Summary: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other” Gal. 5:16-17.
Walk faithfully in the Lord
Man is a spirit, he possesses a soul and he lives in a body. The body can be likened to the clothes we wear. You get into them that is put them on and they move with you. You get out of them, that is take them off and they remain where you put them. Likewise, the body without the Spirit cannot do anything. It is placed in a coffin and buried. Why then do we try to bring the Spirit under the body’s control instead of the body under the spirit’s control? It is the spirit that is made in the image of God and has authority and dominion to rule on earth. Man relinquished his authority when he died spiritually because of sin. Separated from God, that is spiritually dead; man became a slave to Satan and could no longer fulfil God’s divine purpose. For God’s divine purpose to be restored and fulfilled God had to give man spiritual life, create him a new man, to enable him walk faithfully in the Lord.
There are two kinds of people in the world, the unbeliever and the believer. What separates the one from the other is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All of us are spiritually dead because of sin. Separated from God leads to a walk without Him and a walk without God is a walk that is contrary to His Word. Adam and Eve did not believe the Word of God and this ultimately led to the sin of disobedience. Sin led to separation from God and in their new sinful condition everything they did was sinful. Their walk in life became a sinful one. It became a walk characterised by unbelief. Now as slaves of Satan, the father of lies, they believed the lie and lived a life of unbelief.
Christ paid the penalty for sin to reconcile us to God and give us spiritual life i.e. eternal life. To receive eternal life we must be born into the Kingdom of God and this is only possible by accepting Christ as our Saviour and Lord. When we are born again into the family of God, we receive the Spirit of God, and the nature and character of the family, i.e. the life and nature of Christ. We become spiritually alive as citizens of the Kingdom of God and are to grow up to become like Christ. As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, we have many privileges. The first is that we are reconciled with God and given back the authority and dominion, which Satan had stolen from us. As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, we are to manifest the character of Christ, demonstrate His power in our lives and impact the world. What impact are we making in the world? As citizens of heaven, we have our names in the Lamb’s book of life and our place is secure, but while we wait here, we must live as if we were in heaven.
There are two kinds of believers, the carnal and the spiritual. Those who are spiritual manifest the character and power of Christ. They are committed to Christ and walk faithfully in the Spirit. Those that are carnally minded walk according to the flesh. Walking according to the flesh is to have a mindset that is contrary to the Word of God. When we are saved we become a new creation but lifelong habits resulting from a way of thinking contrary to the word of God are difficult to change. This mindset does not rely on God but on self. The carnal believer is deceived to believe that going to Church or leading a good life pleases God. The Scriptures clearly reveal that the grace of God has replaced the Law. After spiritual birth, it is necessary to grow spiritually and bear the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven by total reliance on Christ. To return to the Law is to rely on self rather than on God. It is one of the enemy’s most effective weapons to keep the truth of who we are in Christ.