Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh – Galatians 5:16. As we look to finish chapter 5 of Galatians Paul discusses the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. We are told in Ezekiel 11:19-20 and Ezekiel 36:26-27 what the Spirit will do once the heart of stone is removed and replaced with a heart of flesh. The Spirit will cause you to walk in His statutes and to be careful to observe His ordinances. Let’s see what Paul says:
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of G-d. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:16-24.
Paul is speaking to the idea of the Spirit and the flesh are opposed to one another. Our sinful flesh wants one thing but the Spirit within believers wants another. Easy enough. Paul continues to tell us those led by the Spirit are not under law. We dealt with this phrase in one of the Galatians 4 writings a few weeks ago. Paul is not saying if you are a believer in Yeshua then you do not have to abide by the law. No! The phrase “you are not under the law” is saying because you accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, He paid for the debt of your sins. Under the law means we have broken the law and the debt has not been paid yet.
Paul gives a laundry list of works of the flesh and then says if you practice such things you will not inherit the kingdom of G-d. Wait a minute, I thought we did not have to work for our salvation? Paul wrote this whole epistle about not having to work for salvation. So, what is Paul saying here? I believe Paul is saying anyone who continues to do such things does not have the Spirit. These people do not have the influence of the Spirit.
Paul then contrasts the fruit of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. These fruits stem from following the commandments. If one follows the commandments then the natural result will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no laws against such things for the fruit of the Spirit is fulfilling Torah. Last time we spoke about this….fulfillment of Torah is love. All the commandments can be wrapped up in this one word. This does not mean love is the only commandment.
Paul continues to express the same message Moses, all the prophets, Yeshua, and the disciples expressed over and over. Through the commandments if done through the Spirit will reveal love to G-d and to all others. The result will be a wonderful relationship with G-d.
What do you think? We have finished the first 5 chapters of Galatians and only one more to go. I have not heard a lot of comments back so I assume you are seeing Galatians in a different perspective.
Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!