February 17, 2021
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Today’s passage is Paul’s conclusion to the first 12 lines of Galatians 5. We know that righteousness cannot be achieved by the Law, but through faith in God. Faith is expressed by our love of others, which Paul describes as the culmination of the law.
What then, can we take away from the chapter so far?
On Sunday, Pastors Paul and Jess gave us a few takeaways to build spirit-filled relationships.
#1 Walk habitually with the Holy Spirit
Throughout all of Paul’s writings, he is constantly referring to the “flesh” and the “spirit.” The two are in constant conflict with one another, and we are constantly tempted to return to our sinful state. Instead, Paul (and Pastor Paul) urge us to submit to the spirit. That might mean inviting the spirit into our hearts every morning, or it might mean inviting the spirit into our hearts before we start talking to our annoying neighbor.
#2 Pay attention to the needs of others
“…serve one another humbly in love.” This line is presented as the opposite of indulging the flesh. To live by the spirit, we are called to continually sacrifice ourselves and serve others instead. All of our relationships are important to God, because our faith is expressed by our love. Every spiteful word, every lie, every act of jealousy or rage is disobedience to God and an indulgence of the flesh. Every act of kindness, every moment of patience, every gentle thought is an act of faith. Therefore, our relationships are holy and sacred.