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Galatians 5:15 – Bite, devour and consume

29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now if you are biting and devouring one another, beware that you may not be consumed by one another.

The legalism promoted among the Galatians led to the opposite of what Paul just called the fulfillment of the law. Legalism always results in lovelessness. By being focused on what one should and should not do, one becomes frustrated. And to camouflage one’s own failures, people start measuring each other . One the other and the other the one. And this creates an atmosphere of biting each other, as predators do. And then devour the other with the ultimate consequence that one is consumed by each other. It is a downward spiral of lovelessness that ultimately spares no one.

The legalistic atmosphere of biting, eating, and consuming one another is also illustrative of the action of leaven, which Paul spoke of earlier (5:9).  It is acidic. That also takes hold and spares nothing. Acid is corrosive, eats away and eventually digests everything. Acid also typifies the mood and atmosphere that legalism entails.

Legalism affects the essence of the Gospel and like leaven it destroys the mutual relations. Only agape love, rooted in freedom, builds and makes happy!