Paul in our reading reminds us that we enjoy freedom under the new covenant but that does not mean we are free to live as we please! Paul says if I live according to the flesh, some text read “sinful nature” but a better translation would be “flesh,” I will find myself in opposition to God and the Spirit. Paul makes it very clear in our reading that if I live out my life holding on to those sins, without striving to repent of those sins; I will not go to heaven! Let me be clear – Paul is not talking about someone who is trying to repent of these sins but is struggling! John uses the terms “walking in darkness” and “walking in the light” – two terms that refer to the intent and direction of one’s life. So if I want to enjoy the “fruits of the Spirit” and eternity with God – I must be striving to “keep in step with the Spirit.” Two sins I often find people holding on too in this list are hatred and discord. If one chooses to hold on to hate they will not enjoy the “fruits of the Spirit” and they will not enjoy heaven! Jesus said if I am not willing to forgive – I will not be forgiven!!