What does it look like to live under the rule and reign of Jesus? How might following Jesus manifest his life in us and thru us? What do people act like who are living in the Kingdom, living under the rule and reign of God?
Let’s ask Jesus to speak to us through this passage and read it with fresh eyes.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b]15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Galatians 5:13-26 NIV
There are potentially dozens of blogs (or sermons) in the passage. I wish to make only four points for your consideration.
- 1. People living by the life of Jesus, under the reign of Jesus, serve others in humility. This is his work not ours.
- 2. People who walk by the Spirit are led by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. This is his work not ours.
- 3. The acts of the flesh are obvious and those who live this life are not living under the rule and reign of God. What may not be so obvious is how the people of God often live discord, jealousy, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy. We fail to fulfill his prayer in John 21. We fail to live under his rule and reign.
- 4. The fruit of the Spirit is not a list of things to do. It is the evidence we are living our life by his life, under the rule and reign of God. The result of the Spirit’s life produces his fruit. It never leads to conceit where we provoke and envy each other.
I have spent so little of my life depending on Jesus, living under his rule and reign. I have spent so much of my life trying to please and serve him in my own way and in my own strength. How do I know? How would you know? We need only look at the evidence.
We may not be guilty of sexual immorality, debauchery, drunkenness and orgies but there are plenty of other evidences in this passage. Consider what the people of God do in the Body of Christ to one another. We sow discord, dissensions and factions. We create sects. We are jealous and envious of one another. We often need to be reminded not to be conceited, to think more highly of ourselves than we should, for when we are conceited, we provoke and envy each other.
Lord, help me walk in the Spirit, live my life more often under the reign of God by the life of Jesus in me. And when I’m not, please find any way necessary to remind me. Help me not to “bite and devour” my brothers and sisters and thus destroy. But, help me build them up and encourage love and your good works. May we all enjoy the freedom we have under your reign in our lives.