We’re in Galatians 5 titled “Walking by the Spirit.” and it is a command to walk by the Spirit. It’s a command in verse 16; it’s a command repeated in verse 25. We also noted that there is a conflict involved in trying to obey this command. In verse 17, our still unredeemed human flesh works against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. That’s why living the Christian life is a battle.
It’s the flesh warring against the Holy Spirit who is in us. And then after the conflict in verses 17 - 18 comes a contrast between the deeds of the flesh, verses 19 - 21, and the fruit of the Spirit, verses 22 - 23. To live a godly life requires not that you develop your human strength to make you more moral in life. But if you’re going honor and satisfy God, the only way possible is to walk by the Spirit.
You have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Nothing you do in your flesh pleases God. All your best efforts in the flesh only produce sin. The Spirit alone produces righteous fruit listed in verses 22 - 23. “Walk” means to take life one step at a time in the direction that the Spirit of God has revealed in the Word of God; and He promises to give us the power to live in that obedience.
In the New Testament we are called Christians, because we are Christ-like. “Christian” is a key word to identify us. It was a word that basically was first used by pagans who named the followers of Christ, “Christians.” They thought it was a way to deride people; but actually it was a pretty noble compliment to say that they were little Christs. We are following Christ, we try to bear His image.
Another word for us in the New Testament is the word “disciple.” It also describes us, and the word translated “disciples” is mathētēs in the Greek. It means “learner” or “student.” We are students of Jesus Christ; we sit at His feet, we learn from Him. He is our Lord and Master. He is our Teacher, our Instructor. So we are called disciples, which means that we are learners.
Also in the New Testament we are called “brothers,” and “sisters,” which is to say that we are in the family. We’re not just little Christs, we’re not just students of Christ, we are also His family members. We have been entered into the family of God. We’ve been born into the family of God by the new birth, and we’ve been adopted into the family of God by the choice of God Himself.
And there’s another term that we should know. What it is to be a follower of Christ; we’re called “slaves.” The word is doulos. It appears about a hundred and twenty-five times in the New Testament; and when it is used to refer to believers it is often translated as “servant.” But we are really slaves. Which means that we give willing, loving, faithful obedience to the One who owns us, who bought us.
But there is another word, and it is “saint.” The word means “holy.” We are the holy ones; and it’s used over two hundred times. It is just a simple, plain designation for every believer. I know it’s hard to think of yourself that way. The reality is that you don’t act like one all the time, correct? But this expression is used to describe us in Scripture, and it is continuously used to describe us.
You come to the Epistles and you are at the end of Revelation designated as saints. I want you to understand this. So let me just show you a few Scriptures that will help you see it. Paul wrote Romans 1: 1, “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,” and then in verse 7 it says, “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called saints.”
You are all saints. These are young believers in Rome, and they are all designated as saints. This is a title that belongs to us all. In Romans 8:26-27, speaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit intercedes for with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
The Holy Spirit is praying for us, and in His prayers He identifies us as saints, God is not hesitant to call us saints and the Holy Spirit is not hesitant to pray for us as saints. In Ephesians 1, Paul says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus.” In Philippians 1, “Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi.”
1 Corinthians was a long letter because a lot was wrong in Corinth. But in spite of all these terrible things like division, discord, disunity, fighting, strife, pride, bitterness, immorality and many other sins. Still, it says in 1 Cor. 1:1-2, “Paul, called an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified (made saints) in Christ Jesus.”
You are saints by calling. It is not your behavior that earned you the right to be a saint. You are called to be a holy one, and it is an effectual call. You are saints in spite of your weaknesses. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”
And in 1 Corinthians 6:1 it says, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” This is a heavenly calling. You have been called to holiness. You have been sanctified. You have been made a saint. This is how the Corinthian believers are called. They are saints, in spite of their sin.
1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” Here, Paul is talking about the misuse of speaking in tongues; and he reminds them that they are saints. This church maybe should be called Riverside Indonesian Saints, that’s who we are, and it’s important that we understand that. That identifies us as those who have been transformed.
Here is the conclusion, salvation leads to sanctification. If you’re saved you are a saint. Hebrews 10:10 says, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” In Acts 26:18 Paul says that God sent him to open the eyes of the Gentiles that they might turn from the dominion of Satan to God, that they receive an inheritance with those sanctified by faith in Me.” Faith makes you holy.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit, then to illuminate the Scripture and empower the believer to obedience. You’re a saint, and as you study the Word of God, and the Spirit illuminates the Word of God, and then empowers the application of the Word of God in patterns of obedience. Now the rate at which you progress may have fallen down somewhere. We are not working with perfection.
And the rate at which your sainthood progresses is connected to the rate at which you’re reading and meditate on the Word of God, and walk in the path of obedience. When you fulfill the desires of the flesh, your progress stops. Spiritual maturity is a slow process. You can be doing something fleshly or something obedient. In that moment you are either walking in the Spirit or walking in the flesh.
Maturity is the end result of the dominant experience of walking in the Spirit. So when you see a mature believer who manifests Christlikeness and the fruit of the Spirit, you know that He or she has been, filled with the Spirit, walking by the Spirit over a long time to have reached real maturity. So the work of sanctification began when you were saved; you became a saint. Now you need to live out your sainthood.
Ephesians 5:18-20 says, “Do not get drunk with wine, that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” First of all, you’ll worship, “19 You will speak to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, sing, making melody in your heart to the Lord. 20 You will be giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Believers filled with the Spirit worship and give thanks.
They are marked by humility. Christ is their model. Phil. 2:5-9, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death on the cross.”
Now let’s study the fruit of the Spirit again. The fruit of the Spirit is the proof of true Christianity. Habitual manifest sainthood shows up in these virtues in verses 22 and 23, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And if you’re walking by the Spirit you get all of it. If you’re filled with the Spirit you will worship, you will be thankful and you will be humble.
We talked before about love and joy, so let’s study the third one, which is peace. Peace is tranquility in the soul. It is the experience of the Spirit-walking Christian. God is frequently identified as the God of peace. This means that He in Himself has perfect peace, that there is no anxiety in God, there is no fear in God, there is no dread in God, there is no worry in God, only perfect calm.
He is in complete control, and He is the source of dispensing this calm. To have real peace, you can only get it from God. Now let’s talk objectively and subjectively. Objective peace refers to the Christian’s relationship to God. God was our enemy. We were under judgment, we were under wrath; but we have been reconciled to God. Now we have peace with God; that is objective and factual.
Subjectively, since we have peace with God, we experience peace in all the storms and trials of life. Now God is my Father, God is my protector; Christ is my Lord; the Spirit of God is my instructor, and my assurance, and my security for the future. God will keep all of His promises. I am His child forever. Since there is peace with God I now have the peace of God flooding my soul.
Romans 5 says, peace with God, came by Christ reconciling all of us through His death. Out of that comes the peace of God subjectively. That is why in Ephesians 6:15, the gospel is called the gospel of peace. The peace of God is found in some of the benedictions of the New Testament. 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.”
Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all peace.” It’s the tranquility of soul. Peace is that confidence that eliminates all fear, doubt, worry and anxiety. Jesus said to the disciples in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in Me also. I’m going to prepare a place for you, to come and take you to where I am.” Again, like love and joy, peace is unrelated to circumstances.
So let’s see the example in Mark 4:35-41. Our Lord is with His disciples out on the Sea of Galilee, and a storm comes, “He said to them, ‘Let’s go to the other side.’ 36 Leaving the crowd, took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, the waves were breaking over the boat. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.
They woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we’re perishing? 39 He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still.” And the wind died down and became perfectly calm. 40 He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?’ 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?’”
Confidence in God eliminates fear. Philippians 4:9 says, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Verse 7 – “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” There’s no human explanation for it, there’s no psychological explanation for it. This peace comes only from God.
But beyond that, there’s a command to pursue peace. Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Give your request to God, and your soul will be flooded with the peace of God that will guard your heart and your mind. That is a command not to be anxious, but to pray, pray believing God’s provision of peace.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Are you a peacemaker? Is your own heart at peace all the time in any situation? That is how we should be identified. And if you’re walking in the Spirit, you will not cause trouble, you will not cause anxiety; you will bring peace. An awful lot of people who name the name of Christ do nothing but stir up trouble everywhere.
So, “Who’s the source?” Well, it’s the fruit of the Spirit. But again, in John 14:27 Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. My peace I give you.” How does peace come to me? Verse 26: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things.” Let us pray.