Galatians #5 – Walk in the Spirit:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16).
There was a day and an age when the church of Jesus Christ stood up for what was right. There was a time when the preachers of God’s Word declared the truth with boldness, saying that certain things are right and certain things are wrong – that there is a hell to shun and a Heaven to gain. However, because of the spirit of political correctness in our world today, there are fewer prophets of the Most High God who will stand up and declare to God’s people the whole counsel of God.
Paul’s bold declaration in Second Timothy 4:1-4 has never been more timely than it is in the church of today: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” Lord, give us pastors who will preach the Word, convince, rebuke and exhort your people. Give us people who will endure sound doctrine, and will not turn away from the truth, no matter how politically incorrect it may become.
God’s Word to us today gives us a commandment for our lives – walk in the Spirit. When we choose to walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. That tells me that, no matter how relative the concept of TRUTH has become in today’s world, God’s Word still makes a distinction between what is right and what is wrong. As Christians, we are called to live right – to live in obedience to God’s Holy Word. “For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:19). God wants us to walk in the Spirit – to walk in obedience to His Word, and do what is good. And God also wants us to avoid the works of the flesh – disobedience to His Word, that which He declares is evil. How do we know what is good and evil? Galatians 5 gives us a brief summary of the works of the flesh (what is evil), and the fruit of the Spirit (what is good):
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21). These are the evil deeds that God wants us to avoid! Rather, we are commanded to walk in the Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us… “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23). Let us make a commitment to walk in the Spirit, so that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. If we do this, then God will be glorified, and many people will come to know Jesus through the juicy fruit in our lives.
Suggested Bible Reading for Today: Galatians 5