If you hang with Christians enough, you’ll then talk about the battle between the flesh and Spirit. But what does that mean? The Spirit is the Spirit of God. When you become a follower of Christ, you receive the Helper, who is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-26). The Spirit lives inside of the believer to influence and guide you, to convict you of sin, and to seal your salvation.
What’s the flesh, the flesh is the old nature within you. It’s all that is done to please yourself. It’s also all that is done to work your way to God or please God apart from salvation in Christ. Christ has freed you. He’s freed you from sin. He’s freed you from religion. But that freedom doesn’t free you from obedience to God.
Commentator Timothy George says, “Although the word “freedom” does not recur again in Galatians, Paul had by no means left this concept behind. But the freedom to which we have been called in Christ is always under attack. It can be subverted by legalism or dissipated through antinomianism. True Christian liberty avoids these dangerous extremes by expressing itself in loving service to the neighbor and joyful fulfillment of the law of God.”
The real battle is not between license to sin and legalism. The real battle is between the old nature and the new. It’s between the flesh and the Spirit. Our freedom lived out is only possible by the Holy Spirit inside you. To reject sin and walk with Christ is only possible with the Spirit. Let’s live by Spirit today.
Reflect: What does it mean to keep in step with the Spirit? Why is playing with sin wrong when we are free in Christ? According to Galatians 5:22-23, how can good works be displayed?
Respond: Choose one attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit and display it to someone you know.
We look forward to your comments and questions below!