Gal 4:23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. (ESV)
Heb 11:11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. (ESV)
What was the promise for Abraham and Sarah? Life from death. The impossible made possible. It was a promise outside natural laws. What God gave Sarah was breaking the rules. Living in the Spirit is living under God’s laws which are outside the laws of man. God is outside the laws of man, the laws of the flesh, the natural laws, the laws of nature…He is outside the law.
If we have no Holy Spirit, no promises of God, we are bound by the rules. Paul says the Law of Moses was our guardian to protect us. I believe the guardian protected us since we were bound by the only thing we have known since the fall, the law, the rules, the lists. Under the natural laws, the laws of man, the laws of the universe, the rules based on lists, if we break a “law” we will have a consequence. If we jump off a cliff we will not like the sudden stop. This is the thing inside of us that rises up in our flesh and says “but this thing right here in front of me is REAL. The cliff is real. My circumstance is very real, how can you deny that?”
In the Spirit however God is not bound by the law. The cliff is real but God is not bound by the law of gravity. The law was made for man to protect man. It keeps us from stepping off the cliff by mistake. Jesus died to set us free from the law. In Him there is a supernatural way down from the cliff that defies the law of gravity. Walking in the Spirit isn’t a better way of self-control and rule following and behavior modification. It is walking in His reality. Listen, this is easy, shouldn’t misbehave, that is a given. We don’t need a law of Moses to know that. I don’t need to be beaten by a lawyer to understand.
Being free of the law isn’t freedom to be a jerk it is freedom from limitations. The flesh is a slave to limitations. If we submit to the slavery of the flesh we must submit to the law, there is no other option. If we submit to the Spirit we are free from the law. Under the laws of the flesh and the natural laws of nature I am bound by rules regarding life. Under the law of the Spirit I am not bound by rules but can see Him break them all the time. That is what God is saying in these verses:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. (AMP)
The laws of man say “it can only go this way.” It is limiting and can be hopeless based on our experience. This is what the Galatians were facing. In the reality of lawyers they only saw a limited future of slavery. It wasn’t just bondage to the Ten Commandments but bondage to the limitations of man.
The Spirit gives freedom to see a different future. This is the hope of righteousness. We get to see the limitless options that God has. We aren’t bound by our understanding.
Sarah could not see a way forward. God’s promise did not make sense under the natural laws of man. For God to come through on His promise he had to break the rules. When Sarah saw that God is outside the rules she could see her promise fulfilled. This is why the fruit of the Spirit is not bound by law or rules or laws of nature or anything else. The fruit of the Spirit exceeds the limitations of man. When we operate in this limitless place we are in the Spirit and we are operating from Grace. To fall back into the limitations of laws is to fall from grace. We can’t see a path forward. We are slaves to circumcision and feasts and festivals. Our freedom is in His power. In that freedom we don’t have to be idiots and back biters. We have limitless resources and possibilities. I am not bound by human limitations. I don’t have to manipulate my circumstance and the people in my circumstance to get a desired outcome. I surrender to the Spirit. I obey the laws of God which say there are no limits. I put nothing in the impossible category. I put nothing in the hopeless category. Everything I see is a promise from God. I am free. I really like what the Passion Translation says:
Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its various expressions. This love is revealed through: Joy that overflows, Peace that subdues, Patience that endures, Kindness on display, A life full of virtue, Faith that prevails, Gentleness of heart, and Strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. (Passion Translation)
This is God’s gift to us, Himself. He is limitless and boundless and infinitely resourced. We are His children. We get to live in the Holy Spirit. We get to receive His limitless perspective and live from His limitless power. It really is freedom. Check this out:
Gal 5:16 As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life. 17 For your self -life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder Him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self-life from dominating you! The Holy Spirit is the only One who defeats the cravings of your natural life. So then , the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit. 18 But when you are brought into the full freedom of the Spirit of Grace, you will no longer be living under the domination of the law, but soaring above it! (Passion Translation)
Your “self-life cravings” are your intense desire to make a change in your own effort. It is your obsession with control. It is your selfishness to get what you want in your way using whatever you need to. When we realize that as God’s children we are no longer bound by a limiting law existence we can see clearly a future and path that isn’t possible for me but is normal for Him. This is our freedom. This is our freedom from ourselves. This is walking in the Spirit. This is living as a child of God. Against such things there is no law!