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. Galatians 5:17
You shouldn’t despair when you feel that the sinful nature continuously struggles against the Spirit. You shouldn’t despair if you can’t immediately force the sinful nature to be subject to the Spirit.
Don’t be surprised or frightened when you become aware of this conflict between the sinful nature and the Spirit in your body. But you should take courage when Paul says the desires of the sinful nature are contrary to the Spirit. “They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” With these words, he comforts those who are being tested. It’s as if Paul wanted to say, “It’s impossible to follow the Spirit as your leader in all situations without the sinful nature interfering. The sinful nature will get in the way so that you can’t do what you really want to do. At that point, it’s enough to resist the sinful nature so that you won’t gratify its desires. Follow the Spirit, not the sinful nature, which quickly becomes powerless because it’s so impatient. It doubts, complains, seeks revenge, hates God, fights against him, and despairs.”
If you are aware of this battle with the sinful nature, don’t lose heart, but resist in the Spirit and say, “I am a sinner and feel sinful because I am still in this body. As long as I live, sin will cling to this body, I will obey the Spirit, not the sinful nature. I will grasp Christ by faith, hope in him, and find comfort in his Word.” You won’t gratify your evil desires when you are strengthened this way.
A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist!
Martin Luther served as a catalyst of the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe. This book teaches children about his fascinating life, influence, and teaching while encouraging them to see how God uses them in His kingdom today.
Children learn the historic background to a significant time in the church. They discover that, like Martin Luther, they can learn about the reality of Christ’s life and death on their behalf, His grace and mercy, and His desire for them as baptized, redeemed children of God.