16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
There is a reason Christians still sin. Unchecked and unbridled human nature will rise up every day. Walking in the spirit means doing right before the law, not after the law.
Verse 19. The works of the flesh are evident. Those sinful dispositions of the human heart. Human fleshy desires will display themselves by our works. The greatest area of fleshly works are production in the relation to others. If we are not constantly yielding to the Spirit, we discover that there are some things in us that will make their way to the outside.
Paul lists 16 workings of the flesh and it is so interesting that the vast majority (9 of them) deal are relational works of the flesh:
3 are Sexual – Fornication (Adultery), Uncleanness, Lewdness (Unbridled Lust, Lasciviousness)
2 are Spiritual – Idolatry (worship of false gods & insatiable greed for riches), Sorcery (Witchcraft)
Anything that calls you away from God—is your god—Dr. D’Ann Johnson
2 are Behavioral – Drunkenness (intoxication), Revelry (and the like)
When we give ourselves over to alcohol it changes our thinking and when our thinking changes—our actions changes.
9 are Relational – Hatred, Contentious (quarrels, debates and wranglings), Jealousies, Wrath (passionate anger), Factions, Dissension (Division), Heresies (dissension rising from diversity of opinion), Parties, Envy (ill-will and spite), and Murder (slay or slander)
How Do I Die (Crucify) To The Flesh?
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.
Reckon yourself dead unto sin.
Reckon in this text implies a logical assessment of your position.
Do not let sin rule in your body.
Do not allow sin to have a foothold or stronghold in your body.
Yield yourself to God. Let your members be used as instruments of righteousness.
Instrument in this text implies weapon. We want to be weapons used by God, not the enemy.