Day 72: Two Paths: Deuteronomy 25 – 27 and Galatians 5
Today’s readings are Deuteronomy 25 – 27 and Galatians. We are reading through the New Living Translation.
There are two paths – Freedom by faith, or slavery through circumcision. And there are two forces – the sinful nature and the Spirit- constantly fighting each other, we’re told. Both forces produce results, one that leads to life and one that leads to death. Yet, here’s the thing, We will often associate the sinful nature with all kinds of lawlessness. There’s evidence of that of course. But let’s not forget that THE example of the sinful nature that Paul is warning us away from, is not lawlessness, but law keeping! These people in Galatia were looking to their law-keeping as evidence of their right relationship with God. Paul is saying that keeping the law doesn’t produce righteous living. Because nobody can keep the law. What does produce righteous living is the One who is righteous, Christ Himself, living in and through us by the Holy Spirit.
It’s the Holy Spirit, not the law, that produces love, joy peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, in our lives. Ours is to daily reckon ourselves dead to sin - not just to former lusts and passions, but dead to our claims of righteousness through the law. I am to consider myself dead to self-righteously trying to prove myself through my own piety, like these people were. I am to crucify all of this daily and reckon myself alive by faith, because of Christ in me. Paul says,
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Gal 5:24-25)
Daily, crucify all those impulses to justify yourself through your own effort to be good. Daily crucify all the youthful lusts and passions that wage war against you, and be alive to the Spirit of Christ in you. Because of what Christ has done for you, He can live in and through you, and bring about…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There’s no law against these things! (Gal 5:22-23) He will birth in you a deep new desire for these things. That’s a gift. You can’t conjure it up. It comes from Him. Ask Him, today, for a new desire to have Him live His life through you.