http://nord-dream.ru It's not just your body, it's your mind, too. It's not a philosophical dualism that says Spirit is good and flesh is The flesh is your unredeemed humanness that waits the glorification of the body when you get a new body and thus a new kind of humanity which knows no sin. It's in my flesh.
My spirit has been changed and I have a new man in me but it has to be living in this old house. And that's what debilitates. So verse 17 it says, "The flesh now is no longer in harmony with the spirit in a person because you now have salvation, you have a new nature, the Holy Spirit is there and the Holy Spirit then is fighting against the flesh. Have you noticed that you don't do what you ought to do and you do what you ought not to do? Sure, that's the battle of a Christian. That's Romans chapter 7. That's not an unbeliever's battle, that's a Christian's battle.
That's the flesh and the Holy Spirit at war. Now listen, folks. If that is true, and it is, then the idea that you could come up with some human solution to your problem is ludicrous because it's just more of the flesh. The flesh is not only our unredeemed humanness but the flesh is all of our human effort. Psychology is just a human answer. All the pragmatic solutions that people come up with for spiritual problems are nothing more than the flesh.
And the flesh is not going to control the desires of the flesh. Flesh then refers to natural effort, independent of God that is weak, helpless and sinful. So if I have a problem and I turn to anything on the human level, I am pouring gasoline on the fire. And the flesh, it says, would you notice in verse 17, sets its desire against the Spirit.
That's a very good way to translate that. The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. And by the way, that word "desire," epithumia , means strong desire, evil yearning, compulsion. What lust wants to do is conceive and bring forth sin. And what the Holy Spirit wants to do is prevent that from happening.
So the war is on. Evil desire moves in the flesh. It is the beachhead where temptation lands and lusts move the flesh in a battle against the Holy Spirit to dominate the Christian's life. And the power of the flesh is great. But the power of the Spirit is greater, right? Is greater. So all we have to do is walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
We will not carry out its desires if we walk in the Spirit. If we offer fleshly solutions to the flesh, we pour gas on the fire. That's the conflict. Whatever the Holy Spirit endeavors to do, the flesh endeavors to stop. So we must walk in the Spirit. We must be filled with the Spirit. Look at verse This is very important. Why does he say this? It's the same as verse He equates here the flesh with the law. In verse 16 he said walk by the Spirit and you'll not carry out the desire of the flesh. Verse 18 he says, "If you are walking by the leading of the Spirit, you're not under the law.
What does he mean? The law are rules given to man by which he in keeping can control himself, right?
If you could keep the law you'd be a perfect man, right? If you could keep the law, you'd completely control the flesh. But you can't. The law here then in this particular section refers to human effort, to human effort. So he says if you're led by the Spirit and you're walking by the Spirit then you're not going to be under the law, you're not going to be under human effort.
The point is this, the human effort is one thing, it's connected with the flesh; spiritual effort is another, it's connected with the Spirit. To be operating under the law means to be operating by works That's absolutely useless. Any human solution, any human agenda, any human wisdom, any human approach, methodology, means, only feeds the flesh. So verse 16 says if you're walking by the Spirit you'll overcome the desires of the flesh.
And if you're led by the Spirit, verse 18 says, also implying that you're walking and following the leading of the Spirit, then you're not going to be trapped in a system where by human effort you're trying to attain spiritual means. I can't I can't say this as importantly, I don't think, as I want you to understand it. But he is simply saying here any human effort is pointless when it attempts to deal with the spiritual dimension, whether it is law.
Even the law that is good cannot control the flesh. So even if the good law of God can't control the flesh, how can some human design, human methodology? That's what's so ridiculous about human psychology. What's it going to do to control the flesh when it's the invention of man? Pour gas on the fire. Pilgrim's Progress , the Interpreter's house, you remember the section on Interpreter's house? The parlor in Interpreter's house was full of dust, thick dust everywhere. And someone came in and started to sweep this dust and it just billowed and billowed and choked and gagged everybody and fell right back down where it started.
And Interpreter says, "This parlor is the heart of a man that was never sanctified. The dust is his original sin and inward corruptions that have defiled the whole man and he that began to sweep is the law. And if that's true of the law of God, then how can some human devised system ever overcome the flesh? You see, the battle in every person's life, every believer's life is the flesh and the Holy Spirit at war. If you walk in the Spirit, victory, triumph, and you overcome the flesh. But you certainly can't overcome the flesh with human effort, human means. So back to verse But the flesh resists, the flesh fights, the flesh wants to hinder and we must walk by the Spirit to overcome the flesh.
We certainly can't let happen to us, I hope, what happened to the Galatians. They started so well, they started in the power of the Holy Spirit. And then self-effort entered in and the Holy Spirit was ignored and they devised schemes and methods by which they themselves would subdue their own flesh. And it was a joke, it was foolish and they failed. You see, I mean, it would be literally ridiculous to assume you could do that when you stop and realize that God has an impossible standard to start with. Secondly, Satan is a very strong foe and thirdly, the flesh is very, very powerful. You're never going to be able to keep the divine standard, overcome Satan and dominate the flesh by some human means.
Now let me put this thing together. I told you, every problem in life comes from what? The flesh. Therefore every solution comes from whom? So if you have a problem where do you go for the solution? To the Holy Spirit, not to some human solution. God lives in you. As God has said, "I will dwell in them and walk in them. He is leading. He's saying walk the same path.
The Spirit of almighty God is in you alive and moving and you are to follow and I am to follow.
With the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. I find it so interesting that it was James himself who takes an entire section of his epistle to address the sin of partiality. It is the kind of anger which Basil described as the intoxication of the soul, that sweeps a man into doing things for which afterwards he is bitterly sorry. In the Old Testament, the worship of gods other than Yahweh, especially through images representing them. Crooked politicians, who serve in office only for what they can get out of it, are a good example of this. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.
That's the only way you can conquer the flesh. So, the command and the conflict. And if you're not motivated yet, let me take you to the third point, the contrast, the contrast. This is very powerful. Please notice verse He's going to give you a list of things that come from the flesh, okay? They are these: Immorality, impurity, sensuality. Those three things have to do with sex, sexual behavior. The term "immorality" is porneia , illicit sex, fornication. The term "impurity" is akatharsia , which means uncleanness.
It's the filth of mind. It's the pornographic mind that leads to the pornographic conduct. The third term is sensuality. So here's the deeds of the flesh. Now follow this. Here's a person who is immoral in conduct, a fornicator, sexually involved, a person who is impure in mind who has got some kind of a pornographic addiction, who is stimulated by dirty magazines, dirty books, dirty movies.
A person who is wanton or lascivious, or sensual is one who goes so far in lust that they could care less what anybody thinks. We could say this is the person with the sexual addiction, to use a contemporary term. What produces sexual addiction? Fouled up relationship with your mother? Messed up relationship with your father? Lack of self-esteem? The flesh, the flesh; that's what it says.
Furthermore, there's another category, that's the category of self-effort in religion. Verse 20, here's some more deeds of the flesh: Idolatry, that's as much a work of the flesh as immorality, by the way. It means worshiping anything other than the true God. Some people worship a false god, some people worship in a false religious system, some people worship themselves, some people worship their money, their career, their prestige, their house, their car, whatever it is, any kind of false god.
And since drugs were used as the common medium in the practice of magic and sorcery and since regularly in occult practices people took drugs, the word came to include all kinds of sorcery and witchcraft, but its root idea is drugs. Then you have another category, the category of human relationships. And what does the flesh produce in human relationships? The word is enmities, or hatred, it means hostile hatred. Strife; fighting, quarreling. Jealousy: That is the anger which is produced when somebody has what you want.
Outbursts of anger, literally hostile outbursts, uncontrolled temper tantrums, disputes, dissensions, factions, that's chaos, conflict of different kinds. So you have sex, religion, and relationships dealt with. And finally, even drink. In verse 21 after the word "envying," which is another form of inability to get along with people, is drunkenness and carousing. That means public orgies. Now listen to what I say because this is going to tie it all up. We have a lot of people in this world with problems, right?
He says here is what the flesh produces. And I'll tell you right now, you'll find everybody's problem here. People say, "Oh, I have a problem with compulsive sexual behavior. You have bitterness, hate, you have conflict in your home, conflict in your marriage, you don't get along with your mother, you don't get along with your father, you don't think people love you, you have all kinds of problems like that, you feel jealous toward other people, you feel unfulfilled, you have a temper, you burst out, you have a drinking problem, you drink too much, you envy other people, you're discontent, unhappy, you look at other people's physical body and you don't like the way yours looks so your anorexia, or you're anorexic or bulimic or what You can put it all in here, folks.
It's all the flesh one way or another. And this isn't an exhaustive list, that's why at the end he says, "Things like these. Now listen carefully. If this is what the flesh produces, then how do we overcome it?
By human effort? By psychology? By therapy? By what? By walking what? In the Spirit. You do not solve human problems on a human plane. In fact, he says just to put this category totally together, verse 21, "I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you before implied that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, these are patterns of an unregenerate person. And if they are the unbroken patterns of your life, then you're not a Christian.
I told you about the young man in the hospital that came to Christ a few days before he died of AIDS. He said to me when he was eight years old he made a profession of faith in Jesus. He supposedly asked Jesus into his heart and people assured him all his life he was a Christian but he said, "I've lived 23 years in uninterrupted homosexuality, I'm dying of AIDS.
I know my life has never been transformed and I know I'm going to hell and I'm not prepared to meet God.
A person who continues to practice that kind of thing will not inherit the kingdom of God. That's characteristic of unredeemed flesh. Paul says there's only one way to dominate the flesh. Go to verse 22, this is the contrast. That's through the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and against such things there is no law.
Law doesn't deal with those things. Those things are beyond law because those Freedom is a gift of Jesus, given to us and received by faith. When we struggle to free ourselves, we just become more entangled again with a yoke of bondange. Paul also made it emphatic: the liberty. This is a kind of liberty, a false liberty; but it is not the liberty. The liberty is our freedom from the tyranny of having to earn our own way to God, the freedom from sin and guilt and condemnation, freedom from the penalty and the power and eventually freedom from the presence of sin. Stand fast means that it takes effort to stay in this place of liberty.
Someone who is legally made free in Jesus can still live in bondage; they can be deceived into placing themselves back into slavery. The great evangelist D. Moody illustrated this point by quoting an old former slave woman in the South following the Civil War. Being a former slave, she was confused about her status and asked: Now is I free, or been I not? Many Christians are confused on the same point. Yoke of bondage : This phrase reminds us of what Peter said in Acts about those who would bring the Gentiles under the law: Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Certain Jewish teachers of that day spoke of the Law of Moses as a yoke , but they used the term in a favorable light. Paul saw a legal relationship as a yoke , but as a yoke of bondage. It is related to slavery, not liberty. This yoke of bondage does nothing but entangle us. It certainly was bondage. Jewish teachers counted up commandments to keep in the Law of Moses. Small wonder that Paul referred to subjecting oneself to them all as entering into slavery. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. If you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing : When we embrace the law as our rule of walking with God, we must let go of Jesus. He is no longer our righteousness; we attempt to earn it ourselves. For the Galatians in this context, to receive circumcision — the ritual that testified that a Gentile was coming under the law — meant that he no longer trusted in Jesus as His righteousness, but trusted in himself instead.
The legalists among the Galatians wanted them to think that they could have both Jesus and a law-relationship with God.
Paul tells them that this is not an option open to them — the system of grace and the system of law are incompatible. He who willingly and deliberately undergoes circumcision, enters upon a compact to fulfill the law.
To fulfill it therefore he is bound, and he cannot plead the grace of Christ; for he has entered on another mode of justification. How tragic! Jesus, dying on the cross, pouring out His blood, His life, His soul, His agony, His love for us — and it will profit you nothing! Two men died with Jesus; for the one who put his trust in Jesus, it was eternal life. For the one who trusted in himself, it profited him nothing.
This point was so important to Paul that he mustered all the strength he could in a personal appeal: he began with Indeed I, Paul. When he continues on and wrote I testify , Paul remembered his former training as a lawyer — and was deadly serious. Every man who becomes circumcised… is a debtor to keep the whole law : When we embrace the law as our rule of walking with God, we must embrace the whole law. We become debtors to keep the whole law , and that is a heavy debt. Again, the legalists among the Galatians wanted them to think they could observe some aspects of the law without coming under the entire law.
But when we choose to walk by law, we must walk by the whole law. If we come to God on the basis of our own law keeping we must keep the whole law and our law-keeping must be perfect. No amount of obedience makes up for one act of disobedience; if you are pulled over for speeding, it will do no good to protest that you are a faithful husband, a good taxpayer, and have obeyed the speed limit many times. All of that is irrelevant. You have still broken the speeding law and are guilty under it. This does not mean that the mere act of being circumcised means that someone is under a legal relationship with God, and must keep the whole law for salvation.
What he detested was the theology of circumcision as presented by the legalists. You have fallen from grace : When we embrace the law as our rule of walking with God, we depart from Jesus and His grace. We are then estranged from Christ , separated from Him and His saving grace. The danger of falling from grace is real, but it is often misunderstood.
This exposition of Galatians is clear, and easy to understand. The final two chapters on the application of this biblical truth to churches and the atmosphere. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Dr. Charles Logan Parker- Received his Bachelor of Galatians: God's Jealousy for the Purity of the Truth - Kindle edition by Charles Parker. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ dynipalo.tk
However, we are saved by our continuing reliance by faith on the grace of God. Someone may fall from grace and be damned without ever falling into grossly immoral conduct. There is a sense in which to sin is to fall into grace, if one is repentant. But to fall from grace, as seen by this context, is to fall into legalism… Or to put it another way, to choose legalism is to relinquish grace as the principle by which one desires to be related to God. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith : Those walking in the Spirit wait for righteousness by faith ; they are not trying to earn it by performing good works. No one is a legalist through the Spirit. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love : Those walking in the Spirit know that being circumcised or uncircumcised means nothing. What matters is faith working through love , both of which were conspicuously absent in the legalists.
Each aspect of this verse is precious. It sets us in a place : in Christ Jesus. In that place, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything — neither one matters at all. The only harm is trusting in something that is completely irrelevant. This verse also tells us what does matter in this place: faith working through love.
You have faith? Wonderful; but it must be faith working through love. Faith must work through love. Herod had faith that John the Baptist was a true prophet, but there was no faith working through love , and he had John the Baptist murdered. Real faith, saving faith, will work through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! They were still in danger of falling from grace. At the root of it all, the Galatians were leaving Jesus to pursue the false and empty teachings of man, in this case legalism.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump : The warning is driven home — the corrupting influence of legalism and other doctrines that diminish Jesus are like leaven in a lump of dough. A little bit will soon corrupt the whole lump. In the Jewish way of thinking, leaven almost always stood for evil influence. Paul is saying that the legalistic commitment they have right now may be small, but it is so dangerous that it can corrupt everything. I have confidence in you : Wanting to leave the confrontation on a positive note, Paul expressed his confidence in the Galatians which was really a confidence in the Lord who is able to keep them.
Yet, Paul was equally confident that judgment awaits those who lead them astray and away from Jesus he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. The judgment is sure, whoever he is. If I still preach circumcision : Paul makes it clear that he no longer preaches the necessity of circumcision. The fact that he is persecuted by the legalists is evidence enough of this. Instead, Paul proudly bears the offense of the cross.
Someone might accuse Paul of preaching circumcision because he asked Timothy to be circumcised Acts I must die in your place or you have absolutely no hope at all. This takes away the offense of the cross , which should always offend the nature of fallen man. In this sense, the offense of the cross is really the glory of the cross , and legalism takes this glory away.
Finally, Paul wished that those who demanded circumcision among the Gentiles would go all the way themselves, and amputate their genitalia altogether and not merely their foreskins. Sacred castration was known to citizens of the ancient world; it was frequently practiced by pagan priests of the cults in the region of Galatia. The Galatians were necessarily familiar with it, and it can hardly bear any other sense. In writing this, Paul also wished that these legalists would be cut off from the congregation of the Lord as required by Deuteronomy He who is emasculated by crushing or mutilation shall not enter the assembly of the LORD.
With such a dramatic conclusion to this point, Paul has made one thing clear: legalism is no little thing. It takes away our liberty and puts us into bondage. It makes Jesus and His work of no profit to us. It puts us under obligation to the whole law. It violates the work of the Spirit of God. It makes us focus on things that are irrelevant. It keeps us from running the race Jesus set before us.
A little bit will infect an entire church. Those who promote it will face certain judgment, no matter who they are. Legalism tries to take away some of the glory of the cross. In light of how serious all this is, it is no wonder that Paul says he wishes they would even cut themselves off! Colossians For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience:. Revelation And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie Revelation For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
Matthew Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father Ephesians For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater Parallel Verses. New International Version and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. King James Bible Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Darby Bible Translation envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revels, and things like these; as to which I tell you beforehand, even as I also have said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit God's kingdom. World English Bible envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Young's Literal Translation envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revellings, and such like, of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that those doing such things the reign of God shall not inherit. Galatians Parallel. Matthew "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Romans Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 1 Corinthians nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Hebrews Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.