March 29, 2017
Galatians 5:16, 17
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Let’s take a more intimate look at the War Within. By this I mean, not so much the ultimate outward result (as we saw in our last blog), but of the inward struggle that Paul experienced in Romans 7:14, 15, and 19:
…I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do….
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil that I will not to do,
that I practice.
That is a description of the War Within – the battle between the old and the new natures that every Christian possesses – as described in Galatians 5:16 and 17 (our featured Scripture):
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the
flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these
are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you
Here is the problem: We have two natures inhabiting our one person!
• We all have the old sinful nature! It is also called in…
✞ Jeremiah 17:9 – “…deceitful…and desperately wicked…heart….”
✞ Romans 1:21 – “…darkened…foolish heart….”
✞ Romans 1:28 – “…debased mind….”
✞ Romans 7:24 – “…this body of death….”
✞ Romans 8:3 – “…sinful flesh….”
✞ Romans 8:7 – “…carnal mind….”
✞ I Corinthians 2:14 – “…the natural man….”
✞ Ephesians 4:18 – “…darkened…understanding….”
✞ Colossians 3:9 – “…old man….”
Not a very pretty description! And what comes out of this old nature? Sin! As Paul describes it in Galatians 5:19 through 21:
Now the works of the flesh are evident…: adultery, fornication, unclean-
ness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, out-
bursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders,
drunkenness, revelries, and the like….
Seventeen manifestations of sin – and the apostle doesn’t even exhaust the list! He just concludes with “…and the like….” (See also Romans 1:28-31; 3:10-18; Ephesians 5:3, 4; Colossians 3:8, 9; II Timothy 3:2-5). Now, not everyone will be guilty of all these sins. But, humanity, taken together, will show forth them all – and then some!
Where does this old nature originate? It comes from Satan, who tempted and made fall our first parents (see Genesis 3:1-6). And if we compare our potential manifestations of sin to the devil’s characteristics, we can see why Jesus said in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.”
➘ From beginning to end, Satan wants to be God! (See Isaiah 14:12-14; II Thessalonians 2:4).
➘ John 8:44 – “…the devil…was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he stpaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
➘ John 10:10 – “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
➘ I Peter 5:8 – “…the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
➘ Revelation 12:10 – “…the accuser of our brethren…accused them before God day and night….”
There is more that could be said about the evil one, but this enough to show from whom we received our sinful nature!
This original old human nature with which everyone is born can only be in rebellion to God and commit sin! (See I Kings 8:46; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10, 23). And such rebellion and sin make us the Lord’s enemies! As it tells us in Colossians 1:21: “…you…were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works….” (See also Romans 5:10; 8:7; Ephesians 2:12, 13; Philippians 3:18). This is why Jesus said in John 3:7, “You must be born again.” (See John 3:2-8; I Peter 1:23).
• Being “…born again…born of the Spirit…” (John 3:3, 6) gives you a new nature – a Godly nature!
✞ Ezekiel 36:25, 26 – “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness, and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh.”
✞ II Corinthians 5:17 – “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
This new Godly nature cannot sin!
✞ I John 3:9 – “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
✞ I John 5:18 – “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
The only way to be born again and so receive this new Godly nature is to by faith come before Jesus Christ, confessing that you are the sinner and He is the only Savior; opening your heart to Him, and inviting Him in your life. (See Romans 10:9-13; Revelation 3:20).
And once saved, then starts the War Within! We will discuss that in the next blog.