Summary: Message 12 in our Galatians series exploring our freedom in Christ.
Chico Alliance Church
December 6 , 1998
“Born Slaves, Living Free”
The message of Galatians is as needful today as it was when Paul first wrote it. True freedom comes by grace through faith in and relationship with Christ Paul addressed all these issues in a forceful, straightforward yet fatherly manner.
I. Paul Possessed the Correct credentials from Christ 1-2
II. Paul Proclaimed the Correct Concept of life in Christ 2:15-5:12
III. Paul Presented the Correct Conduct of life in Christ 5:13-6:10
Paul draws attention to four basic areas concerning life above the clouds.
Life lived according to the Spirit of life in Christ continually seeks to:
1 – Serve, not swallow one another 5:13-15
2 – Depends on the Spirit not the flesh 5:16-26
3 – Restore and bear one another’s burdens 6:1-5
4 – Sow to the Spirit not to the flesh by sharing 6:6-11
A. Life in the Spirit serves not swallows one another
Reality – you were called to freedom.
Restriction – don’t allow the flesh an opportunity for selfishness
Regulation – Serve one another through love
Reason – Love fulfills the law
Warning – If you continue to bite and devour, be careful you aren’t consumed.
A focus on the flesh and legalism leads to judgmental relationships. Rather than focus on our common life as fellow heirs of the kingdom we focus on measuring one another against some arbitrary set of rules. There is much more to be said regarding what living in the flesh does to relationships later. One of the sure indications of a life operating by the desire of the flesh is strained relationships.
Paul addressed the Corinthians on this matter. 1 Cor. 2:12-3:9
Here in Galatians, Paul describes a flesh walk in even more detail.
What is the answer to a fleshly walk? How do we live above the selfish desire of the flesh which always strains relationships not only with each other but with God? How do we demonstrate the genuine fruit of the Spirit?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Paul was clear both here in Galatians and in Colossians that it is not by making more rules or trying to do better at keeping the rules. Having begun this new life by the spirit through hearing with faith are you now being perfected by the flesh through doing keeping rules?
So what is the answer? Today we focus on the word of the Lord regarding a Spirit directed and energized walk rather than a flesh driven and energized walk. Use your freedom to become one another’s slaves Be careful not to consume one another by living according to the desires of the flesh.
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”
Romans talks about an identification with Christ which enables to walk in newness of life. The Word for walk here is actually the common word for walk with the preposition around linked in front of it. It means to walk around, conduct ones life. This kind of command is found quite often in the New Testament.
Walk worthy of God
Walk worthy your calling.
Walk worthy of the Lord
Walk as children of light
Here, Paul instructs us all to continually walk in Spirit as opposed to the flesh which results in biting and devouring and destruction. Walk by the direction and desire of the Holy Spirit who works through our spirit. Doing so will enable us to not fulfill or satisfy the appetite or desire of the residue flesh that still seeks to find satisfaction through the things of the flesh. The word desire used here referred to the appetites or drive for food or sex. It came to be used for unbridled passion and desire for things of the flesh.
Paul declares that if we live our life under the direction and help of the Holy Spirit who indwells us, we will not be driven by the impulses of the flesh. The desires and passions of the flesh focus on self-satisfaction. The flesh is never satisfied.
Our whole society operates on the basis of self-fulfillment.
Self help, self help. “Focus on satisfying myself first and then I will think about you.” The problem is that a self life is NEVER satisfied.
Our life then becomes nothing more than a continual pursuit to feel better or feel satisfied.