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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - December 8, 2007
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December 8, 2007

Galatians 4-6
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Chapter 4
  1. Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
  2. But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
  3. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
  4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
  5. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
  6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
  7. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
  8. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
  9. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
  10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
  11. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
  12. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
  13. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
  14. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
  15. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
  16. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
  17. They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
  18. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
  19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
  20. I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
  21. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
  22. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
  23. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
  24. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
  25. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
  26. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
  27. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
  28. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
  29. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
  30. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
  31. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

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Chapter 5
  1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
  2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
  3. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
  4. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
  5. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
  6. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
  7. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
  8. This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
  9. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
  10. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
  11. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
  12. I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
  13. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
  14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
  15. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
  16. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
  17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
  18. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
  19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
  20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
  21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
  23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
  24. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
  25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
  26. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

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Chapter 6
  1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
  2. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
  3. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
  4. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
  5. For every man shall bear his own burden.
  6. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
  7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
  8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
  9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
  10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
  11. Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
  12. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
  13. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
  14. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
  15. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
  16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
  17. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
  18. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
    (To the Galatians written from Rome.)

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Thought for the day:
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 Paul continues his comments on legalism and liberty in this section of Galatians. He opens chapter 5 by telling the believers to stand fast in their liberty, and not allow themselves to be yoked again into the bondage of law-keeping (5:1-4). In verse 13 he then tells then not to mistake their liberty for license. He writes,

"use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another".
Some Christians think that because they have been saved by grace and freed from the law of sin and death that they now have the right to do whatever they want to do. This is certainly not the case. We have the freedom to walk in the Spirit and follow His leading so that we can serve the Lord effectively through His Word. When a person uses his liberty to act in a selfish, flesh-pleasing way, he is sinning against God. When he uses his liberty to serve others, then he is doing what God desires. Ultimately, according to 5:14, the believer is to be motivated by love for his brother.

 In verses 16-25 Paul tells the Galatians that they need to walk in the Spirit. This means that Christians ought to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit's leading in their lives that they know what He wants them to do and they follow Him. If a believer does this, he will not be living a fleshly life, for the Spirit will never lead a Christian towards worldly pursuits. Paul makes it clear that a spiritual battle rages within the child of God. His flesh is at work against the Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is working to help him overcome his carnal desires. The Christian has to decide who is going to guide him - the Spirit or his own flesh.

 In verses 19-21 Paul says that the man who is under the direction of the Spirit will live a certain type of lifestyle. He will abstain from sexual sin, including lust (lasciviousness). He will stay away from false gods (idolatry, witchcraft). He will not have improper thoughts about ,or relationships with, others (hatred, variance [quarrels], emulations [jealous indignation], wrath, envy, murder). He will not be divisive in action or doctrine (strife, sedition, heresy). He will not be a "party animal" (drunkenness, revellings). This is how the unsaved live, and a believer will never be led by the Spirit to behave in such a way. In contrast, the Spirit leads men to have love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (self-control), which are exactly the opposite of the way the ungodly live.

 How is this going to happen? In verse 24 Paul states,

"they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
When I got saved the Bible tells me that my
"old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:6).
Thus, I no longer have to be a slave to my flesh. I can win the victory because God has conquered sin and the Holy Spirit dwells within me. Thus, I can "live in the Spirit" (Gal 5:25). Paul then says that if I live in the Spirit, I need to give outward evidence of that by walking in the Spirit. He concludes in verse 26 by summarizing what the Holy Spirit will not lead believers to do. He will not lead them to be self-centered and looking for the praise of men. He will not lead them to be irritating others through their actions and attitudes. He will not lead them to envy others and desire what others have, but rather will led them to be content.

 What are you doing with your liberty in Christ? Are you using it as an excuse to sin, or are you using it to serve the Lord? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to direct you instead of surrendering to your flesh? Do your actions line up more with verses 19-21, or with verses 22-23? Your answer to these questions will prove who is controlling your life.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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