Episode #167. Today we’ll read Galatians chapter 5 together. Paul states that we have freedom in Christ and compares life in the flesh vs life in the Spirit.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #167. Today we’ll read Galatians chapter 5 together: Paul states that we have freedom in Christ and compares life in the flesh vs life in the Spirit.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
On Saturday, Mitch and I sat on our deck and streamed the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court of the United States. It was a moving ceremony filled with patriotic music and American flags and it was easy to forget all the problems currently plaguing our nation.
Whether you agree with the choice or not, she has an impressive resume and seems very qualified for the position. Her husband and family were present, and it is evident they mean the world to her. And she will need the strength of that family to get her through the Senate confirmation hearings.
She is already being criticized…not for her lack of qualifications or experience or an immoral personal life, but for her Christian faith. We are indeed entering a new era of American politics when being a Christian is considered a disqualifying factor. As Christians, we should not be surprised by this.
Isaiah 5:20 says, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! We see evidence of this all around us. In these times, it is vitally important that we remember who we are and to Whom we belong.
I hope and pray we all heed the instruction Paul gave Timothy in 2 Tim 3:14. This is how it reads in the Worldwide English Translation: But you, Timothy, must keep on doing the things you have learned. You know they are right. You know who taught them to you. Whether you agree or disagree, let’s test our kind words to each other by weighing in at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Galatians Chapter 5
Freedom of the Christian
For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law. You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. For we eagerly await through the Spirit, by faith, the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.
You were running well. Who prevented you from being persuaded regarding the truth?
This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough. I myself am persuaded in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. Now brothers and sisters, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. I wish those who are disturbing you might also let themselves be mutilated!
For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.
The Spirit versus the Flesh
I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things — as I warned you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Okay, we’ve been reading a lot lately about circumcision and you might be wondering what in the world has it to do with anything. Come 2021, when we take on reading the whole Bible together in a year, we will actually read the story of Abraham and the covenant – or promise – God made with him. Simply said, this covenant was sealed by the act of circumcision.
Now remember, this was over 600 years before God gave the Law to Moses. As we read in Galatians 3, the Abrahamic Covenant was promised by faith to Abraham and his ultimate Seed who is Jesus Christ. The Law did not render the promise obsolete, but the purpose of the law was to define perfection. In essence, to define what sin is…missing the mark of God’s perfect law.
Moses knew this, even though it was through him that the Israelites were given God’s Law. In the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy (Old Testament, fifth book of the Bible), Moses basically explained, “Look, here’s the Law, you’re not gonna be able to live up to its standards, you’ll mess up over and over, God will scatter you, then finally gather you up again, and He will circumcise your hearts.”
The Promise is fulfilled in Christ and He redeemed us from a fate that is literally worse than death. We have faith in Him…we could not and cannot do this for ourselves. And Paul is adamant with the Galatians here. Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery! There is no middle ground. If you are trying to get justified by works, then you are obligated to all works; the entire Law. And you can’t pull it off! That’s why Christ came.
As Paul says, we have crucified the flesh and live by the Spirit. No doubt each of us is all too familiar with the fruit of the flesh that he lists. Now as we love God with everything we are and extend that love to each other, may the world see in ever-increasing harvests the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in us. Let’s pray.
Dear Lord, thank You for this freedom you have given us, but please do not let us use it to go crazy. Help us see it for what it is and that is a wonderful gift from You. In that way, help us to use it to love others just as You loved us first. Remind us how that love should spur us on to pray for those who don’t know You and therefore try to lead us into slavery. Lead us by Your Holy Spirit. Remind us constantly that we have been rescued by faith in Christ. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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