Galatians 5- Freedom In Christ
“Those who belong toÂ Christ Jesus…”
I was reading through Galatians 5 recently when I was struck by one tiny little verse I hadn’t really noticed before.
Don’t you love how the Spirit opens our eyes to these things, peeling back layer upon layer of truth in the scriptures? Even when we have read a passage multiple times, there still may be truths there yet undiscovered, when suddenly the Spirit whispers, “read that one again.”
Galatians 5 has always been primarily about the fruits of the Spirit for me. And that’s a good passage! It’s one of the earliest things I remember memorizing. It is GOOD for us to see what we should be growing and expecting and working on in our hearts as we submit ourselves to the Spirit for transformation.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Immediately preceding this list of Spirit fruits, however, is another list. One that I “discovered” later as an adult. This list is just as important, just as helpful, just as good. In verses 19-21, we find a list of the fruits of the flesh.
These are the fruits that we are born into.Â These are the fruits that our human nature naturally wants to produce.Â
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
So we see this dichotomy presented, these two polar opposites.
We have the flesh that wants one thing, and the Spirit that wants another. And if you read allÂ of Galatians 5, you will see that Paul points that out, too.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17
We feel this struggle all the time, don’t we?Â
Here’s the thing: if we expect ourselves to get it right. . . ourselves. . . on our own. . . it can feel very discouraging. We can feel like we are fighting an impossible battle. And that’s when we usually pull out verses like Philippians 4:13 and Galatians 2:20. Great verses. But here’s where the Spirit opened my eyes this week. The answer is right there in Galatians 5.
And those who belong to Christ JesusÂ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 (emphasis mine.)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus. . .”
Dear one, if you’re a believer, that’s you! YOU BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS. And belonging to Jesus means that we have killed off the flesh and it’s desires. We are no longer subject to our flesh. Now, it’s not an immediate death to be sure. But immediately when we became a child of God, we found freedom, and we are no longer bound to our human nature. Instead, we are bound to HIM. And THAT is why we can pull out verses like Philippians 4:13 and Galatians 2:20.
One more thing. . . after reading through to the end of Galatians 5 and spending some time pondering verse 24, I went back to the beginning of the chapter and read it again. And there I noticed right at the very beginning, Galatians 5:1.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Oh, sweet freedom that is found in Christ Jesus. Stand firm, dear ones, in the victory of Jesus, who has removed the yoke of slavery to sin.Â