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(:13) THESIS

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

MacArthur: “In Galatians 5:13b-15, Paul gives four purposes of God’s call to the freedom of loving Him: to oppose the flesh, to serve others, to fulfill His moral law, and to avoid harming others.”

I. (:14-15) WALK IN LOVE

A. (:14) The Golden Rule Fulfils God’s Moral Law

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Piper: ” ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ is not a command to love yourself. It is a command to take your natural, already existing love of self and make it the measuring rod of your love for others.”

B. (:15) The End Result of Hatred Will Be Mutual Destruction

“But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.”

Guthrie: “The apostle thinks of a pack of wild animals flying at each other’s throats. It is a vivid representation not only of utter disorder, but also of mutual destruction. The policy enjoined by the Judaizers could lead only to dissension of the bitterest kind, for it must arouse passions which are unrestrained by the influence of love.”

Hendriksen: “Bitter (=biting) words harm the biter as well as the one bitten. They tend to destroy the fellowship.”


A. (:16-18) Walking by the Spirit is the Only Way to Experience Freedom

– Freedom from carrying out the desire of the flesh

– Freedom from the Law

1. The Simple Formula for Defeating the Flesh

“But I say, walk by the Spriit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

2. The Intense Battle Between the Flesh and the Spirit

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

3. The Power for Victory and Freedom = Submitting to the Spirit

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”

Piper: ” The Spirit is not a leader like the pace car in the “Daytona 500.” He is a leader like a locomotive on a train. We do not follow in our strength. We are led by his power. So ‘walk by the Spirit’ means stay hooked up to the divine source of power and go wherever he leads.”

B. (:19-23) Contrast Between the Deeds of the Flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit

Wiersbe: “The contrast between works and fruit is important. A machine in a factory works, and turns out a product, but it could never manufacture fruit. Fruit must grow out of life, and in the case of the believer, it is the life of the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).”

1. Deeds of the Flesh

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:”

a. “immorality”

b. “impurity”

c. “sensuality”

d. “idolatry”

e. “sorcery”

f. “enmities”

g. “strife”

h. “jealousy”

i. “outbursts of anger”

j. “disputes”

k. “dissensions”

l. “factions”

m. “envying”

n. “drunkenness”

o. “carousing”

p. “and things like these”

“of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

2. Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is:”

a. “love”

b. “joy”

c. “peace”

d. “patience”

e. “kindness”

f. “goodness”

g. “faithfulness”

h. “gentleness”

i. “self-control”

“against such things there is no law.”

Hogg: “‘Fruit’ is thus the outward expression of power working inwardly, and so in itself beyond observation, the character of the fruit giving evidence of the character of the power that produces it, Matt. 7. 16. As lust manifests itself in works, the restless and disorderly activities of the flesh, or principle of evil, in man, so the Spirit manifests His presence in His ‘peaceable’, Heb. 12. 11, and orderly fruit.”

C. (:24) The Reality of the Crucifixion of the Flesh

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

D. (:25-26) The Summary Exhortation

1. Positively — Let’s Do It!

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

Piper: “How do you allow the Spirit to control you? I want to try to show you that the answer is, you allow the Spirit to control you by keeping your heart happy in God. Or to put it another way, you walk by the Spirit when your heart is resting in the promises of God. The Spirit reigns over the flesh in your life when you live by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave himself for you and now is working everything together for your good.”

2. Negatively — Watch out for Pride

“Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”