Gospel Freedom – Part 7 Living by the Spirit… Galatians 5:13-26 August 20th, 2017
Called to the GOSPEL of FREEDOM. (v.13-18)
A. Free to NOT INDULGE… (v.13,16)
B. …but to LOVE and to SERVE… (v.13-14)
C. …which is WHAT we really WANT. (v.16-17)
Paul beats the same drum all throughout this letter to the Galatians. You are not set free by the law, you are set free by what God has given you in the grace of Christ. You are set free to NOT DO what the flesh wants, and you are set free TO DO what the Spirit wants you to do.
1. What does Christian freedom mean to you? In what ways does Christ make you free?
2. In Gal. 5:17 Paul says this conflicts keeps us from doing what we really want to do. What is it you really want to do? How might the gospel “free you” to actually do it?
II. Your LIFE reveals your FOUNDATION. (v.19-23; Mt. 7:16-20)
A. The LAW highlights the ACTS of the sinful nature. (v.19-21)
B. The Gospel produces the FRUIT of the SPIRIT. (v.22-23)
The wisdom of what Paul is sharing is that we can clearly see what we are basing our life on when we look at its fruit. The problem is we often put the cart before the horse and try to produce the works of the spirit by keeping the law. We see these lists as “to do” lists rather than a diagnostic tool to reveal what we are depending on. The whole point is that the fruit comes naturally when we resting in the grace that comes from the
Gospel. You can’t force the fruits of the Spirit, but you also can’t stop them if you are resting in the Spirit’s love.
3. In your own life have you seen v.19-23 more as a to do list (I need to do these things to prove I am a Christian) or as more of a diagnostic tool to show what we are basing our life on? What is the difference between those two viewpoints?
4. Why do you think Paul uses the terms “acts” and “fruit” in v.19 and v.22. What difference does it make?
5. What is God saying to you through this text (v.13-26) this week? How will you respond?
III. Not “HOW” we are but “WHOSE” we are. (v.24-26; Rom. 1:5)
A. “BELONG” is PRESENT tense. (v.24)
B. “Have CRUCIFIED” is PAST. (v.24)
C. We already “LIVE” so “keep in STEP”. (v.25)
Paul is not telling them how to live, but reminding them whose they are. The fruit of the Spirit comes out of an identity formed by the Gospel of freedom and grace. By returning to the law they are only going back to a system that just points out their failures which will in turn only drive you to more of the same.
6. Grace reminds us first “whose” we are. Can we focus too much on grace? What about the need for repentance?
7. If we focus on grace will repentance come? What has been your own experience here? Has grace or guilt motivated more change in your own life?
IV. LIVING by the SPIRIT… (v.16; Ezek. 36:26-27)
A. Start… with the GRACE of BELONGING. (v.24; 3:2-3; Col. 2:9-10)
B. LOOK… at your RELATIONSHIPS. (v.14-15,26; Mt. 5:23-24)
C. Ask… “Am I free to SERVE and LOVE?” (v.13,14; Jn 13:1-5)
D. LIVE… with open HANDS. (I Cor. 4:7; Gal. 2:20)
So how can we “live by the Spirit”? That’s a great question. It starts with a lot of unlearning. All that we are conditioned to in this world, and often in our faith, is based in the law and the “basic principles of this world”. Paul says go back to who you belong to. Let that permeate your relationships and your actions. And begin to understand that the life of faith is more about receiving what God has done for you than doing for Him.
8. How would you describe “living by the Spirit” to someone who was new to Scripture/faith? Does your definition ring true to what Paul is saying to the Galatians?
9. How does looking at the state of our relationships with others give us insight into our own willingness to receive and to give the grace of Christ? What did you learn as you looked at your own relationships?
10.What is God asking you to let go in order to make room from what He wants to give to you today? How will you know if you have let it go?