Free to Walk in the Spirit
May 1, 2023
“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…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is now law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:13, 22-25
The New Testament talks a lot about freedom. All over the Gospels there are stories of Jesus liberating captives, freeing individuals from illness and forgiving people of their sins. And we know that our faith is founded on the truth that Christ died for us, so that we are free from the consequences of our sin. This Gospel freedom, extended to us through Christ, is an incredible gift, and one that should change the way we live.
In Galatians 5 Paul outlines in great detail how freedom in Christ changes our lives. In verses 13-26 he talks about how we are freed so that we can use our liberty to love God and love one another rather than ourselves. With freedom comes responsibility. Paul understood this and in verse 14 clearly says, “do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh”. He reminds us that we are not liberated to simply do what we please because we know we are forgiven. In fact, the exact opposite is true. With our freedom comes an invitation to follow Christ’s example and walk in step with the Spirit.
We have a choice. We can use our freedom selfishly and for our own gain. Or we can use our freedom as a way to glorify God, by serving him and others. When we do so, we deny the sinful desires of the flesh and make space for the Spirit to work in our lives. That is the way God wants us to use our liberty.
When we walk in step with the Spirit the Spirit lives in us, prompting us, encouraging us, and producing fruit in us. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. This is the work of the Spirit in our lives. These things are not achieved on our own but by abiding in the Spirit and using our liberty to serve the Lord.
The Christian life is a life of freedom. And with our freedom we are given a choice to use it for ourselves or to embrace it by walking in the Spirit. As you go through this week take a moment to reflect. How will you embrace your freedom this week? In what ways can you more fully abide in the Spirit? How have you seen the Spirit produce fruit in your life?
Heavenly Father, We thank you for sending Jesus to set us free. As we reflect on the freedom of the Gospel may you move in our hearts. Reveal to us the ways we have incorrectly used our freedom and show us how to more fully embrace our freedom to serve you. As we seek to walk in step with the Spirit, open our eyes to the ways we can love and serve our neighbor. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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