Last week, I taught from Chapter 5:26. If you remember, I mentioned this is a transitional verse. Verse 26 summarized everything Paul said in chapter 5 regarding liberty and being led by the Spirit into one short and concise sentence: “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” We cannot live out our liberty in Christ Jesus or be led by the Spirit of God is we are embracing vain glory, provoking or envy. This verse is also used as a springboard for chapter 6. In fact. many preachers will connect this verse with chapter 6, not 5.
If you noticed Paul summarizes chapter 5 using negative actions. Oftentimes, I will hear people say that the Bible is filled with a bunch of “thou shalt not’s.” After all, the ten commandments are filled with the phrase “thou shalt not” and Paul brought to a close this amazing chapter with three negative attributes, instead of positive attributes. Even though there is some truth in their observation, the reason they want nothing to do with God is the opposite of the “thou shalt not.” There real struggle is not with the negative attributes but the positive attributes or the things we can do. The first part of chapter 6 is the positive to chapter 5:26. And, what we will see is the struggle is not in the negative of verse 26 but the positive in chapter 6.
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.