What Does Galatians 5:18 Mean?

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Galatians 5:18(NASB)

Verse of the Day

We are to stand fast in spirit and truth. We are to walk in the Spirit and be led by the Holy Spirit of God, for when we submit to His leading and guidance we are delivered from a life of bondage to all sorts of fleshly inclinations and set free from legalistic practices, laid down by law.

When we are not being led by the Spirit, we are walking in the flesh and not living as God desires, in spirit and in truth. And the sad consequence of a fleshly Christian life means that we forfeit the beautiful freedom we have in Christ and place ourselves back under slavery to sin and legalistic practices, which rely on self and not on God.

Although a fleshly Christian life and a legalistic leaning does not necessarily mean gross indulgence in sexual immorality and other unseemly practices, it does mean that our actions are in opposition to the will of God for our life - for the appetites of the flesh are not necessarily sinful, but they do refer to any works of the flesh that emanate from the old sin nature (our fleshly heritage before we were born-again) rather than the new-life-in-Christ which we received as a result of our faith in His finished work on the Cross.

As born again believers, the old life that we received from Adam, through our earthly parents, was crucified with Christ on the Cross of Calvary and must remain nailed to the Cross if we are to stand fast in our new-life-in-Christ, walk in newness of life, and be led by the Holy Spirit of God. Christ identified with our sinfulness so that His death would became our death; death to all that belonged to our past heritage in order that His resurrected life would become our new-life-in-Christ. As born again believers, we receive a new nature that needs to be nurtured and fed throughout our earthly Christian walk, and it is only accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit.

A life that stands fast in spirit and truth and is led by the Spirit of God will be fruitful because it is being lived in union with our Heavenly Saviour in spirit and in truth. And if we walk by the Spirit and live in the light of His truth, we will not gratify the desires of our fleshly lusts or the works of the law, for the old sin nature, with its fleshly inclinations and legalistic practices, stands in stark opposition to all that the new life in Christ represents.

Similarly, the new spiritual life we received at rebirth lusts against the ungodly, legalistic propensities of the old sin nature, for fleshly pursuits and legalistic practices are incompatible with a spiritual walk where one is led by the Spirit of God.

Before we received the freedom to walk in spirit and truth through faith in Christ, we were in bondage to a law that we could not keep and a fleshly nature that we could not control. But the Law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ so that all that is of the fleshly 'self' could be put-away in Him and remain nailed to the Cross. And that means all that is of Christ may manifest itself in our lives as we walk in spirit and truth and are led, moment by moment, by the Holy Spirit of God.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ and am no longer under the Law, but under grace. Thank You that my old, fallen nature was crucified with Christ on the Cross. I pray that it will remain nailed to the Tree so that I may be led by the Spirit of God and walk in newness of life. Keep me, I pray, from fleshly inclinations and legalistic practices that place me back in bondage to my old sin nature and the works of the flesh. Help me to live and move and have my being in You so that I can say as Paul did, "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave himself for me." In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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