(Review part 1 – click on author’s name for earlier lesson)
Mankind tries to deal with the flesh by suppression or celebration
Galatians deals with both issues, however, the majority of the book deals with the problem of Christians using the law to find freedom in Christ.
Men often write rules to stop the corruption by the flesh.
This is, “the legislation of morality”
The laws of a society are not its jewels, they are its chains. They deny individual liberty.
Unredeemed society drifts back and forth between tyranny and anarchy.
NT Christianity is as different as Sarah and Hagar (Galatians 4:21-31)
Old Testament Law: Hagar / Sinai - Physical Jerusalem / Bondage
New Testament Spirit: Sarah / Heavenly Jerusalem / Liberty
Galatians teaches that to return to our OT roots is to return to Christless bondage.
•There is no Christian Priesthood or sacrifices
•There is no Christian circumcision
•We cannot impose OT laws upon NT believers
•Jewish people following traditional Jewish customs are not closer to God than Gentiles who do not practice Jewish customs
Does Paul think the law is helpful or harmful to the Christian life?
The Law is the servant of faith, serving as a schoolmaster – Gal. 3:24
•It revealed the presence of sin
•It revealed the need for and possibility of propitiation through atonement
•It revealed the coming “lamb of God” who could take away the sin of the world
•It revealed the need for faith
Paul never declares the law to be evil. – Gal. 3:21-23
He merely declares it to be powerless…
•Incapable of justifying the sinner – Gal. 2:16
•Incapable of sanctifying the saint – Gal. 3:1-2, 10-14
A Law’s sphere of influence is limited to the outward actions of a man.
•Law cannot discern the thoughts and intents of the heart
•It can restrain those who use liberty in a destructive way
•It can create order by conformity
•Law can judge the actions and declare one man to be moral and another to be immoral.
•Laws can be parsed to create loop-holes that justify actions that violate the spirit of the law.
Can the Jewish Laws be an acceptable tool to fight the flesh?
•The Prayer of the “flesh-fighter” – Luke 18:11-12
How was he better than your ordinary man?
•What was wrong? – Luke 18:9, 14
Legalistic flesh IS STILL FLESH!
What is God’s plan for sanctification?
•Reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God – Galatians 2:20
•The just shall live by Faith – Galatians 3:11
•Put off, Be Renewed, Put on – Ephesians 4:22-24
•Walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16