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OUR VICTORY OVER SIN
(Galatians 5:16-26)

By John Robert Opio

 

Within us there is serious war between good and evil. Every believer must realize this in their lives. This war cannot be won by flesh and blood but by radical self-examination and total obedience to God’s Will.

In Galatians 5:16-26, the Apostle Paul shows the Galatian Christians how to live a victorious life, and this is truth of all ages to apply.

Galatians 5:16:
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

The Holy Spirit is the one who works through our spirit as we live step-by-step in his power. Absolute victory over sin is ours as we walk by faith in God’s Word under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 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.

Galatians 5:19-21 reveals that sinful behaviors are energized by wrong thinking, which lead to moral slavery. “The works of the flesh” involve sin against sexual ethics, against the society we live in, against the church of Christ, against the person of God, and against our fellow man. Every believer must endeavor to trust God to enable him to live according to God’s standard of holiness.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (v. 24)

Galatians 5:24 declares that we belong to Christ Jesus and not ourselves. By means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Christians were identified with Christ in his death and resurrection. We must also take note that this does not mean that our sinful nature was rendered inactive but that it has been judged. Therefore we must hold this truth firmly by faith that victory over sinful nature has been provided by Christ in his death.

Galatians 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.

The “fruit” described here is not produced by a believer but by the Holy Spirit working through a believer as he fellowships with Christ. We must also note that the word “fruit” is singular. That means these qualities constitute a unity. All these qualities should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit. In other words this “fruit” is the life of Christ lived out in a believer’s life.

Galatians 5:25-26:
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.

The Spirit is the sphere of our life. Our spirit was born of the Holy Spirit, and this life is spiritual life in contrast to physical life. Many Christians complain that they do not have the strength to live straight. This would be true of a carnal Christian who is trying to live for the Lord in his own strength. It is not true of the Spirit-filled believer.

There are many that attempt to achieve unfounded respect and by his actions demonstrate big talk. Many times the person who envies another will attempt to ruin his reputation by lies. The natural man is self-centered and will go to all ends to be important even at the expense of bad conduct around others. The Christian who lives and walks in the Spirit will not do anything to promote self or provoke others, but will walk in love towards his neighbor.

Let us learn to rejoice in the success of another brother. This will be an example that we live and walk in the Spirit.

 

 


From the May 2008 issue of The Vine & Branches