The Spirit's Fruits - Final Conclusion - Galatians

Dr. Steve Viars May 7, 1991 Galatians 5:22-24

- tonight we're going to have our "Final Conclusion" of this
study of the fruit of the Spirit
- I thought about calling this "I'm not making any more
promises!"

- If you haven't been a part of this series all along, the
reason we're kidding around about this is because we've
been finishing this study off now for four weeks
- we had a final review, final wrap-up, final cap-off

- I felt kind of bad about that, but I've been think9ing
about two things that put all this in perspective

1) Peter did the same thing in I Peter - Pastor told us
Sunday night that Peter said "Finally my brothers" in
chapter 3 and then he wrote a couple more chapters
- so if Peter could do it in the Bible, surely I can
do it in a Bible study
2) Secondly, it dawned on me that this is really not my
fault.
- (Now let me see if you'll buy this)
- It's really the congregation's fault! - You've
given a lot of tremendous input which has helped
strengthen our discussions, and sharpen our
applications, but its also lengthened the study!
- Seriously,
1) there are some important issues I'd like to speak to
you about
2) one of our pastors is speaking the next two Wednesdays so
it didn't make a lot of sense to me for me to begin a
new series
3) The club's workers will be joining us in a couple of
weeks, so that seems to be the best time to begin
something new.
- Tonight - I'd like us to address four issues:
1) What did Paul mean in verse 26 when he said "walk in
the Spirit?" - we use that phrase but I think it would
be good for us to discuss specifically what it means.

2) I'd also like to jump back up and talk about a phrase
in the passage that we've skipped.
- Did you notice that in verses 22-23, there was
one phrase that we haven't addressed at all?
- INPUT (which one?)

- Do you know why that is?
- a lot of the books on these verses completely
skip that phrase. They don't even mention that
it exists.
- I've been wrestling with it for several weeks,
- I've talked to a number of folks, called a
number of folks, read some additional
books
- I decided that if we were going to take another
week on this study - we would work on that phrase
- the more I study it the more I think there's a
very important point to be made from it
- so we're going to talk about the phrase
"against such there is no law"
3) Why did Paul conclude this study with verse 26? (READ)
- at first glance, that doesn't seem to be a natural
way to conclude.
- In fact, some men who have written on these
verses have actually ended the discussion at
verse 25 and then tied verse 26 with the next
chapter.
- I don't think that’s correct, but we need to
discuss why Paul ended this the way he did?

4) Lastly (if we have time, I'd like to brainstorm the
question, what are some practical ways to help our
children to develop these important characteristics

- You'll notice that our outline begins with Roman II
- that’s because this is a continuation of the outline from
last week and these first two points especially fit in with
what we already said last week about capitalizing on
positional truth and using it as a method of growth today

- we said last week


I. Remember who you are in Christ

- you belong to Him
- some very important things happened positionally when
you were saved, including the fact that you crucified
the flesh with its affections and lusts, that is you
were set free and you no longer had to sin

- remember who you are in Christ - you're not a slave to
those sinful habits of thinking and behaving any longer

- Now Paul:

II. Commands us to live in light of our position

- READ 5:22-26

- INPUT - let me ask you tonight - do you consider the
phrase "walk in the Spirit" as an encouraging verse
or a challenging verse? (Why?)

- there's a couple different ways we can look at that

A. the term "walk" is a challenge

- the reason I say that’s a challenge is because Paul
says - walk in the Spirit (not sit in the Spirit)

- illus - elderly couple - in 70's - married over 50
years

- bickering, fighting, lying, cutting each other up
- yet said they had been believers for decades

- How could that happen? - hadn't been walking in
the Spirit - hadn't taken the Spirit's sword and
applied it to areas that verses 22-23 identify

INPUT - let me ask you this question. Let's say there's
someone here who's been recently saved and would say--
- I don't have any idea what I need to specifically
be doing in order to walk in the Spirit. I want
to - but I'm just not sure how
- and I'm afraid (and rightfully so) that I
won't be developing these components of the
Spirit's fruit at the rate God desires
unless I am walking in the Spirit

- What would you tell them to do to walk in the Spirit?

1) Faithfulness to the services (What Pastor said
about coming to SS unless you were on your way to
intensive care - I completely agree with - don't
you?)

- but not just coming - but coming with a
prayerful attitude saying to God, please
convict me through the power of the Holy Spirit
as I listen to this message and help me to
block out anything that would hinder or grieve
the Holy Spirit's ministry in my life this
hour.

2) Regular time in the Word - (here's why we need to
mention this one. We've been emphasizing this in
our SS class (and I'm sure others are as well),
and here's what we're hearing
- when we came to I Tim 4:7 and talked about
exercising ourselves to godliness, I've had a
lot of folks say that they really struggle
about getting any kind of regular time in the
Word and prayer.
- now we're not going to become legalistic about
that, but isn't it safe to say that if we're
going to be "keeping in step with the Spirit",
we ought to be getting some sort of regular
time in His Word?

3) Thinking of definite, specific scripture passages
throughout the day that given the way we think
and respond.
- questions like -
- What would God want me to do in this
situation?
- What does God's Word say about this?

- Lord, please help me please you here?

- Lord, please forgive me for not applying your
truth there - help me as I go make that right.

- point is - the word walk is a challenge, and it would be
good for us to ask ourselves if one of the reasons we
aren't developing the fruit of the Spirit at the rate
that God desires is because sometimes we're "sitting in
the Spirit" instead of keeping in step with Him

- while that's true, I think we can also say that:

2. the term "walk" is an encouragement

- INPUT - why is that true?

- a couple of weeks ago we were tying two important
passages into this study, I Tim. 6:11 and II Tim. 2:22
- we said that those passages are important because they
contain similar lists of fruits like Gal. 5:22-23 but
they talk about "pursuing after" these things

- we even looked at an OT illustration that used the word
pursue with a certain kind of animal in a certain kind
of situation
- INPUT - what animal? (gazelle running for his life)

- we said that night that the issue there was intensity,
but not necessarily speed
- God wants us to go at developing these components with
great intensity
- but the phrase "walk in the Spirit" balances that
out, and in so doing gives great encouragement and
hope

- God doesn't expect a perfect orchard tomorrow


- that’s not the way you or I would have designed it
we would have said - if you want to go to heaven, it's
going to take perfection
- one unloving act - you're out
- an episode of impatience - and you're done

- either cultivate a perfect orchard, or no salvation
for you

- but, shall we heave a collective sigh or relief that I'm
not God, or that you're not
- because the same God who wants development of these fruits,
also possesses them

- God is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, etc.
- and as a result, while He's expecting us to walk in the
Spirit (which is a challenge) – that’s all He's
expecting (which is an encouragement)

- the issue isn't - "perfect fruit tomorrow"
- the issue isn't - your peach has to be as sweet as "so
and so" who's been saved much longer
- the issue is - are you growing - is your fruit sweeter
than it was last year?
- are there definite changes?

- Are you living in light of your position by walking in
the spirit?


- now, if we put verses 24 and 25 together, some good
questions to ask would be:

- when others around view me and the areas that are
identified in verse 22-23, would they say -

1) there's a person who belongs to Christ - that person
must be a Christian
2) that person has been freed - they're not bound to
sinful habits - not talking about perfection - but
there's clear evidence of freedom
3) You can tell they're saved by the way they walk

(Live in light of your position - Walk (keep in step with)
the Spirit)

- I'd like to jump back and talk about that phrase "against
such there is no law"
- INPUT - I think, if you think about it, that phrase is
somewhat hard to understand.

- What about that phrase is hard to understand? What
questions do we need to ask in order to understand
it better? (varied answers- esp. what law would
possible be against these things?)

- this is going to be under Roman III, but I'd like to leave
the main point out until we work through some of these
concepts, then we'll come back and fill it in

A. What does Paul mean by "such?"

- the NASB translates that word "such things"

- INPUT - what things is he referring to?
- things such as the fruit of the Spirit

- we said a couple of weeks ago that this list wasn't
comprehensive
- there are other lists that contain other
characteristics of Christ

- so Paul is saying - "against such things" - the
character qualities listed here, love, joy, peace,
etc. and other character qualities of Christ listed
in other places in the Bible

B. What law?

INPUT - what law is Paul talking about?

- he's talking about the OT law
- the book of Galatians was written to discuss the
believer's relationship to the OT law
- you remember, the false teachers wanted the
Galatians to back to the law,
- and be circumcised in order to be saved
- and observe certain dietary laws

- so the point so far is - The OT law is not against
such things as the fruit of the Spirit, (love, joy,
peace, longsuffering...)
- now the natural question that would flow out of that
would be: "Well, who would think that they were?"
- the answer to that comes from fitting this into the
context:

C. Input from the context

1. 3:23 - (READ)

- point is - the law never saved anybody
- the law simply was given to show men and
women they couldn't keep it, so that they
would turn to God in Faith

- that’s why verse 24 says - the law was our what?
(schoolmaster) - teaching us the perfect
character of God through his moral law, and our
complete inability to keep it apart from Him

- the law was intended to convict men so they
would turn to Him in faith

- (V. 23) - "kept under the law" is prison
terminology – that’s why the NASB translates it
"kept in custody under the law"
- living under the law was like being in prison

point is - the law was always against you

- you could also factor in Romans 7:1

2. Romans 7:1 - "...I had not known sin but by the
law, for I had not known coveting, except the law
said, Thou shalt not covet."

- key phrase is - the law was always against you
- it was given to show us
1) the perfect character of God
2) the sinful character of man
3) our complete inability to keep it
4) our desperate need of a Savior

3. (the rich young ruler) - Luke 18

- that’s why Jesus said to the rich young ruler who asked,
what must I do to inherit eternal life
- Jesus said this:
- "You know the commandments, Do not commit
adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear
false witness, Honor thy Father and mother."

- that’s kind of a strange answer
- the man asks how to be saved - and Jesus repeats the law to
him
- INPUT - do you remember what the man said? (All these have
I kept from my youth)

- INPUT - do you remember what Jesus said back to that?
(go sell all you have - in other words, if you really
think you've kept all the commandments - let's give you
a test
- Let's see if you don't have any other gods before
me
- let's see if you don't covet

- INPUT - do you remember what the man did? (He went away
sorrowful, because he was very rich)

- see, why did Jesus give the law to a person wanting to know
how to be saved?
- answer is - because he wasn't ready to hear anything else
- he needed the law so he could understand:
1) the perfect character of God
2) the sinful character of man
3) his complete inability to keep the law
4) his desperate need for a savior

- see, the law was always against you
- it was like being in prison

- Hebrews 10 helps us understand that as well

4. Hebrews 10:1-4

- do you see the problem with the law that's brought out with
those verses?
- the sacrifices under the OT legal system could only address
sins in the past
- you were always behind

- as soon as you left the sacrifice, you sinned, and the law
condemned you, and you were behind
- and those sacrifices had to be offered over and over and
over again

- Paul's point is - living under the law was like being in
prison
- its was always against you
- it was always condemning you
- you were always behind

- but that changed in the New Testament

- remember what Jesus said at the Lord's table?
- "This cup is the what?" (the new covenant)

- Jer. 31:33 tells us about one of the primary provisions of
the New Covenant

5. Jer. 31:33

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel: After those days, saith
the Lord, I will put my law in their inward
parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be
their God, and they shall be my people."

- the point is - the law used to always be against you
- it condemned you of sin
- you were always behind
- it was like living in prison

- but then Jesus died on the cross, and paid the debt of sin
(past, present, and future) once and for all

- when you trusted Christ as savior, He made you a new person
with a new heart,
- now you could begin developing the fruit of the Spirit from
the inside

- Paul sums the idea up exactly in II Cor. 3:3

6. II Cor. 3:3

"Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be
the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written
not with ink but with the Spirit of the living
God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables
of the heart"

- point is - isn't it great to live under the New
Testament (new covenant)
- where you can seek to please God
- where you can seek to grow
- where you can seek to develop the components of
the Spirit's fruit

- without the condemnation, without the guilt, without
constantly being behind

- the great thing about the fruit of the Spirit is -
there's no law against it!

7. Gal. 5:18 - "But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye
are not under the law"

- one last passage sums it up as well

8. Rom. 8:1-4

"There is now, therefore, no condemnation to them
who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit
of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the
law of sin and death. For what the law could not
do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God
sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful
flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh,
that the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but
after the Spirit.

- you might say, PV, what should that mean to me?
- we ought to be so thankful for:
1) the information God has given us on these components
2) the ability He's given us to develop them

- why? because we all know what its like to be on the other
side of the fence
- we know what's it like to be condemned (guilty,
remorseful)

- as you develop the Spirit's fruit
- there's no law against it
- there's no condemnation
- guilt free living

- "Against such things there is no law"

- Paul concludes with an unusual statement - read 26

- I think we need to ask, how does that fit into the
overall argument?

- point is:

III. Don't Let Pride Hinder The Process

- I think we need to say it this way - there were at
least 3 potential kinds of people who would hear
read this letter, and all three needed to hear
verse 26

1. the legalists - they needed to hear it because
their pride had thrust them into legalism in the
first place

2. the self-righteous - I'm thinking here of
individuals who heard these words but thought - I
don't really need to change

3. those who would take steps to grow in these areas

- NASB - let us not become boastful

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video