The Flesh and the Spirit - Galatians 5

The Flesh and the Spirit

Galatians 5:1-26

Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  John 3:6.  When someone is born again, he is born of the Spirit.  He becomes a new creation in Christ, but the flesh doesn't change.  The sinful nature is not eradicated or reformed at conversion.  However, the Holy Spirit does come in to take up residence and control our lives. 

Therefore, Christians have an experience that is unique to them, which unsaved people cannot understand,  because they have never received the Spirit of God.  This experience is mentioned in Galatians 5:17.  "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."  The apostle Paul testified in another place, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find."  Romans 7:18.  The flesh wars against the Holy Spirit.

"Now the works of the flesh are evident...."  Paul records a list of sins of the flesh, which is representative, not exhaustive.  Galatians 5:19-21.  Those who practice these things demonstrate that they have never been born again.  (Read the list.)

In contrast to the works of the flesh we have the fruit of the Spirit.  There is a big difference between them.  The works mentioned are what people do naturally.  The fruit is something that the Holy Spirit produces supernaturally.  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."  Galatians 5:22, 23.  The flesh can work really hard, but it cannot produce fruit any more than a gardener can make flowers.

How can we win the battle between the flesh and the Spirit?

First, remember that "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."  Galatians 5:24.  We have been crucified with Christ.  Galatians 2:20.  Count on it.  We should let Jesus Christ live out His life through us by His Spirit.  He does that as we trust Him.

Second, those who walk according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh.  Those who walk in the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit of God.  Romans 8:5.  "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."  Galatians 5:25.   


Lord, we realize that there is victory in Jesus.  Teach us to walk in the Spirit that we might not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  Thank You for Your abiding presence.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


Sowing and Reaping - Galatians 6


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New King James Version.
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