Sunday, September 12, 2010
Walking In The Spirit. Sinlessness?
The way some bible teachers have it is that if you are walking by the Spirit you are not sinning. Conversely if you are guilty of sinning in a given day you are therefore walking in the flesh and not the Spirit. And if you are walking in the flesh according to this section of scripture you will not inherit the kingdom of God. So on Monday thru perhaps Tuesday you don’t recall any particular sins so you are inheriting the kingdom of God. But on Wednesday you lost your cool and tore another person’s face off with a real good tongue lashing. That would be considered strife or at least a fit of anger. And perhaps it takes you a few days to cool off because it was a reaction to someone’s real trespass. If you die in those days will you go to hell?
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ESV
Notice St Paul is not saying that walking in the Spirit is being sin free. Rather due to the fruit of the Spirit which are attitudes and motivation we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The flesh not only desires to sin but takes delight in it. I am sure you have heard an unbeliever brag about lashing out at another. He or she really let the other person have it and cannot wait to do it again. And he or she will keep on doing it again as until the next victim happens to cross his or her path.
The desire of the Spirit, on the other hand, will bring that person to realize the sin which he or she committed and grant them true repentance and forgiveness of sin. The only promise that can be made to our Father is that we will do that sin again and other ones in addition. We never outgrow our need each day for the perfect life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. In baptism we are clothed with him so we can live before our Father in a holiness which is not our own. Those who are walking in the Spirit freely admit he or she has no righteous of his or her own but only the one we have by faith. To assure us even more Jesus comes to us in his body and blood to strengthen us and keep us in the true faith to life everlasting. In these ways we never have to depend upon some progression of holiness for assurance you cannot become more holy than Jesus.
In the name of Jesus. Amen. †