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Walking in the Spirit (15 of 18)
Series: Simple Faith
One passage in scripture lays the groundwork for the benefits of walking in the Spirit. Look at Galatians 5:16
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
The average Christian takes an approach to faith that is counter to God's ways. We attempt to overcome our weaknesses by strengthening our flesh. Many times I've said to myself, "If I can just try harder," or "resist more," or "put forth more effort, then I can overcome and be more spiritual."
There are disciplines in the Christian life as we saw earlier, but harder work and more effort is not what makes us better Christians. It also is not how we overcome sin in our lives. When the Galatian church attempted to make themselves more spiritual by human efforts, they were rebuked. In their case, they thought they had to keep a certain portion of the law in order to complete their salvation.
Paul's answer to them equally applies to us. "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?"124
The same question echoes through time to our day. Are we foolish enough to think that we can perfect ourselves through the efforts of the flesh? Whether that perfection be an attempt to make ourselves more righteous, or an attempt to overcome our weaknesses, the same principle applies. The Bible says that the weakness of the law is the flesh. That's why the law cannot save anyone.
Before Jesus was arrested, He withdrew with three of His disciples to pray. When the disciples didn't realize the seriousness of what they would soon face, Jesus said, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak." Human effort is weak and incapable of accomplishing spiritual victory. Resisting in the flesh doesn't overcome our flesh. Let me give an illustration.
When I was young and athletic, I'd hit the weight room with my friends to get in ...
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