A Study of Galatians 5
by Mark Trodd
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1 Turning from the True Gospel
2 Hypocrisy found in Peter
3 Example of Abraham’s Faith
4 Law versus True Liberty
5 Attitudes from Spirit’s Leading
6 Win back erring believers.
WALK BY THE SPIRIT Gal 5:1-15
Christ has set us free from the Law of sin and death, and calls us to a life of faith working through love. To seek to be justified by law is to fall form grace. When we put ourselves under the law, we are under obligation to keep it all, and equally to be condemned when we don’t. But, in Christ we have the hope of righteousness that comes by grace through faith. The Holy Spirit is the down payment for all that we have inherited in Christ.
FREEDOM TO LOVE, NOT A LICENSE TO SIN
The whole law is fulfilled in loving you neighbor, and the Holy Spirit will not lead you the deeds that contradict this.
When you walk by the Spirit you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. The Spirit calls us to love, while the flesh calls us to lust and selfishness.
The Spirit represents the law written on our hearts. He will personalize everything.
BE LEAD BY THE SPIRIT Gal 5:16-21
To be led by the Spirit means you are not under the Law. The deeds of the flesh, which the law both condemns and highlights, include immorality (pornea), impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissension, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, etc. The practice of such things disqualifies us from inheriting the kingdom of God.
To belong to Christ is to have all the passions and desires of the flesh crucified with Him. Galatians 2:20 tells us “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is not longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the lift which I now lie in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.”
CULTIVATE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Gal 5:22-26
Love = joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there are no laws, so when you walk by the Spirit and are lead by the Spirit you will produce fruit that makes the law irrelevant.
To produce good fruit, the farmer needs to do pruning, feeding and watering at the right times. Neglect of these important practices will lead to no fruit or poor fruit. As we walk with the Spirit, He will apply the Word to our lives and encourage and exhort us to address issues and hindrances and sins in our lives that are unhelpful. Psalm 139:23,24 is a useful prayer to help us focus.
LIVE BY THE SPIRIT
To live by the Spirit – the indwelling Christ – means that we will walk by the Spirit, or take His lead. This is a call to walk positively – to love God, to love your neighbor, and to love one another. The 10 commandments on the other hand give the negative message “Don’t walk this way”
The Law is more than the moral rules – the 'Thou shalt nots'. It is about all the rules and rituals and procedures and obligations that came under the old covenant. But, the new covenant builds on the fact that Christ fulfilled the Law and gained our acquittal. Our entry into this new covenant begins with faith in what Christ has done, and leads to receiving the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Christ. The law and the Scriptures give us plumb-lines by which to discern the truth, as well as the records of other people’s encounters with and revelations from the Lord of the Universe. This is the 'Logos' of God. But, it is the personal 'Rhema' of God that makes our walk with God personal.
These days, love is often used to stop criticism or promote tolerance at the expense of truth. Scripture says, "Speak the truth in love." The world wants unconditional love to include unconditional approval, but they are not the same thing. We can love someone and totally disapprove of what they are doing.
To walk or live or be lead by the Spirit is to do so by faith. That means taking the scriptures seriously, and being willing to trust them. This is easy to do when everyone is doing it; but when the society or community has gone astray, it is harder to be faithful to what God has revealed. It is at these times that we need to beware of the subtle pressures, twists and deceptions that can cause us to drift from the truth over time. The enemy will always try to exploit our ignorance’s and our weaknesses.
The Spirit will inform our conscience and lead us towards the fruit of the Spirit. The world the flesh and the devil will lead us to carry out and gratify the desires of the flesh. The choices we make about which way we walk will influence the habits that we develop and the outcomes we produce in our lives. That is why we need the Scriptures to guide us so that we can learn to walk in the Spirit. The Spirit will not lead us to contradict or disobey the Scriptures. Of course, we need to know and rightly divide our bibles, for the enemy will try to turn us into false teachers too.
1. How is walking by the Spirit different to walking by the Flesh?
2. Why is the Law linked to the flesh rather than the Spirit?
3. If the Law identifies where we should not go, what does the Spirit do?
4.How do we recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit, and how does He lead?
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