Summary: In this section, the Apostle Paul challenges the Galatians to walk in the Spirit, and reminds them of what the Spirit can help us do. I am especially indebted to Warren Wiersbe and have used many of his points from his commentary in this lesson.
A. This morning I want to begin by showing you something amazing – did you know that I own a magic glove?
1. Here is my magic glove – it is amazing because it can pick things up.
a. When I drop something, all I have to do is tell it to pick it up and it does it.
b. Do you want to see it work?
2. (Drop a hymn book or a Bible on the floor, and then say:) “Watch this: Magic glove please pick up the book.”
a. (When it doesn't move, say:) “Come on magic glove, don’t embarrass me in from of the congregation! I am so sorry, I don’t know what is wrong, I’ve seen the magic glove pick up books before. Maybe it thinks the book is too heavy, so let’s try a smaller book.”
b. (Drop a smaller book on the floor and say:) “Magic glove please pick up that smaller book.”
c. When it still doesn't work, apologize again and I move on to a piece of paper.
d. (Drop a piece of paper on the floor and say:) “Magic glove please pick up the piece of paper, surely you can do that!”
3. (Apologize again and ask:) “Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong with my magic glove and why is can’t do anything of the things today that it usually can do?”
4. (Someone will likely say:) “You have to put on the glove for it to work.”
5. Say: “Oh, yeah, that’s what I forgot to do – A glove can’t do anything without a hand inside it!”
B. Can anyone guess what lesson I want us to learn from this object lesson?
1. We are the glove and the Holy Spirit is the hand inside the glove.
2. Just as a glove can't pick anything up without a hand inside it, we can't do anything significant unless the Holy Spirit is inside us helping us.
3. That is how much we need the Holy Spirit.
C. But ask yourself this: How many times do you try to do things without the help of God?
1. How often do you try to deal with your sin struggles without calling upon the Holy Spirit?
2. How often do you try to handle your personal problems without getting guidance from the Holy Spirit?
3. How often do you try to serve God without looking to the Holy Spirit for the power and wisdom necessary?
4. Expecting that we can do any of those things without the Holy Spirit is just as silly as expecting the glove to be able to do anything without a hand in it!
D. Today, as we return to our study of Galatians, and we come to the second half of chapter 5, we see Paul explaining three ministries of the Holy Spirit that enable the believer to enjoy the freedom that we have in Christ.
1. The false teaching legalists that Paul was combating in this letter taught that the way to overcome the flesh and live a life that pleased God was to make a lot of laws and follow them.
2. But Paul has made it clear in this letter that no amount of legislation can give us freedom from sin and the Law.
3. Ultimately it is not Law on the outside, but the Spirit on the inside that makes the difference.
4. We need the direction and power of the Holy Spirit within to help us overcome the desires and bondage of the flesh.
5. Let’s work through our Scripture section for today and learn how the Spirit helps us live a life that is worthy of our Gospel freedom.
I. The Spirit Enables Us to Fulfill the Law of Love (5:13-15)
A. Our Scripture section begins: 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
B. Last week we talked about Gospel Freedom - We have been set free!
1. And what have we been set free from?
a. We are free from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, and the penalty of sin.
b. We are also free from the power of the Law to condemn us.
2. Our freedom is a spiritual freedom that opens up a new and everlasting relationship with God.
C. But Paul is quick to point out that our Gospel freedom can be abused.
1. We, humans are prone to extremes.
2. On one extreme is legalism – a bondage to the Law.