Grace For The Journey
We have been learning in this week’s blogs that the believer in Christ is a freed man! We are looking at what that means from the teaching of Galatians chapter 5. We continue in today’s blog to learn just what this freedom means? How should that affect our lives? I invite you to have your Bible open as we go through God’s Word.
Notice . . .
God’s Caution: A Warning Against License
A philosophy of license always results in non-loving, selfish, exploitation that ignores the needs of one another and acts in ways that are harmful to the body of Christ and God’s purpose for the church. So to this end, the apostle wrote Galatians 5:13. “For you brethren have been called to liberty, only do not use liberty as an opportunity (a base of operation) for the flesh …” And again, the Holy Spirit led him to write in verse 16, “I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” And finally, in verse 24 the Bible says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Clearly we are to live for Christ and not for sin or self.
Our Commandment: Serve One Another By Love
God’s love always leads us away from living and focusing on self to lifting up and living for Jesus. This kind of love and life fulfills the Law . . .
Galatians 5:13-15, “… But through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, even this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another.
Concerning verses 13 and 14, Warren Wiersbe writes:
“This verse gives the reason for the above (note the “For;” it is a particle of explanation). Freedom in Christ does not ignore the law, it fulfills its holy demands through that which is its essence, love for one’s neighbor. If you love people (because you love Christ), you will not steal from them, lie about them, envy them, or try in any way to hurt them.”
Love, through the life of Christ and the fruit of the Holy Spirit, leads us to fulfill the Law!
Consequences to Avoid: Carnal Christian Cannibalism
The Bible says in Galatians 5:15, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.”
When we do not love and serve one another we invariably end up devouring one another. This is the alternative. It seems there is ultimately no neutrality – either we live for others or we live for self.
Our Confidence: God’s provision of the Spirit
The Bible says in Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Herein lies the secret.
Not through the our goodness or our efforts (which is the demand of the law),
but through the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit
will victory over the flesh or the sinful nature be experienced.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:25, “If we live in (by means of) the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” “Walk” is an imperative, a command.
Though not under the law, we are not without the responsibility of right choices.
As a command, it also implies the ability to do so. In the Greek text, the tense is present continuous action pointing to the need to walk moment by moment, step by step in dependence upon the Spirit. The phrase “By the Spirit” points to the Holy Spirit as the agent and means, and thus the strength by which we are to live our lives.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:16, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” The phrase “Shall not” is a strong negative of denial meaning, “not at all!” The word “fulfill” means “bring to an end, finish, bring to fruition,” or “perform, accomplish, carry out.” “The lusts of the flesh” refers to the problem we all face of the continued activity of the sinful nature, the propensity for sin that continues to exist even in the life of the saved. While we are never entirely free in this life from the evil desires that stem from our fallen human nature, we can experience victory over them through the Holy Spirit.
We will look further into this liberty that Christ brings in our tomorrows blog.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey
… Rest And Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”