Saturday, June 29, 2013

Galatians 5 - Sins of the Flesh versus Fruits of the Spirit

LINK: Galatians 5


BACKGROUND


"Legalists in our churches today warn that we dare not teach people
 about the liberty we have in Christ lest it result in religious anarchy. 
The Christian who lives by faith is not going to be a rebel. 
Quite the contrary, he is going to experience the inner discipline of God
 that is far better than the outer discipline of man-made rules."
Warren Wiersbe 

Galatians 1-4 deals with doctrine. Galatians 5-6 deals with practically living that doctrine out in our lives.

Christ has set us free. We do not need to fall back into the Law. We can stay free and stand firm in that. We do not have to worry that this will lead us back into ungodliness because if we walk by the Spirit (5:16), we will be led into a life of love and service.  The Greek word, peripateite, is in the present imperative and means to "keep on walking" which implies it is a moment-by-moment choice on the part of the believer. It requires a yielding to the Holy Spirit's control in everything rather than yielding to the old nature that we inherited from the fall of Adam. 

The remainder of the chapter goes into specific sins of the flesh contrasted with fruits of the Spirit.  If one habitually indulges in sins of the flesh, it gives evidence that they are not a child of God.  The fruit of the Spirit of God working through the life of a believer in union with Christ (John 15 is the key) will be evident. These qualities can be grouped in this way:
In the mind - love, joy, peace  
In the actions towards others - patience, kindness, goodness 
In general conduct - faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
If we belong to Christ, the evil passions of the flesh have been crucified. Since we have life in the Spirit, we can walk by the Spirit, and we can walk in unity. 

APPLICATION


Meditate on John 15. 
Are you abiding in Christ today? 
Are you obeying the flesh or the Spirit?


PRAYER


Lord, lead us on into liberty in Christ that frees us to love and serve others. Teach us to abide in You so that we might walk in the Spirit and not carry out the desires of the flesh. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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