Part 1 of this 4 part series can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
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Galatians 5 “16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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.”
In the verses following Paul goes on to compare the fruits of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit, and then says:
“24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If ye live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Romans 6 “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. …. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 8 “5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. … 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Before a person accepts Jesus as their Savior, they are slaves to the power of sin. At their conversion, the Holy Spirit indwells the individual and becomes that person’s power against sin.
The believer is not a slave to his old sinful nature and has power over it in the strength of the Holy Spirit. We will be able to resist the temptations of the flesh if we walk by the Spirit and yield to His leading, and live in His power.
But we must accept this and believe it; we must decide that we are going to commit our lives to the Holy Spirit and not to our fleshly desires. It’s the believer’s decision and responsibility to lay aside the sin that so easily besets us.
God gave each of us free-will, giving us the power of deciding for ourselves how to live our lives. We do not lose that when we are saved. We still have the ability to make sinful choices, but if we are walking in the Spirit, we will want to follow His leading and not our own sinful nature.
Walking in the power of the Spirit is a day-by-day process that needs to be done continually in order to resist the lusts of the flesh. The Christian will still have the fight with the flesh, being tempted to work apart from God; but if we yield to God’s Spirit, we will be able to overcome.
The Spirit-filled life is a Christ-like life. Walking in the Spirit means filling our lives with the person of Christ. Jesus should dominate our thoughts and our actions as we concentrate on Him and His presence in our lives.
I’ve heard it said that a sign of spiritual maturity is the lessoning frequency of sin.
Having Jesus as our Savior should give us the strength and conviction to not sin. The sign of a life truly dedicated to the Lord is that sin ceases to have power over the believer, making it easier not to sin. Yes, we still mess up and occasionally do sin, but it is then that we go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness for that sin. He is faithful and just and will forgive our sin if we confess and seek forgiveness.
This does not give us a free license to sin, but rather convicts us of our ability to not live in a continual sinful lifestyle.
For myself, I want to do what God wants me to do. I love Him and want to do what is right in His eyes. That desire makes it easy for me to turn away from sin. Yes, I still do things that are sin – not doing what He is telling me when He is telling me; doing what I want even though I feel He is telling me not to. But having Jesus as my Savior convicts me when I sin and then I know I have sinned and should seek forgiveness.
I also know that there will be consequences to my sin that I will eventually have to face up to. This is where some of our suffering comes from.
When we are saved, we are supposed to strive to not sin. We still have that sinful nature, and unfortunately we still fail at times; but we have the assurance that if we confess He will forgive and will remember our sins no more.
Praise God for His faithfulness!
Other articles that you might enjoy:
Fear to Crucify Our Sin by Christopher Clody
Does Jesus’ Death Set Us Free From the Bondage of Sin? by Noel Williams
The Power Source for Discernment by Dr. Charles Stanley
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012