Friday, November 5, 2010

Galatians 5 freedom in Christ

Galatians 5

Freedom in Christ
 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Paul begins by saying that Christ has set us free but continues to describe how our lives should be. He doesn't just say you are free now figure it out on your own;he says the following:

Life by the Spirit- verse 13-17
 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

We must walk by the Spirit -this again happens when we crucify ourselves to the cross and follow the walk the Spirit offers. 

Paul points out that the way to fulfill the law is by keeping this command, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Right from the beginning he is instructing put yourself last. Your ego no longer holds center stage. Just as the Lord Jesus gave his life for us by putting us ahead of his suffering and all that he would endure for us-so must we. 

This passage reminds of the time when Jesus was Speaking to the rich man:
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
Matthew 19: 16-22
 16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”   17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
 18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
   Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]
 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The rich man could not leave his wealth because he was bound by sin. Although he thought he was following all the commandments that Jesus pointed out-He did not realize that he served another god-his wealth. This is what sin does it clouds our vision and we are not able to see that we are bound by your pride and sinfulness. We think that being good is enough but the Lord requires that we not only keep the commandments but also follow him-take up our cross everyday and follow him. Here is where the Spirit is so essential because it encourages us on our walk for he is our counselor who helps us!
So he gave up his place in heaven for eternity for his wealth that is temporary.
Mark 8:36
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

The freedom that we have in Christ enables us to live a life of triumph over sin because the Spirit produces in us his fruit that help us through this walk. 
Galatians 5:22-26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 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.

These fruit help us stay in step with the spirit because if we have the fruit of the spirit the works of the flesh can not take place in our lives.
James 3:11
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

So I pray Lord, give me more of your Holy Spirit and continue to develop your fruit in me so they can come out of me to help others. I want to grow and bear fruit for your glory so I can finish this race. I surrender to you I crucify my flesh so that I will no longer live but you will live through me! 
I hunger and thirst for you my Lord. Have your way in me!