“Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:23
Having just enumerated the fruit of the Spirit, the apostle Paul pens the words, “Against such there is no Law.” And while, far be it from me, to disagree with the most prolific of New Testament writers, and with all due respect, I think Paul may be contradicting himself. In Romans 7, Paul talks about a conflict waged within ourselves between the Holy Spirit and the impulses of the sinful man. He names these opponents the law of God and the law of sin. The fruit of the Spirit, which are part of the law of God, are opposed by the law of sin. So there is a law against them.
Now, I realize that when Paul wrote that there’s no law against the fruit of the Spirit he meant that there are no man made laws against it. I also think that the fact that we’ve never legislated against the fruit of the Spirit further implicates us of our wrong behavior. We know that these characteristics are the very best that we could ever offer and we also know that when we fail to live them we are perpetrating injustice. Yet, as a rule, we find that at any given point in our lives, each one of us is very likely failing to live up to at least one character trait of the fruit of the Spirit. So while we may have never codified a law against the fruit of the Spirit there is very clearly a law at work within each one of us driving us to live at odds with all that the Holy Spirit is striving to accomplish in us.
This leaves us with no choice. If we’re going to choose to be Christ’s, we must do what Paul tells us all others that have made this choice have done. We must crucify the sinful self that is within us with all it’s passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). Redoubled effort, renewed commitment, stronger resolve is not enough. Who we are must die so that who we ought to be, and for many of us who we want to be, can live.
How do you do this dying to self? It’s really quite simple and yet it will be one of the hardest struggles you’ll ever take on. Say yes to Jesus. Tell him you give up and you want the Holy Spirit to live and rule your life. And then let him rule. Submit all you are and all you have to him. It will take a lifetime to see the full result but Paul says in Philippians 1:6 that, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”