In verses 11-14, we read that Jesus paid for our sins once for all time.
Leviticus 24:20 is notorious. People complain that, followed through to its logical conclusion, “the whole world will go blind.”
But nobody denies the necessity of a criminal justice system, and this law was intended to limit punishment, not perpetuate it.
If you allow one comparable punishment for a crime, then the felt need for justice is fulfilled. It is appropriate to suffer through a proportional human consequence for sin.
Speaking against Jesus is forgivable, but speaking against the Spirit has consequences in this life and the next.
What makes this sin so serious?
The first reference to the Holy Spirit is found in Psalm 51.
The psalm’s heading reads, “For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.” This account is recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12.
It is fascinating that the Bible’s first mention of the Holy Spirit (in isolation from God the Father and Son) is found in a song and prayer of repentance after David’s most grievous sin.
The only other mention of the Holy Spirit by name in the Old Testament is found in Isaiah 63.
In verses 7-14, Isaiah reviews one of Israel’s many rebellions. It is in this context, anguish in sin, that we read about the Holy Spirit.
I am surprised by this pattern.
You’re free. But not free to sin. So live out the fruit of the Spirit, not the acts of the sinful nature.
In verses 1-2, Paul tells the Galatians to restore people caught in sin gently. He also cautions them that it is easy to become tempted while correcting another person.
We are to carry one another’s burdens to follow Jesus’ example.
I tend to focus on getting through my own difficulties. But we are expected to do more than this.
- Jesus was crucified
- Some people choose to belong to Jesus
- These same people have “crucified” the sinful nature
- The sinful nature is made up of passions and desires
- Does this mean that all passions and desires are part of the sinful nature?
- That can’t be right
- Some passions and desires are godly
- People who have chosen to follow Jesus live by the Spirit
- Paul adds that these people should keep in step with the Spirit
- This means that a person can follow Jesus but still get out of step with the Spirit
- It requires constant effort and monitoring to stay in step with the Spirit
- Our natural tendency is to get out of step
- “Spiritual entropy” could be called a natural law of the soul
- Don’t become conceited
- It’s easy to get arrogant when doing the right thing
- Don’t provoke one another
- Don’t envy one another
- These are three more examples of how people follow Jesus but get out of step with the Spirit
Paul lists nine behaviors which indicate that a person is following the Spirit and not the sinful nature.