In Galatians chapter five, Paul is pointing out that Christians are made free from the Law of Moses.  Christians are justified by their faith in Jesus as the Christ and it does not matter whether they were a Jew [circumcised] or a Gentile [uncircumcised] (verses 4-6).  He then goes on to point out that our life as a Christian is to be spiritual rather than carnal or fleshly (verses 16-17).  As he states, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

Paul summarizes the spiritual nature of Christianity by listing a disciple's spiritual fruit as, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," and pointing out that, "against such there is no law" (verse 22-23).  He concludes by stating, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another" (verses 25-26).

As Paul pointed out, "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).  In the next verse (Romans 8:6) he states, "to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."  It is this spirituality that enables the faithful Christian to face adversity, tribulation, and even persecution with a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:4-7).

Today, we have far too many so called Christians that walk with one foot in the church and the other in the world.  It is this worldliness that saps both the strength and influence of the church in our "post modern world."  It is the undermining of "Christian" spirituality in our literature and media that has contributed to those who have turned to mysticism for their spirituality. 

The Christian's relationship is made clear by the Apostle John.  He declares in 1 John 2:15-17, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

To the milk fed "Christian" of the 21st century, it is necessary to emphasize the "works of the flesh" as found in God's Word.  Most do not realize these forbidden works are even condemned, much less the fact that, "they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:21).  Each of us must make a choice in life.  Shall I choose to walk in the path laid out in the Bible or shall I continue to travel in the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14)?

 The positive aspects of the Christian's nature listed by Paul are accepted and applauded by all. It is the fleshly or worldly nature that we must overcome if we expect to live with God and His Son throughout the endless ages of eternity.  

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK


"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."