I love the Bible. I lived a horrible life while believing all kinds of un-Biblical doctrines and “gospels” until I started seeking God through His Word. Through the Word, I saw the purpose of Christ’s death; not just what He did but the purpose, which is more than to die for sins. I saw the purpose of my life as desired by God for me to obtain through Him. I saw the lies that I had been fed, along with a multitude of unaware people today. I have sought out to make known what Scripture says rather than mans doctrines and theologies.

It’s happened, on so many occasions, that I’ve been talking to people, and they say something that is absolutely un-Biblical and dangerous. I show them Scripture to let them see the truth about what the Bible says and they say to me, “I’m led by the Spirit”.

There’s a common doctrine today that says, all one needs - is to be led by the Spirit and you don’t really have to listen to the Bible; you don’t really need the Bible. This might be true in a country that don’t have the Bible, but only to an extent. The reason why we have pastors in those countries is two fold: lead the lost to God and guide those who come on a walk desired by God. It’s believed that the gentiles did not have Scripture. This is a very uneducated and horrible assumption. Scripture was constantly being copied and distributed within their books. Besides references to people, places, and events from the Old Testament, Paul quotes or paraphrases the Old Testament 183 times in his letters: Romans - 84 times; Hebrews 83 times; 1 Corinthians (26); 2 Corinthians (18); Galatians (14); Ephesians (12); Philippians (6); Colossians (3); 1 Thessalonians (1); 2 Thessalonians (7); 1 Timothy (4) and 2 Timothy (9). The only letters which Paul did not use Old Testament Scripture is in his two shortest letters: Titus and Philemon.

It's obvious from these figures that Paul used the Hebrew Scriptures to teach new convert gentiles the will of God.

We have to be so careful not to come to poor, un-Biblical, assumptions.

What does the Bible say on the subject of being led by the Spirit of God? There are two passages of Scripture that talks about being led by the Spirit. We are going to concentrate on these to passages; then, in the next video, we are going to look at other passages of what the Spirit does for us, in our lives. I would encourage you to have a pen and paper handy because we’ll be putting Scripture references on the screen. I would encourage you to write these down, look them up in the Bible, and examine whether or not I’m telling you the truth of what is written.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God
(Romans 8:14 NKJV)

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law
(Galatians 5:18 NKJV)

One of the worse things we can do, in interpreting Scripture, is to read the letters in the same manner as Proverbs; yet this is what is happening all across the church landscape today and it’s created many un-Biblical beliefs and practices. The letters were written to a specific church that was facing specific issues in a time that is different than ours. These letters are not there to answer our questions, they were written to answer their questions. Therefore, we must look at these letters in the context they were written and see what they are saying to them. Then we take the truth, within its context, and bring it across to our time and culture and apply it to our lives.

We have a portion of Scripture from a letter written by Paul to the church in Rome and a letter to the church in Galatia. Let’s put these passages back into the context of the letter and see what Paul was saying. Let’s start with his letter to the Romans.

Chapter 8 starts with the connector “therefore”, thus, we want to back up a little and see what he is basing his conclusion off of. When we back up a few verses, into chapter 7, Paul is talking about the Law, the Ten Commandments in this case because he’s talking about how the Law shows the evil that is present in us (7:21). He says that, as Christians, we delight in the Law according to our inner man (7:22), but our outward man, the flesh, brings us into captivity of the Law (7:23); because the flesh wants to do that which is against the Law (7:13-20)

Then, in chapter 8, Paul starts a conclusion to this thought - “THEREFORE” - there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. (8:1) He then tells us who those who are in Christ are: those who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (8:1). The Spirit of Life in Christ has made us free from the Law of sin and death (8:2). This is often pulled from context and people say, “I’m free from the Law” but what we see Paul saying is that we don’t walk, in practice, of sin, which is defined by the Law, but according to the will of the Father; which is a following of the Spirit. If we do not practice the ways of the flesh, we are THEN not under the Law. Paul then continues to show that because we are sinful, and we continue to fall into the Law, the flesh could not keep the Law, because of our weakness, God sent Christ who did keep the Law so that the righteous requirement of the Law will be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but rather by the Spirit of God (8:3-4). All the way up to verse 14, Paul continues to throw the comparison of how we are not to walk by the flesh but rather by the Spirit. He then says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”.

It’s obvious that Paul is not talking about a leading of the Spirit that teaches us doctrines of God, but rather to avoid sinning. Those who do not avoid sinning are living by the flesh and are not being led by the Spirit.

Another point to look at when studying Scripture is to get to know the author. A good way to understand what the author is saying is to look at the manner which the author speaks, or writes, terms used, statements made, and the likes. This can be accomplished by looking elsewhere in the document or by looking at other documents which the author wrote, especially based on the same subject. Fortunately, Paul had to make the same address to the church in Galatia so let’s look at this passage now.

The portion we are looking at is in Galatians chapter 5, verse 18, and it says:

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law
(Galatians 5:18 NKJV)

Look for what the Word says. How many times have you told your child to do something and you hear, “yeah, BUT...” You roll your eyes and say, “but nothin, do what I told you to do”. In this passage, we see the word “but”. But’s are very important. They are conjunctions and we need to find out what the author is “butting”.

Several verses back, Paul is talking about how love fulfills the Law, we get to verse 16 and Paul says:

I say then:Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh
(Galatians 5:16 NKJV)

Isn’t that exactly what we were seeing in Romans?

Ok, so we took the only two verses in the Bible that says to be led by the Spirit, and we put them back into the context of the letters written by Paul to two specific churches facing a sin issue within the church. Paul is making clear that we have a choice of walking by the flesh or walking by the Spirit. Therefore, we need to be led by the Spirit; because, when...

you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His
(Romans 8:9 NKJV)

How do we know if we walk by the flesh or by the Spirit? How do we know if the Spirit of God leads us or if we are led by the flesh? This is key, because we are being told that if we are not led by the Spirit, the Spirit is not in us; and if the Spirit is not in us, we are not God’s.

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul continues to give a list of examples of what a walk by the flesh looks like and what a leading of the Spirit looks like. Because of what we are reading, you really need to be honest in examining yourselves.

When interpreting Scripture, we need to find the timeless truths that pass from their time and culture to our time and culture. So, what are the timeless truths in these two letters? And, let’s pass those timeless truths to the contemporary church.

There’s a church - Paul is talking to, and warning, a church.
There’s temptation - We have these memories and temptations that pop up in our flesh.
There’s the avoiding a living by the flesh - though we face temptations and desires of the flesh, we are to avoid practicing those desires or the Spirit of God is not in us.
There’s living by the Spirit - We are to live according to the will of the Spirit of God.
There’s those who are Gods - If we do not live by the Spirit of God and live by the flesh, we are not God’s; which is to say, we are not living a life of salvation.

Let’s take these timeless truths and apply them to the characteristics, which Paul listed, of living by the flesh and living by the Spirit.

We can be going to church, and think we are saved, but if a person is living in adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness; which would be living with and/or having sexual relations with one they are not married to, sleeping around, engaged with porn (even if it’s low level porn like sex toy sales, etc), having un-natural sex acts (even with a spouse), that is living by the flesh. If a person is an idolator, this is ANYTHING that one may do that gets in the way of the seeking after and service to God. Paul warned that even the fact that we would eat, drink, and play, is idolatry. If a person is practicing in sorcery, which comes from the Greek word pharmaka and means drug use. If a person is going to church and thinks they are saved but has hate within their heart, contentions, jealousies, and outbursts of wrath, there is a serious condition of living by the flesh that needs to be taken into control. If the thing a person is doing is for selfish ambitions, maybe so they could get praise and a pat on the back, or maybe for financial gain, there is a problem. If a person is having a disagreements that lead to discord and as a whole of this document we are seeing un-forgiveness, if they are purposely teaching false doctrine they are living by the flesh. If a person goes to church yet has envy against his brother, if they have dealt in murder and practice in drunkenness, and loud parties; if they practice any of these things, even though they are a part of the church, they are living by the flesh and not by the Spirit of God. Then Paul makes clear that this list is non-inclusive.

It’s time to examine our lives. Do we practice any of these things? If so, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Now, understand, Paul is writing this as a warning to a church who thought they were right with God.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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
(Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)

What does Paul say about the characteristics of living by the Spirit?

If one is going to church, and they believe they are saved and they show love to all, even those who hate and do wrong to us, they are good. If they have constant joy and peace, along with patience in spite of troubles, kindness and goodness towards others, faithful in his life towards their service to God, having a mild temperament or behavior, and self-control, these are those who live by the Spirit of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 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
(Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV)

What are these portions of text NOT saying? They are not saying that we continue in our sinful flesh until the Spirit convicts us. They are not saying that it’s the Spirit’s job to take this away. The verb used is if we live by which is an active verb - this is a choice and action that we must make. These passages are not saying that the Spirit will lead us to new doctrine that is contrary to Scripture. These passages are not even saying the Spirit will teach us doctrine. What these passages are saying is that if we live by the Spirit, we will not satisfy the desires of the flesh; then it gives us that list. What these passages are saying is that if we live by these things that are of the flesh, we do not have the Spirit and are not of God.

Look at these facts, we then understand that there are very few, in the church, who are actually living by the Spirit of God; even though they claim they are. This is partially because of a lack luster gospel that is being taught today; which fulfills the warnings given to us in Revelation. And, the church has fulfilled that which was warned about by Paul in that:

men have become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self- control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power
(2 Timothy 3:2-5 NKJV)

Prophecy is fulfilled and we need to wake up and stop following false doctrine that is deceptive to lead us to a life of living after the flesh rather than living by the Spirit of God.