Lust and Love

August 10, 2016

Galatians 5:16-22

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For 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. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and 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. 

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Lust and Love

Lust is simply a great and strong desire or covetousness that delights and longs for something.   That could be in a positive if the object of our passion is God and the things of God, but most commonly in the Word of God it is used in the sense of coveting, desiring and longing for those things that are forbidden and contrary to God.  Here is where we see the selfishness of sinful man at work.  The flesh desires and wants what satisfies its appetites and hunger without regard of another.   It is selfish and self-indulgent without regard to the will and purpose of God.  

In verses 19-21 are given the acts which lust produces when it is unchecked and unrestrained.  It can go in every perverse and rebellious way that is counter and contrary to the nature of God.  The lust of the flesh is a god unto itself and it is subject to the slavery of darkness and sin.  Its mastery and dominion is that of the evil one.  

Love, on the other hand, stands diametrically opposed to the lust of the flesh because it stands for all that the flesh is not.  Love, by its very nature, is focused on another’s benefit and not on its own.   Because it lives not for its own, it doesn’t seek its own interest and desires, but is attentive unto the needs of those who are the objects of its love.  When we come to God through Christ, we cease to be the center of our world and what we want becomes secondary to what God wants.  He becomes the object of our desire and our desire is to do what is pleasing unto Him. We in turn learn of God’s great love for humanity and so we also learn to love our neighbor, as we love ourselves, caring about others as we would for our own needs.  

Do we still war with those passions and lust of the flesh when we come to Christ?  Yes, we do.  The difference is that now we have become identified with Christ.  We are identified with Him in the death to sin on the cross where we now place those passions and lusts that are contrary to God.  We put them to death there and as we die we also experience a resurrection into the new life and nature of God which is love.  As we walk in that love we experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  We experience this as we live out of the Spirit of God allowing Him to now order and control our lives.  It is not a place that God forces us to walk in, but if we want to live by the Spirit and not in the flesh then it is imperative that we maintain this intimate relationship with Christ.  It is only in that place of relationship and focus that we walk by the Spirit, so that we no longer fulfill the lust of our flesh.  We now covet Christ, all that He is and all that He wants to be in us.  Love is the atmosphere in which the Spirit of God dwells.  When we walk in the Spirit we will walk in the love of God.  We will want to oppose and resist all that would influence us away from that love or that would resist the Holy Spirit.  There are many times we have all missed the mark, but the blood of Jesus cleanses us of our sins as we confess them before Him so that we can come again into His fellowship. Our desire, our lust of the spirit, is to maintain a life in the Spirit where we walk in step with the Spirit in the ways that are pleasing unto Him.

Blessings,

#kent

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