Galatians 5

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Set Free to Do Good

November 12, 2017 | Galatians 5:26-6:10 | exposition

Being set free from the law and the flesh changes our motivation for doing good. Formerly, we thought we could earn salvation by doing good, but we ended up either judging others from a mindset of superiority or feeling like a failure from a low self-esteem. Trying to be good in our flesh actually revealed our own selfishness, and a tendency to take credit for the good others have done for us. So, how can we be set free to do good?

The apostle Paul told the believers in Galatia that they had been set free in Christ to do good. We can be set free in Christ to do good.

Set Free in the Spirit

November 5, 2017 | Galatians 5:16-25 | exposition, fruit of the spirit, legalism

Don’t you wish you could do what you really want to do? What if you could start your life all over again. Would you do anything differently? I’m not sure that people really set out to do something bad or stupid. They just kind of slide into certain habits and behaviors that get them into more and more trouble. Then, they feel stuck by their mistakes, enslaved by their bad habits. They want to change, but they have no power to change. Some try to make new rules for themselves to change, but they end up breaking their own regimen. Others just give into their habits and desires, deciding to just go with the downward flow. But Paul knew a better way…

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he warned that the only way to continue to live in freedom was by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

Set Free to Live Free

October 29, 2017 | Galatians 5:1-15 | exposition

What is the value of freedom? Someone has rightly said, “Freedom isn’t free.” It costs something. Whether it’s political freedom, physical freedom, financial freedom, freedom of speech or thought… There’s a price to be paid to get free. And there’s a continual responsibility to watch out for threats that would steal our freedom.

The same is true for our spiritual freedom, the kind of freedom that can only be found in Christ Jesus. Do you know this freedom? The freedom from guilt and shame? The freedom from earning and effort? The freedom to rest in the grace and acceptance of God through faith in Christ? If you don’t, I want to tell you how you can have this freedom. And if you do, I want to help you keep it!

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he urged them to continue to live in the freedom Christ had given them by recognizing and avoiding the threats to their freedom. We can recognize and avoid the threats to our freedom in Christ.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18 NKJV).

September 20, 2017

In order to be “led by the Spirit,” we must be “filled” with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Spirit is given to us when we receive Christ as Savior. This is the “Spirit of adoption” (Rom. 8:14-16), which identifies us as children of God. Being adopted, filled and led, we are enabled to “walk” in the Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is under grace. But the one who strives according to self-effort, which is the flesh, is still under the law and its curse, which is death. The Spirit works from the inside-out, leading and empowering the believer, but the law is external and has no ability to energize adherence. Concerning this, the author of Hebrews wrote, ‘But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them”‘ (Heb. 10:15-16). This new covenant of grace has already come in Christ Jesus!

“For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Galatians 5:5 NKJV).

September 19, 2017

It is faith, not the flesh, that takes hold of true righteousness. And it is the Spirit that makes faith effective and righteousness real. For the flesh strives to earn righteousness through law-keeping, which is a rejection of the grace of Christ. Those who live by the works of the flesh cannot produce righteousness. But those who live by the Spirit are enabled to bear the fruit of the Spirit by faith in the finished work and righteousness of Christ. As Edward Mote wrote in the first stanza of his famous hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!”

Bearing the Marks

May 10, 2015 | Galatians 5:19-25 | character, discipleship, fruit of the spirit

Pastor Gary Combs begins a 10-week sermon series based on Galatians 5:22-23 describing the nine traits of true Christian character. This first message introduces the series, describing how to have a life that bears the marks of the fruit of the Spirit.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there” (Galatians 5:20 NLT)

September 20, 2014

We are to be like executioners, dealing cruelly with our own sin. When we see sin in others, we do not hesitate to judge, assigning it to their character. Yet, when we see it in ourselves, we make excuses for it, claiming some external cause or momentary lapse. Or we go the opposite way, and make sin our identity, calling ourselves by sin’s name (thief, liar, adulterer, addict, murderer…). Neither our tendency to condemn sin in others, nor to excuse or identify with it in ourselves is right. Those “who belong to Christ” count their sin nature dead with Christ, so that they might live in Christ. Counting sin dead, it is not excused, nor is it allowed to live and become our identity. Our identity is in Christ!

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13)

September 20, 2013

Our liberty in Christ is not license to sin. Receiving His righteousness we have been set free from the external law written on stone tablets and received the Spirit of the law written internally on our hearts. We are not called to legalism but to love. We are not under law, but under grace. Yet, this freedom is not to dabble in sin, but it is freedom to serve God and one another. As Victor Frankl once wrote of America, “Our statue of LIBERTY on the East Coast should be supplemented by a statue of RESPONSIBILITY on the West Coast.”

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13)

September 20, 2012

Receiving Christ we are freed from slavery to sin and from the condemnation of the law. Why would we waste this freedom to go back to living as slaves? No, we are free now to willingly follow Christ our Redeemer and to love God and others as He directs. Beware of flaunting this freedom with permissiveness or losing it to legalism. You have been set free to follow Christ.