Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. In our last message, we also looked at Galatians 5:14. Today we will move on to Galatians 5:16. We will look at this verse in three translations.
(John 1:14 NIV)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 NIV)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:16 The Passion Translation)
As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life.
(Galatians 5:16 Easy to Read Version)
So I tell you, live the way the Spirit leads you. Then you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants.
(Galatians 5:16 J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Here is my advice. Live your whole life in the Spirit and you will not satisfy the desires of your lower nature.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. The Holy Spirit enables you to live a life free from the power of sin.
— Some mistake the message of God’s grace to mean that you are free to sin. Those who think this way are clearly mistaken. Grace does not mean you are free TO sin. God’s empowering grace enables you to live a life free FROM the power of sin. Paul said, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:14).
— When you lived under the requirements of The Law, you were focused on rules. Basically, you were sin-conscious. If you live sin-conscious, you are going to sin because that is what you are focused on. Why? Because your actions are birthed in your mind. Your body will perform whatever your mind is focused on. This is one of the reasons why the Apostle Paul said, “the law gives sin its power” (1 Corinthians 15:56).
— If you live your life focused on what NOT to do, you are actually giving your attention to things that you will eventually wind up doing. When you are in Christ, and Christ is in you, your focus should be on God, His Word, His purpose for your life, and being led by the Holy Spirit so you can complete your divine assignment before you die. When you think about THESE things all the time, God’s purpose becomes the central focus of your life, and the Holy Spirit empowers you to fulfill it by His grace and for His glory. So make no mistake, your mindest matters!
— Paul taught us that if we “live the way the Spirit leads,” we “will not do the evil things our sinful selves want.” (Galatians 5:16). Another translation reads, “you will abandon the cravings of your self-life.” Another reads, “you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants.” The point is that if you spend time with the Holy Spirit and you meditate/medicate on the things He reveals to you (which will be things tied to your divine purpose), you will be too busy focused on becoming the man/woman you are called to be to be focused on sin.
— The key is the Holy Spirit. If we learn to hear His voice and we develop the discipline required to do what He tells us to do, we will live free from the power of sin and the bondage associated with the requirements of The Law. When we get to this point, our life is not about a bunch of rules. Our life is about simply doing whatever the Holy Spirit leads us to do. And He will never lead us to sin. The Spirit of God will never lead you contrary to the word of God.
— The Holy Spirit is the key to living like Jesus in this world. Jesus only said what He heard the Father say (through the Holy Spirit). Jesus only did what He saw the Father do (through the revelation He received from the Holy Spirit). God is a Spirit. He put His Spirit down inside of us, so we can be connected to Him directly, Spirit-to-Spirit, every day. If you allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, you will live “as Jesus is, in this world” (1 John 4:17).
2. The Holy Spirit is here to enable you to live a life beyond the limits of humanity, but your mind must be renewed to listen to Him.
Paul said, “Live your whole life in the Spirit and you will not satisfy the desires of your lower nature.” (Galatians 5:16).
— When you are Born-Again, you are a new person. The Bible says, “Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.” (2 Cor 5:17 TPT). But to be clear, the only part of you that became “new” was your spirit. You ARE a spirit, you possess a soul, and you live in a physical body (and earth suit) for now. When you are Born-Again, God’s Spirit comes inside of you, and He recreates your spirit. At that moment you are a new man. But you are still living in an old body, and you need a new mind. Your spirit was changed, but your body and mind were not. Your body is not going to be changed until you receive a recreated body for heaven. That body will live forever. But that is coming in the future. So think about it this way: your spirit WAS changed (instantly), your body WILL BE changed (eventually), and for now, your focus needs to be on your mind, which MUST BE changed (progressively).
— When you are Born-Again, you have a new nature that is tied to your recreated spirit (which was recreated when the Holy Spirit came inside of you and connected with it). The Holy Spirit brings God’s nature to you. So when you are Born-Again, you are naturally supernatural. It’s not that you are a natural being (natural to this world) attempting to have supernatural experiences. You are actually a supernatural being (natural to God’s realm), having natural experiences in this world. So what Paul is teaching us is that if we learn to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things, we will experience the life God wants us to have. We will no longer be mere men. We will be men and women, walking around with God on the inside, aware of His presence, cognizant of His grace, and capable of releasing His power into any situation. But to live this way, we must be led by His Spirit. If we do, we will enjoy a walk with God that is far beyond what it was when we were simply focused on obeying rules.
— The Apostle Paul said, “Live your whole life in the Spirit and you will not satisfy the desires of your lower nature.” (Galatians 5:16). Let’s think about this “lower nature” for a moment. Picture it this way: once you are Born-Again, you have the Spirit of God living inside of you, you have the nature of God that came with your recreated spirit, you have the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit that will lead you to walk in your new divine nature, and you have your old mindset that is programmed to live like the world; the same way you lived before you were Born-Again. So the Holy Spirit attempts to lead you to walk in your new divine nature, while at the same time, your soul (mind, emotions, and will) has not been truly changed yet, so it leads you to do what it is programmed to do, which is live like the world. The only way to win this battle is to intentionally renew your mind with the Word of God. If you don’t put in the effort to read the Bible, learn God’s ways, surround yourself with people of like-precious-faith, disconnect yourself from your old ways, and spend time with the Holy Spirit, you will be different on the inside (Born-Again), but no one will ever see that difference manifested on the outside, because your mindset has to be deprogrammed (from the world), and reprogrammed to think and act like God.
— I will use my life as an example (testimony). When I gave my life to Christ on August 27, 1995, I immediately knew that I was changed (on the inside), and I wanted to experience real and lasting change that everyone else would be able to see (on the outside). Since I was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and I was programmed to think and act a certain way, I knew that I needed to change my input (what I was allowing to get into my heart) if I was going to change my output (what my life produces). So I made several critical decisions. Now, I am not sharing these as a suggestion on what others should do. I am just telling you what I did.
I had hundreds of music CDs that I threw away. I literally put them in a trash can. At that point in my life, I knew I needed to change what I was listening to. I wanted to stop cursing (because I cursed a lot). So I stopped watching anything that had cursing in it. I changed my associations. I made new friends. I connected to people that I believed were worthy of emulation. I devoured the Word of God. I spent hours (not an exaggeration) in the Bible every day. As a result, little by little, I experienced change. Over time, my soul was able to catch up with the reality of my spirit. As it did, I no longer wanted, as Paul said, “the desires of my lower nature.” I only wanted what God wanted for me.
After years of deprogramming (from the ways of the world) and reprogramming (to the ways of God), now I listen to some of the same music I threw away because now it won’t negatively impact me the way it would have when I was a baby Christian. I know my example may seem extreme, but it is part of what made me who I am today. I was so serious about becoming (on the outside) the man God was telling me I was (on the inside) that I was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to experience the life I was born to live.
I will close out the week with this statement: Please don’t tell me you moved if I keep finding you at your old address! A changed heart should turn into a changed life!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I accepted Your Son, Jesus the Christ, as my Lord. I was Born-Again. Your Spirit lives in me. I am now naturally supernatural. Sin has no power over me. I am free from the power of sin and the bondage of The Law. I am free to be the man/woman I am destined to be.
I declare that I am led by Your Spirit in all things and at all times. As I am Spirit-led, I live free from sin, self and selfish desires. I also live free from the limits of my humanity. There is nothing You cannot do. You live in me. Therefore, there is nothing I cannot do.
Without You, I am nothing. With You, I can do all things. My spirit was made new, and my mind is renewed to think and act like You. As Jesus is, so am I in this world! I enter this day ready to experience Your best, by Your Spirit, and for Your glory! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.