The Works of the FleshBro. David Chancellor
8/7/2011 6:00 PM
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. 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.
Walk in the Spirit. Paul encouraged them to focus their attention on the life they had in the Spirit of God. The flesh and Spirit are contrary. You can’t walk in both.
Paul lists the works of the flesh (and such like). Those who follow the flesh won’t be part of the kingdom of God. If you do these things, you aren’t following Jesus. If you’re a practicing sinner, you won’t receive eternal life.
It only takes one work of the flesh to be in trouble. Nothing on this list can be in our lives when we’re Christians. All of it has to be gone. These things are contrary to the life that is in Christ. All of them must be gone to inherit the kingdom of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The fruit of the Spirit encompasses all these things. We need all of them. When the Spirit comes we will have all of them. The Spirit brings all his qualities with him. You can get an increase of them all, but they will all be there.
You can’t have some of both: flesh and Spirit. The life of the Spirit must turn into our way of living. Whatever your state as a Christian, the fruit of the Spirit needs to be there. God would have us have this fruit in abundance. We need to be where we should be on both points.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Don’t join others in the works of the flesh. Have the fruit of the Spirit in you. “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” If you do, people will see it in you. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: … Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” You need a life that is acceptable to God to prove what is acceptable. A life with the works of the flesh renders your testimony ineffective.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
The works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit apply just as much to the “important” people as to the “not so important.” God sees us all on the same level. He doesn’t make exceptions. The fruit will reveal the type of tree. The Spirit in you should produce the fruit of the Spirit. If we try to go at it from our own strength, it will fail. We need the Spirit of God. We can’t make it to Heaven without the Spirit of God. God’s glory won’t be seen without the Spirit of God in us.
Evangelism is living and letting the light of the Holy Spirit shine out on the world. The world needs to see a consistent testimony. They need to see Jesus in us.