But I Say, Walk by the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-17 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.”

If we are genuine followers of Jesus Christ, addiction to sin should be in our past, not in our present. For we were once dead in our sins in which we once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath (see Eph 2:1-3).

This description of what we were (past) should not describe one who has been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who has been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives to where we obey its lustful desires (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14).

Contrary to what many people are teaching these days, at least here in America, Jesus did not die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins so that when we die we can go to heaven. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our bodies (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).

So, if our faith in Jesus Christ is genuine God-given faith which dies with Christ to sin and is raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, then we have the Holy Spirit living within us giving us the power to walk by the Spirit and to no longer walk according to the flesh. So there is no excuse whatsoever for a true believer in Jesus to still be living in addiction to any kind of sinful behavior.

So the antidote to a life of sinful addiction is first for us to truly repent and to follow Jesus in obedience and then it is to walk (in conduct, in practice) by the Spirit and we will not gratify sinful desires. Our Lord will supply all that we need to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways according to his will and purpose for our lives.

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.”

We have many people within the church, either in positions of leadership or not, who are professing faith in Jesus Christ while they are living the opposite of what they profess. For faith in Jesus Christ is not a mere profession of faith (lip service only) but it is walking by that faith, daily dying to sin and to self and walking in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant) (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

Some of those people, some of whom are in leadership positions, are not only living hypocritical lives, but they are leading others to continue to walk by the flesh and not by the Spirit, for they are feeding them lies from hell which tell them that a mere profession of faith in Jesus is enough to save them from their sins and to secure them heaven for when they die one day. And some of them are even teaching against repentance and obedience.

These are people who are morally corrupt, who care nothing for whether or not people are ever delivered from their bondage to sin. For they are opportunists who are greedy for what they can gain from something. They are selfish individuals who are liars and manipulators and deceivers who are leading people by the masses to accept a cheap grace gospel which tells them if they just “believe” (not defined) in Jesus that they now have salvation regardless of how they live their lives from that moment forward.

And they themselves are captives of sin, living to gratify their sensual cravings, living for the pleasure of the moment rather than committing themselves to surrender to Jesus Christ and to his holiness and righteousness. For they are lovers of self and they are not lovers of God. And so they are not going to tell you that if you practice such sins as what are listed here that you will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what prayer you prayed or what confession you think you made.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

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.”

Now, being believers in Jesus Christ does not assure us that we will never sin again (1 John 2:1-2), but if we should sin (not habitually), Jesus is our advocate who speaks to God in our defense. So, believing in Jesus Christ does not mean we are absolutely perfect in every way. But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for continued and deliberate sinning against the Lord without true repentance. For if our faith is genuine, God lives within us by his Spirit, and so his character should shine through us.

These character traits listed here (in opposition to the sinful practices listed above) are ours through faith in Christ, but we must put them into practice in our lives. We must put off sinful practices and put on righteousness and holiness and godliness. We must put off lying and tell the truth, and put off stealing, and give to others, etc. (Eph 4) So, as we walk with our Lord in obedience to him these character traits of God should be bearing fruit in our lives more and more and it should be evident that we have been with God.

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.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s