Summary: Exposition of Gal 5:19-21, first of a two part message that continues the comparsion down through v 26.
Text: Galatians 5:19-21, Title: Indicators of False Faith, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/24/07, AM
A. Opening illustration: Maddie’s testimony, Laurie’s testimony
B. Background to passage: Paul is finishing out his teaching on the fact that correct theology (justification by faith) produces right living when one is truly born again. And immediately after describing the war that goes on within believers trying to kill their sin and walk in the Spirit, he elaborates on what “works of the flesh.” He kinda does a compare and contrast thing with the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Then he ties it up with a nice little bow indicating that those that follow in patterns of fleshly living are really not saved, and those that really are will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. The sad truth is that there are many people that live in our country, our state, our town, even here at NRBC that profess Christ, but never possess Christ. And it is not as though these people have a malicious attempt to deceive others, but rather they think that they are OK, but as you look at their lives you see no longing, no obedience, no fruit of this conversion. Jesus told parables and taught lessons on this important corollary to eternal security.
C. Main thought: So the message this morning is the first of a two part message series on the indicators of false and of genuine faith in Christ. So come back tonight, or your will miss the best part.
A. Patterns of Sexual Sin (v. 19b)
1. Paul and Jesus both begin lists of sinful behaviors with sexual sin. It is because that it is one of the most self-centered forms of sin and one of the most destructive and addictive. The first four (or three words) Paul uses depict all forms of sexual activity outside of a God-honoring marriage commitment. And the last two of these words indicate the separation from God because of the their uncleanness and their tendency toward escalation toward the worst forms of sexual sin regardless of the cost.
2. Matt 15:19, 1 Cor 6:9-20
3. Illustration: The average email user receives 4.5 pornographic emails each day, and the average age of first exposure to Internet pornography is 11 years old. Pornography is a $57 billion world-wide industry, including $12 billion in the United States alone. According to their statistics, pornography revenue exceeds the combined revenues of all professional baseball, football, and basketball franchises and the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC. That there are more outlets for hard-core pornography in this country than there are McDonalds restaurants? Approximately 47% of Christians state that pornography is a major problem in their home2. While polling data on pornography use among adults are unclear and varying, a ChristiaNet poll finds that as many as 50% of Christian men and 20% Christian women could be addicted to pornography3. A survey by The Barna Group in 2003 found that nationally 38% of adults believed there was nothing immoral about looking at pornography, and the same survey found that almost 50% of people ages 18-38 believed looking at pornography was not immoral6. In 1999, Cameron Barnes’ published a book called, Affair! How to Manage Every Aspect of Your Extramarital Relationship with Passion, Discretion, and Dignity. Claire’s equally serious response was humorously profound. "Yes," said Claire innocently, "but it’s also hard being a virgin, you know."
4. Ever since the ‘60s brought in the sexual revolution, our country’s cumulative morals have continued on a downhill slide. But you know, I expect lost people to act like lost people. And that is Paul’s point. If you are born again, walking in the Spirit, making war on the flesh, then you will not have patterns of impenitence in your life. Sure, you may struggle with these things, but to recklessly give yourself over to them without remorse, guilt, or chastisement probably indicates that you were never really saved. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between a false believer claiming to be a Christian and a genuine believer who is caught in an addictive sin. And it really isn’t our place to judge someone’s salvation. What I am doing today is preaching what the bible says, that if you are Christ, you will have crucified the flesh, and you will make sure that it stays on the cross until it dies. It is good to know if you are lost. Dominating sin can be an indicator. However, if you are a believer and caught up in these types of things, keep fighting! Your eternity depends on it! Get some help! Men, you can’t kill this thing on your own. It’s not the end of the world if someone else knows, in fact, it may be the beginning of the rest of your life. Young people flee! This will destroy your spiritual life. It is a lie that Satan feeds you to get you entangled in things that are empty and void. Church, you can’t act like it doesn’t go on.