The Apostle Paul penned the following words in the first century. These words have been passed down to us in the Holy Scriptures better known as the Bible.
In Galatians 5:16-25 Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote, So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you wont be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirits leading in every part of our lives.
Since the true Christian has the Holy Spirit operating within them, the Holy Spirit should be leading the Christians body to live in a holy manner before the Lord and others. The Holy Spirit causes the mind and will of the Christian to think and willfully act in a holy manner. The Holy Spirit desires to feed on the Word of God. The Word is Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the inner spirit of the Christian, and so the Christian person should be obedient to Gods Word because the Spirit that is within is leading the Christian to obey the Lord and His Word.
With this being said, its time for people who are unwilling to live according to Scripture to quit declaring themselves to be Christians. Its true that Christians sin, but to declare yourself a Christian when you are totally disobedient to the Scripture is an outright lie.
Romans 8:9 says, But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)
Its time for people who claim to be Christian to check the spirit that is leading their life. Are you led by the Holy Spirit of God or the natural sinful spirit of man? The Apostle Paul explains the difference. I pray you will see clearly what the Scripture has to say.
Pastor Thomas R. Swain
First Church of God