This week, Pastor Chris continued through the book of Galatians with a powerful word about living by the Spirit. In our text, the apostle Paul provides a solution for the internal battle every believer has of walking by the flesh or by the Spirit. Paul says that the solution is simple, but we each need revelation to hear it. The Father set us free so that we would walk in step with His Spirit in wholehearted humility and dependence.
Stand Firm in Freedom
Galatians 5:1–4 (ESV)
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Luke 8:13–14 (ESV)
13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
Galatians 5:5–9 (ESV)
5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. 7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Galatians 5:10–12 (ESV)
10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
Freed to Live Unselfishly
Galatians 5:13 (ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Two Major Distortions of the Gospel
- Hyper Grace
Galatians 5:14-15 (ESV)
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Conquer the Flesh by Yielding to the Spirit
Galatians 5:16–17 (ESV)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
“For the flesh constantly has a strong desire to suppress the Spirit, and the Spirit constantly has a strong desire to suppress the flesh.” Wuest Translation
The only way to conquer the flesh is to yield to the Spirit of God.
Galatians 5:18–21 (ESV)
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
3 Major Sin Areas of the Flesh
- Sex: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality.
- Religion: idolatry and sorcery.
- Human Relationships: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, drunkenness, envy, and orgies.
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 (ESV)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Yielding to the Spirit Produces Fruit
Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Holy Spirit brings victory over sin and produces fruit in our lives.
Galatians 5:24–26 (ESV)
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
- How would you define freedom from a worldly perspective? What about from a Biblical perspective?
- Do you struggle with self-sufficiency? How is this a form of legalism?
- What does it mean to live by the flesh? How does this show up in your life?
- How do we walk in step with the Spirit?
- Which fruit of the Spirit could you use an upgrade in within your life?
- Are you struggling with the schemes of legalism or hyper-grace? Get prayer this week for alignment with true Biblical grace.
- Ask yourself this week: what is the fruit of my life? Is it humility, grace, and love? Or is it selfishness, legalism, and internal tension?
- Are there any passions that you need to crucify by the Holy Spirit? Get restoration prayer from a mentor this week.