Summary: Christ gives the Christian the freedom to love others truly.
Breaking the Bad Biting Habits of Believers
Gal. 5:13-16Aug. 7, 2005 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
In his book, Rebuilding Your Broken World., -- Gordon MacDonald states.
In early 1988 Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, and some friends took a skiing trip to Switzerland. The shocking news came one afternoon of a terrible accident caused by an avalanche in which one of the prince’s lifelong friends was killed and another seriously injured. It seemed sheer chance that the prince himself was not killed or hurt. How did it happen?
A day or two later the press reported that the prince’s group had chosen to ski out on slopes that were closed to the public. The avalanche warnings had been posted, but they had chosen to go beyond the fences because, as one of them observed, that’s where the optimum fun and excitement were to be found.
Most likely, they found a brand of pleasure that was indeed more than attractive. But it went beyond the margins of what was wise and prudent. And the avalanche exacted its price among those who went beyond the fences. The result? Several broken worlds.
Like the prince and his party who could not stay inside the fences, all of us become curious enough at times to edge out to the fences and see what’s on the other side. Perhaps we become curious to see how far we can sneak away from God and not suffer the consequences.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:13-16 (NASB)
ETS: Paul told the Galatians that their freedom from the law did not mean they were lawless.
ESS: Christ gives the Christian the freedom to love others truly.
OBJ: I hope we’ll know how our freedom in Christ manifests itself.
PQ: How is your freedom in Christ showing up in your life?
T.S.: Let’s look at two ways that our freedom shows itself.
I What we get (liberty) v. 13
A The curse of the law was death (sentence for breaking the law)
1 The liberty Paul was talking about brought a liberty/freedom that wasn’t found in the law.
a God called them into a life that was FREE from the power, guilt, penalty of sin.
b No longer under the law! But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Gal 5:18 (NASB)
2 The calling also came with a caution
a Opportunity (aphorme): a center for military operations to be based
b Paul warned the believers at Galatia not to let their freedom in Christ serve as a base of operations from which their sinful nature (flesh) is given the opportunity to carry on its campaign of sinning freely without consequences.
B Are you under the law?
1 Although we’re free, that doesn’t mean a believer has no moral guide.
a Some professing Christians claim they’re free from the law to: get drunk, feed their minds with pornography, cuss, cheat, white lies, affairs, and live in almost unrestrained self-indulgence.
aa That person is giving a pretty strong testimony that they’re not a Christian at all.
bb Christians sin, but our new nature will not allow us to enjoy it for long.
b If I’m living to satisfy my sinful nature, I can’t be living to satisfy God.
2 Lost people are free to do as they please, right?
a Freedom/liberty was not given to us to do what we want, but so we can, for the first time, do what God wants.
b God wants us to be like....JESUS!
aa For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME." Romans 15:3 (NASB)
bb Jesus, although fully God, did not please Himself.
cc What makes us think grace allows us to do as we please? (Just as thought!)
II What we give v.13b-15
A Paul just spent 4 chapters arguing his point of believers not following the law. (V. 14)
1 ’You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.Lev 19:18 (NASB) Equivalent of serving Krispy Kreme at a Weight Watchers meeting, open bar at an AA meeting.
a He’s giving the Lev. reference not as prescriptive, but rather as descriptive.