Under Greater Discipline
- Date: January 24, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
Paul is addressing the Spirit-filled life, the Spirit-led life. People often ask, "How can I be free from the flesh?" The answer is to walk in the spirit. That's easy to say, but how do we walk in the spirit? By choice, we crucify self. We choose each moment whom we will serve. Walk in the spirit at all times. Seek the things that are above where Jesus is seated at Father's right hand (Col. 3:1). The reason so many of us are not free from the flesh is because we're still so preoccupied with it. So much of the emphasis in the holiness movement has been on the flesh and what not to do instead of what we should do. The one ambition, that should motivate each of us, is to be emptied of self. I want to have more of God and less of me.
As Paul listed the works of the flesh, he said, "The works of the flesh are manifest" (Gal. 5:19). They surely are, because we are known by our fruit. We can judge ourselves by what habitually expresses itself and naturally flows out of us. Though we all may want to deny it, every one of us has each of these propensities in our members. "But sin shall not have dominion over you," Paul says (Rom. 6:14). Sin is not the power that governs our lives. We reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto Christ (6:11). The walk in the spirit is the recognition of the frailty and the potential (propensity) of sin in our members. "In me (that is in my flesh) dwells no good thing," the apostle said (Rom. 7:18).
If you think you're any better now than you were when you got saved--five minutes ago, five years ago, fifty years ago--you don't understand redemption. Your flesh is no better; it's just under greater discipline! It's under the power of a renewed spirit. The new man, the new creature, is dominant. The sin that used to lord itself over you is now subordinate to the lordship of Jesus as you habitually walk in the spirit and choose to deny the flesh. By faith and grace you accept the mercy and power of God to obey and take no credit for it. You don't think you're any better, but rejoice more in the mercies and grace of God. You glory in His power and realize that the glory is of God and not of you!
After Paul lists the different aspects of the flesh, he goes on to say, "And those that do these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:21). You should be concerned if there is some work of the flesh that still dominates your life, because you will not inherit the kingdom of God. You should look over these aspects of the flesh and ask, "Is this me?" You need to examine your flesh and be aware of its tendencies.