Christ Creates Holy Living
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Galatians 5:18-26; 6:1-10 February 26, 2017
Theme: Many people reduce their religious obligations to fulfilling a set of legalistic requirements. What are the characteristics of an authentic Christian lifestyle? Paul sharply contrasts a Spirit filled life with life in the flesh.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Galatians 5:18, “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” When you accept Jesus Christ, you receive the Holy Spirit, and upon your faith you are saved. Through God’s Grace and Mercy, you receive salvation which leads to eternal life. The “Law” defines sin, but “it” doesn’t lead to salvation, only Christ leads to salvation. The Law does not describe the consequences for failure to keep the Law. The Law was designed to tell the Israelites what God expected in His worship of Him, #1-4; and #6-10 was how you were to treat others in your interpersonal relationships. Christ did not come to condemn the Law, but to fulfill the Law. Jesus said that you only needed two commandments, #1, to Love your God with all of your heart and soul; that would cover the Law # 1-4. And Jesus’ # 2, to Love your neighbor as yourself, which covered the Law #6-10. What can be said about the Law’s #5 Commandment?
- 19, 20, 21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in past time, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul explains distinctly, if you habitually commit these sins of the Spirit, you shall not enter God’s kingdom. The key word here is manifest, meaning evident, or obvious in certain ways. All of these sins come under morality. The (Gk) word is porneia, from which the English word pornography comes. It refers to all illicit sexual activity, including (but not limited to) premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution which were not mentioned in the verse above. 20. Witchcraft or sorcery comes from the (Gk) word pharmakeia, to the English pharmacy, which originally referred to medicines, but eventually traversed into mood altering drugs, as well as the occult and magic. There are religions which use drugs to communicate with a deity. 21. These sins revolve around anger or hatred issues or the actions that lead to them.
- 22., 23, 24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Fruit of the Spirit is Godly attributes in the lives of believers who belong to God by FAITH in CHRIST and possess the Spirit of God. 23.When a Christian walk by the Spirit and manifests His (or Her) fruit, they need no external law to produce the attitude of behavior that pleases God. All true Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they accept Christ. 24. Crucified in this verse does not mean Christ, but metaphorically means your flesh (sinful pleasures that is sought for self-gratification) is crucified (kill) in the believer, and they become a new person in the Lord. Though your sinful flesh has been executed, a spiritual battle still rages within the believer. At the cross of Christ, where the death of the flesh and the power over believers was accomplished. “Works” by the flesh need a Law to keep them in check, whereas “works” of the Spirit do not, for they please God.
v.25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” If we are filled with the Spirit, then we should live a life style that exemplifies the Spirit within us. We must submit to the control of the Holy Spirit who guides us, while we mature in our spiritual growth. Others may see our fruit of the Spirit in our deportment that will be used for their benefit.
v.26, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory provoking one another, envying one another.” “Vain glory” is when you think that you are better than you really are (i.e. being full of yourself). Believers should not use their position in Christ to provoke envy in others, or stir up jealousy. Believers have an obligation to keep the peace and live the life as directed by the Holy Spirit.
- 6:1, “Brethren, if man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” If someone is caught doing wrong, he should be corrected in a gentle way, so as not to provoke him to anger against you who is trying to help. “Keep your head on straight” and don’t let yourself fall prey to the same wrong doing of the one who you tried to help.
- 2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” “Burden” is a “weight” that slows one down, or impedes one’s progress. Paul says that Christ exhorts us to help each another and bear one another’s burden. One might feel if they were in trouble, they might want someone to help them. This reflects on the old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
v.3, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” This is an example of “vain glory”, and demonstrates how the flesh makes us vulnerable to not doing the will of God. People try to separate themselves from others, and look down on them to think that they are better due to: race, education, finances, athletic abilities, position in life, or where and how one lives. Sin produces fruit (works) of the flesh, but the Holy Spirit produces fruit of the Spirit to all who believe.
v.4, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Don’t worry about the work that you do, and comparison to others is irrelevant. You only need to know if what you are doing is the work of the Lord as the Spirit has commanded you to do. If you rejoice because you think that your work is better than others, then you betray your life in Christ.
v.5, “For every man shall bear his own burden.” OK, so did the Bible seem to contradict verse 2. This verse is saying that we should each take responsibility for our own work. It primarily refers to the ministry in which each should take their responsibility in teaching, evangelism, and praising. This is quite different from assisting someone who is burdened by life’s circumstances, and we should come to help those who can’t help themselves. Laziness is not a Scriptural virtue. Christians must carry their own weight and help bear the burdens of those who cannot.
v.6,7, 8, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” For every action, there is a consequence; whether it is good or bad.
v.9, “And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Paul exhort the Galatians not to give up, but those who keep pressing toward the mark, will be rewarded.
v.10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We should do good to all people, but foremost to the people of faith.