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Battling the Flesh

Martin Luther, commenting on Galatians 5:18:Monument of Martin Luther. It was the first public monument of the great reformer, designed 1821 by Johann Gottfried Schadow. Martin Luther (1483 Ð 1546) was a German monk, theologian, and church reformer. He is also considered to be the founder of Protestantism. He lived and worked many years in Wittenberg. This is monument from the 19th century on the market place in Wittenberg.

With the words “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” you can give powerful comfort to yourself and to others who are experiencing severe trials. It often happens that a man is so fiercely attacked by anger, hatred, impatience, sexual desire, mental depression, or some other desire of the flesh that he simply cannot get rid of it, no matter how much he wants to. What is he to do? Should he despair on this account? No, but he should say: “My flesh is battling and raging against the Spirit. Let it rage as long as it pleases! But you do not give in to it. Walk by the Spirit, and be led by Him, so that you do not gratify its desires. If you do this, you are free of the Law. Of course, it will accuse and frighten you; but it will do so in vain.” In such a battle of the flesh against the Spirit, therefore, there is nothing better than to have the Word in view and to draw from it the comfort of the Spirit.

Luther’s Works, volume 27 “Lectures on Galatians 1535.Chapters 5-6; 1519.Chapters 1-6” page 78, italics added

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