A. THE GREAT BATTLE INSIDE US.
1. The Flesh, it’s appetites and perspectives.
2. The Spirit, his promises and perspectives. Appeals to the spiritual nature of man.
B. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS BATTLE.
1. What is good for the spiritual welfare is often not what the flesh wants (vs.17b).
2. Sometimes one can satisfy both the spirit and the flesh, but not all the time (vs. 16),
and this is where the conflict arises.
3. In a battle for our hearts, where will our hearts dwell (Rom. 8:5-6)
4. We are talking about priorities (1 John 2:15) and perspectives (1 Cor. 2:14-16).
C. THE CONSEQUENCE OF LOSING THE WAR (vs. 21).
1. “Such things” – things like these – “It is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is
representative.” (A. T. Robertson)
2. The works of the flesh – behaviors which indicate the appetites of the flesh rule.
D. WHICH WILL WE FOLLOW? WHICH WILL BE THE RULE OF OUR LIVES?
E.. WHAT ARE THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT? (vs. 22-24).
1. The foundation principle of all God’s law (Matt. 22:37-40).
2. Love for God will manifest itself in obedience to the gospel (1 John 2:4-5).
3. Our love for our fellow-man must also be expressed (1 John 3:17-18).
4. When the spirit dominates the flesh, love abounds.
a. The flesh looks to its own things.
b. The spirit looks outward to the welfare and happiness of others (Phil. 2:1-4).
1. When one follows the spirit, he walks in close communion with God.
a. We are his children (1 John 3:1).
b. He hears our prayer (1 Pet. 3:12).
c. We have his protection (Rom. 8:31).
d. And his promise (Rom. 8:16-17).
2. There is joy in our fellowship (Rom. 12:9-10; 3 John 4). We Are Family!
3. The is joy in our work.
a. Busy people are happy having little time to dwell on their troubles.
b. Christians are busy people ( 1 Cor. 15:58 ).
c. The work is rewarding (James. 5:19-20).
4. Joy is felt in anticipation of reward (1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Pet. 1:6-9).
1. Real peace seems to be elusive. It can be had as a fruit of the Spirit.
2. By looking to our spiritual welfare and putting it first, we may have peace.
a. With our fellow man (Rom. 12:18; 1 Pet. 3:10-11).
b. With ourselves (Phil. 4:6-7).
c. With God (Rom. 5:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:18-20).
1. makrothumia, "forbearance, patience, longsuffering, … to bear with...” (Vine)
2. It is the ability to suffer long with some one or thing that is an annoyance or trial.
3. Jesus was the perfect example of longsuffering.
a. First he was longsuffering with his disciples.
- Questions about the kingdom (Luke 17:20-21–Acts 1:6).
b. Jesus was longsuffering in trials – He prayed for his murderes (Luke 23:34).
c. He and God suffer long with sinners (2 Pet. 3:9).
4. Following the spirit means following Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-24).
- He showed himself to be our example of what it means to be longsuffering.
1. Gentleness chreestotees Better, "kindness; which is "useful, serviceable."
2. It has to do with our disposition toward others in both our attitudes and our
behavior. Being kind would be the equivalent of helping those who are in need.
3. God is said to be kind to us in his forgiving of sins( Titus 3:4; Eph. 2:7 ).
4. God is our example (Luke 6:35). Doing good whether or not the good will be
1. "Describes that which, being good in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its
effect."(Vine). One who possesses "goodness" is not only desires what is good, but
actually seeks to bring about good.
2. But what is good is that which is beneficial, in a moral and spiritual sense. It does
not always refer to that which is pleasant.
i.e., Jesus cleanses the temple (John 2:13f), beneficial to all, pleasant to none
3. Who determines what is good? God does.
a. God is the empitome of goodness (Mark 10:18).
b. Nothing that God has done to or with man that was not also for man (Jas. 1:17).
4. God’s standard of goodness is his Son (Acts 17:30-31; 10:38; 1 Cor. 11:1).
1. pistis, primarily, "firm persuasion," a conviction based upon hearing
(b) trust-worthiness, e. g., Matt 23:23; Rom 3:3, RV, "the faithfulness of God";
Gal 5:22 (RV, "faithfulness"); Titus 2:10, "fidelity" (Vine).
2. "Faithfulness," "keeping faith, maintaining allegiance to someone or some thing;
3. One who lives consistently with that which he espouses (Eph. 4:1; Rom. 2:21-23).
4. Loyalty to God and Christ as they are loyal to us (2 Tim. 2:11-13).
5. God keeps his promise, DO WE?
1. prautees, “gentleness, humility” (Thayer). Meekness NOT Weakness!!
a. The meekness commended to the believer is the fruit of power(Vine).
b. Gentle Giants è Used of horses(Vincent).
2. Jesus was meek ( Mat. 11:29; 2 Cor. 10:1 ).
a. Yet Jesus showed himself to be the opposite of weakness(John 2:13f; Mat. 23).
b. The ultimate display (Matt. 26:53; Luke 23:34).
3. Meekness, a humility that leads to submission (Jas. 1:21; Psa. 25:9; Zeph. 2:3).
1. temperance - KJV, The ability to responsibly and deliberately control one’s self.
2. Self-control is a fruit of seeking spiritual goals, without it they are not attained.
3. We are to exercise self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Prepare for the race!
a. Good habits of spiritual exercise and diet (1 Tim. 4:7-8; Heb. 5:14).
b. He must learn to say no, to “buffet his body.” (Rom. 6:12).
c. He must be steadfast and constant (Heb. 12:1-2).
4. Who is in charge? The Lord or fleshly appetites? (Gal. 5:16; 1 Pet. 3:15).
A. IN EVERY WAR, BATTLES ARE WON AND LOST ON BOTH SIDES.
1. We must not allow the loss of a battle to stop our fighting.
2. Jesus provides cleansing (1 John 2:1-2).
3. But we must come out of the darkness into the light (1 John 1:6-7).
a. We must confess (vs. 9).
b. We must repent (Acts 8:22).
B. THE ULTIMATE VICTORY IS OURS IN CHRIST (Rom. 8:1-4).
1. We have forgiveness.
2. But there is one condition – we must
walk after the Spirit and not the flesh.