Summary: Just as Israel was saved from slavery in Egypt and Saved into the Promised Land, so we are saved from our sin and saved into the life of the Spirit

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Rules and Relationship January 25, 2009

Galatians 5:16-26

Not under the law, but led by the Spirit


- Series because of some passages in the novel, “The Shack” that speak about rules verses relationship.

Young gets something, but it needs further investigation

Galatians – convinced that to be truly Christian, you must follow the Jewish religious law.

Paul says No!

You are not “saved” by behaving, but by believing

You are not given the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit because you behave well, but because you Believer in Jesus.

You are Free from the Law!

Don’t use your freedom to sin – Last week

What Paul does is take a relationship that is bound by rules, and presents a rule (love) that is bound by relationships.

This week, he takes it a bit further

Sinful nature verses Spiritual Nature

Flesh verses Spirit – explain

We are “saved” not just FROM our sins and their punishment, we are saved INTO life in the Spirit

- out of Egypt, into the promise land

Egypt – Slavery to the Law, slavery to sinful behavior

Promise Land – The ways of the Spirit

Since we are talking about the geography of the heart, we still live in both Egypt and the Promise land – the flesh and the Spirit are both present in our lives – and they fight each other.

Two Dog Story

Paul’s personal experience of the Struggle: Romans 7:15-25

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

By the power of the Spirit, we are able to choose whether we live by the old sinful nature, or by the Spirit.

Paul says it’s easy to figure out which is which.

Verse 19 – the acts of the sinful nature are obvious.

If you have a nagging feeling that you are sinning & you don’t know how, you are likely not – the acts of the sinful nature are obvious

Sometimes we can have feelings of shame that are not connected to any present sin – Shame and Grace

Sometimes we have Job’s friends who tell us that we must have some unknown sin or else all this bad stuff would not be happening

– this verse tells us that both of these thoughts are wrong – the deeds of the sinful nature are obvious.

Sometimes they are not obvious to us – Ed Silvoso says that pride is like bad breath – everyone knows you have it but you!

- good to have friends who will let us know when we are going down the wrong path – the difference between conviction and condemnation.

But just in case, Paul gives us a list of problem behaviors.

sexual immorality, Sex outside of Marriage

impurity, - Pornography, dirty jokes

Ephesians 5:3-4

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

*debauchery - lustful pleasures, - “a love of sin so recless and so audacious that a man has ceased to care what God or man thinks of his actions.” – W. Barclay

idolatry, - not to much actual idols for us – Hinduism, but if you treat anything, person, institution… like you should only treat God, that is idolatry

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