Faithlife
Faithlife

ESGAL08 Fruit of the Spirit Part 2

Fruit of the Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:37
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Colossians 3:5 NKJV
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Galatians 5:16–26 NKJV
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Last week we started looking at these verses in known as the fruit of the Spirit or life in the Spirit.
We saw is that we do not do the things we want to do and the things we do not want to do we do. Someone said afterwards it was a bit of a tongue-twister. We want to do well but we fail; we not want to fail but we do. There is plainly a war going on within ourselves. We are called, though, to not walk in the flesh but to walk by the Spirit.
One of the things we saw was that we need to fix our minds on things above and upon Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Today, before we move onto the actual fruit of the Spirit, we are going to look a little more about our minds and then on the negative fruit of the flesh and sinful nature.
To set our minds on things above means that we no longer have time for earthly things and over time we will have less and less passion for these things as long as we set, very deliberately, our minds elsewhere. If our mind is on the muck then into the pit it will go, of our mind is set on godly things our mind becomes wholesome.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Now most, if not all of us, have TVs and we also have internet. What we focus on in these areas; what we allow into our homes with these things; reveals where our minds are at. The majority of us would not allow bad language into our homes. We would think it very impolite if we invited someone who did that. Yet into our homes we have done that with our entertainment systems. We do have to evaluate the things we watch, the soaps and films and so on for the world’s thought system will influence us.
Of course as we read on we find that
Our thoughts are very important. One thought can become many and can lead to action that you would not thought yourself capable of doing at the very beginning. David himself started with a single thought for a particular woman named Bathsheba which led him to actually murder her husband by the hand of another. And this man, God said, had a heart after God. Everyone is capable of the heinous crimes just because of what we put into the mind.
Sin is the manifestation of what has already taken place in the mind.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” How many of agree with this statement? Well, I do. It might surprise you to know it was Margaret Thatcher that said this. I have said this on many occasion: Your thoughts become actions that become habits become who you are that influence your destiny.
So, how do we get to the right place in our minds? In Philippians it says that we need to put our thoughts on things which true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of any virtue and anything that is praiseworthy. Our lives will be transformed if we think upon these kinds of things, things which are pleasing to God.
In Philippians it says that we need to put our thoughts on things which true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of any virtue and anything that is praiseworthy.
Our lives will be transformed if we think upon these kinds of things, things which are pleasing to God.
The best way to keep bad thoughts at bay is to concentrate upon good thoughts. Notice that Paul does not say ‘do not think bad thoughts’ which is not possible on its own. No, he says think good thoughts.
Let me take you in your mind’s eye:
I want us to think of the plains of Africa, we are on Safari, and right there crossing the track in front of us is a herd of elephants. Can you see them in your mind? Perhaps recalling a David Attenborough programme. There they go – but be careful now – if you make too much noise they may turn and stampede you. Now I want you to stop thinking about the elephants. I don’t want you to think about elephants anymore. Stop thinking about elephants! It’s a little hard to do isn’t it for the elephants are still there.
I want us to think of the plains of Africa, we are on Safari, and right there crossing the track in front of us is a herd of elephants. Can you see them in your mind? Perhaps recalling a David Attenborough programme. There they go – but be careful now – if you make too much noise they may turn and stampede you. Now I want you to stop thinking about the elephants. I don’t want you to think about elephants anymore. Stop thinking about elephants! It’s a little hard to do isn’t it for the elephants are still there.
hard to do isn’t it for the elephants are still there – OK – but now I want you to think about the blue whale – the largest of all sea going creatures – it is coming up for air – spouting its water hundreds of feet into the air, oh, there’s not just one but 3 or 4. It is an amazing creature. What happened to the elephant we were thinking about? Unless you are very clever you stopped thinking about the elephant the moment we started to think about the blue whale. One thought replaced another.
OK – now I want you to think about the blue whale – the largest of all sea going creatures – it is coming up for air – spouting its water hundreds of feet into the air, oh, there’s not just one but 3 or 4. They are amazing creatures - just look at the size of it. What are we thinking about? A blue whale right?
What happened to the elephant? One thought replaced another unless you were very clever multi-tasking in one’s mind.
So, Paul isn’t saying don’t have bad thoughts because that just does not help – he says think about these other things instead. Think on things which are good and honourable. Jerome. one of the very first translators of the Bible said he struggled with all sorts of thoughts that were in his mind but this changed when he started to translate the Bible from Hebrew into Latin. It is clear that his thoughts were taken up by the words of Scripture instead of the other thoughts he originally had. The New English Version says: “Fill your thoughts with these things”.
There are three main areas that we are called to think upon, and not just think upon but to meditate upon.
Jerome is a famous translator of the Bible and said he struggled with all sorts of thoughts that were in his mind but this changed when he started to translate the Bible from Hebrew into Latin. Of course this may not be practical for us to do but it is clear that his thoughts were taken up by the words of Scripture. We are told to think upon the good and praiseworthy. The New English Version says: Fill your thoughts with these things. Our thoughts have to be filled with things that honour God.
James 1:6–8 NKJV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
(NKJV) — 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
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This for me means to think more upon God’s Word.
Meditation has a bad press among Christians and rightly so if by it we mean the emptying of our minds. I have met many Christians with empty minds! I have nothing against the charismatic movement other than its excesses but part of this movement involved allowing the ‘Spirit’ to work in us by emptying the mind. Well, this is just not Scriptural. We can allow all sorts of things into our lives if we do this and not of the Holy Spirit. We are called to think, to fill our minds.
(NKJV) — 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Meditation for the Christian is likened to the rumination of a cow and its four stomachs churning over and over the grass until we get the milk for our teas and coffees. Or let us think about coffee. Coffee percolators in particular. Water goes up a small tube and drains through coffee granules and then after enough cycles the coffee beans’ flavour has been transferred to the water that becomes our coffee.
Christians are to cycle our thoughts through the grounds of God’s Word until we start to think like God and act in a godly manner.
We are called upon to meditate upon three things:
God:
Psalm 27:4 NKJV
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.
Psalm 63:6 NKJV
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
His Word
His Word
Joshua 1:8 NKJV
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Psalm 1:2–3 NKJV
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
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(NKJV) — 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

His works

(NKJV) — 14 “Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
For me it also means to think upon what God has created.
Job 37:14 NKJV
“Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
Psalm 145:5 NKJV
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.
(NKJV) — 14 “Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
Psalm 143:5 NKJV
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.
It is too easy to be lazy in our thinking when our thoughts have to be continually upon good and worthy things.
Keeping our minds on Scripture and His works are to think entirely about what are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.
We are to remember that we are in a battle. I don’t suppose we need to be reminded but our thoughts are very important – it can lead us down a path to destruction or down the path of God’s good and perfect will and purpose.
In the battle between Jesus and Satan in the desert, Satan withdrew when he was tackled with the Word of God: It is written Jesus said. This means we need to memorise Scripture, to hide it in our hearts so that in the heat of battle we will remember and think upon those verses that will keep us from sin. But if we do not
then the battle will constantly be lost. And the boundaries we have set could move in a coup d’état against us because we were not prepared and ready.
(NKJV) — 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
If every thought that we had, all ten thousand of them, were brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ then we will have a personal revival. It is too easy to be lazy in our thinking when our thoughts have to be continually upon good and worthy things.
(NKJV) — 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
If we obey and set our minds upon the things of Christ, upon good and praiseworthy things then we will have His peace. We are not to dwell upon the negative or the impure but to swap those thoughts out with positive and pure thoughts for how we think affects our behaviour and forms our character. We are to think about godly things.
(NKJV) — 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
And in
(NKJV) — 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”
But we who are Christ’s are in a privileged situation for the verse ends with:
(NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
Colossians 3:5 NKJV
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
If this were not enough this battle with the flesh and the Spirit we also have another enemy to contend with as we find out in
The first secret of walking in the Spirit is the fear of the Lord.
If we were to meet the Lord in all His awesome splendour we would have a right to be fearful for it is as Isaiah admitted when He saw the Lord:
(NKJV) — 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
Peter had a similar response in
(NKJV) — 4 When He (Jesus) had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken.
The fear of the Lord should be present with us. Knowing that one day we will answer to Him. It is another reason to keep short accounts with God in confessing our sin to Him. The fear of the Lord is very important:
(NKJV) — 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(NKJV) — 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Remember that we are talking about walking in the Spirit. How does the fear of the Lord fit into walking in the Spirit?
(NKJV) — 2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
The result of the Spirit of the Lord being upon us and in us is wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Knowing who God is has an effect upon our behaviour. We claim to be Spirit-filled but if the fear of the Lord is not present then I have to ask whether it is so. In the letter to the Hebrews written to Christians the author says
(NKJV) — 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
But God wants us to know Him:
(NKJV) — 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
We have already heard that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
As we get to know Him then we don’t want to do things that offend Him. King David understood this:
(NKJV) — 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
David knew that by reading and meditating on God’s Word he was fortifying himself against sin, against the flesh, both to recognise it when it appears and to rebuff it. David knew God and loved and feared Him.
If you are not reading God’s Word then why not read the Book of Proverbs and get some fortification in you.
(NKJV) — 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
He cannot remind us if we have not put into our minds and hearts the things that He has said, can He?
In the Lord’s Prayer it says: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Do we pray this prayer every day? If we do then as a result this verse becomes even truer:
(NKJV) — 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Often the way of escape is being reminded by the Holy Spirit of how awesome God is or a verse about that particular kind of sin or the price that was paid by Jesus and his great love for us.
Colossians 3:1–4 NKJV
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Do we now see how important it is that the Word of God and prayer helps us when we are attacked from within by our flesh. Walking in the Spirit is not some airy-fairy, out of conscience, sub-conscious thing to do but it is concrete in the actions that it requires of us. We have choices put before us. If we do not take heed then sin crouches at the door seeking to destroy our walk with God, destroy our good name and destroy the good witness that we have.
Scripture summarizes the chief cause of sin and crime:
(NKJV) — 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
It seems we would be fearful of many things but God Himself. Even fear of other things causes us to do things:
After buying a $50,000 insurance policy before a plane trip, the traveler stepped on a nearby scale. Out came one of those fortune-telling cards. The message read: “A recent investment may pay big dividends.”[1]
We should endeavour to know God more and it starts with recognising God for who He is.
(NKJV) — 32b The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
The people who know their God walk in the Spirit and achieve great things. The people who know their God know the way of escape from the traps of temptation. The people who know their God increase in knowledge and wisdom because they fear Him and magnify Him.
When I read through Genesis chapters 1-11 sometimes I am overcome with just how big God is and what He is able to do.
Let it not be true that we do not have the fear of the Lord in our eyes. Do we want to know God? Then we need to fear Him because He is God. As we realise along with Isaiah and Peter just how awesome God is then we will recognise just how sinful we are and how abhorrent we are to Him. Then we can be thankful because God did not leave us in this state but through Jesus have made us alive together with Him saving us from our sins. Now, surely, all we want to do is know Him better; to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
The first secret of walking in the spirit is the fear of the Lord.
(NKJV) — 11 Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
(NKJV) — 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.If we obey and set our minds upon the things of Christ, upon good and praiseworthy things then we will have His peace. We are not to dwell upon the negative or the impure but to swap those thoughts out with positive and pure thoughts for how we think affects our behaviour and forms our character. We are to think about godly things. (NKJV) — 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.And in1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV) — 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”But we who are Christ’s are in a privileged situation for the verse ends with: (NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.
Today, we are continuing on in Galatians. Last time we learned that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and of wisdom and that one day we will have to give an account to Him for all our works. A truly scary thought. Today we are going to see what else we can do to avoid the flesh that battles so ferociously against us preventing us from doing the good we would do and causing us to do the evil we would not want to do. This is the gist of verses 16 & 17. We also saw how knowing Scripture allows the Holy Spirit to remind us of what God wants and can keep us on the narrow path. Last week we watched a video about William Tyndale who was a man who thought it worth laying down his life to get the Bible translated into English. We need not have reasons for reading God’s Word but we neglect its value to our detriment especially in the area of knowledge of God’s will.
(NKJV) — 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
The Holy Spirit is not a perpetual motion machine which operates automatically in the life of the believer but a Person whose working the Christian can respond to, depend on, and cooperate with. Therefore, the Christian faces the decision whether to follow the Spirit in this way or to give in to the flesh.
Notice in verse 18 Paul says the opposite of the Spirit is the law. This is quite surprising as we do not expect it. We expect Paul to say that the opposite of the law is the flesh as he did in verse 16. As we heard two weeks ago in it is the law that provokes and increases sin. It is because the flesh cannot and will not submit to God’s law.
(NKJV) — 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.
(NKJV) — 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 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, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Contrary to how we think the more we try to keep God’s law by our own efforts the more we find ourselves in the grip of sin. So we see that the law and the flesh lead to the same result.
So, the desires of the flesh cannot be overcome by the Christian remaining under law. The law is not the safeguard against being slaves to the flesh but Paul asserts that guidance of the Spirit is the only way to overcome legalism and our sinful nature. The only solution is being led by the Spirit. And who are they who are led by the Spirit? The answer comes to us in the passage we just read in Those who are His are in the Spirit already.
We have been caught in the easiest of snares. We try to keep the law but what we find is that we cannot. And we are right. Trying to keep it actually works contrary to us. But the law of the Spirit leads us to freedom…not freedom to sin but freedom to refuse it. It is all about grace. The righteous requirements of the law have been fulfilled in Jesus who gave Himself to free us from being under the law.
(NKJV) — 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(NKJV) — 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Now there is some instruction in
Notice that by fixing our gaze upon Jesus we are taking our gaze off the things of this world; by fixing our gaze upon heavenly things then our gaze is taken off sin; by fixing our gaze upon Christ we will continually be reminded of the sacrifice of love that he made and be continually grateful; by fixing our gaze upon the one who is to come the world becomes dim and as a result we put verse 5 into practice. If we do not then we are more than likely to entertain the things of this world and sin as a result.
If this were not enough this battle with the flesh and the Spirit we also have another enemy to contend with as we find out in
(NKJV) — 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
In verse 18 it says that we should be praying for each other too. I need your prayers and so does everyone else here. Make it your purpose to pray for each person here once a week by name to God. Set up reminders on your mobiles or in your diaries. This will also help each other keep on track. This walk with God is not easy and we need each other especially in our battles with the world, the flesh and the devil.
(NKJV) — 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
So, not only are we to put on the whole armour we are to put on Jesus. We are literally to be like Jesus. This is kind of like the now Christian cliché: What Would Jesus Do? It shouldn’t be a cliché except for the fact most Christians don’t actually know what Jesus would do. This verse makes the opposite of this to be one who makes provision for fleshly activities. It would seem that this is sin that we have prepared in advance for us to do. What needs to be cut out of our thinking is the planning and instead deliberately plan, instead, to be like Jesus.
(NKJV) — 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
This renewing of the mind is based upon knowing God’s Word and by acting upon it. We have heard so many things today about the focus of our minds: Our minds should be fixed upon things above, upon Jesus, upon actively rejecting Satan’s advances, to be like Jesus, to plan, to not be changed into the image of this world.
Being led by the Spirit is not passive but passive-active. We are in a relationship with God. We are not talking about trying to do all these things by sheer effort for we are not alone. God, in whom we trust, is with us. Jesus, along with the Father, sent us the Holy Spirit who is there prompting us, guiding us, reminding us and comforting us. Because we are reconciled with God we are called to holy living; because of what He has done by sending His Son we live in obedience in gratitude; because we do not belong to ourselves but are bought by the blood of Jesus.
(NKJV) — 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
If we obey and set our minds upon the things of Christ, upon good and praiseworthy things then we will have His peace. We are not to dwell upon the negative or the impure but to swap those thoughts out with positive and pure thoughts for how we think affects our behaviour and forms our character. Paul puts it like this:
Jesus was the greatest example. Jesus had the greatest liberty but instead of living for Himself He lived for His Father and served us. And He served us till death.
(NKJV) — 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Notice that we are replacing one with the other. It is the same with the Spirit and the flesh. Instead of fleshly activities we make no room for them by doing the Spirit’s bidding instead. And in Galatians we discover that one of these is in love serve one another. We need ears to hear.
(NKJV) — 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Romans 12:2 NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is in the doing of these that we cannot give provision for the flesh because we won’t have the time.
The renewing of our minds will act like soup cleaning us of our impure thoughts and the outcome is that we are changed. It changes from:
When we walk in the Spirit then the things of the flesh have no room in our lives.
(NKJV) — 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.And in1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV) — 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”But we who are Christ’s are in a privileged situation for the verse ends with: (NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
It seems that it is possible to be a Spirit-filled Christian yet leave the door open for the things of the flesh. We need to be those who pro-actively close the door on these things. Walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. The choice is ours.
Isaiah 55:8 NKJV
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
God remains faithful to us through it all. Forgiveness is found in Him. He will complete our faith one day:
(NKJV) — 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
to:
Our trust is in God and not ourselves.
(NKJV) — 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.And in
So, to conclude: The Spirit not only brings the believer into a new realm of spiritual existence but also (1) sensitises the believer to what is contrary to God’s will, (2) gives to the believer an intrinsic standard of values, and (3) enables the believer to do what is good, with expressions of that goodness being for the benefit of others.
1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV) — 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?”But we who are Christ’s are in a privileged situation for the verse ends with: (NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
The Spirit alone is able to overcome the flesh by imparting the new life opened up by the work of Christ. And where the new life in Christ by the Spirit is present, no law is required to command it. It is the Spirit himself who fills the believer’s life with rich content. For the one “in Christ,” therefore, relationship with God and life lived as a Christian are begun, sustained, directed, and completed entirely by the Spirit. So much so that Jude says we will presented faultless before God.
We will have a personal spiritual revival. We will start to think God’s thoughts after Him.
1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
(NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
But if we do not do these things then we will start to orient our lives according to those things cannot be part of the Kingdom of God. This long list of negative and fruitful works of the flesh. I do not believe it is saying that if we fail in any of these we do not share in the Kingdom of God but if these things are our continual practice then we have to ask ourselves are we saved.
(NKJV) — 16 But we have the mind of Christ.
Verse 19 deals with sexually immoral sins including not only the practice such as adultery and fornication but also uncleanness which is about how filthy our minds are. I know a great Christian man when I was a new Christian who prayed that he would die before he was old because he didn’t want to be a dirty old man - and got his desire. Sexual sins are not just the domain the young person. Age is irrelevant.
Verse 20 has those things to do with superstitions but are sins we can also fall into: for instance:
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Ten: The Fifth Freedom (Galatians 5:13–26)

Idolatry is simply putting things ahead of God and people. We are to worship God, love people, and use things, but too often we use people, love self, and worship things, leaving God out of the picture completely. Jesus tells us that whatever we worship, we serve (Matt. 4:10). The Christian who devotes more of himself to his car, house, or boat than he does to serving Christ may be in danger of idolatry (Col. 3:5)

In the rest of verse 20 and part of 21 these are sins that Christians are always manifesting: hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies which includes the creation of factions, envy and this passage ends in verse 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Twice envy is mentioned for it is particularly destructive to the Church. How do we measure up against this list? Is anyone here not guilty? Anyone here guilty within the last month? I am not expecting a show of hands but it does reveal what is going on in our hearts. But just in case we think that none of these things are true of us we can still not escape judgement in this for Paul adds these very small three words: and the like.
We are guilty but there is a way out: we can confess our sin to God and He will forgive and cleanse. Oh, how great this is! The blood of Jesus atones for us even after we become Christians. Let us replace our evil thoughts with wholesome thoughts, our wrongful actions with works for God, our sinful habits with spiritual ones. What we put into our minds become our thoughts become our actions become our habits become our character become our destiny.
Destiny simply means where we are headed. We are either headed to a spiritual downfall and an ineffective Christian life, fruitless, unworthy of the name of Christ or we are headed to a spiritual windfall, an effective Christians’ life bearing much fruit and though still unworthy of the name of Christ we will be living a faithful, expectant life for God where our reward will be very great. Our thoughts will be aligned with God and we will see Him at work in our lives to the lives of others.
It is set before you and I then. The way of the flesh and the sinful nature which only seeks to corrupt us and entrap us or the way of the Spirit wherein is liberty. A bad life or good life. One life is about building one’s own kingdom, the other about building God’s. Which kingdom do we belong to?

the kings of Laos and Vietnam reached an agreement on taxation in the border areas. Those who ate short-grain rice built their houses on stilts, and decorated them with Indian-style serpents were considered Laotians. On the other hand, those who ate long-grain rice built their houses on the ground, and decorated them with Chinese-style dragons were considered Vietnamese.

“The exact location of a person’s home was not what determined his or her nationality. Instead, each person belonged to the kingdom whose cultural values he or she exhibited.”

So it is with us: we live in the world, but as part of God’s kingdom, we are to live according to his kingdom’s standards and values.

To close service:

the kings of Laos and Vietnam reached an agreement on taxation in the border areas. Those who ate short-grain rice built their houses on stilts, and decorated them with Indian-style serpents were considered Laotians. On the other hand, those who ate long-grain p 292 rice built their houses on the ground, and decorated them with Chinese-style dragons were considered Vietnamese.

“The exact location of a person’s home was not what determined his or her nationality. Instead, each person belonged to the kingdom whose cultural values he or she exhibited.”

So it is with us: we live in the world, but as part of God’s kingdom, we are to live according to his kingdom’s standards and values.

The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
To close service:
(NKJV) — 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
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