TEXT: Galatians 5:14-26(NKJV)

5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

5:15. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

5:16. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

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.

5:18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

5:19. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

5:20. idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

5:21. 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.

5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

5:23. gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

5:24. And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

5:25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

5:26. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

STUDY: A life directed by the spirit is opposed to one given over to fulfilling the carnal desires of the flesh. Because of this, individuals must always choose between the will of God (Spirit) and their will (flesh). Paul referred to this struggle (war) in his own life when he said, "But I discipline my body and bring it to subjection, lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified" (1 Cor.9:27;Rom.7:15,23). Those who do not exercise self-discipline will eventually give themselves over to the works of flesh. The Flesh brings one into captivity to the law of sin and seeks to keep one under bondage perpetually. The way out, is to crucify the Flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) and uphold the spirit of Christ (Gal.5:22-23). Those who belong to Christ have put to death efforts to work themselves to heaven by perfect law-keeping and meritorious deeds. They are thus not of the nature of the works of the flesh, but of the nature of the Spirit. Those who are of Christ "are not in the flesh but in the Spirit." (Rom. 8:9). They are not trusting in performance, but in God's grace. When one is immersed in obedience to the gospel, the old man is crucified, in that one places his salvation into the merciful hands of God (Rom. 6:6).

In conclusion, one must crucify himself by trusting in God's grace (Gal.2:20). In our text, Paul calls on the Galatians to bring their lives into harmony with the direction of the Spirit. This is the same call to you today!

Food for thought: 

Read Gal. 2:20

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