Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers should produce the fruit of the Spirit, not of the flesh. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to produce the right fruit.
Read Galatians 5:18
I. Charter of Life in the Spirit. Paul talks to his readers about being led by the Spirit. In our Sunday School material he declares that if you are led by the Spirit (i.e., Holy Spirit) then you are not under the law. Notice the idea of “if” you are led by the Spirit.
- Make sure you are saved. Notice in vs. 18 that if one is led by the Spirit then one is not under the law. What this means is “if” you are saved and striving to live by the Spirit, which is aligned with obeying God’s word, then you are no longer under condemnation because you could not live up to the Mosaic laws.
Let’s make sure that we are saved and striving to live in obedience to God’s word. No one can live by the law and be right with God.
Read Galatians 5:19-21
II. Details of the Self-Ruled Life. In our Sunday School material Paul gives a list of acts of the flesh. There are sexual sins. There are sins related to idolatry. There are sins related to creating discord.
- Fruit of the flesh. Notice in vss. 19-21 that you can tell the tree by the fruit that it bears. The fruit of flesh comes from those who live by the flesh.
First, we should strive to live obedient to God’s word, instead of our own fleshly desires. Discipleship calls for deciding to deny ourselves and dedicate ourselves to following divine directions.
Second, we should strive to help those who are living by the flesh to repent. We should use a combination of word and deed. Often our lives are better sermons than the words that come out of our mouths. Let’s work on living in line with the Spirit, not the flesh.
Read Galatians 5:22-24
III. Details of the Spirit-Led Life. In our Sunday School material Paul gives a list of the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, and peace are listed. However, there are also the issues of forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- The fruit of the Spirit. Notice in vss. 22-24 that believers are to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is much easier to find people who claim to be saved than it is to find people who display the fruit of the Spirit.
Think about how many people come to church on a regular basis but have no reputation for love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, nor self-control.
Let’s work on bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It is bad for us to
have very little fruit. It is even worse, when we do nothing to improve our
Read Galatians 5:25-26; 6:1-10
IV. Practicing the Spirit-Led Life. Paul talks about restoring those overtaken in sin. In our Sunday School material he talks about testing one’s actions. He reminds his readers that they will reap what they have sown. And he urges them to do good, especially towards believers.
- Keeping in step with the Spirit. Notice in Galatians 5:25-26; 6:1-6 the idea of keeping in step with the Spirit, which includes helping one another, instead of harboring conceit, provocation, or envy.
First, keeping in step with the Spirit clearly implies action. You should look at your life and see some action and movement towards living by biblical principles.
Second, a great part of God’s will for our lives is to help one another. We are not competing with one another to see who can be more holy. We are trying to be a holy team, which means the strong need to help the weak, since we are all members of the same body.
Third, conceit, provocation, and envy take away from who God is calling us to be. There is a difference between confident in the Lord and being conceited with one’s merits.
There is no need to envy others, when God is able to give us what He wants us to have at the right time. Let’s work on keeping in step with the Spirit, which includes helping one another.
- Blessing those who help you. Notice in vs. 6 the idea of blessing your teacher. It is passages like this that spur gifts being given for not only the Pastor (e.g., anniversary, etc.), but also for lay teachers and those who are helping you to grow in the Lord.
Let’s be kind to those who are helping us. When we bless those who represent God, we bless God who will bless us back (see Mt. 10:40-42).
- Sowing and reaping. Notice in vss. 7-10 the idea of reaping what we sow. When we sow bad, we reap bad. But when we sow goodness, we reap goodness. Let’s work on sowing goodness. God is calling us to be known for doing good to all people (e.g., community involvement vision, etc.).
Conclusion: Let’s work on producing the right fruit. God has much for those who obey His will.