Flesh & Spirit

Galatians 5:16-24

  • If we don’t want to carry out the desire of the flesh then we must walk by the Spirit
  • The desire of the flesh is AGAINST the desire of the Spirit. They work in opposition to each other
  • If you are led by the Spirit then you are not under the law.

Deeds of the Flesh

  • Sexual Immorality : (Porneia) Surrendering or selling off of sexual purity
  • Impurity: Unclean, impure motives
  • Indecent behavior: Shocking conduct, rejecting restraint & indulgent behavior
  • Idolatry: Image worship
  • Witchcraft (Pharmakeia) Drug related sorcery, use of spells / magical arts
  • Hostilities Hatred (opposite of love)
  • Strife Ready to quarrel, having an affection for dispute
  • Jealousy Burning emotion (boiling over). Zeal for good or bad
  • Outbursts of anger Heated up, breathing violently, passionate outburst, strong impulses
  • Selfish ambition Self seeking, placing self interest ahead of what the Lord desires
  • Dissensions Wrongly & pointlessly separating people into factions
  • Factions A personal choice, individual nature of a divisive opinion
  • Envy Displeasure for another’s good.

Energizes someone with an embittered mind

  • Drunkenness Deep drinking
  • Gluttony Greedy appetite. Binge eating/drinking
  • Carousing Drunken feast, sexual immorality, Partying

Deeds of the Spirit

True partnership with Christ.  Living in union with Christ.  The Lord living His life through ours to yield what is eternal.

  • Agape love:  What does God prefer?
  • Joy: Delight, aware of God’s grace
  • Peace: All essential parts joined together, peace and wholeness of mind, health and welfare, God’s gift of wholenessPatience: Long passion, waiting sufficient time before expressing anger
  • Kindness: Goodness, excellence, uprightness, useable, well fit for use, useful kindness, meeting real needs…in God’s way and timing
  • Goodness: Intrinsic, a personal / unique quality and condition that comes from God. Spiritual and moral excellence
  • Faithfulness: (Pistis) God’s gift- He births faith in us, as we are yielded to Him, so we can know His persuasion, His will, what He prefers
  • Gentleness: A divinely balanced virtue that operates through faith.  Expresses power with reservation and gentleness.  Meekness – begins with the Lord’s inspiration and finishes by His direction and empowerment
  • Self Control: Proceeding out from within us but not by us.  Spirit control by the Lord’s power.

If we belong to Christ then we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Crucify, in the Greek, is stauroo.  This means to fence with stakes, to crucify.

  • We are dead to the flesh
  • The union with the desires of the flesh is destroyed
  • The power of the flesh to lead us into sin no longer has strength or victory
  • The raging fire of the flesh is completely extinguished and we (in Christ) hold the extinguisher

If we live by the Spirit then we are to walk in the Spirit.

  • We experience the power and love that is God’s gift of true life
  • We stay in line, keep in step, remain in Him – in the rhythm and flow of His life in us

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

  • Don’t let the craving for food & drink become your master and subsequently slaves to sin.

Ecclesiastes 6:7: - All a person’s labor is for his mouth, and yet his appetite is not satisfied.

1 John 2: 15-17 - Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.

Mark 7:21-22: - For from within, out of the hearts of people, come the evil thoughts, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, acts of adultery, deeds of greed, wickedness, deceit, indecent behavior, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

  • Practice sexual purity in thought and deed.
  • Don’t steal, regardless of value.
  • Don’t murder / hate.
  • Desiring more things, lusting for a greater number or temporal things that are beyond what God says is eternally valuable.
  • Don’t use people’s own greed to manipulate or use them.
  • Practice restraint, self control and don’t practice indulgence.

Philippians 3: 18-19 - For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even as I weep, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who have their minds on earthly things.

Proverbs 25:28 - Like a city that is broken into and without walls So is a person who has no self-control over his spirit.  {restrain passions or suffer the consequences of temptation because your defenses are weak} – further sin & destruction awaits you.

Romans 7:23 & (8:1-2){serving 2 masters} but I see a different law in the parts of my body waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin, the law which is in my body’s parts.  Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Romans 8:5,6 - For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

A carnal person asks:  (primary focus)

  • Where can we eat now?
  • What new hobby can we take up?
  • Where can we vacation next?
  • What video / movie can I watch next?
  • What podcast can I consume next?

Living in the flesh doesn’t ONLY equal committing shameful sin and flagrant behaviors.  When our primary focus is upon earthly (material / carnal) things instead of the things of God then we are living in the flesh.

Romans 13:14: - But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Titus 1: 12-16: - One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this reason reprimand them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Zechariah 7:4-6: - Then the word of the LORD of armies came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? And when you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?

Fruit of Luke 17:26-30 and Luke 14:16-24

But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’  “And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’  “And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’  “And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’  “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here those who are poor, those with disabilities, those who are blind, and those who are limping.’  “And later the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’  “And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and the hedges and press upon them to come in, so that my house will be filled. ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’”

“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man:  people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, and they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, and they were building; but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

  • Eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting and building.
  • These are not sins in and of themselves.
  • So busy doing these things there is no time with Jesus.

Warning against worldliness

James 4

Our self nature is drawn to sensual pleasures (especially sexual) and that produces a “tension / gratification” process (see SIN section).  If gratification is withheld then tension gives way to quarrels, conflicts, and all the deeds of the flesh.

  • Lust w/o gratification leads to ungodliness / murder
  • Envy w/o gratification leads to fighting etc….
  • Asking with wrong motives leads to not receiving
  • Friendliness with and fondness of the world is hostility and hatred toward God; becoming His enemy
  • God opposes the proud but gives His grace to the humble. He will exalt you for His purposes in His time and ways
  • Live in obedience to God; resist the devil
  • Cleanse our hands: quit grasping for self power
  • Purify our hearts: cleanse our thoughts and feelings
  • Double mindedness: Renew our minds -  don’t “waffle” in opinions and purpose.  Be steadfast in God

Boasting about tomorrow and warning to the wealthy:  (James 4 & 5)

When business and wordly focus becomes greater than our pleasure to walk in obedience to God we find false joy and rejoice in what we are doing.  This cultivates hardness of heart and in our arrogance (self confidence & pride) we begin to embrace, justify and glorify our selfish ambition as being good and even say it’s of God.

  • We may not have tomorrow as we are like a vapor.
  • Live in obedience to the Lord, “If the Lord wills”….
  • If you know this is true and don’t live in obedience, then that is sin

Beware of the hidden costs inherent in wealth and material accumulation.  A large economic share for one individual may or may not take away from someone else but there is always a cost.  The cost of acquiring wealth often leads to loving the world, deeds of the flesh and serves as fuel for the tension – gratification – remorse process.  This ultimately leads to a breakdown of our obedience to and love for God.  James 5 says now is the time for you rich people to weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

  • Riches will rot, garments are eaten by moths
  • Gold and silver corrode (see also 1 Peter 1:7)


Witchcraft, fundamentally, seeks to manipulate situations and people to fulfill self seeking purposes.

  • 1 Samuel 15:23 - For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected (cast away – refused) the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.