The Flesh and the Spirit

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. (Galatians 5:1 NLT).

There is a monumental struggle ensuing that will determine whether we will do things our way or God’s way.  One way is through human effort and ingenuity and the other by faith.  As was true in the church in Galatia, it is possible to start in the Spirit and yet to end up in the flesh.
Why is this engagement so prevalent in our Christian walk?  It goes back to the son of the freewoman and the son of the slave, Isaac, and Ishmael.   Ishmael, the result of human effort to fulfill God’s promise, persecuted the son of the promise (Galatians 4: 29 NLT).  Those who seek to keep the law by nature have to resist those who are born of the Spirit. What was the centerpiece of this argument among the Galatians?  It was circumcision.  The law-keepers were saying that you can follow Christ but must have the mark of the Jew also.  The Apostle Paul knew that Christ plus anything was not Christ at all.  Why is works righteousness so enticing to us.  The pride in our heart manipulates the flesh.  We love to believe, at least in part, that our salvation is because of our goodness.  Those who embrace the way of the Cross, have nothing to boast about, except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Are you seeking after the son of the freewoman or the son of the slave?  Are you pursuing by faith the circumcision of the heart or that of the flesh?  Seek the latter, and you will soon be back under the curse of the law.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
[email protected]

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