Sunday, March 3, 2024, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Galatians 5: 5-5-6:  We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeS anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.


When we are rooted and grounded in God’s love, our faith ignites His power.  The church of the 21st century has become weak in power.  Could it be that we have forgotten how to love?  When our love for one another, family, friends, etc. are damaged, or no longer operating because of offense, unforgiveness, or disobedience, the faith which works by love is circumvented.  Without faith it is impossible to please God. 


What does it mean to wait for the hope of righteousness by faith? Our faith is a fact that we with a certainty have our hope in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not our own.   


1 Jo. 3:2-3: Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure.  


Galatians 5: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.


Eph. 5: 8-10:  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.


Psa. 1:2-3: His delight is in the law of the Lord…  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.


Pro. 11:30: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.


James 3:18: The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


Rev. 22:2: In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Gal.  5: 18-21:  But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these:  Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings and such like; of the which I tell you before as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

 True freedom finds its fulfillment in slavery---the slavery of love.  The result of faith is the enduement of the Spirit and the Spirit is the opposite of the flesh (3:2, 3).  The result of faith is the practical and continuing ministration of the Spirit from the Source of life, the Source of love.  God is love! (3:5). 

We, who have received God’s spirit by Faith. wait for the hope of righteousness by faith which shall be revealed in us.  There is no compromise with those who strangle the gospel of Christ by unbelief. 

 5:6: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.  

It is not circumcision which is in view in verse 6, but rather it is valueless alongside faith which works by love. 

Gal. 5:14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

Paul’s argument to the Ephesians is explicit about those who will inherit the Kingdom of God and those who will not.  He finds the law and faith  on the same side in this new battle against the flesh and the antinomian heresy which is its fruit. 

“Antinomiamism is a belief or teaching that because only the spiritual “law of faith” (Ro. 3:27) is essential to salvation. obedience to any practical or moral law has no role to play. Even as a guide to conduct or as a test of the genuineness of faith.”   

  Paul now turns to the first part of his reply to the antinomians.  The doctrine of the antinomians are closely aligned with the liberal, socialists, woke culture of easy believism, “if it feels good, do it.”  “Grace and love give you license to sin.”   

Paul’s first reply was a paradox.  He now finds its expression in two further paradoxes, both products of the alchemy of love. True freedom finds its fulfillment in slavery---the slavery of love.  Not because we are forced to love, but we love because we are loved.  The law finds its complete fulfillment in the equation of faith with love. Paul which only  by inspiration from the Holy Spirit states that faith and law are seen no longer antagonists, but allies.  It is a turn of thought for which the transition from the opposition of faith and law to that of flesh and Spirit has cleared the way through the Spirit that we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith; that faith which works by love.

We love him because he first loved us. 

 The second part of the answer to the antinomians perverting Paul’s teaching is now developed.  The answer lies in the place of the Spirit in justification by faith. 

 Works are an essential part of the gospel of faith, but they are works expressing themselves in response of love and grace which flows from God through His Holy Spirit.  This is not works to earn a painful pathway to a salvation which it is beyond man’s power to win.  Hence the apostle does not in fact use the word works, but the virtues are fruit of the Spirit .  Where such works of love exist, the Law is irrelevant; “against such things there is no law.”

The fruits of the Spirit are essential signs of the Holy Spirit without which the gifts of the Holy Spirit are as sounding brass and clanging cymbals.

  Christians have two natures and the struggle between them is a supreme truth.  This warfare is a continual battle of dying daily.    The source of all desire to do evil resides in the flesh.  It is animated by Satan.  These two powers (God the Holy Spirit, and Satan) compete for our wills.  Because of the mutual conflict between them, no matter what we do, the other opposes it.

 The Holy Spirit’s leading is resisted by the old nature and vice versa.  If we want to do well, it will be opposed by our flesh.  If we want to do evil, it will be opposed by the Spirit. Those who live by their old natures and make excuses for their old nature will not inherit the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Luke 17:20b-21:  The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ’see here! Or see there!  For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.’” 

If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

When we receive Christ, we receive His death.  As surely as we now live beyond the realm of the Law, we also can live beyond the realm of the flesh.  Our existence shifts from the flesh to the Spirit (Col. 1:13), which is the Kingdom of God. 

 If we are living and walking in the Spirit, we actually “sit in the heavenlies” in Christ.  As far as eternity is concerned, both our bodies and old natures are dead.  When our journey on earth is finished, we leave our old bodies and old natures behind to be with Christ in the Spirit (2 Cor. 5:8).

 A Christian must do two things: (1)   Resist the devil (2)   Practice the presence of Christ (dwelling in the new nature). 

One is a fight the other a fellowship. 

 Before there can be any real surrender for the crucified life, the believer must deal directly with the one who has the power to keep him from it.  The Christian warfare is real.  Many who long for the crucified life have yet to start fighting.  The fight comes first, for victory it-self means to triumph in battle.  To be an overcomer ---means we overcome.  

In Galatians 5 26- 6:10 Paul the pastor asserts himself over every other capacity.  Here are the gentle and human rules which are to regulate inter-personal relations.  The absence of self-centeredness, of pre-occupation with our dignity and standing, is to be balanced by that true concern which places ourselves in the position of another and acts toward that other as we would then wish others to act toward us. 

 Yet, this forgetfulness of self, this unselfconscious thought for others, can be expected only of one who has learned to live with himself; to accept his own abilities and callings, and the niche in which his own inherent gifts must place him.  Only in this way can we attain the quiet assurance and confidence of faith which works by love.

Eph. 5: 3-5 (paraphrased):  “Inasmuch as you are God’s own, it is unthinkable that sexy gossip, acts of indecency or even notions of greed would be discussed among you.  Neither is it right for you to use filthy words, tell obscene stories or direct unclean remarks toward anyone.  Your lips were designed to praise God.  You might as well know right now that anyone who is immoral, indecent, or even covetous (which amounts to idol-worshipping), cannot expect to share in the “Kingdom of Christ and of God.”


1 Th. 1:3: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.


1 Cor. 13: Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.


Like Faith, Love, is too wide, too deep and too high for our language to express.  Love “passes knowledge.” 


1 Ti. 1:5:  Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.


Eph. 3:17-19: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with the fullness of God




Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX


Scripture from K.J.V. except as notated.  I entered into the labors of F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary, F. Roy Coad, and quotes from C.S. Lovett’s Lights on Galatians; Galatians 5 – The Liberty of Conscience, Carolyn Sissom, 8/30/2009.

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