Our reading today is Galations 5
Christ came to set us free.
Galations 5:1, “So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slaery to the law.”
The people of Paul’s time found it very difficult to differentiate between legalism and living in the freedom of Christ. Paul is trying to get the point across to believers that Christ has set us free for FREEDOM. We now live in freedom. The victory has been bought, we do not need to earn it. This does not mean that life is easy, but that we fight knowing that God has already won.
Man needs to be free from himself and the tyranny of his sinful nature. The legalists thought they had the answer to their problems by following the laws, but Paul has explained that no amount of legislation can change man’s basic sinful nature. It is not following the laws of man, but love on the inside that makes the difference. We need another power within, and that power comes from the Holy Spirit of God. There are at least fourteen references to the Holy Spirit in the book of Galations. When we believe in Christ, the Spirit comes to dwell within us. It is because of the Holy Spirit living in us that we get to enjoy freedom in Christ.
Sometimes, when life gets hard or we face something that we do not want to do, in our house you may hear, “Put on your big girl pants” or “Suck it up buttercup”. These expressions come from within and we try to muster all that it will take to face or do something. But, we forget that we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Galations 5:22-23, But when the Holt Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.”
I find daily that my life does not always have these qualities when I face a difficult circumstance and I think I need to work harder to find more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentelness, and self-control in my life.
But, I forget often that when I became a believer, I received the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9), but I am NOT filled with the Spirit at all times (Ephesians 5:18). This means that I need to continually pray, worship, and be in God’s Word to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always in us, but if we choose to push Him to the side in favor of our own nature, we will be filled with our sin and not with the Spirit. God knows we can’t do it alone.
I have no power to produce fruit in my own strength. I might be able to muster up some love, joy, peace and patience for a little while. But, then I get that phone call that might just push me over the edge. If I am not abiding with Jesus throughout the hours of every day, I will act out of my selfishness and not what the Spirit is prodding me to do. When I display the fruits of the Spirit, it draws others to Him who become his followers as well.
May we continue to produce fruit in our lives to Glorify the Father.