Summary: Freedom opens up the one thing that helps us to keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians Part 5 – “Be free and live by the Spirit!”
Thesis: Freedom opens up the one thing that helps us to keep in step with the Spirit.
Opening thought about chapter 5: Paul tells the Galatia church to be free, to remember the one thing which is “faith is to express itself through love” and this action will help us to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit of God!
As we have been progressing through the book of Galatians we have discovered that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to get into Heaven. Human effort driven by a works religious mindset will not get you into Heaven instead it will put you into bondage and steal away your joy.
Paul has been confronting the false teaching of the Judaizers and re-convincing the Galatian Churches to return to the true Gospel. He has stressed that it is more important to please God rather than to please others. He has told them if you quit serving God and pleasing Him than the sacrifice of Jesus means nothing. He challenges them about their actions by asking, “Do you really want to negate Christ’s death and resurrection?”
Paul frequently has referred to his former way of life when he too was trapped into a works related religious mindset. He convincingly relates to them how he too at one point thought that he could earn his way to heaven. But that all changed when he had a divine encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road. He actually discovered that his religious mindset and works driven religious mindset actually put him in opposition to the Lord. The deceived mindset of the religious actually does not draw them closer to the Lord but further away and in opposition to His message of “grace.”
Paul also in our book asked the Galatians a few questions about their past experience in Christ to remind them of what the truth looks like. Many times in life we need to go back and remember what Jesus did for us so as to refresh our memories.
He also reminded the Galatian church that Abraham became saved and a friend of God not because he followed the Law but because he believed by faith. He uses Abraham as an example to show that the law had a purpose for a short time period but once Jesus “The Seed” came he brought in the fulfillment of the law. Therefore Jesus in Paul’s own words did the following Galatians 3:25 “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”
He stressed in chapter three that the law was not opposed to the promises of God but taught about those promises and taught us about how life really is birthed. Life is birthed through faith in the Promised One. The law showed that we are all prisoners to sin and we cannot get to heaven by human effort therefore we needed the Promised One to set us free. Therefore Jesus came fulfilling the prophetic words of the OT and fulfilling the covenant of faith promised to Abraham.
As a result of the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ and our willingness to accept Christ by faith we then get the awesome privilege of becoming “The Sons and Daughters of God.” Since Jesus came and ushered in this new era of faith and grace there is now no more distinction between Jew or Greek, slave or free man, male or female but we are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all on the same plain equal in the eyes of the Lord Yes, we are all equal in that we all belong to Him. Therefore we are free!
Scripture Text: Galatians 5:1- 26:
1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!