Love People and Follow the Spirit

Galatians 5:13-18

13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!  16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

What is the purpose of the liberty we have in Christ?  It is to love one another. Under religion, loving each other is hard because we get focused on keeping the rules and measuring ourselves against each other.  It’s hard to walk in true love for others when the stress of working to measure up makes it more convenient for them to serve as comparison tools in our efforts to feel better.  If I’m busy judging you in order to lift myself up, then how can I truly love you?

Biting and devouring one another comes from striving.  We strive, argue, and judge each other when we feel that we have to earn something.  Competition for righteousness gets ugly. When we know that we are made righteous as a free gift, that removes the need to contend with each other.  Jesus gave a new commandment in John 13:34, saying, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It’s not about keeping rules; it’s about loving people.

Verse 16 provides the key to living in the New Covenant.  “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”  People wonder how they are supposed to please God without having the Ten Commandments to follow.  The answer is to walk in the Spirit. Fighting temptation under the law is miserable. The law doesn’t help us succeed; it just points out failure. But the Holy Spirit is able to lead us and guide us into all truth.  When we follow the Spirit, He never leads us into sin.

“If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”  This should end any argument that says that we are still under any type of Old Covenant law.  There is no blend of Old and New. It is the letter or the Spirit, not both. Because of the world system, we believe that we have to have rules to live rightly.  But if we follow the Holy Spirit, He will always lead us into righteousness. I don’t need a commandment to keep me from stealing, or lying, or committing adultery if I’m following the Spirit.  He will never lead me into those things. Brave grace, follow the Spirit, and love people. That’s all there is to it.

Day 28

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