Read Galatians 5:13-16
Do you remember when you left home for the first time? I remember going off to college, and the excitement to know that once I was “dropped off”, I would be on my own. Going to a Bible college, I probably couldn’t get in too much trouble… but I do remember the freedom of drinking as much soda as I wanted to… eating what I wanted to… even being able to have ice cream at both lunch and dinner. There is usually some misuse or abuse when freedom is experienced for the first time.
In today’s passage, Paul is writing to a group of people who grew up keeping the law. It was woven into the fabric of their everyday living. Then, all of the sudden, Jesus comes and fulfills the law… meaning that they no longer have to keep the law. However, there is a catch. Christ fulfilling the law doesn’t mean they could do whatever they want. Paul encourages them (and us) not to ‘bite and devour’ one another like dogs in a fight… but rather to live by the Spirit.
When we walk by the Spirit… we will cultivate and demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. It’s when we show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that we are walking by the Spirit. Not only do those within the church need that type of interaction with the Spirit, but also to the world around us in need of a Savior needs it too.