Observation: Paul is dealing with a problem of people coming to know Jesus, but feeling like the way they walk with Jesus is by following the Old Testament law. He uses a lot of Old Testament imagery and scripture to explain why this is wrong and why adding anything to Jesus’ work causes you to lose Jesus.
Question: What is Paul’s physical condition here? Is it the same thing as the “thorn in the flesh” we read about in 2 Corinthians 12? It is possible they are the same, but we don’t know. The statement about eyes here suggests that Paul’s problems here were related to sight. 6:11 could agree with this. Referring back to the “thorn” and considering the physical abuse Paul described in 2 Corinthians 11 it seems clear that Paul would have some physical challenges and perhaps it benefits us to not know specifics so that we don’t discount Paul’s statements in relation to our own challenges.
Application: I need to continually submit myself to God’s control through His Spirit so that the fruit described here would be seen in my life.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving me Your Spirit who causes me to cry out “Abba, Father.” Thank you for lavishing your love upon me that I am called Your child.
In Chapter 5:19-20, Paul presents a long list of “works of the flesh.” We read this list, and respond “certainly not me!” Do we take pride in what we don’t do as opposed to what we do? Is this any better than obeying “the law” which Paul condemns? Even the list of “the fruits of the spirit” Paul lists in verses 22 and 23 can become snares if we use them to justify ourselves and say “Look what I did, God.” But if we walk humbly with a servant’s heart, and live our lives as children of the living God, we can win His approval.