A Study in Galatians
Lesson #8 The War Within (Galatians 5:16-25)
In this passage Paul discusses a serious battle that every saved person must fight. It is the battle between the new man on the inside that is created as a result of salvation (Colossians 3:10) and the flesh or the old man as it is called in Ephesians 4:22. The new man on the inside desires to serve God but the flesh lusteth against it in order to produce its own works.
In this lesson we will look at the reason for this struggle, the fruits of this struggle, and what determines which part of us will win the battle, the new man or the old man.
The warfare inside of us:
When someone is saved today in the Church Age there is a new creature that is created inside them (Colossians 3:10). This is why we are said to be a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new man as the Bible calls it in Ephesians 4:22 has new desires that are contrary to the desires of or flesh. Therefore as a result of this new man and its new desires a warfare is begun the day that you are saved and does not end until death or the rapture.
Paul is often referred to as one of the greatest Christians in the New Testament and he possessed this same warfare in himself. Note his description of this in Romans 7:15-25. If Paul had to face this battle then we can rest assured we will face it as well. But this shows us that we are in good company.
The Fruit of this battle:
The problem with this battle is that one of the parts always wins and with the win usually there will be some fruit produced as a result. In our passage we see these as works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) these are things that come from feeding the flesh and letting it have control, and fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). These come from walking in the Spirit.
Which part of us wins the battle?
To answer this in a simply way the part we feed the most will win. If we feed the old man more than the new man it will grow stronger and eventually win out producing the works of the flesh. If we feed the new man then it will grow stronger and eventually win producing the fruit of the Spirit. The question for saved people then becomes, how do we feed the new man so that it can daily win the battle?
Feeding the New Man:
1) We must spend time in the word of God (Matthew 4:4)
- This is the greatest source of our strength.
2) We must be led by the spirit (Galatians 5:18)
- Through prayer and the word of God we can began to identify the Holy Spirit and his leading so that we can follow him.
3) Live in the Spirit (Galatians 5:24-25)
- Through the word of God, prayer, and the leadership of the Holy Spirit we can start to do what verse 24 says, “Crucify the affections and lust of the flesh”.
- This will not be easy but it can be done.
- This enables us to live in the spirit as it says in verse 25.
This battle is not easy and some days we win while other days we lose, but the key is to stay in the battle remember the example that Paul gave. One day we will be delivered from this battle and have the ultimate victory.
A Study in Galatians
Lesson #8 The War Within (Galatians 5:16-25) : Handout
1) What is the battle that we see in the passage for this study?
2) Why does this battle reside within us?
3) Who is a good example regrading this battle? Give a reference.
4) What are the fruits of this battle?
5) What determines which part of us wins this battle?
6) How can we feed the new man so that he can win the battle?