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Freedom in the Spirit

Galatians: Jesus + Nothing  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Christ came to free us from the slavery to sin and death, to give us life in His Name. When we trust Christ we not only receive salvation, but we are given the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit lives in us He bears fruit in our lives. True followers of Christ will see fruit of the Spirit growing inside of themselves.

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“Our choices are predicated upon what we think is ‘good,’ what we ‘delight in,’ what we find most ‘desirable.’ The truth about our choices is that we always choose what we believe to be our best. We always choose what we believe will bring us the most delight.” Elyse Fitzpatrick
“Our choices are predicated upon what we think is ‘good,’ what we ‘delight in,’ what we find most ‘desirable.’ The truth about our choices is that we always choose what we believe to be our best. We always choose what we believe will bring us the most delight.” Elyse Fitzpatrick
Elyse Fitzpatrick
We are by nature happiness seekers.
Our natural bent is to seek what we think feels the best and will bring us the most happiness.
Our biggest problem is we are most often looking in the wrong place and to the wrong things.
Our natural bent is to seek what we think feels the best and will bring us the most happiness.
We read and think “Paul is talking about some really bad people.” Failing to realize he is speaking
Do these things or God will be mad.
Do these things and God will be happy.
In today’s passage Paul is going to present a different way for us to deal with our sinfulness.
Galatians 5:16–26 ESV
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:16-

The Battle for Happiness

Paul presents a battle, a war, that is raging inside of all of us (who are Christians)
Walking in the Spirit vs Gratifying the desires of the flesh.
The flesh is our life pursuits outside of Christ.
Involves the mind, will, and emotions as well as the physical body.
involving the mind, will, and emotions as well as the physical body. According to R. Jewett, the flesh was Paul’s term for everything aside from God in which one placed his final trust.
The flesh was Paul’s term for everything aside from God in which one placed his final trust.
The Spirit is talking about the Holy Spirit.
When someone trust Christ and becomes a Christian, they receive the Holy Spirit.
In 17 Paul is saying the battle is between the Spirit that is in those who are In Christ, and the flesh, or our natural pursuit of satisfying our worldly desires.
This is a battle for where we are seeking satisfaction/happiness/fulfillment.

Life in the Spirit

Life in the Spirit

What Paul is not saying:

We must suppress our desire for happiness in order to please God. (vs 16-18)
This is legalism
God is more concerned with your obedience than your happiness
If this was my relationship with Pam we would be in bad shape.
I do things to keep her happy rather than serve her out of the love I have for her.
We have to work hard against the “works of the flesh” and work hard to do the “fruit of the Spirit.”
The first list are the things we must avoid and work hard to suppress in ourselves and the second are things we have to work at getting better at.
I am going to stop being jealous, looking at porn, having angry outbursts...
Paul gives 4 verbs in this passage: Walk, led by, live by, and keep in step with.
Rather I am going to work really hard at being loving, patient, and kind.
We can also view the fruit of the Spirit as individual things
I am good on kindness, but need to work on patience...
When we receive the Spirit we will no longer struggle with sin.
“Walk by the Spirit”, “keep in step with the Spirit”… seem like if we have the Spirit we shouldn’t be struggling with sin as we are.
The Spirit is supposed to be the “secret sauce” right?

What Paul is saying:

It's not about suppressing our desires it's about fulfilling our desires in that which really satisfies.
We cannot conquer our flesh or live out the “Fruit” of the Spirit by our own strength and fortitude.
Life in the Spirit is just that, LIFE in the Spirit, a gradual process of the Spirit taking over in our hearts and life.
Paul gives 4 verbs in this passage: Walk, led by, live by, and keep in step with.
Life in the Spirit is a road, a path.
Life in the Spirit is a road, a path.
It is contrasted with a method or a technique
3 steps to a Spirit-filled life
Paul is resisting the idea that a set of rules or techniques can lead us down a path toward God.
This is what the Judaizers desired, if you follow these things you will get God.
But rules, techniques, methods don’t work.
Walk in the Spirit- (vs 16)
Walk in the Spirit- (vs 16)

The present tense of the verb “walk” (peripateite) points to a continuing condition or need for it. That the word is an imperative demonstrates the necessity of a choice.

The present tense of the verb “walk” (peripateite) points to a continuing condition or need for it. That the word is an imperative demonstrates the necessity of a choice.

Be led by the Spirit (vs 18)

The present tense of the verb “walk” (peripateite) points to a continuing condition or need for it. That the word is an imperative demonstrates the necessity of a choice.

Be led by the Spirit
Perpetual, habitual life of following the way of the Spirit as opposed to the pursuit of what feels the best.

Being led by the Spirit does not imply passivity but rather the need to allow oneself to be led.

It is a perpetual heart transformation affected by the Spirit to lead us to find satisfaction and joy in Jesus.
Be led by the Spirit (vs 18)
Be led by the Spirit
Be led by the Spirit (vs 18)
Being led by the Spirit does not imply passivity but rather the need to allow oneself to be led.
Being led by the Spirit means you no longer need guard rails to keep you on the track, but are being driven by the Spirit who guides us and teaches us.
We listen to the Spirit when He teaches/reminds us and when He convicts us where we are wrong.
James Montgomery Boice, “Galatians,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 10 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 495.
Live by the Spirit (vs 25)
Live by the Spirit and Keep in step with the Spirit (vs 25)
If we receive life from the Spirit, then we receive our marching orders, our source of existence from the Spirit
Live by the Spirit (vs 25)
THEN we must “keep in step with the Spirit”-

Since it is true that the Spirit has given us life, it follows that he should also control our lives.

Live by the Spirit
Keep in step with the Spirit (vs 25)
The If here is important.
IF you live by the Spirit= if you have been born of the Spirit
THEN you should also keep in step with the Spirit.
The fruit of your life comes from the root of your life.
Where life flows from determines the source of our satisfaction and happiness.

The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, suggests that which is a natural product of the Spirit rather than of man, made possible by the living relationship between the Christian and God (cf. 2:20; John 15:1–17). The singular form stresses that these qualities are a unity, like a bunch of grapes instead of separate pieces of fruit, and also that they are all to be found in all Christians.

Keep in step with the Spirit
George Müller wrote (Autobiography, 152–4):
I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, or how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. . . . Now what is the food for the inner-man? Not prayer but, the word of God.
George Müller learned the secret of walking by the Spirit: Meditate on the precious truths of the word of God until your heart is happy in God, resting in his promises.

Are you happy in the Lord?

Does the fruit of the Spirit show in your life?

The offer of salvation is to find joy, happiness, fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus.

May we be a Spirit-led people who find joy in our risen Lord.
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