Galatians 5:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 5:18, NIV: "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."

Galatians 5:18, ESV: "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."

Galatians 5:18, KJV: "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."

Galatians 5:18, NASB: "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law."

Galatians 5:18, NLT: "But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses."

Galatians 5:18, CSB: "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."

What does Galatians 5:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has described the Christian life as one of potential inner conflict. In our flesh, we want what we want even if we have to sin against God or others to get it. That's part of being human, and those desires don't disappear even for people justified by God because of their faith in Christ (Galatians 5:16–17).

However, God does send His Spirit to live in the "heart" of every Christian (Galatians 4:6). The Spirit arrives with at least two things: One, it wants what is right and good for those in Christ all of the time. It wants to honor God and serve others in love. Second, the Spirit brings with it enormous power, the very power of God Almighty.

Paul now reveals that it is possible for free people in Christ to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, to win that conflict over our selfishness and sinful desires. It is possible to act in the Spirit's power to love others as Christ loves us. When we do love others in that way, we have no need of the law. None of its rules and regulations matter; our words, actions, and even thoughts will be born out of our love for God and others.

Free people in Christ can—and should—use their freedom in this way.