The wrong way – the way of the flesh

The wrong way – the way of the flesh

GALATIANS 5 v. 19 – 21
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.’

Paul is clear that those walking in the Spirit, those led by the Spirit, will be guided away from such behaviours – these have no place in the Spirit-filled life.
We will go on to see, tomorrow, that there are clear fruits to be seen in the lives of those who are walking in the Spirit.
A life that is goverened by the list of ‘flesh acts’ (above) is not fit for the kingdom of God – it would be a life, set free through Christ, which then turned its back on that hard-fought freedom, renouncing the Jesus way – the way of the Spirit, and choosing, rather, the ways of the flesh.
There’s quite a range of behaviours listed here – some we may never feel tempted or caught out by, and others which sneak up on us constantly.
What’s you achilles heel from this list? Which of these is a challenge for you?

The key to conquering is life in the Spirit – practising our freedom to ‘serve in love’.

‘Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
let us find Thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Finish, then, Thy new creation
Pure and spotless let us be
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee.
Changed from glory into glory
til in Heaven we take our place
til we cast our crowns before Thee
lost in wonder, love and praise.’ (Charles Wesley, ‘Love Divine’)

Wesley talked about the pathway to holiness being one on which we needed to ‘ruthlessly eliminate sin’ from our lives. His best suggestion was to belong to a small group for accountability. Who could you meet with regularly to ‘look over one another in love’ and to hold one another to account for your ‘walk in the Spirit’?

Phil Gough