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    21 days of prayer and fasting - Galatians 6 

    Chapter six begins with some practical outworking of the teaching Paul has given.  These are not laws to follow but reminders of the sort of things the Spirit will lead us into.

    We care for one another by challenging wrong behaviour.  But let’s do it gently - we are all on a journey, remember!

    We care for one another in the troubles of life (verse 2).  This might seem to contrast with verse 5 but the theme of verses 3 to 5 is the way we serve, or ‘minister.’  So we each carry our own work.  That does not undermine what the scriptures clearly teach about working together in teams and submitting to one another.  And it does not undermine what Paul has just said about caring for one another.  Paul is not writing an exhaustive textbook: he is a man on a mission and in a hurry!

    In closing the letter Paul summarises the key points.  If you allow Jewish Christians to compel you to be Jewish and obey the Law then you do not make yourselves more spiritual.  In fact you cut yourselves off from Christ.  Even those Jewish Christians have been saved by faith!  What matters is that we are part of the new creation Jesus has accomplished and the Spirit is bringing about (verse 15).

    It is worth noting the deliverance that Jesus has accomplished for us:

    1. We are delivered from this present evil age - Gal 1:3 - this is the basic deliverance and the rest are specifics.

    2. We are delivered from the Law - Gal 2:19 - so it is fine for Jewish Christians to keep the Law but they must not impose it on anyone else! 

    3. We are delivered from self - Gal 2:20 - when we are baptised we are baptised into His death and bury the old self so that our new spiritual self can lead our whole being into life.

    4. We are delivered from the flesh - Gal 5:24 - so we can follow the Spirit, who produces love, joy, peace etc. in us.

    5. We are delivered from the world - Gal 6:14 - this brings us back to the Big Picture and to number 1. - we are set free from the wicked spiritual forces at work in this present evil age, in the world.

    Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed!  So let's continue in freedom, following the Spirit.

    Chris Horton, 07/09/2018