“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. “-{Galatians 5:16}

“Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?”- {Galatians 3:3}


The Spirit of God is the answer for spiritual problems!

The believer’s in Galatia whom Paul was writing to had turned their back on trusting the Holy Spirit to empower them to live the Christian life and instead chose to try and live the life in the flesh rather than walking by the Spirit

“WALK,”– In Scripture is a picture of someone daily living. Life is a journey and its one step at a time, The word here is a command, continuous, step by step, walking is the picture given of someone who walks one step at a time under the control of the Holy Spirit. How can you do this?

1. – SALVATION; The person has been convicted of sin by the Spirit, and Jesus Christ is shown and embraced through repentance and faith entirely and exclusively in the Person of the LORD Jesus, His saving work on the cross, His death, burial and resurrection as the approval of the Father for His Son’s sacrifice on our behalf!

2. – SPIRIT’S MINISTRY; We are “sealed,” with the Spirit. This speaks of “Ownership.” The word was used as a “down-payment like an engagement ring.  The Holy Spirit is gifted to us and He is our resident teacher who will “guide us into all truth.”-{John 16:13}. He will glorify Jesus Christ to us and through us. He will help us-{Rom 8: }. He will illumine The Word of God to us.He will bring to remembrance the things Jesus has said. He will strengthen us to know and do the will of God as revealed in the Word of God. He renews our mind as we submit to the Word of God. He takes the Word of God and renews our thinking and strengthens us to do the Word. He assures us we are children of God. He uses other believers to minister to us strengthening us to follow the LORD. He gives us spiritual gifts and power to  encourage, equip and exalt the LORD Jesus. He assures us that all things will work out for good.. and conforming us to the image of Christ. These are some of the ministries of the Holy Spirit to us and the spiritual resources that are ours as we walk step by step in submission to Him and in compliance with His Word. We have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son. We are new creatures in Christ, the old has passed away.  We are now alive to God, our citizenship is in heaven, our Savior is in heaven, and He is waiting for us as one day we will go to be with him in the Father’s house! In the mean time He sent the Holy Spirit to equip us to do His will, obey His Word, to empower us to continually walk, be led, and He then produces the Fruit of attitudes and actions of the Spirit.

3. SCRIPTURES – Submit to Him through His means, His Word.

HOW DO WE WALK each second, minute, hour, day, month, year with the LORD and not yield to the flesh?

  • We submit to the Spirit by “Be being filled with the Spirit.” Be filled” is to be controlled, influenced by Him  in order to walk by the Spirit. But how will we know how to? Jesus said the Holy Spirit…” would guide us into all TRUTH.” Where do we find the truth? John 17:17 says, “Your Word is Truth…” His Word is our resource to know how to walk and how to know if we are walking step by step with the Spirit!


  • We Submit To SCRIPTURES – His Word

Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  “-{Col 3:16}. Note, how the Holy Spirit through the Word equips us  through imparting wisdom to us to teach, admonish, psalms, hymns , spiritual songs with thanksgiving to God. We are equipped through HIS Word for our mutual building up of each other.

Paul spoke To Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;“His Word…TRUTH equips for good works! ” -{2 Timothy 3:16-17}.

Jesus showed us how He overcame the temptation of satan,”But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.“-{Matthew 4:4} . But how are we to know how to figure out what proceeds, comes forth from the mouth Of GOD. He has given us His Word, which contains His thoughts, will for us to know. Like Ezra we must become people of the Word. Note the three things Ezra gave Himself to… The study of whose Word {Law}? The Lord, He studied it to Know Him, Practice His Word and then teach it. The order is significant. ” For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.”-{Ezra 7:10}

In Nehemiah 8 when the people were turning back to the LORD they needed someone to teach the meaning of the WORD. Who did the call for? The one who had prepared himself in the Word, Ezra! Your studying His Word is not just for you but that you might serve others with TRUTH!

  • How will we know how to Walk continuously and CONSISTENTLY by The Spirit? Jesus said the Holy Spirit…” would guide us into all TRUTH.” Where do we find the truth? John 17:17 says, “Your Word is Truth…” His Word is our resource to know how to walk and how to know if we are walking step by step with the Spirit!

Saturate your mind with the Truth, How?

“Whatever is TRUE…DWELL on theses things.” The word “dwell,” means to calculate, evaluate,consider…” What? TRUTH! We are to RENEW our mind. How? ” Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”- {Romans 12;2-3.} Meditate on the Truth, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. “- {Psalm 1:2} , In contrast to the person who is controlled by sin, this “Blessed…” person- is characterized by delighting in the Truth of God’s Word and that leads to Meditating on it day and night.” He or she are filling their mind with God’s Word. It doesn’t mean you have to get huge chinks and try and think on, but take a verse and even connect to other verses that give more light on the subject and think on it word for word, phrase for phrase and you will find the more you read it and think on it the more your mind is being renewed and you are thinking Spiritual thoughts, The thoughts of God…and then you begin to see circumstances and life through the Word of GOD, and the Holy Spirit can influence your thinking which is what is needed to give discernment to the choices you make to honor your LORD.You have the truth and the power to obey the LORD -”  But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. “- {James 1:22}

Think On Truth. Truth Transforms. Truth sets us free to do His Will As We APPLY It.!

The Holy Spirit is the answer for our Spiritual needs, He is our resource, He is the answer.

So why, oh why would we reject God’s “gift” of the Holy Spirit to empower us and substitute Him with the work of the “flesh,” as did the Believers whom Paul wrote to at Galatia.

The word “flesh,” {sarx} is used to speak of the physical body as seen in Luke 24:39. Jesus said, “A spirit has not flesh and bones as you see Me have.”  It is used in Romans 6;19, where it refers to the weakness of our bodies are weak,… weakness of our flesh.

It can speak of Human effort as it is used in Galatians 3:3, our text, which says, “Having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?” Speaking of human effort trying to achieve spiritual results. Impossible! The natural effort of human effort can not produce the supernatural living that God calls the believer to. Only the HOLY SPIRIT can bring about Spiritual results!

So, depending on the context, it can mean;

The physical body,

Human effort, works

“The flesh is your un-redeemed humanness that waits the glorification of the body when you get a new body and thus a new kind of humanity which knows no sin.  Paul talks about it in Romans 7.  He says, “The things I want to do I don’t do, the things I don’t want to do I do.”  Why, Paul?  “It is sin that is in me.”  Where is it, Paul?  “That is in my flesh,” he says, Romans 7:14 and following.  It’s in my flesh.  My spirit has been changed and I have a new man in me but it has to be living in this old house.  And that’s what debilitates.  So verse 17 it says,“The flesh now is no longer in harmony with the spirit in a person because you now have salvation, you have a new nature, the Holy Spirit is there and the Holy Spirit then is fighting against the flesh.”  And in fact verse 17 says these are in opposition to one another to the degree that you may not do the things you please.

Have you noticed that?  Have you noticed that you don’t do what you ought to do and you do what you ought not to do?  Sure, that’s the battle of a Christian.  That’s Romans chapter 7.  That’s not an unbeliever’s battle, that’s a Christian’s battle.  That’s the flesh and the Holy Spirit at war.

Now listen, folks.  If that is true, and it is, then the idea that you could come up with some human solution to your problem is ludicrous because it’s just more of the flesh.  The flesh is not only our unredeemed humanness but the flesh is all of our human effort.  Psychology is just a human answer.  All the pragmatic solutions that people come up with for spiritual problems are nothing more than the flesh.  And the flesh is not going to control the desires of the flesh.  Flesh then refers to natural effort,independent of God that is weak, helpless and sinful.  So if I have a problem and I turn to anything on the human level, I am pouring gasoline on the fire.  And the flesh, it says, would you notice in verse 17, sets its desire against the Spirit.  That’s a very good way to translate that.  The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.  And by the way, that word “desire,” epithumia, means strong desire, evil yearning, compulsion.  What lust wants to do is conceive and bring forth sin. And what the Holy Spirit wants to do is prevent that from happening. – {John Mac Arthur}

The un-redeemed nature where sin is in us,- “the flesh.” And this is what is at war with the Spirit. The “flesh,” is what causes arguments, anxiety, fears, bitterness,immorality, and no amount of human effort can produce a Spiritual outcome. Only the Holy Spirit can! HIS  WORD IS SUFFICIENT AND HIS ALONE  for EVERY SPIRITUAL PROBLEM YOU WILL EVER FACE. This is why vain philosophies which Paul warned against in Colossians 2 such as Legalism, Mysticism, days and diets can never produce the fruit of the Spirit.

How do we counter the Flesh that wars against the Spirit?

Submission to His Spirit

Submission and obedience of His Word, so we get His mind and view of life and His power to produce His Fruit- not ours- His fruit in us as revealed in Galatians 5!

Quench the Spirit –

Grieve The Spirit –

Quench not the Holy Spirit.”  We must cease to do that.  We are quenching the Spirit.  Literally that means we are putting out His fire.  We are pushing Him aside.  We are treating Him with indifference.  Secondly, we must not grieve the Spirit, Ephesians 4:30.  The church today, I believe, is both quenching the Holy Spirit by refusing to respond to His leading and grieving the Holy Spirit by sin and disobedience. ” -{MacArthur}

The word “WALK” is a progressive present tense command with continuity that could be translated “keep on continually walking,” keep on continually walking.  The idea here is that the life of a Christian unfolds one day at a time.  It unfolds one step at a time.  Walking then is a very picturesque metaphor. One step at a time under the control of the Holy Spirit, that’s how we are to live.  It is a habitual thing.  It is a constant pattern.  It is a routine for us.  We already have the indwelling Spirit, according to Romans 8:9. First Corinthians 6:19, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  And the Spirit is in us and the Spirit is moving and leading and we are simply to respond moment by moment, step by step, day by day, walking by means of the power and direction of the Spirit.

That’s it, just walk by the Spirit in an attitude of submission to the Holy Spirit.

Now what does that involve?  Well pragmatically it involves two things really. It involves studying the Word of God so that you know the mind of the Spirit and the will of the Spirit.  Ephesians 5 says, “Be being kept filled with the Spirit.”  And a parallel passage, Colossians 3:16, says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”  Being filled with the Spirit is the same as letting the Word dwell in you richly because as the Word dominates your thinking,it dominates your action.  As the Word moves through your heart and mind, it is that by which the Spirit of God directs your life.  So as you spend time in the Word and as you spend time in prayer, communing with the living God and building an intimate relationship with the Spirit of God, as you feed on the Word and as you commune with God, you are in the position where the Spirit of God can move you down the path walking as He wants you to walk. “-{Mac Arthur};

So we walk step by step with the Spirit. This is the picture Paul gives us of walking. And as we walk in dependence upon the Holy Spirit with every step we take throughout the day we are promised we “will NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh!”

“What we do when we walk by the Spirit is simply fulfill the desires produced by the Spirit. And what better way is there to describe the ease of following our strongest desires than to say it is like having the Spirit’s fruit pop out in our attitudes and actions? Therefore, just like the phrase “led by the Spirit,” so also the phrase “fruit of the Spirit” stresses the Spirit’s initiative and enablement to fulfill God’s law.   “-{John Piper}

Walk by the Spirit is a Relationship and provision of God to do the impossible, live the Christian life. How?

  1. Salvation
  2. Spirit’s Ministry
  3. Scriptures- Submitted to and Applied
  4. Sin- Quenches- puts out the fire- empowering to walk in alignment with the Spirit’s Attitude, actions, abilities
  5. Substitutes- Such as  the flesh, trying to achieve Spiritual ends through physical, human effort!

The Christian’s Conflict; is the flesh wars against the Spirit.