LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Born to Be Free
So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? Galatians 4:9 Throughout Galatians, Paul counters the Jews who were persuading Gentile Christians to […]Keep Reading
So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? Galatians 4:9
Throughout Galatians, Paul counters the Jews who were persuading Gentile Christians to submit to the Law and adopt distinctive Jewish ceremonies in order to be spiritually free. He points out that the function of the Mosaic Law is temporary and reminds the Galatians that Christ came to liberate those who were under the law by delivering them from its curse (Gal. 3:13-14). He also writes that believers are freed from the law of sin and death through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians 4, Paul expresses his concern for the Galatians. “So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?” (Gal. 4:9)
In The Believer’s Prayer Life, Andrew Murray illustrates Paul’s message by communicating how living “under the power of the flesh” keeps us from experiencing the peace and joy of God.
When a Christian does not yield entirely to the leading of the Spirit—and this is certainly the will of God and the work of his grace—he lives, without knowing it, under the power of ‘the flesh’.
This life of ‘the flesh’ manifests itself in many different ways. It appears in the hastiness of spirit, or the anger which so unexpectedly arises in you, in the lack of love for which you have so often blamed yourself; in the pleasure found in eating and drinking, about which at times your conscience has chidden you; in that seeking for your own will and honor, that confidence in your own wisdom and power, that pleasure in the world, of which you are sometimes ashamed before God.
All this is life ‘after the flesh’. ‘Ye are yet carnal’ (1 Cor. 3:3) that text, perhaps, disturbs you at times; you have not full peace and joy in God.
The only way to live freely is to live by the Spirit. Paul proves that the Spirit produces the very conduct that the law calls for and releases us from the power of the flesh (Gal. 5:22-23).
If we live “according to the flesh” our service for the Lord and others is only a series of outward performances. Self-reliance most often leads to open sin and leaves us unfulfilled. In Galatians 5, Paul exhorts believers to, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves…Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Gal. 5:16, 25). The Holy Spirit must be honored as the author of our new life and as the leader and guide of our entire faith journey.
I’m learning that works don’t give us life. They simply prove that we’ve met God. Morality is finite. It doesn’t last. It’s doesn’t transform. We must first receive God’s supernatural grace to walk according to the Spirit. We can then live in spiritual freedom as a response to God’s free grace.
Thank you for setting us free from the law of sin and death. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Teach us to keep in step with the Spirit as we walk according to your Word. We do not want gratify the desires of our flesh, for we know this leads to destruction. Jesus, help us devote ourselves to prayer with alert minds and thankful hearts (Col. 4:2). We want live lives worthy of the calling we have received (Eph. 4:1).
In Jesus’ most precious name,