Flesh or Spirit: The Choice is Yours

By: Rev. J. Loren Russell

Galatians 5:18-26 NKJV

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

There is a war going on! It’s not between Bosnia and Serbia, Russia or the Ukraine. It’s not against drugs or alcohol, or even one person to another. The war I am referring to is the war between the flesh and the spirit. The winner of this war will determine the destination of your eternal soul. The most important factor in determining which of these two will win this war…, is you! Without exception every individual gets to choose for themselves who will gain the victory.

Verse 18 clearly indicates that those who are led by the Spirit are no longer under the Mosaic Law. The Law was given for two primary purposes; to uncover the sinfulness of man, described as the lusts of the flesh, and reveal the holy character of God. Paul here lists 17 specific sins and alludes to others that exposes our propensity to fulfill the lusts of our flesh rather than walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

The dire consequence of following our lusts is the disinheritance from the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, those who choose to be guided by the Holy Spirit receive “the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.” I don’t know about you, but the fruit of the spirit is much more appealing than the lusts of the flesh.

The Law was given to the Children of Israel with the expectation that they would choose to shun the works of the flesh and embrace the liberty of grace found only in the Spirit of God. The Prophet Joshua challenged the Children of Israel in the most profound way when he said, “if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Flesh or spirit, the choice is yours.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177)

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