Galatians; Living By The Spirit


I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

For the Phone app for the SS Lesson guides click here.

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. Galatians 5:17

Monday’s section of this week’s SS lesson, mentions the all too familiar personal conflict between good and evil. The lesson quotes the verse above, that highlights this struggle. However there is good news! If you read that verse alone, it appears it is the good things that we are not able to do. However, when read along with verse 16 we see the good news! “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So in the great conflict and struggle, the Spirit gives us victory over the flesh so that we do not do the bad things that we would otherwise do. Romans 7 presents to us too, the personal conflict between good and evil, but Romans 8 shows us that the Spirit once again gives us victory over the flesh. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1. Please notice it is those who are no longer in flesh, but in the Spirit who experience no condemnation.

God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning. 

     The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God. 

     The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of man; yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours. The Lord says of those who believe in Him, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16.  } 

     Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our “Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  {Desire of Ages, p. 311-12

2 thoughts on “Galatians; Living By The Spirit”

  1. This is truly good news, but only because we know that His command to be perfect is also a promise, and if we have any experience with God, we know He is Faithful to perform all that He holds out to us…HE IS our Hope, our only Hope! Christ in us, the Hope of Glory! Thank you, William. We must keep our eyes FIXED on Him, and not ourselves. Merry Christmas!

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