Summary: The battle for control wages within each of us. Will we be led by the Spirit or will we follow after our own fleshly desires?

The War Within

Galatians 5:16-26

August 22, 2007

Galatians 5:16-18 (NLT)

So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. [17] The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. [18] But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.

What Are You Craving?

• The Holy Spirit

– Transforms our desires

– Transforms our thinking

– Guides us in Christ-like living

• The flesh

– Craves the temporal

– Seeks immediate gratification

– Focuses on self

• The flesh and spirit remain in constant opposition

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, [20] idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, [21] envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Fruit of the Flesh

• Following our desires

– Leads down a path of destructive behavior

– Brings us in opposition with the leadings of the

Holy Spirit

• Forfeiting your inheritance

– Following the flesh removes us from our rightful


– No longer living under the redemptive promise of


Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

Fruit of the Spirit

• The result of a divine relationship

– The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit

– The deeper the intimacy, the greater the fruit

• A new character

– The character traits produced by the Spirit’s fruit

are consistent with the character of one who

upholds the law

Galatians 5:24 (NLT)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Dead to the Flesh

• Nailed to the cross

– We have surrendered our sinful passions

– We are no longer under their daily control

• Belonging to Christ

– We have given Jesus lordship of our lives

– We allow him to guide our thoughts and desires

Galatians 5:25-26 (NLT)

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. [26] Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

Led by the Spirit

• Nothing is off limits

– Emotional

– Physical

– Vocational

– Spiritual

• The Spirit led life is all consuming

• Regular attitude checks

– Conceit, antagonism and envy have no place

What are you being led by?

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