Spirit and Flesh

America is called “the land of the free” and most people would agree that there is probably no other
country where personal freedom is so readily available. But where do we draw that line between
personal freedom and self-control? Read what Paul said in his letter to the Galatians: “you, my brothers
and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.” Galatians 5:13.
You see, there are two forces at work in humanity: spirit and flesh. One or the other is going to rule
how a person thinks and lives. Non-religious, humanists ignore the spiritual part of the world and want
to deal only with the flesh. History has shown us…and it is very evident in the present…that the “flesh” is
never satisfied; it has an un-ending appetite for “more”. Self control gives way to indulgence quickly.
Therefore, when we design culture and society by fleshly wants and desire…without the control of the
spiritual part of us…things can get ridiculously out of hand.
Just think about it for a minute. The American culture was driven largely by laws that called for self
control as taught from the Bible. No premarital sex, no drugs, marriage only between one man and one
woman, no abortion, and modesty, among other things. (The only downside to that was the man-made
rules and traditions of Christianity that were driven, ironically, by the flesh.) Then came the “free love”
movement of the hippies (I was one). Who, they asked, had authority to tell us to control our lusts?
When that mindset became the norm, it was quickly followed, in the late 60’s, by the cry for homosexual
normality. Who has the right to tell us to control our sexuality? That led to the “right” to controls our
bodies through abortion. Then same-sex marriage. And who can deny that those “freedoms” threw us
into the land of transsexual euphoria. Don’t think it can’t get any crazier, because it can.
What Paul was telling the church in Galatia really applies to the whole of mankind. The Spirt of God
truly gives humans a freedom from the constraints of useless tradition and bad theology, but it mustn’t
be misconstrued as doing away with the spiritual morality and mindset that comes from our Maker.
God created the world with order, not the chaos of human fleshly desires, and maintains that order by
revealing His purpose and character.
So, that’s the battle. Will this nation become a culture of un-inhibited self-indulgence? Or will we see
where that is leading us and get back to a more civilized era of self-control as set forth by Christian
principles? Spirit or flesh…those are our only choices.
Say good things about your Savior and His church.
Bro. Tony