on the Spirit walk (sermon summary)

Tonight we were on Gal 5-6. I called the message “The Spirit Walk“. In Galatians, there are three great points Paul makes: I am an apostle, so you better listen (applies to all of us); Justification is by Faith alone, the first doctrine of the church; and now sanctification is by faith also.

This concept is perhaps one of the hardest for us to get about Christian living. Humans think that the only way to produce righteousness is to restrain evil. In this evil world, we do need to restrain evil, no doubt about it. But we won’t produce holiness, righteousness, or sanctified saints that way. Paul says ‘For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.’ [gal 5.5 esv] This is justification and ultimate sanctification all wrapped up into one. What is the hope of righteousness that we are waiting for? The righteousness that comes when our blessed hope comes, when we will sin no more. We wait for that righteousness by faith, believing it will come. Then Paul says: ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.’ [gal 5.6 esv] In the meantime, between justification and the righteousness to come, we live by faith (not the OT Law) and we are sanctified by faith which works by love: Love for God, Love for man.

This Spirit walk is successful when we walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh (5.16). If we walk in the flesh, the result is not righteousness but the works of the flesh. If we walk in the Spirit, the result is the fruit of the Spirit, love joy peace, etc. because we are not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. We do this by loving God and loving others, the ‘more excellent way’, and the Great Commandment that is over the Law (which was fulfilled in Christ anyway). We don’t need the works of the Law for sanctification, we need faith which works by love.

I didn’t have time tonight to actually cover ch. 6 which gives us two applicatons of walking the Spirit walk, but the whole concept was quite a blessing to us as we considered it.

The key is this: We must work our faith by love – we can’t just somehow mystically ‘believe’ and BAM we are sanctified. We have to work our faith by love for God and love for others.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3