We are reading and studying this challenging and profound and inspiring letter to the Galatians.
Serve one another in LOVE.
He says it in a different way in verse 6, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." That is the only thing that really matters.
Faith working through love is the only faith that is acceptable to God.
God is looking for Faith - Obedience - Service - which is motivated by LOVE.
In I Timothy Chapter 1 and verse 5 - "The goal of this command is LOVE."
There is no use running all over the soccer pitch playing wonderful passing football - if you don't score a goal! The team may do a lot of things - be very fit - be very able - and highly talented - but if they never score a goal how many matches would they win? It would all be so useless and futile!
Think not that verse 15 is only speaking to the churches in Galatia in the first century.
If we want some of these other beautiful truths, we have to pay attention to this one too.
If we do not love one another with the love of Jesus Christ - if we misuse or abuse our freedom - if we go back to laws and regulations and rules - this way and this way alone - we will end up biting one another - devouring one another - and ultimately destroying one another. This was a serious precarious situation these Galatian Churches.
How could anyone attempt to do so much damage so soon?
The sinful nature in verse 13 - should really be translated the "flesh". And when the flesh emerges - when the flesh begins to march - sparks fly!
This is why Paul writes - verse 16 - live by the Spirit - and look what you will avoid.
Look at what you can miss. You will not seek to satisfy the desires of the sinful nature - the desires of the flesh.
Verse 17 - we cannot deal with that totally today, but there is a conflict.
What man wants and what the Holy Spirit wants - can cause conflict.
A man in the flesh will resist - argue against - rebel against - what the Holy Spirit is seeking to do.
Verse 18 - so be led by the Spirit - then you are not under law.
Verse 19 is quite a comprehensive list of what will be revealed in the life of the person not being led by the Holy Spirit and we see it all around us. Just read the list and note the warning in verse 21.
This is NOT a false alarm. It is for real.
When you are led by the Holy Spirit, fruit grows. It does not always appear immediately, but it will begin to appear and grow.
There is no law against anything on that list. You cannot pass a law which said - "You shall not have too much Love - Joy - Peace - etc.
Verse 24 - Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the flesh - the things in the first list are dead or dying, and those in the second list are growing.
“Gracious Loving Father, help me to get rid of what is in that first list, that catalogue of sin, and help me to prepare the conditions in my heart and life for the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow.” Amen.
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