5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:
of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
the above passage, there are seventeen specifically named works of the
flesh along with the statement "and such like." Since all of the
specifically named works of the flesh are condemned in the scriptures
and are sin, then the "and such like" must also be condemned by the
scriptures and are sin.
we conclude that all the works of the flesh are sinful works. Yet,
nearly every denominational Christian religion has a part of their
belief system that man in the flesh must do something in order to be
born of the Spirit and to be saved from his sins. For the flesh to bring
about the new or spiritual birth and to cause one to be saved from his
sins, would require a sinful work to bring about the new spiritual birth
and salvation from sin. This is impossible. Paul said, "I know that in
me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." If in our flesh dwells
no good thing and our flesh is incapable of doing good, then our flesh
cannot bring about the new birth or cause us to be saved from our sins.
Another consequence of our fleshly actions is that, as long as, we walk
after the flesh we cannot possess (inherit) the church (kingdom of God)
while we live in this life. Only by mortifying the lust of the flesh are
we capable of possessing the church while we live in this life.
Gal. 5:22, 23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law."
a law of nature that you must have a tree before a tree can bear fruit.
The fruit of a tree cannot be borne when there is no tree. Now all of
this is obvious. Yet, many today seem to fail to grasp that which is so
obvious. You must first have the Spirit before you can bear the fruit of
the Spirit. The flesh cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit. You must be
born of the Spirit before you can bear the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus said in Luke: Luke 6:43 "For a good tree bringeth not forth
corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not
gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out
of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and
an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that
which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."
comparing the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit it is
obvious that the works of the flesh relate to an evil tree (flesh)
bringing forth evil fruit (works of the flesh). Likewise, the fruit of
the Spirit relate to a good tree (spirit) bringing forth good fruit
(fruit of the Spirit).
people today say that you must have faith in order to be born of the
Spirit. The problem is that faith is a fruit of the Spirit. You must
have been born of the Spirit in order to have faith (the fruit of the
Spirit). Faith cannot be the cause of the spiritual birth. The spiritual
birth is the cause of faith.
Furthermore, you show me someone who is manifesting the love of God,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or
temperance and I will show you someone who is already born of the Spirit
of God. The spirit brings forth these fruits, not the other way around.
"Against such there is no law." Nowhere in the scriptures do we find a
law that forbids or is against a person manifesting "love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, or temperance.
There is no law against manifesting spiritual fruit. In contrast, all
the works of the flesh are forbidden in the scriptures.
Gal. 5:24-26 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in
the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one
another, envying one another."
they that are Christ's" is not talking about those who are Christ's by
covenant election as many of the elect have not yet been born of the
Spirit of God. Further, "And they that are Christ's" is not talking
about the spiritual birth as many who have been born of the Spirit have
not yet come unto a knowledge of the truth. However, "And they that are
Christ's" is speaking to us about those who have believed in Christ and
his covenant work. They are Christ's by their belief in salvation from
their sins by the sacrificial atonement of Christ and by his grace.
These that are Christ's in this manner have, in their belief system in
their heart and mind, have impaled on the cross the works of the flesh
with the affections and lust. Thus, in the belief system of our minds
and hearts, our flesh has been crucified with Christ and we have been
made righteous by the blood of Christ.
we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." The word, "if,"
is not intended to call in question whether we live in the Spirit or
not, but is used as the basis of a rational statement. It would do the
meaning of the sentence no harm to say "since we live in the Spirit, let
us also walk in the Spirit." We live in the Spirit because we have been
born of the Spirit. We have spiritual life because of being born of the
Spirit. Paul is teaching us that since we have eternal life through the
new birth by the Spirit of God, then we should also walk in the Spirit
and not in the flesh. Our manner of living should be to bring forth the
fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. We should not strive to fulfill
the lust of the flesh in our daily lives.
us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one
another." The desire for vain (empty) glory in this life is a work of
the flesh. It is the manifestation of pride. Everywhere in the
scriptures, pride is condemned. We are not to be proud. We should not
desire to receive the praise and honor of men for our works. Further, we
should not provoke or envy one another. These too are works of the
flesh. The flesh gets a carnal thrill out of provoking others to wrath.
This is wrong. We should encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ
unto good works and to honoring and glorifying God for his love's sake.
Likewise, we should not be envious of one another. Whatever gift someone
else has or work that someone else has done that is pleasing and
honoring to God is of God. Moreover, we should not envy one another for
their worldly possessions or positions. Having food and raiment, we
should be content with such things that we have. This is pleasing and
honoring to God.