Summary: The Cross of Christ has (past tense) already purchased incredible benefits for those who His. This message innumerates several of the consequences of being "in Christ".
Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses.
4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
7 You were getting along so well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others--a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you.
11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised--as some say I do--why would the Jews persecute me? The fact that I am still being persecuted proves that I am still preaching salvation through the cross of Christ alone. 12 I only wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.
13 For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. Gal 5:1-15 (NLT)
We have freedom in Christ, yet often in our striving for a greater degree of Christ-likeness, we in fact lose our freedom. Paul rebuked the Galatians for, after having received freedom, they then attempted to supplant it with the law.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines freedom as follows: Liberty is defined as being free from captivity, imprisonment, or slavery.
Paraphrased Gal 5:1 would read something like “It is so that we may receive the benefits of His death that Jesus Christ has freed us from the slavery of sin.”
The Galatians did not seem content to live with the benefits that were imputed to all believers - they wanted to add to the deal. Whether these additions were all in the form of rules & regulations, or some in an attempt to live Godlier lives, they added to the privileges of membership, but with an increased cost.
Jesus Christ is our freedom - we cannot follow any method or program to enhance or increase our freedom. The cross gave us our freedom and anything we add to the cross in an attempt to establish a greater level of freedom or depth of relationship, is in reality, a bondage.