FLESH VS. SPIRIT, which are we led by?

TEXT: Galatians 5:16-26


Paul in this section is following up his previous rebuke against Judaism (1-15), for some Christians were still trying to practice Old Testament law (“circumcision”). The church needed to be instructed regarding their error and in turn, be encouraged to pursue practicing the New Covenant. For mixing some sections of the old in with the new create separation from Christ (5). And so, they needed practical instruction to understand and follow. No longer are they to be led by the flesh, but rather the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit). They needed to let go of the world and its desires in order to now practice love and truth. And so, Paul was going to give them specific ways in which that is to be done. 

The idea that Christians should not be led by the flesh, was conveyed to the church in Rome also, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” - Rom. 6:6
And so, in this section of Galatians, we’re going to see two categories…


  1. Led by the Flesh
Allowing the world to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 

  1. Led by the Spirit
Allow the Word of God to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 
And in no way, shape, or form, is this section of Scripture teaching us that we are somehow demonically guided to do evil deeds of the flesh, nor is it teaching we are miraculously guided by the H.S. through sensational mysticism to do the deeds of the word. Both would be a breach of gospel and free-will. Everything here is orderly and sober, we can know it, make sense of it, and apply it to our lives. 


  1. Led by the Flesh

Fornication - “illicit sexual intercourse, including incest and homosexuality.
Uncleanness - “religious corruption” (Mt. 23:27)
Lasciviousness - “sexual overtones, sensuality, sexy, public indecency.” 
Idolatry - “the worship of false gods, and/or anything more important than God.”
Sorcery - “drug use to enhance sensation in connection with false worship”
Enmities - “hostility towards others, antagonistic, unfriendliness or opposition” 
Strife - “contentious, causing unrighteous arguments and controversy.”
Jealousies - “resentment toward others for what they have.”
Wraths - “explosive display of anger and behavior” 
Divisions - “church splits over unimportant issues and personality clashes.”
Parties - “segment groups which promote heresy.” 
Envyings - “the desire to deprive others of their possessions.”
Drunkenness - “the alteration of one’s normal mind”
Revellings - “noisy, rowdy, wild conduct, usually by drunkenness.”
Such like - “everything above and beyond mentioned in this text.”

  1. Led by the Spirit

Love - “agape, sacrificial” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
Joy - “not earthly pleasure, but deep inner hope of Christ and doing what is good.”
Peace - “knowing that being faithful you can go to heaven one day”
Long-suffering - “doesn’t give up when life gets tough”
Kindness - “sweet & gentle behavior towards others.”
Goodness - “moral excellence according to God’s standard.”
Faithfulness - “trust in Christ and fidelity, commitment, to His teachings.”
Meekness - “strength in submission to God, humble and patient.” 
Self-control - “personal discipline of mind, and body against temptation.”
Against such there is no law - “abide and abound in these virtues.”


We must not try to add anything of our old self into our new self. At what very moment did this transformation of old to new take place? Romans 6:3-4


If you would like to leave the old self in order to become a Christian. To let go of being led by the flesh in order to now be led by the Word of God. Please come forward as we stand and sing.