An Exploration of Galatians: Fruit of the Spirit Part 11
Galatians 5:22-23; Luke 10:26-28 - No law can make us holy, only the Holy Spirit can do that and then we don’t need the law.
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.“
Galatians 5:22-23 NASB1995
Well, it took me eleven devotionals to dive into two verses in the fifth chapter of the epistle of Galatians during this in-depth exploration. This devotional explores the last phrase in those two verses: “against such things there is no law”. Since Paul has devoted this epistle to reasoning with the church in Galatia about why the attempts to require Christian believers to adhere to the laws (like circumcision) are wrong, perhaps we should dig into the Greek word for law, which is νόμος or nomos. I probably already did this previously, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat the information. Biblical usages of nomos are listed below:
anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command
of any law whatsoever
a law or rule producing a state approved of God
by the observance of which is approved of God
a precept or injunction
the rule of action prescribed by reason
of the Mosaic law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents
the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, esp. the precept concerning love
the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT
The laws were made to guide people into a virtuous or holy state that is approved by God by identifying the sinful act that it is mitigating. This is an impossibility for humans, as you might suspect after diving into this scripture; this is the whole reason for Paul’s delineation of the Fruit of the Spirit. Here are a couple of commentary snippets from Precept Austin about this passage:
[From Bruce Hurt, creator of Precept Austin] There is no law - God does not make a law against the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit for these are the very virtues that God desires believers to supernaturally manifest in a Christ-like walk. And just as there is “no law” against the fruit of the Spirit, there is likewise no law which will produce them for they cannot be produced by your self effort, including attempts to keep the law.
[From Lawrence Richards in his 365-day Devotionals] - Laws are passed against sinful acts. No one would think of passing a law against love, joy, kindness, goodness, or patience. It follows then that Law is irrelevant to Christians who live by the Spirit. What need is there for Law in a heart where love, kindness, and goodness reign? Commit yourself to Jesus, actively love others, and trust the Spirit to express Himself through you. Do this, and you need not worry about the Law.
We do not need to worry about the Law if we trust in the Holy Spirit to express the holiness of Jesus through us.
The church that we currently attend has a four-point emphasis as their foundation (each one is equally important) of Word, Worship, Prayer and Spirit. This four-point emphasis is also focused on the most important commandment of all, as described in Luke 10:26-28:
”And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”“
Luke 10:26-28 NASB1995
If we love the Lord our God with everything that we have (heart, soul, strength, mind), then we are joined with Him through the power of the Holy Spirit and that guides us to what is written in the law. Many churches these days neglect any teaching or study of the third person of the Triune, the Holy Spirit but might mutter words about Him in some liturgy. When you declare your faith in Jesus and repent, the Holy Spirit begins a work in you that may not even be noticeable at the beginning. If you recall, I talked about that in a couple of devotionals about Galatians, harking back to when I was attending a mainstream church and asked how you can know if the Holy Spirit is guiding you and got blank looks in response.
Well, my daily prayers ask for the Holy Spirit to continue to guide, correct and instill in me these nine virtues; the Greek work in English is also shown:
In this ridiculous fallen world that is upside down and under the rule of the enemy, I wouldn’t be surprised if there WERE laws passed against some of these things. There are certainly laws now against people who are concerned with goodness and self-control, like laws that stop parents from counseling their children who are confused about their gender or their sexual preferences. But until mind-reading is invented, the Fruit of the Spirit can reside peacefully in our minds and souls, even in the absolute worst circumstances.
My next devotional examines Galatians 5:24. I was going to do the last three verses of Galatians 5, but researching verse 24 led to many interesting commentaries.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord - I cannot become holy and express the Fruit of the Spirit except through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Help me every day of my life to grow in this walk of faith. In Jesus name. Amen.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
The Blue Letter Bible was accessed on 1/25/2024 to review the lexicon for law.
The personal testimony of Bruce Hurt, creator of Precept Austin, may be found Here.