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Galatians 5 (ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Keep in Step with the Spirit
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
- If Christ has set us free, then why not live as we please? Why not grab all the money, sex and power we can get? Afterward, we can simply ask for forgiveness! Paul challenges this kind of thinking with the true meaning of Christian freedom.
- Paul said that we are free because God has given us Holy Spirit. He encouraged us to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratifythe desires of the flesh” (v16). Walking "by the Spirit" means living moment by moment, submissively trusting in the Holy Spirit rather than in self.
- The life of discipleship, of following Jesus, and of holiness is not defined by what we do or not do. It is characterized by vibrant, and robust living by the Spirit. If we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we are free to say no to the “desires of the flesh”.
Have you ever asked the Holy Spirit for guidance when facing a problem? What happened? If you haven’t ever asked, try it today. Watch and see if it changes your perception of the problem.