Before I get in to the text for tonight I want to give a little historical account of what we are about to read. The letter to the Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul, to the churches in the region of Galatia that he had started on his 1st missionary journey. Apparently after Paul had left the churches of Galatia, a bunch of former disciples of Judaism converted to Christ, and started trying to teach that the gentiles had to be circumcised and keep all the ceremonial laws of God to be saved.
These same people who came from Jerusalem made remarks questioning Pauls authority, and his Apostleship. Basically they were saying that what Paul taught was not true and that he was not even an apostle to start with. So Paul attempting to correct these false accusations before they go to far, wrote this letter to circulate throughout these churches in the region of Galatia.
If you will research all the epistles that the apostle Paul wrote, you will find that he usually begins his letter by saying something good about the person or church he is writing to. Well in this letter he has nothing good to say. He has got his apostolic gloves on and is pounding the heads of these people.
At first he begins by giving a brief introduction, then he starts to defend his message and his apostolic authority. He tells them that his message came from Christ through revelation, it was not taught by any man. He also explains that it was Jesus that called him and sent him as an apostle. It was not the other apostles that sent him it was Jesus himself.
Then Paul begins to start defending the gospel, and reteaching the Galatians what the truth of the gospel is. Now if you have a bible turn with me to;
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
We have a liberty in Christ that so many people today are totally misinterpreting, or just misusing. You see God blesses us with a free will. God has given us the ability to make our own choices in this life. Correct or not we have that right. Deuteronomy 30:19 says that God has set before us life and death and blessing and cursing. He then says to choose life. God allows us to make our own choices because he wants us to love Him on our own. He didnt want a robot that would just do what it is programmed to do. He wanted a creature that would love Him by choice. By God giving us this free will, it also gave us the choice to disobey God, and to reject God.
So after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been passing down a sinful nature that has came from the first man Adam. Just by a person being born of a man, they are born in to sin. Mankind is totally immersed in to sin from birth. The theological term is depraved. Man is depraved.
Jesus came to earth born of a virgin, and the Holy Spirit, so He was not born in sin. He then lived a perfect sin free life, and fulfilled all the law. He died on a cross for the sins of the whole world. Jesus carried all the sins of the whole world on Himself on the cross. He took the punishment for our sins. Then He rose from the dead 3 days later so that we might have life through Him.
What I am saying is this. When Jesus died on the cross, He redeemed us from the curse of the law, and He fulfilled the law. So by faith in Jesus as our savior, we are redeemed from the punishment of breaking the law, and we are redeemed from the keeping of the ceremonies and religious observances of the law. We have freedom in Christ to live our lives to the fullest.
Galatians 5:13-14 says;
For you brethren have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
This verse says that we have been called in to liberty. It is by the Grace of God in Christ that we have this liberty. We have this freedom in Christ that simply overwhelms me. The problem I find with most people concerning our liberty in Christ, is that most of the time there is no middle grounds.
Let me try to explain it like this. There is a ditch or canal on one side of the road. This ditch is the ditch of legalism. This ditch is the people that say if you dont where your hair like this, or eat this, or do this or that, you will not be saved. They have a bunch of rules, but they have no freedom.
Then on the other side of the road we find another ditch. They say that we can sin all we want to, live how we want to, and do whatever we want to and still be saved because we are saved by faith. This is the ditch of worldlyism. These people believe that just because they rehearsed a prayer they are saved. They believe because they are baptized as children they are saved. People are drowning in both of these ditches every day.
Christianity is about balance. We dont ever want to go to the extreme on either side. We dont want to use our liberty for an occasion of the flesh, and we dont want to try to say that Jesus death was not enough for us to be saved, so we have to live according to the law.
I want to try and show you tonight that middle ground. We want to be obedient to God, live holy and live separate from the world, but we cannot do that through legalism, or worldlyism. We cannot have one foot in the kingdom and one foot in the world. We must be sold out to Christ. Its all or nothing.
Galatians 5:16 says;
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
This verse is the key to being a balanced Christian. This verse basically means live life in the power of the Spirit. If we will submit ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live a successful, balanced Christian life.
Every single person that genuinely accepts Jesus as Lord and savior of their life are filled with the Holy Spirit. Notice I said that accepts Jesus as Lord and savior. Jesus has got to be the Lord of your life in order to be genuinely converted. A lot of people try to say that Jesus is their savior, but you can tell by their lives that He is not their Lord.
Lord means supreme in authority. So if Jesus is Lord of our lives, then He is in supreme authority of our lives. We will live according to His word if He is our Lord. It says in 1st John that if we say we love Jesus and dont do what he says, then we are liars, and the truth is not in us. So in order for us to truly be saved, we must make Him Lord and savior of our lives. So if youve made the decision to make him Lord and Savior, then you are filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is essential for us to be led by the Spirit. We will always be led by one of two things. The Spirit, or our flesh. The Holy Spirit will lead us in line with Gods Word, and the flesh will always lead us away from Gods Word.
Anytime a person stands up here and starts popping off dos and donts from the pulpit, that person is making you sin conscience. Anything you continually think about is what you are going to do. If your focus is on the sin, then your focus is off Jesus, and you will end up doing what you keep hearing about.
As a person continually mediates on certain problem sins of their life, they are just feeding that temptation. The more they feed the temptation the stronger it will get and it will eventually over power you. My Pastor says that whatever dog you feed is the dog that is going to grow. If you feed the temptation it will grow. If you starve it, it will degenerate.
If you will be led by the Spirit in your everyday life, then you can keep your focus on the Lord, and live a holy life. Sure people mess up and sin some times. We just need to confess that before God, repent, and move on. There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ. If you are in condemnation about anything as a Christian, then you are being led by the flesh in stead of the Spirit. Christians do not have habits of sin. You cannot practice sin on a continual basis and claim to be a Christian. We have been free from the power of sin in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
I have heard so many preachers say that a person has to consciensely sin every single day. That is the most unscriptural thing that could be taught. If we have no choice but to sin every day, then why would God make us repent? If we have no choice, then we should not have to repent because its not our fault. We do not have to consciensely sin daily. Like I said earlier people do make mistakes, and we do have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we can see from the passages we have read that if we will live by the Spirit, or be led by the Spirit we can overcome the lusts of the flesh. All sin will do for a person is kill him. The wages of sin are death. God did not make the Moral law, or the Ten Commandments to stop our fun. He made them to keep us from killing our selves. God loves each and every one of us in here, and He wants us to live a good life. God created fun. He knows what we enjoy before we ever even think about it.
John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we might have an abundant life. I am not just talking about material things, but that is included. God wants us to enjoy our lives while we are here.
He created us for a job and He dont want us going around sad and depressed doing what He made us for. God wants us to have a good life, and He has provided everything we need to get it.
The point of this message is this. Dont be sin conscience, but be God conscience. If youll just seek God through his Word and Prayer; And learn to be led by the Holy Spirit, then you can and will live a balanced Christian life. The point is to stay focused on God, and you wont be focused on the sin.
Our lives are determined by our decisions. So as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead our decisions, we will begin to make better decisions, and our better decisions we create better results.
We have freedom in Christ, and God is just waiting on us to take the first step. If we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Lets make the decision today. Lets make the decision to stop being sin conscience and start being God conscience. It is up to you to make the choice.