Ladies Bible Study
A Study in Galatians
"Fruit of the Spirit"
In last monthís lesson we talked about Sarah and Hagar, the wives of Abraham.
Sarah represented the promise of the spirit and Hagar the things of the flesh.
Just as Abraham put away Hagar and her son, Ishmael, representing the flesh. We must also put away the flesh, the worldís way of doing things and submit to the spirit represented by Sarah. Sarah bore Abraham a son, Isaac, which was the son of promise, the son of the Covenant and the son of flesh and the son of promise could not live together, just as the ways of the world, the flesh and the ways of God, the spirit, cannot live together. We must choose one, Godís way, and be faithful to it!
Letís look at our Scripture for tonight.
Galatians 5:1-26: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'' But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:1-2: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
we are no longer bound by the law of the flesh and we must stand fast in the liberty God has provided for us. We cannot get bound up in laws that do not apply to us, and never did apply to us. Paul is saying to the Galatians, and thus to us, we are not bound by the Old Covenant Laws, they do not apply to us and if we try to keep them, as the Galatians did, by circumcision, then we are bound to keep every last written law. To do this is to negate all Christ accomplished on the cross. The Galatians were in fact saying, by accepting circumcision, that Jesus was not enough, that His death and resurrection was not enough to reconcile us to God. But Praise God, He is enough, and we are not bound by laws to become righteous, Jesus did it for us! Amen!!!
Galatians 5:3-6: 3. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
When you try to justify yourself by fleshly acts, you are no longer in grace. You have fallen from grace into the flesh and out of the spiritual realm. Believe me this is not a place you want to be. Our goal is to stay connected to God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to be led by the Spirit in all avenues and to stay in grace, not the flesh. Anything that is not of grace and love is not of God, for faith worketh by love.
Galatians 5:7-12: You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
Paul is pretty forceful in these verses. It is very important for him to restore the Galatians to the correct path and he is very concerned about the untruths that have been planted in their minds and hearts. That is why he uses the allegory of the leaven.
Leaven is a substance used to produce fermentation in dough, we know it as yeast.
Usually a piece of fermented dough from previous baking would be added to the fresh dough to cause it to rise.
The use of leaven was prohibited by the Jews in food offered to God in sacrifice by fire, which was burned on the altar to God as a total sacrifice. It was not waived or given to the Lord and then used by the priest as many of the other sacrifices or offerings were used.
Metaphorically, leaven represents something that can totally permeate what it touches. It symbolizes influence either good or bad in our lives.
Leaven as a good influence in our lives.
Matthew 13:33: Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.''
Luke 13:30-21: And again He said, "To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21. "It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.''
These verses represent the influence the things of God have in our lives. When we submit ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit, spend time in Godís Word and in prayer, we become influenced by the leaven of Heaven, which is a good thing. It is the hidden powerful pervasive influence of God in our lives. Amen?
Jesus also used leaven to describe bad influence in our lives.
Matthew 16:6-12: Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.'' And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread.'' But when Jesus perceived it, He said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
"Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? "Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? "How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? but you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.''
Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
The doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees is what was influencing the Galatians, in the form of false teachers teaching circumcision, and following the law and not grace. If we are not wise in the ways of the enemy and not strong in the Word of God, then we too, will be rotted with false teachers. It is very important to get this into you spirit. Try the spirits, be sure what you read and hear whether it is in these lessons, or something or someone on Christian television that it lines up with the Word of God. Be very careful, just because someone quotes the Bible does not mean they are of God. Remember that when Satan tempted Jesus, he quoted the Word to Him. It is very important that you know the truth of Godís Word and have the witness in your spirit that what you are reading or hearing is truth. Absolute trust in the integrity of Godís Word is essential. There is a lot of false and misleading teaching out there right now, even in the secular world and we must be careful and guard our hearts and mind!
We choose the leaven and how it will influence our lives! Amen!
Paul in the above Scriptures, stresses to the Galatians, that he is confident that through this teaching, they will rid themselves of the falsehood and return to the true teaching of grace.
He is very forceful in what he thinks of these teachers and their fate.
-- American Standard
Galatians 5:12: I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision.
-- Simple English
Galatians 5:12: I wish those people who are upsetting you would add castration!
That is a powerful statement and shows how ungodly, this influence was in their lives.