How to be godly without being self-righteous.
MAY 3, 2021
How to be godly without being self-righteous. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under his fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now, but if you’re hungry for the truth, that will make you free? Welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re spending a lot of time studying the book of Galatians. And there are a number of reasons we’re spending a lot of time, one is it’s a great book and another is it’s my favorite book, maybe with the exception of Romans. And so. I love the time I spend in this particular book, because it talks about grace, radical grace and freedom, radical freedom, and joy, radical joy. So we’re taking our time going through the book of Galatians. And, if you have your Bible, you might want to open it to the fifth chapter. And we’re continuing to look at the fruit of the Spirit. And, we’ll be looking at verse 13 through the end of that chapter. Before we do that. It’s our practice to pray before we study. So, let’s do that. Father, we come into your presence and once again are so thankful for your Word. That you took the time and you went through the effort to write it down, so we would get it right. Father, if you had whispered in our ear, if you’d passed it on through preachers, if you had given it through professors, we would have messed it up by now, but you wrote it down and it’s there and it’s there forever. The Word of God from you, our father. And, so we praise you for that. Father, you know the people who are listening right now, there are some hard places and some soft places. And you’re the God of both. Father, for those who are going through a difficult time, grant your healing and your wholeness and your peace and your presence. And for those who are going through good times, join your laughter with them and remind us that you’re the God of both. And then Father, as always on this broadcast, we pray for the one who teaches, that you would forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright, let’s look at that text. I’m starting at the 13th verse and I’ll go through the end of the fifth chapter of Galatians.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you’re not consumed by one another. But I say to you, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you were led by the Spirit, you’re not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity licentiousness, idolatry sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like, I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.
Oh my, and we spent a long time unpacking that, we spent a good bit of time talking about the works of the flesh. And I don’t want to go back there, but I do want to make sure that you understand, when Paul said that those who practice such things are not going to inherit the kingdom of God. He isn’t saying that you gotta be perfect. I found some of my sins in that list of the works of the flesh, but I’m not defined by that. I am free to follow the Spirit. I’m different than I was. So don’t go off on some kind of legalistic road and start wondering about your salvation, if you found out you weren’t perfect. Of course, you’re not perfect. If you could be perfect, God would not have sent his son. You can tell how big a problem is by looking at what it takes to fix it. And in our case, it took the blood of God’s own son. And that means that we had a really, really big problem. So don’t misread or misexegete that text. And beat your head against a wall because of it. Paul is just saying, these are the things that define people who don’t know Christ. And, they don’t define us. They don’t define you. And they don’t define me. Alright, and we started this the last time we studied Galatians. We’re looking at the different fruit of the Spirit. You need to know that fruit is singular. And so, Paul is saying there’s one Spirit, and all these things happen because of your walking in the Spirit. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but no matter, you’re always loved. And the Spirit reminds you of that. We took some time, the last time we studied the Galatians to talk about the first, in the long list, the 22nd verse.
The fruit of the Spirit is love.
You can’t love until you have been loved. And then you can only love to the degree to which you have been loved. Are you having trouble with your mother-in-law or your spouse or your friends? What are you to do? Well, get on your knees with a cat of nine tails. And, beat yourself and say, I’ve got to love them. No, no, no, no. That doesn’t work, trust me, I’ve tried it. Just be still, and let Jesus love you. And as he loves you through his Spirit, you will find that your love tank gets full and you got some to give to other people. And so the first fruit of the Spirit is love. And we covered that, but let me give you a new one, it’s laughter. You’re free to be joyful. Look at the 22nd verse again.
The fruit of the Spirit is love and joy.
Now the Greek word for love here. And, it describes, or the Greek word for love here describes a joy, which has a foundation in God. Not too long ago, I was on an airplane. I’ve never put all of my weight on an airplane yet. It’s not my favorite thing. And the good thing about the pandemic and maybe the only good thing about the pandemic, I thought it was good that you could go to church in your pajamas and you didn’t have to spend time with people, you didn’t want to spend time with. And you didn’t have to go to meetings, but I’ve decided those things are not good. I miss church a lot. I want to spend time with people, because people are my business and meetings or necessary. And if you don’t have them, things fall apart. But the good thing about the pandemic, is that I haven’t had their climb on an airplane. At any rate, it was a bad flight. The air pockets were more numerous than usual, and it was kind of scary. The stewardesses, the flight attendants, sorry, the flight attendants had to sit down because it was so bad. I had repented five times already and couldn’t think of any more sins, so I started looking around. In the seats in front of me, there was a couple, obviously very much in love and you know something, they hadn’t even noticed the horrible flight, the air pockets, and the fact that we were going to die. And I pointed it out to him. I said, you guys do, you know, we’re going to die. And all you can do is look into each other’s eyes and talk about love. Prepare yourself for death, repent. No, I didn’t say that, but I did mention it, and told them that it was really nice. Guys, I had another point to make, but I have run out of time, and time pauses for no man and certainly not a half bad Bible teacher on radio, so I got to get out of here. But right now, remember what I taught you. You can’t love until you’ve been loved. And then only through the degree to which you have been loved. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown and he led us today through Galatians 5:13-25. We will be marinating in this text all week, so feel free to take a look at it yourself. And we will resume our exploration tomorrow. So, real talk as the kids say, do you ever feel depressed? Do you struggle with doubts? If so, you actually find yourself in the company of people like Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, even Mother Teresa. Yes, even these so-called, giants of the faith walk through dark days. Well, that’s something we learned recently from author Diana Gruver on Steve Brown Etc. Diana wrote a fascinating new book called Companions in the Darkness: Seven Saints Who Struggles with Depression and Doubt. It’s a great reminder that struggles do not disqualify you from following Jesus. We’d love to send you that whole show on a CD for free. I think you’ll like it. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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