Galatians 5 is a wonderful chapter on a life led by the Spirit. There are challenges and warnings found in this chapter, but the end of the chapter shows us the most excellent way to live by the Spirit and honor Christ. The first passages sets the tone of the importance of living by the Spirit. Since the Spirit lives in us (1 Cor. 6:19) and that where the Spirit lives there is freedom (1 Cor. 3:17). Galatians 1:1 tells us it was for freedom’s sake that Christ set us free. We were set free in order to show the freedom Christ offers to everyone in our lives. This passage is beautiful in telling us our freedom was bought at a price and was granted to us in order to live and exemplify the freedom offered by Christ to those who do not yet know, and live by it. However, it came with a challenge in the latter part of the verse. “Therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”. We were made free to live free forever, not for a time. Remain free by living a life led by the Holy Spirit.
Jump to Galatians 5:13, it reads, “For you were called to freedom, brethren, only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” We were given a key to living a life free and it comes in the form of service. Willing to give up everything for the sake of everyone else. True service is lowering ourselves in order to exalt others. By doing this, we are living by the Spirit. However, service alone does not guarantee a life lived by the Holy Spirit and truly free. Service is an important aspect and has to be present in our lives. We were already set free from the bondage of sin and the law by Christ’s death, resurrection and the releasing of the Holy Spirit to His followers. If we have been set free, why go into bondage once again? Reading through Exodus and the following books gives us a saddening example of a people seeking bondage only after they have been freed. Slavery and bondage was so ingrained in their lives they spent years and years wandering in the desert. And then many of them were unable to experience the freedom set before them. How often do we, like the newly released Israelites, return to the bondage we were set free from because of hardship, comfortability and bad influences? Remain in Him and He will remain in you (John 15:4).
If we live by the power of the Holy Spirit within us we will stay away from sinful desires (Galatians 5:16). This will take time, effort and work on our part and will require us to partner with and acknowledge the Holy Spirit in our life. A life led by the Spirit will produce actions known as the “Fruits of the Spirit” found in Galatians 5:22-24. This is the standard of a life lived in true freedom. We are called to be free and it cost Jesus His life. But He loves us so much He was willing to die this horrible death on a cross in order for us to live in freedom. We were called to freedom and as Christians, we should accept nothing less than freedom in our lives. It will be a struggle, it will be difficult, but it will also be life, and life lived to the fullest in Him. He has never failed yet, and will never fail us. Trust in Him, give yourself fully to Him, and receive everything. Receive every good gift He has for you.
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