Summary: Message 13 in our Galatians Series exploring what life in the Spirit looks like. An extended series on this subject can be found in the five part series called "Living in the Spirit".

Chico Alliance Church

“Life in the Spirit”


The truths communicated to the churches of Southern Galatia are as needful and life-changing today as it was when Paul first recorded them. God supernaturally shared truth through ordinary men so that we might have our senses trained to the things of the spirit and so be equipped for every good work. That truth comes in the form of direct teaching (doctrine), reproof, correction and instruction in living right. The main thread of truth in this letter deals with true freedom which comes by grace through faith in and relationship with Christ

I. Paul Professed the Correct credentials from Christ 1-2

II. Paul Proclaimed the Correct Concept of life in Christ 2:15-5:12

III. Paul Prescribed the Correct Conduct of life in Christ 5:13-6:10

After clearly emphasizing the fact that man acquires both salvation and sanctification on the basis of hearing with faith, Paul, in this final section, drew their attention to four basic differences concerning life lived by the Spirit as opposed to life lived by the energy of the flesh.

Life lived according to the Spirit of life in Christ…

1 – Serves, not swallows one another 5:13-15

2 – Lives by submission to the Spirit not the flesh 5:16-26

3 – Restores and bear one another’s burdens 6:1-5

4 – Sows to the Spirit not to the flesh by sharing 6:6-11

A. Life in the Spirit serves not swallows one another

Today we will continue our thoughts on the matter of submission to the Spirit and the battle with the flesh. Our current passage identifies an internal war, a conflict, a battle that continually rages in every Christian. Not only must we wage war against a system of thinking and behaving contrary to God and His word, but there is an internal war with a residue flesh energized by both the world system and the devil. You are all well aware of both the internal and external war. These specific battle grounds have been strewn with casualties of war since the fall of Adam. We rejoice in the knowledge of the ultimate outcome of this war, yet struggle daily on the personal level to rise victorious in the battles. Paul offers significant truth concerning this war intended to encourage and equip us in the war against the flesh.

Are you tired of living in defeat?

Do you have a deep longing to live victorious over the flesh.

Application of the truth that Paul shares here and in other passages which we will explore in coming weeks can bring the renewal we long to see in our lives and in the life of this church family.

B. Life in the spirit lives by the spirit not the flesh

“BUT” (As opposed to a flesh driven walk which results in biting and devouring…) Walk by the Spirit” AND (result) You will not carry out the desire of the flesh”

Paul dedicated a good deal of space in this letter to describing the contrast of a life lived according to the desires of the flesh and a life lived by the desires and energy of the Spirit. Of course Scripture confronts us with the stark contrast throughout. Here, however, is on of the more striking contrasts. Even though we cannot see the flesh or the Spirit, like the wind, their effects are plainly felt and seen.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

How do you know you have mice? Even though you may not see them, they are known by their droppings. he Bible identifies the droppings of the flesh all through.

Paul knew the Corinthians lapsed to a flesh walk by their behavior.

For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Paul told the Colossians

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. Col. 3:5-11

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