Let’s address your second question first. In Galatians 5:16 we read, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (NKJV). This teaches us that “it is NOT possible to be lustful and still be in one accord with the Holy Spirit.” If we are “walking in the Spirit” we are yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control over us and He will keep us from yielding to any desires of the flesh (the old, sinful nature in us…see Romans 7:13-20). In other words, the indwelling Spirit is the power that can prevent us from succumbing to the temptations the world has to offer us. How does He do this?  He occupies us with our blessed Lord and Savior through the Word of God instead of our flesh occupying us with the things of the world. Jesus taught us this in John 16:13-14, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He WILL GLORIFY ME, FOR HE WILL TAKE OF WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU.” It is the Holy Spirit’s mission to bring glory to Christ by presenting Him to us through the Word. He desires to show us all of His moral excellencies and when this happens, we will be, little by little, transformed into the image of Christ. A precious verse that speaks of this is 2nd Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit” (DARBY). One brother used to say of this verse: “This is the essence of Christianity, to become more and more like our Lord and Savior every day by beholding His glory in the power of the Holy Spirit.” When we allow the Spirit to do this work of conforming us to Christ’s image, we can then manifest Christ to the world through our words and actions. The “glory of Christ” will then be shining out of our lives for others to see. This was one of God’s main purposes in saving us, as we see in the next chapter: “Because it is the God who spoke that out of darkness light should shine who has shone in our hearts FOR THE SHINING FORTH OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST” (4:6).

Regarding the first question, the Bible condemns hypocrisy (pretending to be spiritual when we are living a self-centered life that caters to the lusts of the flesh). A solemn example of this is found in Acts 5:1-2 where a man and his wife (Ananias and Sapphira) pretended to be spiritual by selling a possession and giving the money to the apostles so they could distribute it to those in need. When the Apostle Peter showed up, he discerned that they had lied by keeping back some of the proceeds. In righteous indignation he said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God (verses 3-4)? Peter knew they were guilty of HYPOCRISY and LYING by pretending to being spiritually devoted to God. Peter’s words reveal to us that Ananias was NOT WALKING IN THE SPIRIT BUT LYING TO THE SPIRIT.

One might think that a believer would never be guilty of such a thing, but when our focus is taken off from CHRIST and on OURSELVES, we are in a state of being CARNAL (1st Corinthians 3”1-3). When this happens, we are “walking according to the desires of the FLESH” instead of “walking in the SPIRIT.” Thankfully, the Spirit of God (Who is grieved by this carnal state…see Ephesians 4:25-30), will seek to convict us of this sad state so we can confess it to our heavenly Father (1st John 1:9) and resume our “walk in the Spirit.”  (DO)  (564.3)