There is a conflict within us. Those of us who follow Jesus experience it, some more often than others, but we all know it. The struggle between the old life and the new, the flesh and the Spirt.
Paul wrote about this internal conflict, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” in his letter to the Romans.
He also wrote to the Galatians about it. He began that discussion on the topic from a slightly different perspective. That of the freedom we have in Christ. “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Paul then goes on to illustrate the differences between those ruled by the flesh and those walking in the Spirit. It’s interesting how Paul chooses to phrase this section. In his list of the “deeds of the flesh,” he uses the plural, “the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are…” When it comes time to enumerate the qualities of a Spirit-led life he uses the singular, “the fruit of the Spirit is…”
The implication being that the deeds of the flesh are fractured, lacking unity and operate independently of one another. You can exhibit outbursts of anger but not necessarily be a jealous person. But the fruit of the Spirit is unified and each element complements the others. Love leads to joy which produces peace and so on.
The trick then for us believers is to allow the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in our daily lives, walking by the Spirit so that we “will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
This week I’ll be sharing verses from this passage in Galatians during Midday Prayer Time, around 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
Mon 06/27/22 Galatians 5:13-15
Tue 06/28/22 Galatians 5:16-18
Wed 06/29/22 Galatians 5:19-21
Thu 06/30/22 Galatians 5:22-23
Fri 07/01/22 Galatians 5:24-25
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