Sunday Follow Up – Gal 5

Context, context, context. One of the first lessons in understanding a text is context.
I was reminded of this interpreting device this Sunday as I taught. We were in Galatians 5:13-26. This is the great passage on the fruit of the Spirit. I’ve always loved this list of godly characteristics. I’ve taught from it, shared it, prayed it with my girls.
But I’ve missed the point.
When I have looked at these verses I’ve thought it was about the fruit of the Spirit. In context its not. As I looked at it in view of what the Apostle Paul had been saying through out this book I came to another conclusion. This section in Galatians is about our life in the Spirit. Here Paul gives his decisive answer to the problem he’s been talking about. Paul has talked about the law and how we are to live. He’s looking at how we are to live this godly life.
The fruit is the result of my life in the Spirit. To get there I must walk, be led, live, and keep in step with Spirit.
If I focus on the fruit of the Spirit it can become another list of things to do. And that’s exactly what Paul has been fighting against.
So as I walked away from teaching this morning I learned what this text is about, its the life in the Spirit. Context teaches us more accurately.

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