Sermon: August 8, 2017 PastorBryan
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16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
This is part of the letter Paul wrote to the Churches in Galatia. An interesting note; the original inhabitants of this land (Galatia) were Phrygians, who worshiped nature. It’s quite possible they were still having some influence over some of the Christians. What we know for certain, there were some false teachers in Galatia corrupting the Word of God. This threat was affecting true doctrine and purity of conduct within the churches.
In Chapter 5 verses 16-26, Paul is simplifying the doctrine in such a way the believers can make the caparison themselves to determine if their actions are Godly or not.
- The Fruit of the Spirit is the Fruit of the Spirit
This isn’t our fruit, it belongs to the Holy Spirit and as such, He is the only one who can provide the characteristics which come with the fruit. The Word of God calls us to bear the fruit, not produce the fruit.
Contrary to what some believe, The Fruit of the Spirit isn’t evidence of salvation. We can be saved and living in sin. In fact, sin is what we’ll default to if left unattended. “Anything left unattended will revert to its worst possible state”. No, the Fruit of the Spirit is evidence of a Spirit filled life.
- There’s a power at work against us.
Galatians 5:17 says; “for the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
This is why most of us have experienced times when we really wanted to do the right thing yet, we messed up and did the opposite. Our flash is weak and “desires” to sin.
Ephesians 6:12 teaches us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
There is an ongoing battle which we can’t win by ourselves. What makes this battle especially difficult is that it’s raging inside of each of us. So no matter where you go, there it is.
Old Cherokee Proverb
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy.
It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good – he is joy, peace, patience, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, gentleness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person in the world.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
Which wolf will win?
The old Cherokee simply replied, the one you feed.
This is a good picture of the spiritual battle going on inside of us.
- The Fruit of the Spirit can be cultivated
While we can’t produce the Fruit of the Spirit ourselves, we can cultivate an environment which invites the Spirit to work. Just as the Cherokee Proverb states, the wolf we feed will be the one who gets stronger, the same goes for the forces inside each of us. If we feed our sin nature, it’ll get stronger. Feed the Spirit and it’ll get stronger.
So how do we feed the Spirit and starve our sin nature?
In John 14: 4-5 Jesus said, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
The key to bearing fruit is staying close to Jesus. He has given us a promise that He will remain in us. At the same time, He makes a plead for us to remain in him.
What Should We Do?
As we each desire the Fruit of the Spirit we should implement the following practiced into our lives.
- Spend time with other Christians
- Consistently study the Bible
- Help others
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