Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness [sweetness] in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
Have you ever thought about what that last sentence in our verses means? First, we must look at the word law. What does that represent? The law is a set of rules, do’s and don’ts. It is black and white and it is inflexible. I am a lawyer so I am all too familiar with the inflexibility of the law. There was a group of people in the Bible who loved the law, the Pharisees. They were inflexible in their ways. Jesus healed someone on the sabbath and they were very upset about it. Simply put, if you broke your leg on the sabbath in front of one of these guys, they were likely to side step you so they could keep the law.
Now Jesus comes, Jesus’ goal was to fulfil the law not to abolish it. See we need the law, it gives us boundaries but we are not led by the law we are led by the Spirit of God. That means being willing to be inconvenienced and challenged at times. The way God does things does not always fit in our boxes and definitely cannot be confined within the bounds of the law. The law sets the lower mark for us that we may not fall below the mark, but it is God who leads us and navigates us in this new space called grace where Jesus is our standard. We aim to be more like Jesus in everything we do.
With our fruit of the Spirit, we are not to set the law above them, because that will limit the operation and maturation of the fruit of the Spirit within us. With our eyes on Jesus, there is no limit to the fruit of the Spirit but there are great limits to the law.
That last sentence in the verse for me is a reminder. That we are not to ever get to a place in life where we think we have got all the fruit of the Spirit down pat. There is no such thing on this side of heaven.
The fruit is without measure so whatever measure you have, you can always get more. There is always room for more. There is always room to grow. So do not limit God’s work in you by setting the law above the work that God is doing in you. Let Jesus be your standard. He is a higher standard and we have His Spirit living within us empowering us to live and operate on this higher standard, #grace.
Love and blessings,