Galatians 5 Lesson

Fruit Of The Spirit And Works Of The Flesh

Are we going to live our lives to glorify God, and serve others, or are we going to serve ourselves and follow our own ambitions and lusts? These are fundamental questions that every Christian must answer for themselves.

In today's lesson will, we will focus on the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh. We will begin our study with the following scripture taken from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:

  • “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” -Colossians 3:2.

As we navigate through life’s challenges and face various types of adversity, we need to remember that our purpose on earth is to glorify God and serve others, not to please ourselves. Galatians Chapter 5 can be a valuable tool to help us do this, as Paul defines the fruit of the Spirit, the works of the flesh, and the constant war that occurs between these two opposing forces.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes that there is a constant battle going on between the Spirit and the flesh:

  • “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  Butif you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”Galatians 5:16-18.

From this scripture, we learn that the best way to avoid succumbing to the desires of the flesh is to walk in the Spirit. To better understand how to do that, we need to define both the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

InGalatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit as:

Since God, Jesus, and the Spirit are all One, following the Spirit means following God and Jesus.  It means humbling ourselves, and living a life of service to God and others.  Being led by the Spirit means we do what God wants, not what we want.

In Virtual Bible Study’s lesson entitled, “Taking A Spiritual Inventory, the following two points were made about the fruit of the Spirit:

  1. “We need to ask ourselves if we were judged today, would we be found to have been faithful Christians who possess all these Godly characteristics?  Or will we be like the many who will pursue their own sinful lusts instead of Jesus and perish?” (Source: Virtual Bible Study™),
  2. “We gain helpful perspective when we reflect on our lives and assess where we are doing well, and where we can improve.  For example, we may have a lot of love in our lives, but not much patience.  Or we may be faithful but lack gentleness. Taking a Spiritual inventory can be a soul-saving exercise! It is particularly valuable, for example, to recognize that we have not been very patient lately.  There is a wise saying, “You cannot manage a secret.”  Knowing where we can improve is an important first step in preparing ourselves for the day of judgment. Once we identify the area or areas that need some work, we should ask ourselves how we can improve.  Whatever areas we are struggling with, Jesus can help!” (Source: Virtual Bible Study™).

WORKS OF THE FLESH

InGalatians 5:19-21, Paul lists the works of the flesh as:

  • Immorality,
  • Impurity,
  • Sensuality,
  • Idolatry,
  • Sorcery,
  • Enmities,
  • Strife,
  • Jealousy,
  • Outbursts,
  • Anger,
  • Disputes,
  • Dissensions,
  • Factions,
  • Envying,
  • Drunkenness,
  • Carousing.

Living according to the flesh means disregarding God’s commandments and doing whatever we want to do

MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION 

As we contemplate the fruit of the Spirit and works of the flesh, we need to decide who or what we are going to be led by in life. In the Old Testament, Joshua pondered that same question. Joshua was Moses’ successor as Israel’s leader.  He was a leader known for his obedience, faithfulness, and dedication to God and His Word.  In leading his people, Joshua challenged them with the following statement:

  • “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.

That is the same decision that all of us must make today, and the consequences of that decision could not be any higher. If we choose to follow the works of the flesh, we will not know God and He will not know us.  This path leads to eternal damnation. 

If we choose to follow God, we need to walk in the Spirit.  We do this by putting God first and by living a life that is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

CONCLUSION

All of us need to decide who or what we are going to follow in life, and how we are going to spend our precious few days on earth. Those of us that make the decision to follow Jesus and turn away from the fleshly sins of the world will be rewarded with a home in heaven with God, Jesus, and the saints for all eternity!

As Christians, we need to remind each other of what is a stake and help each other to make the right choice!

We will end today’s lesson with the following quote taken from the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy. It reminds us of what we hope to be able to say at the completion of our earthly lives:

  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Comments

Dan W

There is a VAST difference between the flesh and the Spirit and our choice is not made by accident.

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Dan W

There is a VAST difference between the flesh and the Spirit and our choice is not made by accident.

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Dan

One must be careful about associations. Ironically, there are those that seem to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.) but commit the works of the flesh (fornication, etc.) . Such people are called deceivers, so it is important to test everything by considering both "flesh" AND "Spirit" when making fellowship choices.

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Phillip King

This study is ver encuraging .The fruit if Spirit is important for us as Cristians in the Lords church. Thank you. God Bless

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martin.draycott

I wish to whole heart follow jesus and pray in the spirit any advice please I beleive jesus died on the cross and rise on the third day amen

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