Have you ever heard the saying, “One cannot serve two masters?” Today, we continue our discussion on flesh versus the Spirit. If you are joining us for the first time, welcome, and if you have been here before, welcome back.
We have been walking through Galatians 5:19-24 over the last several posts. Today, I want to dive into the desires of the flesh.
A quick review of the passages from Galatians 5:19-21 is necessary for today’s discussion.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Some notes from my Bible commentary
“Verse 19 introduces practical considerations to assist the believer in fulfilling the command of Galatians 5:16. Paul was saying, “Let’s be clear. To fulfill this command, you need good theological, ethical, and objective input. Walking by the Spirit means avoiding certain things, things that characterize the flesh.
If you wonder what they are, here is a representative list.”
The list contains matters bearing upon sexual morality (e.g., impurity: the defilement brought on by sexual sin; sensuality: unrestrained passion); spirituality (idolatry, sorcery [Gk – pharmakeia]; using magic in an attempt to manipulate people, demonic beings, perhaps even God, or drugs to induce euphoric religious experiences); relationships (e.g., enmities: various types of hostility; strife: contentiousness that causes divisions); and social sins (i.e., drunkenness, carousing; being on the prowl for sinful pleasure).
Immorality (Gk – porneia) is a general term for any aberrant sexual activity, including adultery, fornication, bestiality, and homosexuality. Paul’s inclusion of the phrase, and things like these, indicates he likely intended the list to be representative, not exhaustive.”
What is Paul saying about the works of the flesh?
Those who continue to practice the works of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Crucifying the flesh happens at conversion.
Jesus was crucified, and believers are crucified with Him.
The crucifixion of the flesh is the theological equivalent of dying to sin. The flesh was crucified (that is, we died to sin) when we were converted.
The absolute power of the flesh is broken when we trust Christ for salvation. This should provide great encouragement in the conflict against the flesh.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to forsake the old life.
Will you be victorious overnight in defeating the works of the flesh? No.
Are you alone in the battle? No.
Our discussion on the works of the flesh and fruit of the spirit continues next time. I hope you come back.
Lord, help us have the courage we need to make bold moves toward Christ. This life offers so many things, most often things that bring instant gratification. Those things usually cause problems. Thanks, God, for your words in the Bible – or as some like to say – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
In His Service,
The Teaching Lady