Galatians 5:16-6:5 — The Spiritual Life

Many people today claim that they are “spiritual,” but not religious. What they typically mean by that is they want nothing to do with “organized religion.” They want to be in charge, and hence, make up their own beliefs as they go along. Implicitly, they have substituted organization for disorganization, which in some cases may be good, given the lack of a Christian worldview in much of “organized” religion’s faith and practice systems. Unfortunately, although the “spiritual” may think they have liberated themselves, the reality is that they have set themselves up to be deceived, either by themselves or those minions of the devil who make it their practice to lead such individuals astray.

The Apostle Paul dealt with a similar situation, but he characterized the true Christian walk as one of the Spirit. Such a walk contrasted with the walk of the flesh, or that guided by legalistic requirements that earlier he had judged as anathema (Gal. 1:8-9). The Galatian Christians probably did not characterize themselves as “spiritual,” but they had certainly been duped into accepting something that had caused them to start living by the mandates of the flesh. They had substituted grce for law and it showed. Paul, again demonstrating his love and concern for these Galatian congregations, now spends a portion of his letter persuading his readership of the differences.

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