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  • Ethos Church


March 30, 2023

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


We are always going to struggle with our sinful nature, but the way of Jesus offers the path to freedom. In the last section of Galatians 5, Paul explains how the Holy Spirit enables the believer to enjoy freedom in Christ.

  1. The Spirit enables us to overcome the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21, 24)

  2. The Spirit enables us to produce fruit (Galatians 5:22-23, 25-26)

We’ll look at the first - Overcoming the Flesh. Paul describes two conflicting forces within us - the Spirit and the flesh. The Spirit and the flesh have different appetites, and this is what creates the conflict. Paul is not saying that the forces are equal; the Holy Spirit is infinitely stronger. However, we cannot simply will to overcome the flesh. We cannot solve this conflict in our own strength and by our own will. The solution is not to put our will up against the flesh, but to surrender our will to the Holy Spirit.

Living by the flesh has obvious results. Paul lists some of the ugly “works of the flesh.” We all have sinful desires and can find ourselves in this list. So how can we walk in freedom from this list? That freedom comes only from submitting ourselves to the rule of Christ and yielding to the Holy Spirit. In doing so, we can deal with sinful desires decisively (crucify them - Galatians 5:24).


1. What does it look like to surrender your will to the Holy Spirit? Give an example from your life.

2. How do you need to walk in freedom from the lusts and desires of the flesh? Pray about it.


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