There is a really cool percussive dance genre called Stepping. When I read Galatians 5 this morning, all I could imagine was a team of people using their whole bodies and their voices to create complex rhythms with a message. Stepping requires coordination, discipline, practice, unity, and commitment for the routine to have its full effect.
The same thing is true of the Church. Paul reiterates our freedom in Christ throughout this chapter, this time explaining that with great freedom comes great responsibility (apologies to Peter Parker). What we do (or do not do) cannot buy our freedom in Christ; only his gift of mercy and grace can do that. However, once we live in that freedom we live it out in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Our actions and attitudes reflect what (or whom) we worship.
All Christians are called to live out this lifestyle. The Church is made up of wonderfully made unique individuals who join together to serve one another and to reach the hurting people of the world. But when we isolate ourselves or get so caught up in the works we do, we fall out of step, and God’s message of hope gets muddled. We need to be committed and disciplined to learn the steps together so that the Church can manifest the complex rhythms that will draw people to Jesus. When the Church is in step with the Spirit, it is a powerful force that can withstand any evil that comes against it.