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Category: Galatians

Omissions of the Spirit

I can’t help but notice what’s not included in the fruit of the Spirit.

Success

Intelligence

Talent

Popularity

Articulateness

Just a thought.

Who keeps inviting the slave woman and her son?

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
Galatians 4:28–31

Have you ever been to a social gathering or a family event where everyone is nervous that a certain someone might show up? You know, the person whose very presence makes everything very awkward and and makes everyone very uncomfortable? You think you’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure they don’t find out about the gathering but they surprise you by showing up anyway. And then, once they are there, you’re not quite sure how to get rid of them.

This can happen in the Christian life too. You’ve invited grace and faith into your life but the law and works keep showing up. It can be subtle at first. You might even try to justify their presence. But you end up exhausted and frustrated as you try to spend equal time entertaining each and keeping both couples (grace & faith and law & works) satisfied and happy.

I was once the son of a slave woman which made me a slave as well. But I was adopted and was given a new identity. An identity that enjoys freedom. Every now and then the slave woman tries to claim me as her son but I remind her that she no longer has any claim on me. In fact, I remind her that her son – the one conceived in the flesh and under the old covenant – is dead. I have been born anew by the spirit and under the promise of the new covenant. I am no longer under law but under grace.

For that, I give God all the praise and glory that is due His name. The name by which all must be saved. Hallelujah. Amen.

Not from men

“Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead”
Galatians 1:1

In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul identifies himself as an apostle. He doesn’t just identify himself as an apostle though. He makes a very clear distinction that his qualification as an apostle is “not from men nor through men”. In other words, he was called by God (not men) and he was commissioned by Jesus (not men). He’s the real deal.

Most people introduce themselves by giving you their resume. They share all the credentials that make them important or successful. Paul doesn’t talk about his credentials in his introduction. In fact, he doesn’t talk about himself much at all. Instead, he talks about why he’s in that position and he talks about who put him in that position.

As a believer and follower of Christ it is important to remember where my identity lies. It can be very easy to become focused on pleasing and impressing men rather than simply obeying God. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to prove myself and demonstrate my value through my works more than just resting in my identity that is rooted firmly in Christ.

I’m not an apostle but I am a disciple. And all that I have and all that I am is through Jesus Christ and God the Father. To their glory and for my joy.

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