The flesh shouts, ‘Me!’ The Spirit shouts, ‘Him!’
APRIL 26, 2021
The flesh shouts, ‘Me!’ The Spirit shouts, ‘Him!’ I’ll explain on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God, because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering. That grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a good week-end. I hope you had fun. I hope you goofed off. You know, goofing off is really important. That’s why God gave us the Sabbath. Most Bible teachers won’t describe it that way. They, they give you a list of things you can’t do. But what God is saying is these are things you don’t have to do. So, I hope you had a great week-end. I hope it was relaxing and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you have your Bible, open it to the fifth chapter of Galatians, and we’ve spent a long time, we’re going to spend a good much more time in this particular text, cause it’s very important, it starts with.
For you were called to a freedom.
And so, we’ve been looking at freedom in this particular text. If you’ve been with us, we saw what freedom was and what freedom isn’t. Then we had a statement, freedom is that state in which a child of God is accepted by God forever on the basis, and the sole basis of Christ’s finished work on the Cross. Then we examined the problem with license and independence and disobedience and indulgence and easy stuff and legalism. And then if you were listening the last couple of weeks, we talked about how grace and freedom are discerned and desire and knowledge and relationship and action and works. Now, I’m going to read the text to you one more time and we’re going to get down and study some things about the fruit of the spirit. You know about the fruits of the flesh, that’s the bad stuff. And I just don’t want to talk about it. You don’t need anybody to teach you, you know that. People are always saying Brown, you encourage sin. And I always say, no I don’t. The last time I noticed people were doing fine in that area, and they didn’t need any encouragement, but at any rate, this is the text, then we’ll pray, then we’ll study. Paul starts at the 13th verse 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, walk by the Spirit, and don’t 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 want to do. But if you’re led by the Spirit, you’re not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plane: immorality, impurity, licentiousness idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. And I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things
and you can read that are defined by those things. And you know them.
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 been crucified, or have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of more than another.
Now I’ve said, and I’ve said this on occasion. A lot of this seems like a kind of works thing, that these are, these are the things that you’ll do if you’re a Christian. And these are the things you won’t do, if you’re a Christian. But if you’re a pagan, these are things you’ll never do. And here’s some things you always do. And so we create a religion of the law, that measures and motivates and tries to bring us to God by what we do, not faith in Christ alone, and that’s dangerous. And so, and I know you’re tired of hearing me say it, but it, but I need to say it, because there’s something in our DNA that is so attractive, attracted to law and rules and legalism. I mean, we like it. There are times when I think, and you know that I’m a grace teacher. I mean, I teach it, because I need it so much. And I teach it because it is the central focus of the Christian faith. And I just have to be careful when I get a text like that. I read in a magazine the other day, and I’d tell you who wrote it, but it was written anonymously. But this is what I read.
Freedom in Christ does not get rid of good works, it produces them. It doesn’t and make them unnecessary, it makes them possible.
And there’s some truth to that. Once you are a Christian, you can do stuff you couldn’t do before. What’s that the story about the man who had an operation on his hand, and he said to the doctor, is it gonna get all the way well, and will I be able to play the piano? And the doctor said, yeah, it’s going to be just the way it was. And you can play the piano. And he said, that’s way cool, because I never could before. Well there are a lot of things you couldn’t do before, but you can do now, maybe minimally, but they begin to take place in the life of the believer. Now, before we look directly at the fruit of the Spirit, I want to show you three things about the fruit of the Spirit that we need to study, we need to remind ourselves about. And the first is this, the fruit of the Spirit, as opposed to the works of the flesh, will not call attention to you or your work, Galatians 5:19.
For the works of the flesh are plain evident.
When Paul makes that statement, there’s an implication about the fruit of the Spirit. The implication is this, evil immediately is apparent. Good is not always that apparent. Let me tell you something, evil calls attention to its own existence. Good, calls attention to Jesus. Evil, calls attention to itself, good doesn’t. Evil shouts, hey, you guys, look at me, and good doesn’t do that. When I wrote my first book, the publishing company titled it, Welcome to the Family. In a whimsical moment, I wrote to the publisher that if they wanted to sell more books, they ought to title the book, Sex, Sand and Suds. I can’t believe I’m telling you this. I told them, I said, if you want to sell a lot of books, title it Sex, Sand and Suds: The Secret Life of a New England Minister. And they didn’t think it was funny, but I did. Now, they didn’t take me for being serious, and I wasn’t, they didn’t even appreciate my comment, but the point was well-taken, Sex, Sand and Suds: The Secret Life of a New England Minister, would sell a lot of books. Why is that, let me tell you. Evil calls attention to itself and good doesn’t. Am I saying that good has never noticed, of course not. Sometimes it is, but most of the time, it is noticed by God, more than by others. Somebody suggested that if Christ were here in the flesh, like right now in this studio and we could turn on the cameras and there are a lot of them here, I think there’s seven or eight of them. So you could see Jesus, and we should open the floor. We have a phone system that you could call here, and open the phone, so you could ask Jesus specific questions. You know what one of them would be, Jesus, who, who, who is the most obedient, faithful, godly Christian in the history of the church. And Jesus would say, I’m not going to tell you. And we would say, but tell us, because we need heroes, there aren’t many of them around. We’d like to know who that is, so we can lift them up, and make them an object for our children to study. Jesus, just tell us, who’s the most godly spiritual Christian around. And Jesus would say, I’m not going to tell you, because you wouldn’t even know their name. Evil says, look at me. Good says, look at Him. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown and he led us today through Galatians 5:13-25, as we continue learning about freedom. 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, walked 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 Struggled 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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