Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
October 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Your Chosen Pathway
Description
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday October 26, 2014
Your Chosen Pathway
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Jesus Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” ( Romans 8:1 )
Life is a transitory journey between the polarities of 
birth and death. The duration of that sojourn embodies 
innumerable choices that carry varying consequences. 
That task is complicated by the fact that the choice 
options tend to exist in paradigm of a thesis and an 
antithesis. These choice options range from the simple 
statement of intention yes or no to an array of additionally 
focused choices, some of which are: in literature is the 
statement “to be or not to be”, in benevolence there is 
the choice to help or not to help, in school there is the 
choice to study or not to study, in ethics there is the choice 
of to be truthful or not to be truthful, and in Christianity 
there is the choice to walk “... not after the flesh, but after 
the Spirit” ( Rom. 8:1 ) 
While each of these areas contains relevance for one’s 
sojourn on life, this sermon will be confined to the last 
option listed - i.e., walk not after the flesh, but after the 
Spirit. Hopefully, this sermon will provide guidelines and 
motivation for you on Your Chosen Pathway to walk not 
after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Hence, it has been 
entitled Your Chosen Pathway. The sermon will be anchored 
by the following three considerations, namely, learning to 
walk, choosing pathways for your walk, and outcomes at the 
end of the walk. 
Instead of elaborating on the Scripture that anchors 
this sermon, attention will directed to the first component 
of the sermon which is - learning to walk. Thankfully, 
most babies are born with the latent capacity to walk, but 
time, patience, and nurture are required for the child to 
walk independently. That process is processed by rolling 
over the cradle, sitting in a baby scroller, pulling up on a 
bedside or chair, and wobbling along while hold the hand 
of some child or adult. The child, during the process will 
experience many falls, some of which might be severe, but 
it soon resumes the endeavor to walk. Parents and others 
who assist the child in learning to walk make constant 
efforts to steer the baby aware from dangers. Unfortunately, 
too many parents structure their training on the physical 
safety and later educational expectations of child training 
while failing to take a proactive stance in the early 
socialization of the youngster. Such parents are neglecting 
to comply with the biblical admonition, “ Train up a child in 
the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart 
from it.” ( Pr. 22:6 ). Beloved, it must never forgotten that 
every person is born a carnal being and, therefore, walks in 
the flesh. That lost state remains until the individual, though 
teaching and hopefully observing the family’s commitment 
to sound Biblical doctrines and giving signs of walking not 
after the flesh, but after the Spirit, comes to accept Jesus 
as Lord and Savior. This conversion experience is the 
prerequisite to becoming a new creature. ( Rom. 10:9 and 
2nd Cor. 5:15 ). The reality of this glorious access to the 
Triune God’s provisions leads to the second concern of 
the sermon which is - Choosing pathways for your walk. 

The philosopher John Knox theorized that at birth 
the individual’s mind is like a blackboard and on it are 
written numerous indelible experiences. Years have 
passed since the time of Knox as noted by his reference to 
the blackboard, but his assertion continues to be relevant 
in this 21st Century. McDougall, an early psychologist 
taught that human learning and behavior were 
manifestations of instincts. He was later contradicted by 
an host of psychologists. Both psychologists and 
sociologists agreed that human action is structured within 
both formal and informal settings. Hence, one can be 
inherent conversion and, will, therefore walk after the 
flesh while being a good and respectful individual. 
However decency and benevolence are no substitute for 
conversion. The question, therefore, becomes what are 
some avenues that individuals have chosen as their 
pathway. Owing to vastness of options, no attempt will 
be made to identify them individually; instead, a 
categorical scheme is herein submitted. Persons have 
and continue to pursue materialistic goals, sensuous 
outlets, criminal and delinquent acts, home invasions, 
assaults especially the elderly, human trafficking, 
random shooting of persons and/or within group settings, 
pan handling and the street walkers - to mention but a few 
of the acts found in the walk after the flesh. While the 
actions may engender pride, success, and wealth, they 
are no substitute for the walk after the Spirit. This fact 
leads to the third dimension of sermon which is - the 
ultimate outcome for one’s chosen walk. Two Biblical 
personalities are herein presented, “Dives” and Saul. 
The first person, often referred to as Dives, appears 
in Luke’s recording of a parable that Jesus gave as found 
in Luke 16:19-31. In his parable, Jesus merely referred to 
“...a certain rich man” ( Lk. 16:19 ), but - by tradition - the 
person was given the name Dives. It must be note, however, 
that the man’s behavior ( walk after the flesh ) was more 
crucial than a name for him. This man was not condemned 
for his lifestyle of wealth! His problem was rather in the 
stewardship of his wealth. As noted in the Master’s parable, 
“There was a certain beggar name Lazarus, which was laid 
at (the) gate, full of sores.” He desired to be fed with the 
crumbs from the rich man’s table. The rich man discounted 
the beggar’s need. Later Lazarus died and was carried by 
angles into Abraham’s bosom. The parable does not 
specify the time between the death of Lazarus and Dives; 
however, it does tell that the Dives went to hell and from 
that hot spot he looked up and saw Lazarus in Abraham’s 
bosom. Dives begged Abraham to allow Lazarus to come 
come down and dip the tip of his finger on his tongue 
because he was tormented. Abraham reminded him that, 
during his life he had good things ( walk after the flesh ) 
while Lazarus can not come down to you. He, then, begged 
for Lazarus to go unto his five brothers and warn them of 
the worldly actions. Dives was told that if his brothers 
had not believed Moses and the prophets they would not 
be persuaded by one rose from the dead. ( Lk. 16:31 ). 
Beloved, this first citation just completed clearly shows 
and warns of the ultimate consequence of embracing the 
walk in the flesh. Attention will now be directed on a 
person who, for a long time, walked after the flesh but 
after an unforgettable on a journey to persecute those 
viewed as walking after the Spirit, he became an ardent 
defer of the right to walk after the Spirit. This person was 
Saul of Tarsus who later be Paul. He was highly educated, 
widely travel, a witness to the martyrdom of Stephen, was 
given Stephen’s robe, and zealously sought a letter of 
authorization to go to Damascus, capture, bind, and bring 
back to be tortured and killed. Oh! he was being flesh 
driven, but unknown to him an unforgettable experience 
awaited him on the Damascus Road. The time required to 
give a synopsis is grossly inadequate as part of this 
sermon. As an alternative a few highlights will be cited. 
He shifted from persecuting Christians to proclaiming the 
gospel; he authored 14 of the 27 books of the New 
Testament, he made three missionary journeys to spread 
Christianity, he was a church builder, and his writings 
provided most of the theological explanations for 
Christianity. Although Paul was committed to walk in the 
Spirit, he - nonetheless - reported facing the dilemma of 
flesh verses Spirit ( Roman 7:15-25 ). Describing himself 
as “O wretched man...”, but he knew and thanks Jesus 
for providing succor for him to serve God. As a testimony of 
his fortitude to endure the struggle of walking in the Spirit, 
is found his message to Timothy, “For I am, now read to be 
offered, and my time of my departure is at hand. I have 
fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept 
the faith.” ( 2nd Timothy 4:6-7 ) ( stayed in the walk of the 
Spirit ). Unlike Dives who followed the walk of the flesh, 
Paul could assert that there is laid up for him a crown of 
righteousness... 1st Tim. 4: 6-8. 
So in closing, beloved, the somber question for each of 
you becomes - What is your chosen pathway? Flesh or 
Spirit. Remember each one carries a set of consequences! 
Amen
Contents © 2017 Institutional First Baptist Church | Church Website Provided by mychurchwebsite.net | Privacy Policy