This post is Day 12 in a series of studies about “Joy”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Joy – Day 12
In this letter to the Galatian church, Paul is assuring believers that there is freedom in Christ. Freedom does not mean anything is allowed, and is not an excuse for orgies! There is a freedom of an inner life that cannot be imagined by those who have not experienced it.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians starts with the much quoted statement It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Freedom is a natural path to joy and happiness. Life “in the Spirit” bears fruit which others will become aware of as we grow in faith, and in the joy of the Lord.
Becoming a Christian is the end of an old style life and the beginning of a new one. This new life “in the Spirit” is an exciting challenge, full of never ending good things for us to experience. But it must not be used as an excuse for an “anything is permissible” lifestyle.
In this letter to the Galatian church, Paul is assuring believers that there is freedom in Christ. That means there are no rules saying you must go to church on certain days, fast on certain days, or abstain from certain things. There is a freedom of an inner life that cannot be imagined by those who have not experienced it.
As we read this letter we see that Paul had a few criticisms of the Galatian group. He was bothered by reports of their behaviour using deformed Biblical ideas to bring sin into their church. Freedom does not mean “anything is allowed”, and is not an excuse for orgies! The previous verses tell us that that sort of behaviour will not lead us to Heaven.
Read Galatians 5 today and pray for your church group to stay in “the Joy of the Lord” and not the false joy of world experiences.
Ask yourself if others see you as a joyful group?
Pray for more of the Spirit to be evident in your own personal life, and the believers you meet with.
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