The Law of love
We see Christ’s law stamped across Paul’s concluding statements in his letter to the Galatians. This law of Christ is of course love (Ch5v14), and it permeates through Paul’s instructions for how the Galatians and every believer should go on believing and doing. In fact it permeates the whole of the New Testament. Paul rolls out a narrative of what a life grounded in the liberty of Christ’s law of love looks like practically:
Forgiveness & Redemption (v1) – Despite the wrongs of others we’re instructed to forgive and respond with gentleness with the aim of restoring that person back to fellowship with the family of believers.
Bear One Another’s Burdens (v2) – We’re not to simply pray for one another or respond with a comforting statement but encouraged to go the extra mile and bear each other up in what ever way we can holistically – whether it be physically, materially, spiritually, mentally, cognitively, socially. God has written through Paul to urge us to support each other’s needs in whatever way we can as though they were our own. What a wonderful challenge to clear off any dust of apathy, selfishness and ignorance from ourselves and show up the brilliant garments of love given to us by Jesus?
Guarding against Temptations (v1, v3) – Sin hinders our ability to love others and ourselves. And pride with it’s deceptiveness is a particularly divisive sin, as it’s hiddenness sustains it’s negative impact on our ability to love selflessly. Paul exhorts us to be vigilant in fighting against pride and other forms of temptation that limit God’s love flowing through our lives.
Sowing Good (v6-10) – We’re to persevere in doing good throughout all seasons of life. It’s important to encourage ourselves in this particularly when we may feel limited in doing good deeds for others, and to encourage others in this area also. What has God blessed you with that you can share with someone else? Paul lays out a spiritual principle – we reap what we sow. Therefore keep sowing good even when not immediately seeing any fruit from this, persevere and know that you’re guaranteed to reap good.
Boasting in Christ Alone (v3, v11-15) – We’re to challenge any urges to boast in our flesh or our strength but instead wear humility and boast in Christ plus nothing else! For only by his name are we saved, made new, empowered and united with God for eternity.
With his penultimate statement “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus”, Paul doesn’t hide the fact that being a reflection of Christ’s love can get you into trouble. But since when was that ever to stop God’s cherished people from living radically in the power of his love?
Posted by: Andy Moyle
On: 21st Sep, 2018 at 5:53 am