Sunday School Lesson – February 26, 2017 Holy Living In The Spirit
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Lesson: Galatians 5:18-6:10
Time: Probably A.D. 48 Place: From Syrian Antioch
We need to be aware of true spiritual life and practicing our walk in the Spirit that we can help and encourage one another in its pursuit. The world at large teaches what is calls “spiritual” things, the are really emotional things. The Scripture is clear that before we trust Christ and are born again, our spirits are fatally flawed. We are “dead in trespasses and sin. We have emotions and aspirations, even a hunger for spiritual things, but our spirits are dead without Christ. That is the reason why so many false religions and philosophies are existing. We must study the Word of God to receive correct spiritual information. We must respond to that information positively to walk in true spiritual life instead of spiritual death.
Galatians 5:18 – But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. The Greek term for law means an inward principle of action either good or evil operating with the regularity of law. The term also designates a standard for a person’s life. The Apostle Paul described three such laws, the first called “the law of sin,” which was operating through his flesh, causing him to sin. Paul, like other believers, needed another law to overcome the “the law of sin.” This is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which make us “free from the law of sin and death.” By following this law, believers can fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s law which are the third law; it is the standards for human action that corresponds to the righteous nature of God. As believers, we still struggle with sin and do not always do what we should, even though we desire to honor Jesus. To make obedience to the law obligatory only puts us in bondage, the law does not free us from sin’s power, it merely reveals our sin and points us to the One who removes sin and its consequences. To beware whether or not we’re practicing sin, we need to compare our lives to the Bible rather than to each other. The Bible is the law of God, and it reveals what sin is to God. We are free from the law, but not free to sin. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit lead us and empowers us to please God. When the Holy Spirit resident within us through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, He prompts us to godly activities and thoughts, we do not have to think about keeping any law or regulation. This does not mean we can violate any of them; it means the Holy Spirit does not lead us to act in any way that God does not approve of.
Galatians 5:19 – Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. The works of the flesh go against the laws of God, and any of these behaviors is positive proof that the person is not living in the power of the Holy Spirit, but being energized by Satan and his hosts. As Christians, our character is also marked by the absence of “works of the flesh.” The sins listed are sexual in nature and cover illicit relations among both married and unmarried people. “Uncleanness” extends to one’s immoral thoughts, and “lasciviousness” refers to complete lack of restraint in sexual matters, it’s characterized by expressing lust. Lust can be in any form other than sexual when the individual doesn’t have the power to restrain themselves from the actions. Thesesins are against the seventh commandments.
Galatians 5:20 – Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. Idolatry and witchcraft are against the first and second commandment. In the Old Testament, idolatry was the worship of gods other than Yahweh, especially through images representing them. The New Testament extends the concept to include any ultimate confidence in something other than God. Witchcraft is the power or practices of witches in which most Christians don’t believe in although they do exist. Witchcraft is the manipulation of events through charms, amulets, incantations, prayers contrary to the Word of God, and sending evil spirits to torment individuals. A Christian shouldn’t have hatred; a bitter attitude or feelings towards others; such hostility should be against Satan and his co-host and not against a believer nor an unbeliever. Variance is to be not in agreement or accord. As Christians, we should agree with what the Bible instructs, and we should also be in unity with one another. Emulation is jealousy. There is no reason for a Christians to be jealous of another Christian; we all are equal in God. God has given each of us gifts and talents to be used for the kingdom of God. Wrath is uncontrollable anger whether it’s verbally or physically. The word strife seems to indicate selfish displays, as well as being in contention with one another, quarreling with one another, competition, dispute. All of this is in the body of Christ, and it shouldn’t be. “Seditions” refers to divisions that come from conflict, and “heresies” denotes the separate groups that form as a result of the division, some are called “clicks in the church.
Galatians 5:21 – Envying, murders, drunkenness, revelling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in the past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Envy is to have a zeal or jealousy; murders are not only harming someone physically, but many Christians murder each other with their tongues by words spoken against one another. Reveries refer to long protracted feasts that involves much drinking and immorality. Sad to say, but many Christians have parties, but they consist of secular music and worldly dancing which shouldn’t be performed with Christians. The Word of God has instructed us to be separate from the world’s actions (Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean things; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty – 2nd Corinthians 6:17-18). If we could continue in these things, why did Jesus die for us to bring us from the power of sin according to what is a sin to God? If we live according to the world’s actions, we will not be able to inherit the kingdom of God. Many of today’s pastors and ministers don’t want to preach and teach on sin; this is why it is so important for professing Christians to read and study the Word of God for themselves and see rather or not they are living according to God’s standards.
Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and faith. This love the Bible speaks of is unconditional love, the same love God has for us we should have towards others. Joy is an inner contentment that is unaffected by outward circumstances. Peace is the inner calmness of emotions and thoughts which rest on the assurance that God is too good to be unkind and too wise to make mistakes. Goodness should be in every Christian if he or she has received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Goodness is kindness, virtue and excellence, kind acts towards others. Longsuffering is patience, especially in the face of opposition. Gentleness or kindness describes one who has a tender heart regard for the interest and feelings of others. Goodness has generosity towards others rather they are believers or unbelievers. Faith should be understood as faithfulness in following the Lord and being reliable.
Galatians 5:23 – Meekness, temperance, against such there is no law. Meekness is gentleness in strength, it’s humble and being easy to approach or talk with, a mild manner in speech and behavior.Finally, temperance is self-control. Sadly, to say but many Christian don’t possess temperance in their actions nor their speech. These Spirit-produced qualities do not need to be restrained by laws, as do the works of the flesh. Those who are Christ’s display these qualities in their lives daily. The Christian makes a definitive break with sin when he or she believes in Christ. The believer can still fall into sin on occasion, but sin no longer has power over him or her. Rather, the Christian life is characterized by a godly fruit that comes by the infilling of God’s Spirit in the believer’s spirit.
Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Christians are spiritually “crucified with Christ, they no longer have to follow the values or desires of the world. However, it remains difficult for Christians to apply this spiritual reality to the passions being their affections and desires which in many cases are lusts of the flesh. Those who masters these sinful desires are those who have kept focused on God and His Word which is His instructions for the believer to live by.
Galatians 5:25 – If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. In other words, we are to conform our conduct to this new life we entered when we were saved. We are to serve God and others selflessly. We are not to seek glory for ourselves; we are not to provoke others with a selfish attitude. And we are not to envy those who might be more honored than we are.
Galatians 5:26 – Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. As Christians, these actions should not be in us towards others. We shouldn’t want attention to be to us, but the attention should be going towards God, all glory and honor belong to Him. Christians shouldn’t say or have actions that provoke others to anger and low self-esteem. We are to follow peace with the believer as well as the unbeliever. Envy shouldn’t be in our emotions towards others when we do this; we are going against the Word of God.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such as one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. “Overtaken in a fault” can mean either that the one overtaken was surprised by the fault itself and did not mean to fall into sin, or it can mean the person was surprised when someone discovered his sin. In either case, the offender is a Christian whom his fellow Christians are to restore. The individual that needs to be restored don’t need his or her fellow Christians condemning them, the Word of God convicts the believer He doesn’t condemn them. We are not to condone their sins, but we shouldn’t condemn either. We should always keep in memory when we were tempted by sin and went into sin. But through the Grace of God and the power of God, we have been strengthened to conquer sin. The very one we condemn can be the same sin that will tempt us.
Galatians 6:2 – Bear ye one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. This refers to restoring a sinning brother or sister, relieving that one of the heavy burdens he or she bears. When we do this, we demonstrate Christlike love and so fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ is “love one another.” When we are aware of someone is sinning, we should go to the individual and talk to them, their sins should not be a gossiped between other Christians. Let the individual know he or she can be delivered and restored to their proper place in God. Pray for them, fast with them and encourage them.
Galatians 6:3 – For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. This is a warning against pride. Pride or conceit can interfere with Christians acting in a compassionate way to bear the burdens of fellow believers. When one thinks more highly of themselves they will refuse to help the lowly person trapped in sin, they are deceiving themselves, for they are no better than the sinning brother or sister, In fact, according to the Word of God, we all have sinned and came short of the glory of God. It’s through His power that enables us not to sin; it’s not of ourselves.
Galatians 6:4 – But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. “Let every man prove his own work” is an implied warning against comparing ourselves to others. We must prove or test the quality of our work by God’s standards, not man’s. We are not to take pride in achieving or exceeding the expectations of people, rather we are to examine ourselves to see if we are accomplishing what God wants us to do, for that is the only legitimate grounds for rejoicing. We should daily examine ourselves by the Word of God to check if were performing His instructions in our lives and not comparing ourselves to others.
Galatians 6:5 – For every man shall bear his own burden. Each person is responsible for his own work before God. Here the burden is not sin or its consequences, but the work or the normal duty which fall upon every professing Christians. As Christians, our entire body should be submitted to the Word of God (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service – Romans 12:1). Our actions are on displayed daily to God, nothing is hidden from Him.
Galatians 6:6 – Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Another duty of Christians is to “communicate” with those who faithfully teach them. The word for “communicate” here means to share with. This refers to financial support. Those in the church or through the media who devotes themselves to instructing the saints are worthy of such support according to the Word of God. Giving to those who devote themselves to ministering the truth is not paying them, but supporting them to get the Word of God to everyone that is willing to listen and be taught the truth.
Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall also reap. This is a warning to false teachers who deceives the believers and receiving money for themselves rather than teaching the truth and using the money for the ministry. The Galatians were giving to them that was deceiving them while treating faithful teachers of the Word was disdain, so goes for the faithful teachers today. Many are not supported while false teachers are receiving their financial support. Ministries that are teaching the truth should be supported by those who are receiving the truth that are giving them spiritual life and spiritual strength.
Galatians 6:8 – 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. “Reaping everlasting life” does not mean that eternal life is earned by works, rather Paul is saying that everlasting life is the glorious end of those who follow the guidance of the Spirit. A Christian should consistently be sowing to the Spirit; that is, he or she should be directing his or life towards the things of God. Such a person proves by their life that he or she is a follower of Jesus Christ and will reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. The reward of godly living is not always immediately evident, so there is the temptation to grow weary of the commitment to do good. We are to remain diligent in this realizing that the basic principals of sowing and reaping is unalterable and that the harvest of divine blessing will come in God’s good time. This is when patience is being molded in our character and in our heart.
Galatians 6:10 – As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.The good we do and the good we reap as a result is not limited to our treatment of godly teachers. We are obligated to do good to all people as we have the opportunity. Our loving concern is to be expressed to all people, but our special concern is our fellow Christian. If we are being led by the Spirit, the Spirit will be producing in us Christlike character. Such character will be evident in selfless service to others, and we will reap God’s blessings both in this life and in the life to come.