Galatians 6:6-18

Galatians 6:6
Let him that is taught in the word
communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Acts 2:42
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles 'doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.


I placed these two verses here for comparison, specifically, for the consideration of the words communicate and fellowship. Both of these words, come from a common root, and the foundational meaning in both passages is communion or fellowship.
Therefore, if we stay true to the text, Paul is encouraging the spiritually mature Christians in Galatia to maintain fellowship with their instructors in the truth. In addition, fellowship with the Judaizers must be broken.


Galatians 6:7, 8
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.


You can rest assured that if you allow yourself to sit under the teachings of false doctrine, there will be spiritually negative results. For those that have not been following along with us, clarification is in order.
The Judaizers were instructing the Galatians to add Law, specifically, circumcision to their faith. While modern day preachers do not suggest circumcision be added, rest assured that false doctrine is alive and well in the modern church. Furthermore, the preachers that have the most exposure teach the pastors who stand behind pulpits in small town America. From the TV, to the pulpit, the people are instructed in a false gospel that leads to failure rather than freedom.
The people are led to trust in another Jesus, a Jesus that winks at sin, a Jesus that is more concerned about your finances than your faithfulness, and a Jesus that gives grace based on your performance rather than your faith in His sacrifice.
Paul is instructing them and us to not be deceived. God will not be mocked. The context of this passage is that if you sit under false teaching and allow seeds of a destructive gospel to be planted in the soil of your heart, the result will be a harvest of failure, a fleshly Christian life, which lacks the testimony of Jesus.


Galatians 6:9-10
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


The idea of the word weary in this verse was used in these times to describe the condition of a person who was exhausted, and even dehydrated from working in the field, worn out from reaping the harvest. The exhortation is don't grow weary child of God! Don't give up working the harvest! Souls are hanging in the balance, every day they are slipping away! God has given us a harvest to reap. He has placed you in a certain place, amongst certain people, and there is no one else to reap your portion of the field- it is your portion to reap.

John 4:35
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you,
Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Matthew 9:37
Then saith he unto his disciples,
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;

If you don't labor, if I don't labor, who will labor?


Galatians 6:11-12
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they
constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

By writing a portion of the letter in his own hand writing, it was like Paul was providing a signature for proof. He states that the Judaizers were constraining the Galatians. The word constrain means to compel through threats. Essentially, the Judaizers were threatening the  Galatian Christians out of their position in Christ and into a false gospel. Paul goes on to point out that the Judaizers are compelling you to be circumcised because they are scared to be persecuted for the cross.
You see you have to understand that the early church was made up of Jewish Christians, and as the New Testament Gospel became clearer, it was becoming more obvious that the old ways of Judaism would have to be rejected. It is important that we understand that this was a painful process for these Jerusalem Christians, resulting in persecution, disowned by family, finances lost, ridiculed and ostracized by the establishment.
Much of this is happening today. Many in the church refuse to take a stand for the truth, refusing to take a stand against sin, refusing to preach the cross and the shed blood of Jesus as the only way to gain access to the presence of God.
So the Judaizers are scared to take a stand and be persecuted. But look what Paul says about himself in verse 17


Galatians 6:17
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.


How do you scare a man like this? He has already been beaten, whipped, imprisoned, and stoned; yet, he preaches. He preaches, corrects, and rebukes. Even when it is not what is popular, even when it is not conducive with the health of his body, he stands for Jesus, and he does what is best for the precious bride. Jesus loves His bride church, and He doesn't appreciate it when people lie to her and send her in the wrong direction, a direction that brings her away from Him.


Galatians 6:13-15
For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should
glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Man cannot keep the Law. No one knows this better than Paul. We have already discussed this in detail on more than one occasion. These false prophets are compelling the Galatians to be circumcised in order to be “right” with God, but Paul is no fool. He knows they are living fleshly lives themselves. The only desire they have is to brag to others about the "work" they have done, "Yeah, we went down there to Galatia where Paul was teaching only Jesus, and we convinced them to be circumcised. Look, here's the numbers. Read them and weep look how many we brought in."

It seems as though, they were bragging over numbers, and the same garbage is going on today.
But Paul says that he only glories in one thing and that one thing is the cross of Christ because the goal of the Gospel is not circumcision or uncircumcision; instead, the true Gospel results in a
new creation.

Galatians 6:16
And as many as walk according to this rule,
peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.


The word rule here is Kanon and describes a straight rod, which is connected to something for the purpose of keeping it straight, a plumb line, a tool used to measure something else up against. Paul is saying that if any man or woman will order their lives and their doctrine according to this straight line, a new creation in Christ, then they are walking the straight and narrow. Furthermore, the person who lives their lives according to this rule, peace will be on their lives.
Since we already covered verse 17, we will go ahead and go to:


Galatians 6:18
Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
To [the Galatians written from Rome.]


This is what we need saints; we desperately need the grace of Jesus to be with our spirits, and the grace of Jesus operates in the spirits of those who are new creations.

Galatians 6:1-6

Last week we covered all but one of the fruit of the Spirit. The one we did not cover is Faith. This is how the word is presented in the KJV, but in some of the newer translations, including the NKJV, the word faithfulness is used.
To be truthful, faithfulness is a better translation than faith in this instance. Consider what types of words that the lusts and the fruit have been: they have been adjectives. The word faith could be used in a variety of ways: noun, verb, adjective. If we were to say, "The faith", then we are speaking of the Christian faith, the essence of the Gospel, Jesus Christ and Him crucified, which would be a noun. But when we speak of exhibiting or keeping faith in "the faith", then the word would be a verb. Let me explain more thoroughly.
If "the faith" (a noun), as we just mentioned, ultimately describes the covenant God offered sinful humanity: Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then when we exhibit trust or belief in that truth, the word faith now has action- we are actively believing.
However, in the passages we have been studying recently the words were descriptive, describing behaviors, behaviors that we said could act as a mirror in our lives. These adjectives describe the behaviors we exhibit; therefore, they are an indicator of whether we are walking in the flesh or the Spirit, depending upon our produce.
Ultimately, the point I am trying to make is that faithfulness in this passage is another fruit of the Spirit; it is another adjective of the Spirit that is produced in the life of the believer. When the believer steadfastly keeps his faith in "the faith" (Jesus Christ- the promised seed & Him Crucified- the sacrifice), the Holy Spirit produces the adjective
faithfulness in his life.
Faithfulness-  constancy, steadfastness, assurance.
As we determine to keep our faith properly anchored in Christ, the Holy Spirit responds by producing faithfulness in our lives, which strengthens our ability to keep faith in Christ, resulting in our growing in Christ, which means we will look more like Him and less like us every day.
This provides a wonderful transition into chapter 6.


Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

I say it provides a good transition because what Paul exhorts in verse 1 of chapter 6 is what Jesus did for all of us. Obviously, there were some in Galatia who were still holding onto the doctrine that Paul had taught them when he was there. He refers to them as the "spiritual" ones. A spiritual Christian will emulate the actions of Jesus. Some of the believer's had turned to the doctrine of the Judaizer's, which was resulting in the production of sinful fruit in their lives. Paul's exhortation is: do not cause division and strife producing factions; instead, restore, restore with gentleness, kindness, and selflessness. Ultimately, this is what Jesus did for us. If we are not careful, we will want to write off people when they connect themselves to false doctrine and find themselves in a mess. Our fruit may want to say, "Oh well, we warned you, didn't we?" But remember the fruit of long suffering- patience in relationships.
If you walk around with a spirit of pride rather than humility about someone else's faults and failures, you may find yourself struggling in the same sin. Ultimately, these failing Galatians are failing because they have embraced a false Gospel. It should be understood that this is also the plight of the modern church.
 Pulpits across America have been infiltrated with a works based, social, or greed gospel that focuses on people's physical rather than spiritual needs, resulting in apathetic Christians, Christians who live lukewarm sinful lives, lives that are bound and incapable of seeing past their own two feet, incapable of seeing that there is a soul they work with, go to school with, or keep bumping into at Wal- Mart, a soul that is slipping into an eternal hell full of torment, torment and torture from ruthless demon spirits, and it all occurs because the Christian was bound in sin and asleep on the job.
You preach too hard man! No! I don't preach hard enough. How dare we fall asleep on the job. The very ones who have been entrusted with the oracles of God falling asleep at the wheel as humanity travels closer and closer to the end of this journey called the church age. Wake up Christian!


Arise! Rub rust away from lead filled eyes, yawn and stretch and stand up right.
Awaken sleepy Christian! Prepare! Engage the fight!
The battle rages!  Conflict ensues!
And the eternity of that soul right there includes the use of you !



 Galatians 6:2

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of (the) Christ.


Jesus didn't give up on you Christian. Don't you give up on another believer. You pray for them, exhort them, share the Gospel with them, and bear their burdens; we need to help each other through this thing. The forces of evil are trying to destroy us. Jesus bore our burdens and we need to be willing to bear the burdens of our brothers'. I can't bear your sin. Jesus already did that, but I can encourage you. I can help instruct you in the ways of God.
In the life of a true Christian, failure will produce a burdensome process of grief. This Christian requires the help of a spiritually mature brother or sister in the Lord, a Christian producing the Spirit's fruit, fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering; this failing Christian does not need the help of a lust producing Christian who is full of selfishness and has no time for anyone other than himself.


Galatians 6:3-4
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.


The idea of the word prove describes a testing, testing similar to the way metal is tested; when fire is applied to metal, a lot of information is extracted. Different levels of temperature are required to produce melting points for different types of metals; additionally, when enough heat is applied, the impurities are removed from the metal's nature, resulting in a purer product.
Similarly, the life of the believer is tested through trials and the resulting response that ensues. Does the Christian respond in a God honoring way, or does he produce the lusts of the flesh in response to the heat that is applied to his life. In addition, trials and tribulations provide opportunities for Christians to reflect on their response to those situations, providing a context of how not to respond in the future.
The main idea in this passage though is related to what was said right before it. Previously, Paul said that the spiritual Christian restores a fallen brother with meekness and gentleness; essentially, he is concerned for the well-being of that person, but the idea here is that a Christian who lacks spiritual maturity may look at another person's failure as an opportunity to judge himself righteous in comparison. We have spoken of this multiple times, but this is called
relative righteousness. In other words, relative to what they do, I am righteous; but you are not the standard; they are not the standard; I am not the standard; Jesus is the standard!
So the Christian who perceives himself as something spiritual when comparing himself to other Christians around him is deceiving himself. Instead, he should rightly judge his own fruit, his own responses to situations and circumstances; this provides a better context, a context for accurate assessment of his own Christianity.
Ultimately, if this assessment results in a passed test, he has something to glory about regarding himself. We need to be careful here because the idea is not a prideful glorying of self. Contrarily, the idea is that because the believer has submitted himself to the truth of the Gospel, faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified; he has been granted access to the presence and the grace, access to the presence and grace of God produces the life of God on the inside of the believer, resulting in the production of the Spirit's fruit in his life, resulting in joy (glorying) in the fact that the old man and his behaviors are dying daily, while the new man and his behaviors are resembling Jesus more and more every day.


Galatians 6:5
For every man shall bear his own burden.



Ultimately, a process of growth and spiritual maturity results where the believer is able to endure the trials and bear the burdens he has been called to bear, growing in Christ as he journeys over these hills and through these valleys, eventually able to help bear the burdens of others as they embark upon this journey called Christianity.


Galatians 5:22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


As previously mentioned,, the fruit and the lusts act as a mirror in the life of the believer. Our behaviors reflect what our lives are producing. So when you review your life as a Christian, what do you see? What do you produce? It is imperative that you evaluate your actions because Paul said a man must examine himself.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (scrutinize) your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates
(unfit, does not stand the test; therefore, it is cast away)?

Hopefully, when we examine our lives, we do not see too many of those lusts of the flesh being produced. When a person understands who he is in Christ, understanding that a supernatural transformation has taken place through faith, understanding that the old man died in Christ and that a new man has been resurrected, understanding that his life is not his own and that he has been bought with a price, this man, understands that his behavior must line up with the Word of God.
We can no longer walk around fulfilling the lusts of the flesh because the Holy Spirit in us will not permit it. Furthermore, Christians who attempt to live in sin will find themselves increasingly more uncomfortable, a lack of peace will pervade their life, ultimately resulting in one of two things: (1) he will be so uncomfortable he will repent and through the grace of God turn (2) he will continue in sin, be moved further from the presence of God, and ultimately, he will be destroyed (Proverbs 29:1).
(1). Love- we have already spoken about love. Love is who God is:
1 John 4:7-10

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
We described love through 1 Corinthians 13. We discussed the fact that if Love is God, then hate is Satan. The love of God produces joy and peace; whereas, the hate of Satan produces fear.
I need to tell someone tonight that the enemy of your soul is a terrorist. His hatred for you wants to destroy you, and he wants to rule you through the bondage of fear. But God is love and:


1 John 4:17-18
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

(2). Joy - cheerfulness, calm delight.
In the society that we live in today, it is difficult for people to be calm, delightful and full of cheer; for the most part this is because, people are seeking joy and fulfillment everywhere other than in Christ. They look to their jobs, increase in pay, family, relationships, partying...
Fulfillment, or true joy, cannot come from external sources. True joy and fulfillment can only come when a person allows their lives to be swallowed up into the will of God. If you have invited Him into your life and asked Him to be the savior of your soul, but have not allowed Him to rule on the throne of your heart and be the Lord or king of your life, you do not have Godly joy flowing through you.
Joy can be present even when things don't go your way because when you really begin to relinquish control of your life to God, you come to the conclusion that He knows what is best for you; therefore, if it didn’t go the way you expected, then it wasn't what He wanted for you. Unfortunately, there is often a journey that must be travelled before we leave this place of selfishness and self- centeredness and become convinced that He knows better than us what is best for our lives. And many times instead of the Christian saying, “Here is my life Lord. Do with me what you see fit.” The Christian screams, “But I want it God!" with his fists balled up and stomping his feet on the ground.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit; it is not something we manufacture. When we begin to trust God with our lives, and things go different than what we expect, we should be learning as we are maturing that He is grooming us for His perfect will, so be joyous in that. Be joyous in the fact that you didn't get what you wanted because it would have caused a bigger mess down the road- you didn't know it, but He did. Be joyous in the fact that while you might not have gotten what you desired then, it doesn't mean you never will. Be joyous because if it is His will for your life that you have it, when you do receive it, you will be ready to keep it, and not just lose it again like all the times before.
(3). Peace- quiet, rest, harmony, safety
Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful (persistent anxious worry)
for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In the first passage I used, the idea that Paul is communicating is that a person living in the midst of the kingdom of God is not attempting to fill himself with food and drink, those things will not bring fulfillment and happiness. Instead, the Kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We have clearly established that true righteousness is a verdict spoken over a person's life by God when they place their faith in Jesus and what He accomplished for them when He died in their place on the cross.
The result is that they have been translated from darkness to light (Col 1:13), now connected to the vine (JN 15), there is access to a continual flow of grace given to the believer through the person of the holy Spirit, available exclusively because of what Jesus accomplished at Calvary. Righteous standing before God (In Christ) gives access to grace, which produces peace and joy in the life of the believer.
In the second passage, the idea of being careful for nothing literally means don't be anxious or constantly worried. God does not want us living in a perpetual state of worry. Worry is a result of fear that needs won't be met or that bad things will happen and there is no hope.
This is not victorious Christianity. When you feel the waves of worry trying to crash upon your shore, you get alone in the presence of God. Don't run to your Pastor! Don't run to the preacher! Don't run to your husband, your momma or your daddy! Run to Jesus! He gave His life so you could have access to the presence of God. When God is in your circumstances, there is peace! I don't care what the problem your facing is; when God is present, there is peace!
That brings me to the last point I want to make about peace. As Christians, we need to train ourselves to understand how to allow the peace of God to be the umpire in our lives. In other words, true Christians are constantly looking for direction in their lives, singles about relationships, couples about finances and children, individuals about jobs. Every day, there are decisions to be made, and as a Christian, you no longer have the right to make your own decisions that do not include God. Well, that isn't exactly true, you can do whatever you want; you can make your own decisions. I mean think about it, you always did before, why change now? Do it your way- why not it worked well for the last 20 years right?
Part of the beauty of serving God is us willingly relinquishing and turning our lives over to Him, entrusting every aspect of our lives to Him, allowing our will to be swallowed up in His will. He will not force you to go His way, but if you want peace you better learn how to.
And that is probably the strongest sign that you are in God's will: the peace of God is present in the midst of that circumstance. But that is something we must learn how to follow because we are used to controlling our own lives.
(4). Longsuffering- patience in relationships.
It never fails no matter how hard we try people get on our nerves, and we have a difficult time forgiving them. The fruit of longsuffering gives us patience. One important thing to remember is that God has been longsuffering with us. Think about all the times we failed Him, He never gave up on us.
But remember, it is fruit of the Spirit not a fruit of you. What does that mean? It means when you feel frustration and bitterness towards someone, you have to go to God, acknowledge you have something in you that you need Him to deal with and ask Him to produce the fruit of longsuffering in you.
(5). Gentleness- kindness, moral excellence.
(6). Goodness- uprightness of heart
(7). Meekness- humility
I lumped all three of these together because they are in some way similar. Basically, I just want to say that there is right and wrong. When a person is allowing the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in his
life, he will do the right thing when it comes to other people. Now, I have to say that to some people this means that there is never any conflict going on. I don't agree; evil is constantly trying to destroy the truth of God, and sometimes there will be disagreements over certain things; however, the heart of a true Christian will have at its core concern for God's people and the truth- not aggrandizement of self.
(8). Temperance- self-control.
It is important that we understand this is not the same as will power. Will power is something that man produces through his own strength. Instead, temperance is a fruit of the Spirit. Yes, we have to say, “No”. We have to say when it is enough and stop, but the Holy Spirit is the one giving us the power to do it.


Galatians 5:24-26
And they that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.


Once again, this is how it is all possible. Because the old man was crucified with Christ, the old man's appetites and cravings were also crucified. Because we are dead to sin and alive to God, we can say no to the things that use to destroy us. But the Christian, who has had a position change and now lives in the neighborhood where grace abounds, should be exhibiting a lifestyle that reflects his new position. When we live properly in the new realm and grace is changing us, we will not be self-seeking; instead, we will be seeking His will for our lives.


Galatians 5:19-21 (Part 3)

Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

We have already covered much of this in detail and tonight we will finish the lusts of the flesh. Some may be wondering, why would you spend so much time on the lusts of the flesh? Take a look at the last verse of this passage: they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
I think that it is extremely important that we understand what God expects from us regarding our Christian behavior.  We live in the midst of a society that has influenced the church. Postmodern thought has crossed sacred boundaries and spilled onto holy ground. The postmodern mindset is that there is no, central focal point- (God), there isn’t any central truth- (the Word of God); instead, truth and focus is what we choose. We create our own boundaries and attach our own meanings to thoughts and words.
In this postmodern thought, who is to say what sin is? What may be sin for you may be fun for me. Who are you to apply an overall reaching standard, which provides a context for acceptable or unacceptable behavior? As a matter of fact, you offend me with your narrow-minded ways. I don't want to go to your church, if you are going to force those views on me.
The result is that the people perish in the pews, because the preacher allows society to dictate his message rather than the Word of God. He refuses, for fear of empty pews, to preach a message revealing sin. And the people remain in their sinful lifestyles; they continue in selfishness; they continue in pre-marital sexual relationships; they continue checking in at the bar on their Facebook page; they continue in homo-sexual lifestyles; they continue their addiction to porn; they continue to stagger, weakened in their anemic Christianity, sitting under a cancerous, false gospel that is destroying the life of God on the inside of them. This is why I point it out because the Christian should be given the truth so that he can properly evaluate his stance, so that he can properly determine whether he is truly in the faith, so that he will not be deceived, and when he breathes his last physical breath here, and takes his first spiritual breath in eternity that he will not awaken in an eternal torment that he was never warned about!


...strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like... These are the words we will be covering today. "and such like." This phrase informs us that this list is not all inclusive; instead, it is a roadmap intended to make believers aware of what type of behaviors are contrary to the character of Christ, and therefore, contrary to the character of a true Christian.
Our original teaching covered mostly sexual sins. Last week the ones we covered affected our social encounters with others. Those behaviors were rooted in selfishness; furthermore, many of the ones we will cover tonight are also exhibited in the lives of selfish people.
(1). Strife (KJV) Selfish ambition (NIV) Vigorous conflict; rivalry.
Many of us have faced this scenario at the workplace. Other people, through selfish ambition, attempt to make themselves look good, while making others look bad. This describes the "dog eat dog" world we live in- "every man for himself." But this mindset is contrary to the heart of God.


Philippians 2:3
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.


The idea of strife can also be something that resides in the mind long before it is manifested outwardly:


James 3:13-16
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.



(2). Seditions (KJV) Dissensions (NIV)- disunity; division: schisms and factions. This scenario can take place anywhere ranging from the church, to the house, to society in general.
The most obvious scenario to me would be a group of women who congregate by themselves and talk about others negatively; they talk about how the others are not as good as them, and in their heart, believe they are not good enough to be in their group. Therefore, they leave them hurting on the outside of the group, and the whole while they are gossiping about how unworthy they are; instead, of speaking life into them.
We have to be careful about this type of thing in the church, we can begin to think we are so right and everyone else is so wrong that we begin to separate and isolate ourselves from other members in the body of Christ.
(3). Heresies (KJV) Factions (NIV)- these two words seem to be completely different when compared between the two translations. Typically, when we hear the word heresies, we understand the word to mean false doctrine.  Therefore, it may seem as though someone missed it in the translation since heresies and factions seem to be so much different.  In reality, the word does have a factious idea to it. Strong's Greek Dictionary describes this word a couple different ways. One way it is described is as a group of men who have separated themselves and follow their own teachings.
Also, it is defined as capturing a city by storm. For the most part, we would believe that this word describes bad principles related to doctrine. Therefore, when these two concepts are combined, the result is a cult. You end up with groups of people with bad doctrine who separate themselves from the rest of the church, ultimately, resulting in taking its followers hostage like a city that is taken by storm.
(4). Envyings (KJV) Envy (NIV)- uneasy distress- torture of the mind- a grieving or emotional distress over the good of others, that any should be in an equal, or in a better condition than themselves.
Someone tells you they got a raise; you’re not happy; instead, you’re unhappy because you didn't get a raise, you didn't get to preach, you didn't get a new car, a new house, a new dress, and it eats at you; there is a lack of peace in your life over the whole situation.
(5). Murders (KJV)- this is the final result  of all the above lusts of the flesh boiling over in the heart of humanity. The final result is the heart of Cain: hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies and envy taking over, ultimately resulting in murder.
(6). Drunkenness and Revelry (KJV) Drunkenness and Orgies (NIV)- these lusts of the flesh are very much applicable to our lives in South Louisiana. The definition specifically uses the idea of intoxication and sexual intercourse, specifically orgies, in the midst of Bacchus worship- this my friends is Mardi gras.


Galatians 5:19-20 (Part 2)

Galatians 5:19-20 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath..."

Last week, we contrasted the concepts works vs. fruit, determining that works carry the connotation of toil, sweat, and self-effort; whereas, fruit is a naturally or supernaturally occurring process, where the internal is manifested externally.
Ultimately, when a believer attempts, through religious behavior to make himself righteous, or he believes he is better because of something inherent in him, the lusts of the flesh will be apparent in his life. On the other hand, the believer, who understands what it means to be a true follower of God; understanding he is righteous and capable of pleasing God only because he accepted the righteous one of God; understanding that he is incapable within himself of producing behavior pleasing to God; understanding he must submit his life and allow the Holy Spirit to have his way, for this believer, the result will be the production of fruit in his life because what is on the inside- the Holy Spirit- will be allowed to be manifested outwardly.
Last week we covered: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, and witchcraft; this week, we will cover: hatred, variance, emulations, and wrath; in addition, we will mention a couple of the fruits of the Spirit, which provide a contrast to these lusts of the flesh.
Last week, the words we covered focused primarily on sexual sins; whereas, this week, the words will focus on social relationships: how we engage other people.
(1) Hatred- the word hatred describes: hostility, opposition, and enmity. God is love; Satan is hatred.
The interesting thing about many of these adjectives we will discuss today is that they are not overtly obvious; instead, they are hidden seeds sown in the heart; they germinate slowly, finally sprouting into disastrous consequences.

Jesus said: Matthew 5:21-28
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That
whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca (a term of reproach meaning senseless), shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool (stupid), shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

Jesus is focusing upon what is taking place internally- in the heart of the believer. When you look at certain people, do you feel disdain and disgust towards them? Do you secretly wish that they were gone? How much better life would be if they would just go away...? I don't want to kill them; I just want them to go away.
Hatred, enmity, hostility, ill will, are all adjectives describing the heart of Cain who wiped the existence of his brother from the earth. Cain's sin began as hatred in the heart before it ever manifested outwardly as the first murder.
Love is the opposite of hate; love is the nature of God. Truthfully, we could say that all the subsequent fruit of the Spirit that will follow are simply more specific adjectives, which more clearly describe the loving nature of God.
Let's see how the Bible defines love:

1 Corinthians 13 "1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love)vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love)."
(2). Variance (KJV):  Discord (NIV)- lacking harmony, quarreling, disagreement, strife.
A good example here may be divorced relationships. Unfortunately, even the church is experiencing divorce at an alarming rate. Let's create a scenario. One spouse, for whatever reason, has an affair on the other spouse. They committed adultery, unbridled lust consumes them, repentance never takes place, and selfish divorce ensues. Now, in the partner, hatred begins to manifest in the heart, ill will, antagonism, hostility.
Then the sins of the heart begin to manifest into retaliatory actions; the other spouse commits adultery, fornication, full of all manner of unclean thoughts, all the while hatred growing every day.
Time passes, the court date arrives, the verdict is in, joint custody, split everything down the middle. The judge gives specific orders: hire a chain saw crew, everything is to be cut in half and make the lines straight, the flesh wants every bit it has coming. Cut the car, cut the house, line up the children and split them in half.
 The spouse did me wrong. They hurt me deep. I wasn't perfect, but I didn't deserve what they did, and now, they must feel it. Only, the offending spouse is not the one that feels it, they have moved on in their selfish little world: new spouse, new house, and new car.  Instead, it is the children who now experience the hatred, the discord, the hostility, the anger. The seed is carried by this wind of hatred and anger and sown in the heart of the child, lying dormant, the seeds wait; they wait to germinate. They spring forth when life spits again on them, it’s bound to happen, it’s just a matter of time, because life always spits on us at some point. Sadly, in this scenario, the child’s example is the selfishness of the parents rather than the selflessness of Christ, and the cycle ensues.
Back to the offended spouse, can you picture how this person feels? The very sight of the one who originally cheated evokes visceral anger, variance, or discord...whatever word you prefer, but the idea is that there is no harmony or joy.
Let's talk about the fruit of the Spirit called joy for a moment because this person needs some joy badly right now.
The word joy in the Greek describes calm delight or gladness. The question that begs to be asked is how, in the midst of this mess, could a person experience: calm, delight, and gladness? The answer is simple; joy is a fruit of the Spirit; joy is not manufactured by man; joy is what takes place when the believer allows Jesus to live His life through them. In order for this to take place, self must die so that Jesus can live; "I must decrease; He must increase.

John 15:1-13
The True Vine
1 “ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and
every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit (Hebrews 12:6-11). 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “ I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “ As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

11 “ These things I have spoken to you, that
My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

People have been known to ask the question, but who are my friends Lord; who are my neighbors?
 (LK 10:23-36).

(3). Emulations (KJV): Jealousy (NIV)- envious and contentious rivalry.
 Cain's jealous envy over God accepting Abel’s sacrifice and rejecting his, initiated his hatred, resulting in a fit of rage, culminating with the murder of his brother. When you have been called and gifted, but see someone else with the opportunity you thought was yours, how do you respond? What do you hear in your heart when you see God place His anointing upon someone and use them; are you joyous or jealous; do you feel harmony or discord; is the root of your emotion: love or hate?
Love does not put itself forward; love desires that others do well; love realizes that it is not their kingdom; instead, it all belongs to God.
(4). Wrath (KJV):  Fits of rage (NIV)- these are not your normal little bouts of frustration.
Instead, these are flesh/sin driven fits of anger causing Christians to cuss, scream, bang, and throw; then the dust clears, the shoulders shrug, and the mind justifies, "It was them; they made me do it." No sir! It was you; it was your fruit; it was your flesh; it was your mirror. Something is wrong!
 What is the object of your faith? Have you been trusting in your Christian performance instead of remembering that access to grace comes through faith in the redemption plan of God...because that is faith in works sir/ ma'am, which will ultimately lead to failure.  Or better yet are you just refusing to submit to the Gospel message, and instead, holding on with all your might to SELF?


Galatians 5:19 & part of 20 (Part 1)

Galatians 5:19
Now the
works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft…

Before we begin to look at the individual adjectives describing the flesh, I want to point out a couple concepts. First, consider the word works of the flesh. Ultimately, what is being contrasted in the rest of this chapter is the Spirit and the flesh, more specifically, the products from those two entities.
Think about the concept of these two words:
fruit and works. Works denote the idea of toil and sweat and human effort, earning a right, a right to attain something as a reward, or payment for services rendered. Fruit, on the other hand, cannot be manufactured with human hands. Instead, it is a product that naturally occurs. It is manifested outwardly because it is contained inwardly. In other words, an apple tree produces apples because it is an apple tree internally.  Similarly, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in people’s lives through a natural or shall I say a supernatural process. The point I am trying to make is that the fruit of the Spirit is not produced through self-effort. Instead, it is a supernatural process that takes place in the believer’s life when he allows the Holy Spirit to rule and reign. In the words of the mighty John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease!” (John 3:30) The essence of the Gospel teaches us that in order for resurrection power to be present, a crucifixion death must occur. What area of your life needs the cross applied to it so that the resurrection power (fruit of the Spirit) can be manifested in that area?
The word
works is ergon in the Greek. From this Greek word, we have the English word ergonomics. The definition of ergonomics is human engineering.
Works in Christianity are not bad in themselves. Christians do produce good works. As we have discussed on multiple occasions, works become a problem when we begin to view our righteousness or grade how well we are doing with God based on human engineering (what I do and present before God- “Cain’s vegetables”[Genesis 4]). If the Christian were going to be honest with himself, he would admit that he has done this in his heart on numerous occasions: “Obviously, I am doing better than that Christian- look at what I do compared to them; I pray; I fast; I don’t cuss; I don’t drink, I raise two hands in church, they only raise one; I am in charge of two ministries, my husband fishes…” True righteousness is a person named Jesus. His righteousness is given to Christians based upon faith; an exchange took place; we received His righteousness; and He took our guilt, when He died in our place.
Unfortunately, Christians and sinners alike engineer products out of their sinful flesh. The unbeliever engineers these products because this is all he knows. The believer unknowingly engineers them because he attempts to clean himself through self- help, motivation, Christian disciplines, which all focus on self- performance. The cross should be an ever present reminder that humanity had nothing to offer God; instead, God offers Jesus to man. To the religious of heart this is offensive because he wants to be seen for his human engineering. Like a little toddler in diapers, he slings his “ba-ba” across the room and screams, “Look at me! Look at what I do for God!”
A while back I taught:
Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
God’s promises were not manifesting the way Abraham and Sarah expected, through their slave Hagar, a child was produced, a child of the flesh, brought forth in their own strength and wisdom. In this Galatians passage, Paul explains that these two women, Sarah and Hagar, represent the two covenants, the old and the new, law and grace.
God told Abraham to cast both the woman and the lad (boy) out; Hagar and Ishmael had to go! So the woman is the Law and the son is the product of the Law. The presence of both intolerable to God's plan of future promise, the New Covenant, faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  And so it is for the Christian. God will not allow His children to function under the old system of legalism and self-performance. The Law that affects the New Testament believer is legalistic Christianity, synonymous with the (works) of the flesh, and the offspring of this union between Christian and law are the lusts of the flesh, which we will soon review.
If you go back to the beginning part of the passage, it states that these works of the flesh are
manifest. The idea is that they are apparent or visible. This is important- so pay attention! The lust of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit can serve as a mirror in the lives of believers. A person can gauge whether they are walking in the Spirit versus the flesh by observing which fruit is being produced in their lives.
(1) Adultery- The obvious idea of adultery is when a man or woman has intercourse with someone else's spouse. In addition, there was an old Hebrew idiom (thought) that described a man being lured by a woman into idolatry. In other words, he was seduced to commit spiritual adultery on God (Proverbs 7). Sadly, this was the downfall of Solomon, the wisest man ever known, his insatiable appetite for women, resulting in his worship of their gods. If you review Revelation 17:3-6, you will see the spirit of false religion, a woman drunk with blood, drunk with the blood of the saints; for thousands of years, she has seduced men to commit spiritual adultery on God through false religion. Sadly, this includes much of the garbage we call Christianity on television today.
I would like to bring out one more point about adultery. Jesus said that when you look upon a woman with lustful intent you have committed adultery. In other words, it is not alright to have sex with people in your mind even though you’re not doing it physically. I am here to tell you that Jesus will give you victory in your thought life also if you will submit your thought life to Him, and apply the theology of the cross to that area of your life. How does this happen? Through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, you can’t do it, you can’t quote it away, pray it away, or fast it away, the cross has to kill it. How does that happen? The believer realizes that he is helpless in himself, Jesus died to set him free, at the cross the victory was already won, faith in His work gives him access to grace, and fruit appears on the tree.
(2) Fornication-We get the English word fornication from the Greek word
porneia. This word describes illicit sex of any kind: lesbianism, homosexuality, bestiality, incest. I am sure that people at this point are saying, "Dude I'm not that bad.  I have sex, but I mean come on man everybody has sex. And I only have sex with one person. We're not married, but we're engaged." People that know anything about God, but aren't living for him say that a lot now, "This is my fiancee." That means we do it (sex) but we are going to make it right one day. But that is the world's perception of what is acceptable- not God's! God says that the marriage bed is undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). God instituted the covenant of marriage in the garden. One woman. When it is done God's way it is a covenant that has Him as the glue that holds it all together.
(3) Uncleanness-  This word describes sensual impurity. The NIV uses the word sexual immorality. This word includes the concept of people who live constantly with impure thoughts. Guys you know what I'm talking about. If you ever worked in the oilfield everything was always hyper-sexual. I remember, after I was a Christian I had a friend in Nursing school that I spent some time with. Invariably, if we would see a pretty girl he would say, "Boy I would like to see her naked.” This was all the time everywhere we went. And I'm not going to lie I was struggling with lust as a Christian because I did not know how to properly access grace. So he would say it...then I would say, "Shut up! Boy your crazy!" But the whole time my mind is struggling with the thought of it. The adultery of the mind Jesus spoke of could have been placed here also.
(4) Lasciviousness- other words that have been used in its place are debauchery, or wantonness. This word describes lawless behavior. In this sense, there is no regard for societal ethics. You could get the picture of a couple rednecks riding in the back of a truck “hooting and hollering”, drinking and littering, dipping and get the picture. Also, a young man that doesn't care that a young lady's father has spoken to her about preserving herself for the right man that she will marry.  I am not worried about that- I want some sex, he thinks in his heart.


The word has also been used to describe impertinence. The definition of Impertinence = intrusive, rude, presumptuous in one’s actions. This could cover all levels of the spectrum from snubbing one’s nose at the cops and telling them off, to just being plain rude and crossing boundaries that are not yours to cross. In other words, telling people things about themselves that are hurtful and rude and ultimately are not going to help anything because it was done with the wrong spirit to begin with.


(5) Idolatry- idolatry can take multiple forms. We often envision graven images. But when you get to the bottom of what idols are and do, they take the place of and serve as God in a person's life. Instead of God being the focal point, these things become the focus.

(6) Witchcraft- The last word I want to cover is witchcraft. The Greek word is pharmakeia. Obviously, this is where we get the word pharmacy from. As a health care professional, I am certainly not saying that all medicines are bad and anyone who takes medicine is engaging in witchcraft. If that is the case my Nexium makes me a sorcerer. The idea here is the use of mind altering substances in the craft of magical spells or sorcery. This has been a practice sense ancient times. Drugs, alcohol, and mind altering substances used in conjunction with sexual acts have played a huge role in the world of the occult. Aleister Crowley the black magic occultist who was known for his own brand of magic called Thelema or Sex Magick heavily employed the use of mind altering drugs and all manners of fornication. Most people are saying, “Oooohhh gross, I wouldn’t do that.” Well, of course not. But do not think that there are not demon spirits associated with the misuse and abuse of drugs. You can lie to yourself all day long, but if you are in bondage this may be why. If you don’t believe me ask someone you know that has used cocaine whether or not they think a spirit of lust or sexuality is connected to that drug. And it is not only cocaine many drugs and even alcohol are this way.

We live in the midst of a medicated society and for many people their pills have become their gods. People want relief from the trauma of their past and the pain of their present. Unfortunately, many use drugs: narcotics, anxiolytics (Xanax/ Valium), and Anti- depressants to desensitize the hurt they feel. But Jesus wants to fulfill that role in the life of the Christian. Furthermore, when these drugs are misused and abused, they also desensitize the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the words of MIck Jagger, “They go running to the shelter of their mother’s little helper…. A little blue pill.” Help us Lord to run to you as our shelter (Psalm 61:3). Give your people a revelation of being protected under the shadow of your wings

(Psalms 17:8; 36:7; 63:7; 91:1).


Galatians 5:13-18

Galatians 5:13
For, brethren, ye have been
called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

The word 'called' is describing an invitation offered to the Galatians, an invitation of liberty, freedom from the tyranny of sin, available to all upon faith in the finished work of Christ. However, it is imperative that the purpose of this liberty is not misunderstood resulting in misuse, liberty is not permission to live a life of sin, then simply excusing one's failures with the statement, "I'm forgiven by grace."
Paul's exhortation contradicts the thought of unrestrained sin through the use of the word occasion; militarily this term describes a base of operations from which an enemy mounts an attack. Paul also used this word in
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
In this Romans passage, sin used the commandment as a base of operations from which to mount its attack upon the believer; essentially, law is seen as giving strength to sin. In contrast, the Galatians passage describes the believer improperly using his new position of righteousness, purchased by Jesus, as a base of operations to live a sinful life while thinking in his mind, "It's ok because righteousness is based on my
position-not my condition."
So liberty, given through grace, is not a license to sin, nor is it a “Swiffer” to clean up our sloppy mess every time we take another trip to feed at the sin trough; instead, it is an opportunity to serve others through love. The word
serve describes a slave, previously in bondage to sin; new life of freedom awaits the Christian.  

Paul's concern is that the Galatians are leaving their first bondage of heathenism and entering a second bondage of legalism. Bondage of any sort will ultimately prevent the Christian from living their lives the way God intended. Godly slavery is when a person willingly emulates the life of Jesus, who selflessly laid Himself aside for the service of others. Ultimately, this verse serves as a transition point, moving the believer from knowledge to practice, reaching backward, it reminds us of liberty purchased, looking forward, it guides us towards a life of service that will bring others to Christ.

 Galatians 5:14
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


While the Judaizers are trying to bring the Galatians under the bondage of the Law, Paul explains that the essence of the Law is fulfilled in loving others. Jesus explained it this way: Matthew 22:37-40-- Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Jesus accomplished both parts of the previous passage through His sacrificial offering, resulting in an illustration of selfless love towards God and sacrificial devotion towards man. Loving another the way one would love himself requires selflessness rather than selfishness, sacrificially -Jesus gave self for sinners-similarly believers serve God through giving themselves for others. Ultimately, this new life we have received results in us allowing Jesus to live His life through us, which strengthens struggling believers and leads unbelievers into a relationship with Christ. 


Galatians 5:15
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.


While we are not told exactly what was going on between the Galatian believers, it is obvious that there were factions within the congregation engaged in a bitter battle. Moving forward in the chapter reveals that the Galatian's actions towards one another were being produced from the source of their flesh rather than the Spirit of God; improper Christian faith produces improper Christian behavior.
Similar to our natural born families, church families will have disagreements; this is a natural part of Christian growth. Christian growth is stifled in the lives of believers who isolate themselves from the corporate body (church). Will you like everything that goes on in a church? Absolutely not!  But let me ask you this: When your daughter does something you disapprove of, do you go find another daughter, ignore her for 3 weeks, or refuse to fellowship with her? I hope not! Part of the process of growing in Christ is the realization that not everybody is at the same level in their walk, resulting in
opportunities for disappointments and frustrations, providing an atmosphere for us all to grow through practicing selflessness and forgiveness.


Galatians 5:16
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.


The idea of walking in the Spirit describes a believer allowing the Holy Spirit to rule and reign over their hearts; furthermore, in the context of this passage, the emphasis is on the way other people are treated along the journey of Christianity. The Holy Spirit is speaking clearly, "Treat others as Jesus treated you." Believers know right from wrong, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives constantly communicates God's will to us. However, many times we ignore His voice, resulting in behavior that resembles our old man rather than the new man in Christ.

How do I walk in the Spirit? The answer is to know the scriptures, understand the plan of God, and reorder your life around that truth.

What do you mean? It goes back to Galatians 2:20 again. The old person you were died in Christ, through that process, you became a new creation with access to the presence and power of God, which changes people from the inside out. What the Spirit of God is reminding us about is the fact that the old person we were died in Christ, behaviors that were prevalent before, are to be replaced with the character of Jesus.
The term flesh in the Greek describes that physical part of man that is separated from the presence of God, adding the surrounding context, produces the idea that human flesh separate from God is tainted with sin and incapable on its own to produce persistent righteousness. Ultimately, if the believer will walk in the spirit, mindful of his new position in Christ, which provides access to grace, his behavior will begin to resemble Jesus as the memory of his old man’s responses fade away.


Galatians 5:17
For the flesh
lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.


There is an important theological concept in this passage. Once again, the flesh represents the physical person infected with sin, which is synonymous with the sinful nature. When the believer is born again, the sinful nature is not eradicated; instead, the relationship between the believer and the sinful nature dies (Romans 6:1-5). Then, once we see Jesus, we will become like He is, not Deity, but without a sinful nature (1 John 3:2).
Furthermore, upon salvation, the believer becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit; the presence of God literally comes to live on the inside of man. This produces a dichotomy (two opposing forces) within the believer. This idea should not be confused with something like demon possession. An unclean spirit and the Holy Spirit do not dwell in the same vessel. What we are discussing here is the fallen nature of man. When we are born again, there is not an exchange of natures, as previously mentioned, the relationship with the previous nature dies (Romans 6), and the born again believer becomes a
partaker of the divine nature: 2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The word partaker there is koinonos, which means to
share or have fellowship.

Unfortunately, the devil knows how to do CPR on the dead sin natures of Christians who do not understand where to keep their faith anchored. Sin revives sin! And so a war ensues in this Christian's spirit the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit lusts against the flesh, and they are contrary to one another.
The word lust- means
deep passion towards something, depending upon the context, the passion can be good or bad. For instance, the Spirit of God is passionate about only the things of God, and it is in contradiction towards anything sinful. The sinful nature of man, in its activated form, is contrary to the things of God. Ultimately, a battle is raging, and when the sinful nature is active, the believer usually succumbs to the desires of sin rather than the desires of God.


Galatians 5:18
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.


If a believer is following the lead of the Holy Spirit, he will be led straight to the foot of the cross and constantly reminded, here victory was purchased! The Spirit of God will never lead the believer to a system of Law, rules, or regulations, guidance such as this results in bondage, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is liberty-not bondage.


Galatians 5:1-12

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

The word 'liberty' describes freedom from bondage and tyranny. Our faith in Jesus' work on the cross has translated us from a place where we were previously bound and under the tyranny of sin. But in Christ, we have liberty. And the Apostle Paul is telling the Galatians to "stand fast" in that liberty. The idea of standing in that liberty describes a person persevering. In other words, no matter what you face whether it be trials, hardships or persecution, the charge is to persevere. Jesus paid a high price for our liberty. Now it is our job to stand fast and not be moved.

If a believer allows himself to be moved from this place of liberty, he will be moving back into bondage. For the Galatians, they never knew God previously. Therefore, they did not understand the Law. So what kind of bondage would they be going back into?

The Galatians were previously under the bondage of sin. They would have worshiped false gods and lived lives of moral failure. To be honest, they were not unlike we used to be. Paul is warning the Galatians that if they do not stand fast in the liberty that Jesus purchased then they will be willingly putting themselves under bondage. They will be trading in one form of bondage for another. They will have stepped away from the bondage of heathenism into liberty only to submit themselves under a new bondage called religion.

Sadly, this is the plight of many in the modern church including myself. I was saved from a life of sin. I woke up one day and sin no longer felt good. Instead, I was in a prison and could not get out. But hallelujah someone told me the good news of the gospel that Jesus died for sinners like me. And when I put my faith in him it was like the words from the old Charles Wesley hymn:

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior's blood. He died for me who caused His pain! For me? who Him to death pursued? Amazing love how can it be that thou my God should die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature's night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke; my dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee.

Don't be entangled again to bondage Galatians. Don't be entangled again to bondage Christian. Stand fast in the liberty that Jesus purchased for you.

Galatians 5:2-3 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Paul was warning the Galatians that if they allowed themselves to be circumcised for righteousness' sake, then they are disconnecting from Christ. Overall, the idea an attempt to do something outward to become more righteous. If they embraced the Law, they would be indebted to the keeping of the whole Law. And since man cannot keep the whole Law, they would be under the Law's curse.

Jesus would not profit them at that point because the grace that Jesus purchased on the cross is not given to a person based on the doing of Law or performance. Instead, it is given based on faith.

Galatians 5:4 KJV

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4 NKJV

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4 NIV

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galatians 5:4 (NASB)

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

I put all these different translations because I wanted you to be able to see the idea being communicated by the Holy Spirit. First, there is a word in the Greek text that describes the idea that Christ has become of no effect to a person who submits Himself to Law. But look at these verbs used by the other translations: estranged, severed and alienated. Christ has become of no affect because the person has been severed or separated from the supernatural grace that flows through faith in Christ.

The word in the Greek describing this process is apo and the idea is "away from." So because of faith in an improper object, Law rather than grace, the believer is moved to a place where they have been severed from Christ and fallen away from grace.

Now there are a few points we must clarify here: (1) For the Galatians, this is a matter of salvation. They are being told that God's plan includes Law. They are being introduced to another Jesus all together. This will result in a separation from the presence of God. (2) Most Christians in the modern church do not believe they have to keep the Law to be saved, but they are taught that they must perform better when they fail. So the answer to their sin problem is to try harder, pray harder, read more, get involved in more ministry, go to another Christian 12 step Bible study... And it is Law that severs from Christ and causes a falling from grace for daily Christian living.

Listen closely! I am not saying that all these people are going to Hell. I don't know if they ever placed their faith in Jesus properly for salvation or not. What I am saying is that if they are trying to live for God through Law, they are severed from the flow of grace that was purchased at Calvary and they are attempting to live for God in their own strength and that is why they are failing miserably.

One last point I want to make about this verse is that when you fail or sin, you do not fall from grace. When you fail or sin, as a Christian, you are supposed to fall into grace. Grace was purchased by Jesus for sinners. Grace is power from God so that we do not fail, but grace is there to forgive us when we do fail.

Galatians 5:5-6 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

This is the way the Gospel works. Righteousness is produced in the life of the believer through the Holy Spirit dispensing grace in our lives. But the Holy Spirit cannot dispense grace into the life of a person who has no access to grace. Access to grace is freely given to the one who has been declared righteous based on faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. You see when we speak of righteousness; we must be reminded that righteousness starts from a position before it can ever become a condition. In other words, if you want your life to show righteousness then you have to be in the righteous one. When you are in Christ, grace produces righteousness in your life and righteous acts flow through you.

It's not circumcision or un-circumcision that allows righteousness to be produced in our lives. Paul is letting us all know that something outward cannot make righteous; unfortunately, this is where most of the church lives. They are always attempting to do more or try harder to make themselves feel better. Instead, it is faith through love. When you were saved, what did you feel? You should have felt overwhelming joy because your burden of sin was removed. If you had any sense His love should have translated to overwhelming love toward the one who died to give you forgiveness. When we exhibit faith through that love, the result is grace and righteousness.

The opposite of love is fear towards God. When a person is not in right standing with God, he is motivated by fear instead of love. A person who is trying to live for God through Law is being motivated by fear rather than love. He is compelled by his fear to do more and try harder every time he fails. But he is never able to find peace because he is separated from the grace that produces righteousness. His attempt to live for God through Law places him in a perpetual curse because he is in a state of perpetual failure because victory requires grace from God.

Galatians 5:7-10 7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

The tense of the verb ran describes the fact that the Galatians at one time were running the Christian race. When you add the word well, the idea is that they were running the race in an honorable or brave manner, but then someone hindered them.

The idea of the word hindered in the Greek is to cut into or to make an incision. So the overall idea is that the Galatians were doing an honorable and brave job of running the Christian race. They were on the right course, and then another runner cut in on them slowing down their progress.

I wonder how many Christians through the ages have been cut in on? Unfortunately, untold millions have been railroaded by a false gospel as the Galatians were. But it is important that we understand the enemy of our soul has multiple weapons in his arsenal. Yes, he has been known to use addictions, false religion, and family disruption.

But he will also use bitterness. I wonder how many stories are out there of believers who were running an honorable race and then they were cut in on? How many we're doing work for God and the Pastor decided that your service in that area was no longer needed? How did you feel? How did you respond?

Maybe you were married and serving God with your spouse and then they deceived you... they cheated on you. You thought you were running well. You loved God. And now a root of bitterness has cut in on your race. Your progression has been slowed. Will you finish the race child of God?

There are no excuses. Pastors make mistakes just as we do. Spouses are susceptible to the wiles of Satan just like everyone else. Friends and family members are also targets of the enemy’s destruction. In the name of Jesus who loved you and died to purchase your grace, make your move child of God! Move past that thing that has cut in front of you. Repent of your bitterness. Let it go! It will destroy your walk with God. It is slow and insidious, and you will awaken one day and realize you are not even in the race. I know it hurts! I know it is painful! But Jesus didn’t cause the pain. He died to give freedom from the pain.

So the false doctrine of the Judaizers has cut in on the Galatians and moved them away from the truth. When a person is disconnected from the "truth" of the Gospel and moved into a false gospel that teaches another way to victory other than the finished work of Christ, the result is stagnation and a getting off course.

Paul goes on to say that the one who had called them did not tell them to run this way. Then he speaks of a little leaven leavening the whole lump. Recently, we did a study on leaven when we taught the parables. Leavening is the process of fermentation. When yeast or bacteria is introduced into certain food and drink environments, the by- product is the production of carbon dioxide. This serves a purpose of aerating the product in which these organisms were introduced.

However, it is important to understand that when these organisms are introduced into this environment, there is no longer any control of the process. The whole batch becomes tainted and leavened- not just a portion. While it does not happen all at once, it is thoroughly accomplished all the same.

You may find one passage (and that is debatable) in the Bible where leaven is used in a positive fashion. Every other time, leaven is used to describe sin, or more specifically, false doctrine. Listen closely child of God. There are preachers especially on TBN that are preaching a false gospel. It is leaven, and it will insidiously spread throughout the entirety of who you are. It will begin to affect your ability to walk with God because it is false doctrine and it will cut in on your race. Do not get mad! Look at yourself. Look at your walk.  If you are walking in victory fine, turn me off. But if you are not, you better listen to what I am telling you, and you better turn the other person off.

Paul finishes this passage by saying he has confidence that if the Galatians will turn to the Lord that their minds will be set straight and they will get back in the race. Ultimately, the ones who have done this to the Galatians will bear their own judgment. Paul assures that it is coming.

You know just as these Judaizers have done wrong to the Galatians, many Christians have been wronged also. Paul's exhortation to us would be to get your mind right and focused on Christ and a proper presentation of the Gospel. Get back in the race. Let God handle the cleanup…people that do wrong, whether they call themselves Christians or not, will be dealt with by God. I don't know about you, but I don't have time to let those hurts cut in on my race...not if I ever want to hear those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant."

Galatians 5:11-12 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

The word offense describes a stumbling block- something that is in the way and causes one to trip. The context of this passage compares and contrasts circumcision to the cross. If circumcision was being preached by Paul, then he would be accepted by those that were trying to hold onto the old way of doing things. But because he holds firm to the truth of the cross, it has become an offense or stumbling block.

When Paul says that he wishes that they would "cut themselves off", the Greek has the idea of mutilation. The idea is emasculation. There was an area in the region of Galatia where they worshiped the goddess Cybele. One of the ways that the heathen priests would show their selflessness and devotion to this goddess was to castrate themselves.

This is probably the harshest thing that Paul says in all his writings, but his concern is that the people are being led to drink poisonous doctrine. If cutting off the foreskin is going to make you more holy...why stop there? Go on amputate the whole thing. Mutilate yourself if that is what you think is going to bring you salvation.

For us today, maybe the statement should be...if fasting is going to bring you victory over that sin and 3 days without food and water didn't do the trick maybe you should try 2 weeks without food and water. Of course, the result will be physical death.


Galatians 4:21-31

Two Covenants

Galatians 4:21-22 "21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman."

We have talked a lot about Abraham and his offspring, and how his descendants became the nation of Israel. However, when we discuss that aspect of Abraham's life, we are focused upon the descendants that came forth from his son Isaac.

We have not spent any significant time lately discussing Abraham's other son Ishmael. When we take the time to study the life and decisions of Abraham, we learn that when things did not go the way that he expected regarding the promises God had given him, he took matters into his own hands. Without realizing what he was doing, Abraham produced a child of the flesh. There was no way that he could have known then what his actions would create.

Ultimately, as the millennia would pass the Ishmaelite’s were a disenfranchised people. The Jewish people had their God and their place in human history. Christianity had been birthed now for hundreds of years. Yet, there was this people group who seemed to be wandering aimlessly in the Arabia.

Then, just as Paul had warned approximately 600 years prior, the story goes that an angel appeared to a charismatic warrior named Mohammed, and gave him "revelation" about a god named Allah. However, it should be noted that there are sources, which explain that Allah was one of many deities that existed in the polytheistic religions of that area.

When someone tells you that Allah and Jehovah- the God of the Jews are one and the same, it is a lie...they are not one and the same. Mohammed was railroaded by a lying fallen angel. The story goes that it was the angel Gabriel. But an angel of God is not going to preach a gospel that is completely contrary to what God has said before.

Genesis 17:1-22

The Sign of the Covenant

1 When Abram was ninety- nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

The result of Islam is that the story is changed. It is no longer Isaac, but Ishmael that is the promised seed. But the problem is that the Jewish OT predates dates the Quran by thousands of years. In addition to changing who the promised seed was, the Muslim religion also changes the story about Jesus. They state that the real Jesus did not die on the cross. Instead, it was another man named Jesus. The result is that there is no recognition of the importance of the cross as the instrument of God's wrath poured out upon His Son to be the substitute sacrifice for our sin.

People attempt to convince us that Islam is a religion of peace hijacked by radicals, but the truth is that Mohammed was a radical. In the Hadith, which is a commentary of Mohammed's quotes compiled by his followers, Mohammed stated that with one drop of the martyr's blood all his sin is atoned. What this means is that if the martyr gives his life in the fight against the infidel, then his sin is forgiven. In this system, Jesus did not die for humanities’ sin. In this system, the martyr can die for his own sin.

I want to make something clear. Paul did not have all this information about Islam in mind when he wrote this analogy about Isaac and Ishmael because Christianity predates Islam by 600 years. So the religion of the Jews predates Islam by thousands of years and Christianity predates it by hundreds of years, but we're just supposed to buy the lie that Islam has a “holy” book of truth also when they completely changed the Jewish scriptures regarding the promised seed from Isaac to Ismael thousands of years later. And they disregard the atoning sacrifice of Jesus hundreds of years later.

People can call me what they want to call me, but someone is lying and trying to re- write history. Make your own determination. But I am sticking with the version that was documented first. All this was really a historical side note. Now, let's break down the passage.

Galatians 4:23-24 "But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—"

So when we look at the passage, there is an obvious comparison and contrast taking place between Sarah and Hagar and the results of their offspring.

Hagar is known as the "bond woman"

Sarah is known as the "Free woman"

The story can be found in Genesis chapter ?. But we should quickly review the concept. I have taught on multiple occasions that God gave Abraham a promise in Genesis 12 where He instructed him to come out from his father's house. The result would be that Abraham would be the father of a great nation and that through his seed (Jesus) all nations of the earth would be blessed.

I wonder how many people listening to this sermon would raise their hand if asked..."Has God ever promised you something...or have you ever seen promises in His Word that you though were for you only to find that day after day and year after year they never come to pass?

The next question would be..."When that happened, did you attempt to change the circumstances yourself?"

You were in a financial bind and instead of waiting on God and changing your spending habits… going without because you did not have money to purchase, you went and got a payday loan...and another...and another.... Now, you are in such financial disarray you can barely stay afloat financially. If that is you, you produced an Ishmael.

There were things going on at the job that were causing pressure in your life. You were not able to get along with certain people. But God wants you to be able to get along with everyone so that you can be a witness to all paths you cross. He wanted you to trust Him for grace and stick it out because He teaches us things about ourselves in the midst of those trials. Contrary to popular opinion, it's not everybody else's fault. Matt has problems that God wants to deal with and in order for Him to point them out; He often has to place me in uncomfortable situations.

But I didn't like it so I high tailed it out of there and got me another job. You just created an Ishmael.

I'm a Christian and I am married, but my spouse gets on my nerves. She is not willing to let God change her so I'm going to get a divorce and marry someone who is more in tune with God. No sir! No ma'am! You’re the one that is not in tune with God. You want things your way. Your about to produce an Ishmael and the fallout will follow you for the rest of your life. Furthermore, chances are that the next one you marry will be worse than the one you previously had and the cycle may continue until you realize they weren’t the whole problem to begin with. The whole time God was trying to change you, but you were so focused on everyone else, you never grew up as a Christian.

You struggle with addictions. One preacher said that Jesus purchased your victory at the cross and now it is time to believe what the Word of God says. Another preacher says that God uses AA and self- help programs for people with addictions. If you walk into that, you are walking into Ishmael's camp and there is no freedom there. In that camp, there is only bondage.

Back to the story, Abraham became frustrated and weary waiting on God's promise. The result was that he and Sarah took matters into their own hands. Abraham made a child with their slave woman Hagar and she brought forth Ishmael...he was a child of the flesh. What do you mean by that? Ishmael was produced through Abraham and Sarah's wisdom and effort. When it appeared all hope was lost because Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 99, stress started to set in.

“We better hurry Abe and do something time is getting short. There is no hope in our situation. Maybe God wanted to do it this way.” God didn't want to do it that way. You took matters into your own hands.

When you and I attempt to walk in the flesh through our self-effort, through self-help, through man's wisdom, the result is bondage.

Whereas, when we walk according to the in Christ, the result is freedom.

But let's look at the symbolism because Paul is telling us that these two births offer a good analogy of the two covenants.

Galatians 4:25-26  "for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all."

Mt. Sinai is the mountain upon which God gave Moses the 10 commandments (Law). Paul is saying that Hagar was a slave and in bondage. Furthermore, Abraham's attempt, through his own strength to bring forth God's plan resulted in bondage. Similar to the slave woman and her son, the current state of the natural Jerusalem at the time Paul was writing was in bondage to the Roman Empire.

But the Jerusalem that is above describes the heavenly Jerusalem that will one day be brought from heaven to reside in the new earth (Revelation 21:10). In this case, the New Jerusalem is seen as the place where God's presence and power dwells. This Jerusalem is seen as the place where the New Covenant was birthed. It is the place where the plan of God came from. And it is through this plan that we have been birthed into our new lives of freedom through Christ.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband.”

Now it can get even more confusing if you do not realize that Paul is changing thoughts here. Before, he was using an analogy where Sarah and Hagar were contrasted. Now, he is quoting from Isaiah 54:1. When Isaiah spoke this prophecy, Israel was in bondage to Babylon. The Israel that was in bondage was barren. The promise was that there would be a day coming when Israel would be full of children. The time he was speaking of describes the Millennial Reign when Israel, as a nation, will have accepted Jesus as her messiah.

Galatians 4:28-31 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free."

The flesh will always persecute the Spirit. In other words, people who are living under Law will come against and persecute those who are living according to the Spirit. The Judaisers were not living according to the Spirit. They were living under Law and bondage, and they were persecuting the Galatians for their attempt to live according to the Spirit.

Jewish tradition tells us that Ishmael began to persecute Isaac, and the scriptures tell us that Sarah told Abraham that the bond woman and the "boy" would have to go because the flesh and the Spirit cannot reside together.

God would tell His children today cast the flesh out of your life you cannot walk in the Spirit and the flesh at the same time. To live according to the Spirit means to trust every day and every moment that what Jesus accomplished on the cross gave us the adoption as sons, and now God's Spirit dwells in us. And God's Spirit is present to give us victory in every area of our lives.

The flesh or the children of the bondwoman would attempt to mix the two. In other words, they would say that it is ok for Psychology and Jesus to dwell together...that Jesus and programs can dwell together. But God said that the bond woman and the lad must go!

So I don't know what you have been mixing with your Jesus. But God's Word would say to you that if it is not faith in Jesus and what He provided through the cross then it needs to be sent out of the camp because the two of them cannot live together.


Galatians 4:8-20

Galatians 4:8-9 8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Like the rest of us, there was a time in the Galatian Christian's past when they had no real knowledge of the true God. It is certainly possible that someone may have told a story about something they heard regarding a man who died on a Roman cross and came back to life. But as far as a true convert to Christianity bearing witness to the facts that this same Jesus changed his life, Paul was the one who had shared Jesus with these people.

Therefore, before they knew Christ, they were in a similar situation that many of us in this room today were in. How amazing is it that so many of us were born and raised in homes where the name of Jesus was spoken of, yet, we no more had a true relationship with him anymore than these Galatians did?

The result for them and us is that we were serving false gods. To be specific, the Galatians would have literally served idols and false Gods such as Hermes and Zeus. It is likely that most of us may have never done such a thing. Nevertheless, we served those gods through our lifestyles. What I mean is that all false religion has one pull humanity away from the one true God. In addition, all sin has one pull humanity away from God.

Therefore, when we spent our time worshiping in bar rooms and paying our tithes to the god of drunkenness and lust by giving of our money to the cause, we were serving false gods just like the Galatians.

Paul reminds them that now they know God. Furthermore, they are known by God. The question is…are they really going to return to weak the weak and beggarly place they were before? Because if they continue down this path of false religion, they will lose access to the power of God and be reduced to conquered slaves. Consider this concept...what picture does the usage of the words weak and beggarly produce in your mind from a spiritual perspective?

Weak- asthenes- this is the same Greek word used to describe the impotent folk that were at the pool of Bethesda in John 5.

For those of you who were with us during that study, you should remember that the scripture told us that there was a multitude of impotent folk: lame, halt, and withered. It was a spiritual triage. It was a mass of people incapable of helping themselves. They were living under the time frame of Law.

They were not only physically crippled, but the picture being portrayed was that Jesus was ushering in the New Covenant, which would allow people to be able to walk right with God.

Beggarly- literally means to be a beggar. It describes someone who is destitute of prosperity and has been reduced to the position of a street beggar.

Paul is amazed at their decisions. Essentially, they are returning to a former life of bondage. He uses that word elements again. As we learned last week, this word describes first in elementary school before higher levels of learning.

While they may not be returning to their former Pagan religions or the worship of idols, they are turning themselves over to a system of law through which God no longer works that time frame ended with Jesus.

Basically, the idea that you are left with is a crippled man incapable of accessing the help he needs and subsequently he is reduced to being a beggar.

Think about the progression that has taken place in Paul's communication. He has taken the Galatians down a path where he showed them that the Law's purpose was for Israel to carry them through to a certain point in Salvation History where the promised seed would be manifested. During that time-frame, Israel is seen as an immature child requiring nannies and tutors to guide and care for her because she is incapable of caring for herself. But now, in Christ, we have come to the age of maturity where we are able to access our inheritance. Spiritually speaking, the inheritance describes access to the Spirit of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Because the God of glory has made His home in our hearts, we now have access to victory.

There is no devil in Hell that can supersede the power of the Holy Spirit. But! The Galatians have chosen to approach God in a way that He absolutely will not honor. If God releases grace in response to the Law, He would be contrary to His word, and He would cause confusion in His people because they would begin to think that they are rewarded based off what they do rather than faith in what He did.

Galatians 4:10-11 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Paul is specifically letting them know that what the Judaizers are teaching them is going to bring them under bondage. The last thought he gave in the previous verse was that the result of their new approach to God would ultimately lead to bondage. The word bondage is translated from the word doulos, which is the common Greek word for servant or slave.

Obviously, they were being brought back into a system that emphasized the OT feast days...such as Passover, Pentecost... But Paul is saying that the result will be bondage.

I need to take a moment here and speak of some things. There has been a movement recently in the Christian church where people are attempting to access grace through observing some of the old Jewish holidays or operating according to some of the old Jewish ways. One big thing has been the use of a prayer shawl. Now, I am quite certain that the prayer shawl has some wonderful imagery that explains in detail the covering that God desires to be for His people Israel. But let me say this, "Jesus is the fulfillment of the covering. I don't want to be covered with a prayer shawl. I am covered with the righteousness of Jesus.

While most of us listening to this study will not go back to the Jewish Law, there are other things that you must be concerned about. Churches across America do not preach the truth of the Gospel. Therefore, the people are left crippled beggars. When the church has no answers because the Pastor does not understand the finished work of Christ, the people are instructed to seek counsel elsewhere for their malady.

The church is embracing Psychology and self- help programs. The church has and painted these human derived answers with scripture in order to find help for the really "bad ones". No Jesus can deliver and heal all manner of disease. Don't misunderstand me. If I have counseled with a person repeatedly telling them the truth and they do not want the truth and instead they want Psychology, I will not stop them. I will let them know that it won't work, but maybe that is what they need in order to be convinced that Jesus really is the answer.

The problem I have is that most ministers now days don't even know the truth to tell the people to begin with, and the result is that the people are encouraged to return to the weak and beggarly elements of what human wisdom offers.

Galatians 4:12-14 12Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

In the second part of the verse, Paul is reminding them of their time together and how well they treated him. At that time, he obviously had some type of infirmity. In actuality, it may have been because he was sick that he ended up in this place and was able to preach the Gospel to them. Paul points out that they received him and treated him as though he were an angel sent from God or Jesus Himself. In other words, they treated him well.

Ultimately, he wants them to know that they have not injured him. Thus far, they have treated him well, but he is concerned for their well-being.

What sticks out most to me is the fact that the great Apostle Paul also had to endure trials. However, even in the midst of a physical infirmity of some sort, he did what God called him to do. So Paul says that it was because of the infirmity that he preached to them the first time. I can't prove this, but I think it would be hilarious if it is what happened. The devil was trying to stop Paul. He was probably planning on going somewhere else and got sick. Instead, of just stopping and recuperating, he stopped and preached the Gospel.

I can assure you that there will be trials in the midst of our Christian walk. My prayer for all of us is that the trials of life will not stop us from accomplishing God’s will, instead, I pray that we will receive the grace that we need to continue on in the Father's will…to continue on and be a witness for the Kingdom of God.


Galatians 4:15-16 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

Commentators and scholars are divided about this comment that Paul makes regarding the Galatians plucking out their eyes to give to him. Many have taught that the infirmity he was speaking of and the thorn in his side had to do with a visual ailment. However, there is no way to prove either of those theories.

The comment could also be describing the level of trust and acceptance that the Galatians at one time had towards Paul. The idea would have been that they cared and trusted him so much that they would have given him their most prize possessions (their eyes), and now they are turning against what he taught them. His concern was that he had become their enemy because he had told them the truth.

There is a very valuable lesson to be learned here. There is an aspect to being a Christian witness that is not always enviable. What I mean is that a big part of being a Christian witness is telling the truth even when it is uncomfortable. Sometimes telling the truth leads to a lack of popularity. We have to determine what is important in our lives. Is it more important for me to be a witness to the truth? Or do I prefer to be popular in the eyes of men?

Let me finish this thought by saying that I am not talking about purposefully offending people. There are times when we handle things in a harsh manner, because we know we are right, and the result is that the person is offended to the point they tune us out. Truthfully, sometimes God will work this way, but we need to be certain that it is the Spirit of God and not our flesh that is the driving force behind it.

Galatians 4:17-18 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.

Zealous- to desire deeply, or be in pursuit of something. The word describes a level of passion associated with it.

Paul uses this word three times in these two verses. His point is that zeal is a good thing when a person is passionately pursuing something with Godly motives, but in the case of the Judaizers, their motives are impure. They desire to exclude the Galatians from the truth that Paul preaches, which leads to liberty and freedom. Furthermore, they want the Galatians to be zealous towards them and their teachings. This is a prime example of people operating in the lusts of the flesh rather than the fruit of the Spirit.

Most of the time when we teach on the lusts of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, we discuss things like fornication and drunkenness because that is where most sinners saved by grace have come from and possibly have continued to struggle with to some extent after their conversion. However, false teaching is also a lust of the flesh...along with envy, jealousy, and division. The Judaizers are operating in all these sins.

The KJV translated zealously affect you. The idea is better communicated through the NKJV, which states zealously court you.

Court- special or devoted attention in order to win favor.

Even the word court is somewhat obsolete in our modern society because the idea of courting rarely exists anymore. At a time when things were more pure, if a young man wanted a young lady's attention, he would treat her with respect and show her special favor. This indicated his desire to hopefully one day know her more intimately.

Paul has explained that it is a good thing when someone zealously desires something or someone with pure motives, but the Judaizers are not pure. So they are over there courting you...making you feel know the fun part of a relationship.

Galatians 4:19-20 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

Paul is saying that while they are over there romancing and winning you over through special attention, I am over here going through birth pains. Truthfully, there can be no better natural, human illustration of love than the pain of childbirth. True love can be revealed in it. There is no romance in the midst of birth pains. There is no flirting or the fluttering of eyelashes when a woman is giving birth to a baby. It is some of the most excruciating pain that a human being could ever endure. Yet, the result for that woman is pure joy when the baby has come forth.

This is the illustration that Paul is attempting to project. His motives are pure towards the Galatians. Unlike the Judaizers, Paul's only concern is that Jesus be produced in their lives. What he is experiencing is spiritually painful. But the reward will be worth the pain. What is the reward?

... Until Christ is formed in you.

The word formed in the Greek is morphe- where we get our word morph. The idea is where one thing is transformed into another.

Through this discourse, Paul is letting us know that when the true Gospel is properly presented, a transformation takes place in the life of the believer. The transformation is not necessarily a bigger bank account or nicer car. It is not necessarily a better job or house. Instead, it is a process where every day the Christian changes, morphs, or is transformed by the grace of God to look more like Jesus and less like himself.