Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit is the sign of godly living

Life in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26

April 19, 1998

Morning Service

I. The Command

A. Walk by the Spirit

1. Walking as a way of Life: Continual and regular action, not an option, implies progress, lead from where we are to where we ought to be, submission to the Spirit - direction to where God wants us to be

2. The role of the Spirit: Spirit gives us power to live, power of Jesus - salvation, Spirit becomes the guide, He directs and gives help, lifts us beyond the carnalhuman existence

B. Desire of the Flesh

1. We will not do: Christian life is above human life, Christian life is founded in the Spirit, human life is founded in fleshly desires, walking by the Spirit - not by the flesh

2. Desire of the flesh: We live either by the Spirit or live by the flesh, never both at the same time, it is impossible to do, we can not be like Christ - through the flesh, we can not live in the means which promote death

II. The Conflict

A. The Battle: Flesh Vs. Spirit

1. War of the soul: Flesh against the Spirit, both are exact realities - Flesh is real: it is human nature, Spirit is real: leading of God, they can not exist together without conflict

2. The conflict: Spirit wages on our behalf, flesh seeks to control, human nature is in direct contrast with God, we are in God’s image and His likeness but we conform more to our own image, Christianity runs counter culture with society, we are to be different from the world

B. The Strife: We do what we do not want

1. The flesh: We will be living by the flesh or by the Spirit, not both, when one is in control the other fights for control, thus there is always a battle and strife in this life, when we become Christian we reject the flesh, we still do stupid things - we say mean things, do hurtful deeds and cause harm to others, we give in to the flesh, the flesh takes us back for those times, Satan only needs a few moments to ruin our lives, it is those moments that make us who we are, they define our character

2. The Spirit: When we were living by the flesh, Spirit was at work, moving us toward God, nudging us in te right direction, convicting our hearts, allowing us glimpses of hope, helping us to see God & His grace, the struggle for the soul was being done

C. The Freedom

1. Spirit as Leader: When Spirit guides, go in right direction, he shows us the way, wether we follow is our choice, we can not accomplish work of Christ on our own, we need the power of the Spirit - he alone will lead us to glory in Christ

2. Free from the Law: Galatian church was living a preverted Christianity, they were following the Jewish Law and claiming Christ as Lord, they had no real freedom, Christ died to give us freedom from the bondage of sin, sin is the real bondage that must be broken, we practice a perverted Christianity - when we look down on others, when we think we are better or more important than others, we place our restrictions and regulations on people, Jesus loves everyone and He died to save them, we need to love them too

III. The Contrast

A. Works of the Flesh

1. Sexual Sins: Immorality - broadest term for sexual acts, all types of illicit sexual behavior, society has trivialized sex, sex is meant to be for marriage, it is a gift from God, human nature perverts this gift and we take what God meant as a blessing and make a curse, teen pregnancy is at an all time high, AIDS is the new leprosy of our day Impurity - being unclean, Greek understanding is that of having an infected wound, illicit sex causes pain and destruction, children need to be given moral instruction - not condoms, we can not have right relationship with God there is a need for healing

2. Religion Sins: Idolatry - central source of false beliefs, worship of anything besides God, we don’t have this problem - whatever is of 1st importance in your life is your god, family, possessions, job whatever comes 1st is the basis for your life, we place our lives out of priority, Sorcery - the practice of witchcraft or magic, idolatry and sorcery were used together as a means of pagan worship, magic was used to control the world and even manipulate the gods, sorcery is seen throughout our society in movies and on TV, it is seen so often that we fail to recognize it

3. Relational Sins: Hatred and discord - Like all of the relational sins there is a set pattern, first is the attitude and second is the result, hate is the deadly attitude that results in discord, when hate enters the heart there can be no love for anyone, no one can say they love God and still hate another person, the two realities can not exist together, Jealousy and fits of rage - jealousy is a form of anger, it is nature to assume that jealousy will result in examples of anger, case in point fits of rage, uncontroled and unprovoked reactions of anger, Selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy - These are all ongoing expressions of the flesh, the representation of ongoing fights & feuds, sinful action becomes established, a part of life, it absorbs the heart and the soul, drunkeness orgies and the like - central part of pagan worship - large rituals characterized by drunkeness and illicit sex, more general reference calls to any and all rowdy and crude behavior

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