Keep in Step with the Spirit

Galatians 5:13-25

Jerry A Collins




v     What does it take to live a godly life?

v     What does it mean to walk, be led and live by the Spirit?

v     What is the contrast between deeds of flesh and fruit of HS?


On June 12, 1979, a 26 yr old made aviation history when he flew pedal power across the English Channel. Taking off from England he flew 3 hrs rarely more than 15 ft above water an d after 22 miles landed exhausted on the beaches of France. But man powered flight will never be practical. A person cannot maintain the necessary energy and stamina output for extended flights. In the same way we cannot live a godly life pedaling on our own power—ingenuity, personality, experience, education. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can consistently and successively have victory over our fleshly tendencies and grow up.  Galatians 5:13-26 explains what it takes to win this battle over our flesh and to live a godly life.


13 liberty not opportunity for flesh There is distinction between freedom to sin and freedom to serve. Our liberty in Christ does not mean we can live our lives as we choose. I cannot say that all I have to do is ask for forgiveness and it is okay. Freedom in Christ is not freedom to sin nor does it mean freedom from the consequences of sin. One extreme is legalism—the other is license. Love is the safeguard of our liberty. I now have freedom to serve others best interest knowing that God is serving mine!

14 liberty fulfills law of love The whole law can be fulfilled in one commandment Lev 19:18. Serve one another in a humble manner. So our xian liberty frees us for the slavery of mutual love. Together we can now serve each others best interests according to how God defines because we know that God will serve ours.

15 license results in fleshly sins Using our xian liberty to sin will only bring us back into bondage to our fleshly cravings. In other words, we place ourselves under bondage again to that which will only destroy us and our relationships and spiritual growth. It results in continually harming and exploiting one another. There is no love evident there. Factions, disputes are all result of looking out for our own interests instead of the interests of others. Our liberty is not to be used to serve our own interests.


Notice emphasis on life lived in HS—walk by the Spirit vs 16, led by the Spirit vs 18, live by the Spirit vs 25.

16 keeping in step with HS is only way to avoid cravings of flesh Between two extremes of legalism and license is life in the Spirit. Spirit does not automatically guide us and empower us. He must be depended upon, leaned upon and yielded to. This is how His control and influence impacts our lives. While we are never fully free in this life from the sinful desires that stem from our human nature, we do not have to capitulate to them. The Hs leads us through the Word of God. Specifically today thru the commands of Christ.

17 keeping in step necessary because of conflict of old/new Here are 2 forces at work within us. One the HS and the other our sinful nature displaying it’s influence in and thru our flesh or body. However, these forces are not equal in power. The HS is infinitely stronger and overrules our flesh and this is the only way to freedom from our fleshly, sinful passions and desires. For anyone to assert they have arrived spiritually, he must be able to demonstrate with constant proof that he is Christlike and noone can d that on their own. The godly life is being produced by means of the Hs in the midst of rebellion and conflict.

18 sanctification cannot be achieved by human effort It is faith in Christ to save me and faith in the HS to sanctify me. It is all faith and not law or works or deeds. In my flesh I serve my interests in the Spirit I serve God’s interest to serve my own interests.


Since we have same sinful nature after salvation we can fall prey to it’s influence if we fail to live by means of the Holy Spirit and there are very real consequences for this.

19-21a sins of flesh obvious This is what the sinful nature naturally produces. (1) sexual sin. Fornication, or al forms of illicit sexual relationships. Impurity and moral uncleanness. Sensuality an open and shameless display. Look at where our society is today with these. (2) Religious sins. Here we have idolatry which is determining your own view of God and then assuming that is who God is. Withcraft or sorcery is the worship of evil powers forbidden by God which is especially true of the Tribulation period 9:21; 18:23. (3) Life sins. Here are a bunch of things that pervert all our relationships and Harms people. Hatred or enmity which is basis of all personal conflict. This is basis of conflict between family feud in Middle east—Ishmael scorned and mocked Isaac’s weaning since he assumed as firstborn he had prominence. This enmity al he way down to today. Strife or discord as natural by-product of enmity. Jealousy or animosity—opposite of gratefulness. Fits of rage or outbursts that erupt due to jealousy. Disputes, dissessions and factions resulting in quarrels that hurt and divide and destroy. Envying an evil feeling due to wanting what belongs to another. Drunkenness and carousing both due to excesses resulting in shameful and embarrassing behavior. Now this list is selective or representative but not exhaustive—and things like these.

21b sinful indulgence jeopardizes inheritance We can never lose our eternal salvation in God’s presence. That was a gift. But there is major difference between entering God’s kingdom and inheriting that kingdom. I can invite you into my house but that is not the same as inheriting it. There are consequences for living in the flesh as a xian. Since we still have an old sinful nature it is possible that out lives can be characterized by some of these things and to he extent it is we will not inherit in Christ’s reign on earth and in eternity.  


22-23 fruit of the Spirit Notice contrast between deeds of flesh and fruit of Spirit. Both naturally produced. Deeds plural and can never do enough of these but fruit singular meaning it is unified in character. Love self sacrifice, joy deep rooted, peace repose in problems, patience forbearance, kindness benevolent, goodness constructive action, faithfulness reliable, gentleness consider others, self-control mastery. It takes time to produce this. Here is an understatement—no one would make laws against practicing these.

24-26 the crucified walk I was crucified when a believer. HS indwelt me so enduring power of Old nature broken. HS power greater than my flesh. May feel Old nature still has power but it has been limited by HS in my life. So vs 25 my responsibility not to fight sin but walk in HS. I am to follow His lead thru the scriptures. If I am gonig to live, I must walk! I can follow a different path vs 26 but that only leads to deeds of the flesh. I can act in sphere of my freedom like locomotive I am free to act on the tracks as fast as I wish. There is liberty there! Only alternative is flesh, sin, loss of inheritance.

(1) Godly life is dependent life.

(2) Godly life is spiritual life.

(3) Godly life is focused on other side.

(4) Godly life free to love others.