The aim of this devotional study is to understand a life of holiness being made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
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. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Observations, comparisons and reflections
The text describes the earthly struggle of the Christian life, naming the sources and their resulting fruits and eternal destination, concluding with the choice we need to make.
- What does it mean to “walk by (or in the way of) the Spirit” vs “to walk by (or in the way of) the flesh” – in other words, how do you do it? (v16)
- What is “the desires of the Spirit” vs “the desires of the flesh”? (v17)
- How is one “lead by the Spirit” vs “lead by the flesh”? (v18)
- What is a good one-word summary for “fruit of the Spirit” and a good one-word summary for “fruit of the flesh”? [hint: think character] (v19-22)
- What does it mean to “live by the Spirit”? (v25)
- What practical advice does Paul hint at when he says “keep in step with the Spirit”? (v25)
Application and Prayer
Pray verses 22-23 repeatedly while reflecting on your character, until one of the characteristics of a Spirit-directed life stands out for you, then sincerely pray to God for that aspect of Christ’s loving, holy character to manifest more fully in your life.
Take this text with you through the day and seek the next opportunity to manifest the holy love of Christ as you “keep in step with the Spirit”.