Galatians Part 32 - Galatians 5:13-18

vs. 13-18. 1. The thrust of this chapter now shifts from the doctrinal error and implications of law-works justification to the practice of Christian living by and according to the Spirit. A. The basis for spiritual living in Christ is first being born of the Spirit. JOH 3:5-8. (1) This is the work of God, not sinful flesh. JOH 6:63; TIT 3:5. a. Natural generation is the principle of biogenesis: life from life. b. Spiritual regeneration is the principle of life from death. c. Paul highlights this distinction in 1CO 15:45. (2) This gives one a new nature inwardly, making him more than a natural man dead in trespasses and sins (EPH 2:1), and establishes spiritual communion with God Who thus indwells the individual. (3) Without this, one does not belong to God and cannot receive spiritual things by faith and understanding. ROM 8:9; 1CO 2:14 c/w JOH 8:43-44. (4) Grasp the significance of this: God Himself dwells in His elect by His Spirit. They are “connected.” a. The elect thus have “insider information” that God has written into their inward being. HEB 8:10-11. b. Being renewed, they have the capacity to “...delight in the law of God after the inward man” (ROM 7:22). (5) “Christ in you” is the hope of glory, the presently hidden life within that shall be fully realized in the resurrection. COL 1:27; ROM 8:10-11. B. Until the gospel comes to declare Jesus Christ to the quickened man, he is a spirit-born man under wraps, similar to Lazarus after his resurrection to life. JOH 11:43-44. (1) The gospel informs him of his sinfulness but also of God’s answer to that: Jesus Christ. 1CO 15:1-4. (2) Receiving this news by faith according to the spirit of God within him, the life and immortality which God has worked into him is brought to light. 2TI 1:9-10. (3) His conscience being thus relieved, he should respond by baptism as a disciple of Jesus Christ with joyful thankfulness. 1PE 3:21 c/w ACT 8:35-39. (4) This begins the walk in newness of life which, by the power of God’s Spirit within, applies the spiritual instruction of the gospel for victorious living. ROM 6:4-7. C. These elements are necessary for true worship. JOH 4:24 c/w PHIL 3:3. D. Saints are warned against grieving or quenching the Spirit, lest the Spirit withdraw His support and joy of salvation. EPH 4:30 c/w PSA 51:10-12. 2. Paul reminds them again that they have been called unto liberty. vs. 13-14. A. This is not a liberty from righteousness but to it, for grace is not a license to sin. ROM 6:1-2; JUDE 1:4. B. This liberty is not to be used as justification for rejecting all temporal power. 1PE 2:13-17. C. Nor is it to be used “...for an occasion to the flesh” (v. 13), to flaunt it without regard to implications or as if the only interests to be served are one’s own. c/w 1CO 6:12; 8:9. D. “...but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (vs. 13-14). (1) The best service is not seeking only one’s own wealth (happiness, prosperity, well- being). 1CO 13:5; 10:24. (2) “...all the law is fulfilled in one word...” (v. 14). a. This is the royal law of human interaction. JAM 2:8. Galatians 1-1-17 Page 57 b. word: collect. pl. Things said, or something said; speech, talk, discourse, utterance... c. Hence, all the scriptures are collectively “...the scripture...” (GAL 3:22). d. This accords with the perfect harmony and unity of the many words of God being “the word of God” and (singularly) “truth.” PSA 119:151. 3. “But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (v. 15). A. This is a self-centered condition which juxtaposes “by love serve one another” (v. 13). B. This is not the service of love but of lust (JAM 4:1), which the verses to follow address. C. Remember that Solomon observed, “Only by pride cometh contention...” (PRO 13:10). (1) Somewhere in the thick of uncharitable strife among brethren is the sin of pride which precedes destruction. PRO 16:18; 17:19. (2) The Adamic nature needs no incentive to give place to pride but what can be said about a doctrinal system which promotes it by assuming that only those who have been circumcised pass a purity test and the uncircumcised therefore are inferior? (3) How long would it be before the keeping of the Lord’s Supper hinged on the issue of circumcision? Given the Mosaic predilections of the Judaizers, an O.T. model of distinct places of “sanctuary and the profane” (EZE 42:20) in the house of God could develop. (4) Unless this false gospel was mortified, it would not only foment doctrinal schism in the church but social schism also. c/w GAL 2:12. (5) How foolish it is to sow discord among men by false superiority, especially among brethren! PRO 6:19. 4. vs. 16-18 set forth practical Christianity by the leading of the Spirit. A. These things are written to the saints who, by virtue of their conversion, had shown themselves to be born of/after the Spirit, and the children of promise. GAL 4:28-29. B. Walking in and following the Spirit is not to be confused with emotional leading. (1) The heart is the seat of emotion and it cannot be trusted. JER 17:9. (2) The heart must itself be guided and kept by knowledge of truth. PRO 4:23; 23:19; PSA 86:11. C. Walking in and following the Spirit is heeding the words of Scripture given by the Spirit, particularly the apostolic revelation the Spirit of Christ gave. 2PE 1:19-21; 1JO 4:6. D. The following may be said of such saints when walking in and following the Spirit, i.e., believing God’s word and obeying it in the liberty of the N.T.: (1) They do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (v. 16); they do no iniquity. PSA 119:1-3. (2) They have no condemnation (ROM 8:1-4). They are legally declared righteous in Christ their righteousness. Nothing can be laid to their charge that would separate them from God’s love in Christ. ROM 8:33-39. (3) They are not under the law. v. 18. a. They are not under its impossible requirements for righteousness nor under its curse. GAL 3:10-13. b. They are not under its abolished forms and burdens. ACT 15:10-11. (4) They are not doing so by nature. v. 17 c/w PHIL 2:12-13. E. The spirit-born child of God has internal warfare, especially after conversion. v. 17 c/w ROM 7:21-22. (1) Unlike some forms of psychology, this conflict is not resolved by denying guilt. (2) It is rather resolved by hope in Christ and submissive faith for victory. ROM 7:24-25; 1PE 5:8-9. Galatians 1-1-17 Page 58

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