Summary: Galatians 5:1-12, You were born for freedom!

You were born for freedom!

Galatians 5:1-12


* Paul was certainly a man that was misunderstood.

* When it came to his teaching on the grace of God and Christian liberty, many people did not quite get the message.

* It was like he wasn’t clear on the teaching.

* I read about a man who wished he had been more specific concerning the directions he gave his wife one morning.


A while back, the battery in my beat-up VW Beetle had died because I left the lights on overnight. I was in a hurry to get to work on time, so I ran into the house to get my wife to give me a hand in starting the car.

I told her to get into our second car, a prehistoric oversized gas guzzler, and use it to push my car fast enough to start it. I pointed out to her that because the VW had an automatic transmission, it needed to be pushed at least 30 MPH for it to start. She said fine, hopped into her car, and drove off.

I sat there fuming, wondering what she could be doing. A minute passed by, and when I saw her in the rear view mirror coming at me at about 40 MPH, I realized that I should have been a bit more clear with my directions!


* It seemed like the harder Paul tried to get people to understand his teaching, the less they understood.

* He was accused of teaching license instead of liberty.

* Some believed that what Paul meant by being free from the law was that you could live a wicked and lawless lifestyle.

* There were those that took bits and pieces of Paul’s teaching and assumed things that were not true.

But you and I know how dangerous it is to assume anything.


An enthusiastic door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman goes to the first house in his new territory. He knocks, and a really mean, tough-looking lady opens the door. Before she

has a chance to say anything, he runs inside and dumps garden soil all over the carpet.

He says, "Lady, if this vacuum cleaner don’t do wonders cleaning this up, I’ll eat every bit of it."

She turns to him with a smirk and says, "You want ketchup on that?"

The salesman says, "Why do you ask?"

She says, "We just moved in and we haven’t got the electricity turned on yet."


* In this passage of Scripture, there are often some assumptions made that lead people down the wrong path in their interpretation of Scripture.

* Paul is going to be specific concerning the losses of a believer who puts himself back under the law and doesn’t enjoy his Christian freedom that Jesus purchased for him.

* When we go back to the law method of living our Christian life, we lose instead of gain.

I. The losses of legalism v. 1-7

Placing self under law:

A) We limit, rather than release, God’s work in our life. V. 1

* "entangled" – lit. "to hold in" means to ensnare

* "yoke of bondage" – something that binds.

* It’s not a liberated life, it’s a life of bondage.

- It doesn’t free us to become what God wants, it keeps us from becoming what He wants.

* We focus more on the external acts than the internal motivation

- We become "surface Christians" … like Pharisee who cleanses the outside of the cup but inwardly full of dead men’s bones.

* The yoke of Christ frees us; the yoke of the law burdens us.

* "therefore"- goes back to 4:31 –

- We are not children of the bondwoman, Hagar, but of the free woman Sarah.

- We are not children of the law (Hagar), but children of grace (Sarah)

* We are free; live like it!

* "be not entangled again" – don’t go backwards in your Christian life, go forward.

B) We lose the aid of the Holy Spirit in living the Christian life. V. 2

* Paul presents a hypothetical situation… the Galatians had not yet submitted to circumcision but were on the verge of doing so.

* Submitting to circumcision was equivalent to placing themselves under the law and it meant depriving themselves of ministry of the Holy Spirit.

-- They would be relying on their own efforts, their own strength to live the Christian life.

* Circumcision won’t give you love for your neighbor

- it won’t change your heart

- it won’t change you on the inside.

- it won’t stir up kindness and patience on the inside of you.

* Circumcision is not going to add to or benefit your spiritual life.

* They cut themselves off from all advantage by Christ;

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