Summary: Message 14 in our Galatians series exploring the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5.
Chico Alliance Church
“Fruit of a spirit controlled Life”
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. John 15:16
People can identify the root of a plant by the fruit of a plant. Can people identify your root by your fruit? God communicated through Paul the blessing of new life in Christ. Through the work of Christ we have been lifted to a new sphere of living. It is not enough to attend church and hear words spoken through a man. He paints contrasting portraits all through his letter. The truth presented here is foundational for every Christian. Until you understand the principles here you will not experience the abundant life in the spirit as promised and produced by Jesus. How do we know whether our walk is on the flesh level of the spirit level? Paul touches on four basic areas where life in the Spirit clearly opposes life in the flesh. These are like warning lights on the dash board indicating a problem.
A. Life in the spirit serves not swallows one another
B. Life in the spirit lives by the spirit not the flesh
Driven by the flesh or Led by the Spirit
Slide – Scripture
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 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 shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 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.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25
How do we know when we live life on a fleshly plane? Look for the signs. How do we know when we live life on a spiritual plane? Look for the fruit! Paul wanted these believers to realize that fleshly living is not to become the norm for Christians. He did not want them to become used to fleshly living and call it spiritual because there were spiritual activities from time to time. He did not want them to settle for less than laying hold of the eternal life in Christ. He wanted them to realize the utter perversion of the flesh and its resulting death producing deeds, especially when contrasted to the life producing fruit of the Spirit. So much so that they would agree with God and cry out to God to crucify the flesh.
SENSUAL CLUES TO A FLESHLY FOCUS
“Immorality” (pornea) “Impurity” “Sensuality” “Drunkenness & carousing”
These all represent a focus on or absorbing with the sensual aspects of life on this earthy. God designed the sensory aspect of our being. He designed it to operate under the careful control of the spirit. The sensory aspect of our being was designed to function in conjunction with an intimate dynamic relationship with the Creator. The sensory aspect of our being serves only to enhance and develop deeper relationship with the Creator. A warm feeling, a beautiful sunset, a warm relationship, the fully engaging dynamics of a good marital relationship, pleasant sounds, visual stimulation, tantalizing tastes are all given by a loving father who has given all things to enjoy. They are intended to be experienced as a result of relationship with Him. When these things are pursued as a substitute for intimate relationship with Him they become a driving and destructive absorption. Paul is trying to communicate the truth that life is not to be sought on the level of the flesh. Life must be pursued through intimate relationship with God through the indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ who entered at salvation. How we know the focus of our life is by examining the life. If we are driven by the sensual and most of our life is take up by its pursuit, we are walking in the flesh.
DEVOTIONAL CLUES TO A FLESHLY WALK
This is the tendency to grant higher priority to people or things than God. The previous leans to the pursuit of pleasure. This focuses on our tendency to find life in people and things. The whole struggle with codependency in our culture is idolatry. The whole struggle with possession and things is a struggle with greed which amount to idolatry.