16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Live (vs. 16) = walk (NASB)
The fact that peripateo˘ (walk) is used here in the present tense indicates that Paul is speaking of continuous, regular action, in other words, a habitual way of life. And the fact that the verb is also in the imperative mood indicates he is not giving believers an option but a command. Among other things, walking implies progress, going from where one is to where he ought to be. As a believer submits to the Spirit's control, he moves forward in his spiritual life. Step by step the Spirit moves him from where he is toward where God wants him to be. So while it is the Spirit who is the source of all holy living, it is the believer who is commanded to walk.
Sinful nature = flesh
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation -- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
sexual immorality = porneia, from which is derived the English word pornography. The term has a broad meaning, referring to all illicit sexual activity-especially, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, and prostitution.
impurity = impure thoughts and actions.
Debauchery = lack of restraint. Came to be associated with sexual promiscuity.
idolatry = loving and worshiping other things besides God.
witchcraft = sorcery = pharmakeia, from which we get pharmacy and pharmaceutical. It was originally used of medicines in general but came to be used primarily of mood-and mind-altering drugs similar to those that create so much havoc in our own day. Many ancient religious ceremonies involved occultic practices in which drugs were used to induce supposed communication with deities, and pharmakeia thereby came to be closely related to witchcraft and magic. Aristotle and other ancient Greek writers used the word as a synonym for witchcraft and black magic, because drugs were so commonly used in their practice.
discord = strife among individuals, including bitter conflicts. Wrong attitudes invariably bring wrong actions.
Jealousy = coveting for oneself what belongs to someone else.
fits of rage = are sudden, unrestrained expressions of hostility toward others, often with little or no provocation or justification. It is the all-too-common sin of unbridled temper.
and the like.
"I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this (practice these things) will not inherit the kingdom of God." Vs. 21
It is the continual, habitual practice of such things that marks a person as unregenerate and therefore barred from entrance into the kingdom of God. Scripture always assesses a person's character on the basis of his common, habitual actions, not his occasional ones. People who habitually indulge in sin show themselves to be enemies of God, whereas those who habitually do good show themselves to be His children. The unregenerate person occasionally does humanly good things, and the regenerate person occasionally falls into sin. But the basic character of the unregenerate is to practice the evil deeds of the flesh and of the regenerate person to bear the good fruit of the Spirit. - John McArthur
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
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