13 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. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
If you bite and devour one another… sounds exactly like what is going on in the political world, especially from the Left, and groups like Antifa, Occupy, the SPLC, Hollywood, etc., and all are egged on by the Liberal Media. No one can keep spewing out the vitriol like this and expect to end up with anything but hate and bitterness. They have started believing (maybe they always did) their own lies, and cannot tolerate anyone who does not agree with them.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
We are told by the Apostle Paul what he himself knows from experience: The Spirit and flesh are in conflict, and it causes us to do things we should not do sometimes. And if we are not sure what ‘desires of the flesh’ are, he gives us examples, and he points out they are obvious.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
A warning that is not to be taken lightly. Every day we see people who ignore what they know to be the difference between right and wrong. In their denial they are deceived, and deceive others, and worse, they demand others accept their denial. It portrays just how powerful the conflict between the flesh – our wants and desires – and the Spirit can be.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5)\
Religion – faith — is being attacked more than ever before in America. Here we see how we should respond: love, joy, peace, forbearance (forgiveness!), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Easier said than done!!
But “Those who belong to Jesus” can (and do) find through His grace and mercy and forgiveness the ability to give others grace and mercy and forgiveness– even when they don’t deserve it.
No one deserves it. No one deserves to be free!! That’s why we have no right to be arrogant in our freedom, but instead grateful and thankful and wanting others to be free.
Freedom is a gift from God.
Just as Freedom in America comes with being a citizen of America, so does Spiritual Freedom come from being a child of God. Becoming a child of God is believing in Jesus as the Son of God, admitting we are sinners, and asking Him to forgive us our sin, and then keeping “in step with the Spirit” of God, striving to be free from the worldly desires and working to produce the fruits of the Spirit.
We are called to be free.