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Mostly Galatians 5

Galatians 5

Who was the book of Galatians wrtitten to?
The Christians at the church of Galatia of course.

Why pick this chapter of this book to start a study?
Because it's about something that has been on my mind a lot lately.
Walking in the Spirit.

Gal5:1; It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Freedom!! We have been set free!! Amen!! This is the gospel.
But like prison convicts that have done their time and been set free.
We are capable of doing things that can cause us to be prisoners again.

Verse 1, starts of with saying why we are free. But it warns... "keep standing firm" ... and "do not be subject again" to "a yoke of slavery".

Hmmm... were we ever slaves? Slaves to who? Slaves to what?
In this case slaves to the ceremonial law, but as we will find out shortly,
we were slaves to much more than that. We were slaves to sin.

Gal 5:2; Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Gal 5:3; And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

If we are trying to get saved under the law. What good is Jesus to us?
If we are trying to get saved by part of the law, we are under obligation to keep the whole law.

Gal 5:4; You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5; For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
Gal 5:6; For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

You have been "severed"... what is the definition of severed. Cut off, separated from, chopped
off. Like a branch being cut off from a tree. Apparently it is possible to be severed from Christ.
Keep in mind, this is being written to believers. To the church. Not unbelievers.

You who are trying to be justified by the law... "you have fallen from grace". So, it is possible
to fall from grace.

In Jesus, being circumcized doesn't mean anything. Following Jewish ceremonial law doesn't help you
in any way. "but faith working through love".

Faith... faith working... is there a difference between idle faith... and working faith?
The answer is in this chapter, as we will see.

Gal 5:7; You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Gal 5:8; This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
Gal 5:9; A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
Gal 5:10; I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Gal 5:11; But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.
Gal 5:12; I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

How do we know this particular chapter was written to the church, well first of all it's a continuation
of the entire letter of Galatians, which starts off...

Gal 1:1; Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
Gal 1:2; and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Gal 1:3; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

So we see this was written to "the churches of Galatia" those who believe in "God our Father, and the Lord
Jesus Christ".

But back to chapter 5... verse 7.

You were running well! Who hindered you from the truth?
So they were doing great for a while. They were in the race... running well.
But something turned them away from the truth. I think there are some Christians
who were running well.... but somewhere along the way, they got "hindered" from the truth.

Paul says this didn't come from Jesus. ( verse 8 )
Then we see a little of jealously of the shepherd for his flock here.
The one who is bothering you and trying to persuade you this way... "you will bear His judgment"!!
This is yet another place in the Bible that says Gods judgment will fall on false teachers.

Paul goes so far as to say... "I wish those people bothering you, would even mutilate themselves".
Perhaps some would say "that isn't a very Christian attitude", but I think God feels the same way.
Those who try to hurt His children... will find out what a jealous God is. ( Exod 20:5; )

If we jump back to Galatians chapter 1 for a minute, what caused Paul to write this letter in the
first place?

Gal 1:6; I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;
Gal 1:7; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8; But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
Gal 1:9; As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

So people in this church are "quickly deserting Him who called you by grace" (Jesus) for a different gospel.

There are some who want to "distort the gospel of Christ".

Paul says even if an "angel from heaven" preaches another gospel to you, he is accursed!!
2 Cor 11:14; says Satan himself can disguise himself as an angel of light.

This is how the Mormon church supposedly got started..., an angel "Moroni" gave Joseph Smith
a "new" gospel from God. Which is quite different from the Bible.

So we see that believers are able to desert Jesus, in order to follow another gospel.

Gal 5:13; For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Gal 5:14; For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Gal 5:15; But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Chapter 5 started off talking about freedom... then said don't go back to a yoke of slavery.
In verse 13, it talks about freedom again. But.... (there is always a "but")
do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.

As soon as we use our freedom for an excuse to serve the flesh... we are once again slaves.
but "through love" serve one another. There's that "through love" statement again.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word.... (actually one sentence) "You shall love your
neighbor as yourself".

This is of course the same thing Jesus says in Matt 5:43; Matt 19:19; Matt 22:39;
Mark 12:31; Mark 12:33; Luke 10:27; as well as what Paul says in places like Rom 13:8-9;
Jesus says we have to love God also... so I'm not sure if Paul is insinuating we don't have to love
God anymore here, but I doubt it.

.. to be continued ...
Gal 5:16; But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:17; For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Many entire sermons have been written and preached on these two verses alone. Unfortunately
they are often removed from the verses surrounding them and put into another context.
The bottom line here is... the flesh is opposed to the spirit and the spirit is opposed to the flesh.
( Rom 8:4-13; goes into some details about this )

... so that you may not do the things you please. Sometimes we still choose to please the flesh.
Sometimes we still want to do "things as we please". When we do this we are being led by the flesh, not by the Spirit.

Gal 5:18; But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Gal 5:19; Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, fornication, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20; idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, Gal 5:21; envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God

This is a pretty good description of what walking in the flesh looks like.
So guess what...
If you're fornicating... you're walking in the flesh. (if you're living with someone you aren't married to)
If you're taking recreational drugs (sorcery).. you're walking in the flesh.
If you're getting drunk all of the time... you're walking in the flesh.

It doesn't say if you've ever done this.... it says those who "practice" these things.
Practice... continually repeat them. Will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But wait... doesn't God forgive everything except the unforgivable sin?
Actually... the Bible places a lot of conditions on forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't unconditional
as some would have you believe.

For example... the Bible says we will be forgiven as we forgive others.
( Matt 6:12; Matt 6:14-15; Matt 12:31-32; Matt 18:35; Mark 3:28-29; Mark 11:25-26; John 20:23; etc.. )

Some churches simply do not preach these verses at all. They just say grace covers everything.
Also the Bible says we need to repent... repent.. repent...
( Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Luke 17:3-4; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:22; etc... ) in order to be forgiven.
You can't just go on "practicing" sin and say God will forgive me. You have to repent.
(quit doing that sin). The Bible also says we need to confess our sins...
( Matt 3:6; Mark 1:5; James 5:16; 1 Jn 1:9; etc... )

If you're still walking in the flesh... you aren't being led by the Spirit.
If you're not led by the Spirit, you're still under the penalty of the law.
If you're still practicing sin, you're still under a yoke of slavery.

... to be continued ...
Gal 5:22; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23; gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

As has been stated on here before... it's not the "fruits... plural of the spirit. It's not this one, but not that one.
It's the fruit (singular) of the Spirit... either you have it or you don't. If you only have one or two of the fruit(s). You don't really have the fruit.
It's an all or none thing.

Gal 5:24; Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

There are many who claim to belong to Jesus, but still do all of the same sinful fleshly things they did before they called themselves Christians.
They haven't crucified the old flesh. They are still obeying it's desires. Fornication, drunkenness, idolatry, sorcery, etc...
If you're still "practicing" the fruit of the flesh... you obviously haven't crucified the flesh.

Gal 5:25; If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

I usually use the NASB translation, but some other Bibles say.. "walk in step with the Spirit"

The word here is...

From a derivative of στείχω steichō̄ (to range in regular line); to march in (military) rank (keep step), that is, (figuratively) to conform to virtue and piety: - walk (orderly).

It's much like walking in a military formation, or marching band. You can't get ahead, you can't drop behind, you can't wander to the right or the left.
You can't march to your own beat... you have to walk in the same "groove" as the Spirit.

Gal 5:26; Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.