“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 NKJV
As we read and pray, hopefully you and I are growing and realizing some of the false teaching we were handed and accepted before we got to those parts of scripture for ourselves. I love my mom and the church in which I grew up – but they handed me a bunch of stinkin thinkin!! It starts by mudding the water – a little poison in the water poisons all the water. But one slight misstep and suddenly a generation later I find myself in bondage to a corrupted doctrinal mindset of a limited God instead of free as Christ intended. This evil strategy started with the birth of the church as we see in this book and continues today. What if, What if we lived in the freedom wherewith Christ made us free?
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Galatians, chapters 4-6 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).
Yesterday’s thoughts cover the overview of this entire book.
Quickly, let me remind you to keep some of this in historical context. When we repent we are to get low – be humble in front of our father and brethren. We are to maintain this state and daily REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND! So it may sound like we start today’s reading proud of our adopted state. BE WARNED! Do not be proud. Especially of something we did not do and cannot effect. God did it, God adopted us AND GOD GETS ALL THE GLORY.
Paul is writing to a church with slaves in it. People who are owned by others, some are sex slaves. They are poor and cannot buy their own freedom. Some are forced to sin regardless of their own desire. This population and some verses for them apply to us loosely but unless you were owned by someone else – you honestly cannot fathom what they experienced. Go ahead and try for empathy sake. Being in bondage to sin is NOT the same. Because sin was destroyed so you have the power to overcome it. Being POSSESSED (fully or if they just possess a strong hold) by a demonic spirit, like addiction is more closely related – but still not the same. I know when I tried to overcome addiction there were times I participated while sobbing and crying out to God to help me, to stop it, because I was unable to control my own body and stop myself. Similar. Something else ruled regardless of my wishes.
These brothers and sister NEEDED the encouragement and to be built up… they were so low that humility was higher than them. I am not saying to not take joy in your salvation, like when you were first saved and riding high, drunk in the spirit, telling everyone of Jesus… these are good and humble traits. But watch the line where you puff up your chest and boast of your salvation as that is the quickest way to lose it. Be thankful and joyful for our adoption – let it stimulate worship and thanksgiving in humility.
BUT today I want to focus on chapter 5. I want to share so many things – but I will try not to pack in too much.
Quickly I want to clear up a passage which is commonly taken out of context and becomes muddy to the next generation – the section called: Love Fulfills the Law. (Galatians 5:7-15) It would seem by the title as well as the content (if taken out of literal context as well as historic context) that we have a hippie love’n free for all, grace covered sin (so we may continue to sin), and love replaces law kind of Christianity and I tell you that is swapping one lie for another lie. That is taking the very verses meant to stop the bondage to sacrificial law to atone from sin and putting you in bondage to sin. You see, LOVE DOES NOT REPLACE LAW! NOR do I want you to fall into some legalism trap. There is a fine line here which is hidden to the unjust. May God open your understanding. Grace and love do not replace law, but they complete it. God ALWAYS intended the law be handled in LOVE and mankind fail. It took the HOLY LOVE of Him sending us the Christ for LOVE to be revealed in the true way.
But more important to us today in our devotional is chapter 5 verses 16 through 26. I hope you examine them and see them in a new, fresh way. Because for months we have been saying repent, get humble and walk in the spirit. Get into the secret place as described in Psalm 91 and dwell there. And how do we dwell there? Paul gives us some help, in relations to not becoming legalistic and not permitting sin to separate us from that secret place.
You see NOTHING can separate us from God’s love – but SIN, unrepented of and unforgiven, WILL separate us from His presence, and from the secret place we were told to dwell in. AND remember, Moses wrote Psalm 91. This is a pre-Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost concept. It is easier with the Holy Spirit – But it can be done under the atonement system before sins were washed away, so it is all the easier for us to obtain. We can walk in the spirit.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal. 5:16-18 nkjv
I like Paul’s definition of waling in the spirit. I do not know if I have a better way to describe it. BUT I can tell you when I am in the spirit I can immediately recognize others who are also. Did you see those words there? “When I am in the spirit”. Honestly, I say it too often and I hear it too often! Same on all of us! We are to STAY there in the spirit. Dwell there and walk there. There we can see and discern angles and demons, and we can participate fully in the kingdom of heaven as well as earth.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21 NKJV
“Now the practices of the sinful [fleshly] nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry [including prostitution and sexuality associated with pagan rituals], sorcery [including such things as occult practices, horoscopes, witchcraft, worship of evil powers, drugs, manipulation, and the like], hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21 AMP
I do not think the word “evident” is any longer applicable. Evil is called “good” in our world. So I added the Amplified Classic version of the Bible to help us understand these better. I could literally write a book of ALL the things covered by that list. It becomes evident when you are in the spirit and it becomes easy to avoid. But the transition from this flesh to spirit is an ugly and brutal fight – as you see Paul compare it to the Crucifixion of Christ. ALSO, keep in mind, never before, or again after, Christ was there a crucifixion that was as gory and violent and gruesome as when they killed our Lord. The form of death was terrible enough as it was, but Jesus’s physical body fought a fight against being turned to hamburger and being weak and destroyed before the exact appointed moment when God said it is time! Us – transitioning, killing off our sin nature is described as this same ugly brutal fight.
The fight leads us into the spirit, where the fruits are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control… let’s read Paul’s words:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Gal. 5:22-25 nkjv
How do we know which fight to fight, what to whip and what to beat out of us? Jesus did not kill His flesh literally – spiritually we die to flesh, like Jesus, submitting to God’s will and God working the sin nature from us. Again – it is not our fight. Again we do nothing but submit and obey, God does the rest and God gets the glory.
So like every day – let me remind you again today: it all boils down to us seeking God. He wants a relationship with us, but we have to seek it in return. Look and you will find Him. Just read, pray for understanding. Pray all day. Recall the memory verses and the passages we read each day throughout the day. Talk to God about them. Bring Him with you to work, school or throughout your day. Bring him into meetings. Bring him in your car. Take time in these moments, in your head (or out loud if possible), to acknowledge him, thank him and listen for his guidance.
In the United States it is Thanksgiving Day (Happy Thanksgiving). When we walk in the spirit, dwell with God in the secret place under His wing – have a real relationship with the one true living God… then every day is Thanksgiving!
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!
NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Galatians 4-6 NKJV
Sons and Heirs Through Christ
4 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, [b]“Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir [c]of God [d]through Christ.
Fears for the Church
8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all. 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an [e]angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 [f]What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are [g]the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
5 Stand[h] fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is [i]a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Love Fulfills the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even [j]cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [k]adultery, [l]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [m]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [n]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Bear and Share Burdens
6 Brethren, if a man is [o]overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Be Generous and Do Good
6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Glory Only in the Cross
11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! 12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by [p]whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Blessing and a Plea
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
- Galatians 4:4 Or made
- Galatians 4:6 Lit., in Aram., Father
- Galatians 4:7 NU through God
- Galatians 4:7 NU omits through Christ
- Galatians 4:14 Or messenger
- Galatians 4:15 NU Where
- Galatians 4:24 NU, M omit the
- Galatians 5:1 NU For freedom Christ has made us free; stand fast therefore, and
- Galatians 5:3 obligated
- Galatians 5:12 mutilate themselves
- Galatians 5:19 NU omits adultery
- Galatians 5:19 sexual immorality
- Galatians 5:21 NU omits murders
- Galatians 5:23 meekness
- Galatians 6:1 caught
- Galatians 6:14 Or which, the cross