This is week five of the Blogged Bible Study. Each week I will be posting on Thursdays as mentioned previously and others will be posting other days of the week. You can read the other posts by going to Philter48. You will enjoy them I’m sure.
Galatians 5:19-26 (NLT)
Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
I chose to use the New Living Translation for the scriptures above because I love the language. I am a lover of all things pertaining to the Holy Spirit because I know I can’t do what God is asking me to do or what Jesus commanded me to do without the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that also and made it a point to tell his disciples that He had to go so the Counselor could come. I’m probably repeating myself on some of this but I think that’s what it takes to get something sunken into me. Jesus repeated things many times because He knew we’d need to hear them many times to understand and walk them out.
Verse 16 in this translation says “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. ” Sounds like I have to “let/allow” the Holy Spirit to guide my life if I don’t without His operating in me I may not have the willpower on my own to keep my sinful nature at bay. Oh yes,that sinful nature that can cause me to stumble back into the things Paul speaks of in verses 19 through 21. Remember the big TV and the new house, and that fancy car those Galatians were trying to hang on to last week in Galatians 4? Sounds like idolatry doesn’t it? Take a minute and go back up to verses 19-21 and take a look at those things that our sinful nature craves. They’re all around us all the time because we have to live here in this world until we go to Heaven or Jesus comes back–whichever comes first.
I think Paul explains this fight between the sinful nature and the spirit so much better in Romans 7 and 8. In 7:18 he says, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. In verse 19 he says, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” But then in Chapter 8:1-4 he gives us good news again. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Verse 6. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. V 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness V 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Verse 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirits that we are God’s children.
I don’t know how anyone who says they are a Christian could not read these scriptures and 1) realize how important the Holy Spirit is to our ability to shed our sin nature and crucify ourselves as Jesus was crucified for us and 2) just plain get a desire to know how we can walk in the Spirit more and more because we are nothing without the Holy Spirit. I think I’ve said before that I don’t know why some Christian denominations shy away from the Holy Spirit more than others. Maybe because the Holy Spirit can’t be fully explained and we always want all the details but in this case we have to acknowledge the supernatural works of the Holy Spirit because we can’t be in Christ and Christ be in us without him. I feel like I’m rambling on as I write this tonight but it makes me wonder if the Galatians even knew who they were in Christ just the same as it makes me wonder if we fully comprehend it? But we have to comprehend our spirit walk because the fruit cannot be produced without it. It’s allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives that helps us to mature which enables that fruit to come forth.
Well Paul tries again in Gal 5 verse 25-26 and says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Why is there jealousy, envying, and conceit in the church? I hate to even ask that question but if we are honest we would all agree that there is.
Something I’ve always felt funny about in church is when someone will ask the Holy Spirit to come into the worship service. Isn’t he already there if he is in us? Is it so unobvious that we have to beg him to come?
It is all these scriptures that lead me to the conclusion that Paul was definitely writing all of this being controlled by the Holy Spirit because he could not have had this kind of insight if he had not been controlled by the Spirit. This is what I want in my own life. I want my words to come from the Holy Spirit who will enable me to speak the words of Jesus and not my own and I want to do the things that God calls me to do under the control of the Holy Spirit. In order to do this I know I have to spend more time in the Word and more time in prayer asking Him to show me the areas I need to work on and where I need to go and where I don’t need to go. I want to serve Him and others by the Spirit.