The Christian Tension

Galatians 5:17, The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.

The Christian knows this tension well; it is our daily life. Wisdom is to discern between the two and say with Luther, “I am a sinner, and I am aware of my sin; for I have not yet put off my flesh, to which sin shall cling as long as it lives. But I will obey the Spirit rather than the flesh. That is, by faith and hope I will take hold of Christ. I will fortify myself with His Word and thus fortified I will refuse to gratify the desires of the flesh” (from Lectures on Galatians 1535, Luther’s Works 27:72). Of course, such a saying followed by action is only possible by the Holy Spirit. Thus, we ought to daily pray for the Holy Spirit as soon as we wake from sleep, that we may not quench the Spirit and instead live as He guides.

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