"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" The Proper Use Of Our Liberty (5:13-15) INTRODUCTION 1. In Ga 5:1, Paul mentioned our liberty in Christ... 2. An earlier study summarized what this liberty entails... a. Christ has delivered the Jews from their obligation to keep the Law of Moses b. Christ has delivered all men from the guilt and power of sin c. Christ has delivered us from the need to keep human traditions d. Christ offers deliverance from the deeds of the flesh which endanger our salvation -- See the lesson "Standing Fast In The Liberty Of Christ" (Ga 5:1) 3. In Ga 5:13-15, Paul returns to the theme of liberty... a. With an admonition regarding its proper use in Christ b. Which we do well to give close attention [His concerns are simple yet significant. In the exercise of liberty, we must...] I. NOT TO SERVE THE FLESH A. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH THREATEN OUR SPIRITUALITY... 1. As Jesus warned during His earthly ministry - Mk 7:20-23 2. The works of the flesh include hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions - cf. Ga 5:20 3. If not careful, through such actions we may consume one another! - Ga 5:15 -- Liberty in Christ does not mean license to do whatever we want B. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ENDANGER OUR SALVATION... 1. By being contrary to the desire of the Spirit - Ga 5:16-17 2. By forfeiting our inheritance in the kingdom of God - Ga 5: 19-21; cf. 1Co 6:9-11 3. By reaping corruption for those who sow to the flesh - Ga 6:8 -- We should take the danger of the works of the flesh seriously C. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH MUST BE CRUCIFIED... 1. Because of the wrath of God which is coming - Col 3:5-8 2. With the aid of the Spirit - Ro 8:12-13 3. Otherwise, we are not truly Christ's - Ga 5:24-26 -- We have been set free from bondage of sin that we might serve God (Ro 6:11-19) [How the Christian is able to able to do this, Paul will discuss later (Ga 5:16-18). In our text, though, we find the other side of the coin regarding our liberty in Christ. We are not to serve the flesh...] II. BUT TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER A. WE ARE TO SERVE ONE ANOTHER... 1. The Lord has blessed each of us with different abilities - Ro 12:3-8 2. We are to minister such gifts to one another - 1Pe 4:10-11 3. The strong bearing with the infirmities of the weak - Ro 15:1 4. Each of us focused on edifying our brethren - Ro 15:2-3; 14:19 -- Liberty in Christ means to be free to serve one another! B. SERVING ONE ANOTHER THROUGH LOVE... 1. Loving one another fulfills the Law - Ga 5:14; Ro 13:8-10 2. Love enables one to serve others with sacrifice - Php 2:17; 1Jn 3:16 3. Love will serve others, even when it is not reciprocal - 2 Co 12:15 -- Love, not begrudging obligation, should motivate our service to one another! CONCLUSION 1. Our liberty in Christ is a wonderful blessing... a. Deliverance from the guilt and power of sin b. Deliverance from the works of the flesh which endanger our salvation 2. Our liberty in Christ should produce the right response... a. Gratitude in our hearts to God b. Loving service in our lives to one another Until we are serving one another through love, we have yet to properly exercise the liberty that we have in Christ...!