Wishing all a joyous Thanksgiving and Holidays! What did the Turkey say when it was angry with the computer? Google, Google, Google!!! God Be Blessed!
For the one who is brought to God by the Gospel, and planted in the liberty wherein Christ makes free before the Father, it is no more a question of the flesh, but of the Holy Spirit who is given to him. And who will venture to say that the indwelling Spirit of God fails to supply enablement to him who submits to the righteousness of God in Christ?
Hence the point is not at all whether we have intrinsic power, but whether He is not now abiding in us as “a Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Undoubtedly such is the assurance of God’s Word to His children; and thus Galatians 5 is in contrast with Romans 7.
In that chapter of Romans we have a man converted indeed, but without liberty, and consequently powerless. He sees the right, feels the good, desires the holy, but never accomplishes. The reason is that he has not yet come to own by faith that he has no strength any more than righteousness, and that Christ is all and in all. He is afresh making efforts to improve, yet still in bondage and misery.
He is occupied with himself. He feels what he ought to do, but he does it not, and thus is increasingly wretched. Sense of duty is not power. What gives enablement is the heart surrendering itself in everything, and thus set a liberty in Christ. I am perfectly delivered, and the measure of my deliverance is the Lord Jesus, and Him raised from among the dead. This is Christianity. And when the believer thankfully accepts from the Father this blessed liberty, the Spirit acts in him as the Spirit of peace and power; so that if there is the flesh lusting against the Spirit, the Spirit resists it (Gal 5:17—NC), in order that he should not do the things that he would.
Accordingly, Paul draws from this a most weighty argument against bringing in the law as the rule of life for the believer. You do not need it, because the Holy Spirit thus working strengthens you unto love. Liberty comes first; power and love afterwards. And how true all this is! Make a child thoroughly happy, and you will soon see that its duty becomes comparatively light and a joy. But when one is miserable, does not every duty, even where it may be as light as a feather, feel as if it were an iron chain on you?
It is no wander that one who is thus tied and bound feels restive under it. Far otherwise is the Father’s way with us. He makes one first thoroughly in the sense of His grace and liberty Christ has won for him, and then the Holy Spirit becomes an indwelling spring of power, though His power is put forth in us only as we have the glorified Lord Jesus Christ as our blessed Object.
Thus, if we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Such is the secret of true power. The consequence is, “If ye are led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” And more than this, if we are manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, we can easily say, “Against such there is no law.” Let other talk as they will of the law, no law can censure the real fruit of the Spirit, or those in whom they are manifest.