Summary: Over the past four weeks, we have been studying how the Kingdom of God is lived out practically. This morning, I want to review where we have been and prepare us to examine chapter 6, the most practical section of the book of Galatians.
Dance Lessons: Crucified Life
Galatians 5:22-25 (Part 4)
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
[Slide] Ten years ago, millionaire art dealer Forrest Fenn buried a box of hidden treasure filled with gold coins and precious gems worth at least two million dollars in the Rocky Mountains.
He then wrote a book about the search called “The Thrill of the Chase,” in which he left clues for how to find the treasure chest.
He estimates 250,000 people have tried to find the treasure over the past ten years and four people have died in their quest.
This past week, he announced that the treasure had been found! The person that found it wants to stay anonymous but sent a picture of him holding the box to Fenn.
As I read this story, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ words about the ?Kingdom of God:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
Over the past four weeks, we have been studying how the Kingdom of God is lived out practically. This morning, I want to review where we have been and prepare us to examine chapter 6, the most practical section of the book of Galatians.
Last week, we finished examining the last three fruit of the Spirit - faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
Remember, that the Galatian Christians were being taught by the Judaizers that in order to become “real” Christians they had to obey the Mosaic law, follow the dietary rules, and, most importantly, enter the covenant community of the Jews through circumcision. In other words, they had to become Jewish to become real Christians.
But Paul wasn’t having any of this. To Paul, Jesus plus nothing equals everything!
Paul has spent these past verses giving his beloved Galatian brothers and sisters new steps so they can dance to the rhythm of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
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Turn with me to Galatians 5 and we will be finishing the chapter today.
[Slide] Deeds of the Flesh
In Paul’s time, it wasn’t uncommon to give the readers a list of virtues and vices.
[Slide] “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:19-21)
When Paul writes that the deeds of the flesh or “obvious,” he doesn’t mean visible. Most of these sins are not visible, they are sins that can be hidden fairly well in the heart.
Most commentators admit that this list is somewhat chaotic and seems random. From the little tag “and the like” we learn that this list is not meant to be exhaustive.
These list of 15 can be divided into four categories:
Sins in relation to worship of God
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive. Elsewhere Paul’s lists of vices also include: murder, stealing, gossip, gluttony, lying, disrespecting parents, cheating, or greed, racism.
Paul ends this list with a warning that should make us soberly consider our lives:
[Slide] “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Does this mean that if you have ever lost your temper or lusted or got jealous that you are going to hell?
Let’s look at at that phrase “those live like this.” This means that people whose lifestyles are defined by these acts. It is a habitual way of life. This is visible proof that the Holy Spirit is not in the person and they are not in Christ and will not inherit the promises of Abraham, eternal life.
But that doesn’t mean that God can’t intervene and save a person like that. I have a friend who will tell you that he was drunk for nearly 20 years but recently got his 20 year sobriety coin. What made the difference? Jesus Christ!
But for those of us who do have the Spirit, when we fall (and we will), when we chose our flesh over submitting to the Spirit, we have a way back:
“If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of our sins, and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
[Slide] The Fruit of the Spirit
The the book of Psalms begins with these words:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)