The Obstacles to the Spirit-filled Life
I Cor. 3:1-4 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Intro: I believe one of the major problems in the church today is the lack of Spirit-filled believers.
These believers were carnal, and as a result, it…
1. Hindered their Hearing of the Preaching – vs. 1 And I…could not speak unto you…
2. Hindered their Hunger for the Word – vs. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat…ye were not able
3. Hindered their Harmony with one another – vs. 3 there is among you envying, and strife and divisions…
NOTE: It is impossible for two Spirit-filled people to have an argument. Carnal people fuss and fight and debate.
Carnality pursues controversy; Spirit-filled people seek peace and unity with one another; not strife and arguing.
- Carnality is not a condition that you should be satisfied with!
- Carnality is not a condition that you have no control over!
- Carnality is not a condition that is conducive to God working in a church and church growth!
- It is imperative that we be filled with His Spirit, and allow Him to direct and control every aspect of our lives.
- Many people have misconceptions of spirituality. What makes a person Spirit-filled? Notice what it is NOT:A. Perception – it’s not what people think about you that determine if you are Spirit-filled or not
B. Procedures – Bible reading, devotions, church attendance, praying etc. does not mean you’re Spirit-filled
C. Programs – being involved in a great ministry or organization is not it
D. Positions – being a pastor, or a deacon, or a preacher, or a singer is not it
E. Performance – being successful at something ministry related and impressing people is not the key
F. Personality – it is not being quiet, or loud, or calm, or excited, or whatever.
G. Popularity – just because someone has a great following doesn’t mean they are filled with the Spirit!
THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE IN BEING CARNAL AND BEING WORLDLY!
Just because you are separated doesn’t mean you are Spirit-filled!!
Paul addressed this problem of “For ye are YET carnal…” in I Cor. 3:3
People that should be Spirit-filled simply were YET CARNAL.
What is the problem? Why are so many believers walking in carnality instead of the Spirit?
What is HINDERING many Christians from being Spirit-filled?
I. A Lack of Persistent Examination – people do not know if they are or aren’t
- 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
A. Many people think that they are, without ever really examining themselves.
B. Many people don’t take the time or make the effort to examine their life in the light of God’s word.
C. Many people don’t care enough about it for it to matter one way or the other
D. Many times throughout the day, we should examine ourselves to see if we are being controlled by the Spirit.
II. A Lack of Personal Experience – most people have never known what it means to be Spirit-filled
A. You will NEVER hunger for what you’ve never had.
B. You will NEVER long for a life you’ve never lived.
- Psalm 41:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
III. A Lack of Public Examples – not enough role models to follow
A. Carnal Parents – Acts. 7:51 Children normally follow in the footsteps of their parents!
- Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
B. Carnal Peers
- John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
C. Carnal Preachers – II Peter 2:1, 2
IV. A Lack of Positive Expectation – most people do not think it is possible or achievable for them
A. They were Commanded – in Eph. 5:18 to be filled
B. They were Condemned – in I Cor. 3:1 for NOT being spiritual
C. They were Confronted – in I Cor. 3:2 as to how they were not spiritual
V. A Lack of Practical Explanation – not many people truly understand what it really is to be Spirit-filled
The Spirit-filled life has been painted by many as an almost mystical state of Christianity.
Many preachers and book writers have described the Spirit-filled life in a manner that is not consistent with Scriptures. Some even believe that the filling of the Spirit is a one-time event that drastically changes your life forever, taking you from one level of Christianity to another. (the Charismatics call this the Second Blessing!!)
I’ve even heard Fundamental Baptist preachers talk about remembering where they were when they were filled with the Spirit, which happened only after agonizing prayer and begging God.
That is not found in my Bible. The Bible says WALK in the Spirit; it says YIELD to the Spirit. It’s that simple!