Galatians 5:21-1/2

February 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

Yesterday, during Sunday School, we spent some time in Galatians 5 talking about Spirit-filled living.

The main topic was a follow-on to the sermon that morning about marriage, handling conflict, and “taking the desperation out of the household.”  One thing that jumped out at me was the reminder that there is no middle ground between Galatians 5: 19-21 and 22-26.

Regarding living by the Spirit, Paul wrote:

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness 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.

The key reminder to me was that there is no space – no options between verses 21 & 22.  As Christ-Followers, we are either living/walking in the Spirit or not.

Galatians 5:21-1/2 does not exist.

There is no IF, UNLESS, or EXCEPT clause – though we can easily slip into a manner of living as if there were.  The gray areas we tend to carve out or create for ourselves – sometimes in our own sense of “justice,” but certainly in our flesh-based, “I got it from here God” living – simply do not exist in God’s Word.

Yeah, I know, this is nothing new.  It’s sort of a no brainer, albeit a hard one to live out and one we easily forget.

It just punched me in the gut yesterday…

Father,
Forgive me for the times I live a Galatians 5:21-1/2 kind of life.
Convict me, as You so perfectly do, when I live
without yielding to Your control.
And may I be humble enough to listen to Your Spirit’s
prompting and correction.
amen, and amen.

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