How to Produce Works of the
The desires of the flesh produce the works of the flesh (Galatians
5:16-21). The Bible admonishes us not to gratify or carry out the desire of the
How do you not fulfill the desire within your old nature that leads to evil
There are really two dynamics at work in Galatians 5:16-17. There is the
promise that is realized in those who walk by the Holy Spirit. If you walk by
the Spirit, you will definitely not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The
person who walks by the Spirit will be able to resist the flesh in the end – in
its wicked desire that is bent on your total domination. One dynamic spiritual
principle leads to spiritual slavery. The end result is an evil lifestyle as
described in vv.19-21. If you yield to the desire of the flesh, this is what
your life will produce.
How would you like to be married or live with the individual described in
vv.19-21? "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality,
impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts
of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and
things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that
those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians
If your life is controlled by your old human nature that is what it will
produce. There is a desire, longing, or craving for something that is forbidden
and if you yield to it you will produce a lifestyle and behaviors that are not
pleasing to God. It is that element of man’s nature that has been corrupted at
its source. When this nature is left unchecked, it produces the “works of the
flesh.” The basic underlying principle refuses to acknowledge God and leads to
doing evil instead of good. It is our fallen human nature, which was inherited
from our fallen parents. It is self-centered and prone to sin. This body of
sinful impulses seeks to gain control of the mind and will, and when it does it
produces its own behaviors called “works of the flesh.”
This (sarx) sinful nature means all that the individual is capable of
as a sinful human being apart from the intervention of the Spirit of God in his
life. The sinful human nature reproduces itself. If the Holy Spirit has never
regenerated you, He is not in control of your life, and this is what you will
Paul admonishes Christians not to use their new found spiritual freedom to
live a lifestyle that will give full-play to the demands of their lower nature
and produce behaviors contrary to God’s righteousness.
If the Holy Spirit is not in control of you life, you are giving your old
unregenerate nature a pretext to break out in fresh sinful activity.
Now if you really want to be a slave, love one another. Serve one another.
Life outside the control of the Holy Spirit is synonymous with “the natural
man,” “the old nature,” “lust of the flesh,” “desires of your lower nature,” or
“sinful nature.” If you are not under the control of the Spirit, this nature is
The two dynamics at work: “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit;”
“the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.” The two are directly opposed
to each other. They are enemies who run counter to one another with mutual
The Holy Spirit is more powerful than our sinful nature. There is a state of
continuous opposition, but thank God it is not between equal powers! The Holy
Spirit restrains the desires of the flesh.
Am I obedient to the Holy Spirit? I am fully responsible for my thoughts,
attitudes, and actions. God has made a perfect provision for our holiness. He
has given us the indwelling Spirit to reveal sin, to create a hunger for His
righteousness, and strengthen us in our daily walk in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit lives in us, is working in us, and empowering us, giving us
the ability to be pleasing to God.
The Holy Spirit is working in us both to
will and to do His good pleasure! It is because I am not left to myself
that I can live a Christian life. It is because the Spirit is in me that I am
exhorted to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. It is not I, but
Christ living in me that enables me to be all God wants me to be in this life
The choice lies with the saint. I can choose to be obedient, and “walk by
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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