Date: January 22, 2023
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 5:13 - 15
Thank you team, it’s good to worship the Lord with you all, good morning, got a Bible, go to Galatians chapter five, we’re going to look at verses 13 through 15, we are going to be just slowing down a bit in this section of the book of Galatians. If you’re just joining us, for the first time, we’ve been in a serious studying this book, so hopefully, you will just catch right up. But as we’re getting into this chapter, there’s just a need to slow down a bit and take it in smaller chunks, so that we are really getting the full weight of each section. So we’re going to do that. As you’re turning. Let me do a little bit of housekeeping remind you of something that if you get our emails, you’ve gotten this, but some of you don’t get those. So February 5 at 6pm is our congregational meeting, we do one a year and a couple of two year sorry, we do a couple year. In this one in particular, we bring in a lot of new members, I think we have like 48 new members who are joining the church becoming part so we just want to invite you if you’re a member, come and just welcome them in to the family. Be there we’ll have an update from the elders as well take care of a few, things like that. We’ll have a reception, just a time to hang out, have fellowship, enjoy one another’s company. So if you’re not a member, you’re welcome to come can’t vote on stuff, obviously. But you we’d love you to come and just kinda you can be a fly on the wall and see kind of how we do family business. So put on your calendars February 5 6pm. All right.
Now as we come to this text, I’m curious. How many of you ever played the game? Would you rather? Yes, we played Would you rather? Okay. So I don’t love Would you rather because I’m sure there’s a good version of it, where there are these really insightful questions that give you like, Oh, now I get something more about you. But I feel like every time I play it, maybe it says about my friends. It’s just gross or inane? You know, it’s things like would you rather do this or that? Like, oh, that’s not you know, there’s just no good choices, right? It’s questions like, would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands, and you’re like, who cares? Right? These are terrible choices that you’ve given me. As we come to Galatians chapter five. What Paul’s doing in this chapter is focusing on the work of the Spirit. I mean, every single second of the chapter is about learning to know the work of the Spirit and yield to the work of the Spirit. His large argument in the whole chapter is that the spirit both keeps us from legalism, which he’s been talking about through the whole book, but also from license. He keeps us from both things. Now, let me define license real quick, because we’ve been talking about legalism. for weeks and weeks and weeks, right? This idea that we can’t earn merit with God, we can’t earn salvation, we can’t earn our righteousness to keeping a set of rules and regulations. The second, we try to add any of our own good effort to the completed work of Christ on the cross, we have lost Christ. That’s his big argument, right? That’s what legalism is, is the sort of summoning up, you know, this sort of bootstraps theology, which says, I can be good enough, I can be wise enough, I can be godly enough? The answer is positive thing, you cannot put away the law, put away the rules as your way of trying to get right with God. A lot of us came from backgrounds like that didn’t we? Were it was just like all about, you know, behavior, all about just, you know, doing right being, you know, rather than the finished work of Jesus, and then responding to that with good works. But the other side of that coin, then, is license. Paul is going to shift now in Galatians, chapter five, he’s been arguing the Spirit keeps you from legalism. We talked about that last week. Now he’s saying the Spirit also keeps you from license. He doesn’t let you go in either direction keeps you from wandering off don’t either there’s there is in the would you rather have legalism and license neither one’s a good choice. All right, hands for feet, feet, for hands, who cares, terrible choices, both of them. That’s what he’s saying. License is not a better choice than legalism. Legalism is not a better choice, than license and license you can think of it this way, is just is just the desires of the flesh or human nature that’s in us Our sinful nature, and the desires it produces, being led around by those being sort of, you know, walking in those and they’re not God honoring desires, lust and anger. In fact, what we’re going to see in two weeks from now, is that Paul is going to list a bunch of them for us. He’s gonna say, these are the desires of the flesh. These are the things that are not gone on. We’re gonna just spend a morning thinking about those things, how we walk away from them, put them to death.
So that’s his argument. The Spirit keeps us from legalism and the Spirit keeps us from license. Tim Keller has a great quote on this in thinking about personal revival and also just society wide revival, like inviting a movement of the Spirit of God where people are coming to faith and growing in maturity and there’s this is evident work of God happening. One of the things he says it’s an ingredient if you study those kinds of revivals as God moves movements throughout history, one of the ingredients you’ll find is that there is a rediscovery of the Gospel before that sort of outbreak of the work of the Spirit takes place a rediscovery of the gospel. Here’s how he talks about he says, this requires this kind of revival requires finding a balanced gospel again, the truth that we are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that remains alone. In other words, it good works naturally proceed from saving faith. We’re saved by the grace of Christ. But that changes our hearts so we want to obey Him. We want God. Dr. Lloyd Jones, he’s talking about Martyn Lloyd Jones, a very famous preacher, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones pictures it like managing to balance on the peak of a mountain without slipping down either face of it into heresy. Heresy means wrong belief. Both fundamentalism and liberalism pull us down the mountain, just in opposite directions, both lose the power of the gospel, by slipping into either legalism, or relativism. When you hear relativism, they’re this idea that anything goes I can define right and wrong. You can think of that as license that you would just follow whatever you believe to be right or good, whatever your desires tell you. So the power of the gospel was slipping into either legalism or relativism. A lot of very conservative churches need to rediscover grace. A lot of more liberal churches need to rediscover the cross. We need a large scale rediscovery of the beauty of a balanced gospel, we must get back to the mountaintop. So that’s me quoting Tim Keller, quoting Martyn Lloyd Jones. So we’re like three quotes deep there. All right. Later day, you can quote me, quoting them. Then someone else, you see how that’s gonna, it’s gonna be awesome. Once I’ve, this is a total aside, but Ryan, Keith used to preach here, one time he got in the pulpit, and he quoted and he said, My friend Trent says this, He said it. I was like, Ryan, you were quoting me quoting you. I literally have said that, because you said it. When I say it, I say my friend Ryan says, I’m better. He was like, Yeah, I just didn’t want to give myself credit for it. I was like, just don’t quote, just say it. I hope Brian listens to this online in Georgia. Alright, so let’s do a little review. We’re going to spend most of our time focused, we’re gonna look at verses 13 through 15. We’re going to talk about how the Spirit keeps us from license like, what did the How does he do it? What are the tools, but let’s remind ourselves that in verses one through 12, is the first point in your sermon notes there. The Spirit keeps us from legalism. There was two ways that Paul argued the Spirit does this. Now remember, for Paul, the spirit is so crucial, because what he’s saying is the reason these Judaizers these legal lists in Galatia, are saying, Man, if you tell people they don’t need the law, to get right with God, to be justified, they’re just gonna live crazy lives. Right? Paul is no, no, that’s not true. The main reason it’s not true, is because if you’re a legalist, and depend on your own righteousness, you know what, you’re missing the Spirit. Because you don’t have the Spirit of God. It’s the spirit that works righteousness. It’s the spirit that doesn’t, instead have a list of commands and rules. You have a personal relationship with God through His Spirit, that’s every day moment by moment, guiding, directing, shaping, that’s how you become like, God, that’s how you become like Jesus is not, you leave those who are so worried about people going off the reservation, because, you know, they don’t have to follow the law as a way to get right with God, you’ve got it totally backwards. They don’t need the law, they need the Spirit. You don’t have the Spirit. If you depend on your unrighteousness. Therefore, you can’t, you can’t even do the thing you think you want done for them. Because you don’t have the tool. Does that make sense? Yes. That’s why he’s spending so much time elaborating on the work of the Spirit. It’s the spirit that’s necessary.
When he talks about legalism, how does it keep us how does the Spirit come in and keep us from going down the mountainside, that direction from legalism? His answer was by filling us with hope, and by filling us with love, by filling us with hope. By filling us with love, he said, the hope he gives you is that he the spirit has this way. I want you to learn to expect this of the spirit. I’m like desperate for you to learn to expect this, that he’s going to constantly be taking your attention off of earthly things, and getting your mind and your heart up into the heavens and helping you to see a very clear picture of the day that is going to come where you’re going to stand in the presence of God, perfectly clothed in the righteousness of Christ. By the way, Revelation 19 paints that picture of the church, clothed in linen, pure and white. I always read that scripture at wedding ceremonies because the the wedding and the bride is symbolic of that moment, reminding us that not it’s not just going to be given us access to God, we are going to be made you you are going to be made perfectly righteous with the righteousness of Christ. So what Colossians three three is talking about when it says, it says your life is hidden with Christ in God. It’s saying the fullest truest version of who you are in Christ, the certainty of that day is is hidden there yet to be revealed. When Christ returns, it will be revealed. So at First John, chapter three, verse three is talking about when John says, when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is, Do you can you see that day, there’s going to be a revelation of Christ, you’re going to see him, he’s going to come down in the sky, the same way he ascended, he’s going to descend, bringing His saints with him, and you are going to be raised to meet him in the air, if you’re still alive at that point, and you will meet him there, and you will be transformed. Because you will see Him as He is. That’s how powerful Christ is you set your eyes on him. You’ve been redeemed by him. When you set your eyes on Him, you will never again sin. Every motive will be made pure, every action pure, every thought of the mind pure Can you fathom that? Try and get as close to it as you can. Because this is the spirits business. This is what he does. He says, when when chapter five, verse five said, he’s going to, he’s going to lead you into the hope of righteousness. What he’s saying is, here’s what you can expect the spirit to do. Get your mind up in the heavens to that day, how does that free you from legalism? Because once you are absolutely certain of that day, and you see that it’s the spirit that’s working that through the finished work of Christ, you don’t come back down out of the sort of heavens in your mind and will and go, You know what, let me just return to a bunch of lowly works to try and get right with God. You’re so certain so convinced of his power and and that day, and then it will come to pass that you no longer have a taste for the lesser things that make sense. The spirit is eager to and aching to do that. So the question is, will you yield to it? Will you make time for it? We make space for it. So what I want to do is make space for it right? The second? Because I can preach all day, and prayerfully in the power of the Spirit. But it’s the spirit that has to do the work in you. Yes. Words are not enough. So let me just make 15 seconds of space here. Okay, the spirit, you know, he doesn’t go on command. But if he said, This is what he does, can we expect that he will do it? Yeah, absolutely. 100%. So learn to learn to go yep. He said, he’s going to do that I’m gonna expect that he will do that. So I want you to just close your eyes and keep open, I don’t care. I want you to ask the spirit to show you the hope of your righteousness. Just take a moment. See where he takes your mind in that. See if he won’t give you the picture. Let me be quiet now.
What specifically comes to mind is I’ve just pray a you just a unique filling of the Spirit and anointing of the Spirit upon those who are wrestling with misplaced shame. We know that there’s there’s right shame that leads us to repentance when we’ve sinned. But then we’re free from that. So that right shame can be a misplaced shame. I just wonder if some of my brothers and sisters are feeling that not walking in the forgiveness that that is there’s a new or perhaps feeling shame for things that are not sinful. If that’s the case, I pray that you would take it for them, give them a clear picture of this day. The name of Jesus we pray, Amen. Now, the Spirit also keeps us from legalism by filling us with love. That was the other thing that we saw in verse six of Chapter Five where he says, Look what the Spirit is going to do. He’s going to overwhelm you with love for God and for others. As he does that, instead of competing with them and judging them, you’re going to be filled with love for them. When that’d be sweet to look at people and love them like God loves them. Just for that to be your impulse, your instinct your desires just like I’m overwhelmed with love and and a really rich love, not the kind of, you know, faux love, you know but love with the sharp corners of truth on it love like a scalpel that cuts out sin love that is unconditional love that rushes towards people love that receives them where they are and says come and receive the grace of God and walk towards him. He loves you. As you do that, as you’re filled with love it just eradicate that legalistic instinct. So that’s what we’ve seen so far. That’s pretty rich, would you agree? So now we turn to in verses 13:15 and 13:14, and 15, we turn to this shift now with the rest of the chapter, he’s going to talk about how the Spirit keeps us from the other side of the mountain slipping down the other side of the mountain into license. So let’s read these verses now. For you were called to freedom brothers. So he’s talking there again about the legalism, the law like Don’t, don’t return to slavery to the law, right. Now here comes the shift. For you are called to freedom brothers only. Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another, through love serve one another, for the whole law is fulfilled in one word, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. So that’s our text. Can you see how he’s making the shift from legalism to licenses? Yep, indeed, you were called to freedom, it’s possible, then that you would sit down the other side of that mountain, and you would use your freedom to excuse all manner of sin just to following your your flesh flushes desires. Let me Paul says, help you not go in that direction, either. Alright, so let’s talk about then how does the Spirit do this? Now, the first thing we need to understand is if you just read that text alone, you might look at and go, Well, I don’t see the Spirit reference there. Isn’t this just a straightforward command, don’t use your freedom as an excuse or as an opportunity for the flesh. But what I really need you to see is how he’s really talking about yielding to the work of the Spirit here throughout the chapter. Because if you took these verses alone, and just saw that command, and it is a command, you might just try to follow that in your own strength. You’d be right back where down the other side of that mountain folks, you just slip right down the other side. So you need to you need to see the work of the Spirit. So what did we see here? He’s saying, Don’t give opportunity to the flesh, right? But so how is that going to happen, but through love, serve one another? So here’s three ways we know he’s talking about the work of the Spirit in this command. Number one, the verses leading up to our talking about the work of the Spirit to keep us from legalism just talked about that. Verse 16, following are going to give us an admonition to walk in the Spirit. So do we imagine that he’s just taking a break from talking about the work of the Spirit at the end of verse 12? He’s gonna pick it back up again in verse 16? No, he’s talking about the work of the Spirit throughout. Do you see that? Yes. There’s not a breaks, not a hiatus in the chapter where he goes, let me just now give a command and ignore the spirit for a moment. No, no, he’s saying this is the work of the Spirit. Not only that, when he says, love, and we’re going to talk about this in a moment, love expressed through service is how you’re guarded how the Spirit keeps you from license. Well, we should recognize something. If he says love is the solution. What did he just say was the solution to legalism that the Spirit works, love. He’s repeating the same solution for the for the opposite problem. We’ll talk about how and why. But if it’s the Spirit who gives the love that keeps from legalism, then it’s also the Spirit who gives the love who keeps from license. Does that make sense? Yes. Then further down in verse 21, and 22, he’s going to begin to list the fruit of the Spirit. We’re going to cover that in a couple of weeks. The first fruit of the Spirit is I bet you can guess it, what is it? Love. So we know that what he’s getting at here is not just a command that you and I need to, again, bootstrap theology, figure out how to do this. He say, no, no, no, this is what the Spirit is going to do. This is what the Spirit is going to do. So look for it, expect it, and then yield to it. Take the spirits hand and let them lead you. This is what he’s going to do. If you expect him if you if you look for it, you’ll see it. Okay, so that’s deeply important. It may seem like a nuanced like preacher nuance to you, where you’re just like, yeah, in front, we get it, you’re just kind of you’re just kind of getting into the fine details. But what I really need you to see is, it is the difference between slipping to the other side of the mountain, versus actually walking in with the text is telling you to do so it’s crucial. Now, before we get into love and service as the way the Spirit keeps us from license, we got to do one more thing and that’s this. We gotta say, why does the spirit care to do this? Why is it so important? We’re going to find the answer in that phrase, don’t give an opportunity for the flesh. Okay? So the flesh as we alluded to, is these sinful desires that remain in us. Until Christ returns or calls us home, they will remain in us and they are there to battle. Now, what you need to understand is the reason this is so important to God, and to the spirit to do this work is because the flesh is seeking to kill you. It is trying actively to kill you, we have an act of flesh. So we need an act of spirits. Okay? Now, that phrase, he says, Don’t give any opportunity to the flesh don’t use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. That word opportunity is a really key word. It is the same word that a commander in ancient Greece would use to talk about his opportunity, his strategic moment in a battle, to say there’s going to come a moment in this battle, where we’ve laid out this plan, and there’s going to be an opening, we’re going to see it and when that opening comes, we’re going into it. That’s going to be how we’re going to win the battle. So when Paul says, Don’t give an opportunity for the flesh, he’s painting a picture for his listeners. He’s saying the flesh is at war with you. It’s looking for its gap. It’s looking for its opening, don’t give it that opening. Don’t let it have any opportunity. Don’t let it have a strategic advantage. That’s what he’s saying. He’s saying, Do not for one second, give that to the flesh, because the Spirit wants to give life, but the flesh wants to kill. Now recognize that I say that. I talked about how your own desires are at war with you at points is what Paul’s talking about Romans when he says the very things I want to do, I don’t do in the things I don’t want to do. I do. That’s an we can we agree that’s a normal part of life that we’re wrestling with, yes. Part of the challenge, but some of you, you might be thinking, look, I find that my desires are pretty trustworthy. I mean, you’re kind of telling me something about my desires being mistrust, or not worthy of trust. As we’re sanctified, our desires can be increasingly trusted. So don’t hear me say that every desire you have is wicked. Okay, as you’re growing Christ’s likeness, there are good desires that exist in you, right? You can, you can certainly lean into those. But what I want to say to you is that for those you who may not be as convinced, let me just ask you this, as you find desires, like lust, and anger, and impatience, jealousy in your heart. My guess is you have found them there, if you’re honest. At times, you have given way to those desires and acted upon them. So my question for you is, whenever you’ve acted upon those, was the result ever good? I ever, did it build relationships? or tear them down? Did it bring more joy? Or did it just take joy right away? Did it fill you with Trust? Or did it make you afraid? I’ve yet to find the person. So maybe he’s in here today. The first one is there somewhere. I have yet to find the person that says yeah, when I yield it to those desires, it really produced a great thing. Almost, without exception, every conversation I’ve ever had about this is yeah, my desires and following them, these desires of the flesh. They’ve only produced death. And that’s evidence that your flesh is trying to kill you. That’s what he’s saying. Don’t give it any opportunity.
Now, how do we not? How does the Spirit lead us out of license? The answer is so simple. The first one, though, is really like we’ve got to kind of get into the deep things of the Spirit, I’m just telling you, I’m gonna give you like this much, and you’re just gonna have to chew on it, chew on it, chew on it, chew on it, because you’re trying to let the Spirit take hold and teach you about himself. Okay? Then the second one is really, I mean, it’s really so straightforward. Okay. So two things he says, but through love, serve one another. Then in verse 14, he says, For the whole law, we’ll talk about why why would he return to the law after spending so much time saying don’t go to the law don’t go to the law, don’t go to and then he comes back to the law. For the whole laws fulfilled in this one word. Love your neighbor as yourself. So he says to us, the way the Spirit is going to overcome license gonna guard you from license keep you from it, is through filling you with love, and to calling you to serve, filling you with love, and calling you to serve. Let’s take each one of those one at a time. So, the Spirit fills us with love. That’s how he keeps us so now we find my spot here. All right. The first thing to notice there is that when he says he’s going to fill you with love, through love, serve one another. And then he says, Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the emphasis here. That’s the exact same tool that the spirit is using to keep us from legalism. We said that it keeps us from legalism, by filling us with us. We’re not in competition with one another. We’re not in judgment of one another. We find ourselves loving one another. Well, my goodness, the spirit’s gonna take the same tool, the filling us with love and he’s gonna use that to keep us from license. How does he do that? Two ways. The first is by giving us a rightly ordered love. Now when you try to summon up love and create it in your own, you know, willfulness, your own ability, that love is always going to be miss ordered, it’s going to either it’s going to it’s going to put other people in the wrong position where they become idols to us, or it’s going to put ourselves first, the Spirit the love the Spirit gives, always puts God first. You hear that? The the love the spirit plants in our hearts, always puts God first. Therefore our loves are rightly ordered. If you love anything more than you love God, your love is miss ordered. It’s disordered. As such, it will create twisting and turning and sin. But when your love is rightly ordered, everything all secondary loves, come underneath that first love. As it does, it produces righteousness. It produces righteousness. So you can learn to look for the Spirit’s work of filling you with love, as you learn to love God first and most Now, here’s the beauty of this. He doesn’t deliver us from license the desires of our flesh by saying, Here’s a list of commands, keep them, He delivers us from licensed through a living Spirit who dwells within us, and whom we have a relationship with. That relationship. Growing in love is what causes us to not want the things of our flesh anymore. I it’s a bad competition to say, I’m going to put up a list of written rules and pit it against the desires of my flesh, the flesh is going to win every time. Because those rules cannot weigh your desire to do that thing. But you know, what can a better more life giving relationship with the Spirit of God, one that that causes you to be inflamed with a love for God, and the more you love him, the less you love the things that are countered to him, the more these desires fade, and we can you cannot, you cannot just eliminate the desires of the flesh, they have to be your loyalty has to be shifted to another love. There has to be a greater love. Rather than just this is the same way that we live. This is one of the great tools against lust in our lives. I will say for men and for women one of the questions I asked myself, every I mean, I I’m training myself to ask this question. Every time an image pops up, or walks past me that tempts me into a lust fullness, that is not godly. I asked myself, does the gaze of my eyes going towards that thing helped me love my wife better? Or will it diminished my love for her. That’s an incredibly helpful tool. I want to be satisfied in my wife, I want to find my wife beautiful. I want to adore my wife, a single second of extra Look at that thing or clicking on that button does not help me accomplish that at all. That’s a really helpful tool. Because there’s a greater love. I’m not just trying to battle against lust with a command don’t do that. I’m battling against lust with a greater primary love, do you see it? I’m going to this is what i my heart of hearts is to have the sweetest, most life giving most joy filled marriage I could possibly have in order to have that. I need to adore my wife. I’m not going to do anything that prevents that from happening. As you ingrain that in yourself, it’s the greater love that fights against the lesser lusts with me is the beauty of the Spirit dwelling in you. He is your greater love. He is leading you to your greater love moment by moment and everything else becomes lesser. Now let me say here. This is why all this is why in verse 14. Now I’m gonna move on from this is why in verse 14, Paul talks about the law, because as I said, you might not expect to find that here. I mean, literally the first four chapters were all about like, don’t go to the law. Don’t go to the law. If you depend upon the law, you’re dying, you’re dead. Now he comes in he says Well, the fulfillment of the law is love. Here’s why. Because now he’s transitioned to talking about license. When he was talking about legalism, he was saying, if you depend upon the law to get right with God, can’t do it. You’ll never keep it, you’ll have to fulfill the whole thing. You’ll never be able to do it, it will kill you. But once you let go of the law, the moral law of God, don’t murder don’t steal, right? Once you let go of that as a way to say, I’m gonna get myself right with God. Now, you see the law for God for one of the things that it does, it reveals the holy character and nature of God. Now those commands instead of coming to them, I gotta keep them. That’s how I’m gonna get past this flesh stuff. It’s no longer a list of rules to follow from my righteousness. What is it? It’s an expression of the very nature of God Himself. So when I read Do not murder, I don’t go keep that keep that keep that keep that obey and obey it get righteous get righteous, I go, Oh my gosh, that reveals the father to me. He is the Maker of all things, including humans who bear his image. Why do I not murder because if I murder, I don’t know God. I love him. So his commands become a treasure. It’s why Psalm 19, Psalm 119, David can write things like I love your law. Oh, God. I delight in your law, not because it earns righteous because it reveals the Father and His nature. Not so Paul’s talking about it here. You want to fight against lust now you’re going to fight against the flesh. Now you leverage the law and its fulfillment Love, Love your neighbor. You leverage it not as a list of commands, you leverage it as a revelation of the very nature of God Himself. Getting that’s a lot of real, like intense nuance. Are you following? Yes. Okay, all right. So there weren’t a lot of shaking. There weren’t a lot of this. Just chew on it. Okay. Well, you chew on it for me. Okay, awesome. Go back to the text. Okay, spirit will keep teaching you.
All right. So now then, he says love is how he’s going, he’s going to fill us with it. That’s going to help deliver us keep us from licensed. The second thing, which again, is so simple, is now and we can just do it much more succinctly is service. He says, But don’t make opportunity for the flesh, but through love what church serve one another. Now I want you to see the expansive nature of this love because he says serve one another. Then in verse 14, he goes to the law of fulfillment of the law is Love your neighbor as yourself. Let’s remember that Jesus in Luke 10, in the parable, the Good Samaritan, when he defined who was my neighbor, his answer was everybody. I mean, that’s the summation of it. It’s not just person who lives next to you is not just a person who believes what you believe it’s the person who votes differently than you. Because a different religious belief than you do, who has a different worldview than you do. It’s everybody. That’s who your neighbor is, love that person. Like you love yourself. So it’s this expansive love and this expansive service. So the very simple question is the expectation is true love, the love the spirit, genuine love, rightly ordered love, produces service? Why? How does this How does this deliver us from the flesh, keep us from license, here’s how the desires of the flesh are self centered. They are self centered, they want to please you, even when you serve someone else, it’s really about what that person will think about you, or how to get the thing that you need out of having served them. But the true love, the love of the Spirit is self less, not selfish. So when the spirit comes in and fills you with love, and then calls you into service, what he’s doing is he’s saying, Here’s a practical way that you’re going to overcome your flesh, by putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own. Counting someone else more important than yourself. So can I just ask you a really simple question. How are you serving others? How many of you are saying I’ve got this sin that I can’t seem to conquer? I can’t seem to kind of put it to death. I don’t seem to make any progress with it. If I were to say to you, how are you serving others? You might not see how that relates. Do you see how it relates now? Is that how are you serving someone other than yourself so that your flesh is put to death and you may find greater victory in that sin pattern that you’re struggling in? So the spirit is going to give you love and call you to serve. Here’s the beauty of it. We’re going to talk well, it’s not in this text, but in Ephesians. Paul talks about the gifts of the Spirit. This if you’re in Christ, the spirits giving you gifts, amen. Some of the leadership some of the Mercy some of you are brilliant in the arts. Right musically gifted, I don’t know what your gift is, you might be gifting administration or leadership or, you know, you are great at detailed. There’s all these different spiritual gifts that are talked about in Scripture, no one list is a complete list throughout the scriptures. First Corinthians 12, Ephesians, four, the beautiful list of these gifts. But friends, can I just tell you, here’s the beauty of it, the Spirit calls you to serve as a way to overcome your flesh as a way to keep you from license. He doesn’t just tell you to do it, he gives you the thing with which to do it. He gives you the gifts and says use them. Use them. So if you don’t know what your gifts are, what we want to help you with that. Connect with one of our staff team, we want to help you unpack and discover what your gifts are. Then my encouragement to you is use them. I don’t mean use them occasionally, when the opportunity pops up. I mean, what is your plan, your intentional plan for using the gifts the Spirit has given you? Are you using them. As you use them, you get your attention off yourself and onto others and onto others. As you do as you’re loving your neighbor as yourself, then what’s going to happen is you’re going to be less prone to license because you’re going to be focused on not yourself. But others. That should be super simple. Does that make sense to every everybody? So that’s my encouragement. I mean, we have so many opportunities to serve here. But do you know that we don’t have those opportunities to serve because we have these programs, and we just really want to run those programs. We don’t need you to serve in order to get those programs done. We have the programs to get you done. Those programs, those places to serve, they exist, so that you will get done. So that as you use your gifts, you grow in righteousness, you overcome license, you don’t walk in legalism, because you’re filled with the love of the Spirit. You implement it and experience it day by day as you look to meet the needs of others. You activate it in that way. So I hope that makes sense. All right. So we’re going to keep journeying now, for the next several weeks, I broke these into small chunks on purpose. Because next week, we’re gonna hear this command, walk in the Spirit. keep in step with the Spirit, we’re going to examine that what does that mean? How do we do that? Then following that, we’re gonna get a list of the works of the flesh that are not of the Spirit. Then the culmination of it is the fruit of the Spirit that will see love and joy and peace and patience. How do we walk in though, so we’re just going to take them each a piece at a time in the weeks to come, all of it so that we would learn to recognize the work in the spirit, see it day by day, and then yield to it so that we might become like Christ.
Alright, let’s pray together. Then we’re going to respond to God’s Word through song. Father, we love your word. You know, I always am going to do my level best to just give your word to your people. Not my opinions or perspectives, but we know that ultimately your Word is living an active because your spirit takes it uses it, and plants it in our hearts. So I pray that you do that. If there’s any resistance in any of us, including myself to anything that is here in your scriptures. We asked you to remove that in your kindness. Would you do that? We’re willful people we get stubborn about that. We know that we asked you to get past our stubbornness, break that down. If there’s areas where you’re you’re just kind of moving in on us, challenging us, help us to help us to just be open handed with you in that we want to be walking with you day by day so holy spirit, take our hands and lead us on would you now Father receive our praises Jesus receive our praises you are worthy of them as we sing them to you. It’s just our way of saying Your Word is true. We’ve heard it and now we want to respond and say we’d love you even more for having heard your truth. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.