Galatians Part 33 - Galatians 5:19-26

vs. 19-26. 1. Paul continues his theme of “spirit v. flesh” by laying out plainly things which are the works of the flesh and things which are the fruit of the Spirit. A. These details highlight the fact that Christ’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom not of this world. JOH 18:36; LUK 17:20-21. B. The fruit of the Spirit is expected in the kingdom of God and is actually part of the inheritance. (1) They accord with the “...spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (EPH 1:3). (2) One does not need earthly territory, material wealth, perfect health, etc. in order to experience them. c/w JAM 2:5. (3) Investing in heavenly things is the most secure investment we can make since corruption and theft do not threaten them (MAT 6:19-21). Such things are only forfeited by our folly, not by external seizure. c/w JOH 16:22. C. Those doing the works of the flesh are certainly not going to inherit the spiritual fruits since doing the former is contrary to doing the latter. v. 17. D. The kingdom of God is “...righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (ROM 14:17), things which the works of the flesh frustrate. (1) Consider our primary directive. MAT 6:31-33. (2) Pursuing the kingdom of God and His righteousness will generate peace and joy as the worries of life are held in proper perspective. MAT 6:34. E. The fruit of the Spirit is, of necessity, characteristic of Jesus Christ, Whose Spirit regenerates and indwells His children and also instructs believers by the gospel. (1) This list of Christ’s perfect character is partial (EPH 5:9). We have much to add. (2) This is how believers partake of the divine nature. 2PE 1:2-4. 2. Consider further the statement, “...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 21). A. There is a phase of God’s kingdom program which is the everlasting kingdom in heaven where Christ rules, into which saints enter at death and which all saints inherit at the day of Christ yet future. 2PE 1:10-14; MAT 25:34. (1) Sin has no place in that kingdom. REV 22:14-15. (2) Since sin has no place in that kingdom above, it ought not to have a place in the church, the kingdom of God in this world. It should not be once named among us as if it was an acceptable facet of spiritual life in Christ. EPH 5:3. B. The local church is indeed the kingdom of God in this world with Christ as its Head/King. EPH 1:22-23. (1) Our King instituted a state dinner where He is honorably remembered in the local church, His kingdom. LUK 22:29-30; 1CO 11:24-25. (2) This state dinner happens to be the acid test of church membership: it cannot be observed when there is known sin in the ranks which must be purged. 1CO 5:1, 8-13. (3) In addition to the spiritual blessings/inheritance the sinner has already forfeited by his impenitent conduct (indeed, his sinful conduct is an inheritance from Satan), he is also severed from the church in this world and has no part in the ordained functions of the church, including the Lord’s Supper. It is to be hoped that his alternate inheritance will prove distasteful and instructive. 1CO 5:5; 1TI 1:19-20. C. The fact that repentance from sin is required to be joined to Christ in a local church Galatians 1-1-17 Page 59 (ACT 2:38-41) underscores the principle, “...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 21). 3. A fundamental distinction exists between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. A. The works of the flesh are condemned by the law of God but not the fruit of the Spirit: “...against such there is no law” (v. 23). B. “...sin is the transgression of the law” (1JO 3:4). (1) But “...where no law is, there is no transgression” (ROM 4:15). (2) God has never issued a law against the fruit of the Spirit, therefore we may (ought to) freely practice these things. If any of these things were unlawful, Christ would be a sinner. (3) Neither has God imposed laws of circumcision, diet, sabbaths, holy days, celibacy, etc. under the New Testament of Jesus Christ. COL 2:14-17; 1TI 4:3. a. Such things for us are not spiritual but carnal, “...after the commandments and doctrines of men...” (COL 2:20-23). b. Such things lack divine authority, are not of the Spirit, and make the word of God which the Spirit gave of none effect. MAR 7:7, 13. 4. For clarity, Paul specifies works of the flesh which men in general are to avoid personally and reject corporately when they are commonly reported in the church. c/w 1CO 5:1. A. adultery: Violation of the marriage bed; the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one of the opposite sex, whether unmarried, or married to another. B. fornication: Voluntary sexual intercourse between a man (in restricted use, an unmarried man) and an unmarried woman. In Scripture extended to adultery. C. uncleanness: The quality or state of being morally or spiritually unclean; moral impurity; an instance of this. D. lasciviousness: Inclination to lust; lewdness, wantonness. E. idolatry: 1. The worship of idols or images 'made with hands'; more generally, the paying or offering of divine honours to any created object. 2. Immoderate attachment to or veneration for any person or thing; admiration savouring of adoration. [note COL 3:5] F. witchcraft: The practices of a witch or witches; the exercise of supernatural power supposed to be possessed by persons in league with the devil or evil spirits. G. hatred: The condition or state of relations in which one person hates another; the emotion or feeling of hate; active dislike, detestation; enmity, ill-will, malevolence. H. variance: The state or fact of disagreeing or falling out, discord, dissension, contention, debate. [e.g. MAT 18:17] I. emulation: The endeavour to equal or surpass others in any achievement or quality; also, the desire or ambition to equal or excel. [esp. when at the expense of another] J. wrath: Vehement or violent anger; intense exasperation or resentment; deep indignation. K. strife: The action of striving together or contending in opposition; a condition of antagonism, enmity or discord; contention, dispute. L. sedition: Violent party strife; an instance of this, esp. a factious contest attended with rioting and disorder. M. heresy: Theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. N. envying: vbl. n. The action of the verb ENVY (To feel displeasure and ill-will at the superiority of (another person) in happiness, success, reputation, or the possession of anything desirable; to regard with discontent another's possession of (some superior advantage which one would like to have for oneself). Galatians 1-1-17 Page 60 O. murder: The most heinous kind of criminal homicide; also, an instance of this. In English (also Sc. and U.S.) Law, defined as the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought; often more explicitly wilful murder. P. drunkenness: The state of being drunk; intoxication; the habit of being drunken or addicted to excessive drinking. Q. revelling: vbl. n. Riotous or disorderly merry-making or festivity; a revel; also, great delight or joy. R. and such like (v. 21). (1) such: Such is a demonstrative word used to indicate the quality or quantity of a thing by reference to that of another or with respect to the effect that it produces or is capable of producing. (2) such-like: adj. Of such a kind; of the like or a similar kind; of the before-mentioned sort or character. (3) Some ungodly behaviors are not specifically named in Scripture (e.g. pedophilia, psycho-active drug abuse) but are sinful works because of their commonality of action or effect with things in Paul’s list. S. Other Pauline scriptures give the fuller description of things which ought to have no place in the kingdom of God. ROM 1:29-32; 1CO 5:11; 6:9-10; EPH 5:3-5. 5. The fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22-23) demands some qualification since there are abuses of these things which are not according to “...all goodness and righteousness and truth...” (EPH 5:9). A. We ought not to love a lie (REV 22:15) or any sin. B. We ought not to rejoice in evil inventions. ACT 7:41. C. We ought not to be at peace with Satan. EPH 6:11-12. D. Similar arguments may apply to the other elements of the fruit of the Spirit. 6. Paul concludes here with salient observation and admonition. vs. 24-26. A. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (v. 24). (1) They have done so by repentant submission at baptism: dying to sin to rise to walk in newness of life. ROM 6:1-4. (2) They continue to mortify the deeds of the flesh. ROM 8:12-13. B. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (v. 25). c/w ROM 8:9-14. C. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (v. 26). (1) vainglory: Glory that is vain, empty, or worthless; inordinate or unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities; disposition or tendency to exalt oneself unduly; idle boasting or vaunting. (2) This problem is best conquered by lowliness of mind. PHIL 2:3. (3) This problem was exacerbated by Judaizers, whose doctrine of law-works justification via circumcision implied a superior class of citizenry in the kingdom of God. Galatians 1-1-17 Page 61

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