The Conflict between the Flesh and the Spirit
Galatians 5:16-18, 22-24
INTRODUCTION: In light of our natural inclination to sin, the only way to prevent us from totally unleashing our worst passions was to establish a system of laws that set boundaries on behavior and that carried penalties severe enough to promote conformity out of fear.
In contrast to the law, the Apostle Paul speaks of being "led by the Spirit" or "live in the Spirit" or "walk in the Spirit"; the "fruit of the Spirit."
The flesh is powerless to fulfill the law, and the law is powerless to conquer the flesh. His Story affects life by not only guiding me, but empowering me to live a life of victory.
Romans 8:3-4, "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
EXAMPLE: John Bunyan, in his Pilgrim's Progress, describes Interpreter's House, which Pilgrim entered during the course of his journey to the Celestial City. The parlor of the house was completely covered in dust, and when a man took a broom and started to sweep, he and the others in the room began to choke from the great clouds of dust that were stirred up. The more vigorously he swept, the more suffocating the dust became. The Interpreter ordered a maid to sprinkle the room with water, with which the dust was quickly washed away. Interpreter explained to Pilgrim that the parlor represented the heart of an unsaved man, that the dust was original sin, the man with the broom was the law, and the maid with the water was the gospel. His point was that all the Law can do with sin is to stir it up. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can wash it away.
NOTE: Rom 7:7-12
I. THE SPIRIT DIRECTS ONE'S EARTHLY CONDUCT. 16a
"walk" (conduct) be ...
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