"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Saturday, June 29, 2024

The G.E.P.C Study – GALATIANS 5 – PT. 2 of 3

Going Through Paul’s epistles to Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossi

INTRODUCTION: Just as we saw a contention between Law and Grace and the dilemma that many Jews faced between the Old Covenant which they grew up with and the New Covenant which they had yet to become accustomed to, here in this portion of GALATIANS 5 we see another contention between the flesh and the Spirit.

Walking in the liberty afforded to us by Christ and His indwelling Spirit means that for the first time in our lives from the moment we were born again, we can choose to be holy! Think on that for a moment! With the indwelling Spirit we have a new nature as opposed to the old nature.

The new is created after Christ – “the last Adam” and the old which we inherited from “the first Adam” when he fell into sin. We are no longer abject, helpless slaves to sin. Christ has set us free (ISA 61:1; GAL 5:1) and we can live (“walk”) now a life of holiness.

As when any child begins to transfer their mode of transportation from crawling to walking, they aren’t proficient at all to begin with. But they make the effort. They stumble, fumble and fall, but they get back up again. With the able assistance of Daddy and Mommy, they begin to know what it’s like to use their feet (rather than hands and knees). The world looks different from this perspective. They have access to more this way than when they were just adorable ‘rug rats’.

Likewise when we were babes in Christ, we began to walk, and somewhere along the way, we became proficient enough that we weren’t stumbling every hour of the day.

Then we discovered that we could walk between worlds as it were: the kingdom of GOD and a life of holiness or the kingdom from which we came: that domain of darkness where our sin nature (“flesh”) feels at home.

13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

This calling to liberty is somewhat different in our calling to be saints.
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Greek word used in this passage of ROMANS for “called” is kletos and it means “to invite, appointed, called”.

Here is GALATIANS, the word for “called” is kaleo and it has a wide variety of applications. It can mean “to bid, to call forth, to name.”

Those of us who accepted the invitation to become saints are now called upon to live in liberty. We are no longer condemned for our sins, and once we sin after our conversion, these sins are confessed and forgiven in the Person of Christ (1 JOHN 1:9). Some might see this as a “free ticket” to indulge in sin (NOWHERE does the Scripture give us a license to licentiousness!), but Paul here admonishes the saints of Galatia to use this spiritual freedom to serve others, not gratify selfish and sinful pleasures.

Elsewhere in ROMANS Paul says more on this:
ROMANS 6:1-4
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
A simple summary of the Law of GOD is to love one another; if we have genuine love for one another, we won’t lie to each other, we won’t covet each other’s belongings, we won’t trespass on another man’s wife or ruin the marital contract with our own spouse; if we truly love others we won’t indulge in idolatry which could cause others to go astray.

If we truly love others, we want to encourage them in the way of truth and be a godly example for them to follow and honor our King, the LORD Jesus Christ! (ROM 13:9)
1 PETER 2:15-17
15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have those who claim to follow the way of salvation but have rather forsaken it and instead indulge in carnal and sinful practices and work towards deceiving others. Indeed, this is The Agony of Deceit:

2 PETER 2:10-19
10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage
(See 1 TIM 6:9-10; MATT 13:22; JUDE 1:4).
If the body of Christ is walking in the Spirit collectively, the saints of that fellowship are edified, strengthened, encouraged, built up on the “most holy faith” (ROM 14:19; EPH 4:28-32; 1 THESS 5:11-15; JUDE 1:20-23). But if that body of believers is walking in the flesh, the resulting fruit will be ruinous – in a sense, a sort of spiritual cannibalism (“devour[ing] … consum[ing] one another”). Can such a body be effective in reaching the lost with the Gospel? Will they prosper and grow? Would not Satan be pleased with such in-house strife and destruction? Let’s not give hell a reason to celebrate!
"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

MATTHEW 22:37-40
37 Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is the first and great commandment. 39 "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

ROMANS 13:8-14
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

When Peter and John went to the Temple at the hour of prayer, they encountered a beggar, a cripple from birth who sat at the Beautiful Gate outside the city of Jerusalem. By the power of Christ the apostle Peter raised this man up who was instantly healed.

(On a side note, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that this cripple was at this same location begging alms at least at some point during the LORD’s earthly ministry. Yet he was one that the LORD did not heal – yet! He operated through Peter, and in the fulness of time, he received a beautiful miracle at the Beautiful Gate. Always something to remember: the line of that song, “In His time, In His time, He makes all things beautiful, in His time”.)

In verse 8 we read, “So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God.”

The word “walked” in the Greek means to “have the ability to demonstrate”. Just as that cripple exhibited the ability to walk which was undeniable to any observer, here in vs. 16 where it says, “…Walk in the Spirit…” the same word is used.

Only those born of the Spirit are enabled to walk (“live”) by the Spirit. Later in vs. 25 it expresses how we live in the Spirit, that is, we are animated to new life by the Spirit of GOD, then we are to “walk” in the Spirit, which in this case is a different word than used previously. This time, the Greek word stoicheo means “to march in military rank, to keep step, to conform to virtue and piety, to walk orderly”. Walking in this way is to deny the sin nature, so the idea of marching in military rank makes a lot of sense!

This is a strong indicator that someone has genuine faith in Christ – it shows in their walk of life, their conduct; they are able to demonstrate a change in their life that can only be a work of GOD!

As mentioned previously, we can walk between worlds: the realm of the Holy Spirit and the realm of sin nature, but we can’t dwell in both at the same time! These domains are mutually exclusive! Either we are walking in the Spirit or we are fulfilling the lust of the flesh.

What does this tell us? That if we focus on walking in the Spirit, moment by moment, keeping our focus on Christ and stay vigilant concerning our thought life and denying the enemy any foothold (or even toehold) in our minds, then we can’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. Of course, the opposite is also true.

But the moment by moment decision is ours to make, and for the Holy Spirit to ratify and empower. It’s rather like automatic steering. You’re in the driver’s seat, you make the decisions to turn left or right, and steering is not by your own strength but by the power of the transmission. When you’ve made the right decision, the Holy Spirit avails to empower you.
ROMANS 6:11-14
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
It’s possible for a saint (that’s who apostle Paul is addressing here) to let sin reign (“to rule”) in their mortal body. If it weren’t, he would not need to make such an admonition as this. But as sanctified souls (set apart for GOD in special relationship, separated from the world spiritually speaking) we are NOT to let sin reign.

Instead, we are to “reckon” (The Greek word is logizomai) or “to count, to conclude, to reason, to make an account” ourselves to be dead to sin nature. By faith we consider it as true that we are dead to sin, believing by faith that we are “crucified with Christ” – “dead indeed to sin”.

All the while the flesh is craving for its sinful appetites to be satisfied, feeling the sensation of impulses, drives, desires we “walk by faith, not by sight”. We don’t proceed according to our senses, but according to the truth of GOD’s Word and obey the LORD:

“…do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God…”

The more we deny the flesh, bringing it into subjection and feed the spiritual man with the heavenly manna, and fuel him with prayer and communion with our Abba Father (1 COR 9:27; HEB 12:9), the more practical victory we will experience.
26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Your flesh (sin nature) hates GOD, hates the Word, hates prayer, hates everything to do with godliness. As a Christian, your sin nature is enemy #1. Treat it as such. Against sin nature with Christ at the fore, declare war! Show no mercy, take no prisoners – ruin it at the Cross and don’t compromise.
ROMANS 8:3-4
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
“…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law…”

So while we are not “under the Law” by the grace of GOD we are enabled to fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law: that is, “holiness” by the power of the Holy Spirit!

It baffles me how some professing Christians (emphasis on professing) can say, “It’s OK to sin, and let’s not judge each other, because after all, we’re all saved by grace, not the Law.”

The very fact that we are not under the Law (which could in no way help us to live holy lives but is in fact powerless to do so. The Law cannot save, only condemn the guilty!) but being under grace means that the expectation for holiness is all the greater!

We are saved by grace, and saved from sin, but grace is also provided for us to save us from sinning! We have access to this empowering grace to help us in times of need, as in the hour of temptation:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need
(See also EPH 2:18; 3:12; HEB 10:19,21-22; ROM 8:2; 13:14).

Catch these three video teachings on SHINE BRIGHT Church YouTube channel about:


Enemy #1

Enemy #2

Enemy #3

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