Galatians Chapter 5

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      Galatians Chapter 5

      By Marti PA


      “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”     (Gal. 5:1)

      Stand fast = hold firm; an unyielding position

      Christ has made you free from the Law!   Stand fast in that liberty!   Don’t get involved or mixed up in the Law again which enslaves!


      “Behold, I Paul say to you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is debtor to do the whole lawChrist is become of no effect to you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.”      (Gal. 5:2-6)


      Paul tells them, if they get circumcised for their salvation, then Christ will be of no advantage to them, and they are obligated to obey the whole Law.

      That’s the way it works under the Law system.

      If a person is seeking to be justified by the Law, then he is seeking to be right with God based on his own human efforts, and Christ is no longer important or relevant.  The bottom line, once again, is you cannot mix Law and Grace.  You either earn your salvation by your own efforts, which is futile, or you accept it as a free gift of God.  Salvation = faith in Christ + nothing!

      Falling from grace is not falling into sin, but turning from the full meaning of salvation by grace alone.  If anyone says that he is saved by grace, but is depending on his own efforts to keep his salvation, he has fallen from grace.  Once saved by grace, you are then to live by grace.

      For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no benefit to being circumcised or to not be circumcised, but faith that works by love; that is, the way we are to live the Christian life. 


      Ye did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truthThis persuasion comes not of Him that called youA little leaven leavens the whole lump.”        (Gal. 5:7-9)


      They were doing well till the false teachers came along.  And there’s that phrase again, “obey the truth.”   Paul has taught us much truth in this epistle about the difference between Law and Grace.  The message of Grace is the truth according to the ascended Lord — we are now to believe it and behave in accordance with it.

      In the Word of God leaven can represent evil.  In this case, it’s the evil of false teaching – a little false teaching will spread and corrupt the truth of grace.   It behooves us, I believe, to be diligent today when it comes to discerning false teachers and false doctrine – they are everywhere!


      I have confidence in you through the Lord, that you will be none otherwise minded:  but he that troubles you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution?  Then is the offence of the cross ceased.  I would they were even cut off which trouble you.”    (Gal. 5:10-12)


      Paul seems to have some confidence now through the Lord that they will come around to what he is saying in this epistle, but notes that whoever the false teacher is that is spreading a message of salvation by obedience to the Law will be judged for what he is doing.  Paul also asks, if he is preaching that circumcision is necessary for salvation, then why is he still suffering persecution?  It doesn’t make sense.  He is suffering persecution because he preaches the Cross!  And the Cross is a stumbling block and foolishness to the self-righteous, the legalists …

      “But we PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED, unto the Jews a STUMBLING BLOCK, and unto the Greeks, FOOLISHNESS; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”     (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

      “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.  Why?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law.  For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;  As it is written, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a STUMBLING STONE and ROCK OF OFFENSE:  and whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed.’”    (Romans 9:33)


      “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one anotherFor all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”     (Gal. 5:13-15)


      We have been called to liberty!   The warning, though, is that we do not use our liberty to sin.  Liberty is not license … But we are to serve one another in love.

      Paul says ALL the law is fulfilled in one word – LOVE – the principle being:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.   But, he says, if you are going to fight and argue with one another, you will end up destroying one another.  This has no place in the Body of Christ.


      “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other:  so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”     (Gal. 5:16-18)


      If we are walking in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  It is true that there can be a tug of war that goes on – the flesh vs. the Spirit and the Spirit vs. the flesh – opposite sides.  And because of this conflict, there will be times when we don’t do the things we ought to do.  Still, as saved people, we have the Holy Spirit who indwells us, and we are not under the Law.

      Today, we usually connect the word ‘lust’ with sexual desire, but lust of the flesh can refer to any strong desires of the flesh.

      Paul lays out very neatly in the next verses the works of the flesh ….

      “Now the works of the flesh are manifest [plain], which are these:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”      (Gal. 5:19-21)

      You can look at another list found in Romans 1:29-31 which has some different items included.


      Unsaved people who are in the habit of living like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Why?  Romans 6:23 says this“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Because God is righteous and just, sin must be punished.  However, those who have placed their faith in the finished Cross-work of Christ, their sins have been paid for and they receive the gift of eternal life.


      “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.   And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lustsIf we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”      (Gal. 5:22-26)


      When we are walking in the Spirit we will be exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.  These are not the result of our own efforts, but are traits the indwelling Holy Spirit produces in us.

      We who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with all its affections and desires.   When did that happen?   At salvation …..

      “Therefore we ARE buried WITH Him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should WALK in NEWNESS of LIFE …. Knowing this, that our old man IS crucified WITH Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN …. Likewise RECKON ye also YOURSELVES to be DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”    (Romans 6:4, 6 & 11)  

      When He died, we died … we died to sin and we’re to RECKON ourselves that way – we’re to see ourselves as dead to sin.

      The Holy Spirit lives within us; the admonition then is to walk in the Spirityielding ourselves to God and our members as servants of righteousness (Romans 6:13-19).  

      We are not to desire vain glory.  We are not to provoke others, or envy one another.  In the Body of Christ there is unity of the Spirit.  Because of our unity with Christ, we should forbear one another in love, preferring the benefit of others over ourselves …

      With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peaceThere is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”      (Ephesians 4:2-6)


      “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved … that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

      – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJB)

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