Bible Study: Conclusion

WOW! What a study??

In this summary/conclusion, I want to bring to our attention that walking in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But if we ignore this then we will fulfill the lust of all ungodly things. This brings on the battle in the mind for us! Change in our lives does not come through struggle, human effort without God, frustration, self-hatred, self-rejection, quilt, or work of the flesh. Change in our lives come as a result of having our minds renewed by the Word of God through the Holy Spirit. "What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?"

Believers have the
indwelling Spirit of Christ, the Comforter who proceeds from the Father (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit assists believers in prayer (Jude 1:20) and “intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27). He also leads the believer into righteousness (Galatians 5:16–18) and produces His fruit in those yielded to Him (Galatians 5:22–23). Believers are to submit to the will of God and walk in the Spirit.

A “walk” in the Bible is often a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are to walk it—we are to make consistent forward progress. The biblical norm for all believers is that they walk in the Spirit: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25, KJV; cf. Romans 8:14). In other words, the Spirit gave us life in the new birth (John 3:6), and we must continue to live, day by day, in the Spirit.

To walk in the Spirit means that we yield to His control, we follow His lead, and we allow Him to exert His influence over us. To walk in the Spirit is the opposite of resisting Him or grieving Him (Ephesians 4:30).

Galatians 5 examines the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. The context is freedom from the Law of Moses (Galatians 5:1). Those who walk in the Spirit “eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope” (verse 5) and are free from the Law (verse 18). Also, those who walk in the Spirit “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (verse 16). The flesh—our fallen nature under the power of sin—is in direct conflict with the Spirit (verse 17). When the flesh is in charge, the results are obvious (verses 19–21). But when the Spirit is in control, He produces godly qualities within us, apart from the strictures of the Law (verses 22–23). Believers “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (verse 24), and now we walk in the Spirit (verse 25).

Those who walk in the Spirit are united with Him and the bearers of the fruit the Spirit produces. Thus, those who walk in the Spirit walk in love—they live in love for God and for their fellow man. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in joy—they exhibit gladness in what God has done, is doing, and will do. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in peace—they live worry-free and refuse anxiety (Philippians 4:6). Those who walk in the Spirit walk in patience—they are known for having a “long fuse” and do not lose their temper. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in kindness—they show tender concern for the needs of others. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in goodness—their actions reflect virtue and holiness. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in faithfulness—they are steadfast in their trust of God and His Word. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in gentleness—their lives are characterized by humility, grace, and thankfulness to God. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in self-control—they display moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to the flesh.

Those who walk in the Spirit rely on the Holy Spirit to guide them in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11–14). They show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness, just as Jesus did when, “full of the Holy Spirit, [He] left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tempted (Luke 4:1).

To walk in the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit, and some results of the Spirit’s filling are thankfulness, singing, and joy (Ephesians 5:18–20; Colossians 3:16). Those who walk in the Spirit follow the Spirit’s lead. They “let the word of Christ dwell in [them] richly” (Colossians 3:16, ESV), and the Spirit uses the Word of God “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Their whole way of life is lived according to the rule of the gospel, as the Spirit moves them toward obedience. When we walk in the Spirit, we find that the sinful appetites of the flesh have no more dominion over us.

So, I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are against each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other. –Galatians 5:16-26

Walking by the spirit is just living a life in the spirit. It’s living your life in the continual presence of the spirit of God. Jesus put it like this in John 15, that we need to abide in him, basically the same thing. If we abide in Jesus, the spirit is working within us. So, as we abide in Jesus Christ, as we abide in that vine, as a branch abides in the vine, the Holy Spirit is pulsating the sap into our body, if I could put it that way. And he is producing then fruit in our lives. But as Jesus said, "When I’m separated from that vine, I shrivel up and I die."

So, walking in the spirit is a God consciousness. It’s having Christ foremost in all your affections. It’s pursuing God with all your heart, as we’re commanded to. as the Great Commandment. It’s to have no other idols before you and no other gods before you, but to serve God alone with all your heart. I think what’s important to understand too when we talk about abiding in Jesus is that the way we abide in Jesus is to be practicing what we call the spiritual disciplines. I can’t abide in Jesus just by doing what I want to do. Abiding Jesus is giving us the means he has given us that he uses to bring grace into our lives. Things like Bible reading, Bible memorization, Bible meditation, prayer, fellowship, church attendance, evangelism, serving other people. These are ways that we abide in Jesus.

Now, a lot of people come up to me and they say, "Can we have a specific explanation as to how long I need to pray and how long I need to read the word?" Well, that would contradict everything Paul has already argued in Galatians, because now we’re back to legalism again. We can’t do that. So, God must place that upon your heart, somehow using the spiritual disciplines that he has given to us. As we remain in them, we abide in Jesus, and as we abide in Jesus, his spirit is working in our lives, and we are then walking in the spirit. We can, throughout the day, and this is true for every Christian, either be in the spirit or in the flesh. I don’t think it’s 75%/25%, 50/50. You’re either in one or in the other. And it is our goal as Christians now that we have the spirit dwelling within us and the ability and power to overcome the flesh, to continually live a life walking in the spirit.

The Holy Spirit is one of God’s most precious gifts to His beloved children. He takes up residence within the believer at the moment of salvation and empowers him to overcome sin and live for God’s glory and purposes. However, the Spirit’s power can be "turned off" or ignored. Only those who choose to walk with Him have unhindered access to His strength and guidance.

Walking by the Spirit denotes reliance upon Him. He leads the way, and we follow. As He speaks, we listen, heed His warnings, and obey His directions. The Spirit’s way is a path of surrender which, although difficult, leads to fullness of life.

God’s Spirit not only guides: He also empowers because the challenge of obeying Him is impossible in our own strength. The Holy Spirit supplies everything we need to live a godly life, and He produces His amazing fruit in us.

Being led by the Spirit should be the natural lifestyle of the sons and daughters of God. As you intentionally seek to maintain an awareness of His presence throughout the day, He is only a thought away. When your mind turns to Him, He gives sensitivity to the things of God and understanding about the situations and people in your life.

Take a walk with the Spirit today and learn to know His voice. Whenever your mind is not occupied with the duties of the day, focus your thoughts on Him, asking for His guidance and looking expectantly for His leading. When He gives it, rely on His power to obey.

We must remember the battle is not ours, but the Lord through the Holy Spirit. We must remember this too: Hurt and pain are inevitable while we are here on this earth, but we can always choose how we respond to them. We can blame others, turn to drugs and alcohol for relief, and throw our hands up in frustration. Or we can respond in the right way and view our trials from God’s perspective. This helps us realize our difficulties are opportunities for spiritual growth. We know that life will not always be easy, but because we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He will see us through. We can live unto Christ Jesus our Lord:

Don’t lose heart if you continue to fall into sin. The only true concern is that if you continually practice sin as a pattern or a lifestyle. If there is no conviction of sin, that is a warning sign that your conscience may be getting seared because the more you sin, the less you care that you sin. Like a callous form on a hand that is continually working and then becomes less sensitive, so too does sin have the effect of desensitizing us that something is wrong. Like Paul, “I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” and like him, I cry out “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” but then we can give “Thanks…to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin” (Rom 7:23-25). That is good news because if you are waging war with the flesh, you at least know you’re on the right side of the battle. If there is no war against sin, if there is no conviction of sin, and if there is no godly sorrow or repentance, take warning because “whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10b) because “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil” (1 John “8a) and “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).

Let’s recap this study. Walk according to the Spirit, Set your mind on the things of the Spirit, Put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit, Be led by the Spirit, Know the Fatherhood of God by the Spirit, Hope in the Spirit, Pray in the Spirit, Be filled with the Spirit, Serve in the Spirit, and Love by the Spirit is what we have learned in this study of “War in the Mind/Walking in the Spirit.” Yes, our battles come, but we can overcome them because we are more than conquerors through Jesus when we walk in the Spirit. AMEN.

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