How to Have a Spirit-Controlled Life

Galatians 5:19-23

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Galatians 5:19-23

There are many of us who are out of control and don’t even know it. Being out of control is what Scripture describes as “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). But self-control, a quality of the fruit of the Spirit, is evidence of the Holy Spirit living in us.

We do not have to be controlled by our old nature. Instead, we must learn how to have a Spirit-controlled life. The standard for a Spirit-controlled life is the law of God, expressed by our love.

Some people see the law as their enemy, which grants them a license to sin; others see it as their master, which turns into legalism. But if we see the law as our friend, we will know liberty. True freedom is found by living in the Spirit of God (see Galatians 5:1).

The desires of the flesh are strong; there is an inner struggle we will all face as we battle our flesh. We, ourselves, don’t have what it takes for victory. But our strength comes from the Spirit; when we walk in Him, we don’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh (see Galatians 5:16).

Colossians 2:6 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…”

We must be willingly led by the Spirit, one step at a time. We must make the decision to walk in the Spirit, within the Spirit, at all times.

The Christian life is a continual walk; our “footsteps” are repentance and faith. These are not things we do once in order to get saved; the step-by-step walk of repentance and faith is our daily practice.

Adrian Rogers says, “Repentance is God’s way of revealing myself to me, and faith is God’s way of revealing Jesus to me. Repentance is where I see the bankruptcy of me; faith is where I see the glory of Him.”

The longer we walk with Him, the more we will realize the Holy Spirit’s control over our lives.

Finally, we see the satisfaction of a Spirit-controlled life. Self-control is a quality of the fruit of the Spirit; fruit is meant to be consumed—to satisfy our souls’ deepest hunger; nothing but Jesus can satisfy us.

Apply it to your life

The flesh and the Spirit are warring in us right now; it is up to us. Remember: the victorious life is a walk. Step-by-step, live in repentance and faith, and you will find your strength and satisfaction in Jesus Christ.