“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (5:13-14)
Before Christ, we were slaves–sin and death ruled us–but Christ came and defeated sin and death, setting us free! Not in a “free to sin away our lives and still go to heaven” way, but in a “now you have the power to choose the right thing” way. His Spirit is within us! And what is His Spirit longing for us to choose? LOVE!
Thinking back to our old friend Josiah and his worthless heir, God says to his son in Jeremiah 22:15-16 “Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? Declares the LORD.” Knowing God is to love others. Caring about your fellow man is His hearts cry. He saved us so we could freely love.
To quote Les Miserables “To love another person is to see the face of God”.
How, then, do we love? Know there are two contrary impulses within you. The flesh and the Spirit. The flesh loves in a selfish, perverted, impulsive, insecure way. The Spirit loves in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. “Against such things there is no law”. If mankind was fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit we wouldn’t need rules.
But, alas, here we are, awaiting the return of Christ and the second resurrection, so what do we do in the meantime? Take care of one another. Don’t compare and get conceited or insecure. Bear one another’s burdens. Be quick to forgive. Remain accountable to the Spirit; we can only control ourselves. Don’t get tired of doing the right thing. Persevere!
Keep on keepin’ on my friends! Share your burdens. We’re in this together, remember?