Already. For tonight, as we look at what it means to be free from the law, to live a life of freedom. But I pray you give us insight into our own struggles with the flesh and struggles with sin, and it will show us further how we can live by faith rather than through striving. And so, again, I pray you’re showing your light on your word, allow us to see what we’ve never seen before. We pray in Jesus name.
Amen. Well, we are up to the beginning of Chapter five, and we will do Chapter five this week and Chapter six six next week, which will be the last night of the series. To begin by reading the first 12 verses, because they really are a kind of self-contained passage and this these first 12 passages in many ways sum up the first four chapters. Let me remind you something which probably worth hearing again that Paul calls what we call letters were called the Pistols, Pistols and the Greek.
It’s a pistol. They they they’re not a personal letter as such. They’re a formal letter or what is called on a pistol. And they tend to have a quite distinct structure to them. Structure, which would be unfamiliar to a personal letter written to someone for purely always begins by greeting. He says his writing and anyone who’s traveling with him gets included, might be pulling a policy of Paul and Barnabas to whoever it is that defines the debt. The destination Paul’s habit is to at that point normally give thanks for something he knows about the people he’s about to write.
He’s what we call buttering them up, you know, making them feel good before you’re you with them. And he would normally have a Thanksgiving. He would often then before he gets into the next section, pops them a little bit about his own life, what he’s up to, whether he’s in jail or or just something going on about his life so they can bring them up to date. And there is follow a consistent pattern where he deals with theological issues in a kind of an abstract sense he deals with might be a wrong understanding.
Jesus is a wrong understanding of the law, these sorts of issues. So it kind of deals with the thinking first or the believing first and then deals with their life because and then Paul has a habit of sending some greetings to a few people. Again, maybe giving some instructions, bring my client, bring my manuscripts, tell sounds. And it’s kind of a little bit right at the end. But Paul’s starting point is that the way we live is a reflective reflection of what we believe.
And therefore, you can’t just write about their behavior. He’s very much his starting point is their belief system. That’s why he deals with their their if they got wrong theology. He is a teacher on teaching. He’ll deal with that before he corrects the way in which they live. Very. That was true. That is true of the Galatians epistle. You know, we have four chapters about belief fundamentally. And then we get to Chapter five. We begin to kind of the outworking, the significance of it for the way in which we live.
So those first twelve verses sum up the first four chapters. So Paul writes, is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again. And that again is worth underlining by yoke of slavery. You know, he has because he’s talking to those who were under attack, were set free. The dangers, they’re going to go back onto the egg. Mark my words. I will tell you that if you let yourself be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Again, I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he’s obligated to obey the law. You’re trying to be justifiable or have been alienated from Christ. You’ve fallen away from grace. But by grace, by faith. We eagerly await true the spirit, the righteousness for which we hope for. In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision or circumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through life. You’re running a good race, one carrying on you and keep you from obeying the truth.
That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you, and there are ways to work through the whole batch of dough. I’m confident in the law that you will take no other of you. The one who is throwing you the confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers. If I’m still preaching circumcision, why am I being persecuted? In that case, the offense of the cross has been abolished as well as agitators.
And I’m afraid this point he gets rather blunt. I will go the whole way and masquerade them.
Masquerade themselves. Why don’t they? You, my brothers were called to be free, but do not use your freedom. Says to indulge in sinful the sinful nature. Rather serve one another in love. Never going to come to visit that much. So it just sort of is twelve. Is it a summary passage, he summarizes in three ways, firstly, that to be under the law is under attack and it’s the yoke of slavery.
And, you know, in terms of various cultures to do with slavery, that slave was identifiable by by but in terms like that. And they had been under it. And it was the yoke of a law because he knows and they know as Jewish believers, as people, the crushing burden of trying to please God through obeying the law. And I was just was just like bearing a heavy egg. What seems to be clear, having been told that they don’t need to observe the law, people have come and said to themselves that if you’re not circumcised, you must be circumcised.
If your children are not circumcised, they must be circumcised. In other words, that they must become Jews before they can continue to walk on faith. And Paul says he says, I tell you that if you let yourself be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. So it’s it’s not the circumcision, but it’s the symbol that it represents it. The symbol of circumcision is that I am no longer relying on my faith in Christ to save me.
I am now relying on my observance of the law to save me. Again, he says, I declare to every man who let himself be circumcised that he’s obligated to the whole law. You see, if you remember early on, he says, look, once you’re under the law, if you broke one of the law, under the law, if you file one, you tell them you can’t pick and choose the law. You can’t say, well, I’ll just keep one law and the rest of it I’ll keep my faith.
You know, that is the danger in groups like the Seventh Day Adventists who who say, well, really, you know, we’re saved by grace through Christ. But you must observe the Sabbath. Once you say you’re under one law, you’re under the whole lot. And Paul will say he says you are trying to be justified by the law, had been alienated from Christ. You’ve fallen away from grace. For Paul, be the antithesis, the opposite of grace is the law, because law is works, law is self-righteousness.
Grace is of faith. Grace is God’s mercy. And so what is it? Where do you stand on this, that this is going on, this is going to get laid down a path and this teaching of polls was capable of really being misunderstood? Why don’t we turn for a moment, turn to the right at the end of Romans Chapter five, and we’re going to be going backwards and forwards to Rhymin or not. Romans, five 20. He says the law was at odds that trespass would increase, but with an increased grace increased or more.
So the justice in reindeer deaths, also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life. Now, Paula saying what the law confers with their sin, confronted with their need of Christ, we certainly understand that God loves us not because of our self-righteousness, because of his grace. The more recent increase. The milk price increased. You know, and it like it’s just like the worst since then, the greater the sense of God’s grace towards us. And then he says, what then?
Shall we say? Shall we? This is Romans six. When shall we go on sinning? That grace may increase. And of course, he says by no means. I mean, we might have occasion to come back into that because this was the. In one sense of the people who are coming in and teaching law. The feeling was there, if it’s salvation by grace, without law, people are going to become law less. You know what, then, is there to protect us, what then is to maintain the way in which we live?
Because if the law has been our protector all these years since the covenant made to Abraham and most of the law is good and is pure and of his spiritual, because there Zapotec, that one is going to protect us. If we abandon the law. And people have heard this message, heard Paul saying that’s not what he said, but this is a message beginning around Paul’s preaching gospel. But it’s you say by Christ and then it doesn’t matter what you do.
In fact, he says, what does that mean? Listen, all the more the grass my band is is his message one, which is a kind of grace which says once you say you’re always saved and it doesn’t matter where you lived because you saved my grass. And I have to worry if I didn’t have to worry how I live it all now.
People concerned with this said, well, OK, why don’t we then have a message, which is we’re saved by grace once we’re saved, let’s live under the law so the law will protect us.
But for Paul, you can’t go that way because once once you get back under the law, you’ve you are distancing yourself from Christ. The question for us then is what protects us? What protects us from lawlessness? Pulsers inversed five, going back to Galatians five, but by faith, we eagerly await what what protects us is the faith life which we’re going to spell out. He stood for and Christ, neither circumcision or circumcision has any value, and I was whether you’re a Jew or Gentile is of no consequence.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. And this is so. He thought that being under the law was a joke. He’s thought that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Jew or Gentile, faith is the key. And the key is that faith expressing itself through love. And we’re going to unpack that a little bit later on versus 12 through 15. But we need to understand it. We need a poll. Paul does not see the law abolished in a way that would lead to lawlessness.
But rather, he sees the law rightly understood, becomes love. And that you love God with all your heart, with all your mind and all he saw, with all your love, your neighbor as yourself, and that that and that, therefore the faith what God’s looking for is a faith expressed in love. And as I said, we’ll get to it when we get to and there’s one more thing in this passage from verse seven onwards, he says, well, the law was not evil, but it’s oppressive.
And now the matter with you, George Antoun. And then he warns us against those who will come in and try and rob us of our freedom so that not only can we be robbed of our freedom in Christ by wrong teaching, but we can be robbed by people who actually set out to rob us evaporate. He says you are running a good race. Who cashed in on you and kept you from buying the truth. That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who called you.
This is not from God who calls us where it come from. He says, Don’t you realize a little yeast works right through the whole batch of that? You’ve got to have one foundational issue. A faith wrong, and it can just like seep through your whole understanding that I’ve, you know, I’ve seen you’ve heard me talk about it before, but I remember in my early days, having come out of a non Christian family, having understood I was saved by grace through faith, began to attend a church.
And it was a good church and a good Bible teaching church. But in the nation, the structure of the services I was going to on a regular Sunday basis, I got a Sunday morning communion and a communion. I rather read the shortened form of the Commandments or the Ten Commandments. Every Sunday there’s like one confession of sin, the beginning of the service. There was another confession of sin. This is the Anglican Anglican order of you know, by the time you got to actually communion, you felt you had this rotten sinner.
And I went out thinking, now the first commandments is second hand, mustn’t do this, mustn’t do this. And I went out and, you know, with a sense on the one hand, Christ died for me because that’s what that says. One perfect, insufficient sacrifice. On the other hand, I went out with an understanding that I really must keep the commandments. And as a young person, I have to tell you, because the flesh is alive and well, the hormones are alive and well, and only 16, 17, 18 is a pretty potent cocktail of feeling like you’re saved by grace of being told you got to keep the commandments all 10.
And there’s this danger, in fact, in the church, there’s this kind of heretical view, it’s not that he’s what’s called a.. No, he’s not against the law. He just understands the purpose of the law is to bring us into a relationship with Christ, where we walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and we keep the law as it’s rightly understood. But if we don’t approach it right. We just find ourselves being distanced from Christ and it doesn’t take the law long to do it.
He says this 10, I’m confident in the law that you take no the view that one is wrong. The confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. And I can remember I can think of a lady, one of our congregations, you know, who she met these folk in a salvation, salvation. And so they were so
diverse, you know, and they just kept at an ad or an ad and they just go straight to the Old Testament, you know, and these are the commandments of keeping the crimes committed in the Sabbath.
And just like it was just signed into to the point where she came into confusion, you know, and obviously our pastors try to work with a helper to understand, but she just couldn’t grasp the idea that Grace was sufficient. They’re convinced that a better life with Grace, Parslow just said. Now, also verse 11, apparently, some was saying Paul’s changed his mind. Paul now teaches that you must be circumcised. And there is you know, there is an answer.
There’s some instance which became known of of Timothy being circumcised by Paul. And they’re able to say, well, actually, Paul himself has changed this. And he says to them, look, if I’m still preaching circumcision, why am I being persecuted? Because as you recall, this from previous studies, you know, the ones who were the behind the persecution of Paul went the Greeks and one of the Romans that were the Jews. And if if the if the Jews continue to persecute poor, they wouldn’t do it if he’d reverted to the Jewish faith.
He says in that case, the fence of the cross has been abolished because his preaching was at the cross, that’s his preaching was the cross as answer as agitators and call as possible will be. And he says, answer those, I wish they would go the hallway and emasculate themselves, which is not very nice in Sacramento, but he needed the teaching of Jesus. You whitewash because you brood of. So that’s the summary clearly understood, no one being in Afghanistan live on the law.
It’s such a yak. It’s not a question of being a Jew or a gentile. And we have to watch out because we will get shot at. And I although there are there are groups like Adventism which which are kind of outwardly obvious in terms of this for us, I think we’ve seen it’s more subtle than that. It’s those who would would kind of offer it to us a pathway of zeal where where we begin to engage in a religious life, which is actually self righteous past.
You know, if you fast twice a week or if you if you do this, if you go on retreats all the time or, you know, if you if you pray three hours a day or whatever it might be that this is this subtle view, if you really want to please God, this is the path. And in a previous study, I mapped out Colossians to for you at all or it can be pursuit of knowledge of the former philosophy can be ritualism.
It can be mysticism, it can be self-denial. And so punishment in the church has always had different forms of this. What we what we then get to is because I want to do this section, then we’ll pause and have some discussion, he says. Then I say, my brothers, you, my brothers were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature rather than serve one another in light of the entire law is summed up in a simple command.
Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So he he calls them to freedom, but he recognizes the danger. That’s that’s the issue. The key for us, however, is to say, well, you know, I kind of know how to keep the commandments, I know how to try to keep the commandments, you know, you learn what the commandments are and you try to do them.
Not very successful, but, you know, that way and then process to us, but now I want to teach you another way. I want to teach you the way of faith expressing itself through love. I want you to work in the freedom, which is the freedom from the tyranny. And but you’ve got to learn the principles of how it works. Let’s have a look at some passage. Let’s go back to Romans 12. Yeah, land of freedom, labor rights, we have to point to the rights, the principle of love, rymes 12, nine and 10.
Pollsters love must be sincere and hate what is evil, cling to what is good, to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, honor one another above yourselves and so on. Love must be sincere hate and we must hate what is evil. Be devoted to one another in love. Romans, 13. First aid policies, but not that remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he loves his fellow man, has fulfilled the law, the commandments do not commit adultery, do not matter.
Do not still, do not commit. And whatever other commandment they may be summed up in this one rule. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. Now you may like to exercise over the Christmas break or whatever. When you get a little bit more extra time. Read the book is generating me. Just read that book, but read it with a focus on the whole concept of love.
And understanding that the commandments are means whereby one fulfills the general command to love God with all your heart, with all the man, with all is always, always right, and you love your neighbor as yourself and see the Lord and see the whole issue of concern and love for neighbor being expressed in that this is not reinventing the law. This is not a poll rejecting the law. But this is the poll saying this is what the law is all about.
And in this poll is right where Jesus was at. You remember the stories of the gospels about and the people come up to Jesus and ask you to take teacher teaching. Can you tell us what is what is the greatest of all come out? And he said, well, what do you think it is? And the teacher says, well, in man says, well, you should level with all the God we have with all this. I will always love you.
And he says, you know, you’re right. That’s the issue of it. It’s interesting because if this is the greatest of the commandments, then the greatest sin is to not love God. And not love your neighbor. That’s the greatest thing. It’s not murder, it’s not adultery. It’s not. It’s the actual rejection of the command to love. Jesus understood that, he understood that you can fulfill the letter of the law and reject the spirit of the law.
And so Paul is right on here. Now, let’s let’s just pause and think about this for a little while. I mean, when I was a young Christian in my 20s and it was the beginning of what is called relativism, and and there was this it was the beginning of the loan for me from moving away from a rigid view of morality, of right and wrong. And you might be discussing an ethics, you might be discussing telling the truth, and thou shalt not lie.
And when someone was someone else was saying, well, well, yeah, now I think this is a situation where you might lie and lying, so on. And the story which was given about this was, well, let’s imagine you’re a pilot or an aircraft, the Second World War, the Japanese shoot the plane down, you managed to parachute down and you’re your land and you go into a village in New Guinea. And they had men in the village knows who you are because they see you coming down and they decide to hide you.
The Japanese comes up with a machine gun and says, do you have any? We shot the plane, went down. Do you have the airman? Now, if they say, yes, we have him, the Japanese just executed. If they say no. Then they lie, what should a Christian do? All right. So let’s have a little discussion right now. What should the head man is a Christian. What should he do? You think you should buy?
But isn’t that breaking the commandments, but it’s. And love your neighbor as yourself. You want to say you’re right, know, the answer is that that the intent of the statement in the law, which says thou shalt not lie or thou shalt not bear false witness, is to not tell the truth for your own advantage over your neighbor to deceive. That’s the intent of it, but, you know, profit by it had been it for fun, it’s now in the studio.
It is not that you might not love, you know, because if love is the fulfillment of the law, then the loving thing is to sink to save this this person. But I remember the classes, as I said back, the person said, you must tell the truth, even if a customer is like. In other words, that there was this a failure to understand that the purpose of the Carnamah was the expression of love and that there was the commandment in itself.
Have to be rigidly adhered to. Otherwise, we lose a moral basis for developing a morality. And there was this strong kind of support that we should always rigidly adhere to the law and never, never give ground. It’s in the commandments. That’s what is. Across this work, anyone has been in prison for being situations now that there is a sense that you know what the loving thing is today and the second thing which lacked in the idea and the eye, because this was his fear, if you move away from a
rigid view of the law, adherence to the law that you some somehow pull away from God.
Well, that would only be the case. If love is not a sufficient guideline. For us. Because if you work through the commandments one by one by one, and you said, well, you shall not commit adultery, can you love your brother and sleep with his wife? No. So if you’re bound by love, you can’t break that commitment. Can you steal? Well, you could if you’re starving and he has an abundance, but she couldn’t take all that he has, and if Jesus is sufficiently concerned, he says, if you got more than you need, take one and give it to someone else.
So and you can work through them one by one, by one by one. And if you rigidly adhere not to the law, but rigidly here to the commandment to love, you will not break a single commandment. It is not a way out, is not a it is not a license at all. It keeps you right where God wants you to be is. We’ll see at the end of this. So. So this is issue of the difficulty.
The law is the law is a negative thing. It’s thou shalt not. And I love is a positive thing. Thou shalt. And certainly from my own experience, I found that whilst in trying to live a life which please God in a life of faith, I focused on the negative, the negative enticed me to do the very thing I didn’t want to do. But once when I could convert the negative into a positive, I felt I could break the power of the negative.
For example, in Jesus is yes, some people are proud because they did not commit adultery. And then he says, yeah, but you you’ve looked at them with your eyes and so you take the Hollister lasting. Well, again, I can only think of my younger days as a Christian from sixteen through twenty one. And you’re young and you, you’re aware of everything in skirts, you know, and this is the whole issue of the last of what the Bible calls the last of the eyes is a powerful force of work.
Well, how do you overcome it? Well, you don’t have a come by walking down the street saying that last night, last night, that now you’ve actually got to replace. And this is where we get we’re going to get to in the last area. You’ve actually got to replace the positive with the negative. Now, you might laugh at this and that, but until I could walk down the street and see an attractive young lady see her and say, God, boy, you did a good job there in a sense of attributing something to God.
And I found when I began to do that, I began to put God right there. In that situation. I found it impossible to us those just two things didn’t belong in the same time frame. It’s like covering until I began to thank God for what I had. I couldn’t I couldn’t break the desire to have what I didn’t have with someone else. My there was this issue of desire to love. And it’s like, yeah, if you cover this, then how do you break covetousness?
You break it with generosity. Paula understands this in First Timothy six saying hi and you know, you teach faith, you teach God that God wants to bless the people in your church, wants to bless their businesses and you’re encouraging materialism and covetousness. And I said, because if God blesses them, I’ll get the money, you know, I’ll get him to give it. Not for me. How can you? Don’t you? Yeah, I know the other part of the equation.
I said, wonderful, God bless them and I’ll preach generosity and I’ll go knocking on their doors and bring him out and saying we need money for this. This is business. And if they need it and they want to keep it outside and you’re becoming covetous, the love of money is the root of all evil. I’ll quote him. But but because the opposite, you know, the opposite of is not is not a poverty mentality, because I’ve known people who appear to be more capitalist than anyone who’s rich.
It’s the opposite. It’s the love. It’s seeing people with whom to be generous. It’s the liberating principle of love. If we if we are so free and busy loving others, it’s amazing how we don’t have to struggle so much about the temptations to sin. I was self focused, self centered. But every one of the things will be a temptation towards this. It’s a freedom of. It’s a freedom, but it’s not it’s not freedom which can be abused if you really embrace the concept.
Now, you know, this is I just say one more thing and then we have to turn the tape off for a moment. But, you know, this is the folly of converting faith into a theological presupposition. But if you see the
Christian faith is right, Dr.. And the pursuit of right doctor and the study of doctrine, then you can break the connection between faith and love. And you establish a connection between faith and truth. And what Paul doesn’t say here is the important thing is faith.
Grounded on true is faith expressing itself in love? And the sad thing is that you can have people who love truth more than they love people. In fact, you can have such a love of truth that you have you don’t care about people I’ve met saying that if if I just preach the truth, I don’t have to love them. I just got to preach the treatment and that Paul doesn’t say that he doesn’t believe it. He said, I think what he says, if you really believe the truth, you will be deeply compassionate towards people.
And you can the people I encounter people from time to time who want to sit down and study the Bible with me and talk to theology or talk history battle, and in the end, I find myself saying to them, well, this is amazing, but how does it affect the way you live? What do you mean? And I said, well, you know, you working in the slums, you working with the poor or you you know, you helping people who are struggling with work or whatever it is, you know, what do you actually do with people?
What time do you spend with people? And occasionally I had people say, actually, I’m not really into and people I’m honest in the truth. And what a tragedy that is. All right, why don’t we pause the tape for the. We move now to this famous passage dealing with the fruit of the spirit. And it’s really in three sections. From 16 through 18, 19 through 21, 22 to 26, so most of them. Firstly, 16 through 18 courses, I by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature for the information desires, which it’s contrary to the spirit and the spirit was contrary to the sinful nature.
They’re in conflict with each other. So you do not do what you want. But if you live by the spirit, you’re not under law. Yeah, Paul’s understanding is we battle with two things. We battle with what he is called the sinful nature, what he will call the flesh, what you call the old self, the old nature, what has come from the old life. You know, it’s like a.. Like environment. It’s like there’s a law within me because of the law of sin and death.
And it’s there. And we have the law and the law, which God has given us. And the problem is that the law is God’s given us, which is good in itself and spiritual provokes. More within me of this thing, and he says, I can’t. Impose God’s law on the law of the sinful nature, these principles which are work with anything to overcome, he says, I’ve got to engage the spirit for the sinful nature desires.
It’s contrary to the spirit, and the spirit was contrary to the sinful nature. They’re in conflict with each other. So you do not and you do not do what you want to do. Familiar with the passage in Romans six, seven and eight where you are packsaddle, this says, But if you are loved by the spirit, you are not under law. And the world that there is is the same word I go from which you get the sense that Jesus being led by the spirit, by the devil into the wilderness, by the spirit, into the wilderness, its allowing something to move you.
Or to drag you whatever it is to get into such a relationship with the spirit that we are taking, where we don’t want to go because of this information, and that’s the that’s the imagery that is got. And remember, certain, certain, its leaders and helpers and the flesh doesn’t help us, and I’ll give you some references if you want to study. And if you look at Romans seven, four, three, six. So Romans seven, four, three, six.
And Romans, eight one, three, four, five. We’ve got time. Let’s let’s turn back to Romans seven. Versus said brothers, you also got to look through the body of Christ that you might belong to another to him who was raised from the dead in order that we might be referred to God for when we were controlled by the sinful nature of the sinful passions aroused by the law working in our bodies so that we bore fruit for death.
But now, by dying to what band once banned us, we are released from the law so that we serve in the way of the spirit and not in the old way of our written code or the law. So we transfer it. Now it becomes clear if we get that inside or inside verses one through four. Therefore, there’s now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the Lord, the spirit of
Has set me free from the lure of sin and death for what the law was powerless to do and that it was weakened by the sinful nature God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin and sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their mind set on what the nature desires to those who live in accordance with the spirit, have their mind set on what the spirit desires, that’s moving away from the negative to the positive.
And what is God want not not does what God not want. That’s that’s the issue. The mind of the sinful man is death. But the mind controlled by the spirit is life and place. The sinful mind is hostile to God and does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. That is controlled by the sinful nature. Cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the spirit, for the spirit of God lives in you and so on.
And this is an expansion of Galatians. So if you go back to Galatians five. What we can say again is that the goal is to escape being led by the law and led by the Flash to be led by the spirit. So that’s the goal. That’s truly freedom versus 19. Now, how do you how do you know if you’re led by the flesh? Well, he tells us the access to this information are obvious. Sexual immorality, and which I think is pointier.
Which which is sexual in a very general term account, embraces all forms of sex or sexual immorality, whether whether it be heterosexual or homosexual, what is the general term of morality? So there are obvious sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits, fits of rage, selfish ambition, the senses, dissensions, factions or divisiveness, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. Now, what you’re saying is the obvious, that these are acts of the flesh.
There’s not much controversy about it’s obvious. I read here, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God if they hold their fingers in their turn. Back to First Corinthians six. Example of this would be for us here. Let’s turn first Corinthians six nine, Dinanath the Wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God to not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral or Adelitas or doubter’s male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy drunkards and slanderers, the swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And that is what you were. It’s a full fledged. It’s it’s obvious. And so he’s saying life in the spirit is not keeping the law straight into the flesh. It’s being led by the spirit. Now, if you move, this is the difficulty, so if you move, the further flash are obvious. But if you say, well. Shirley, I want to know if I don’t keep to the law, how will I know whether I’m sitting or not if I don’t live rigidly by the commandments?
You know, the story of how do I know if I’m breaking the law of the Sabbath or whatever it is? Six hundred and twenty one explanations of what you can do to break the Sabbath, how you know and pulseless. It’s not that difficult tonight. It’s obvious. Persons’ covetousness stickups got an alcohol problem. The drunken. The envious jealous is you don’t need the law in that sense to expose the fact that your what you’re doing is of the flesh.
But the fruit of the spirit. He says it’s Lovejoy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and such things, there’s no law. There’s nothing to gain these days what it’s like to be led by the spirit you had a problem with. So stupid, really, but anyway, I can’t believe it, so and it was a fill in the blank. Give give the nine furtiveness and I confused gentleness and meekness. And by the time I put a gentleness and meekness, which are the same translation of two different ones, I had no room left for self-control.
So I got the learn the protest against this first order for those who belong to Christ, who have crucified the central nation with passions and desires. What does that mean? We have said we have died to living this kind of life. That’s what we were. That’s where we were. We invested in baptism. That’s
back to Rome. And six, we died to living the life we used to live. I’ve chosen to die to living a life controlled from my sinful desires.
Sounes. Twenty five, we live by the spirit, let’s keep in step with the spirit. Now, this is this. Let’s walk by the spirit, this very instant Greek word at this point, what it means to walk by the spirit. It’s the Greek word. Here is the word taken from the military as they march in line. And, you know, if you are because I was in the cadets for years at school and and that’s that’s the point I got.
Stop me on this, because last I said in church last Sunday morning, last Friday night, I went to the fortieth anniversary of my school, you know, so I won’t get distracted by the cadets. You know, you meant to march down the street in a straight line, not just straight that way, but straight sideways. And there’s only one day you can y you can do it if you keep your eye on the person who’s to your left.
Or to the right kind of in which it was, but if you keep your eye there and the one next to you keeps running, the one next to you, you’re walking the straight line. As you watch what the market is doing, you keep in step. And to work in the spirit is to keep your eye on what God does. And if we keep focused on what God does, we will not do what the flesh does. See, what God does is expressed in love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control, and it’s what the spirit will naturally do for us.
But I will have to be set on him. And you get it in the Ephesians, you get in cautions, we either look up or we look down and look up or we look at the old life. That’s where our eye is and where we watch. It’s it’s a sense of the life and the spirit. If insane I features is off six years, then it’s not become conceded, which knows we don’t need to look at what Gottstein look at someone else provoking giving each other.
It’s this question of humility, keeping an eye where God wants us to be. We’re going to get to the Philippians series preaching at one stage. You know that it’s royal. It’s where we’re looking. Looking back, looking forward, looking in, looking at we need to keep an eye on what God that’s what God wants, what God says and so on. And because you end up for parole in freedom with the freedom is a view. My looking at the law, we’re looking inside what, that once.
But I had a conversation today with someone and I didn’t like the language I was hearing. The language was, well, I have to decide what I want. Now, listen to this for 10 minutes, and in the end, I said, no, you don’t have to decide what you want. You have to decide what governs and maybe what God wants and what you want to. That’s that guy. You’re looking in the wrong place. If you look in that place, you’ll have great difficulty hearing government trying to speak to you.
Because the flesh, the simple designs are all there, they’re potent things. They take me away from fight, they take you to the place, I take you to yourself. And and to live by faith is to really commit yourself to not looking at the law. Maybe the way you brought up. Continuing, looking to cross, looking to what the spirit of Christ is doing, wants to today. And in faith, believing that that’s what he did.
That’s what I want to hear. And it is a sense of being led by the spirit with the one in front of you leading you and you’re keeping your eye on him. And Susan, he is fixing your eyes on Jesus. The pioneer and perfect are fine, so if you tonight, as we finish this year, if you’re just in this area of your life, you’re on set and ask God to show you Jesus, what would he do?
Can you can you imagine Jesus doing what you’re contemplating doing? She can see him doing the if the loving thing to do. It’s an expression of his love for God is love. She can see him. If it’s expressed in that, then maybe that’s what God wants you to do. If you know Jesus out of his love for God would never do what you’re proposing. There is no God. I close with an illustration. I remember a fight twice as happened, I was with a man once, the woman that came to me and said, God’s God’s telling me to go to Africa on a mission trip.
I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I’m going to sell some stuff and get. And I said, what about what
about your family, about your children and I’ve got to break up. And I said, you have family, your wife has got needs. You’ve got a family which got needs. And I know God has told me. And I and I said to them, it’s not going. It’s not good if you’re a single guy.
Acquaintances, you know, once you’re married, you’ve got the responsibility to make sure you got the kids of marriage get. But there’s this. Love for God and love for night is such a powerful thing, much more powerful than the law, everyone’s just told us what not to do. Love tells us what to do in a positive positive. That’s prime. Now, the truth is all of us struggle at times with our own desires. And the truth is, so often it’s easier if someone would just tell us what’s the right thing to do.
I pray that we would we’d embrace and believe that you want us to love you with all that is within us. You want us to love our neighbors? And finally, I probably would have eyes to see what that means for us each individually and what I pray we can enjoy the freedom from the tyranny of the Lord. And then I pray we get that point where we can enjoy the freedom from the tyranny of the flesh. I know that there can be peace and joy in us, because, Lord, through faith, we are walking in victory over these things.
Lord, we we met again a continual need for for your forgiveness, because even as we walk at times, we don’t stand. We fall. None of us can say we’re without sin, the Lord, I pray we can’t have that walk of faith, which is an overcoming walk where we can overcome the flesh and be such a blessing to others because of our commitment to express our faith and love. But I pray this will be real for us in many ways.
In Jesus name.