Summary: Paul continues to explore the depths of our salvation and justification in Christ.
Series: Study of Galatians
Text: Galatians 5:2-15
Title: “The Truth of the Matter”
I. Righteousness By Faith (2-6)
• Again in the context of salvation, circumcision can not add to the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.
Acts 15:1 -- 1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
o Remember Paul is speaking to them as a Hebrew, one who had been circumcised.
o What is at stake here really has nothing to do with circumcision, but has everything to do with a works orientated salvation.
o If you add anything to Christ you are taking away something from Christ.
o That is you are not trusting fully in His sacrifice, no matter how well intended it may be (Baptism).
• “You have become estranged from Christ,” or you have fallen away or severed yourselves from the grace of Jesus Christ.
o By attempting to be justified by the law.
o They were attempting to trade the blood of Christ for the labors of their own hands.
• If salvation is by faith then we learn also that obtaining righteousness is also by faith.
o We do not come to know Christ in our own power, nor do we come to grow in Christ in our own power.
o Have you ever tried to grow or mature in your own power?
o It doesn’t matter how sincere we are, in the long run it won’t be successful.
3 Keys to success
• “through the Spirit”
o It is only through the cleansing presence and active power of the Holy Spirit can we even consider doing anything that is pleasing to God.
• “eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness”
o If this seems to be a future event Paul is looking towards, you are right.
o As we grow in righteousness here we continue to look forward to when God will bring it to perfection.
• “but faith working through love.”
o This is our part, how we work in cooperation with the Spirit.
II. Walking In The Truth (7-12)
• These believers had started off well, but it is finishing strong that is important in the Christian walk.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 -- 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
• If we follow God then we are walking in the truth.
John 3:21 -- 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
• Anything that causes us to stumble in our walk needs to be cut off from among us.
o Radical amputation
Matthew 5:29-30 -- 29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
III. Living In Freedom (13-15)
• What does it mean to be free in Christ?
o Misconception is that liberty equals license (which is the opposite of legalism).
• Liberty means we are free from sin so that we no longer have to serve our own self interests but free to serve others.
• In other words if you use your liberty to devour others, then someone is going to come along and devour you.
o This happens when we are not motivated out of love.