Farmers Market or Garbage Dump
Over the last few months, we have been preaching through the book of Galatians. The text of Galatians 5:16-26 includes the passages regarding the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The following are my teaching notes for the message.
Farmers Market or Garbage Dump? – Galatians 5:16-26
- What is the difference between a farmers market & a garbage dump? Both have fruit and vegetables. But one has fresh fruits & veggies whereas the other has rotten, discarded produce. One has good fruit, the other has bad fruit.
- We decide what fruit we feed from and what fruit we feed others.
- God is not just concerned with what happens after death. He wants to make a radical change for you in real-time.
1. Only by the Spirit can we overcome the flesh.
- verses 16-18 — We must walk by the power of the Spirit in order to deny the pull of the flesh.
- The flesh we live in can be brought under control.
- John 14:15-17 teaches that the promise of the Spirit’s presence in our lives is real; straight from Jesus’ mouth.
- “I say then” (v 16) refers back to v. 2-15: Since you are free from the law, walk by the Spirit.
- The glaring question: “Where will we draw the power to live our lives?” Only through God’s Spirit that our sinful nature is overcome moment by moment.
- There is hope for holiness.
- It requires a moment-by-moment relationship with the Spirit. It is in this relationship where we participate with God in fixing our eyes on Him rather than the trivial pleasures of the world.
- John 16:7-11 — Spirit brings conviction of sin so that we can remain close to Christ.
- The law re-enslaves us. The Spirit overcomes the flesh.
2. Sin devastates the here and the hereafter.
- verses 19-21 — Sin, in all of its forms, has a devastating effect in an eternal form.
- The works of the flesh are what the natural man does. Left to our own devices, we wallow in sinfulness.
- Even in these early days of Christianity certain sins were “obvious.”
- A grid to understand the deeds of the flesh:
- Sexual sin = an attempt to find pleasure on our own = sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity
- Spiritualism = an attempt to control God = idolatry, sorcery
- Self-promotion = an attempt to satisfy our ego and feel important = hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy
- Lack of control = an attempt to allow an outside force make life less painful = drunkenness, carousing
- God deems all sin as spiritual chaos. It all holds a condemning cost.
- Dire warning about the eternal consequences of sin.
3. Faithful living produces powerful fruit.
- verses 22-26
- The flesh and the Spirit cannot be co-equal. We live by one or the other.
- The fruit of a faithful life produces a powerful effect.
- Spirit working in us produces spiritual fruit through us.
- Spirit working through us produces godly character.
- Living by the power of the Spirit gives us the humility to serve others.
- The Spirit works both in us and through us. There is no need to choose one over the other.
- Bearing fruit is the outcome of Spirit-led living. An apple tree does not groan and sweat to produce apples. Given the right amount of water, nutrients, pollination and sunlight, a fruit tree produces fruit.
- John 15:16
- Following the Spirit requires our active involvement.
- God is waiting for us to move in faith.
- Turn from the deeds of the flesh to the fruit of the Spirit.
- The fruit of the Spirit produces a character that has a missionary impact on your relationships.