Summary: Galatians 5:16-25, The Spirit-controlled life!
The Spirit Controlled Life
* One of the positive things about preaching through a book of the Bible is that you are forced to address topics that you might otherwise skip over.
* Traditionally, we Baptist have left the teaching of a Spirit controlled life to the Pentecostal church.
* There is a lot of misinformation about the Holy Spirit today.
* Some people are actually afraid of the Holy Spirit.
* But the Holy Spirit of the Bible is not to be feared but embraced.
* The Bible teaches us who the Holy Spirit is and what He does for us as believers.
- Our source for understanding the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is not someone else’s experience.
* Perhaps the reason the church today lacks spiritual power is because of the lack of Biblical teaching concerning the Holy Spirit in our lives.
* In this section of Galatians, Paul is going to talk about the ministry and the work of the Holy Spirit.
* The Galatians had abandoned His ministry in their lives and it showed up in the way they treated each other.
* They had begun biting and devouring one another (5:15),; they were provoking and envying one another (5:26)
* Follow along with me, and let’s discover what Paul says about living a Spirit controlled life.
First of all, there is …
I. A command with promise v. 16
A) Walking in the Spirit is not automatic v. 16a
* The Holy Spirit is not a machine we turn on and leave it on automatic.
* Neither is the Holy Spirit a force in our lives that automatically makes us do what is right.
* The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is a person waiting to be depended upon.
* The verb is present imperative and is literally translated, “keep on walking.”
* The Spirit filled life is not something that happens to us once and for all.
- You don’t walk the aisle and have some kind of spiritual or emotional experience that will carry you through the rest of your life.
* The words, "keep on walking" imply that it’s possible NOT to keep on walking.
- …that we can discontinue our walk in the Spirit.
* That’s not God’s desire, but it is a possibility.
* Walking in the Spirit is not something that passively occurs in our lives.
- We have to take action on our part.
- We must yield ourselves to God and trust Him to empower us.
- Paul puts upon the believer the responsibility of choosing to walk in the Spirit.
* But we must remember that we walk in the Spirit by trusting, not by trying!
- It’s not the "harder you try" but the "more you trust".
- The power is His power working in and through us, it’s not self effort.
* Paul tells us it’s God’s desire that we walk and live in the Spirit; that we seek to be continually controlled by God’s Spirit.
B) Walking in the Spirit empowers us v. 16b
* "ye shall not" = a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all: - any more, at all, by any (no) means, neither, never, no (at all), in no case (wise), nor ever, not (at all, in any wise)
* It’s impossible to walk in the Spirit and fulfill the lust of flesh at the same time.
* "lusts of the flesh" = refers to evil desires, impulses, and passions arising from our evil nature.
* Paul has told us of the inability of the law to save us; now he explains that the law cannot change or control the old nature.
* The Holy Spirit gives us the power to say "no" to sin.
II. The conflict within us v. 17-18
A) The contenders
* Every Christian has two natures; a sinful nature and a new divine nature
* Inside every believer there is a battle that is raging.
- It’s a lot like a boxing match.
- In corner # 1 is our evil nature and in corner # 2 is the Holy Spirit.
- These two are not friends. They are enemies. They are hostile one to the other.
1) The evil nature
* Every believer has a sinful nature. No exceptions. No matter how spiritual one may be
* Our sinful nature was not eradicated at salvation.
- Both the Bible and our experience are proof this is true.
- We have a sinful nature we received at birth, … everyone has one,… it was inherited from Adam
* No where in Scripture are we taught that our old nature has been rendered inactive after we become Christians.
W. F. Adeney – "The human saint is far removed from the heavenly angel. The body and its appetites are with him; the soul has its meaner powers, its earthly passions, its self-regarding interests. There are times when the spiritual life is dull and feeble; then some sudden temptation, or even without that the depressing atmosphere of the world, will reveal to a man his worse side."