Living in the Spirit

Galatians 5:19-25

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES

  • Good Desires (verses 22-25)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

  • Desire the House of the Lord

Psalm 27:4 – One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  • Desire to see and hear of the things of God 

Luke 10:24 – for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.

  • Desire the Word of God

Psalm 119: 11 – Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.

Acts 17:11 – Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  • Desire to work for God

1 Timothy 3:1 – This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

Colossians 3:17 –  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

  • Sinful Desires (verses 19-21)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • Tree looked good

Genesis 3:6 – So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

  • Whatever we see and want

Ecclesiastes 2:10 – Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.  I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.

James 1:14-15 – But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

  • Deny Christ

2 Peter 2:1 – But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

John 12:48 – He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day

  • Lust for other goods

James 4:2 – You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

REAPING THE HARVEST OF THE SPIRIT (verses 22-23)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

CRUCIFY THE SINFUL NATURE (verse 24)

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

  • Lay it aside/turn and walk away/JUST SAY NO TO SIN AND YES TO GOD. 
  • Realize:  Eternity is too long to be wrong. 
  • Do right; live right; be right and you will turn out alright.
  • The way you purpose in your heart will determine your final destination.
  • Remember Daniel.  “He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.”  (Daniel 1:8)

OBEY THE HOLY SPIRIT (verse 25)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” 

  • Our efforts at goodness without relying on God, no matter how sincere or valiant our efforts may be, can only be a poor copy of the virtues produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian.
  • As we yield our lives to the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the result of God’s power will become evident when it is manifested in our lives. 
  • To be victorious in living a Christian life, we must keep our eyes fixed on the cross and the work Christ did for us and be constantly submitted to his will, not our will.  That is dying to self.
  • Our initial decision to trust in Christ for salvation must be reaffirmed daily.
  • This requires us to make ongoing decisions by which we continually crucify the sin nature again and again and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit as he guides us day by day.

Live a Life Without Reproach

Galatians 5:25

If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.

  • If we are going to be Christians we must look, speak, act, and behave as a Christian.  Name someone who has caused reproach (discredit, disgrace, to cause disapproval, an expression of rebuke or disdain, scorn) on themselves and others.
  • Richard Nixon
  • Jimmy Swaggart
  • Bill Clinton
  • David (with Bathsheba)
  • Achan
  • King Saul
  • Judas
  • Samson

Galatians 5:16 – But I say; walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 7:25 – 8:5 – Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” 

  • Look at an apple – describe:  shape, size, weight, texture, smell, taste, color
  • Christian – describe:  What does a Christian look like?  The Bible gives us nine characteristics in Galatians 5:22-23.
  • Love, joy, peace (inward manifestations)
  • Patience, kindness, goodness (outward – toward others – manifestations)
  • Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (walk manifestations)
  • Only a Christian can exhibit the fruit of the Spirit constantly.
  • Only a Christian who has the indwelling supernatural power of the Holy Spirit can produce a supernatural holy life. 
  • Evidence of the Holy Spirit will consistently manifest itself by the fruit of the Spirit.

After a heavy snow fall one evening, a man made his usual way to the tavern after supper.  He was surprised a few minutes later to see his little son come in the front door.  “How did you get here through all that snow?” he asked the little boy.  “It was easy,” he said.  “I just walked in your foot steps.”

How we live our lives affects those around us.  Our emotions, our words, our expressed ideas, our dress.  What we say to our little ones and our loved ones sets the tone of their lives.

  • If we lift up others in our conversation, they will lift up others in their conversation.
  • If we ridicule, they will learn to ridicule.
  • If we boast of cheating on our taxes, exceeding the speed limit, they will learn to do the same.

How do we bring glory and honor to God when we say one thing and do another?

Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

SPIRIT VS. FLESH

  • The Flesh fights to gain control over the Spirit.

Romans 8:7 – Because the carnal (fleshly) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject (“to stand under” – submission, obedience) to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

  • The Flesh lusts against the Spirit.  The word “lusts” means to set one’s heart upon, eagerly long for, greatly desire.  The word emphasizes the intensity of the desire rather than the object desired.  The Flesh sets its heart upon things contrary to what the Spirit sets its heart upon.

Romans 7:28 – But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

  • The Flesh hinders us from doing what we want to do. 

Romans 7:19-20 – For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.  Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

THE WORKS OF THE FLESH

  • Adultery – sexual unfaithfulness to husband or wife. 

Exodus 20:14 – You shall not commit adultery.

Matthew 5:28 – But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

  • Fornication – includes all forms of immoral and sexual acts, pre-marital, extra-marital sex, and abnormal sex. 

1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Ephesians 5:3 – But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

  • Uncleanness – moral impurity. 
  • Lasciviousness (lewdness) – indecency, shamelessness, and/or unrestrained evil thoughts and acts.  A person who has given in to wrong desires to the point that he knows no restraint.  Does not care what others think about his sinful deeds.
  • Idolatry – giving something or someone the love, time, money and energy that should be given to God.
  • Witchcraft (sorcery) – use of drugs or spells to gain control over one’s life.  In today’s society it would include palm reading, séances, astrology, channeling, games that are based on evil ideas.
  • Hatred – a deep and lasting hostility toward others.
  • Variance (contentions) – quarreling, fighting, causing discord.

Matthew 5:44 – But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

  • Emulations (jealousies) – intense desire to have what someone else has.

From the Ten Commandments we have the commandment  “Do not covet.”

  • Wrath (outbursts of wrath) – a violent, explosive temper, bursts of anger.  Different from hatred  in that it is not anger that lasts but rather, it is the quick outburst of anger.
  • Strife (selfish ambitions) – concerned only with one’s own welfare, self-willed, a spirit of partisanship or belonging to cliques.
  • Seditions (dissensions) – division, rebellion, standing against others.
  • Heresies – rejecting the fundamental beliefs of God and the Scriptures and accepting a false teaching.
  • Envying (envy) – goes beyond jealously – not only wants what someone else has, but begrudges the fact that the other person has it.
  • Murders – to take the life of another person, to destroy another’s reputation by slander or gossip, to lie about someone’s character.
  • Drunkenness – taking drinks or drugs to become intoxicated, seeking to loose restraint for bodily pleasure.
  • Reveling (revelries) – uncontrolled indulgence, wild parties or drinking parties, orgies

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

  • Love – (agape) – Selfless love, love like the love of God demonstrated by Christ on the cross.
  • Joy – inner gladness, assurance and confidence in God that brings a cheerful heart.
  • Peace – absence of strife, state of rest and quietness.
  • Long-suffering (patience) – “long-temper”, patient endurance, forbearance, a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint. 
  • Gentleness (kindness) – goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, a person who has the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing their patience.
  • Goodness – full of virtue, helpful, considerate.
  • Faith (faithfulness) – trustworthy, dependable, constant in allegiance.
  • Meekness (gentleness) – gentle, tender, considerate. 
  • Temperance (self-control) – to have control of one’s desires, appetites and passions, to not allow any habit or desire to gain control of one’s life. 

It is the works of the flesh – something we must do, must make an effort at.  It is the fruit of the Spirit – something we cannot do on our own.  The Holy Spirit produces it in our lives beyond our own efforts. 

It is the works (plural) of the flesh but the fruit (singular) of the Spirit.  The Fruit of the Spirit is one and indivisible.  We cannot pick and choose which quality of the Spirit we will allow to be produced in our life.  It is all or none.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to control our life, He will produce all of the graces of God. 

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

  • Must crucify the flesh

 Romans 6:6 – Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with (rendered inoperative) that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

  • Walk in the Spirit – “Walk” used here literally means “to walk in line with.”  It is not the same “walk” in verse 16 which simply means physical walking.  To walk in the Spirit is to walk along the path that God lays down. 
  • Be free from pride of one’s own spirituality or envy of another’s spirituality.