Follow The Spirit Gal. 5:16-26 July 05, 2009
When a Christian shares under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit other Christians recognize the difference. Those who do not know the Lord will sense and obvious difference; but when a Christian for one reason or another ministers in the flesh most will notice the contrast. The Lord gives us what He calls the “Fruit” of the Spirit. In our relationship and walk with Him this fruit will be ready when needed for the particular ministry He calls us to do. Therefore we must always seek to Follow The Spirit.
1. Follow The . . Desires Of The Spirit. 5:16-18
A. Follow The Spirit’s Desires In Your . . Walk. 5:16
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
B. Follow The Spirit’s Desires In Your . . Wants. 5:17
17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want.
C. Follow The Spirit’s Desires In Your . . Ways. 5:18
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The desires the Spirit keeps for the Children of God center in the walk, ways, and wants of our daily life.
He prompts the way of our walk. The promise given by Him clearly states, “if we walk by the Spirit we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.” What the Spirit wants for our lives directly conflicts with what the flesh desires. One commentator suggests the flesh and Spirit are lined up in conflict; face to face against one another. The Lord gives a Christian the equipment to win this battle. Right in this chapter we encounter several qualities received for victorious Christian living let me mention them: 1.Walk in the Spirit, 2. Be led by the Spirit,
3. Crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts, 4. Demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in daily life, and 5. Live in the Spirit. The flesh will center on rules and regulations. The Spirit gives liberty directed by Him. The Bible says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Co 3:17-18). He desires and produces liberty, or as some translations say “freedom.”
2. Follow The . . Discouragement Of The Spirit. 5:19-21
A. Follow What The Spirit Discourages As . . Deeds Of The Flesh. 5:19-21a
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar,
B. Follow What The Spirit Discourages As . . Dividends Of The Flesh. 5:21b
“. . . about which I tell you in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
In these verses the contrast of the works of the flesh and the deeds of the Spirit present a very prominent contrast. Some commentators make four categories of these deeds and mention up to 17 individual deeds of the flesh. The four categories: (1) Sensual sins, (2) Idolatry (3) Personal relations, (4) Drunkenness. They very definitely conflict with the deeds produced by the Spirit. Paul clearly states, “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Interestingly the deeds of the flesh cannot produce salvation even if the list represented good works rather than these obvious sinful deeds.
3. Follow The . . Designs of The Spirit. 5:22-26
A. Follow The Spirit’s Design In . . Fruit. 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
B. Follow The Spirit’s Design In . . Flesh. 5:24-25
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.
C. Follow The Spirit’s Design In . . Fellowship. 5:24-25
26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. HCSB
Paul led by the Spirit mentions nine qualities called the “fruit” of the Spirit. The design of these nine
attributes contrast greatly with the deeds of the flesh. Who in their right mind opposes love, joy, peace
patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Many of the deeds of the flesh have laws related to them because most wise people recognize the dangers and heartaches produced through them. Obviously it is much more intelligent to Follow The Spirit. Amen? Amen