The Deeds of the Flesh ‘Fleshed Out'” — Sermon by Ps Jeff Crippen

The Deeds of the Flesh ‘Fleshed Out’
Sermon 8 from the series:  The Psychology and Methods of Sin
A 21 sermon series on domestic violence and abuse
First given on September 12, 2010
Sermon Text: Galatians 5:16-21

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. Galatians 5:16-21 ESV

The dynamic, the working power or principle of the New Covenant is not the keeping of the law – “do this and live” – but it is the leading of the Holy Spirit – the desires of the Spirit – in the Christian. In EVERY true Christian. Where the desires and leading of the Spirit are absent, Christ is absent and there is an unconverted heart. The life that is characterized then by the works of the flesh is a life that evidences no knowledge of Christ. “Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

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Abusers Fail the Test of Love – A Very Clarifying Fact

Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1Co 13:1-2 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Every real Christian, that is people who have truly been born again, have been taught to love one another by the Spirit of Christ in them. This is our new creation nature in Jesus. His Law is written on our hearts so that it is part of who the new man is. And this is why Jesus and Paul and other biblical authors tell us that love, the real love of Christ, is THE evidence that we know Him. Specifically, this love is love for Christ and love for Christ’s people. Certainly we show love toward unbelievers as well in various ways but the real test is a person’s response to the Lord and to His people. The “nicest” pagan to be found will eventually cease to be “nice” if pressed in regard to his thoughts on Jesus.

Paul tells the Corinthians that a person can wear the finest most convincing “holy” disguise all they like, if they do not love then they are phonies.

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