Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 86 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Galatians 5 today and our focus is on the fruit of the Spirit, Walk in the Spirit and How to Recognize Maturity in Others. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Yorkshire, UK, Bangladesh, Assam, India, and Baltimore, Maryland. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan
How do you know if somebody is a mature and Godly Christian leader that is worth your time or attention? In an age where we can listen to the best teaching and teachers in the world via Youtube, podcasts, and other digital means, it is a good question to ask. Over the years, working at various Christian conferences and such, I’ve been able to see some moderately ‘famous’ Christians up close. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not name-dropping – I don’t count anybody famous among my friends….but I have seen several Christian leaders backstage, so to speak. Many, if not most of them, have seemed to show great evidence of genuine godliness and maturity. Others, however, might appear to be amazing on stage, and might seem to be supremely gifted, but behind the scenes, their lives showed evidence of trouble. Perhaps you can think of a few high-profile Christian leaders and politicians over the years who have had well publicized scandals? How can we know who is a real Godly Christian or leader worth listening to? Is it through their speaking ability or spiritual gifts, or the size of their church? I don’t think any of those are reliable indicators of somebody’s level of godliness. Rather, as Jesus tells us, we will know other Christians not by their gifts, or the number of their followers on social media, the size of their church, or the price of their shoes, but by their fruit:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20
Let’s read our passage today, and see the kinds of fruit you should see manifesting in your life (and mine) as we follow Jesus.
How can you and I walk in the Spirit, and not walk in the flesh? I like pastor David Platt’s answer to this question:
What he does is gives us basically the acts of the sinful nature in verse 19–21 and then the fruit of the Spirit in verse 22. And you get down to Verse 24 and it says: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:24–25).
This is good news. Paul is talking to these folks, the church in Galatia, and he is saying, “You have been given the Spirit inside of you and yet so many of you are still living like you are in bondage to the sinful nature.” And he says, “You have been delivered from that. You don’t live according to the sinful nature any more. You live in step with the Spirit. Now the Spirit is in you.” Ladies and gentlemen there is a word there for us today. And it is a good word.
For far too long the church of Jesus Christ in which Christ dwells, has looked exactly like those who live according to the sinful nature. And the beauty of Galatians 5 and the beauty of Colossians 1:27, ladies and gentlemen, is when you trust in Christ, your sinful nature is crucified. It is rendered powerless, completely powerless. And you are no longer in bondage to sin. Not one of you in this room who has trusted in Christ is any longer in bondage to sin. You know why? Because Christ is not in bondage to sin and Christ is in you.
Therefore, you don’t have to live as a slave to that sin any more because Christ has conquered it and you don’t have to defeat it because He has already defeated it for you. The Christian life is not about us going out and trying to defeat the sins and temptations we struggle with. Christ has already taken care of that. It is living in the life that Christ has already paid the price to give us. So we are delivered from the sinful nature. He exchanges, puts the Spirit in us. Christ in us. Jesus has exchanged His life with us.
Galatians 2:20 what does he say? “I am crucified with Christ, but nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” I am crucified with Christ. Sinful nature gone, out of the picture. Christ lives in me and the life that I now live in the body, I now live by faith in Him who loved me and gave Himself for me. He has taken your sinful nature and He has crucified it to a cross. You are no longer in bondage to it any more because Christ is in you and He has transformed the very core of your being.
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Identity: Christ in You,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 925–926.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”
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