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Summary:

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Thesis: Those who live by the Spirit can be identified.

Introduction:

1. What does it look like to be a spiritual person?

a. Seems like an odd question!

1) Perhaps you've always thought spirituality was invisible.

2) Spirituality IS seen--but man's idea & God's often differs.

b. Man has always had his idea of what a spiritual person looks like:

1) PURITANS: dresses in black & frowns alot.

2) SOME: wears a habit or white, heavily starched collar.

3) OTHERS: wear gold cross; HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS (on car).

4) OTHERS: seen at 3 services a week, gives of their means.

c. Not wrong--do not identify one as a spiritual person!

2. When we consider what the Bible has to say about spirituality we learn very quickly that God sets a premium, NOT ON HOW WE LOOK ON THE OUTSIDE, BUT ON HOW WE ACT FROM THE INSIDE.

a. This is the issue in the book of Galatians.

1) Judaizing teachers--stressed law & circumcision (do this = O.K.)

2) Paul: stressed faith in Christ (2:15-16).

3) WHAT we do is important--WHY we do what we do even more important!

b. For Paul, true marks of spirituality not found in "keeping letter of the law," but in being "led by the Spirit."

3. After telling us about the fruit of the Spirit, Paul describes qualities of person who bears that fruit.

I. A SPIRITUAL PERSON COOPERATES WITH OTHERS (5:25-26).

A. Paul urges us to "keep in step with the Spirit" (25).

1. Military image (more evident in Gk.)

a. Picture is that of a line of soldiers advancing side by side.

b. Great strength in that arrangement.

2. How do we "keep in step with the Spirit?" (26).

a. Do not become conceited .................... go on out ahead.

b. Do not provoke (stir up trouble) ........... fighting in ranks.

c. Do not envy (become jealous of) .......... lag behind.

B. Great need for us in "Army of Lord" to put forth a united front.

1. Christ prayed for it (John 17:20-21).

2. Paul encouraged it (1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-3).

3. Common sense demands it!

a. "United we stand, divided we fall."

b. Illust. Tempered glass flask w/stand heavy pounding. Small metal ball (marble) dropped on inside will shatter it!

II. A SPIRITUAL PERSON BEARS THE BURDENS OF OTHERS (6:1-4).

A. As the church moves on, not all of us are going to keep in step.

1. What be done when we find someone "out of the ranks?"

a. Immediately expose sin & gain rep. of being spiritual person?

b. Ignore the sin & hope it goes away?

2. Paul is very clear about what should be done:

a. WHAT? ..... RESTORED, not condemned or written off.

b. WHO? ...... SPIRITUAL, not those out of step themselves!

c. HOW? ...... GENTLY, not in a way that drives further away.

B. There are two (2) things that may prevent us from doing this:

1. Conceit (3) ....... Thinking we're better & not wanting to get inv.

2. Comparison (4) .... Can happen in two ways:

(1) "I'm in better shape if they have that problem!"

(2) "Not perfect either; how can I speak to them?"

III. A SPIRITUAL PERSON CARRIES THEIR OWN WEIGHT (6:5).

A. Some see a conflict between this verse & verse 2.

1. Some versions (like KJV) use same word in both verses.

2. Paul didn't!

a. BAROS (2).

1) Get "barometer" .......... idea of pressure.

2) Seems to indicate MORE than what a person could reasonably be expected to carry (cf. Acts 15:28).

b. PHORTION (5).

1) Often used to refer to cargo of a ship (cf. Acts 27:10).

2) That which boat/man could reasonably carry.

B. POINT: Each one of us should pull our own weight!

1. A spiritual person does not try to ESCAPE responsiblity;

2. A spiritual person seeks to FULFILL their responsibility!

IV. A SPIRITUAL PERSON USES MONEY FOR SPIRITUAL THINGS (6:6-10).

A. "Wait a minute preacher, Paul isn't talking about money here!"

1. Yes he is!

a. Vv. 7-9 are general--v. 10 returns to idea of v. 6.

b. Paul uses "What a man sows" elsewhere about giving (2 Cor. 9:6).

2. Few things are more revealing about our spirituality than this!

B. Two Christian uses of money Paul mentions:

1. Support of a teacher in a Christian community (6).

2. Use of our money/material means to help others in need (10).

Conclusion: Consider yourself a spiritual person? Take this test:

a. Am I contributing/detracting from united front we're putting forth?

b. Am I seeking to minister to those with problems in their lives?

c. Am I carrying my fair share of responsibility?

d. Am I spending my money selfishly or in a way that builds up the life of the Spirit?

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