His Story Affects Our Lives

Bible Book: Galatians  5 : 16-24
Subject: Christian Living; Holy Spirit
Introduction

In light of our natural inclination to sin, the only way to prevent us from totally unleashing our worst passions was to establish a system of laws that set boundaries on behavior and that carried penalties severe enough to promote conformity out of fear.

In contrast to the law, the Apostle Paul speaks of being “led by the Spirit” or “live in the Spirit” or “walk in the Spirit”; the “fruit of the Spirit.”

The flesh is powerless to fulfill the law, and the law is powerless to conquer the flesh. His Story affects life by not only guiding me, but empowering me to live a life of victory.

Romans 8:3-4, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

EXAMPLE: John Bunyan, in his Pilgrim’s Progress, describes Interpreter’s House, which Pilgrim entered during the course of his journey to the Celestial City. The parlor of the house was completely covered in dust, and when a man took a broom and started to sweep, he and the others in the room began to choke from the great clouds of dust that were stirred up. The more vigorously he swept, the more suffocating the dust became. The Interpreter ordered a maid to sprinkle the room with water, with which the dust was quickly washed away. Interpreter explained to Pilgrim that the parlor represented the heart of an unsaved man, that the dust was original sin, the man with the broom was the law, and the maid with the water was the gospel. His point was that all the Law can do with sin is to stir it up. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can wash it away.

NOTE: Rom 7:7-12

I. THE SPIRIT LEADS CONTRARY TO THE FLESH. 16-17

Every believer still has “sin” within them that has not been

totally eradicated.

Romans 7:15-21, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”

Some referred to the battle with the “old self,” “old nature,” “the flesh,” etc.

In Gal 5:24, Paul speaks of the flesh being crucified.

“And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

All persons who belong to Christ Jesus by faith in Him and His perfect saving works “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Romans 6:6, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

“done away with” – rendered inoperative

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

In these passages Paul is teaching that at salvation his old, sinful, unredeemed self was crucified and he was born a new person in Christ Jesus. In Gal. 6:14 he says the world has been crucified and is now dead to him; so that it is no longer his master, holding him in bondage. He is free to serve the Lord.

“In none of these passages did Paul mean to imply that the crucifixion analogy carries the idea of total death in which all influences cease; sin was still a reality in his life, and so was the temptations of the world. But there was a sense in which the power of the old self and of the world was broken. The influences no longer dominated him.” John MacArthur

Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

The miracle of the Christ-life is one of transformation.

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

As we are faithful to imitate Christ and follow lovingly in His steps, the Holy Spirit does something through us that we, by imitation, could never do: He manifests the actual life of Christ. This is transformation.

Transformation is God’s response to our striving to imitate Christ in the fruit of the Spirit and our crying for help from a deep sense of inadequacy and humility. God transforms us into the image of the object of our beholding – the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:11, “…that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

TRUTH THAT WE MUST KNOW: Transformation is not constant; it is proportional to our beholding, which is often intermittent at best. If we are not careful in our “walk in the Spirit,” we learn a few truths and feel we have a handle on His life.

1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

This transformation is not permanent as though we reached a future state after years of beholding. We must deliberately abide in Christ for in this transformation Christ actually imparts to us His own life. This is real Christianity, a spontaneous overflow of the life of Christ through us.

As we are transformed and Christ’s life is manifested through our life, we can glorify God and display His glory.

John 17:22, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one”

The word “glory” is a word meaning heavy, and came to mean impressive in modern English. If a conversation is weighty, it means it’s weight has made an impression on us. The root for the Greek word “glory” is to think. When we give glory to God, we are telling what we think about Him, extolling His reputation and worthiness.

The word glory came to mean not only a telling forth, but a shining forth, or an outshining, an outward, visible manifestation of an inward reality.

In Exodus 33, Moses asked God to see His glory, and God granted his request.

Exodus 33:18-23, “And he said, ‘Please, show me Your glory.’ Then He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ But He said, ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.’"

God had said that no man can see Him and live. So, did Moses see God? He saw what he asked to see, the glory of God, the outshining, the visible, outward manifestation of the inward reality of God.

To “walk in the Spirit” implies progress, going from where one is to where he ought to be. As a believer submits to the Spirit’s control, he moves forward in his spiritual life. The Spirit is the source. The believer cannot live the Christian life by his own resources any more than he can save himself by his own resources.

Colossians 2:6, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”

A. THE SPIRIT DIRECTS ONE’S EARTHLY CONDUCT. 16a

“walk” (conduct) behavior; imperative and indicates He is not giving believers an option. Life walked in the Spirit is life patterned after the teaching and example of the Lord Jesus.

When obeyed, we find ourselves loving in face of hatred; peace and joy in the midst of chaos and grief; we can control self by the power of the Holy Spirit.

B. SPIRIT DEPRESSES ONE’S EVIL CRAVINGS IN LIFE. 16b

“shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” – a double negative used with the verb fulfill. The presence of the Spirit in the Christian’s life makes it possible for the “lusts of the flesh” to be completely set aside. Only by the Spirit of God can we properly handle the desires of the flesh.

ILLUSTRATE: MODEL PRAYER/DISCIPLES PRAYER Luke 11:1-4 “Lord, teach us to pray…”

“So He said to them, "When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins,

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one."

1 - INTIMACY “our Father”

2 – SUBMISSION “Your kingdom come”

(Your will)

3 – DEPENDENCE “Give us this day”

4 – FORGIVENESS “Forgive us our sins”

5 – OBEDIENCE “Do not lead us into temptation”

1. THE STRUGGLE. 17a

The same principle of Romans 7:14-25

- The flesh in lust is a selfish expression of life - The Spirit in the human life is God’s expression of life

“the flesh” – refers to the unredeemed humanness, the part of a believer’s life that awaits future redemption at the time of his completed salvation

(glorification). It is man’s fallen nature.

The flesh opposes (stands against) the Word of the Spirit in the believer’s heart.

2. THE STATEMENT. 17b

“so that you do not do the things that you wish” –

A believer cannot accomplish anything for the Lord in his own power with his own resources. The Spirit can accomplish little through a believer apart from the believer’s submission and commitment.

Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

II. THE SCRIPTURES GIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAILURE. 19-21

“works of the flesh” – these are the products/deeds of life lived in the flesh, side-by-side with the products of life lived by the Spirit. (22-23)

These “works of the flesh” are not just challenges from the outside but problems on the inside.

Mark 7:20-23, “And He said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.’"

These are works produced by man’s own unregenerate nature.

- “Sexual Immorality” (porneia) pornography

- “Impurity” (uncleanness) – any kind of sexual uncleanness. Kept one from drawing near to God; affected worship

- “Sensuality” (lewdness) – an appetite that knows no shame, lack of restraint, sexual excess, indulgence

- “Idolatry” – worshipping man-made images of whatever sort

- “Sorcery” – derived from word we get pharmacy; drugs

- “Hatred” – hateful attitude which results in strife; bitter conflicts

- “Contentions” – causing discord or dissension

- “Jealousies” – form of anger and hateful resentment caused by coveting

- Outbursts of wrath” – unrestrained expression of hostility

- “Selfish ambitions” – self-seeking, selfish ambition

- “Dissensions” – divisions

- “Heresies” – factions; to follow one’s own chosen course of action and thought rather than God’s

- “Envy” – grief at someone else’s good fortunes

- “Murders” – to kill in body, mind, spirit, hope

- “Drunkenness” & “Revelries” – together speak of wild parties, worldly indulgences, carousing

- “And the like” – only representative and not exhaustive

III. THE SPIRIT GIVES CHARACTERISTICS OF FRUIT. 22-23

MAJOR CONTRAST

Deeds of the flesh are done by a person’s own efforts

Fruit of the Spirit – is produced by God’s own Spirit

The Spirit never fails to produce some fruit in a believer’s life, but the Lord desires “much fruit” (John 15:8).

Matt 7:16-18 teaches, “you will know them by their fruits.”

In v.22-23, Paul lists 9 characteristics of the godly fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. These are multiple characteristics of but one fruit and are therefore related to one another. They are not produced nor can they be manifested in isolation from each other.

Jesus is the supreme example and the Holy Spirit is the source. “Love” is the supreme virtue of Christian living. (1 Cor 13:13). Many believe love is a synonym of fruit and encompasses the other characteristics in the list. “The whole law is fulfilled in one word,” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself...”

Love reflects personal choice, a willing self-giving service.

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”

1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

It is a mark of salvation:

1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.”

1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

JOY - Does not come from favorable human circumstances but sometimes greatest when those circumstances are the most painful and severe. Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord.

God’s joy is full, complete in every way. Nothing human or circumstantial can add to it or detract from it.

PEACE - Speaks of the exhilaration of heart that comes from being right with God. Verb refers to binding together; everything is in place and as it ought to be. Like joy, peace has no relationship to circumstances.

Philippians 4:9, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

LONGSUFFERING (Patience) – tolerance that endures injuries inflicted by others. The calm willingness to accept situations that are irritating or painful. Slow to anger. The steadfastness of the soul under duress. “Love suffers long” Speaks of Christ.

2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

KINDNESS – tender concern for others; a genuine desire of a believer to treat others gently
GOODNESS - has to do with moral and spiritual excellence that is known by its sweetness and active kindness.

Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

FAITHFULNESS – pertains to loyalty and trustworthiness

Lamentations 3:22-23, “Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.”

1 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

GENTLENESS – does not consist in a person’s

outward behavior only; it is an inwrought grace of the soul, and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good and therefore without disputing or resisting. It’s being patiently submissive in every offense, while being free of any desire for revenge or retribution.

In the New Testament three attitudes are described:

1. Submissiveness to the will of God

2. Teachableness

3. Consideration of others

SELF-CONTROL – has reference to restraining passions and appetites.

“against such there is no law” – those who are living out these concepts need no laws to keep them in check.

2 Peter 1:8, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The believer who walks in the Spirit and manifests His fruit does not need a system of law to produce the right attitudes and behavior, they rise from within him.