Gal 5:16-17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Walking in the spirit, engaging Jesus Christ, and abiding in Christ are not new concepts. (2 Pet. 1:21) Numerous examples are provided throughout the old and new testaments.
Walking in the Spirit is when a person is engaging the Lord (abiding in - Jn 15th chapter) and God guides the individual (Ps 37:23) to carry out specific instructions (Isaiah 28:8-13) or respond under certain conditions (Mk. 4:20; James 1:2).
For example: When the saint goes through trials and tribulations (1 Pet 1:7) the Lord directs their path (Jer. 31:33-34). Because proof follows a person that God sends, that person is expected to not deviate from His instructions. Doing so (deviating) could lead to a difficult life on earth or eternity in hell. (Gal 6;7; Rev. 22:18) This is why you should be careful to only speak, teach or testify to the things which you have proof. Evidence will always follow the Lord's teachings.
Rom 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed
Why wasn't it enough for God to put His Spirit on men? Why did he need His Spirit on the inside and how was that accomplished through the manner in which Christ died? What did the new covenant promise that the old one did not?
There are numerous reasons why God created a second covenant, but I will give you a few where he clearly states as his intentions:
- To destroy the wisdom of the flesh (knowledge of Good and evil).
- To deal with behaviors of the flesh (collectively called sin).
Before Adam disobeyed the Lord, he was sensitive to his environment and judged his environment from God's perspectives and teachings. Adam only responded or reacted to life from a single vantage point. God shared with Adam only those things necessary for him to please Himself. Adam was aware of evil, but never experienced it. In order to know the difference between good and evil, Adam and Eve took a chance and disobeyed the Lord.
After disobeying, they immediately became self-aware. Adam, meaning man, is now sensitive to his earthly nature and existence. He is aware of and sees his environment in a different way. His natural senses are awake in a very distinct way. Adam can now reason with himself. He is now aware of alternative ways of thinking and doing things. He now uses his own perspectives, experiences, needs and feelings, above all others, to build his life.
For the first time in Adam's existence, he is aware of good and evil. He is now able to have conversations without God. He can now make decisions by learning and acting for his own interests. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life are now incorporated in the way man thinks and does business. What he thinks, believes and understands about God and the things of God are seen from a single vantage point.
To support a self-centered nature, a collection of behaviors followed Adam. Every experience became an opportunity to nurture these ungodly behaviors.
The human experience has become a juggle for survival. All Satan has to do is teach men in high places and those men can then make life harder on you. Satan's desire is to cover the entire earth with his ways; he acting as if he is God. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor. Since the natural man is in charge, he will steal, murder or do terrible things to others if he believes you are in the way of him having what he desires.
If someone has something you wanted, your natural tendencies are to create the experience of having it in your imagination. Depending on the strength of that desire you may act on it (temptation).
Jas 1:12-16 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Behaviors such as, evil thoughts, hatred, malice, murder, etc. own the human experience.
A collection or grouping of these behaviors are called sin. Behaviors feed our experiences and memories. The more you interact with something, the better you get at responding to it. Sin forms and shapes our thoughts, memories, experiences, and it influences what we do.
The entire planet was cursed because of Adam’s decision. Without God directing man, he is left to his own thoughts, beliefs and experiences. If a person sees his actions, no matter how harmful, as fulfilling his purpose; he will act on them.
Decisions without guidance from the Lord bring experiences and problems for the human experience. New experiences can introduce anxiety, discomfort, depression, mistakes and other things. Adam now wrestles between his own experiences and beliefs, and the instructions of God.
Because of how the natural mind works, it is not possible for the human mind or spirit to comprehend spiritual things. A baseline can be described as the starting point.
In order for a person to have some clarity about something, a baseline experience or memory must already exist. For example: if I show you a picture of an apple, what would come to your mind if I showed you a similar fruit but with a different color - say, black. You would be a little confused by the color, but the rest of the details would cause you to assume it tastes and feels like an apple.
What's so tragic today is that, many religions are following old testament rules and guidelines that God has already proven to be dead. They continue to place greater emphasis on studying the bible and attending church as often as possible, while ignoring the obvious... nothing is working.
People are still getting sick, exhibiting bad behaviors, and mixing the righteousness of God with desires and calling them instructions of God.
God is a spirit and so is His word.
The flesh is earthly. It's natural senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling are of this world and cannot know, comprehend or hear the things of God. The natural man learns by comparing natural or earthly things with natural things. If the natural mind experiences something new, he uses memories as a basis to understand new things. The new thing is added to his collection of experiences, ready to be used for instructions in right and wrong.
This is why under the old covenant, anyone who spoke for the Lord God was under his complete influence. No mistakes are made when the Holy Spirit has taken control.
In summary, Jesus Christ suffered in the manner he did so that he could destroy sin in the flesh.
Now that these behaviors or collection of behaviors called sin have been deal with through Christ, a new creature is manifested whose nature is of God. When you walk in the spirit, it is not possible to also walk in the flesh. When you walk in the spirit it is not possible for the behaviors of the flesh to manifest themselves. Instead, a collection of new behaviors manifest themselves - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, meekness, etc. The saint of God now uses these to judge all things and to respond to life using these behaviors.
The wisdom of this world is destroyed. The works of the flesh are destroyed. How are you learning to live Holy?
2 Pet. 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Isaiah 28:8-13 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that areweaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, andthere a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
James 2:2 - 8 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bringforth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
1 Pet 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Jer. 31:33-34 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.