Flesh vs. Spirit, Part 1

Galatians 5:16-17:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Spirit- (Holy Spirit)- the third person on the trinity. A comforter, an advocate, a helper. Inspires the
           Scriptures, thus providing guidance and direction to believers
advocate- a person who pleads for or on behalf of another
gratify- to give pleasure to by satisfying desires or humoring inclinations or feelings
desire- to wish or long for; crave; want
sinful- to actively or to purposely rebel against God and his commands
conflict- to come into collision or disagreement; to be contradictory, at variance. or in opposition;

Characteristics of the Sinful Nature vs. Fruits of the Spirit

                       Sinful Nature                                 Fruits of the Spirit

                        Sexual immorality                              self-control

                        Impurity                                              goodness

                        Debauchery                                         peace

                        Idolatry                                               faithfulness

                        Witchcraft                                          love

                        Hatred                                                 kindness, joy

                        Discord                                               patience

                        Jealousy                                              gentleness

                        Fits of rage                                         self-control, gentleness

                        Selfish ambition                                 faithfulness, goodness

                        Dissensions                                         patience, gentleness, self-control, joy

                        Factions                                              patience, gentleness, self-control, joy

                        Envy                                                    faithfulness, self-control

                        Drunkenness                                       self-control

                        Orgies                                                 self-control, faithfulness, love

We find here that we have a battle going on within ourselves. We have God's Spirit of truth to guide us and we also have this flesh which wants to follow the sinful nature. They are not in agreement about anything, at any time. The Holy Spirit does not desire what the sinful nature desires and the sinful nature does not desire what the Holy Spirit desires. The two collide with one another. The sinful nature is only interested in bringing fleshly pleasure, worldly pleasure; things that we, as Christians, know lead to death. The Spirit is only interested in doing what is pleasing to God. It can truly be a battle. There are so many opportunities presented to us, right there in our face every day, to sin. It is important that we resist evil and submit to the Holy Spirit. "If you resist the devil, he will flee from you", James 4:7. This is why the Bible tells us to be lead by the Spirit.
What I have done is made a list of sinful desires and the fruits of the Spirit. I listed the sinful desires on the left and across from those desires, the fruits of the Spirit that are contrary to those desires. I believe that if we can educate ourselves in this manner, we can train ourselves to sharpen the fruits and weaken the desires. We will also know which fruits to meditate on during times of trial that deal with the desires that are contrary. Please take the time to become familiar with them. This part 1 of a series. We will stop here for now. God bless you and we love you!!!


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