Saturday, December 5, 2009

Galatians 5 - Am I as spiritual as the Galatians were told to be?

Paul is really ticked off in his letter to his friends in Galatia. They are starting to give in to another gospel that's really not the gospel [1.6-10]. After personal testimony, calling out the false teachers, and some poignant questions, Paul goes on to describe what faithful Christian living looks like.

Paul lists characteristics of what this life is like. For example, it is about freedom [5.1, 5.13]. It is about hope [5.5]. It is about faith working through love [5.6]. It is about serving one another [5.13-15]. It is NOT about a huge list of things in 5.19-21.

But what makes all of the above things make sense?

The source of all of these things for Paul is living by the Spirit. The way that the real gospel is really lived out is by the individual believer and the corporate community of faith living according to the Spirit's lead.

Paul even uses four different and powerful Greek verbs to depict how the Spirit should be our Guide and we should be His dependents.
In 5.16, Paul says we must WALK by/in/with the Spirit. This verb is περιπατέω.

In 5.18, Paul says that we must be LED by the Spirit. This verb is ἄγω.

In 5.25, Paul says that we LIVE by the Spirit. This verb is ζάω.

In 5.25, Paul says that we must KEEP IN STEP with the Spirit. This verb is στοιχέω.
Paul desires his friends in Galatia to have such a relationship with the Spirit of God that the Spirit's power and presence are lucid to all. He hints at this further in 3.2-5 and in 5.22-23.

So, is my life being lived by/in/with the Spirit in such a manner that it can be described as such? Am I merely giving the Holy Spirit a theoretical and theological head nod? How is this kind of living done? Does anyone live this way? Can I get their number?

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