Paul’s language in today’s passage is extremely challenging for the majority of those living today in societies similar to ours. Even believers — fellow Christians, find passages like today’s very hard to take. To say that our sinful nature wants to do evil is provocative in these ultra politically correct times. To suggest that those evil things might include everyday things as ordinary as our sexual freedom, drunkenness, envy, partying, arguing or even ambition, seems ridiculously extreme to most people these days. But I have personally experienced the results of a life lived freely indulging my own sinful nature. For me, the effects were profound. I felt lost and hopeless, I felt vulnerable and worthless, everything seemed pointless. This is why believers are always banging on about the Good News of Jesus. Jesus released the Holy Spirit who produces the life giving fruits that so many people are so desperate to find. The fruits of the spirit are what we all crave in life and they eradicate the sin and evil that have so many of us in their grip.
Galatians 5:16-26 NLT
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
There is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self control! No body will arrest you for allowing these qualities to show in your life, and everyone you know will benefit from their added presence in you. Our sinful nature will always be inside us, but with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we can make the right choices much more often. My Goal is to keep trying, everyday to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and use his gifts. Each new day I will remember to nail my passions and sinful desires to the cross again, and confess my failures again, and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness so that I might be blessed again, and led by the power and love of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 33:10-36:22, Galatians 5:13-26, Psalms 64:1-10, Proverbs 23:23