Summary: Second of Five messages on what it means to live by the Holy Spririt
“Life in the Spirit”
Paul wrote to the Galatians about the new life in the Spirit as opposed to a life of trying to find acceptance through keeping rules no one can keep. He affirmed the power of Jesus in His life.
For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." Galatians 2:19-21
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Galatians 3:1-5
The new life is a life of faith in God to do in us what we cannot possibly do. In the last part of his letter, Paul described what a life directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit looks like. We just began to paint that portrait last week.
I. Life in the Spirit
A. It is a life of true freedom.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1
Freedom is not the liberty to do whatever I want and desire. Freedom is the ability to do what I ought. True freedom is the freedom to live according to the new longings to live holy and please God implanted at conversion.
B. It is a life of competing passions. Spirit vs. Flesh
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. Galatians 5:16-17
We identified the two sides in this war last week. This war is up close and personal. It rages inside us.
It is a war between “the flesh” and the Holy Spirit indwelling our spirit. At conversion, God brought to life a new capacity. The Bible actually indicates that the person we were before Christ died with Christ. We were raised with a new identity. God implanted a new core in an old container. The old vehicle consisting of a brain, emotions, capacity came under new management. From this new core we participate with God in the renewal of the old vehicle. New patterns of thinking and feeling need to be established. We cultivate new passions and reactions. The Bible identifies these as our “members”. Basically, our members are neutral. They are capacities to function in material and immaterial world. Our members were programed by the “old man” according to the evil one.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly lived according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2
Now that the old man is dead, our members need to be reprogramed according to the Spirit of life.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:10-11
The fleshly or godless passions the bible calls “the flesh.” It is a war over who will dictate how our members are used.
We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4