From Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia we read,
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another , so that you many not do the things that you please.” (Galatians 5:16-17 – NASB)
It behooves us to have this Word of God in our heads. Why? Because you and I are still encased in this “flesh.” And as long as we are in this “flesh” there will a propensity to sin.
Dr. John MacArthur writes regarding “the flesh,” — “This is not simply the physical body, but includes the mind, will, and emotions which are all subject to sin. It refers in general to our unredeemed humanness.”
There will be, every day this side of heaven, a very real struggle between fulfilling the lusts of “the flesh” verses giving ourselves over to fulfilling the will of “the Spirit.” The Word of God says it; “these are in opposition to one another.” From our rising in the morning to our entering our rest at night, these war with “one another.” Before we came to Christ we lived according to the dictates of “the flesh” (note verses 19-21), living to fulfill our sinful nature. This living was carried out “in opposition” to God’s will, our sin the very fruit of our “unredeemed humanness.” But things changed when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. Now we have “the Spirit” of God indwelling us and from His Word we have counsel as to how to “walk” and please God and “not carry our the desire of the flesh.”
The command from God to the believer: “walk by the Spirit.” Live your life “by” the direction “the Spirit” gives in His Word. Make it a point to rise in the morning and,
- ” . . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regards to its lusts.” (Romans 13:14 – NASB)
- (NOTE: In regards to this passage it is well to remember that there is a fire within us — don’t bring the oil near it! Whatever causes us to sin, do not give time or attention to it. We must avoid everything that tends to tarnish or hinder our holiness.)
We, as believers, are counseled well that “the flesh” and “the Spirit . . . are in opposition to one another.” As examples of Jesus Christ to the world, as vessels through which God seeks to work out His will, we must not miss this truth.
That said, know that, through the new birth we are empowered to do what we were never able to do before and that is to render “the desires of the flesh” inoperative. We are empowered to “walk by the Spirit,” and when we do this, when you and I do this on a day-to-day basis, when we order our behavior according to “the Spirit’s” instructions in His Word, we fulfill our calling and the Scripture is fulfilled that says,
- “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24 – NASB)
Be aware brethren that this existing “opposition” calls for us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regards to its lusts,” and to daily, “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires,” and “walk by the Spirit.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and recall to mind that the new walk needs to be guided by God’s Word, a Word we repeatedly refer to as the authority for a believers’ life, being found to not only be a hearer of the Word but a doer of it (James 1:22).
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