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Galatians 5:16-26

Talks for Growing Christians

Walking in the Spirit and Not After the Flesh

Galatians 5:16-26

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers who walk in the Spirit will not commit the deeds of the flesh.
  2. Believers who walk in the Spirit will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, walking is a step by step process.

Questions

  1. Can you get to heaven just by living a good life and by doing good?
  2. What were the false teachers of Paul’s day teaching?
  3. What is God’s grace toward sinners?
  4. What is sanctification?
  5. Is sanctification obtained by keeping God’s law to the best of our ability?
  6. Why did God give the law?

Answers

  1. No. If you believe this, then re-read the epistle to the Galatians. Salvation is not by works, or by doing good or by being good, but it is by grace through faith. God provided salvation for sinners by giving His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. By faith, we must receive this gift of salvation by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
  2. They were teaching that you had to keep the law and do the works of the law along with your faith in order to obtain salvation. Not so! You cannot mix grace with anything, or it is no longer grace.
  3. Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward mankind.
  4. It is the process of believers becoming more holy and godly in this life.
  5. No. This would be works-orientation sanctification. The biblical method of sanctification is found in Galatians 5:16.
  6. God gave the law a. to prove that no one could measure up to His standard, and b. to prepare the way for salvation by faith in Christ alone.

Discuss/Consider

  1. To walk in the Spirit means to be occupied more with Christ. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to make us more Christ-like. It is impossible to be fully occupied with Christ and commit sin at the same time. This is the key to a godly life and sanctification – to be more and more occupied with Christ. When we are led by the Spirit we will be doing God’s will. The flesh is the sinful nature that we are born with, and the flesh has its pull in our lives. Read 2 Peter 1:4. Let the new nature rule in your life.
  2. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Notice the contrast here is not between the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the flesh. Rather, it is between the fruit of the Spirit and the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). There is no fruit from the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is Christ-likeness, the life of Christ lived out in the life of the believer. As we walk in the Spirit this fruit will be seen in our lives. Do others see Christ in you? Are you exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in your life?

Challenge

  1. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) Do you want the fruit of the Sprit to characterize your life? If so, keep on walking in the word, in prayer, in Christian fellowship, in service and in worship.

Key Verses

  • “Walk in the Spirit…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16, 22-23, 25)

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