Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Fruit-Full and Multiplying!"
(Galatians 5:1, 13-25)

A. Forbidden "Fruit"

    1. Sinai- and self-focused

    2. Life apart from the influence of the Spirit

B. Favored Fruit

    1. Calvary- and others-focused

    2. Life under the influence of the Spirit


1. eleutheria (verse 1): liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation; licence, the liberty to do as one pleases; true liberty is living as we should, not as we please

2. sarx (verse 13): flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts; the sensuous nature of people; "the animal nature" with cravings which incite to sin; the earthly nature of people apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God

3. prasso (verse 21): do, commit; to exercise, practise, to be busy with, carry on

4. karpos (verse 22): fruit; that which originates or comes from something; an effect, result; praises, which are presented to God as a thank offering 

5. The battle of "Christian" with "Apollyon" lasted three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the Wicket Gate in the river Jordan. The enemy is so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out while we are in this body: but although we are closely beset, and often in sore conflict, we have an Almighty helper, even Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is ever with us, and who assures us that we shall eventually come off more than conquerors through Him. (C.H. Spurgeon)

6. The Christian views his evidences from the top of Sinai, and grows alarmed concerning his salvation; it were better far if he read his title by the light of Calvary. (C.H. Spurgeon) 

7. We aren't saved because we bear fruit, but because we're saved we bear fruit.

8. Forbidden fruit creates many jams.

From Rev. Wayne Dobratz...

Galatians 5:1; 13-25

I. The wrong understanding
A. Claiming freedom to satisfy the desires of the flesh-that leads to anarchy -vv13-15; 19-21a
1. V. 15-"biting and devouring"-refers to animal behavior
2. Those who claim freedom from God often end up living as animals with no moral constraint-see Psalm 32:9
3. Destroy each other-such as the story of two snakes who tried to swallow each other. "It's a dog eat dog world out there."

B. This wrong understanding of freedom leads to eternal disaster-v21b
1. Take drunkenness as an example-Cf. Lk. 21:34, Rom. 13:13, 1 Pet. 4:3
2. Robertson writes: Practise (prassontes). Prasso˘ is the verb for habitual practice (our very word, in fact), not poieo˘ for occasional doing. The habit of these sins is proof that one is not in the Kingdom of God and will not inherit it. "Liberty so easily turns to license."

II. The right understanding
A. Freedom from man-made laws, such as those imposed by the Judaizers
1. Laws regarding circumcision
2. Laws regarding foods-things "clean and unclean"

B. Freedom to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit
1. Those who are led by the Spirit are not under the slavery of the Law
2. "faith following" vs. "fear following." vv 22-25
a. By crucifying the flesh each day and living the new life of Christ, v. 24
b. By following the Spirit--stepping to the cadence of a drum-beat-"Let us
keep in step with the Spirit."
c. Let us not engage in empty glory (kenodoxia) There's no time for this
when one is glorifying Jesus with the Christian life.

Martin Luther: After the heart has been justified and set at rest through faith in the soul, various activities are at once begun.

First, The confession of the lips is made to salvation, and the Word is proclaimed through which we are saved, so that the Kingdom of Christ may be increased

Second, our old man is attacked, in whom the remnants of sin are still to be found. These through the law in our members attack the spirit so that we fail to do what the Spirit desires. Here the mortification of the flesh is to take place.

Third, the fruits of good works are born, witnesses of faith and the spirit-the fruits of the Spirit. This is a summary and the true order of the Christian life, which is dependent on the Word and begins with it and extends outward to works of love toward our neighbor. (From: WHAT LUTHER SAYS, Vol. 1, #630 Concordia Publishing House) 

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