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Scripture Reading:  Galatians 5:16-26


Part 1


Conflict Between the Flesh and The Spirit



1.  Because Christians are children of God, we are to live in harmony with our Father’s will – Gal. 3:26-29; 4:6.

2.  Increasingly, Christians are tolerating (if not accepting) the values & lusts of the world (i.e., social drinking, immodest dress, profane speech, dancing, fornication, etc.).

  a.  Not a new problem – Rom. 6:1-2, 12-15.

  b.  Victory over sin is attainable – Rom. 13:14; 1 Pet. 4:1-2.

3.  We must choose to yield our lives to the control of the Spirit of God – Gal. 5:16 (walk in); 5:18 (led by); 5:25 (live in).

4.  Conflict rages like a tug of war between flesh & the Spirit (5:17):  both produce by-products (which we intend study) – Gal. 5:19-23.


I.  THE FLESH & THE SPIRIT:  ENEMIES IN A BATTLE FOR THE SOUL – Gal. 5:16-18.  (Both are a matter of choice:  Which will we fulfill/satisfy? – Rom. 6:12-13)

  A.  Define Terms:

    1.  The flesh:

      a.  Unholy desires & disregards the law of God.

      b.  Carnality (1 Cor. 3:3); involves both body & mind (Mk. 7:21-23).

      c.  Anti-spiritual – Against God, not submissive to God; Services & satisfies sensual lusts – Rom. 6:12; 8:5-7, 13.

      d.  Cannot please God – Rom. 8:8.

      e.  Produces death – Rom. 8:6.

    2.  The Spirit (of God):

      a.  Spirit of God dwells in one who:  (Rom. 8:9-11)

        1)  Sets his mind on the gospel (things of the Spirit) – Rom. 8:5.

        2)  Lives in harmony with the gospel given us by the Spirit of God – Rom. 8:1, 4-5.

        3)  Submits to law of God (gospel) – Rom. 8:7 (Gal. 5:16, 18, 25).

      b.  Grants life & peace to those who follow Him – Rom. 8:6.

    3.  We are servants of whom we serve – Rom. 6:16 (sin or obedience?).  To which will we give an opportunity?  (Gal. 5:13)


II.  THE WORKS OF THE FLESH – Gal. 5:19-21.  (Business, undertaking)

  A.  They Are Well-Known – 5:19 (manifest).  (1 Jno. 2:15-16)

        -Sensuality, unlawful spiritual things, discord, excesses & the like.

  B.  Those Who Practice These Things are Lost – 5:21.

  C.  We Must Crucify the Flesh – Gal. 5:24 (2:20; Col. 3:5).



  A.  The Spirit of God Does not Lead us by…

        -Force (overwhelming us in spite of our will); Direct operation (HS baptism); Inward feelings (Prov. 14:12); the confident assurances of friends & associates.

  B.  The Spirit Leads by the Word He Revealed, Inspired & Confirmed.

    1.  Gal. 5:25 – Live by the Spirit…Gal. 1:6-7 – Yet, it is the gospel that they had turned away from.  It was the standard they were to walk in, be led by & live in (1:8-9)!

    2.  Gal. 3:2 – Receive the Spirit thru hearing of faith (gospel, 1:11, 23).

    3.  Jno. 16:8-13 – Spirit-given truth guides men out of sin, into righteousness & prepares us for judgment.

    4.  Eph. 5:18 & Col. 3:16 – To be filled with the Spirit is to allow the word of Christ to richly dwell in us.

    5.  To walk by the Spirit means to obey God’s word of truth – Gal. 5:7.


IV.  THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Gal. 5:22-23.

  A.  It is What Living by the Gospel (which the Spirit gave) Produces in One’s Life.  (The effect or result of the Spirit on one’s life.)

    1.  It is His product, “the harvest or outcropping of the Spirit.”

    2.  Just as the works of the flesh are the visible expressions of a heart following the lusts of the flesh, the fruit of the Spirit is the visible expression of a heart & life that is under the influence of the gospel – cf. Matt. 7:16.

    3.  The result of one’s fellowship with the Spirit of God is living by the gospel He gave us (Rom. 8:6-9, 13-14).

  B.  The Fruit of the Spirit is Comprehensive – 5:22.

    1.  It is a singular “fruit,” suggesting the unity of character in the Lord.

    2.  Every part of our life is directly affected when we follow the gospel.

      a.  The heart (Rom. 5:5).

      b.  Every thought (2 Cor. 10:5).

      c.  Every word & deed (Col. 3:16-17).

    3.  To do less is to be led by the flesh!



1.  Christians are new creatures in Christ & should live like it (2 Cor. 5:17).

  a.  Formerly lived in lusts of the flesh (children of wrath) – Eph. 2:3.

  b.  Now sit in heavenly places in Christ (new man – 4:24) – Eph. 2:6.

2.  Cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).  When we become Christians:

    -Attitudes toward everything change; values are rearranged; words reflect our new nature & choices; lifestyle (deeds) shows who we serve.

3.  Which opponent is winning the battle in your life:  the flesh or the Spirit?  Which one are you serving?  Which fruit are you bearing?