< Galatians 5:16-26 >
�I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.?/b>
Lusts of the Flesh
Paul mentioned about what the works of the flesh are in Galatians chapter 5, verses 19 to 21, saying, �Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.?On the other hand, he mentioned about the fruit of the Spirit starting from Galatians chapter 5 verse 22, �But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.?/i>
I would like to explain these more by comparing them. Let�s take a look at the fruit of the Spirit first. In Galatians chapter 5 verses 22 and 23, it is written, �But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.?
The first fruit of the Spirit is love. This �love?is the love of God, not of man. First, the love of God means His love for all humanity. There is a beautiful aspect even in human love, but it is just like a sugarcoating. Sugarcoating can deceive people temporarily, but it doesn�t change its inner content better or make things better.
The love of God makes sinners receive the remission of sins before God, and lets them go to Heaven, and makes them share the love with each other and God. This is true love. Therefore, the utmost love for man is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to other people and let them receive the remission of sins. And as being the righteous people, let them enjoy the joy together by communicating with each other their faith. We must love the people in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the gospel of the Truth.
Then, what are the works of the flesh according to today�s Scripture passage? It is written that those are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, and envy. It is really contrary to love, joy, and peace, which are the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh always accompany idolatry, sorcery, and hatred. One of the works of the flesh, sorcery, means to �use seemingly supernatural power over others through the assistance of evil spirits.?It is harassing others with evil tricks and making other people have troubles in their minds. Hatred means to make people kill each other by making enemies, and not sharing each other�s pleasures.
The lusts of the flesh that men have are making people fight with selfish ambitions, be jealous, have outbursts with wrath, divide the sides, and become enemies of God. Dissension means to separate from each other because of a difference in opinion. They try to separate their faith from the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit because they want to preach other gospels. They try to disturb the gospel of the water and the Spirit as much as they can. Why do they behave like this? It is all because they are seeking their own glory and satisfaction. Man�s false lusts are like this.
And the lusts of the flesh contain heresies, envy, and drunkenness. The heretics are those who go against the will of God by following the lusts of their flesh. King Jeroboam was one of God�s people, but he became wrong and committed a grave sin of perverting the Law of God when he followed the lusts of his flesh. The Bible tells that drunkenness and revelries are of the lusts of the flesh as well.
Desires of the Spirit
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is there anything bad among these fruits of the Spirit? None. Don�t you wish to bear these fruits of the Spirit? Do you want to have these fruits of the Spirit, or not? We want to have these fruits. We, the born-again of water and the Spirit, wish to be led by the Holy Spirit. If we want to be led by the Holy Spirit, we have to convey the gospel of the water and the Spirit by standing in front, serve this true gospel, serve the Lord who gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and follow the Great Commission of God. People who follow like this bear the fruits such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
People, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, love the souls of other people. And they want to share the happiness of their being saved and be peaceful with each other. We the born-again want to be friendly with each other and not make enemies.
The Apostle Paul admonished us to walk in the desires of the Spirit. Walking in the desires of the Spirit means to ceaselessly do the works that will please God after receiving the salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The works that God is pleased with are to believe, to follow, and to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in the hearts of only those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Doesn�t one who received the remission of sins have the lusts of the flesh? The Apostle Paul said, �The works of the flesh are evident,? (Galatians 5:19). It doesn�t mean that the righteous do not have the lusts of the flesh. But, the righteous live different lives from sinners because they exclude these lusts and walk in the Spirit by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The righteous want to do the works that pleases God, believe that His Word is right, and support the work of preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the commandment of God. Therefore, they are fulfilling love as a result. People who are saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit serve the gospel, become peaceful with others, have self-control, have longsuffering, become kind, and do good in everything to share the pleasure that is beyond description. If we do not walk in the Spirit, the works of the flesh become more evident. If we, the born-again, remove the desires of the Spirit from us, we cannot but do 100% of the works of the flesh. It is not the case that someone does or doesn�t do the works of the flesh because his self-control is weak or strong inherently. If we do not serve the Lord as our King, but we serve and follow our lusts as kings, we would do the works of the flesh 100%. Then, there are no fruits of the Spirit in such a life.
We are very deficient physically. But we would like to do the works that the Lord is pleased with by being led by the Holy Spirit. Even if we are insufficient, the Lord reveals His love though us when we devote ourselves to Him. Hence, we can take part in this most precious task of sharing the God-given joy. People who have received the remission of sins come to share the pleasure, happiness, and joy. They also have mercy on others, and they bear afflictions with longsuffering. These are borne by the Holy Spirit to the born-again naturally, for they are the fruits of the Spirit. We want to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to each and every one throughout the world as the Lord has commended by having mercy on them. We come to bear these fruits led by the Holy Spirit. We do not and cannot bear these fruits by ourselves. It is possible to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit only when we follow the Holy Spirit, His desires, and the will of God.
We Have to Stay away from These People
The Apostle Paul prohibited the circumcisionists from spreading their faith, saying, �Throw away the wrong things by your selves. And follow the desires of the Holy Spirit. And those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Therefore, let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Don�t fight each other for useless glory. Don�t try to exalt yourselves. Walk in the Holy Spirit. Follow the will of the Holy Spirit. Follow the will of God. Even if you are deficient, you have to live like that.?You and I also have to be like this.
We have to deduce a lesson of how erroneous the faith of those who claim to receive the remission of sins through the prayers of repentance is by examining how wrong the faith of the circumcisionists mentioned in Galatians was. The lesson we can find from the Book of Galatians is that it is somehow possible for us to become the people like the circumcisionists, if we follow the lusts of the flesh. But, if we follow the desires of the Holy Spirit, we can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit due to the help of the Lord and the Holy Spirit, even if we are that deficient. It is possible if we just walk in the Spirit.
If we wish to follow the desires of the Spirit, we have to crucify our passions and desires onto the Cross. My fellow believers, did you crucify your passions and desires together with Jesus when He was crucified? We also have died with Jesus at that time. Although you may deny it, it is a fact that you have already died. As the Lord saved us by taking our sins through the baptism and died on the Cross and rose again from the dead, our old lives have already been crucified to death. Whether we believe it or not, the Lord already has killed our passions and desires in our flesh. And the Lord brought us to life again. He did not bring our physical bodies back to life, but He has revived our souls in His love of Truth. Now, the most important thing is whether you accept it or not. As we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith, it is important to accept the faith that our old selves have died with Jesus Christ and revived with Him. Those who accept this can truly live prudently, wisely and righteously before God by walking in the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, do you believe that our old selves have been crucified with Christ and our souls rose again from the dead with Him? The death of our old selves means that our passions and desires of the flesh have died with Jesus Christ. And the new passions have arisen. That is of God�s love and salvation of truth, and of the desires of the Holy Spirit that wish to bear the spiritual fruits. The highest peak among the desires of the Holy Spirit is to testify the love of God to others by serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I hope for us to live with that faith. We can realize that we truly have new desires in our hearts, and that is none other than the desires of the Holy Spirit.
We who have been born by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must live by faith. I am really happy to live by the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I really thank the Lord for allowing us to live this kind of life. All our co-workers and brothers and sisters at home and abroad might think the same way.
Not only are the circumcisionists mentioned in Galatians wrong, but today�s Christians are also wrong because they preach the works of the flesh, saying that one should offer prayers of repentance to receive the remission of sins. It was the most miserable incident in the early churches that the cicumcisionists added the law of circumcision and the statutes of the Sabbath, aside from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Through that serious matter, the Early Churches had left no trace behind them in Christian history. The same could happen to us. If we do not stand for the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will be like the circumcisionists and follow the passions and lusts of the flesh.
Therefore, we now must have new desires that are from the Holy Spirit. That is the holy greed. We must be delighted at the things that please God, and we have to keep the Great Commission of God that ordered us to preach the gospel all over the world. The Lord said, �Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age?(Matthew 28:19-20). So, we will preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit by following His will. I believe that it is right for us to live like that. I believe that it is right for us to work for God, serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and preach this true gospel all over the world. I believe that a life living for the desires of the Holy Spirit is a true and proper life for all of us.
God has given us new spiritual desires. We have to live this world with these desires and passions of love. We have to live like that. We have to end our lives like that. The Bible states that it is appointed for men to die once, but after this, the judgment awaits (Hebrews 9:27). We wish to hear from the Lord when He returns, �Well done, you good and faithful servant.?
God said that the people who do not serve the gospel and live following their lusts of the flesh, even after receiving the salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are more wicked than those who have not received the remission of sins yet. They will receive a more furious condemnation from God. That is why we have to keep in mind about Paul�s admonishment that we have to walk in the Holy Spirit.
If you are young, the lusts of the flesh will arise in accordance with your age, and if you are old enough, the lusts of the flesh will arise in accordance with that age. At that time, you have to think first of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the most blessed life. We should have the desires of the Holy Spirit and live by them. The Lord said, �But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you?(Matthew 6:33). If we seek His righteousness, the Lord will fill the rest. We believe that the Lord will provide our physical needs in accordance with our needs. My fellow believers, do you agree, or not?
We have to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit everyday. If we are not faithful to this mission, there is no way for the people in the world to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There are so many Christians who tend to go wrong because of their ignorance of the Bible. This is why we have to spread this gospel until the day we die.
We are updating our web site frequently. We just posted our 15th electronic book in English. For the first time, the number of today�s visitors of the homepage hit a new high, over 4,800 a day. Maybe within a week or two weeks, the homepage visitors will be more than 5,000 people a day. The number of visitors is increasing because we have been posting our new e-books constantly. Don�t you agree that people who visit stores only go when there is something to buy? Let�s say that you build up a huge store and advertise a lot but you do not prepare the quality products. Then people won�t visit that store again and a rumor will get started that the store is poor and the customers will be decreased. When a person visits the store and there is nothing to buy, that person will be disappointed and he won�t visit there anymore. But if the store keeps on preparing new, fresh, and various products, there will be a lot of visitors who have heard the news about that store from other people.
We, who serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are the people who are following the desires of the Spirit. That is why I give thanks to God. I cannot express how thankful I am to God. I never stop the work that I am doing, even if I am not feeling well and it is hard for me. I want to do God�s work until my last breath, and I want to finish the works entrusted to me because I want the work of God not to be troubled because of me. I cannot just give up this precious work that God entrusted to me.
Now, many people from various countries write us letters of thanks everyday. They say how they dropped by our web site, came to get our books, and have been born again in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We cannot but rely on our literature ministry because we cannot meet them face-to-face. Therefore, we have to write in detail about all the possible things of the realm of faith that can happen to them in body and spirit, and we have to resolve their problems with the genuine Truth. So, we come to publish these books on Galatians as the volumes of my spiritual growth series.
If the readers of my books realize like this through the books on Galatians, it is successful: �I just thought that people who advocated the prayers of repentance were wrong and their faith was a little different from my faith. But, I now come to know that their faith is that of Satan and is greatly different from the true faith that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.? They can convey the gospel of the water and the Spirit only when they realize this fact. If then, don�t you think that new desires of the Holy Spirit will arise in them? It is a very nice thing that the desires of God are arising in their minds. Very good desires will arise in their minds, such as the desire to preach the gospel, to profess the testimony of faith, and to share fellowship with other righteous people. If these desires of the Holy Spirit arise in their hearts, we are so happy to serve this gospel of the water and the Spirit with them.
Then, how do we have to live now? My fellow believers, didn�t the exact answer already come out to the question of how we should live? We have to live following the desires of the Holy Spirit. That is the most joyful and best way to live our lives.
My friends, our country is in great disaster now. For the first time in 100 years, our country became messy because it snowed in March heavily. There were some people who even gave up their lives because they could not do anything for the natural disasters and they became sad and hardened their minds. Yesterday, our government proclaimed some regions as the special natural disaster district. Let us assume that we were on the way somewhere by car. And let us imagine that we were trapped inside the car on the highway for 24 hours without anything to eat because of the heavy snow. That would be a disaster. Being damaged without any possible escape is a natural disaster.
We know such disasters are happening all over the world. In fact, it is time to awake from our sleep. At this age, it is time for the people who fell asleep to wake up. We do not know how many fearful events will happen. We could get a shock if we were attacked by such disasters without being aware of them.
We will go before God soon. Therefore, I wish for us, the last runners, to reach the goal gloriously by trying a bit harder. Now, the finish line of our race is near. If you think, �I will go after playing a bit more and engage in merrymaking, hold a drinking bout, and commit some more sins,?then you will be destroyed in body and spirit eternally when the Lord comes again and the world is destroyed. You should not be abandoned by doing this. Rather, you have to prepare your faith for the last days. You should not end your lives indulging in the world. Instead, you have to devote yourselves to the righteousness of God. If we live indulging in the world, we will abandon the Lord even if He does not abandon us. So, don�t be tainted with sins by degrading your minds and abandoning the Lord. I wish for you to live following the desires of the Holy Spirit with clear and pure faith.
My fellow believers, there are many people who cannot return to the church of God after they leave once. They cannot return because they love the world. They cannot come back to the pure church because their minds are stained with lots of dirt. You also have to know these things. Before you actually experience such a tragedy, you have to take heed of it. We have to take as a great lesson watching many righteous people dying because they followed their lusts in flesh.
Therefore, we should not envy each other and seek futile glory. Why do people seek useless glory? It is because they cannot throw their lusts and greed in flesh away, and they do not want to live according to the desires of the Holy Spirit. God has told us everything: �You should live by the faith that believes in the Word that you have heard. And you have to put your faith into action in obedience to the Word.?
Now, you cannot say that you couldn�t follow the will of the Lord because you are not aware of it in God�s Church. God�s Church has a history of more than 2,000 years of faith, starting from the Early Church age, in a spiritual viewpoint. It is okay if you just follow the desires of the Holy Spirit in union with the servants of God and the forerunners of faith. To do so, you have to repeatedly listen to the Word of God, strengthen your faith with His Word, act with the faith, and put your faith into action in obedience to the Word.
And you should not fight each other or seek futile glory. What is seeking futile glory? It is trying to exalt oneself. Why did the circumcisionists advocate physical circumcision in the early churches? They insisted obstinately in their minds, �We are all people who received the salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, there is only one way for me to be in a higher position than you. As I see you, you do not know about the circumcision well. Maybe you do not know that you can be the descendants of Abraham and the people of God only when you receive physical circumcision.?By saying this, they show the sign of circumcision and say, �Have you received circumcision? Oh, you didn�t yet. Receive the circumcision. If you receive it now, you are my junior. I mean you are under me.?They did this to exalt themselves because they couldn�t throw away their lusts of the flesh.
What is the use of exalting oneself without throwing away one�s lusts of the flesh? The more you become exalted, the more you have to serve others. My fellow believers, is it true, or not? That is why some people say this: �I like being a lay believer.? Why? It is because such a person does not want to serve, and because he comes to know that lay believers are not rebuked much even if they do not serve well. The servants of God do not rebuke lay believers much. But they sometimes rebuke the workers of God severely, because the workers are more responsible for His works. Therefore, some people say they prefer being lay believers. However, that is a misunderstanding. Whoever has been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has to serve God and the true gospel. There is no distinction of position in doing the works of God. Now is the time when the lay believers and the workers, all of them, have to serve the gospel as the workers of God. It is an utter misunderstanding if one believes that a lay believer can have his spiritual life as he wishes. The born again righteous people are to serve the gospel with their whole strength, no matter what position they are in.
Perhaps, a lay believer might suffer more difficulties. They have to do well in the church and also in the world, because they do not live absolutely for the gospel or for the world. It might be harder for lay believers because they have to do well in both areas. It might be easier for those who are faithful only in one part, for it�s okay if they are recognized, praised, and blessed in that area.
By the way, everyone has to be God�s servant in his mind. Even though we are the children of God, we have to live our lives as His servants. We, who are born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, live faithfully with the faith of God�s workers. Remain in the firm belief and live a spiritual life by following the desires of the Holy Spirit. Living that way is the most blessed way for us. That is the purest faith.