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Galatians 5:17 – Flesh driven or spirit driven?

29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans

For the flesh is lusting against the spirit, yet the spirit against the flesh. Now these are opposing one another, lest you should be doing whatever you may want.

A person is led by flesh or by spirit/Spirit. “flesh” stands for the desires (impulses, drives) that our body instills in us. “Spirit”, on the other hand, stands for the mind that directs the desires. Animals lack the ability to think and are therefore by definition governed by ‘flesh’ and ‘instinct’. Due to the lack of ‘spirit’ it has no norms or a higher purpose and therefore cannot be held accountable.

Man, however, is considered to be more and is distinguished by the ability to think and to question the meaning and purpose of things. And by the ability to put this into words. All this falls under the heading of ‘spirit’. He who is dominated by ‘flesh’ is not controlled by ‘spirit’, let alone by God’s Spirit. And vice versa: he who is controlled by ‘spirit/Spirit’ is not controlled by ‘flesh’.

There is no such thing as an autonomous will. Our will is always directed either by flesh or by spirit/Spirit. The purpose of everyone’s existence is to undergo a development from a flesh- driven to a Spirit -driven person.