Tommy: “Hold on a second! I don’t have a problem with lust!”
God: “YOU don’t have a problem with lust?”
Tommy: “No! I can stop any time I want….”
I’m giving you the whole chapter to read today. Rather than try to develop illustrations, I’m just going to comment a few explanations below some of the verses. This is by no means an exhaustive commentary, but simple points to think on today:
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
THEREFORE: Chapter 4 tells us that Christ and his completed work on the cross have delivered us from the bondage of the law and refocused us toward His grace.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
If your faith is in an outward expression rather than an inward impression, you don’t have faith in Christ.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Be careful of those who are tied to the law, or as Paul sometimes referrers to it as “the tradition of men.” Those people tend to be hypocrites because they want to pick and choose which parts they believe and don’t. If you’re a debtor to some of the law, you’re debtor to all. And I promise there’s a whole lot of Old Testament commandments you don’t want God to enforce today!
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
The greatest commandment, Jesus says, is twofold: Love God with all your heart, soul, and body – and love your neighbor as yourself. In other words, EVERYTHING about the Christian life is motivated by a godly definition of love.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Just like a little tiny bit of leaven causes the whole cake to rise, a little bit of sin affects the entire body.
10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Trouble makers have their own day of trouble coming.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
The words “cut off” are translated into modern English: I wish those who cause problems would emasculate themselves. Trouble makers tend to reproduce themselves, and Paul says that needs to stop.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Our liberty in Christ is not to live however we want, but rather to be FREE to serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
We fulfill the entirety of God’s law when we love one another. God’s definition of love: sacrifice and service. One of two things are true about me and you. We’re either loving or we’re hating. “Bite and devour one another…” Sadly, the church is often known for eating its wounded and devouring its own members.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
LUST… turns out that is not just a word for sexual desire. But the lust of the flesh is the polar opposite to the leading of the Spirit. Check out what God says that entails:
17 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.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Here’s another translations listing of words: 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,[d] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[e] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
My friend, you and I both have a problem with the lust of the flesh. God needs to chisel it away. And when he does, our life will reveal:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
love,… agape… love in action
Joy… gladness…even when I’m unhappy, I have Jesus’ joy.
peace, … tranquility, fearing nothing
longsuffering….patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance
Gentleness… integrity and kindness
goodness…uprightness of heart
faith…the conviction of God that is equated with action
23 Meekness…strength under control
temperance… the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites
against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
You have murdered your own desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If we’re saved, lets act like it!
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Don’t desire the applause of men, because they are worth absolutely nothing. Don’t push another soul toward anger. And stop comparing yourself.
Just like Tommy we must recognize that God is shot-gunning an array of bullets toward so many areas when he uses the word “lust.” We may not struggle with ALL of them, but surely each of us struggle with at least one of them. Today, let God chisel away at you so he can reveal His Son.