Galatians 5: 13-26
“You my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature. Rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in one single command: love your neighbor as yourself. So I say, live by the spirit, and you will not satisfy the desires of the sinful nature.”
After the sharply rebuking the Galatians, Paul puts things in perspective: it is not hard to know when you are being drawn into the wrong company: When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul is saying there is no grey are here, unless we want to create one. In other words, nobody needs to tell differentiate between right and wrong for you. If you listen to the testimony of a reformed criminal, alcoholic or anyone whose lived in the dark side, they often talk of how their conscience convicts them. But they usually numb that conscience with the pursuit of a bigger kick. Paul points out that the line between right and wrong, light and darkness, evil and good is clear as day and night. We are the ones who complicate things, who paint black and white then some grey. Often the grey is because we want to stifle the conscience a little. It is a control issue.
On the other hand, there is no doubt as to what is good. The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. No law can stand against this kind of fruit. They are universally accepted. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Paul is saying…don’t you say you didn’t know. Since you belong with Christ, erase the grey area. Leave the acts of sinful nature where they belong: at the cross of Christ. Go on, grow up to produce the kind of fruit that comes from someone who has been set free.