Freedom in Christ

In Galatians 5, Paul writes to the church of Galatia about living a life of freedom in Christ, rather than a life of slavery to the law. You are likely familiar with this passage–particularly acts of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. Quite often, different groups of believers express varying feelings toward the concept of freedom. It’s not an apathetic word; many are either excited or fearful toward the idea of living in freedom.

In Galatians 5:24, Paul explains to those seeking a rigid life of perfection that it’s a losing battle. Our inability to live justly and perfectly according to the law is precisely why Jesus came to fulfill it and pay the price for our freedom. In Galatians 5:6, Paul writes, “–The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

On the other hand, life by the Spirit produces fruit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:2225).

As we evaluate our propensity to live in fear or freedom, or live by the flesh or the Spirit, we can take stock by looking at the fruit. The authentic demonstration of the fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:2223 cannot be manufactured by an individual who lives life according to the flesh; our flesh and the fruits of the Spirit are incompatible due to our inherently selfish nature. As Paul says, the flesh and the Spirit are “in conflict with each other” (Galatians 5:17).

As you draw nearer to the Lord and develop deeper love for Him, notice His work in your heart and life. Through ongoing sanctification of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to die to our flesh and grow in humility, producing more fruit and living in true freedom in Christ.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New International Version.