Galatians 5:16-26 – We see here what can happen when the Holy Spirit is working in cooperation with a converted heart and a renewed mind.
We see two masters in this passage, the Spirit and the flesh. We also see that these two masters produce vastly different results in the lives of those who follow them.
Where the Spirit is not resident and empowering, the flesh is the master, self and the old nature. The works of the flesh are the actions and thoughts that are produced by and come from the flesh. The result is condemnation, unhappiness and misery. It may be short term satisfaction, but it will ultimately bring misery.
The fruits of the Spirit are entirely different in what they produce and bring to the person who is following the Spirit. A life with the Spirit, in communion with God, not free of stress and difficulty but equipped to handle that.
There are very different consequences for these kinds of lives. Those who practice things that are not godly will not inherit the Kingdom of God. “Whatever a man sows, that is what he will also reap.”
Romans 8:6 & 8:13 – Put to death the deeds of the body and live. There is a constant pull and tension between these two things, the flesh and the Spirit.
Romans 7:18-19 – I do the things that I don’t want to do… it is a constant struggle between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit. We will always have the unredeemed flesh to live with here on the earth. Our flesh is an avenue to temptation, but Paul is teaching us that there is a way to live, in the Spirit, above the flesh in victory and in peace.
One crucial step that Paul mentions is in Romans 7:24, “the crucified flesh” and “walking in the Spirit.” There is an earnest and serious decision to be made, we take sides and choose which side we are on in this great battle, we are for one and against the other.
Philippians 2:9-12 – This is the place that Jesus deserves in our heart, exalted and lifted above all else.
Romans 10:9 – Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. Jesus is my Lord and my master. He is exalted in our hearts to the highest place.
If you then were raised with Christ, set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Romans 13:12 – Put on the armor of light. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Make no provision for the flesh. Give Christ the highest place in your heart.
1 Peter 2 – Desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow.
Crucifying self isn’t just a mind game, there is an action to it as well. Let’s look at a practical way we can crucify flesh.
Jealousy – this can show up in a lot of different ways. Someone has a really nice house, or they teach a good Sunday school lesson, or they have a great interior decoration sense, or etc… None of these kinds of jealousy are good. So, what do we do? We confess! Lord, I am struggling with jealousy, I know that this is sin, I confess it and don’t want it, renew my mind and help me to have your perspective about this.
1 Kings 8:37-40 – If judgement comes because of sin or idolatry… if Israel would repent, God would hear and forgive. When we understand our own sinfulness, when we mourn the plague of our own heart and condition.
1 John 1:7 – If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light we are walking in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 7:1 – Having these promises let us cleanse ourselves.
1 Peter 5:10 – May the God of all grace, after we have suffered a while, perfect, establish and strengthen you.