Having made the point in vv.19-21 that the works of the flesh are not befitting the life of the believer, then shown the fruit that is borne when the Holy Spirit is indwelling the live of a believer in vv.22-24, now Paul summarises in vv.25-26.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.
Very simply, Paul writes that if we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. This idea has come up before, hasn’t it, that we need to live in accordance with what we say we believe (2.11-14, for example).
The alternative is, sadly, that we will become conceited, that we will start to provoke one another, and that we will start to be jealous of one another. Just think, that kind of conduct (v.26) comes much more naturally if we are living a life based on our efforts, merits, and proclivity to tick the religious boxes.
“I read Scripture for X minutes today, did you?”
“Why haven’t you take your offering to the altar yet, you’re not very good at this stuff, are you?”
“Man, I wish I could pray like him/her…”
Remember, this is the kind of life that the Galatians were being enticed back into. This is the kind of life where keeping score, where outward appearances, and where in-the-family competition are all too common. This is the life that the Galatians had left behind (in their paganism) but were also in danger of falling back into (through the Judaizers).
The remedy is simple:
let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.
The best way to summarise this and a great thought for us to take into today, as David Guzik writes, is that
“The Spirit has given you life. Now let Him direct your steps.”