Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12/3 Galatians 5:16-26 Flesh vs. Spirit

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

11/18- Galatians 5:16-26
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Calvin abridged: To obey the spirit and to oppose the flesh are two great objects which have been set before Christians. So he now draws a picture of both the flesh and the spirit. We do not perceive our depravity till the tree as been fully made known by its fruits, so we need this inspired passage to remind us of who we are. The apostle points out those sins against which we must fight, not enumerating every one. He condemns the whole nature of human beings as producing nothing but evil and worthless fruit. Then he informs us that all virtues, proceed from the Spirit, from the grace of God, and the renewed nature which we derive from Christ. It is as if he said, “Nothing but what is evil comes from human beings; nothing but good comes from the Holy Spirit. There have been remarkable examples of instances of gentleness, integrity, temperance and generosity in unrenewed people. But this was only in the sight of humans. In the sight of God nothing is pure except the things that flow from the fountain of purity.
Thoughts: There are those who will not inherit the kingdom, and those who have the Spirit of the kingdom in them now. There are many who think their kingdom is here, and they desire to only satisfy the moment. But those who live by the Spirit live differently, seeking a higher good that shows in their lifestyle.

Prayer: Lord, my flesh wars against me, and the Spirit draws me away from my own sinful nature. Pour your Spirit on me today, that I might live for you and not for myself for the glory of your kingdom.

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