Having addressed the concept of free will for all men then compared bondage by the law to freedom in Christ, the apostle Paul now invites the Galatians to focus on life with the Spirit.
There is little we can do to stop ourselves from craving the things of the world other than allow ourselves to overflow with the Holy Spirit, which is called sanctification, an ongoing process achieved through immersion in the word of God and through works.
The Galatians has been exposed to false teachers who preached the misleading concept of salvation through the law of Moses. Since all men and women sin and fall short of the glory of God, hence no one can keep the law or be saved by it, Paul teaches us that our sinful nature can only be tamed by life by the Spirit.
“16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5 :16)
The pride of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes are deeply rooted in all of us, all are not of the Holy Spirit but of the devil, of sin.
In a continuous battle within each believer us is good and evil, Spirit and sin. Paul teaches us sin can be defeated by the Spirit through glorifying choice making according to the word of God.
“17 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.” (Galatians 5 :17)
By allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our footsteps thereby influencing each decision we make, believers are safely led along the narrow path to the heavenly doors of eternal life.
“18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” (Galatians 5 :18)
Paul now feels necessary to describe actions not only contrary to the Spirit but clear signs of evil. While all men and women possess a sinful nature those living in the Spirit have the power to refrain from giving in to temptation that leads to destruction.
“19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 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.” (Galatians 5 :19-21)
The apostle is bold in saying no one involved in sinful acts will be saved from destruction, that only those who allow the Spirit to bare fruit will inherit a place in heaven.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5 :22-23)
Through baptism in the Holy Spirit those who live in Christ have separated themselves from sinful acts and by the strength of the Spirit, believers are winning the battle brought on by sinful desire and temptation.
“24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5 :24)
In the battle against evil those living in the Spirit must arm ourselves with the word of God and the shield of salvation. Defending the faith and advancing the gospel believers are called to love one another in step with the Spirit.
“25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5 :25-26)
In tune with the previous verses Paul concludes this section of his epistle to the Galatians inviting us live with each other in peace without envy or provocation.
The battle against evil begins with defeating our sinful nature. By applying the scripture herein to our lives we allow the Spirit to flow from us like a river down a mountain side. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre