Christian Sanctification: To Walk-To Be Led-To Keep In Step

Scripture Passage: Galatians 5: 13-26 (NIV) 
The Context
•Paul is writing to many ‘ekklesia’- called out    (Gal 1:2; Acts 13-14)
•Trouble was brewing in these churches, Why?
•Some messianic Jews were misleading the Gentiles that they were incomplete in their conversion (Ch 3:1-3)
•Paul vehemently argues his case
•He argues via his apostleship (Ch 1)
•His hiatus in Arabia (Ch 2)
•His acceptance among the Apostolic authority (Ch 2:9-10) and Doctrinally (2:1-5;3:11-14) 

Freedom In Christ
•Paul argues for a privileged freedom in Christ (5:1)
•The danger of ‘Pendulitis’!:
•Legalism- observance to remain righteous
•Licentious- abuse of the privileges of freedom
•Paul argues for a life in the Spirit:
•Physical Circumcision has no value (5:6)
•It is a life in which, “…faith expresses itself through love”

Where does Freedom lead?
•The freedom in Christ represents the Spirit of Christ, in loving service  (Jn 13:34,35;14:15;15:12,13)
•Legalism will not fulfill God’s law nor will licentious (selfish) behavior
•Both Legalistic and Licentious lives lead to ‘animal like behavior’
•What governs the Christian and the Church is a life that Walks by the Spirit, is led by the Spirit and walks in step with the Spirit
The Battle
•The believer is to be responsible in choosing his walk, being led and identifying his steps, so that the flesh is not gratified
•Paul’s catalogue of ‘acts of the flesh’ speak of a life lived contrary to a life in the Spirit
•Sex, religion, relational expressions and enjoyment…the list is open
•A life that is patterned habitually to feed these behavior…is a life that is not ‘born again’
The Fruit Bearing Christian
•As much as a life in the flesh has expressions, so does a life in the Spirit    (Jn 15)
•These are not opposites, vice versus virtues…this is an expression Christ living in us through the Spirit
•A tree that is alive is known by its ability to bear fruit as much is the opposite
•Paul is saying that the Spirit of Christ produces such fruit for that is God’s purpose in the believer and the church
Take Away: Desire to be a fruit bearing vine in Christ’s Vineyard, in the pruning there is abundance