Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Flesh And The Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26

Walk And Fulfill, 16-17

 Paul's command to us as God's children is to the point, saying "Walk in the Spirit."  He mentions this again in verse 25. We will either walk in the Spirit or fulfill the lusts of the flesh. He reminds us that the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these do not work together but are contrary to each other--they are opposites. When the flesh lusts against the Spirit, then we cannot do what we would if we did not have this hindrance.

Spirit And Law, 18-24

Those who do not have the Spirit of Christ are under the law, and they must meet the perfection of law's command, otherwise they will fall short of the required perfection of God's righteousness, the righteousness which is by faith in Christ.  But if we are led by the Spirit of God, then we are not under the law, under the demands of the law for righteousness.  Paul says to the Romans in Chapter 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  We cannot live the righteousness of the law, for the demand is more than we can accomplish.

Paul gives a sample list of the works of the flesh:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (all sorts of evil), idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.  This, of course, is not a complete list, but it is a sample only. These are the things that hinder a man's meeting God's holy commandments, and those who do these things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

That which is from the Spirit is not works but fruit. We are not saved by works but serve the Lord through the fruit of the Spirit. He now gives a sample list of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. There is no law against these things, because they are produced by the Spirit of God; they are not worked out by the flesh or by works.  That is because, if we have the Spirit of God, we have crucified the flesh and are not under the weight of the flesh's affections and lusts but can overcome them by faith in Christ.

Living And Walking, 25-26

We live in the Spirit by faith in Christ.  Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  The Spirit of God dwells in us and will never leave us nor forsake us.  So, if we live in the Spirit, with his indwelling and his ever-presence, then let us also walk in the Spirit.  The walking is the evidence of our living. It would be well for us to remember these two great verses in Philippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure

Our attitude is changed when we are saved by the grace of God through the working of the Spirit of God, so in verse 26 Paul exhorts us not to (1) be desirous of vain glory (arrogance), (2) provoke one another, or (3) envy one another.  What good Christians we would be if we would heed Paul's ample warning about not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh but walking in the Spirit! 


Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the following?

Matthew 12:41
The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Put aside your "praise and worship".
Put down your instruments of music.
Find a place for your dancers to prostrate.
Lower your hands from their raised, groping position.
Bow down before the Lord with mourning and with wailing, with crying and with weeping.

NOW is the time to grieve your souls with humility before the Lord; ALL YOU PEOPLE, all of us, together.

But who will believe this report?
Who will hearken to that of which your soul does not crave?
There is no appetite for repentance.
We are a people with no conscious awareness of the grave distinction between the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that of our own.

We walk not in the Light, even as He is in the Light, and is the Light.
Yet, we call ourselves children of the day, though the accumulation of our acts are of those of the night.

Repent with utter humility before the Lord, for your soul knows not what is yet ahead, neither is it prepared for it; your head knows not as well.

I beg of you, REPENT.

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