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What is meant by "Against such things there is no law" In Galatians 5:23?


Galatians 5:23

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

Clarify Share Report Asked December 27 2015 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In the passage from which the verse cited in the question comes, Paul is contrasting the freedom that Christians have as a result of their salvation by faith in Christ, and of God now dwelling within them by the presence of the Holy Spirit, with the futility associated with having to perfectly keep the law of God as given in the Old Testament in order to be saved, since (as Paul noted earlier in this same epistle (Galatians 2:16)) "by the works of the law will no one be justified."

Nevertheless, even though Christians now have the indwelling Spirit of God, and are saved apart from the works of the law, they still also have within themselves their old fleshly natures, which tempt them to take actions and exhibit attitudes that the law prohibited (that is, to misuse their new freedom by turning it into license).

Therefore (as Paul said) they should be led by the Spirit, and draw on the Spirit's guidance and assistance to refrain from the kinds of actions and attitudes that the law prohibited and punished -- not as a means of being saved, but out of love and gratitude to God for their salvation, and as a witness to others of their new relationship with God, and of the active presence of God in their lives.

Paul describes these actions and attitudes that Christians should avoid as including "sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." (Galatians 5:19-21)

Instead, those who have been saved through faith in Christ should exhibit the positive attributes that Paul characterizes as "the fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

These are attitudes and habits that God promotes and encourages, rather than forbids, since they assist believers in fulfilling the overall intent of the whole law by loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving their neighbor as themselves (Matthew 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34). That is why Paul says that "there is no law" against those attributes.

December 28 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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