What We Practice Determines Our Future

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.”

So, what does this look like, to walk by the Spirit? And what is meant by “walk”? Well to walk, in this sense, is to conduct our lives in a particular manner, and in this case it is in a moral and ethical and upright manner. It also means to live, i.e. it is in reference to how we live our lives, the things that we do, the things that we think, and the things that we say and put into action in our everyday lives.

And the Spirit is the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of our triune God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. And when we believe in Jesus with genuine faith, then the Holy Spirit indwells those of us with that true faith. And now he lives within us to intercede to God the Father for us, and he counsels, corrects, rebukes, comforts, encourages, urges, exhorts, trains and teaches us all things that are of God.

And so if we live (walk) by the Spirit, that means our walks are being led by and directed by the Holy Spirit, who is also God. So that means that we are following the Spirit’s lead, and we are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands (New Covenant), and that we are not walking in sin. And we have the Scriptures to teach us the way in which we should walk, but we also have the Spirit within us leading and nudging and directing our steps.

Now for us to walk by the Spirit we have to first of all be “in Christ.” And the Bible teaches that this involves denial of the self-life, dying with Christ to sin daily, and walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands (Luke 9:23-26). For that is what faith is, because that faith comes from God and it is not of our own doing, and we can’t even come to faith in Jesus unless God persuades us to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness.

So, if we are following our Lord in obedience, and in surrender to his will, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and if we are living holy lives, pleasing to our Lord, then we are not going to 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. So, if you do not want to give in to the desires of the flesh, then you must be walking by the Spirit. You can’t be in the middle.

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.”

Do we get this, really? So many professing Christians are convinced that once they make that initial decision to “believe” (usually not defined) in Jesus Christ, that all their sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven, and heaven is guaranteed them, and that is the end of the story. They believe their actions from that point forward will in no way hinder their hope of eternal life with God. But is that what the Scriptures teach? No!

And the problem in all of this is really that “faith” is being determined by humans and not by God in their eyes. They think they can decide what that faith looks like, and from that they can then bless themselves with God’s promises which don’t apply to them. For all God’s promises have conditions. They all have stipulations. If we want salvation from sin and eternal life with God then we have to forsake our sins, die with Christ to sin daily, and follow Jesus in obedience (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14).

So, we need to take this warning seriously. If we are DOING such things as what are listed here, meaning that such things as these are what we practice, then we will not enter the kingdom of God, regardless of what faith we profess. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING (practicing) the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

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.”

But, if instead of following after the passions and desires of the flesh we now follow our Lord in walks of obedience, in surrender to his will, in daily dying to sin and self, and daily walking in holiness and righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit at work within us, then the result of that should be what this says above. These characteristics or qualities (fruit) of the Spirit should now be being seen in our lives. For if we belong to Christ, we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

This doesn’t mean we will be perfect in every way all the time in all of these areas, though. But it doesn’t give leeway for us to be living the opposite, either, or even close to the other side. For just as we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ and we are in the process of being sanctified and made holy by God, and we are daily growing in our walks of faith, we will grow in these things, too. But there should be evidence of these things in our lives and that we are growing in them.

[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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