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Summary: This sermon compares the the lust of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.

LIFE BY THE SPIRIT

(Works of the Flesh -vs- Fruit of the Spirit)

TEXT: Galatians 5:16-26

INTRODUCTION:

A. LIVE BY THE SPIRIT

1. Paul urges us to live by the Spirit.

2. Living by the spirit brings freedom.

3. However, freedom is not a license to sin.

4. Paul gives us 15 steps down the road to depravity that we have no liberty to follow.

5. He could have extended the list as is evident by “and the like” v.21.

I. THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE (WORKS OF THE FLESH)

These acts can be divided into four categories.

A. SINS INVOLVING SEX (v. 19)

1. These are “sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery”(v.19)

2. These sins cover all sexual offenses whether public or private.

3. This list covers all sins whether between married or unmarried.

4. It’s interesting to note that Paul starts with sexual sins.

5. Sexual sins, although usually done in the name of love, are really the opposite of love, which is the foremost of the fruit of the Spirit.

B. SINS INVOLVING RELIGION (v. 20a)

1. These include “idolatry and witchcraft”

2. Idolatry is the worship of anything other than God

3. Idolatry includes worship of money, power, prestige, or self.

4. Witchcraft is using spiritual gifts for evil.

5. Witchcraft – Gk. Pharmakon – drug abuse

6. Drug abuse is a form of witchcraft.

C. SINS INVOLVING ANIMOSITY (v. 20-21a)

1. These include “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy”

2. These are all signs of the flesh at work in us.

3. There are eight different words dealing with animosity.

4. He lists 15 things, and 8 of them deal with relationships.

5. Discord refers to the strife that beset the Galatians.

6. Discord comes from petty bickering and pride.

7. Discord is not a fruit of the Spirit.

8. Fits of rage – an outburst of anger

9. We get ourselves in a lot of trouble when we speak in anger.

10. We often say things that we regret later.

D. SINS INVOLVING SUBSTANCE ABUSE

1. These include “drunkenness and carousing”

2. I realize that the NIV says, “orgies” but this word is used three times in the NT and each time it is used in reference to the abuse of alcohol.

3. It is used in Rom.13:13 and 1Pet.4:3

4. The Living Bible translates the word as “WILD PARTIES” which is more in line with it’s New Testament usage.

5. Strong’s defines the word as: "a nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry"

II. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

A. THE FRUIT

1. "But the fruit" - fruit is singular in number.

2. Paul is not discussing nine different fruits.

3. He says, "the fruit" singular

4. That is a reference to one fruit composed of nine elements.

B. THE ELEMENTS OF THE FRUIT

1. The first three are in relation to God

2. The next three are in relation to man

3. The last three are in relation to one’s own inner life.

C. OF THE SPIRIT

1. This is the fruit of having the Holy Spirit in control of one’s life.

2. The Holy Spirit produces this fruit through the believer when he is in union with Christ.

3. John 15:1-8

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while

every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will

be even more fruitful.

3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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