Galatians 5:16 and 18, NIV
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature . . . if you live by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
There is only one way of never coming under the law and its consequences and that’s never to break it! If you are a driver and always observe the speed limit there will never be any danger of you seeing that blue flashing light in your rear view mirror which speaks of an impending speeding fine! A traffic policeman only ever has any authority over you when you break the law. When you break it, you come under it and have to face the consequences.
In his letter to the Galatians, who were clearly having some problems with ungodly behaviour, Paul makes it clear that those who pursue immorality in its variety of forms will not only suffer real consequences but says that “those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” These words of warning from Paul should be a salutary caution to believers who sometimes think it’s OK to play fast and loose with what God says in His Word.
Many times, however, people have asked me how, when there are so many temptations, it’s possible to live a pure and godly life? In our Scripture for today you will find the only real answer. These words are pure gold which, if we follow them, will not only prevent us from falling into many varied traps which the enemy lays for us in our daily walk, but will also save us from the eternal consequences as well. If we break the law we come under the law – but if we don’t break the law we are free from it!
So Paul tells us to live by the Spirit – which in very simple terms means listen to the voice of God’s Holy Spirit in your heart and take note of His warnings. The Spirit knows the heart of God and the laws of God. And He knows when we are thinking of trespassing across the boundaries of sin. If we ask Him to, He will speak those words of warning when we need them, and words of guidance as we move forward with all that God has laid before us for our lives.
We receive salvation when we receive Jesus, our Saviour. But when we receive the Spirit, God equips us to work out our salvation in the day-by-day experiences of life. And if we listen to the gentle voice of the Spirit and obey Him, we will not, as Paul tells us, come under the law. All of which is great news for believers who are desirous of living a godly and power-filled life. I pray that this is your desire.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that when You went back to Heaven You promised your people the gift of the Spirit. Thank You Lord that we can listen to His voice and be led along true and right paths. Help me. Lord, to always obey the voice of the Spirit and never to come under the law. In Jesus’ name, Amen.