Paul has no issues being bold! In his boldness he urges the churches of Galatia to walk by the Spirit. Listen to what he said to them in Galatians 5: 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. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Paul clearly warns the Galatians about the works of the flesh and then identified the fruit of the Spirit. However, at the end of this list he reminds the reader that there are no laws against these the fruit of the Spirit (all nine of them). Have you ever noticed how many laws we do have? Some are silly!
Think about the state of Alabama for just a moment. It is illegal to engage in bear wrestling matches. It is illegal to impersonate a person of the clergy. It is illegal to maim oneself to escape duty. It is illegal to open an umbrella on a street, for fear of spooking horses. It is illegal to play Dominoes on Sunday. It is illegal to put salt on a railroad track (may be punishable by death). It is illegal to flick boogers into the wind. It is illegal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street (unless you have a lantern attached to the front of your automobile). It is illegal to drive a car without windshield wipers. It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. It is illegal to wear masks in public. It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church (toupees are permitted).
There are a lot of laws we have to follow, but there are NO LAWS against the fruit of the Spirit. No laws against love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Over the next few weeks I want us to see why. Many of the works of the flesh are illegal, but not the fruit of the Spirit. Why is that? Why are there no laws against the fruit of the Spirit? Because it is God's will! His Spirit longs to overcome this cruel dark world. Are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit?
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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