“I warn you, as I warned you before”

Modern pictures often portray contrasting colours as do many manufactured things. They rather hit you in the eye, whites and yellows, set against blues, blacks and reds. This is particularly the case in advertising, as they aim to grab our attention.

Our reading today in Galatians does not set colours in contrast – it sets human behaviour! It describes the good things in human behaviour that our God and our Saviour the Lord Jesus are looking to see.

First let us notice the things that God and his Son, our Saviour hate to see, these are “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality … jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries … envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that” (5:19-21). Let us ponder carefully and prayerfully what Paul says about this, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Paul knew he needed to repeat the warning! Ponder how much more today is that warning needed?

There is no middle way! It’s either a broad way, which nearly all are following, or the narrow way.

The ideal attitude is to have our minds ‘fixed’ in the direction of the kingdom – then our feet will stay on the narrow pathway. Beware of trying to walk on both paths, the believers at Laodicea were the worst example of trying to do this and were rejected because they were neither one thing nor the other, they were “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16).

There is true joy and peace when we heed Paul’s warning and join together to help each other along the narrow way. The two ways are a greater contrast than ever before today – the broad way is totally empty of eternal meaning. Let us heed the warning of Paul which we read today. Let us therefore develop “the fruit of the Spirit [which] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control … those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (5:22-24). Let each of us make sure we “belong to Christ”.