Date: February 5, 2023
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 5:19-21
Good morning church. I felt like particularly sweet worship this morning, you got a Bible turn with me to Galatians chapter five, we’re going to be looking at verses 19 through 21. Today as you continue our study book of Galatians. John gave us a couple of dates, I just want to remind you of one more thing, which is that twice a year, we give our services over completely to just celebrating God’s work, His saving, redeeming work by baptism. So represented in baptism. So we have our next baptism service coming up February 26. So just wanted to make you aware of that we’re going to treat the day we’re going to have two services are normal time, but we’re really treating as one long service with an intermission in the middle. So I’ll just invite you to consider maybe if you can come come for the whole morning. Because we’re just going to hear testimonies we’re going to sing songs throughout those two services is to be different cuz you know, different testimonies and different songs, different music, so we’re just going to try and treat it as one big long morning celebration of God saving work and baptism. Now, that said, I want to give you a heads up if you are in Christ, and I often will ask you to to prayerfully consider something, hey, pray about this. You know, see if the Lord is leading you to it. I didn’t even need to say that this morning. Because if you’re a believer, and you haven’t been baptized, he’s calling you. It’s not a maybe it’s a definitely now. So if you have not been baptized, and you’re in Christ, Jesus, your follower of Jesus, I want to invite you to obey that command that he’s given to us to declare the saving work he’s done in your life by being baptized, and sharing what he has done to save you from sin, and raise it a new life, and reconcile you to the Father through baptism. So if you are not in Jesus, and we know that every week, a lot of us know Jesus, and some of us are exploring, and so we know you’re here, and my trust every week is that God is continuing to draw you closer to himself. This might be the week that you finally yield. Say, you know, what, Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and I’m going to yield my life to Him. If that’s the case, I’ll invite you these baptism waters are for you, especially. Because what a great thing to come into saving faith and then to immediately declare that through baptism. So the 26th is the services, the 19th is going to be we’re going to do a baptism class, we’ll talk about what it is why we do it, why we practice it, we’ll answer any questions you’ve got. So you can sign up for that on the website, talk to folks in the lobby, they’ll get you hooked up and connected. Or you can call the church during the week. So we’d love to see you there on the 19th. It’s 12:15, or 12:30, right after the second service, we’ll meet, we’ll have a little light lunch, and we’ll we’ll have some time to talk about and think about reflect on baptism.
All right, I usually I’m gonna pray for us here in a moment. I usually give a heads up and I forgot to do it this week. So I need your grace, we are going to go through this list of the works of the flesh, which is where the text takes us, you know, we always just follow the flow of the text where it goes. So in these verses, the first three in that list are about physical intimacy. So I just want to say if you’re a parent, maybe have a young child and you recognize, hey, maybe I’m not ready to, I promise I will be completely appropriate. But if you know, hey, we’re not ready for that right now, as a family is not where we are. I just I should have given you an earlier heads up, and I’m giving it to you now. So as I pray, if you’re in the middle of row, you need to elbow your way out of there, everyone will understand no problem. Our children’s ministry would welcome receive your kids and love to speak the gospel to them today. Love them well through that. So I just want to make a little space for that here. We totally get it we understand. But let me pray. Then we’re going to dive in to God’s word. If you need to slip out while I pray, please do. All right. Lord, Jesus, thank you so much for your word. Thank you for the sweet worship we’ve had this morning, which has prepared our hearts. And I’m just struck, that we just saying that you have broken every chain from our lives. And so I pray that as we come to this text, which is really a list of things that often are chains on us that you would break them. I pray in your special tenderness and kindness today, for my brothers and sisters who are struggling with these things, that you would set them free in a new way. You would in the power of the Spirit. Bring freedom. Only you can do that. So we asked you to take your word and bring it forth, so that that freedom might prevail. pray in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.
Well, as I said, we’re going to be in Galatians, 5:19 20 and 21. We’re gonna look at these three verses. It’s a list where Paul lists the works of the flesh. In a moment we, the big question you’d ask was, well, why before coming to the fruit of the Spirit, which is what we’ll focus on next week, you know, this list of these beautiful, wonderful things that come out of our lives as a result of the Spirit’s presence there. First, he’s gonna give us this list of the works of the flesh, and it’s a longer list actually than the fruit of the Spirit. It makes sense to ask, Well, why would why would he do this having just talked about walking by the Spirit and that we will not gratify the desires? In the flesh, if we walked by the Spirit and unpacking that for us, why wouldn’t he then just immediately go into the list of the fruits of the Spirit? I mean, that would make a lot of sense. Just say, let me list the fruit that will come as you walk by the Spirit. That flow might make sense. But he’s going to pause here and every word every every letter of God’s word is intentional, do we know this? So as he comes to verse 19, through 21, he chooses to give us this list of the works of the flesh before he goes to the fruit of the Spirit. So we should ask ourselves, well, why? Why would he choose to do that? I think there’s two reasons why we give those to you. But first, I want to remind us that throughout this book, Paul has just been taking a sledgehammer to legalism to this idea. We’ve just been battering up one side and down the other, that we could ever earn our merit with God be saved by the things that we do, that he doesn’t look at our works and say yes, that those have saving merit. Yeah, absolutely. He’s just been taking a sledgehammer to it. Would we agree as we’ve been through Galatians? Yeah, absolutely. So as we get to lists of don’t dues, which is what this is, I want to make sure that we don’t slip right back into that mindset of, I won’t do this stuff, and therefore God will love me. Because that’s not the point. The point is not don’t do these things, and God will love you. The point is, God has loved you unreservedly and freely in Christ. So now walk in that love, and don’t do these things. The difference is massive. Do we see the difference? The reason I always have to highlight is because, look, we’ve been talking about legalism, and license and license is usually pretty obvious to people who are struggling with it. Like if you’re, if your predisposition is you kind of move towards license. You recognize man, I, I tend to kind of follow these desires that I don’t want from the Lord and I need to stop and it’s a struggle, and it’s a challenge. If you’re predisposed in that direction. You probably it’s I don’t find too many people in that camp, who have a hard time seeing it, they usually see it. But can I tell you that when I talk to my brothers and sisters who are kind of caught up in legalism, they don’t see it quite often. Legalism hides itself, it’s harder to see. Because it feels like righteousness. It feels like goodness, it feels like I’m following the rules. It is subtle, but it’s there. So I just want to make sure we don’t return to a I will get God’s approval by doing a list of things to get him to love me. That’s what Paul’s been taking a hammer to throughout everybody with me. Is that fair? Alright, so then we come to it. Now let’s ask Why does Paul then give us this list? I think there’s two reasons. The first is found in verse 16. The second is in verse 21. But I’m gonna tell them to you in reverse order. Okay, so let’s read the text. Now. Let’s see what he says. Be prepared just to be sobered by this. So in verse 19, he says, Now, the works of the flesh are evident. Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these now includes that and things like these, because he’s saying, This is not like a sum total list of everything that might be a struggle. I warn you now hear this, I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now, verse 21, we hear one of the reasons why Paul is giving this list. Now he’s saying those who do these things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Now, Paul’s already told us, no one inherits the kingdom of God by the things that they do by their works. So we know that he’s not reversing course here and saying, you have to do or not do these things. That’s what’s going to determine whether or not you inherit the kingdom. What he’s saying is, those who are in Christ are not given over. They’re not mastered by the sins, because they’re mastered by the Spirit. He’s saying, if you are mastered by the sins controlled by them, if you’re not fighting against them, struggling with them, wrestling against them, you should not have a misplaced faith that you are actually in Christ. That’s the warning. Remember, in Galatians, four, he knows he’s writing to people who claim Christ and he is confident that they are in Christ, at least broadly as a church, because in chapter four, he’s already said, you know, God, and you are known by God. He’s already said that to the Galatians. He writes to them as those who are in Christ, and yet he still sees fit to give this warning and so it falls upon those who preach the word in this day to still give that warning to the church. Because it is possible that some of you are here, claiming Christ yet given over to patterns of sin in your life and not fighting against them and not wrestling is I’m not saying not stumbling and at points stubbing the toe and following but, but there is no turning away from there is no wrestling with there’s no fighting. We don’t want to give you a misplaced confidence that you’re in Christ if you are not, so Paul brings for one of the reasons that he gives this list is so that the people of Galatia and we today would be warned, to not fool ourselves into thinking we are in Christ if in fact we are not. Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t have great confidence and security in the salvation that Christ has worked. But everyone who’s in Christ recognizes the need to persevere in faith. To see their life produce good works as a result of the faith that has been placed in them and the regenerating work of the Spirit. I always say, let me just if that I’m not going to save you from the tension of that, okay.
If you find something in your heart churns with that, here’s what I find quite often, people who might find themselves in this category, perhaps it’s because you grew up hearing the gospel, and you have understood it and agreed with it. Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus has died and risen. But what is often missing is what Jesus says in the Gospel of Mark, when he says, How is someone saved? Repent and believe. It’s that first part of repentance that sometimes doesn’t come with that gospel message. It’s not just believe these things to be true about God. In fact, the demons believe and shutter about the things that are true of Jesus, were told that the application of saving faith into our hearts that the application of the redeeming work of Christ comes through repentance, and belief. Repentance is to say, I need you to, I need you to apply your saving work to me, Jesus, perhaps is that you have never said to the Lord, would You grieve me over the sin that is made necessary your death. Repentance is a grieving and sorrow and therefore a turning of the the person the heart away from the sin and towards Christ. A saying now, if you found yourself this week, saying, okay, so to grieve me over my sin, then the, the next thing he will do that. As he does, then the right next thing for you, is to say, now I see it, I see the cost of it, I see the weight of it, I see, it’s, How horrid it is. Now, I need you to save me from it. Take your work on the cross, that paid the penalty for sin and apply it to me. Let it be for me, I beg you, I plead with you let it be for me. In that repentance, and faith, he enters in and gives life and saves and redeems. That first reason we see Him in verse 21, is that there’s a warning here. We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge it, the scriptures come back to this warning. So we have to state it. The Spirit work in that now the second reason I want to take a deep breath. Not gonna relieve you from the tension. What I am going to do is say there’s another reason here, which is really not just warning, but celebration, is the other side of the coin. Because you remember what he said in verse 16, leading in to this list. He said, Those who walk by the Spirit says, but walk by the Spirit, and what was the promise, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. So before he ever gives the list of the works of the flesh, he’s already said, you have a weapon that is able to keep you from these works of the flesh that is so strong and so powerful, and so freeing, that you have not begun to comprehend. So what I want to remind you is that promise didn’t disappear last week and go away. It’s here as we examine the works of the flesh saying to you and to I, you don’t have to be subject to these things anymore. Those who are in Christ, there’s a freedom available to you. So if you find yourself stuck in sexual sin, stuck in sins of hatred, stuck in sins of idolatry, misplaced love or disordered love. I want to say to you as we go through this list, it’s meant to be a list that helps you celebrate the power of the Spirit. It’s meant to be both a warning and a celebration. So be warned, that you not have a misplaced hope that you have not truly taken up the finished work of Christ, but also celebrate now, if you are in Christ, that there is power that will come and is coming into your life and is available to you, so that you would walk in freedom from these things. Okay, so let’s then dig in and begin to look, let’s make our way through this list. So as we look so the big picture idea is the spirit can give us freedom from all manner of sins, we must live in that freedom to enter God’s kingdom. So there are four categories of sands. Almost everyone who commentates on this passage divides it into four categories, and they’re good ones, I’ve kind of put some different verbiage to them. The first category is sexual sins. Now the thing to recognize here, the first three terms apply to sexual sins, and I’ll try to combine them help you understand them and draw some conclusions from them. The thing I want you to see is, I think it’s an every one of if it’s not, it’s an almost every one of Paul’s lists. He does this in first Thessalonians. He doesn’t Ephesians he does in First Corinthians six. Every time he makes a list of sins or works of the flesh, he begins with sexual sin. Why? Here’s what’s interesting. Do you know what often in most of these lists comes next? idolatry. That’s the first commandment in the 10 commandments, You shall have no other gods before me. Right? So you would think it would make a lot of sense if you’re gonna make a list. Since start with that one, worshipping false gods, he doesn’t start there. He puts his second and he puts this first. I think there’s a reason why. The reason why right and intentionality is because one, there are very few things with the possibility to teach us about God and bring joy into our lives, then, then rightly ordered the practice of sexuality. There’s also very few things that can be as destructive. There are very few temptations that can take hold of a heart and a life. Look, I know some of you are under this right now. There are very few things that can take hold of Satan takes the desire of the flesh and lies to us and gets his hooks in. There are very few hooks that are harder to get out of the heart than the hooks of sexual sin. There may be none. It is they go in deep. They play on a part of us that is central to our identity, very close to the core of who God has made us to be. They play on something that God has designed for great good, and therefore gets wrecked for great bad. So this is deep. First Corinthians six listen to the words of First Corinthians six. Sometimes I hear believers sort of say, well, why does the church if if they feel like their shirt emphasizes sexual sin too much or focuses on that, and this wall separates us from God and that’s very true. There is no small sin, large sin that does not separate us from a holy and righteous God all of it demands payment. 100% Absolutely. But there are sins that are more grievous than others in their effect upon us in their difficulty to manage and to navigate. That’s why Paul says in first Corinthians six verses 18 through 20, Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, you are not your own. For You were bought with a price and say that again for you are bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Do you see that least one of the things taking place I mean that that could be a sort of I could do a sermon unto itself right there. But let’s just see that one of the things he’s clearly saying is that sexual sin is particularly dangerous. It’s particularly grievous it’s particularly hard to wrestle with and to overcome. Would you agree that that’s what he’s getting at? Okay, all right. Nobody agrees. I’m just getting I heard I heard a vague Alright, let’s what do we learn from the terms here? Okay, so the first term is sexual immorality. That’s the Greek word poor Nate. Yeah. Poor Nate. Yeah, you can hear what comes from that pornography. Right? But pornea is the most broad of all terms in the scriptures for sexual sin. It’s referring to any practice of sexuality. That is not a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage, practicing self giving, mutual tender intimacy, any practice outside of that outside of God’s design, and I include a mutuality there under the covenant of marriage very intentionally. Any practice of sexuality, that is not a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage. Were First Corinthians seven says, husband, you don’t have rights over your own bodies wise you don’t have rights. Have your own bodies, they are for one another is to be self giving mutual. Anything outside of that fits under the category of pornea, sexual immorality. The reason he starts with that biggest category is because he’s encompassing everything outside of God’s design and saying, if you find these things present in yourself, then this is a work of the flesh, this is not the design or work of the Spirit, then he goes on to impurity now, he’s gonna really fill out some things here. That’s really interesting. So impurity, when he’s talking there, he’s talking about this sort of Old Testament idea, even though he’s under the New Covenant, some of this Old Testament idea of impurity. So under the Old Testament law, there were things that made people unclean, they couldn’t go into the temple and participate in the worship of the people of the Lord. So it might be a leper, or it might be someone who has had been around a dead body. So they were and they were ceremonially unclean. But the idea of being unclean is being cut off from the ability to enter the presence of God, right? Now, praise God, under the New Covenant, we are made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore have access to God all the time is amazing. Yes, absolutely stunning. So there is no more ceremonial uncleanness. But what he is saying there and using that term is, there’s a fracture of intimacy, ability to access close fellowship with God that comes through sexual sin. He said, saying, when he’s talking about this term impurity, he’s saying you are sacrificing intimacy with God through sexual sin. Because you’re taking a lesser version of intimacy, you’re taking a thing that was meant to teach you about intimacy with God through Christ. You’re leveraging it in a way that lessens your ability to experience that intimacy by using it in a way that is outside of God’s design. So in impurity, he’s getting at really the root of what it’s what sexuality is for. It’s for teaching us something about the nature of God and His fellowship with us. Then he goes into this third term, sensuality. No, no, I’m kind of moving through these quick, we’ve got to get a long list to cover, right. So want to make sure we cover it. So when he goes into sensuality, this is a really interesting term, because it’s actually a word for incontinence, the the inability to control your bowels is what this word means that seems odd in a list here. But what he’s getting at is, this is a person who cannot control their urges, their bodily urges, in a sexual sense, in this list, it’s in a sexual sense, right? So he’s saying, this is a person who has no self control, no of their given over to whatever their their body tells them they follow. Now, in those three terms, let’s combine them and learn like what is the what do we learn from understanding these three terms and how Paul uses them. So we combine them and apply here if we can. The thing I’m going to try and do with each of these terms, which is probably not what you would maybe what you would expect. I want to apply them to our life together as a church, not just to you as an individual, not just to me as an individual. Think about what a church who is not putting to death, these kinds of sins will look like. I would argue, hypothesize that a church where there is much sexual sin running through the body is probably a church that is going to experience anemic worship. Why? Because if sexual sin sacrifices intimacy with God, and then we come into worship together, instead of singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to one another, which is what’s supposed to happen in our worship, you know, if you come in here, and you’re low, and you’re in a in a grieving spot. It’s not that it’s just supposed to be you and God, it’s that the worship of the people around you is supposed to remind you of what’s true and good is that as my brother next to me, sings on a Sunday where I can barely bring myself to sing because my heart is aching and broken wide open by some thing going on in my life. The songs of the saints around me, lift me up into the presence of God, and remind me of what is true, and even enable me to say, sing soul sing. You don’t feel like singing but saying, We worship together should be sweeter than worship alone. Is that fair? I hope you experienced that when you come here. But I do believe that a church whose people give itself over to sexual sin, rather than fighting against and struggling, is going to be a church whose worship is anemic. Because if we’re sacrificing intimacy with God, we can’t expect to come together and then find that our our worship is just filled with joy and richness and overflowing. Yes. The other thing is this whole incontinence idea sensuality The other thing I would expect is in a church where sexual sin is present in the body in a significant way, is probably going to give way to any manner of other sins. Because a lack of self control in one area always gives way to other things. It’s never it never stays there never stays in that one category. Now, that’s my way of application. Now, can we think about how we celebrate the power of the Spirit? This, here’s what I want to tell you. This is so key that you hear me friends, you don’t have to do today what you did yesterday. Do you see that the Spirit is present in you to deliver you. You are not condemned to keep repeating the same sexual sins. You’re not the spirit is there and he will free you walk with him, take his hand and let Him lead you. Can I just give you one bit of practical advice, the next time temptation ceases you and you’re in front of that computer, or you’re in that back seat with that guy or that girl, and temptation is rising? Get up and get out? Run? If it’s the spirit and walking by the spirit that overcomes the work of the flesh, who should we be talking to in the moment of our temptation? Talk to the Spirit. Talk to him. Can I tell you the best thing you can do when that temptation is gone? By the way, get rid of the dumb phone? Don’t take it with you get out of your house and go walk. It’s really hard to sin sexually when you’re walking through your neighborhood. Okay, um get out and walk. What is Psalm 19 Say? The heavens declare the glory of God. In other words, as I get out into God’s creation, who am I seeing? I’m dialoguing with the spirit while I witness the glory of God being declared in the skies in the grass all around me. Get up and walk change your physical location when you’re tempted. Do not stay in the same place. This happens far too often in these cutting conversations that I have. It’s like, well, I’m tempted. Well, what did you do? I don’t know. I just sat there. Don’t do that. let the Spirit lead you and the spirits gonna lead you to a new physical location. Go somewhere else. Pray talk to the Spirit. Let him lead you into freedom Set your mind on what is true, noble right pure, lovely, excellent, worthy of praise. Think about such things. There’s freedom. There’s freedom. There’s freedom. It’s not Pollyannaish to tell you that as if you have a Trent you don’t know how hard it is. I do know how hard it is. This word is true. It’s not my opinion. walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. True. No, join the spirit. Take his hand. It is hard. But there is freedom really behind.
Alright, here we go. Sins of misplace and some Sundays just need a little more All right. Sins of misplaced and disordered love the next two terms. All right now I could categorize this idolatry. But I just think that’s a very church word that sometimes just slips right past us. So I want to make sure we understand the heart of what Paul’s getting at because look at the next two terms. After sensuality, go back to the sex, get your eyes on it first 20. The next two terms are idolatry. Sorcerer sorcery. sorcery is an interesting one. All right. Now idolatry is broadly giving our hearts affection to something more than we give it to God, let’s just be really simple about it. Giving our heart to something more than we give it to God, the affection of our heart. So I say misplaced and disordered. Because it could look like loving something that we shouldn’t love misplaced love. It could look like loving something more than we love God that’s disordered love. Right? Could be either of those things. Either one is idolatry. So what Paul was getting and says this is a work of the flesh. Anything that produces love for something more than God or love for something that God does not approve of, or love is idolatry. So it is getting out there. Then the next one sorcery is this term that refers to the practice in a lot of these pagan religions. During Paul’s day, there will be drug use involved in the cult worship practices. So when he talks about sorcery, he’s not just talking like witchcraft. He’s saying, putting yourself under the influence of a substance sense that controls you more than God controls you. So instead of seeking to be controlled by God, I’m now putting myself under the control of a thing of a substance. In order, whether it’s escapism, or whether it’s an addiction, whatever it may be, in his day, he has a particularly religious undertone to what he means. But what he’s getting at then is that giving yourself over giving of control over to something other than God. Now, let me say in terms of just give me an illustration of this idea of rightly ordered, like, rightly ordered love. I say to my kids all the time, I love your mom first. I love y’all. Anyway, what I would die for my kids, I’d stand in front of a train for my kids, there is nothing I would not do for my kids. The kind of love I feel for them is indescribable. But my wife comes first. Why? Because I have a covenant one flesh union with my wife, I do not have that with my kids. My job is to launch and release my kids into hopefully, new families, Lord willing, where they will become one flesh with someone else. That family will come before our family of origin. Some of you need to hear that she and I are in it together until we die. That’s it. My kids can’t play us off against one another. They tried to do the but no. Don’t try and separate us. It won’t work. Right. Here’s the thing, I haven’t lessened my love for my kids by saying to them, she comes first. Haven’t less than two bit. I’ve enhanced it. Because I’ve created a place of safety and security for my kids. A trust that mom and dad or one mom and dad are together. In dissolvable, that’s the environment we’re in. As they live in that they feel safety, security, and they know how deeply loved they are. But I am one flesh with her. They are the product of that one flesh union Praise God. But rightly ordered love create security, safety, joy and peace. Now let’s apply that to our church life together. A church whose people are given over to misplace and disordered love, I think will probably be weak and evangelism, because we’re more worried about loving other things than we are about loving him. If we love other things more than we love him, we’re less concerned about telling other people about him. So if we find weakness in evangelism in ourselves, might we need to ask the question, Are we a church given over to misplaced or disordered love? Like that, which is listed here? Now, again, let’s celebrate. Because the spirit is able to renew to reveal new and renewed truth to us on a daily basis. This is the power of the Spirit to help us overcome this work of the flesh. Do you see that as you walk by the Spirit with him, one of the things he is able to do and does do is revealed to you things about God that cause you to love him more on a daily basis. It may be things that you never saw before, quite often as things you knew, but your renewed it happened this morning to me. I’m reading through Exodus in my quiet times. I’m reading chronologically through the Bible this year. Right? As I’m reading through, I’m in Exodus 17. There’s this passage where Moses is holding his arms up as His people battle the Amalekites. ‘m thinking, I just found myself talking to God. Why did you care whether his arms are up or down? I mean, what’s the point of that? As I’m talking with God, and reflecting on that, I realized that the people had been murmuring and planning against Moses. God was showing them that he was the man that he had chosen to lead them. So that he was giving Moses what he needed in order to be able to do the job to which he had called them. Therefore he was showing them when Moses his arms are up, you win battles when his arms are down, you don’t win battles. It’s not Moses, it’s not as ours. It’s not hocus pocus. It’s God doing a work for the people of Israel to show them that Moses is the man that he’s called to lead. Well, guess what, as your pastor that was pretty encouraging to me. I think God gives us what we need to walk in the calling to lead the people that he calls us to lead, he’ll give us everything we need. Then guess what happened? Our treasured God more. It’s not something I didn’t know before. But it was a renewed truth that I received this morning just by meditating upon the Scriptures. It just made my heart flame up with love for God again, and as my heart flames up with love for God, guess what my love gets rightly ordered, and isn’t misplaced. The spirit’s able to do that he is doing it all the time.
The third category that we see here is our longest one it sends of hate and we’re not gonna spend an incredibly long time on it, but it’s eight terms. So pay attention to eight terms for sins of hate. The first one in the list is enmity It really is the broadest term and then all the other ones kind of describe it, because enmity just simply means hate. So what I want you to see here is all the sins that come underneath this. There’s this contentiousness, this critical spirit, this fractiousness. Don’t excuse those where you see them in your life as sort of innocent little things I gossip a little bit, or I kind of, you know, talked about that person or I did this thing, or I bowled over and anger a little bit, don’t dismiss them as small things. They are acts of hate. So Paul was saying, when he calls them all in my tea, and everything that flows out of it. So here’s the terms we see strife is a person who’s contentious, they’re constantly critical. They’re always looking for how you’re wrong. To correct and always looking for someone with which to disagree. They just seem like no matter what you say, they’re always going to tell you some correction or adjustment that you need to make. Then we see jealousy and envy. These are parallel terms. It’s a person who wants what someone else has, and isn’t content with what God has given them. Timothy George, who is a scholar comments on this passage, and he says it this way, I really love the way he put it. jealousy and envy, he says our ingratitude to God, a failure a failure to accept one’s life as a gift from God means the circumstances of my life. To envy what someone else has is to fling one’s own gifts before God in unthankful rebellion, and spite was really telling convicted me the sweet years ago, in ministry, I had a boss who had us take this StrengthsFinder assessment. Anybody ever done that for work? StrengthsFinder? Yeah. So the idea is, you know, you’re operating your strengths more than trying to round out your weaknesses, and you’ll be more effective and helpful tool. As we did it, I mean, there’s like 30, something, maybe even more strengths. Remember, you see the list, and you immediately kind of pick out the ones you want, right? Yeah, I love to be this unlimited be that and I got five of the ones I would have never wanted to take the tests. I mean, isn’t well the test is wrong. But you know, for like, two years after that, I just remember being so envious of people on my team who were shown to have the gifts that I wanted. And it was sin. Because what was I saying to God, I don’t want to be who you made me. I don’t want the gifts that you gave me. I want the ones you gave somebody else. What is that? It’s exactly what he’s talking about jealousy and envy. rebellion against God. fits of anger is in this list, which is someone who’s prone to boil over with anger could be physical, but often it’s verbal. Then interestingly, he has these three terms that are very close to one another. rivalries, dissensions divisions. Now, each one of those is someone who’s prone to divide to fracture, but for different reasons. So rivalries is relational fracture, that’s caused by selfish ambition. It’s like a political term. The idea is you’re pursuing your own advancement, and you’re willing to kind of push others aside. As a result, selfish ambition, fracture caused by selfish ambition. dissensions is division fracture, that happens, because you’re undermining spiritual leaders. And then the last one speaks to the leader. So if that one speaks to the people, than the last one speaks to the leaders, because divisions that term divisions is the fracture that happens in a in a church and a body, because the truth isn’t taught. It’s the fracture that comes from teaching false things. That naturally fractures people, because then people who love the truth and care about the truth and cling to it have to divide Yes. It misleads, and it divides. So I love that Paul is kind of equal handed there. There’s these different reasons that we might be someone that causes fracture. But where we see them, they are dangerous. Now, let’s apply that here to our church life. A church where these sins prevail will be a place, I think, I mean, a lot, a lot of division, right? Gossip, probably, I think more. So here’s what I see. It would be a church where there’s very little confession of sin, because there’s very little grace given when sin has confessed. Imagine being a part of a body that is so fractious, so contentious all the time, kind of looking for faults always, which is what this these things kind of a matte amount to where there’s very little relational trust, because that’s fracturing all the time, if that’s true, this key element of spiritual maturity where we confess our sins to one another, and we receive grace. We’re pointed to truth and we’re reminded of the power of the grace of God Now won’t be present. That will hinder the maturity of the whole body. Now, let’s also remember to celebrate, because the spirit is able to give you an overwhelming love for one another, and you should ask him for it. The spirit, I don’t just mean like the church generally, I mean, you should pray, if this is your church home, you should pray give me an overwhelming love for the people of my church of West Shore. Give me an overwhelmed the kind of love that bears one another’s burdens, the kind of love that bears with others in sin. Give me a love for those who are easy for me to love and give me a love for those who are less easy for me to love. But we should be praying, you should be praying, I am praying all the time, give me an overwhelming love for my people, because I don’t want to be fractious. I don’t want to be divisive. I don’t want to gossip. I want to be in a church where the people of God love each other, deeply and profoundly.
The last category is sin of indulgence, sins of indulgence. So you see him here. It’s probably there because at the beginning, we’re talking about sexual desires. Now we come because there’s other desires we all have, that can lead us astray as well. And they’re the works of the flesh. So he lists drunkenness and orgies. Now, the first is exactly what it sounds like. Drunkenness is giving again, control of ourselves to a substance, particularly as alcohol in mind. This is not the way a believer is supposed to be given over to the substances given given over to drunkenness. But then orgies isn’t what it sounds like. There’s the translation that a lot of older English versions will use as carousing and the ideas just wild partying. So it sounds sexual in nature, when you say orgies, and there may be that kind of in play often with this, but the term itself just means wild partying. So he’s saying, the works of the flesh are drunkenness and wild partying, like giving yourself over to just sort of uninhibited party spirit. Now. Just imagine that a church where the sins are prevailing not being fought, is one where leaders will struggle to move their people, I think, into service and into generosity. So I’m always asking myself like, do I see in my people as they’re moving towards maturity? Do I see that they want to use their gifts to serve others? Like, they know their gifts, and they want to use them? They’re, they’re just like, Where can I serve? How can I use the gifts that I’ve been given by God? Because I imagine if there’s a given over to drunkenness, a following of the works of the flesh in this way, there’s just not going to be any time where we’re going to say the priority is to serve not party not satisfied and things I want to do, right, the priority is not drunken stupor, the priority is service and self sacrifice. That service comes with generosity as well. So we always ask where’s our where’s our generosity with our finances, where’s our generosity with our time, and just want to encourage you again, part of joining the work of the Spirit we saw this couple of weeks ago is serve us your gifts. Whatever God’s given you put it to use, and you will find the Spirit moving through you powerfully, you’ll gain more taste for the things of the Spirit and less taste for the things of the world. So practical, take hold of it. So we get to celebrate that the spirit quickens our minds and hearts towards God in a way that’s better than any experience drugs or alcohol can offer. Listen to Ephesians 5:18. We’re going to come to the communion table in Ephesians 5:18, Paul says, Do not get drunk with wine. That’s debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. So he’s there very clearly saying these two things are antithetical to be drunk on wine is antithetical to the opposite of being filled with the Spirit. But it’s also very telling that he uses those ideas together, because he’s not just saying, hey, the spirit is opposed to this kind of behavior. Therefore, you need to do this be filled with the Spirit rather than get drunk on wine. He’s also pointing out that instead of giving control of ourselves over to a substance, we are to give control of ourselves over to the Spirit. There’s an experience of that controlling work of the Spirit that is similar enough, I don’t mean that it that it makes us a nice abbreviated, we shouldn’t have that image in our mind. But it certainly is a controlling aspect that the Spirit can control us take hold of our mind, take hold of our hearts, lead us forward and cause us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. There’s enough parallel there that that’s why I believe he chooses to use those two things right there together in the text and say, Don’t do this, don’t get drunk this way. Come and be filled this way. Come and be controlled this way. So that’s also a statement that spirits able to do that. The spirit is able to free you release you from the control of those substances. Now, let’s friends, everything I said is hard and heavy work. Would we agree? No, this is light. Part of God’s generosity, this is that he puts these things in his word. So we have to face them squarely. As we face them, I, my hope has been that you would hear from the tone of my voice, from the look on my face from the words that I speak, that you would want to hear the Word of God come forth, that’s always what matters, but that you’d hear it brought forth in a way that communicates the kindness of the Lord, which leads us to repentance, and his love for you, as you wrestle with these things, if you’re not wrestling with them, and you know, I’m not, please don’t hear me say, Go away. Please hear me say come further in. Let’s get busy. Let’s walk in freedom, that freedom is there for you. It’s yours, available to you and Christ through the power of the Spirit.
Alright, servers, come down, we’re going to come to the Lord’s table now, church family, and what a perfect Sunday to do this as we reflect on this because as you come to the table, what are we partaking of? We’re coming to partake of elements that are meant to remind us of the work of Christ that was done to bring the freedom of the spirit to us to make payment for sin. As we hold these elements in our hand, church family, please remember that we are invited, instructed, by God’s Word, to say to the Lord, I’m holding my life before you show me what is I’m pleasing to you show me where I need redirecting correcting conviction, not to partake of them lightly. So let’s do that together. Today. Even as we reflect upon the Spirit who comes through then this finished work and empowers us. If you’re not in Christ, you’re not a follower of Jesus haven’t placed your faith in him. Just let these elements pass by we say this every time but we do it because it’s important. We don’t want you to partake of elements and proclaim a faith that you don’t have. We want you to be honest in your heart and honest intellectually honest not. Not trying to we don’t ever want anyone to put on a show around here to pretend you are somewhere that you’re not. So we’ll invite you to let these elements pass. Even while we encourage you consider we believe God is drawing you one step closer to himself each time we would love for today be the day that you yield yourself to Him. So service let’s come and take the Lord’s supper together.