The Run Down
Read Galatians 5:16-26
Vs. 16. “Walk”….
A common way Paul writes about discipleship… is walking… walk after… walk in… like how a disciple followed and walked after the teacher.
“Spirit” vs “Flesh”.
He will now contrast these two. The Spirit and the Flesh.
This is particularly a Pauline topic. He speaks of it much elsewhere.
The Flesh- Greek – Sarx.
Flesh with its original meaning the actually material flesh… body…
Came to mean and be used frequently by Paul, not that the material is evil…
But that the fallen nature of man… with his earthly sinful desires ….
Come from a more expansive definition of flesh meaning fallen man with desires originating from his sinful condition.
The flesh… is the old nature… the sinful nature….
Without “revelation” from God by His Spirit… the flesh has us trapped and enslaved.
Spirit-Greek-pneuma, early on was wind, air, breath, life.
Later it came to mean the “air” of man… the “air” of life… the spirit God breathed into him. And when death comes the “air”… the “spirit” goes.
Fuller NT Sense.
1 Cor. 2:14. The Spirit of God comes inside us and reveals to us.
Walking by the Spirit… empowers us to overcome sin.
I like what one author wrote…. We are to “develop a Christian personality.”
The Spirit comes to live within us… and the process is at varying rates…
But our personality is being changed.
Romans 12:2. Be transformed.
The “Flesh”: Total Depravity.
The “Spirit”: Total Dependence.
The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit. They are directly opposed to one another.
Now this doesn’t mean… just the material… because God created and called it good.
So it’s not saying… in some way… like some cults… who believe that everything material is bad… and only spiritual is good…
This is saying… the “flesh” with the connotations of the sinful man… original sin… tainting / staining all his choices… without the Spirit… or opposing it… is bad. Evil.
Romans 7:15-25; 8:1-11 Walk, set the mind.
Romans 13:14 Put on.
Eph. 2:1-10, flesh, passions, wrath.
2 Cor. 5:17 New creation.
Gal . 6:15 New creation.
John 3:3 Born again.
Vs. 18 Led by the Spirit.
Paul want to say… that we should live godly lives… but he is not turning back again to the law…. Nor is grace a license to sin which he stated…..
No… we are to obey and follow God by His Spirit… which empowers us.
Vs. 19-21. Works of the flesh.
Four potential groupings:
3rd- 8-towards others.
4th- 2-alcohol driven.
Sexual immorality- sexual relationships outside of marriage.
Sensuality- (debauchery) open reckless contempt of propriety.
Idolatry- worshipping created things… not the Creator.
Sorcery- use of the powers of evil.
Enmity- divisions between peoples. The opposite of Gal 3:28.
Strife- discord. Not having unity. Causing problems.
Jealousy- from selfishness ambition, prideful intent.
Fits of anger- flying off the handle.
Rivalries- Selfish approach to work.
Dissensions & Divisions- people are divided and feuds flourish.
Envy- word used is always bad, wanting others’ stuff or traits.
Drunkenness-Revelry- alcohol induced and related… with sexual overtones or activity… debauchery.
Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So…. You can have different views of salvation if you want.
But let’s just keep it simple… whether one’s saved and can do these and still go to heaven… whether if one does them “repeatedly” it reveals they aren’t saved and aren’t going to heaven… or that they lose their salvation if they do them.
Let’s just realize… that inheriting God’s Kingdom rule… means living under his Rule…. In His Kingdom… these things won’t happen there… so let’s not live in them or practice them.
We have the Kingdom here amongst us now… in the here… but also not yet… in the eschatological sense. It will come in full. Romans 14:17.
Paul’s teaching about Grace… the Spirit… lead to lives not following in these sins.
Vs. 22-23 Now Paul will continue on with the contrast.. of the Flesh vs the Spirit…and will speak of the fruits of the Spirit.
Love- agape. 1 John 4:8. 1 Cor. 13:13.
Joy- Spiritual happiness in Christ not dependent on circumstances.
Peace- with God, with Jew/Gentiles, in mind, relationships, in the Church.
Patience- putting up with others, God was patient with us.
Kindness- gentle goodness,.
Goodness- positive active action toward others.
Faithfulness- trustworthy, reliable.
Gentleness- a person in control, softly kind, never angry at inappropriate time.
Self-control- victory over fleshly desires. Able to walk in the world but to keep self pure.
Against such things there is no law.
Yes! Avoid the flesh… live by the Spirit… not legalism… not license…
This is what God has in mind for us.
Vs. 24 Those who belong to Christ…
Have “actively”… not passively like before.. themselves… Crucified the flesh.
Vs. 25 If you have been brought to life by the Spirit… then Walk by the Spirit.
Vs. 26 Seems a bit stuck in there… but good answer is a reference back to vs. 15 and a particular situation in Galatia that he comes back to to readdress for the members of that Church. Conceited… provoking… envying.