Summary: This is the first of 5 messages exploring what it means to live by the power of the Holy Spirit
Life in the Spirit Page - 1
Chico Alliance Church
October 26, 2014
Pastor David Welch
Life in the Spirit
Paul wrote to followers of Jesus in the city of Galatia. They were struggling to understand this new concept of salvation by grace. Some false teachers were trying to convince them that they needed to keep the law in their own energy in order to grow in their newfound faith. Paul spent the first two chapters of his letter affirming his authority to set the record straight regarding the true Gospel.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Gal 1:6-9
He affirmed that he personally received the true Gospel from the resurrected Jesus.
The next section of his letter presents the true concept of salvation by grace.
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain ifindeed it was in vain? So then, 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
Paul took the last part of his letter to describe what a life directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit looks like.
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
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:13-15
Freedom is not the liberty to do whatever I want and desire. Freedom is the ability to do what I ought. Paul carefully warned the Galatians that freedom from the penalty and power of sin was not an excuse to continue to feed the old fleshly desires but a motivation to truly love.
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
A war rages inside every believer. This passage acknowledges that war, but also holds out the hope of victory. We also have a war with the world and Satan. 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. The identity of the Holy Spirit is pretty clear. He is the third person of the Trinity. He is not a force or power although He is powerful but a person with all the aspects of a personality with the same attributes and the Father and the Son. Our spirit is the God conscious aspect of our being brought to life at conversion. It is the core of our new identity in Christ. The old self was crucified with Christ and a new self was raise with Christ. It is the implantation of divine nature in the core of our being. It includes the capability of thought, emotion and choice.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
It is the immaterial part of us that graduates into the presence of God while our bodies rot in the ground awaiting a glorious resurrection at Christs return. Gods plan of redemption includes all aspects of our being -- Body/Soul/Spirit. God starts with the regeneration of the spirit at conversion. Out of this new transformed