Friday, April 15, 2016

Bible Study ~ Freedom in Christ is Freedom from the Law (Galatians 5:16-26)

In this study of God’s Book, the focus is on the freedom God’s children have in Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Of particular notice is the freedom God has given us from the law. Every child of God must know why our freedom from the law gives us freedom in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

A.  What does God say will happen to everyone who walks by his Spirit?

B.  What has God done to make sure we can do this? (Note A: I’ve included a verse from Romans 5 at the end of this study to help you with this question.)

C.  Who decides whether the promise of this verse will happen in our lives?

17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5)

A.  What is always true about the desires of the flesh (sark)?

B.  What is always true about the desires of the Holy Spirit?

C.  What is the flesh’s aim in pitting it’s desires against the Spirit?

D.  How well is this working in your life?

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Galatians 5)

A.  Since the conflict is between the flesh and the Spirit, why did Paul say that those who are led by the Spirit “are not under the law”, rather than saying that they “are not under the flesh”? (Note B: I’ve included a passage from Romans 7 at the end of this study if you don’t know the answer to this question.)

B.  What does Paul mean by a life that is “led by the Spirit”?

C.  How do we get this Spirit-led life? (Note C: I have included a passage from Romans 8 at the end of this study to help you with the answer to this question.)

D.  How would you describe your life in relation to the Spirit-led life?

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. (Galatians 5)

A.  How much have you seen that this list of works of the flesh are “evident”?

B.  What does it add to the picture when Paul concludes, “and things like these”?

C.  How evident are the works of the flesh in your life, family, church?

21 I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5)

A.  How important are these things to Paul since he is doubling up his previous warning?

B.  What is the real life consequence for those “who do such things”?

C.  What does it mean to you that God wants those who do inherit the kingdom of God to live differently from those who do not inherit the kingdom of God?

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5)

A.  If these qualities are the “fruit of the Spirit”, what do we need in our lives in order to bear this fruit?

B.  In reference to Paul’s earlier expression that, “if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (vs 18), what do you think he means here by emphasizing that “against such things there is no law”?

C.  How fruitful is your life in the Spirit when measured by this list of Christlike qualities?

24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5)

A.  What does Paul say has already happened to “those who belong to Christ Jesus” that gives us the decided advantage in living by the Spirit instead of by the flesh?

B.  How does this passage from Romans 6 help us appreciate what this verse means? 

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6)

C.  How does your experience compare to a life in which someone has “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”?

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5)

A.  What is the necessary expectation of everyone who professes to have come into the kingdom of God by repenting and believing in the gospel?

B.  What does the “let us” tell us about who is responsible to make sure this happens?

C.  Since this is an exhortation of God’s word (calling us to do what is written), what are you going to do to respond in obedient faith?

26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5)

A.  How does the “let us not” give us the necessary counterpart to the “let us” of the previous verse?

B.  How would each of these fleshly qualities damage the church’s efforts to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3)?

·         Becoming conceited:

·         Provoking one another:

·         Envying one another:

C.  How would keeping in step with the Spirit ensure that we do not carry out these passions and desires of the flesh?


A.  What is the central thing you hear God speaking to you about through this passage from his Book?

B.  What do you see God doing in you, and around you, through his word and through his Spirit?

C.  What are some specific things you need to do to join God in his work?

Note A: Romans 5:5

5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5)

Note B: Romans 7:4-6

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.[1]

Note C: Romans 8:1-11

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. [2]

© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] The whole context of Romans 7:1-25 is very important to understanding how it is our freedom from the law that gives us victory over the flesh.
[2] The whole context of Romans 8:1-39 gives the wonderful context of the victorious Christian life, and clearly explains how we experience the life of freedom through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

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