Where we left off
Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. [we went over why this could not be literal and why it cannot refer to the Old Covenant]
Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. [this is the war between the spirit and the flesh; the carnal and the Godly that Paul goes into at length in Romans 7] Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. [according to promise]
So now the beginning of chapter 5 is a continuation of this allegory Paul just told.
Notice the word “therefore”: conclusion and closing arguments
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
We have been made free from the penalty of sin by Jesus and what He did for us. This frees us from the bondage or slavery that sin puts us in if we serve it.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
A Yoke is an Obligation not Bondage
He is not talking about the Old Covenant because the Gentiles were not a part of that, so how could they become “entangled again” if they were never involved in that to begin with.
Some interpret this verse in light of :
Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
The yoke or obligation is the law of Moses, but it is not a yoke of bondage!
Acts 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
The yoke Jesus Christ imposes (so not necessarily bad)
Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [burden is not bondage]
In chapter 4 of Galatians I think we made it very evident that this bondage was the sins that they were previously committing before learning and keeping God’s ways
In Christ we have freedom from the penalty of sin, why would we want to go back to our old sinful ways that enslave us?
What Paul continues to talk about here is walking in the spirit vs walking after the flesh (which he will elaborate on some more throughout the rest of this chapter).
In summary, the point is that one way we are free and the other puts us in bondage.
Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
Now we see that one of the specific issues that Paul is addressing is circumcision. If they thought that circumcision was necessary for salvation then they did not understand what Jesus Christ did for them
He is talking to the Galatians as Christians who has come under the terms of the New Covenant
Circumcision of heart; spiritual Israel;
Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
If this is the route that you are going to go down in your effort to be just then you have to go ahead and keep the whole law in this misguided plan.
Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
In case it has not been clear, what Paul has been talking about and leading to in the past four chapters.
We cannot be made right (justified) for past wrongs by the law. There is no law that we can keep today that will undo any wrong that we committed in the past. When we sin – in other words break the law – by keeping the law perfectly in the future, it will not undo the penalty of the sin which is death. The only way that this curse can be removed is by the grace (the undeserved favor) of God (which they were rejecting) and through the sacrifice of Christ. It is through His death and our faith in Him that our wrongs can be forgiven.
Paul is saying here that to try to use the law for the wrong purpose is to ignore what God and Christ have done for us and shun what only they can accomplish in us.
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
The words justification :4 and righteousness in :5 both come from dik’-ah-yos
Dikaios: KJV Occurrences: 81: righteous, 41; just, 33
The point that we have to remember so that we do not become apprehensive when we see the word justify or justification is that it simply means “to be made right or righteous” and this can only happen through and by the sacrifice of Christ.
What is the hope of the resurrection? It is salvation and all that goes with it and this only comes by faith
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. [transformation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit][circumcision of the heart]
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
Living faith is demonstrated through our works as James writes about and as we discussed previously in this study of Galatians.
Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Interesting that by them believing that the law justifies shows that they weren’t keeping the law or the truth
Romans 1:5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
Galatians 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. John 6:44
Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Paul uses an analogy from the Days of Unleavened Bread – one that the Gentiles would be familiar with because they kept the Holy Days
Beware or this problem that I am addressing in this letter or it will grow further out of control
This sin will end up consuming you and taking you out of the church
Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Encouragement: Paul believes that they have what it takes to resist those that are bringing in the false heresies and repent of their wrong actions. And these false brethren will have to answer for trying to sway them from the truth.
Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
He suffers because he preaches uncircumcision. If he preached circumcision as the false teachers were, then he would not be persecuted and the “offense of the cross” or the death of Jesus Christ would be of no effect.
Galatians 5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
Mutilate / castrate
Paul is not wishing evil upon them, that was not his mindset.
Romans 12:20 Therefore “IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.”
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
But he did wish that they would cut themselves off from you; like cutting an appendage from the body; so that they could do no further harm.
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
You do not have the liberty to do whatever you want (ie disregarding the law of God) because this would actually put you in bondage.
You now have the freedom to truly love by keeping the law – in this case specifically by keeping the 10 Commandments
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
This is a reference to the second great commandment which in turn is a reference to commandments 5-10
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
We can’t ever fully repay this “debt” obligation because it is always there for us
We accrue a debt that is the penalty of sin which is death. This debt is paid for by Christ. Because of that we are now indebted to love our fellow man.
That is to show them the same love that we have been shown. To act like a Christian towards them. By doing this we fulfill the law – make it more full – we give the law its full meaning and intent … and pay what we owe.
It is ridiculous to think that loving someone somehow does away with the law.
Now Paul is saying that the love we should be showing to others is the intent and basis of the law.
And in case the reader is left wondering what law we are talking about:
Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
What most fail to see is the correlation between LOVE and LAW. Paul has been very clear throughout his epistle that the law is NOT done away with as we once again see here.
Breaking the law = sin (1 John 3:4)
Keeping the law = love (1 John 5:3)
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
The eventual outcome; this is not love
Spirit vs Flesh
So now we come once again to the contrasting of the Spirit vs the Flesh. We started out talking about it specifically in verse one and now Paul comes back to it.
Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
This is the explanation of why mankind resists the law of God.
It takes the mind of God in us to be able to keep the law
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [because it takes the Holy Spirit in us to do this] Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.[so you can please God]
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [period!]
which law? law of the burnt offering; law of the grain offering; law of the sin offering; law of the trespass offering; law of the sacrifice of peace offerings; law of jealousy; the law of leprosy; law of the leper; law of the Nazirite; law of kindness; law of the temple; law of truth; law of Moses; the Law of God; law of Christ; New Testament law; or New Covenant law or any other kind of law anyone wants to come up with.
If you have God’s spirit you are not subject to the penalty of the law which is death! Why?
Because now you have access to forgiveness through Jesus Christ which can wipe away the death penalty.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
IF the 10 Commandments are done away with then why are at least two enjoined right here at the end of the letter after Paul has said all that he has said?
So Paul is saying here that there are laws that we need to keep. Those who look at Galatians and say that “under law” means that the law is done away with have to reconcile (which can’t be done) that with the fact Paul is showing here that the law is necessary and must be kept if we expect to be saved.
This also shows that the doctrine of once saved, always saved is false. If anyone continues in the works of the flesh they will not inherit the Kingdom of God – in other words, be saved.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [there is no law saying we cannot or should not do them]
All I will say here, because we can give and have given many messages on these verses, so I won’t belabor the point, is that it says the “fruit” not “fruits” of the spirit. These are not separate manifestations of the Holy Spirit, but rather if you have the Holy Spirit you should be exhibiting all of these characteristics.
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [always and continually]
If we have buried the old man and have the faith in/of Christ then we will act in a Godly way and produce verses 22-23 and not 19-21
Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited provoking one another, envying one another.
Lets not think of ourselves more highly than we should and let’s esteem others better than ourselves
So now after telling how not to be, Paul tells them how to be, an exhortation to them
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Discernment; judging See previous message on this: Thou Shalt Judge
Not the petty
Speaking of a brother in the church
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
By doing :1 we are fulfilling what Paul said Galatians 5:13 … through love serve one another.
The law of Christ is not different from the law of God. They are One and on the same page. The law of God describes the character and nature of God so naturally the law of God and Christ are the same thing.
John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
This is what we are doing by going to our brother in Galatians 6:1
We are laying down our life for him; no one, in love, really wants to do this. But we must, thereby doing what Christ set the example for us in doing.
Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Pride. We are nothing without God and what He has given us
We must be careful that we are doing the same thing that we accuse the others of doing or even something worse.
Galatians 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
The main person to judge is ourselves and we do not do it by comparison to another but we measure ourselves against the word of God and the example of Christ
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Galatians 6:5 For each one shall bear his own load.
This is not in contradiction to :1 but in addition to it. Of course we bear our own load too. At the end of the day we are ultimately accountable to God for ourselves and what we chose to do and how we lived. We are to “work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) because at the end of the day that is the only person that we truly have control over.
Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Paul admonishes them to support their spiritual teachers. This is one way to bear another’s burdens and it was possibly something that was not happening in Galatia
Reaping What We Sow
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Reaping what we sow is a well known principle in the Bible. Cause and effect according to the word of God will happen! The ways of God lead to life everlasting and the ways of the flesh lead to eternal death This doesn’t always happen immediately. All will give account at some point. God is patient thankfully. He gives us a chance to repent.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Something that can be missing in the church. We cannot become like the Pharisees looking down our noses at others because God is not working with them at this point in time – but he eventually will give them an opportunity to be a part of the Kingdom of God.
So not only are we to refrain from doing evil towards them but we are to “do good”
Galatians 6:11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
We addressed possible eyesight issue previously
Summary by Paul
Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Galatians 6:13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
They knew that they would get flack if they didn’t teach these false doctrines. But the problem was that they did not/could not keep the law but they made you do it any way just so they could brag about it.
The Judaizers were circumcised so Paul is not talking about the circumcision law. He saying that they do not keep the law of God as they are supposed to.
Another case of having to stay on top of what law Paul is talking about.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The ways of the world are dead to him, they are behind him and in the past. His ways are not theirs and vice versa
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
All have the opportunity to be a part of Israel. In ancient Israel circumcision of the flesh was necessary. Now it is the circumcision of the heart that is required to become a part of spiritual Israel.
Galatians 6:17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Paul received many beatings and scourgings and etc for his belief in Christ and his endurance of such things are a testimony to the foundation of his beliefs – now that the letter has been laid out for them sufficiently and thoroughly, lets put this matter of how we are justified to rest.