But I say, walk by the Spirit…
I love reading scripture verse-by-verse daily, but I also love reading it in chunks to catch the broader strokes of what is going on.
I’ve been just pouring over the book of Galatians in my times with Jesus this week and wanted to share something I’ve observed.
Galatians beginning verses are famously quoted for works-righteousness (Gal 2:16), oneness in Jesus (Gal 3:28), and freedom from the law (Gal 5:1). But as you go towards the end, you catch Paul’s thesis and answer for all these things.
I believe his thesis is found in this verse in chapter 5:
“Walk by the Spirit.”
Walking by the Spirit is the answer to the Galatians’ problems.
It is the answer to being justified by faith (Gal 2-no longer we who live, but the Spirit who lives within us); it is the answer for receiving the promises given to the patriarchs (Gal 3-the promise given to the patriarchs is now evidenced by the Spirit in us who cries Abba Father!).
It is the answer for the opponents of Paul who want to trump a legalistic law-based Christianity (Gal 3-he asks “If you began in the Spirit, are you now being perfected in the flesh?”); and it is the answer for living a life of holiness and joy by experiencing the multifaceted fruit of his presence (Gal 5-he describes the fruit of walking in the Holy Spirit).
The Holy Spirit is, for me, the message of the book of Galatians. And it is the message for the Christian life.
Without the Holy Spirit, there is no Christian life, and Paul seemed to understand that in his letter.