Those Who Belong to Christ Jesus

Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

There are many professing Christians here in America who are still “struggling” with (regularly yielding to) sin. And the reason they continue in their sin is because they are convinced that their sins are all forgiven and that heaven is secured them when they die, so they don’t believe their sinful practices will make any difference in where they spend eternity, for they are convinced they are going to heaven regardless of the fact that they are regularly yielding to the control of sin over their lives.

But the Scriptures do not teach that. The Scriptures do not teach that we can be in Christ, have our sins forgiven, and be on our way to heaven while we still deliberately and habitually sin against the Lord. So, we need to know what the Scriptures do teach on this subject, for our eternity depends on us knowing and obeying the truth.

So, we have some good instructions here which we are to follow. If truly we do not want to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh, then we need to walk by the Spirit. But we have to first truly be in Christ via dying with him to sin and being raised to walk in newness of life in him before we can walk in him. And to walk by the Spirit is to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands. It is to do what we are instructed to do and to live how we are instructed to live, and it is not to live in deliberate and habitual sin.

But we can’t walk by the Spirit if we are habitually giving in to the sinful cravings of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you say you want to do. So if you truly want to have victory over sin, you must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and according to the commands of God (New Covenant), and you must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions, and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives (Titus 2:11-14).

Galatians 5:19-21 ESV

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Have you ever noticed how often sexual immorality and sensuality and impurity and idolatry show up in these lists of sins? They are in pretty much all the lists, which there are several lists in the Scriptures. And I would say that sexual immorality is probably at the top of the list of the most rampant sins happening in today’s modern churches. And I believe that modern technology has made this possible. For most anyone these days who has a smart phone can get to pornography with a touch of his finger.

But you don’t have to go to a porn site to be engaged in sexual immorality. Today’s modern movies are filled with all sorts of immorality in them and nudity (or partial nudity) and sexually suggestive or explicit material in them. And being entertained by such material is engaging oneself in sexual immorality. Or the immorality can be via extramarital affairs and flirtations, which is wide open via social media and text messaging, etc. Or there are other avenues for sexual immorality, too, which is rampant today.

But this isn’t just about sexual immorality. There are other sins listed here, as well. And the bottom line in all of this is that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, it won’t matter what faith in Jesus Christ we have professed with our lips. We will not inherit the kingdom of God because we did not obey the Lord but we obeyed sin, instead.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Now this is where we want to be. If we are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, these godly qualities should be evident in our lives and increasing as we grow in our walks of faith. Now this is not saying that we will be absolutely perfect at all times in all these areas, but that these qualities should be evident in our lives and increasing.

And the bottom line here is that if we truly belong to Christ, then we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. We should no longer be walking in sin. Sin should not be our habit. We should not be deliberately and habitually committing sin against our Lord while claiming that God’s grace covers it all. For God’s grace is not permission to keep sinning. God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

Caution: This link may contain ads
P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

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