Sunday, July 30, 2023

Fruit of the Spirit Part 1 – Christ set us Free

 Fruit of the Spirit

Part 1 – Christ set us Free

Rev Bruce A. Shields

The House of Faith Church | |

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1.      Christ set us Free




Today is Sunday. July 23rd, 2023


            This series will examine one of the blessings and benefits of belonging to the Lord and how we are given power through God’s Holy Spirit to achieve what He calls us to do.


Over the next three series, I will cover some of the aspects of being a Christ follower who is a doer of the Word and how God Himself endows us with His characteristics, protection, and strength as well as special abilities He gives us to strengthen, build and the ability to support other believers to fulfill their unique calling.


            When we receive salvation, we receive a portion of God’s Holy Spirit as a pledge of our inheritance. It is both the evidence of our salvation and being sealed by God and the very power of He who is in us.


“In Him, you also, after listening to the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Ephesians 1:13-14


With what we are going to look at over the next three series, there are some things we must assume. Firstly, you have heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation. Secondly, you have believed.


The Greek word translated as ‘believed’ in Ephesians 1:13 is a present participle. A better rendering would be “that believe,” which is a requirement for salvation, that you actively believe in the present tense.


If you believe at one time and stop believing through action, deed, or thought, you have “wandered from the Word of Truth you heard,” which is the Gospel of your salvation.


But do not fear.

Psalm 86:5 says, “For You, Lord, are good, and by nature forgiving, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”


We are warned in James not to wander from the truth. However, if a believer does, another believer may bring them back. This is the notion of “backsliding,” where a person once believes, wanders from the Truth, but is brought back.

“My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS.” James 5:19-20


            Understanding “backsliding” is made easier when we understand what it is the Lord saves us from and why we are to “walk in the Spirit.” This is all found in Galatians 5, where we will examine the Fruits of the Spirit over this series.


            In contrast, the “fruits,” or works of the flesh, are also described in Galatians 5 so that we may judge ourselves if we “wander from the Truth” and stop walking in the Spirit, returning to our flesh and its desires.



Today we will Learn what it means to be set FREE by Christ



SCRIPTURE READING (Legacy Standard Bible)


Galatians 5:1-15 Christ Set Us Free

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Therefore, stand firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.


Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are being justified by law; you have fallen from grace!


For we through the Spirit, by faith, are eagerly waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.


You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.


I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view. But the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. But I, brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross would have been abolished.


I wish that those who are upsetting you would even mutilate [castrate] themselves.


For you were called to freedom, brothers; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.”



a.      What yoke is Paul speaking of?

                                                 i.      The Law and the bondage of sin


                                              ii.      Without Law, there is no trespass

1.      Romans 4:15 “for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no trespass.”


                                           iii.      But there is Law, so how do we escape God’s wrath for trespasses of the Law?


                                            iv.      Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30


                                               v.      What can we take away from this?

1.      The weary and heavy-laden who need rest are burdened by the yoke of the law.


2.      Taking the yoke of Jesus (salvation and the New Covenant) is to “learn from Him”


a.      In other words, obey His teachings as He stated in Matthew 28 with the Great Commission and in 1 John 5, where Jesus says, “If you love me, obey my commands…”


3.      Jesus promises in His yoke, your SOUL will find rest. We find rest in Jesus because He IS the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8



b.     Why is Jesus’ Yoke “easy” and His burden light?

                                                 i.      Because in Him, our souls find rest, and He gives us His Holy Spirit

                                              ii.      His Spirit strengthens us

                                           iii.      Endows us with needed abilities

                                            iv.      Gives us all the tools for Spiritual Warfare

                                               v.      We simply need to submit to the Spirit and not quench it

                                            vi.      God will do the rest!


c.      We have been set free from condemnation and the burden of the Law

                                                 i.      By the Spirit of God


                                              ii.      THEREFORE, we must “walk in the Spirit,” Galatians 5:25, not in the flesh!


                                           iii.      Someone in Galatia was teaching that in “addition” to Jesus, they needed to observe the requirements of The Law.


1.      Paul makes it clear in Galatians 5 that when we who are freed from the Yoke of the Law (saved) return to the yoke of the Law (or works of the flesh for salvation), we are “severed from Christ” Galatians 5:4


                                            iv.      This teaching places works on the table in addition to Christ and His sacrifice for salvation when we know Christ is all there is and nothing more is needed for salvation.


                                               v.      Christ alone saves, not Christ and …, that saves.




a.      If you rely on works of the flesh, you will be judged by the Law of the flesh

                                                 i.      Romans 4:15 “…the Law brings about wrath…”


b.     You cannot keep the Law; that was never its purpose

                                                 i.      The purpose of the Law was to reveal the sin in man and the need for a savior


                                              ii.      The Law is God’s standard

1.      If you break one, you have broken them all


2.      If you ever broke one, the Law brings judgment and God’s Wrath


3.      Anyone who is not part of the New Covenant is STILL under the Old and will face God’s Wrath



c.      Jesus corrected the teachers who believed they could keep the Law

                                                 i.      Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

                                              ii.      Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be guilty before the court.’ “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”


1.      Raca is an Aramaic term for contempt


2.      It was used in calling someone worthless, the root meaning “to spit.”


                                           iii.      If you break one, you have broken them all.


                                            iv.      Jesus says in Matthew 5 that if you break one, you are guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

1.      Reference to the second death after judgment or eternal damnation. Jesus called it Gehenna.


                                               v.      No one can keep the Law…except Jesus Himself. For only God can keep the standards of God. And only the blood of a perfect sacrifice is worthy enough to redeem the lost.




a.      Some believe because they are no longer under the judgment of The Law that, they are no longer under any judgment at all


                                                 i.      “It’s under the blood,” is a term used to justify anything done in the flesh if one claims to be “saved,” and it it not biblical.


                                              ii.      It is flawed theology with no basis and easily rebutted with scripture.


1.      Galatians 5 not only lists the fruits of flesh to the wayward Galatians, but clearly states in Galatians 5:21 “…of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”


                                           iii.      The Word is clear that when you live by the flesh, you will sever yourself from Christ and be judged by The Law, which was made for the wrath of God against the flesh.


                                            iv.      All sins may be forgiven through the Blood of Jesus, and you may enter rest within the New Covenant purchased with Christ’s Blood. However, the moment you return to living in the flesh, you have “wandered from the Word of Truth and the Gospel of Salvation,” severed yourself from Christ, and will once more be handed over to the wrath of God through the Law.


                                               v.      Paul said to them, “You were running well…”


                                            vi.      Though the act of circumcision was only one thing they were adding, that one thing ruined everything!


                                         vii.      Paul says, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump!”

1.      Leaven has been symbolic of sin since Genesis.


2.      A little “allowed” sin can ruin everything.


                                       viii.      Paul was so upset that he stated if they’re so eager to cut something off, let them castrate themselves for teaching this.



b.     Do not be deceived; you cannot live by the flesh and partake of the New Covenant

                                                 i.      Jesus teaches you can only serve one master

1.      Matthew 6:24-26


                                              ii.      You cannot trust in Jesus alone if you rely on any other work


                                           iii.      If you return to walking in the flesh, you sever yourself from Christ


                                            iv.      If you are not in Christ, the yoke and burden of the Law are replaced upon your back, as well as its requirements and the coming wrath



c.      Paul made this clear when the Galatians added works to their Salvation

                                                 i.      We must trust in Christ alone.


                                              ii.      As Jesus says, take my yoke, learn from me, and your soul will find rest.



Faith and Obedience to Jesus’ Teachings keeps us in the New Covenant.



            Paul has explained to the Galatians what they were set free from and how they could walk away from the yoke of Jesus, returning to the yoke of the Law.


            He explains the dangers of works in the flesh and allowing even the most minor sin into their lives.


            He also warns if we use our freedom from the Law as a license to live in the flesh, we will “devour one another and be consumed.”


            This figurative speech paints a picture of those within the church, calling themselves followers of Jesus but living in the sins of their flesh, behaving like cancer within the congregation.


            Can this happen? Yes.


            However, if we walk by the Spirit, we serve one another through love. The Law is fulfilled in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; John 13:34]



Next week:

Fruit of the Spirit Part 2: Walking in the Spirit



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