Apostle Paul: What did he mean?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by bound, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. bound

    bound
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    The Apostle Paul said to the Galatians:

    I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16

    What did he mean? How do we Walk in the Spirit to avoid fulfilling the lust of the flesh?

    Someone help me out!!??
     
  2. MB

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    I can only tell you what it means to me. I believe we are in the Spirit when we have our focus set on Jesus and His will. Not many are always focused on Him all the time. We have a way of picking up our old self when ever we want.

    My Father it seemed, that he talked to him self all the time. So once being a smart guy you know. I asked him who you talking to. He said God the Father. I asked why. He said it was his bussiness. I asked again and told him I didn't what about, but why. He sat me down and told me that it was his way of staying focused On Him all the time.
    MB
     
  3. Amy.G

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    I will just say what I think it means as well. Since the Spirit and the flesh are in conflict you cannot walk in the Spirit and the flesh at the same time. You must do one or the other. As long as your focus is on God and live accordingly you will not follow the desires of the flesh.
     
  4. l_PETE_l

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    Believers find within themselves contrary urgings. The Spirit sustains their regenerate desires and purposes; their fallen, Adamic instincts (the “flesh”) which, though dethroned, are not yet destroyed, constantly distract them from doing God’s will and allure them along paths that lead to death (Gal. 5:16-17; James 1:14-15). To clarify the relationship between the law and sin, Paul analyzes in a personal and dramatic way the sense of impotence for complete law-keeping, and the enslavement to behavior one dislikes, that the Spirit-flesh tension produces (Rom. 7:14-25). This conflict and frustration will be with Christians as long as they are in the body. Yet by watching and praying against temptation, and cultivating opposite virtues, they may through the Spirit’s help “mortify” (i.e., drain the life out of, weaken as a means of killing) particular bad habits, and in that sense more and more die unto sin (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). They will experience many particular deliverances and victories in their unending battle with sin, while never being exposed to temptations that are impossible to resist (1 Cor. 10:13).

    Packer, J. I. Concise theology
     
  5. Pipedude

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    The bad angels have no body, yet they experience sin. When they were good angels, without bodies, they fell into sin.

    Jesus had a body just like ours, yet he did not sin.

    Linking sin to the body is barking up the wrong tree. The solution isn't in getting out of the body. It's elsewhere.
     
  6. l_PETE_l

    l_PETE_l
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    Does not our sin nature(the flesh) die with the body?
     
  7. Helen

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    We live in our bodies, but our natures are not identified with our bodies. Jesus told us that our words and deeds proceed from the heart. This is synonymous with 'soul' in the Bible, and represents the personality and desires of a person.

    This is why, although the body rots, the person can still suffer (remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man) as a conscious person.

    While we are in our bodies, however, our natures are expressed through our bodies, and thus, if we live with our bodies as our focus -- what we want to satisfy the flesh -- then we are living according to the flesh.

    About Galatians 5:16 (and I am quoting to verse 18 for context), I think you will find the Greek is best expressed, in this instance (and not always) by the NIV: "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law."

    The last part, "under law", is the key in this instance, because the book of Galatians has as its expressed purpose the goal of getting the Galatians to stop thinking they can finish in the flesh what the Spirit began in them, or, to put it another way, to try to finish their salvation by keeping the law rather than focusing on God Himself. The theme of Paul's letter to them is "faith or law...which?" The verse you question is part of this larger picture and the meaning of that verse in context then is not nearly as much a matter of avoiding individual temptations of the flesh as much as, in the context of this letter, avoiding the temptation to simply try to follow a bunch of laws instead of living a life governed by the Holy Spirit. In the context of this letter, it is that desire to live according to law that Paul is associating with the desires of the flesh.

    It is, after all, always easier to follow a law than to follow Christ. He will never lead you to disobey His Law, but He will take you where you never expected you would go! And sometimes that's a little scary.
     
  8. LeBuick

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    That is one intriguing statement, do you care to expound on it or do I need to start a new thread?

    Paul said in Romans 7 that in the flesh we are carnal. You are implying we leave more than the flesh when we become spiritual.
     
  9. Pipedude

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    I don't know what that last statement means, "we leave more than the flesh."

    I will only expound on my intriguing statement once. I don't mean to hit and run, but the theology of this topic is, IMHO, so deeply mangled, there's little hope of recovery. I have to classify it with Calvinism-Arminianism and creation-evolution.

    Here's my expoundation: blaming sin on the body implies that the solution to sin is getting shed of the body; and since we can't do that before death, it implies that there's no solution to sin in the blood of Christ and the grace of God. But the Bible does teach that the blood of Christ and the grace of God are sufficient to save one from sin. So sin is a spiritual problem with a spiritual solution and we search for it in the realm of the Spirit or, as Paul said, we walk in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

    There you have it. Everyone else can quote their life verse from Romans 7 and blow me out of the water, but I've said my last, so you're talking to one another for the remainder of this thread. :love2:
     
  10. LeBuick

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    Interesting, so the war is not flesh against spirit, it is all in the spirit?

    Sorry you hit and run but if you were to give one last post I would like to ask if we have two spirits or one spirit that is both good and evil? Or is this the soul warring against the spirit?
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    We walk in the Spirit by undertaking a new way on life, demonstrated in the life of Jesus. We become His disciple (apprentice), learning to live life the way He did. Christians today often do that through practicing the spiritual disciplines, which are essentially doing the things that Jesus did while here on earth. The disciplines include prayer, worship, fasting, solitude, service, giving, secrecy, celebrating/feasting, developing community, etc. Through the practice of these disciplines (not actually the mastery of them) we transform the way we approach the world and have fellowship with God, and we start walking in the Spirit instead of following after the lusts of the flesh (that is, we are living out of our spirits and receiving the grace of God, rather than living according to our senses, lusts, desires and the expectations of others).

    Dallas Willard has some excellent material on this subject.

    See this article for his perspective: http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artid=105

    Here's the main link for his Web site: http://www.dwillard.org
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Actually, it says that he is carnal (fleshly), not us. And moreover, I understand Romans 7 to be speaking of his experience before he became a disciple of Christ.
     
  13. LeBuick

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    What happened to your flesh? Are you saying your spirit was somehow separated from your flesh? If not, then you are carnal as well as spiritual.

    If you consider chpt 7 with 8 you will find he is saying what was removed with Christ Jesus was the condemnation or penalty because he was made free from the law of sin and death. We who are saved are still tempted and so still have a war in our members. When we want to do good, evil is still present trying to influence you to do that which is wrong over that which is right. We even loose some of these battles.

    Go with Jesus and his 40 days in the wilderness, was not satan the tempter there? If he was there with Jesus, how is it he leaves you alone?
     
  14. David Michael Harris

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    Great question...

    How real is your Christian life...

    http://www.baruchhaba.net/wbb2/thread.php?threadid=296

    Worth signing up just for the baptism photo :)

    David
     
  15. bound

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    Thanks a lot Helen! You did a very good job with this reply and I really appreciate your efforts!

    God Bless! :thumbs:
     
  16. bound

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  17. w_fortenberry

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    Read the Context

    The answer is given within the context of the passage. Verses 13-15 tell us that Paul is rebuking the Galatians for their fighting among themselves instead of serving each other in love. Verses 16-18 are given as a sollution to this problem of fighting. Verses 19-26 then provide an explanation of the solution.

    We know that we are walking in the Spirit when we walk in love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. We know that we are not walking in the spirit when we have such works as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, etc. These two lists cannot coexist; you cannot serve both God and mammon. Therefore, Paul was instructing the Galatians that if they were to do everything in the attitudes and mannerisms of the first list (in the above order), they would not ever have to worry about those attitudes and mannerisms producing the negatives of the second list. In other words if they were to walk in the Spirit, they would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
     
  18. David Michael Harris

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    Did you get to see the baptism photo, it's brilliant, gives me strength everytime I look at it :)

    David :godisgood:
     

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