Walk with the Spirit: October 22

The Gospel Matters
“...so that we might receive adoption as children.”
(Galatians 4:5)
Walk with the Spirit: New Creation!
Galatians 5:26-6:18 | October 22, 2017

Introduction: Last week Paul was reminding the Galatians about freedom, “For freedom Christ has set us free” (5:1). Somehow they keep falling back into a spirit of slavery…slavery to sin…slavery to their own works…slavery to make themselves fit to stand before a holy God. Paul is saying that all this shoulders us with a burden too big to carry.

The gospel makes us both free from and free for. The gospel makes them free from works of the flesh (5:19-21). These are things we all struggle with but are too ashamed to admit. The gospel frees us for a Spirit-filled life that bears much fruit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The gospel also explains how we continue to grow and live into this freedom: “…keep in step with the Spirit.” This is a remarkable statement. To be free from works of the flesh and to exhibit a freedom that is for the things that honor the Lord means that we walk with the Holy Spirit. This means that the objective reality of the gospel must become the subjective experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Faithfulness to God isn’t simply about being “good” or believing the right things, rather it is about apprehending—by the power of the Holy Spirit—the beauty of Christ.

The beginning and end of the Christian life has never been about morality or doctrine. From Genesis to Revelation the Christian faith is about walking with God. And it is this walk that claims and transforms heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Pray: Lord Jesus, thanks for sending, as you promised your disciples, the Holy Spirit to walk with us,
to dwell in us, to comfort, empower, and reveal your will for our lives. Help us, Lord Jesus, to trust you. Cause our hearts to love you. And give us the passion and opportunity to share the gospel. Amen.

Read: Galatians 5:26-6:18

Discussion:

1. What opportunities has God given you to carry another’s burdens?
2. What does it look like to help gently restore a brother or sister from a habitual sin?
3. Verses 8-9 – When did sowing to please your sinful nature reap “destruction”?
Where have you seen how sowing to the Spirit brought about eternal life in the present tense?
4. Verse 14 – What does it mean for Paul to boast only in the cross of Christ?
How does this change Paul’s relationship to the “world”?
5. How would you sum up the message of Galatians?

Application: The gospel not only demands we believe certain things, but it also transforms our behaviors. Belief and behavior both are changed and continually change when we receive the gospel and walk in step with the Holy Spirit. Belief and behavior are both gifts from God. They both are received by faith alone in Christ alone. The gospel is not about sin management. Instead, the gospel is receiving Christ’s work on the cross as the greatest gift ever, and then doing whatever necessary to spend time with the Holy Spirit.

Pray: Holy Spirit, you are the presence, power, and beauty of God. How amazing to think you would walk with us…when we’ve proved unworthy at every turn. You come not to make us enlightened as to the ways of truth…you come not to make us good…you come instead to make us a new creation fit for heaven and eternal life with you and all those sinners made saints gathered around the throne of grace. Amen. 

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