International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday February, 2017
Purpose: To manifest the fruit of the Spirit as our faithful response to God and our witness to others
Bible Lesson: Galatians 5:18–6:10
Key Verses: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. (Galatians 5:22-23
Galatians 5:18–26 (CEB)
(18) But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law. (19) The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, (20) idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, (21) jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires. (25) If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. (26) Let’s not become arrogant, make each other angry, or be jealous of each other.
Galatians 6:1-10 (CEB)
(1) Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too. (2) Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. (3) If anyone thinks they are important when they aren’t, they’re fooling themselves. (4) Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves with others. (5) Each person will have to carry their own load. (6) Those who are taught the word should share all good things with their teacher. (7) Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant. (8) Those who plant only for their own benefit will harvest devastation from their selfishness, but those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. (9) Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. (10) So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week’s lesson brings to a climax Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul makes an argument for living by faith, with the help that has been promised of the Holy Spirit rather than trying to live by the law of Moses.
If we choose to accept Christ as the promised Messiah and if we believe that accepting Christ as the Lord of our life, we also receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus promised, in his statements in John; 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. (26) The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.” And in 16:7 “I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion] won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Then Paul asserts we are free from following the Law of Moses when it comes to our being redeemed.
If we have chosen Christ, then Christ alone is responsible for our redemption not the blood of animals or obedience to dietary and Sabbath laws. Paul continues, in addition if we are followers of Christ, then our lives should show that the Holy Spirit now resides in us by producing the fruits of the Spirit.
Earlier in this letter Paul asserts that living as a Spirit filled Christians is renewed each day. Galatians 2:19-20: “I died to the Law through the Law, so that I could live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
In verses 25-26, Paul offers a few warnings to persons who desire to live by the Spirit. First, in verse 25, Paul reminds the Galatians that life by the Spirit involves choice. It is a moment-by-moment walk with God in which we consciously open ourselves to the guidance of the Spirit. It is not enough to say that we live by the Spirit; we must make the decision to surrender every day. Second, verse 26 reminds Christians that life in the Spirit must not turn negative. There is no place for arrogance, infighting, or jealousy. These are actions indicative of self rather than the Spirit.
The choice is whether we let our desires rule, or if we allow the Holy Spirit to rule our desires. Many years ago, I heard an old country preacher explain like this. Every morning when I wake up, it is like I have two dogs living in me. One dog I call Spirit, the other dog I call self. When asked which dog wins? The old preacher said, “The one I said siccum to.”
When we live a Spirit filled life, we will also always be ready to help those that have fallen or said siccum to the wrong dog. We cannot serve two masters as Jesus said, in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
This week’s hymn is one by Jeremy Camp “Christ In Me.” enjoy.