galatians 5:19-25 [19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. [24] And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
American King James Version×

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident (these are obvious – there is no arguing that these are

works of the flesh. But notice as they are listed here, that while there are some we may never be

tempted to do, there are others that can be too near to us, things that we may now be doing in our

lives that we need to be putting out). The works of the flesh which are: adultery, fornication,

uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions (ah, maybe now we are getting

closer to home), contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions (being very self

focused), dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders (notice what’s placed side by side here – envy

and murders)…and drunkenness, revelries, and the like;

(and the like – Paul could have added more things to the list. But notice the consequences of

doing these things) of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those

who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Those who practice (the Greek word for practice here means to perform repeatedly or habitually).

Contentions, heresies, outbursts of wrath - these things can cost us our place in God's kingdom, if

they are unrepented of, and if we don't stop practicing them. This is serious.

   

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It’s not enough to just put sin out of our lives, which we should have been trying to do leading up

to the Passover. We also have to put something into our lives, filling that space where sin used to

be, so that the sin will not come right back. Verse 22.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified

the flesh with its passions and desires. Those who belong to Jesus Christ have figuratively nailed

the passions and desires of their flesh to His cross and crucified them there.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The bible consistently contrasts living in the flesh with living in the spirit. Those with a spiritual

mindset are constantly in tune with God, continually running things they see and hear by God.

They judge themselves by the word of God, which is God’s spiritual mirror. And the result of that

- is a new creation being formed.

If we go a few verses back, to the beginning of this section of Gal 5, we see just before listing the

works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit, Paul gives this same summary statement as verse 25.

Galatians 5:16-17 Galatians 5:16-17 [16] This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. [17] For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.
American King James Version×

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; (they are constantly butting

heads, at war with each other) and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the

things that you wish

It’s so easy to slip up, so easy to do something we don’t wish to. The things of the flesh do have

an effect on us, and there are consequences for our fleshly actions. Those consequences aren’t

always immediate, but they will come. There’s actually a number of scriptures in Galatians alone

which talk about the consequences of fleshly behavior.

Galatians 6:7-10 Galatians 6:7-10 [7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. [8] For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. [9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. [10] As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.
American King James Version×

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For

he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap - everlasting life? No, sowing to the flesh reaps

corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

So as we do battle, and we see things going on around us, it can become easy to get weary and

discouraged. But that’s another fleshly attitude that WE MUST fight. Weariness.

9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose

heart. We aren’t always immediately blessed by doing a good thing. That’s OK – walking in the

spirit means we don’t get weary, but instead we look for more opportunities to do good. And

eventually, in God’s right time we ourselves will reap the fruit of doing good. So, 10 Therefore,

as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

We must always strive to do good. Back in James chapter 4, it shows that if we aren’t doing good,

the effect is that we are putting sin into our lives.

   

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James 4:17 James 4:17Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
American King James Version×

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

So, are there some good things in your life that you know you should be doing, but aren’t? There

are a few areas that we perhaps don't talk about much from up here, and maybe as a result we don't

focus on them very much ourselves. Let's turn to 1 Cor 6.

1 Cor 6 says we – our physical bodies – we are the temple of God. This section of 1 Cor 6 starting

in verse 12 has the heading in my bible Glorify God in Body - and spirit. We usually focus more

on the spirit part, but what we see here and other places is that how we take care of our fleshly

body is a reflection of the glory we are giving to God.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. [19] What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? [20] For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
American King James Version×

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits

sexual immorality sins against his own body. (So, there is at least one, and probably more - sins

that can be done against our own body). 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the

Holy Spirit which is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (my body is not

ultimately mine, but it belongs to God – how do I treat this body that belongs to God?) 20 For

you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are

God's.

Brethren, how are you doing at taking care of your body? How am I doing? This is something we

should be examining ourselves in. Consider the area of health. Do we know deep down we

should be eating better? Our grocery stores are filled with processed items that may taste delicious

and will briefly satisfy your hunger pangs, but they are not wholesome, or good for you. How

often during this time of year as we read labels diligently looking for leavening agents do we read

over numerous other ingredients that we can’t identify or know what it is derived from? If our diet

is contributing to health issues, or we suspect our diet may lead to future health issues, we have a

responsibility to change in this area, otherwise we could be acting against our own body. Turn

forward a few pages to 1 Cor 10, and let’s note verse 31.

1 Corinthians 10:31 1 Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
American King James Version×

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

It does matter to God what we eat and drink, and how they affect this temple. I’m sure we’ve all

heard health professionals recommend to us things we should be doing to take care of ourselves

better. It doesn’t mean we take everything they say or write at face value – it is our responsibility

to research and verify, but if a doctor tells us we need to be doing something better, and we know

deep down he or she is right, but we choose not to do it, we are falling short.

Let’s turn to Hebrews 12. Very important scripture to consider as we are examining ourselves.

Here in Hebrews 12 starting in verse 5.

Hebrews 12:5-11 Hebrews 12:5-11 [5] And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and whips every son whom he receives. [7] If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? [8] But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. [9] Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? [10] For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. [11] Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby.
American King James Version×

   

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5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise

the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the

Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."

As we read these verses, notice how often the word chasten comes up. The Greek word is

paideias, and it means to educate, to discipline. It’s because God loves us that he educates us, he

disciplines us, he expects that we will grow, that we will come out of our sins, and that we will

strive to become like Him in every aspect of our lives.

7 If you endure chastening (or discipline), It’s not fun to be disciplined, to see that areas we need

to grow and improve in. But God does it for our good.

God often uses human instruments to chasten us. Again I think of health professionals – they can

discipline us. Ministers are another chastener of God. Parents are as well. But however we

receive discipline, we endure it. Verse 7 again,

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father

does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers (all

who are of God have to be disciplined from time to time), but if not, then you are illegitimate and

not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.

Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they

indeed (our human fathers) for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He (God -

disciplines us) for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. The purpose of chastening

is for us to become like God. God molds us, He shapes us, and He moves us towards holiness.

But is discipline fun? Is it easy to take? It’s not easy to change our ways and habits in various

areas of our life and do things differently. When I’m getting ready to exercise, such as when I’m

stretching getting ready to run, I often take a deep breath and think of Hebrews 12:11 Hebrews 12:11Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them which are exercised thereby.
American King James Version×
.

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it

yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Another

translation says this of verse 11: No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on,

however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

By those who habitually practice it. I generally feel better after I'm done with my exercising,

tired but better, knowing the pain I endured was worth it.

If we know to do something good but we don’t do it, it may well be sin. If we don’t normally

consider our physical health as part of our examination process, then I would encourage you to do

so. If there is something within our physical bodies that we know we need to change in, and it’s

within our control - make it a goal this feast season to do something about it.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want

the most.” Think about that. (Repeat) Sometimes what we want now, in the moment, may keep

us from getting what we want the most. What is it you want the most brethren? What do you

want more than anything? Hopefully it is to be a spirit being in God's kingdom. To be God’s

spiritual children. What we do while we’re in the flesh makes all the difference to God. 2 Cor 5.

   

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2 Corinthians 5:10 2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.
American King James Version×

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the

things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. We will be judged

for what we do in this body.

Let’s go to Romans 7. This doing good, this walking in the spirit, this coming out of sin – It is a

battle – it’s an internal war between the flesh and the spirit. A tug of war going back and forth. A

war that we may sometimes feel like we’re losing. The Apostle Paul struggled in this war as well.

Romans 7:18-25 Romans 7:18-25 [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
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18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me,

but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but

the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who

do it, but sin that dwells in me. The spirit wants to obey God, but the flesh resists obeying God and

His law.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. (When I want to do

good, evil is always right there knocking at the door.) 22 For I delight in the law of God according

to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind,

and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I

am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our

Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

This is what we are constantly dealing with as God’s called out ones. The pull back to the flesh.

The reasserting of the envyings, the contentions, the outbursts of wrath.

Going next to 1 Peter, chapter 3. We are to seek peace and pursue it! If you can’t do this, then

from God’s perspective, how can He have you as part of His spirit family forever and ever?

1 Peter 3:8-12 1 Peter 3:8-12 [8] Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous: [9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing. [10] For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: [11] Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. [12] For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
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, 18

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be

tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the

contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For

"He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from

speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers;

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

God is watching us. He’s seeing how seriously we are measuring ourselves against the stature and

fullness of Jesus Christ. We must continue the work to root all sin out our lives.

I’ve come to the realization lately that there is very little middle ground with God. I see God as

pretty much black and white. Things are either right or wrong. Something is either an

abomination or it’s not. 2 Cor 6. With God, we either do good, or we’re sinning. We’re either

   

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walking in the flesh, or in the spirit. We’re either equally yoked or we’re not. There seems to be

very little if any middle ground with God.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 [14] Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? [15] And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? [16] And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. [18] And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (Don’t be bound with those who don’t

believe). For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light

with darkness? (how can light and darkness exist together – they can’t.) 15 And what accord has

Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has

the temple of God with idols?

And the reason we are to avoid these things at all costs? For you, you are the temple of the living

God. (PAUSE) As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their

God, And they shall be My people." (Think about it - God doesn’t want to be anywhere near

someone who isn’t clean. So here’s His instruction to us.)

17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is

unclean, And I will receive you." 18 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and

daughters, Says the Lord Almighty."

The works of the flesh have no place in God’s temple, His body of believers. Defiling our body

defiles God’s temple, and He won’t have it. There is not a mixing here. God clearly does not

want us to mix right with wrong. If we want to worship God and please Him we must do it in the

ways that He says pleases Him!

Of course there are times we are going to mess up.  That’s why we need the sacrifice of Jesus

Christ. We need His blood to make us spotless, to wash away our sins, so that we can come

before God’s throne cleansed, so that God can receive us to Him once again. That’s what these

holy days picture – that process where we can continually become cleansed and right with God.

Rom 8 At this time of the year we put extra focus on putting sin out, and inviting Jesus Christ to

live in us. The unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The first part of Romans 8 is another

contrast between the flesh and the spirit.

Romans 8:1-9 Romans 8:1-9 [1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
American King James Version×

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk

according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was

weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account

of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled

in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. We can see here the vast

differences between walking in the spirit and walking in the flesh.

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, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be

spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity (it’s hostile) against

God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the

   

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flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit (how are we in the spirit?)

, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is

not His.

Again, the bible just has so much to say regarding the flesh vs the spirit. Let’s go to Col 3 and see

the things that those who have God’s spirit are to be seeking.

Colossians 3:1-17 Colossians 3:1-17 [1] If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. [2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. [3] For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. [4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. [5] Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: [6] For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience: [7] In the which you also walked some time, when you lived in them. [8] But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. [9] Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; [10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: [11] Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. [12] Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; [13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. [14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection. [15] And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. [17] And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
American King James Version×

1 If then you were raised with Christ (if you have been baptized and have received the holy spirit),

seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your

mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion,

evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is

coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in

them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy

language out of your mouth (again some of these things may hit close to home). 9 Do not lie to

one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man

who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Going on with the contrast, verse 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on

tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and

forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so

you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts (are we truly at peace with all that is going on, or are

we worriers?), let the peace of God rule in your hearts (to which also you were called in one

body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (this is strong

proactive language being used here), teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns

and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in

word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

This life we are living, this race we are running, it isn’t something we can just coast in. We won’t

just “get by” in life and be in God’s kingdom. There are some who have the mindset that the vast

majority of mankind will be in God’s kingdom. I hope that’s the case, but it’s not guaranteed.

Those who will rebel against Satan at the end of the millennium will be counted as the sand of the

sea. In the past, during a time of paradise (we assume), one third of the angels rebelled against

God and followed Satan. Scripture says there are some who unfortunately have committed the

unpardonable sin.

Romans 13. You and I can’t take being in the kingdom for granted. Brethren, we must be

striving to put sin out of our lives. We must be taking Jesus Christ in. We must be producing the

fruit of the spirit that has been given to us. We must watch and be sober. We must endure, we

must persevere, we must strive, we must run, we must seek. These are not biblical admonitions

that indicate it is easy to make it to the kingdom. They take focused effort. We need all the help

   

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we can get, so we must do our part and go through the lifelong conversion process, symbolized by

the spring holy days, so that we can be made right with God. So that we can achieve salvation.

Yes, we are saved – for a period of time as we cycle through the conversion process, but we have

not yet achieved ultimate salvation.

Romans 13:11-14 Romans 13:11-14 [11] And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. [12] The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. [13] Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. [14] But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
American King James Version×

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our

salvation is (guaranteed? – no, our salvation is) nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is

far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the

armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in

lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no

provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Don’t give in to the lusts of the flesh is another way of putting it. It’s not saying that we can’t eat

when we’re hungry, or take care of our other physical needs, but it specifically says here not to

fulfill the flesh’s lusts. Remember earlier we read in Gal 5 to Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not

fulfill the lust of the flesh. Lusting is a longing for something, especially something that is

forbidden. The antidote to the things of the flesh is to walk in the spirit.

Conclusion

So brethren, as we start to wind this down, today starts a festival that portrays the next step in the

fulfillment of God’s master plan. After we have put sin out, and after God, through Christ’s

sacrifice, has forgiven us of our sins, how do we keep sin out, and go on living in newness of life?

How do we live as God’s redeemed people? We find that answer in the symbolism of the Feast of

Unleavened Bread. Turn to Exodus 12.

God commanded ancient Israel to keep these days, and when God freed Israel from slavery in

Egypt, He told His people that for “seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.” It’s more than

simply not eating leavened bread. We are to eat unleavened bread. Each day.

Ex 12:15-20

15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your

houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall

be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh

day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that

which everyone must eat — that only may be prepared by you.

17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought

your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your

generations as an everlasting ordinance. So the Israelites were told to observe these days as a

reminder of their coming out of Egypt. It also remains as a foundational reason for observing this

feast today. Just as God delivered ancient Israel, He also delivers us from our sins and difficulties.

We leave our Egypt behind.

   

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18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened

bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be

found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from

the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat

nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"

In 1 Cor 5 the apostle Paul also taught the same spiritual lessons as had Jesus Christ, invoking the

comparison of sin to leaven. In the context of reprimanding the Corinthian congregation for its

divisions, jealousies and tolerance of sexual misconduct, Paul wrote this here in 1 Cor 5.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 [6] Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: [8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×

6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with

old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of

sincerity and truth.

The church at Corinth was obviously keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, Paul used

the Corinthians’ obedience in keeping the feast physically (removing leaven from their homes) as

an encouragement for them to celebrate the feast with a proper understanding of its spiritual intent.

We spent the time prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread working to put sin out. We spend the

time during the Days of Unleavened Bread continuing to injest the bread of life that we started out

eating just a bit of at Passover.

During these days, let’s be thinking about how to transform our lives, as we walk in the spirit.

Just as Jesus Christ overcame the world, so he expects all those he has called to also overcome. I

don’t have time to go through Romans chapter 6, but I would encourage you to read it more than

once this holy day season. To me, Romans 6 is the place to turn to read about the spiritual

meaning of the spring holy days. It talks about not letting sin reign in us, and walking in newness

of life, among many other spiritual concepts. And it concludes with the familiar verse 23 - For the

wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let’s go to Romans 12 for our final scripture today. When you eat the Unleavened Bread for 7

days, remember the bread does in part symbolize putting Christ in us, letting Him live in us. We

are demonstrating that we are prepared to live by every word of God, and that we will put God’s

word in ourselves. These days represent a transformation and a renewal.

Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that

you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

   

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You become a new person when you allow the very mind of God to reside in you. Our

observance of the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread helps us realize our need for Jesus

Christ’s help in overcoming our weaknesses. God gives us physical actions at this time of year

that illustrate spiritual lessons.

Brethren, there is no compromise with God. We are to make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its

lusts. We are to measure ourselves against the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ. We are to fill

the void caused by the removal of leaven, fill it with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 Brethren, let this Passover and DUB season draw you closer to God, and help to strengthen the

transformation process so we in this temple can all become more conformed to the image of our

elder Brother.