Go

Paramount Church

Threats to Christian Freedom: License, Part 3

Threats To Christian Freedom: License

Part 3

 

Text: Galatians 5:13-24

 

Introduction/Review:

 

I. Paul Defines the Nature of Christian Freedom. vv. 13-15

 

  A. Christian freedom isn’t a license to indulge in the flesh. v. 13a

  B. Christian freedom fulfills the Law rather than dismisses it. vv. 13b-14

  C. Christian freedom doesn’t destroy but rather builds the church. v. 15

 

II.    Paul Describes the Conflict of Christian Freedom. vv. 16-18

 

  A. The Command, v. 16a

  B. The promise, v. 16b

  C. The Opposition, v. 17

  D. The Power, v. 18

 

Lesson:

 

How do you know if you are being led by the Spirit?

How do you know if the Spirit or the flesh is directing your conduct?

What does it look like to be directed by the Holy Spirit in contrast to being directed by the flesh?

 

III.   Paul contrasts the fruit of Christian freedom. vv. 19-23

 

  A. A Description of the works of the flesh, vv. 19-21a

 

1. Sexual sins, v. 19b

  2. Sacred sins, v. 20a

3. Social sins, vv. 20b-21a

 

B. A Warning Against the Works of the Flesh, v. 21b

 

“What can be conceived more dreadful than that men should walk after the flesh, and shut themselves out from the kingdom of God” (Calvin's Commentaries, vol. 21, p. 166).

“For who is there that is not chargeable with some of those sins? I reply, Paul does not threaten that all who have sinned, but that all who remain impenitent, shall be excluded from the kingdom of God. The saints themselves often fall into grievous sins, but they return to the path of righteousness, “that which they do they allow not,” (Rom. Vii. 15,) and therefore they are not included in this catalogue. All threatenings of the judgments of God call us to repentance. They are accompanied by a promise that those who repent will obtain forgiveness; but if we continue obstinate, they remain as a testimony from heaven against us (Calvin's Commentaries, vol. 21, p. 166).

 

Reflection:

 

For who is there that is not chargeable with some of those sins? I reply, Paul does not threaten that all who have sinned, but that all who remain impenitent, shall be excluded from the kingdom of God. The saints themselves often fall into grievous sins, but they return to the path of righteousness, “that which they do they allow not,” (Rom. Vii. 15,) and therefore they are not included in this catalogue. All threatenings of the judgments of God call us to repentance. They are accompanied by a promise that those who repent will obtain forgiveness; but if we continue obstinate, they remain as a testimony from heaven against us (Calvin's Commentaries, vol. 21, p. 166).

 

Reflection:

 

"Ps. 32:5-6 testifies that saints confess their transgressions and pray for the forgiveness of the guilt of their sin; it says: ‘I said: ‘I will confess my transgression to the Lord’; then Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to Thee.’ The entire church, which certainly is holy, prays that its sins may be forgiven; and it believes in the forgiveness of sins. In Ps. 143:2 David prays: ‘Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for no man living is righteous before Thee’; and in Ps. 130:3-4: ‘If Thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee.’ This is how the greatest saints speak and pray—David, Paul, etc… (Luther’s Works, vol. 27, pp. 76-77).

 

© John Fonville

Permissions: Permission is happily granted to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not revise the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on Paramount’s website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by John Fonville.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Fonville.

Read More