"The Power To Prevail Over Your Problems"
Series on the Fruit of the Spirit, Msg. # 1

Your Biggest Problem

Read: Galatians 5:17-21
Text: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
Theme: Your biggest problem is your old nature, but you can overcome that problem through the Holy Spirit.


What is your biggest problem?
Health? Marital strife? Career decisions?
Away from God?

ILLUS. "A man went to a very high-priced psychiatrist and said, "Doc, I've got a problem. I hope you can help me." "What is your problem? asked the doctor. "Well, I'm married. I've got a Jaguar, my wife has a Cadillac, we have three children all in good health,and we have a home in the country and one in the city." "You don't seem so bad off," replied the doctor. "What is your problem?" The patient said slowly, "I only make $45 a week.""
QUOTE "There is a special place for people with no problems, it's called a cemetary".
But there is one problem that is your biggest.

I. Your biggest problem is your sin nature. (5:17)

A. Wonderful things happened when you got saved.
B. BUT, nothing happened to your sin nature.
QUOTE "We dwell in enfeebled bodies." Tom Malone
C. Until Jesus comes, you have a dual nature.
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I AM CARNAL, sold under sin." Romans 7:14
"Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that DWELLETH IN ME." Romans 7:17
"For I know that in me (that is, IN MY FLESH,) dwelleth no good thing..." Romans 7:18
"Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME." Romans 7:20
"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME." Romans 7:21
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which WAR AGAINST THE SOUL." 2 Peter 2:11
QUOTE "I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met!" Dwight L. Moody
D. Most of your other problems stem from this problem.

II. Your sin nature is ACTIVE. (5:19-21)

A. It leads you to commit SENSUAL sins.
Adultery ("Unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another." - Vines)
Fornication ("Sexual immorality, all kinds." PORNEIA)
Uncleanness ("Moral uncleanness, lewdness, incontinence in general." - Zodhiates)
Lasciviousness ("Wantonness, readiness for all pleasure, one who acknowledges no restraints." Zodhiates)
B. It leads you to commit WORSHIP sins.
Idolatry is FALSE worship, or worship of a FALSE god.
C. It leads you to commit SOCIAL sins.
Hatred(s) (Refers to hatreds of groups as well as to individual hatred for others.)
Variance ("Contentiousness")
Emulations ("Jealousy")
Wrath ("Fits of rage, boiling anger") THUMOS
Strife ("Selfish ambition")
Seditions ("A standing apart," an active type of heresy or division)
Heresies ("Divisions, factions," differs from sedition in that heresy can be within a group, but sedition is when it causes the group to divide.
Revellings ("Partying, riotous behavior")
D. It leads you to commit all types of sins!
"... and such like..."
(This list is not exhaustive!)

III. Your sin nature is DEFEATED! (5:16)

A. You are no longer ENSLAVED to it.
"... ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
(NOT = OU ME, negative imperative, strongest negative in the Greek language!)
"For sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION over you..."Romans 6:14
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:4-5
ILLUS. Paul cried in anguish, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) Later, he said, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:25) HE FOUND THE POWER TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEM IN JESUS!
ILLUS. Dr. Paul Vanaman tells of looking in his mirror one morning and thinking about a particular temptation that was strong in his life. He said to himself in the mirror, "Haven't you gotten the victory over that yet?" Then, after thinking for a few more minutes, he again said to himself, "No, but it hasn't gotten the victory over me yet, either!"
B. You have the POWER TO PREVAIL over it.
"Walk in the Spirit..."
In the Spirit
- Listening to His promptings.
- Obeying His promptings.
- Seeking His wisdom.
- Acting on His advice.
C. You have the Spirit's PROVISION to prevail over it:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is..." (vss. 22-23)
(These will be discussed individually in future sermons.)


What is your biggest problem?
Money? Health? Marital strife? Career decisions?
Away from God?
NO, your biggest problem is your old nature, but it is a problem that you can overcome through the Holy Spirit.
QUOTE "The basic problem that most people have is that they're doing nothing to solve their basic problem?
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.