After illustrating the acts of the sinful nature, as we learned in the previous post on Galatians 5:16-26, Paul has a clear warning for the people. Look at the end of verse 21, “If we live according the desires and indulgences of the sinful nature, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” That’s a serious claim. If you are regularly indulging in sexual promiscuity, sexual impurity, anger, divisiveness, envy and selfishness, or drunkenness, don’t think “Well, I believe in Jesus, so I’m going to heaven when I die.” Your actions show that you are not filled with the Spirit. And that means you are not a Christian. I admit that it is difficult talking about this. But if Paul got real, then you and I need to get real about it too.
Paul is not saying that you need to be perfect. But he is saying that if you indulge consistently in the vices in this list, you should not have a sense of assurance that you are a Christian. Instead, a Christian is one who has the good things of the Spirit flowing from their lives.
Look at the wonderful qualities of verses 22-23. This person is positively erupting with godly things. We are going to look at each of these fruits in one sermon, over the next few months. Nine fruits of the Spirit, nine weeks. One by one. We’re going to slow down and focus on each one because they are that important.
In fact, Paul says in verse 24-26, it is so important that we become different people, filled with the Fruit of the Spirit, that we crucify the old sinful nature. Crucifixion was a brutal way to kill. The image is clear. Spirit-filled Christians are people who take drastic action to get rid of any of those sins from their lives. Then we keep in step with the Spirit. We walk with the Spirit.
Our passion as Christians is to distance ourselves from all the vile, underhanded ways of the sinful nature and flow with the good things of the Spirit.
What about you? Do you need to crucify anything? Do you need to make a change? Do you need make a move toward walking in step with the Spirit?
Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash