Galatians 5:16 – “So I say, live (walk) by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sin nature. For the sinful (fleshly, human) nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”
Have you ever wanted to do something and couldn’t?
I have. There are times when I wanted to make a certain stand for Christ or let go of something that was hindering me but found it nearly impossible to do so. In these instances, I am conflicted just as the scripture in Galatians describes. I am in conflict because the Spirit of God and the flesh are fighting against one another for control.
The scripture says that, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. What is law?
Here’s my definition of law: a system created to make sense of our world and to handle our pain that operates independent of faith and outside of the grace of God. Our world is ordered by systems and their rules. In life, we create systems to keep us safe and which provide a pathway for the meeting of our needs. Worldly, fleshly, human systems are systems to keep us safe and provide for needs that operate independent of faith in God and His Word and do not depend upon His grace.
If a system exists that is fleshly and human in origin, there will be evidence of its operation. Galatians says the evidences are:
Sexual immorality, mixed values, spite operating outside of restraint, self focus, spiritual systems without the truth of God at the center, blaming others for your condition, lack of relationship caused by the “fight or flight” syndrome, self-pity, unresolved anger, a hard heart, standing apart from others, self chosen opinions, using circumstances and experiences to determine truth, medicating, using people and being used, etc…..
Those who live this way are alienated from the lordship of Jesus and its benefits. Due to their state, they do not experience the fruit of the Spirit on an ongoing basis.
Galatians states that those who are led by the Spirit are not under law. In other words, they are not conflicted or constricted by worldly systems created out of fear, pain, and doubt.
I’m reminded of the scene in the movie, Braveheart in which William Wallace is being tortured. At the end, the envoy doing the torturing says to the crowd, “Quiet!! The prisoner has something to say!”
Gathering strength, William Wallace cries out at the top of his lungs, “Freedom!!!”
To be free, worldly, human systems based on laws and rules operating independent of faith and outside of grace must be abolished.
Galatians 3:1 – “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn one thing from you: did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Verse 4 – Have you suffered so much for nothing?”
Galatians 5:1 – “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.”