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Can Anyone Get to Heaven?

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

See Galatians 5:19-21. These are troubling verses. It might be concluded that everyone has committed at least one of these sins. If so, does this teach that we cannot go to Heaven? Does it teach saved people who are guilty cannot reign in the Millennium Age? If so, what happens to them? Moses killed and David was conspiracy to murder. David coveted and committed adultery. Moses became angry at times. Lot and Noah got drunk. Galatians 6:1 says to restore a fallen brother and this comes just after these problem verses. Discuss and come to a conclusion as to the teachings of these verses.

If we "walk in the Spirit," we draw our daily life from the power of Christ and display the fruit of the Spirit. This sets us free from the power of sin and enables us to show the world an outward expression of our new inward self. The flesh has been "crucified" with Christ, an event symbolized by our water baptism, the outward confession of this new transition in our lives. The power of the Spirit enables us to walk in the fruit of the Spirit in our daily dealings with others and to overcome the "passions and desires" (v24) of the flesh.

The Greek word for "walk" (stoicheo) is a military term for marching in battle order or walking in a straight line. We are to keep in step with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish our life in the Spirit and to allow Christ to live in us. This is the conflict with the flesh, for while we march in a straight line, the flesh and sin are continually attempting to push us aside and out of line. The believer recognizes when he is off the path and will seek God’s forgiveness. The unbeliever enjoys walking off the path and will continually be seeking sin (5:19-21). This group will not inherit the kingdom.

The last verse of chapter 5 goes better, perhaps, either in its own paragraph or as the lead sentence of the paragraph the KJV starts with 6:1. We who are new creations in Christ are not to seek our glory or be self-conceited. This will lead to envying and provocation within the church. Jealousy is a powerful emotion that will lead to deeper sins. Jealousy is rooted in pride, the base of sin. "Provoking one anther" is putting jealousy into action. Such actions toward others, especially other Christians, are not part of the life of faith or the walk in the Holy Spirit. 

When we come to Galatians 6:1 we come to the issues referred to in the lives of Moses, David, Lot and Noah. These brethren were "overtaken" in sin. The temptations seized them unexpectedly, just as temptations seize each one of us. This is the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. These men were not living in "works of the flesh" but rather fell from the "walk of the Spirit." They lost their path. This shows the importance of Paul’s admonition in 6:1. When a man is caught in such a "fault" or sin, it is up to those "which are spiritual" to help mend this broken soul. The word "fault" means "to stumble." It may not refer to a great sin but to an awful blunder. Either way, the fault needs mending.

This verse does not create a group of "super Christians." Paul sees those "which are spiritual" as believers who at that time are "walking by the Spirit" and "living by the Spirit" (5:16, 25), thus, who are exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (5:2223). This group is to "restore" the one who has fallen. This was the task of Nathan with David after his fall with Bathsheba. The task is not a one time event, but continual, ongoing support until the fallen believer is restored to full fellowship and has overcome his sin. The length of such support will vary a great deal from one situation to the next.

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December 8, 2021

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