Walk by the Spirit
Galatians 5:16-18 ESV
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Many professing Christians today say that they are “struggling” with particular sins, usually sexual sin, but what they mean is that they are habitually and deliberately and even premeditatedly giving in to the sin. For, they have not turned away from their sins to follow Jesus in obedience.
But when Jesus died on that cross for our sins, it wasn’t just to forgive us our sins and to give us the hope of heaven when we die. But it was to deliver us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin that we might now be slaves of God and of his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23).
No one who has genuinely believed in Jesus Christ has to continue living in habitual and deliberate sin against God and against others. Addiction to sin is not an illness that takes a lifetime to recover from. It is a lie of Satan to say you will always be an addict. When we believe in Jesus with genuine faith, we are set free from the control of sin over our lives.
And the remedy for sin is not only Jesus’ sacrifice for us on that cross, but because of that sacrifice for our sins we are now able to walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We are able to live our lives free from the control of sin and free to please our Lord.
We still have the propensity to sin against God, and we will still be tempted to sin against our Lord and to yield to our flesh, but Jesus’ death for us on that cross and his resurrection made it possible for us to no longer live in sin under its dominion over our lives. We can now live to please God!
We can resist Satan, and flee temptation, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. We can take the way out from under the temptation to sin that Jesus provided for us. For, his grace trains us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (1 Co 10:13; Tit 2:11-14).
If we are being led by the Spirit, we are no longer under the condemnation of the law of sin and death. We are no longer under a curse. But God, by sending Jesus to die for our sins, condemned sin in the flesh, “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who WALK not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (See: Rom 8:1-17)
In other words, faith in Jesus Christ does not mean we become lawless, for he delivered us from lawlessness. For, we once presented our members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, but now we present our members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification (Rom 6:19), and its end is eternal life (Rom 6:20-23).
For, Jesus gave himself up for us on that cross to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. For, everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness (Tit 2:14; 1 Jn 3:4).
Those Who Do Such Things
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Therefore, if we continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord, and sin is what we practice (our habit), and righteousness is not what we practice (live by), and if we walk (in conduct) according to the flesh and if we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin, wickedness), even if we have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
And repentance is not just a change of mind, for biblical repentance is making a spiritual U-turn with our lives. We were walking in darkness and now we are walking in the light. We were making sin our practice but now righteousness is what we practice. We were living to please the desires of our flesh but now we are living to please God, by his Spirit.
Faith in Jesus Christ involves us dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. So, if we make a practice of such things which are in this list, in sinful rebellion against our Lord, and if this is what we continue in to the very end, and if we do not repent of our sins, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit the kingdom of God. Heaven is not our home.
The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-24 ESV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
If we are walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, the fruit (produce, result) that will be evident in our lives will be the fruit of the Spirit, not of the flesh. It doesn’t mean that we will be perfect in these areas, but that it will be evident that sin is no longer what we practice but that righteousness is what we practice.
For, God’s grace allows for the fact that we may sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but it does not make allowance for deliberate, continued, and habitual sin and a refusal to obey our Lord (1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10). We are not condemned on the basis of a singular or occasional sin, but we are condemned if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord, refusing to obey his commands.
For, those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, by God’s grace, through genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ. But we don’t die to sin just once and that is it. We must daily be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and daily we must be living to please our Lord.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”