ISSL Reflections May 29 2022 Galatians 5:16–26 Post 1

Live by the Spirit

…” so counsels the former Pharisee, Paul.

Do you hear this as an invitation or command?

Let’s begin our hearing of this passage by paying close attention to the contrasts Paul sets up for us.

Galatians 5:16-26 (New Revised Standard Version)

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

What contrasts did you notice?

Spirit” and “flesh”?

“… doing what you want” and “led by the Spirit”?

“… led by the Spirit” and “subject to the law”?

What else do you notice?

Do you have any experience with these “opposing” forces?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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