Thursday, January 21, 2016

Galatians, Day 4 Readings

Spiritual Fruits   

Today's reading offers Paul's alternative to following the obligations of Jewish law.  Again, it is fair to say that Paul is rather flabbergasted by the eagerness with which some in the Galatian churches have wanted to become circumcised, thinking this will make them better Christians.

Paul, who was carefully taught Torah, and all of its intricacies, as a student of the Pharisees, knows that it is impossible to perfectly obey Jewish law.  How much better it is instead to live as Christians guided by the Holy Spirit.  Rather than having to study and remember countless regulations, Paul believes that Christians have the freedom to not worry about such things.  Instead, Christians need only worry if their actions come from baser human desires (which Paul describes as works of the flesh) or from faithful spiritual desires, which Paul lists as the fruits of the Spirit.  If a person's actions and thoughts are filled with these good spiritual fruits, there is no need to worry about the long list of rules -- most of which are "no-nos" -- in Torah.

Read Galatians 5:2-26  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
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Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Galatians 5:2-26 today.