Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for this week is: The Flesh And The Spirit: Which Shall We Serve?
1. As Christians, we enjoy wonderful freedom in Christ...
a. There is freedom from sin - John 8:31-34 - Then said Jesus to those
Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then
are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the
truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest
thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth
sin is the servant of sin.
b. There is freedom from the Law of Moses - Romans 7:6 - But now we are delivered from the law,
that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in
the oldness of the letter.
c. There is freedom from the traditions of men - Galatians 4:9 - But now, after that ye have
known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be
2. It is truly the desire of Christ that we be free - cf. Galatians 5:1 - Stand fast therefore
in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
a. But we must not allow freedom to become “license” (i.e., freedom without any restraint)
b. If we are not careful, desires of the flesh can wreak self-destruction - Galatians 5:13-15 - For,
brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh,
but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
3. To prevent this, the apostle Paul commands us to walk in the Spirit - Galatians 5:16 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
a. If we do so, we will not succumb to the desires of the flesh
b. And whatever dangers there might be in fulfilling the lust of the flesh are thereby diminished
4. To encourage us to walk in the Spirit and not carry out the desire of the
flesh, we will spend several lessons examining this section of scripture - Galatians 5:16-26 - 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. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another,
envying one another.
5. Perhaps a good place to begin is by asking these questions:
a. Why make any effort to walk in the Spirit?
b. Why not just succumb to the desires of the flesh?
[At least five reasons are given in our text, and the first one we shall consider is this...]
I. THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH ARE CONTRARY TO ONE ANOTHER - Galatians 5:17 - 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.
A. LIKE TWO OPPONENTS, FIGHTING FOR OUR SOUL...
1. They are in opposition against each other - Galatians 5:17a - For the flesh lusteth
against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh:
2. Is “the Spirit” referring to the Holy Spirit, or the human spirit?
a. I believe it has reference to the Holy Spirit
b. The context of the epistle certainly suggests this to be the case
1) Through “the Spirit” we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness- Galatians 5:5 -
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
2) Paul’s argument “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” would
make sense if the human spirit is meant - Galatians 5:25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us
also walk in the Spirit.
3) Reaping everlasting life “of the Spirit” must refer to the Holy Spirit - Galatians 6:8
- For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the
Spirit reap life everlasting.
3. So while the flesh pulls us in one direction, the Spirit of God would have us go in another!
B. A CHRISTIAN MUST SERVE ONE, OR THE OTHER...
1. If you follow the lusts of the flesh, you can not do the will of the Spirit - Galatians 5:17b -
and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
2. Like the dilemma described in (Romans 7:14-23 - For we know that the law is spiritual:
but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do
I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then
it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the
good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that
do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight
in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing
me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.), following the flesh will enslave
3. But with the help of Spirit, the flesh can be overcome! - cf. Romans 8:12-14
- Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
[So we must choose who will be our master: the lusts of the flesh, or the Spirit of God; we cannot serve
both! As we continue, we are given more reasons to serve the Spirit...]
II. IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW - Galatians 5:18 - But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
A. WHAT DOES MEAN TO BE “UNDER THE LAW”...?
1. In the context, “the law” has primary reference to the “Law of Moses” - cf.
Galatians 4:21 - Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
2. The purpose of the law was primarily twofold:
a. To reveal sin - cf. Galatians 3:19a - Wherefore then serveth
the law?; Romans 3:20 - Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for
by the law is the knowledge of sin.
b. To condemn the sinner as guilty - cf. Romans 3:19 - Now we know that what things soever the
law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before
3. To be “under the Law”, then, is to be under a state of condemnation!
a. For the law does not provide forgiveness
b. It only provides condemnation!
B. THOSE WALKING IN THE SPIRIT ARE NOT UNDER THE CONDEMNATION OF THE LAW...
1. Because obedience to the gospel revealed by the Spirit results in freedom
a. Freedom from condemnation - Romans 8:1 - There is therefore
now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
b. Freedom from the law of sin of death - Romans 8:2 - For the law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.; Romans 6:17-18 - But God be thanked, that ye
were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made
free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
-- Made possible through the sacrifice of Christ! - Romans 8:3-4 - For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.
2. Because those walking according to the Spirit (cf. Romans 8:4 - That the righteousness
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.) do things against which there is no law to condemn them! - cf. Galatians
5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
[If we desire to be free from the condemnation of sin under the law of God, then we must “walk in
the Spirit”. There is another reason why we should seek to “walk in the Spirit” and not “fulfill the
lust of the flesh”...]
III. FULFILL THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH, AND YOU WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF
GOD - Galatians 5:19-21 - 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.
A. THIS IS A REFERENCE TO THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM...
1. Spoken of by Christ - Matthew 25:34 - Then shall the King say unto
them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
2. Looked forward to by Paul - 2 Timothy 4:18 - And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil
work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be
glory for ever and ever. Amen.
3. Referred to by Peter - 2 Peter 1:10-11 - For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
B. NOTE THE EMPHASIS BY PAUL...
1. A double warning!
2. “of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past...” - Galatians
5:21 - 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.
3. He wants to be sure they don’t miss it!
C. THE END OF THOSE WHO FULFILL THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH...
1. They have no inheritance in the kingdom of God - Galatians 5:21 - 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 ; Ephesians 5:5 - For this ye know,
that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ
and of God.
2. Indeed, the wrath of God will come upon them - Ephesians 5:6-7 - 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.
[Which shall it be? Walk in the Spirit, or fulfill the lusts of the flesh? The choice should be clear:
one offers freedom from condemnation, and the other offers no hope of the heavenly kingdom! But Paul gives us two more reasons
to make the right choice...]
IV. THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST’S HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH - Galatians 5:24 - And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts.
A. IN BAPTISM, WE DIED TO SIN, HAVING BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST...
1. Our old man was crucified with Him, that we might no longer be slaves of
sin - Romans 6:1-6 - What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.
How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ
were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
2. We died with Christ (in baptism) that we might be free from sin and live
a new life with Him! - Romans 6:7-10 - For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more
dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
B. AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE TO CONTINUE TO “CRUCIFY SELF”...
1. We continue to “put to death” the “members which are on
earth” - Colossians 3:5-7 - Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness,
inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh
on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
2. We must be involved in the process of “putting off” the old man
- Colossians 3:8-11 - But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication
out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new
man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is
neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:
but Christ is all, and in all.
3. If we are not doing this, there is no hope - cf. Romans 8:13 - For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
[Putting off the works of the flesh, therefore, is fundamental to the Christian life. We started the process
when we were baptized into Christ, and we are to continue the process as we grow in the Lord. We are not alone in this effort.
As Paul indicated in Ro 8:13, it is by the Spirit we are able to put to death the deeds of the body. That leads back
to a fifth and final reason we ought to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh...]
V. IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT - Galatians 5:25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
A. WE OWE OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES TO THE HOLY SPIRIT...!
1. It was the Holy Spirit who made the Gospel known to mankind
a. As Jesus said He would - John 16:7-13 - Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not
come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove
the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not
on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say
unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that
shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
b. The apostles attributed the gospel message to the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 - But
as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man
which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of
the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things
also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things
2. When one responds to the gospel of God’s grace, they are renewed by the Holy Spirit - cf. Titus
3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
3. It is the Spirit in us who gives us new life! - Romans 8:11-13 - But
if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken
your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after
the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye
B. SINCE WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, SHALL WE NOT WALK IN THE SPIRIT...?
1. It is by the Holy Spirit that God has made our new life possible
2. It is only proper that we should live out our new life...
a. Being led by the Spirit - Galatians 5:18 - But if ye be led of
the Spirit, ye are not under the law. ; cf. Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit
of God, they are the sons of God.
b. Walking in the Spirit - Galatians 5:25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
Spirit. ; cf. Romans 8:1-2 - There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
1. We have these five reasons why we should walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh:
a. The Spirit and the flesh are contrary to one another
b. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law
c. Fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and you will not inherit the kingdom of God
d. Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh
e. Since we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit
2. But lest anyone remain unconvinced, consider another point made by Paul...
a. We reap what we sow! - Galatians 6:7-8 - Be not deceived; God is
not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
b. And the type of corruption reaped by those who give into the works of the flesh is varied:
1) It is physical, mental, social and spiritual
2) Look around you and you can see the truthfulness of this; only the foolish do not see it
3. But also seen is the type of life which is enjoyed both now and in heaven by those who follow the Spirit
(as suggested in 1 Timothy 4:8 - For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things,
having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.)
The question we each face is this...
Flesh or the Spirit: Which shall we serve?
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Prayer: Lord I truly thank
You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will give them Your eternal blessings
and accept them into Your heart - this I pray in the name of Thy Son, Jesus,
the Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Ephesians 6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement:
That it never be used for profit.