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Galatians 5:17

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Text Reading

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.

Prayer:

Receptive hearts
Thankfulness for freedom to gather in praise
Thank God for his sovereignty

Sermon:

Paul says we are to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh. Who is Paul talking to? is he talking to Christians? Is he talking to unbelievers? Is he talking to us today?
Too often when we read our bibles we make assumptions about the text we are reading. In this case Paul is speaking very straightforwardly and very simply. We must realize though that what Paul says has major or massive implications to how we are to live.
I want you to know, Paul is speaking to Christians here. He is telling Christians how they ought to act. In fact he is telling them not just how they are to act but also how they ought to think. And he is also implicating those Christians who have been acting and thinking in ways they should not. He says,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. “
21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.
Don’t forgot, Paul is talking to those who are inside the Galatian church. People who were within the walls of the church building were committing these things. These were the things going on while the church was worried about keeping the law by circumcision!
How blind we can be to our own sin sometimes. We press and we focus on some particular thing and think we are righteous because of it yet we are steep in sin. In other words, with our right hands we hold on to the law and think we earn our way to heaven by upholding some sort of moral standard that is entirely arbitrary and unnecessary to our eternal state giving us a false sense of assurance while at the very same time with our left hands getting into so many things that contradict that very law we claim to uphold so highly.
This is in fact the nature of the Law in the bible. The law is not obtainable for any human. It is beyond us. It shows us our short comings and our pit falls. The only one who can uphold and who did uphold that law is Jesus our savior. We cannot do what Jesus did, we can not meet the standard. The only way for us to become perfectly righteous is to receive our righteousness from Christ because of our union with Him.
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