Walking in the spirit

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DATE: 2/27/2011 am Part 1
TEXT: Galatians 5:16-25 (i.e. 16, 25)
Jesus spoke of there being 2 possible avenues through life
In Matthew 7:13, 14 Jesus said that there is one way that leads unto life and another that leads unto death
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”
“Because strait
is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”
Jesus makes it crystal clear that when we enter the narrow way, we are saved by grace and are headed to Heaven …
While all those who remain in the broad way are headed to Hell and Destruction
Once someone is Born Again they can never enter into death
John 5:24 -  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life”

But, we can find ourselves walking the wrong way
If you believe that becoming a Christian means that you cease to sin, then you have a rude awakening ahead
I John 1:8-10 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us”

While we have literally passed from death unto life (as the Bible says) …
A fruitless spiritual life will always be the result of walking the wrong way
(Not to mention the disaster that it will bring)
On the other hand, to walk in the right way is to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord
It will make us fruitful and effective in all that we do for His glory
Walking in the Spirit is to experience that Abundant Life of which Jesus spoke of in John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”

Our text this morning is warning us,
Warning us, to be careful, careful how we walk in life
And I’m confident that no one here wants to be a spiritual Disaster
Therefore, let's look together at our verses and see the lessons that can be gleaned as we think about -
Walking In The Spirit”
First, we must realize there will be a Disaster from Not Walking in the Spirit
(Walking = Living our life according to His dictates)
Also known as The Flesh Life
By “the flesh,” of course, Paul does not mean “the body”
The human body is not sinful; it is neutral
If the Holy Spirit has controls of our soul, which is the seat of the emotion, intellect and will …
Then He will also have control of our body,
Then, we will be Walking in the Spirit
(Or living according to His commands)
But if the flesh controls the body, then we will be walking in the desires of the flesh
The Spirit and the flesh have different appetites,
This is what creates the conflict
First, we need to understand that -

There is a warfare going on in your life

Let’s look at what Paul said in Romans 7:15-25 (Turn there)
The flesh will hinder us – in: prayer, Bible study, witnessing, faithfulness, obedience etc.
The Christian life is not a playground, it’s a battlefield!
I Peter 2:11 – Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
“Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles:”


Man is capable of anything that can be imagined and a whole lot more that should not be imagined!

Genesis 6:5 – And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”
Lest there be any question as to the character of the

flesh (our old sinful nature),

The Apostle provides a typical list of its deeds
It is noteworthy that:
→ He refers to these as works”
→ This list is typical, but not exhaustive
Though the first category of sexual sins is readily understood as works of the flesh,
What is not so apparent is the category of nastiness that goes on between people
These are far more pervasive than sexual immorality

They are what Paul would refer to as “filthiness of the flesh” in II Corinthians 7:1

17 forms of sin are noted in these verses
All are of the old nature, the flesh
Moreover, all are rooted in self
Let us briefly consider each
He begins by noting in v.19 that the “works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness”
manifest” - That is, they are obvious and apparent,
1. Adultery” is illicit sexual activity between married

persons and one not his or her spouse

2. Fornication” The Greek word that we get this word from is porneia and is the word we get our English word pornography from
It refers to illicit sexual activity of any kind (including homosexuality), but more commonly to pre-marital sex
People living together or sleeping together prior to marriage

3. Uncleanness” - This word refers to moral impurity in general: dirty jokes, dirty literature, and dirty thoughts

Innuendo etc.

It touches upon the whole cesspool of immoral behavior such as homosexuality, bestiality, and incest
4. Lasciviousness” - This word refers not so much to the physical, but the mental aspect (the thought life)
It is a frame of mind of impure, lustful thinking, unbridled lust, and impure sexual thoughts
These four, foul works of the flesh are all sexual in nature
They are the essence of immorality
Though bringing momentary pleasure,
They all ultimately bring Disaster
v.20 – “Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies”
5. Idolatry”- The thought here is of anything coming between man and God
Whether a physical idol or
The more subtle things in life we place ahead of God

i.e. – Family, Friends, hobbies, sports etc.

God does not play second fiddle
Exodus 20:5 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
6. “Witchcraft”- This word refers to occult practices
However, it is the base from which the English word pharmacy is derived
In the ancient world, hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs were frequently a part of the occult and its practices
The Apostle now shifts from the more obvious works of the flesh to the more subtle
7. Hatred” - The root sense of the word is hostility toward another
This suddenly becomes a sin far more common than those mentioned above
Hostility toward other, things like road rage, marital indifferences

8. Variance” - This word refers to being contentious or causing strife (causing conflict or rivalry)
It’s speaking about being persistently argumentative
You must have your own way!
9. Emulations” - This word is where we get our English words zealous and jealous from
However, the Greek sense is far more negative
The thought is of being envious, jealous, or bitter
Perhaps, the greater thought is of bitterness toward another
10. Wrath” - This word refers to losing one’s temper or of anger boiling over
11.Strife” - This word refers to bickering
It literally referred to the nastiness of a political campaign and its dirty tricks
The common thought, however, is of a nasty spirit
Being short with people, because something is troubling you
12. Seditions” - Though one might think this has to do with treason or crimes against the state,
It is far more generic
The word literally refers to being divisive or causing dissension
This undoubtedly was part of the problem in some of the Galatian churches
Do you know that some people are contrary, just for the sake of being contrary
13. Heresies” - It might be thought that Paul is referring to doctrinal error
Though the English word has come to have that sense, the Greek word is more ordinary
It has the sense of being opinionated, stubborn, or bullheaded
It is closely related to pride
These 7 works of the flesh are the root of many of the marriage and church problems of today
They, like the sexual sin mentioned before, are all self-oriented and self-directed
Selfishness as its roots in the flesh

These certainly are more common amongst Christians than the sexual sin described above

v.21- “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and

such like:”
14. Envyings” - The thought is the resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else's success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions
15. Murders” I don’t think we need to comment
16. Drunkeness” - This word isn’t just referring to being knock –down drunk
It is also referring to just having a drink or two or simple intoxication
For those who would condone social drinking for Christians,
The thought of intoxication of any degree is here called a work of the flesh
Why do you have to alter your state of being?
17. Revellings” This word refers to carousing or wild


It touches upon the entertainment, party-mentality of

the world so prevalent today

The Apostle concludes this distasteful list regarding the flesh with a sobering assessment
Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”
The key to understanding this statement is found in the word inherit”
The thought is of receiving an inheritance
Paul is not saying that a Christian who engages in

any one of these 17 forms of sin

→ Is not saved or
→ Will lose their salvation
What he is saying is that sin in the life of a Christian very well may cause us to lose some of the inheritance in heaven we otherwise might have received
The New Testament speaks clearly of rewards and a inheritance in heaven
I Peter 1:4 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Paul’s point is that sins of the flesh can negate and neutralize such rewards

Living in the flesh will unravel rewards we might otherwise have received in glory
Some are quick to claim that, those guilty of gross sexual sins …
Either must not be saved or will lose their salvation …
However, it must be recalled that included in the same list are such other sins as losing one’s temper, stubbornness, and envy
They are all lumped together
The flesh and its works are ugly indeed
Not only will they foul the tranquility of the Christian

But they also will put at risk our inheritance in the coming kingdom of God

Never say, “It will never happen to me!”
I Corinthians 10:12 – Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”
It happened to:
Peter - Matthew 26:33, 34Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended”
“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice”

David – II Samuel 11:1-15 – (David with Bath-sheba)
It can happen to the best of men / or women
The flesh is capable of anything - without exception!
Romans 7:18 – For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not”
A. The ‘Lost Sinner’ will face Hell –
Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”
Revelation 20:11-15

B. The ‘Low-down Saint’ (2 things)
1. Will face the Bema -
II Corinthians 5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
Romans 14:12 – So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God”
2. Or, the Lord's chastisement here -
Revelation 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”
Romans 8:6 – “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”
Hebrews 12:6-8
The great Truth that Satan wants to hide is –
I Corinthians 11:31 – “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged”
C. Clarification
To prevent you from getting the wrong idea, let me clarify some things
God is not saying that a slip in any of these areas will prevent you from getting into Heaven
End of v.21 – that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”
That verb "do" in this verse indicates an ongoing lifestyle
In other words, if your life is given to these activities,
Then there is a good chance you probably are not saved
If you have slipped, or happen to slip from time to time, it isn't alright,
But it should be repented of and if it is,
It will be forgiven by God
I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

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