Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20080810.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Galatians: Defending The Truthfulness Of Paul's Teaching On God's Grace
Part XI: Applying The Doctrine Of God's Grace To Christian Living, Galatians 5:1-6:18
B. Relying On The Holy Spirit's Power For Righteous Living
Lesson: The key to living above the rule of man-based religious regulations on the one hand and above license in the sinful nature's control on the other hand is to depend in faith upon the Holy Spirit!
- We have found in this study that living in God's grace frees us from man-based religious regulations.
- However, this in no way implies the Bible sanctions license, the violation of law and order, for that would be a life of sin in contrast to the purpose of Christ's salvation for the believer, cf. Romans 6:1-2.
- The solution is found in Paul's teaching of Galatians 5:13-26 in a life lived by the Holy Spirit's control:
- Relying On The Holy Spirit's Power For Righteous Living, Galatians 5:13-26.
- After directing his Galatian readers to stand fast in the liberty from man-based religious regulations (Galatians 5:1, 2-12 in our last lesson), Paul warned his readers not to live lawlessly with their sinful natures, with the "flesh" as he figuratively stated it, but by love to serve one another, Galatians 5:13.
- To illustrate, Paul cited the Leviticus 19:18 directive that the righteousness of the whole Law was fulfilled in loving one's neighbor as himself, but if believers carnally "bite and devour" one another by way of the lusts of the sin nature, they would only consume one another in license, and live in sin, Galatians 5:14, 15.
- Thus, freedom from man-based religious regulations did not mean the believer was free to live in license by means of his sinful nature, but to live under the control of the Holy Spirit; only in so doing would he not fulfill the lusts of the sinful nature while being free of man-based regulations, Galatians 5:16.
- Paul then explained how living by the Holy Spirit's power gave total victory over license as well as total victory over living under the jurisdiction of man-based religious regulations, Galatians 5:17-18:
- Paul explained how living by the Holy Spirit's power gave total victory over license, Galatians 5:17:
- The "flesh", or sin nature, desires what the Holy Spirit does not, and the Holy Spirit desires what the sinful nature does not, and they are opposed to one another, keeping the believer from doing what he wants free either of the sinful nature or of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:17; Romans 6:16-18.
- Thus, when a believer relies upon the Holy Spirit, he automatically lives above the power of the sinful nature, and thus free of sinful license, a life where the righteousness of the Law is automatically fulfilled in him while he lives free from the jurisdiction of that Law, Romans 8:3-4.
- Paul then explained how living by the Holy Spirit's power gave total victory over man-based religious regulations, particularly in reference to rule by the Mosaic Law, Galatians 5:18:
- If a believer is led by the Holy Spirit, he is not under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law, Gal. 5:18.
- This is because the law of the Spirit in Christ has freed him from the rule of Moses' Law, Rom. 8:2.
- Accordingly, living by means of the Holy Spirit's control frees the believer from subjugation to the Mosaic Law while also keeping him living a righteous life, Romans 8:3-4.
- Paul realized his readers might need discernment on whether they were living by means of the sinful nature or by the Holy Spirit, so he gave a list of characteristics produced in each case, Gal. 5:19-23 ESV:
- The sinful nature produces sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like, 5:19-21.
- [Paul's warning that those who practiced such things will not inherit God's kingdom is not a threat of a loss of salvation for practicing them, Gal. 5:21b; rather, he warns believers not to live like those who go to hell, for that can only bring God's temporal discipline on the believer for sin, cf. 1 John 5:16.]
- Conversely, the Spirit yields love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in the believer, characteristics no human or divine law opposes, Gal. 5:22-23 NIV.
- Accordingly, Paul urged believers who belong to Christ positionally to crucify the sin nature with its passions and lusts by living by means of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:24-25. In this way they would stop being conceited, provoking and envying one another to the spiritual injury of all involved, Galatians 5:26.
Application: May we rely upon the Spirit free from both man-based religious regulations and the flesh!