In these verses, the little phrase "one another" is used a number of times. We can devour one another we can provoke one another. we can envy one another. That doesn't sound like the way a Christian would act, does it? But Paul was writing to people who claimed to know Christ, people who had made a profession of faith in Him.
I. In Galatians 5 we are taught that we are to live as those who are guided and led by the Spirit of God. v16
How does one "Live by the Spirit?"
A. The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with Him, having been sent by God into his heart and life. vs. 4:4-7
B. In every spiritual confrontation, the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. vs.16-18
C. The believer must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God- pleasing life. vs. 5
D. The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. vs. 16.
1. The believer who "lives by the Spirit" will not fulfill , accomplish, (carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).
2. There are many references to the Holy Spirit in Galatians.
3. We see in 5:13 that the Holy Spirit of God enables us to serve one another... "By love serve one another."
II. In verses 13-18 we see a contrast of Two Attitudes.
A. One is of the flesh, which produces confusion and hate.
1. By nature, the flesh is not interested in serving.
2. The flesh is selfish.
3. Verse 17 tells us that our old nature fights against the Holy Spirit.
4. If I yield to the flesh, then the flesh is going to control my life.
B. The other attitude is one of love, a spiritual attitude in serving on another. vs. 13-14
1. If I yield to the Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is going to control my life.
2. Either way will affect the way I treat others and determine if ‘by love I will serve another.’
3. And so it is simply this: either the flesh - the old nature - controls us, and we provoke one another, envy one another, devour one another...
4. Or the Holy Spirit controls us, and by our love, we serve one another.
C. The Holy Spirit gives us the love that we need. vs. 6b,14, 22 - 23.
Rom 5:5, "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
1. Verse 15 describes the result when the flesh is in control.
a. The picture here is of wild animals attacking one another.
b. Unless the Holy Spirit of God is permitted to fill our hearts with His love, selfishness and confusion will reign.
2. The Holy Spirit does not use force, He does not produce confusion, hurt feelings, animosity, an unforgiving spirit, or hate.
3. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God, prayer, praise, worship and the fellowship of believers to lift us up, to encourage us, and to build us up in Christ.
III. Liberty vs. Legalism.
A. Notice the word "Liberty" in Verse 13.
1. This is a key word or key thought concerning our association with the O.T. law.
2. We have been made free in Christ.
a. Then someone may say, "I can do as I please".
b. No, that's the other extreme.
c. Legalism is one extreme: license is the other extreme.
3. License is throwing off all restraint, but liberty means walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
a. It is not law on the outside, but love on the inside that makes the difference.
b. This "freedom in Christ" is demonstrated in our service to God and to man.
c. This is why verse 13 says, "by love serve one another."
B. Freedom in Christ is a responsible freedom that leads to a holiness of life.
1. A freedom that serves God and one another.
2. This freedom expresses itself in the great Christian virtues of the fruit of the Spirit. verse 22,23.
3. We see in verse 18 that the Christian does not need the restraints of law because his moral life is governed by the Holy Spirit.
C. By contrasting the "works of the flesh" with the "fruit of the Spirit" the believer can know whether they are walking in the Spirit or being controlled by the flesh.
1. Verse 19-21 lists 17 sins that are representative, not exclusive.
2. Those who do these things are not led by the Spirit and cannot please God.
3. Verse 21b warns us that those who live like this, who habitually indulge in these sins, will not inherit God's future kingdom.
4. Instead of serving Christ and others - they are serving self, the flesh and the devil - evidence of not being a child of God.
May the Lord help each of us to be servants. Servants not of sin, but of God's people loving one another and serving one another. Christians who care serve one another. The freedom from sin is found in Christ's truth.
(John 8:32 KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.