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                                   SATAN
                                   EGO
                                   LOVE NOT THE WORLD
                                   FLESH

1. In Galatians 5:19-20 we learn what the "flesh" produces in and through us: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."  Pretty ugly!  Do you agree?

2. What is the "flesh" part of us that produces all of this ugliness?  The "flesh" is simply what happens when our human desires controls us.  The "flesh" is what controls us whenever we are not controlled and empowered by God's Spirit.

3. Paul puts it very simply:  "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature [flesh]." (Galatians 5:16)  If the greatest Christian who has ever lived does not rely upon God's Spirit, he or she will be controlled by his or her "flesh."

4. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ used to ask his children, "Who is in you right now?"  He was asking them if they were, at that moment, controlled by their flesh or by God's Spirit.  Can you recognize the difference between when you are controlled by your flesh or by God's Spirit?  How?

5. If you are controlled by your flesh and not by God's Spirit, what can you do to become controlled by God's Spirit?  How do these verses help you to answer this question?  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)  "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (Romans 8:5)  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-25)

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Galatians 5:22,23 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

The Way Of The Cross Studies