Galations 5:1, 13-25
Freedom in Christ
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery....
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use
your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in
love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your
neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Life by the Spirit
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…’ we are told by Paul - but freedom for what?
' But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.'
The great thing about love is that it is such a positive thing. For those who are living under the shadow of fear, or struggling with their faith Jesus sweeps those shadows aside and shows with such power that Love overcomes, Love fulfils all the requirements of the Law, and Love not only draws us close to God but draws us close to our brothers and sisters.
Through Jesus Christ and the victory of the Cross, Paul tells us that we have been set free from our enslavement, set free to reflect the love that has been shown to us. We have been set free to live the life that God would have us live, and in turn bring God’s love to others.
Paul suggests in Romans 13 that we should ‘Clothe ourselves with
the Lord Jesus Christ’ – The love of God as seen through Jesus
should be the over-riding influence and substance of our lives.
Lord, may our lives reflect the love that has been shown to us