(261)Thesis:Being led by God's Spirit is the only way we can get to know God as He is.
Introduction:In our considerations of Paul's method of Life, we have seen that there are, fundamentally, two "steps" involved in "walking": one is an active dependence upon Truth in the form of "promise"; the other is an active yielding to Truth when it becomes "true" to us in light of the plans of the flesh to achieve its goals by its means.
In our last study, we saw that the internal conflict between the flesh and the Spirit makes it imperative that we address this conflict at its root: "desire" (as "agenda"). We cannot achieve our agenda. Period. The only "agenda" that we can achieve is "death" by refusal to forsake our own self-determination.
In this study we are going to look into a matter that "seemed" to have been settled by this time: our relationship to "Law".
I. Paul's Use of "Under Law".
A. In his reasoning in regard to God's "Justice", Paul argued that to be "under Law" was to be under a curse that would lead to a complete destruction of "Life" (3:10) and that Christ redeemed us from that curse (3:13).
1. The declaration of redemption is a "promise".
2. This means two things.
a. Promises are to be believed.
1) They are either true or not true.
2) True ones are to be believed.
b. Promises depend solely upon the activity of the One Who made them for their fulfillment.
B. This reasoning came into being because those who were redeemed were being led back into the mindset that puts one's relationship with God on a "legal" basis so that He is a Judge and not a Father.
1. This means that people who are not "under law" can be led to believe that they are.
a. This introduces the difference between "objective" subjection to "Law" and "subjective" subjection to "Law".
b. Since "promises" have to be "believed" in order to bring their benefit into play, anyone who is "under law" in any sense will not participate in the blessings of freedom as long as the unbelief continues.
1) Objective subjection to "Law" will endure for eternity because the necessary "faith" will never develop.
2) Subjective subjection to "Law" will only endure until "faith" is established (either in this world and life, or in the eternal glories to come where all disbelief will be eliminated).
2. This also means that the Galatians, who had experienced their freedom from Law by the promises and the Spirit, were coming "under Law" in their own experience by false teaching.
II. Paul's Promise of the Impact of the Leadership of the Spirit.
A. It is clearly his intent to highlight the impact that the Spirit will make upon the person who walks by His input (agendaandpower).
B. That impact is spelled out in terms of "Law".
1. What "Law" does ...
a. It brings Sin back into dominion (Romans 7:7-11).
b. It brings the "fruit" of sin back into one's actual experience at all levels ("wretchedness": Romans 7:24).
c. It destroys one's experience of the freedom of a relationship with the Father.
d. It destroys one's experience of "Life" as "Joy" because that can only come in the freedom of the Father's love.
2. What the Spirit's leadership does ...
a. He reemphasizes the Promise(s).
b. He makes our participation both incremental and ultimately conclusive at the time of the actual fulfillment.
c. He restores our "souls" in that the "Joy" of "Life" returns.
d. He, by these means, fixes the Father's identity in our confidence.