A believer in Jesus experiences ongoing tension between living by the Spirit and giving in to selfish desires. There are only two ways to resolve this issue. The first is to die and be with God. The second is to give up the struggle and give in to the flesh. This is the option we must avoid!
Our battle against the flesh isn’t hopeless, for we’re no longer under the authority of sin. In Romans 6, Paul explains why sin no longer has authority over us. If we’ve died with Jesus, we’ve been set free from sin (v. 7). While sin is no longer our master (v. 14), the pull to sin is real and powerful. But we don’t have to give in.
Sin once ruled over us, but in Christ we’re no longer slaves to sin. We live this life of tension between the Spirit and our former rulers, sin and the flesh. We’re to go on choosing the Spirit because we belong to Jesus now.
The second reason our battle against the flesh isn’t hopeless is that it will one day come to an end. As Paul says in Ephesians 1:13–14, the Spirit is a seal marking the fact that we belong to Christ. The Spirit is proof of our future. We know that Spirit-filled people will one day be fully transformed, with new resurrection bodies. We’ll be, once and for all, totally free from sinning.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives points to a glorious future without sin, suffering, or shame as the glorified children of God.
Adapted from Live Free: A Fresh Look at the Fruit of the Spirit by Constantine R. Campbell, © 2014 Our Daily Bread Ministries.
We all struggle with sin, but there is hope! Learn how to be free from sin’s distortion of God-given desires with wisdom from Scripture, reflection questions, and practical applications.
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