Posted May 14, 2012
If last week we talked about bearing fruit of the Spirit, what's our role within this? These next verses teach us 2 basic things we must do:
1) Crucify the flesh. This isn't something that God simply does for us, but rather we must be the ones doing it. We must carry this difficult task out! We must ruthlessly take our old, and now dying, nature and crucify it. This must be a daily & repeated crucifying, not just done once. Slowly but surely, our old nature will be destroyed, instead of it destroying us.
John Stott wisely wrote in his commentary on Galatians, "If besetting sins persistently plague us, it is either because we have never truly repented, or because, having repented, we have not maintained our repentance. It is as if, having nailed our old nature to the cross, we keep wistfully returning to the scene of its execution. We begin to fondle it, to caress it, to long for its release, even to try to take it down again from the cross. We need to leave it there. When some jealous, or proud, or malicious, or impure thought invades our mind we must kick it out at once. It is fatal to begin to examine it and consider whether we are going to give in to it or not. We have declared war on it; we are not going to resume negotiations. We have settled the issue for good; we are not going to re-open it. We have crucified the flesh; we are never going to draw the nails."
2) Walk by the Spirit. Again, this is something we must do! It takes active participation on our part. God Spirit leads, but we must walk! The vision of this word is that we would "walk in line" with the Spirit. So in turn, not only do we reject our old nature, but then we begin to walk in our new nature! How do we walk in our new nature?
Stott said, "Above all in what older author's called 'a diligent use of the means of grace', that is, in a disciplined practice of prayer and Scripture meditation, in fellowship with other believers who provoke us to love and good works, in keeping the Lord's day as the Lord's day, and in attending public worship and the Lord's Supper. In all these ways we occupy ourselves in spiritual things. It is not enough to yield passively to the Spirit's control; we must also walk actively in the Spirit's way. Only so will the fruit of the Spirit appear."
For those wanting to read more, check out this blog on the Fighter Verses site:
We have 2 songs this week. The first was written by Emery Clark and produced by her husband Chris Clark. The second was written by Joel Limpic who worked with Nick Thurmond (http://www.nickthurmond.org/) on piano. Just a side note: the Fighter Verse app on the iPhone says "walk by the Spirit" and the ESV version says "keep in step with the Spirit". Emery's song says "walk by the Spirit" and Joel's song says "keep in step with the Spirit". Take your pick.
May we daily keep in step with His Spirit, and walk in his power!