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Law - Gal 5:18 If Led by the Spirit, Not Under the Law

By Chuck Henry
rev. 5/2/2012



Gal 5:18

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


It is of utmost importance to consider the context of this statement. In the verses following verse 18, Paul proceeds to point out what the works of the flesh are (adultery, idolatry, etc)—


Verses 19-21

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh.


Obviously, there is a law against these things. And so it follows, if we are not led of the Spirit, but of the flesh, we will be doing these fleshly works, and we will therefore be under the law that is against these fleshly works.


Paul continues by pointing out what the fruits of the Spirit are—


Verses 22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.


Paul sums up the matter by stating—


Verses 24-25

24 And those who are Messiah’s have impaled the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.


In conclusion, if we are led of the Spirit (not of the flesh), then indeed we are not under the law. That is, we are not under the law that is against those fleshly works. We are in compliance with it. There is a big difference between being under the law that is against something and being in compliance with that law.


To further bear this out, notice that the first fruit of the Spirit mentioned in verse 22 is love. The Apostle John tells us that it is the love of Yahweh to keep His commandments—


1 Joh 5:3

For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.


Paul further verifies in Romans 8, that if we are not carnally minded, but spiritually minded, we will be subject to the Law of Yahweh – that is, we will be in compliance with it –


Rom 8:6-7

6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh; for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, nor indeed can be.