Thursday, April 3, 2014


"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17).

In Romans 7:1-25, the Apostle Paul, using present tense verbs, describes his constant inward battle between the flesh and the spirit.  Paul's soul, that part of him which chooses his words and his actions, is influenced by both his spiritual nature, the part of him which wishes only to please God, and his physical nature, the part of him which always seeks to please oneself.  Freud would say that Paul's "Ego" was being torn between the opposing forces of his "Id" (self-pleasing) and his "Super Ego" (God pleasing).

Paul knew when he was walking in the flesh, because he listed those things which result from being out of fellowship with God.  They are:  

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which (practice) such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).

Paul also knew that there was clear evidence to show when he was living in fellowship with God.  He wrote:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23).

Notice that Paul emphasizes that the works of the flesh are just that:  works.  He does not speak of a single incident, but a continual practice of such things.  He also makes it clear that "the fruit of the Spirit" is not the result of works, but is the natural outworking of the Holy Spirit in a person's life.

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the secret to spirituality,
is to allow God to do "His thing!"

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