Flesh vs. Spirit
30 Mar 2016
The flesh and spirit of man are at war with each other.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7–8, NASB95)
A Godly principle is you reap what you sow. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption (decay, ruin, destroy, perish). If you sow to the spirit, you reap eternal life.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 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. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 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 do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:16–21, KJV 1900)
These are the works, lusts, and desires of the flesh:
- Adultery – breaking the marriage vow
- Fornication – any type of sexual sin outside of marriage
- Uncleanness – physical or moral sexual impurity
- Lasciviousness – wantonness, undisciplined, mischievous, lustful, lewd, cruel, extravagant, causing sexual excitement
- Idolatry – worshiping an image, false god, or physical object
- Witchcraft – magical potions
- Hatred – bitter dislike
- Variance – strife, discord, quarrel, those who always want to disagree
- Emulations – jealousy, envy (of spouse, God, people), wanting to be like someone else
- Wrath – fits of rage, lasting anger
- Strife – rivalries, selfish ambition
- Seditions – division, controversy, stirring up strife (in religion, government, home, etc.)
- Heresies – to prefer or choose for oneself, disunion, contrary to the Word, false doctrine
- Envy – jealousy at good fortune or blessings of another
- Murders – killing someone else
- Drunkenness – a slave to strong drink or alcohol
- Revellings – orgies, rioting
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10, NASB95) The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. The author of Corinthians goes on to list some of the unrighteous ones. “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5, NASB95) “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation 22:15, NASB95)
““For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,” (Mark 7:21, NASB95) All sin begins in the heart (Greek Kardia meaning mind). Before one sins, he has thought about it over and over mentally before it manifests in the physical. “being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;” (Romans 1:29–31, NASB95)
Fruit of the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22–26, KJV 1900)
These are manifestations of a spirit-filled life:
- Love – (agape) divine love, love that expresses compassion, benevolent love; love is not shown by doing what the person loved desires, but what the person who loves deems as needed for the one loved. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, NASB95) “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:16–18, NASB95) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NASB95) ““Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NASB95)
- Joy – emotional excitement, gladness, happiness, cheerfulness, and delight over blessings received or expected for oneself or others
- Peace – (compare with Strife) state of quietness, rest, harmony, order, and security in the midst of turmoil, strife, and temptations. state of untroubled, undisturbed well being brought about by the mercy and grace of God granting the deliverance and freedom from the derangement and distress of life caused by sin. peace does not mean we will be free from external pressures or temptations, but will have inner peace despite danger and suffering in this world. ““These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33, NASB95)
- Longsuffering – long enduring patience toward people, things, or circumstances. the person who has power to avenge himself, yet doesn’t. to bear long with frailties, offences, injuries, and provocations of others without murmuring or resentment.
- Gentleness – a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, easy-going, and gracious in character and conduct. the opposite of a angry harshness that grows out of personal pride and a dominating selfishness.
- Goodness – the state of being good, kind, virtuous, generous, and God-like in life and conduct. this is a mellow character energized and actively expressing itself. a person may display his zeal for goodness and truth by rebuking, correcting, and chastising not sparing sharpness or vigor. an example is Christ in the temple. “And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”” (Matthew 21:13, NASB95)
- Faith – faith is having a persuasion, a moral conviction of Gospel truth. to posses faith is to assent to evidence or authority, to rely by inward certainty and knowledge, agreeing with all trust and confidence in your convictions of divine truths which produces good works. Especially for a Christian, faith is reliance upon Christ only for salvation.
- Meekness – the disposition to be gentle, humble, mild, kind, and patient despite offences without revenge.
- Temperance – self-control, self-restraint, and masterful of the appetites and passions.
“The soul (mind) is a battleground for the flesh and spirit.”
Focus on the fruit of the spirit. Practice and apply those qualities in your life. Remember, you reap what you sow.
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