Living by the Spirit
September 24, 2023 / Ben Wishall
This week, Elder Ben Wishall kicked off our new sermon series, preaching from Galatians 5:22-26. In this passage, God gives us a list of attributes that He calls the “Fruit of the Spirit.” After listing off these attributes, which come by the work of the Holy Spirit, He tells us that if we live by the Spirit we should also keep in step with the Spirit.
- Context for this passage: the church in Galatia had gotten away from the message of salvation by grace, instead teaching that a condition of salvation was following the law, specifically circumcision.
- In His love, God gave the Israelites the law (Ten Commandments) so they could have a clear definition of sin and understand the gap that exists between God and man. The purpose of the law was not a means of salvation, but to point us to the source of salvation: Jesus.
- Christ fulfilled the law perfectly; He passed on the perfect righteousness to those who believed, and the law became obsolete. Faith in Jesus became the new covenant.
- By the power of the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, we have been made alive by the Spirit of God if we live by the Spirit. Out of the overflow of love and gratitude in our hearts for everything He has done for us, we respond in love and gratitude by walking closely with Him.
- The below are five things to help us submit to holy desires the Spirit places in us and deny the sinful desires that continue pulling us down:
- Acknowledge our sinfulness, brokenness, and utter helplessness apart from Jesus.
- Pray. Pray for each other, and for ourselves, that we may crucify the desires of the flesh and submit to the holy desires of the Spirit.
- Have faith. Believe the promises of God. Trust the ongoing work of God in your life. Trust the promises we find in scripture.
- Take action. Take responsibility for your spiritual maturity (i.e. read the Bible, memorize scripture, surround yourself in Christian community, be present in a local church body, confess sins, etc.)
- Live a life of thanksgiving. Recognize your helplessness apart from Christ and thank Him for the work He has done, and will do.
ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:
COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION:
- We see multiple places in scripture where the law is compared to living under a curse because we are under the curse of sin. Obeying the law for salvation is compared to slavery. How have you reconciled this tension, or said another way, found yourself operating to earn a works-based salvation, in your own faith journey?
- As a group, take the rest of the time to go through the above steps 1-5 together. Confess sin. Pray for a posture of submission to the Spirit. Declare and speak the truth about God and our identity in Christ. Share areas of opportunity where you can take action in your life to walk in step with the Spirit. Close with a time of gratitude to God, giving thanks to Him, the giver of all things.