Galatians 5:22-26 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 live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
We read in Galatians 5:16-21 that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) by the Spirit (the Holy Spirit of God), we will not gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh, for the flesh and the Spirit are opposed to each other. And then it goes on to list many different kinds of sins, beginning with sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality, etc. And then we are warned that if sins such as these are what we practice that we will not inherit the kingdom of God. And so we need to take that seriously.
Also: [Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
But then we are encouraged that if we are walking by the Spirit, instead, that the fruit (results, outgrowth) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. So, if we walk by the flesh it will produce sinful behaviors, not righteousness and holiness. But if we walk by the Spirit, it will produce within us the fruit of the Spirit, not necessarily in absolute perfection, but we should daily be growing in these things and changing and maturing in Christ, by God’s Spirit.
For those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. And this is because our faith is not of our own doing, so we cannot generate it ourselves in our own flesh. The faith required for salvation from sin is of God, it comes from God, it is gifted to us by God, and it is persuaded of God. For we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of (turn from) our sins to follow our Lord Jesus in walks of obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
[Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 6:44; Luke 9:23-26]
So, what this means is that we cannot define faith for ourselves. We cannot create in our own minds what this faith should look like. God and his word are what define faith for us, and so if we read the Scriptures in their context we soon learn that faith = obedience and that disobedience = unbelief. So, we as a people are not divided as those who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and those who do not. We are divided as those who walk by the Spirit, and those who walk according to the flesh.
Now, if we walk by the flesh, the sins of the flesh are what are going to be produced, and we will reap corruption (destruction, death). But if we walk by the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is what will be produced, and we will reap eternal life with God (see Galatians 6:7-8). Now this is not an “all or none” kind of a thing, though. What it all comes down to is what we practice, how we live, our lifestyles, our habits, etc. Are we living by the Spirit, or are we walking by the flesh, in practice? For walking by the flesh ends in death.
But if we are living by the Spirit, then we need to keep living by the Spirit until the end of time or until the day we die. For we are to keep in step with the Spirit, doing what our Lord and his word says we must do, and not doing what our Lord and his word teaches we must not do, according to the New Covenant relationship we have with Jesus Christ, and not according to the Old Covenant. But under the New Covenant we still have to obey our Lord’s commands, but those taught to us under the New Covenant.
And now we are no longer to be those who walk in sin, who make sin our practice. But we are to be those who make holiness, righteousness, and obedience to our Lord our practice. And dying daily to sin and denying self should be our practice, too, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and in the power of God and in his strength and wisdom. For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, by God’s grace, and in his power, and to the glory of God.
[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]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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