The Spirit Of Christ

(based upon a sermon by N.B. Hardeman)

Romans 8:1-9

 

This lesson based  upon the text of Romans 8 verses 1-9, specifically upon verse 9 hear it……

9But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his

 

I trust that this passage may register upon our minds.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his  This is a universal statement from which no man is excepted. Our respective stations in life do not enter into consideration. It matters not what else may be said of me or you, if we have not  the “spirit of Christ,” all other things amount to nothing.

 

In light of such a far-reaching statement with such consequences as announced don’t you think it worth our while to study first of all what we mean by the Spirit of Christ, and secondly see as to whether or not we possess it?

    But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”

 

Now there is much said of the “spirit of God and of Christ”  and I am impressed with the need t, o thoroughly study the matter

9But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you

 

I am constrained to believe that the first import of this statement dealt with first century Christians those that possessed the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner but likewise I must possess the spirit of Christ.  I believe this to be the mind of Christ, the attitude or the disposition of our Lord with regard to various affairs of the world. Now I know that this is true for the apostle Paul said Philippians 2:5

 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

 

Well we frequently speak of one that he is public spirited, and by that we mean his attitude toward the public, and toward public affairs. We speak of one who has a spirit of vengeance. By that we mean to say that he possesses an attitude of retaliation,  and seeks revenge upon another. Or we talk of a sweet-spirited person.

 

And in all this we have the same idea when we speak of having the spirit of Christ we are referring His disposition, His attitude.  So in all my contact with the world, I must have and manifest  the Spirit of Christ”,  or else its has been stated,   “I am none of His.”

Now I wish to make application, and in doing so may I challenge you  with the following question, "What was the Spirit that Christ manifested toward the Heavenly Father"?

 

And without a long recitation, I quote just one or two verses bearing on the idea.  Hebrews 5:8-9

8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

 

Again Philippians  2:5-9

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross

   

Now what was the attitude of our Lord toward His Heavenly Father?  It was one of humility and one of perfect submission, that of rendering perfect obedience unto, even though death itself was the result thereof. I must have that “spirit” that “attitude” that “disposition “  or else I am none of His.

 

Let me close this first thought by sharing with you the attitude that Christ had with respect to the last trials of which He passed. In the lonely Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed,  My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.      Matt 26:39

Beloved, I need to have this kind of spirit, this disposition toward the Heavenly Father, or else Paul by inspiration said Ron Cope you are none of His.

 

Well next I ask what was the attitude, the spirit of Christ toward His earthly parents? When 12 He accompanied His father and mother to attend the annual feast in Jerusalem.  After that was over they left Jerusalem, that evening the mother began to seek Jesus, thinking He was among the kinsmen. Upon investigation, found that He was missing from their company.  Finally turning back to Jerusalem there she found Him. Well, after her reproof and His reply, He left Jerusalem with His parents   where the record states

51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them:  Luke 2:51

 

Young boys and girls, there isn’t a child on earth, but may gather a wonderful lesson by observing the Spirit of Christ, that of subjection, respect, and obedience to His earthly parents.

 

Now may I ask, what was the mind  or spirit of toward His earthly parents, 

51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them:.”  (Luke 2:51)  What was the spirit of Christ toward the Heavenly Father?    Not My Will Father But Thine”. Toward Governmental affairs?  And there is an interesting story recorded in

Matt 22:15-22     

15Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.

   

Thus of respecting the government of His words. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s 

 

In Romans 13:1 Paul instructs us:  ‘’Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers

 

Well, let us pass  to our next thought- namely: What attitude did Christ have toward His personal enemies, those who persecuted Him? And here is the answer:  1 Peter 2:23

23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

 

Do you get the idea? If your enemy smites you on one cheek, what? turn to him the other, if he take your coat¾ give him also your cloak, if he force you to travel one mile, go with him  two. All of this suggest  what Christ represented as the Lamb of God.

 
Think about the characteristics of a Lamb. It’s the humblest, the meekest and most submissive of all animals on earth.    
Isaiah 53:7-9

 

 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

 

This was our Lord with reference to matters personal against Him. You can not find in all the Bible where Jesus ever retaliated with reference to personal injury, or personal insult. 

"But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his"

 

But the tragedy today is that many have never learned there are two side of the Son of God.   Many think the only characteristic evidenced ought to be that of the lamb. Beloved every coin has two sides, But let a man stand up and he is acting un Christian, un Christ-like.

 

But, instead of Christ being some little weak negative something, I want you to understand that the same Bible that says He is the Lamb of God, says also “He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah”.  Revelation 5:5…..    Now stop a minute and study the nature of a lion. He is king of beasts. He walks out  into a company of animals, wags his tail, shakes his shaggy mane,  and gives a roar that can be heard from Dan to Beersheba.

 

Well how do you account for the idea that Christ is a lion?  Hear it…..

With reference to personal defense Christ is a lamb. But whenever His doctrine was attacked and opposed,  He never offered one element of compromise, He showed no disposition to yield one inch, but stood as a Lion against every foe.

 

A lamb with regard to personal matters  A lion with regard to error both in doctrine and practice in things contrary to His teachings.

 

Now I should like to demonstrate that idea. First, I call your attention to the story of Stephen,  Acts chapter 6,  The Bible says that he was a man of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom Acts 6:3-8  Stephen who are you? “I am a man of good report,  one of wisdom and full of the Holy Spirit. 

Now there’s the man I introduce to you!  Accusation was brought against him thus:

11We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. Acts 6:11  this of course was not true but they continue, and we read —

12And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:  Acts 6:12-13

 

Now there’s the accusation against him!  And I stop to ask  Did Stephen have the spirit of Christ”?    Here’s a man full of good report, filled with wisdom, and of the Holy Spirit. Stephen what say you in defense to these accusations?  Acts 7:51-52

51Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One; of whom ye have now become betrayers and murderers;

 

Now should Stephen have said that? Did he act according to the “spirit of Christ”. Many today would say that was unchristian. But Stephen had the “spirit of Christ” and evidenced here to these betrayers and murders, and in so doing, he opposed these evil men.

 

Again I turn to the 13th chapter of Acts verses  4-8

Where Paul had left Antioch in Syria, traveling until he came to Paphos, and there he found a Jew by the name of Bar-Jesus, and he was with one Sergius Paulus whom the Bible says was a “prudent man”.   This prudent man calls for Paul and Barnabas desiring to hear the word of God, but Elymas the sorcerer, withstood them seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Now note: Paul has somewhat to say but I ask:

Does Paul have the “spirit of  Christ”?

 

Let us see the “spirit of Christ” in action, turn the lion loose. 

Acts 13:9-10

9But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him, 10and said, O full of all guile and all villany, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

 

Beloved, I stand before God certain of the fact that to condemn, rebuke, and refute error is either the “spirit of Christ”, or to admit that Paul was wholly out of line . Did Paul have the “spirit of Christ” when he said “You’re a child of the devil full of deceit and evil, why don’t you stop opposing the word of God?

 

Beloved it is the “spirit of Christ “ to stand strongly against those who oppose  God’s word.  I turn to the Master Himself —

 

And I want to see what spirit He had towards all error that confronted Him.   Matt 21:12

12And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;

 

This was a significance event it happened twice in the ministry of Christ, at the beginning, John 2:13-17 and again as recorded here.    Now imagine Christ saying something like some of us moderns do “Now gentlemen, I hate to say anything but I wish you wouldn’t do that, it isn’t nice. God wouldn’t like it.

   

Now I ask is that the “spirit of Christ”?  Beloved this is Christ Himself, hear ye Him!   Matt 21:13

13and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

 

And someone says “I wouldn’t treat anyone that way, and say those things  Maybe not,  but Christ stood as a Lion against every foe that opposed the word of God. I believe that are many today that will be accountable on the day of judgement because they have not done this very thing.

 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3

 

Or again 2 Timothy 4:1-2

1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  

 

Again I read the last speech of Christ where He told his disciples Matt 23:2-7

2The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. 4Yea, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi.

 

 Matthew chapter 23 is a reproving and rebuking of the scribes and Pharisees -  read it 

 

In Matt 15;12-13

12Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

 

These are but extracts found throughout the Bible of those who possessed the “spirit of Christ

 

The “spirit of Christ” consists of this; With reference to personal  attack, and personal insult and slander, what about Him? He was a lamb. When reviled, he reviled not again; when suffering, he threatened not.

 

Now what the other side of it?  With reference to all error and opposition to truth, “He’s a Lion of the tribe of Judah”!  May we learn to possess the “spirit of Christ”

But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his

Romans 8:9

 

Now I realize from a talk like this no one could possibly learn what to do to become a Christian.   I call your attention to the final words of Christ.   Mark 16:15-16

15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

We see this demonstrated over and over in the book of Acts. Do you need to respond? Would you do it now?