Updated: Oct 16
Galatians 5:1-15 Christian Liberty
Jesus Christ has set us wonderfully free from a difficult set of rules that always seemed to leave us defeated. Jesus has given us a new and living way in that the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in each believer. The Holy Spirit working in us with the Word of God leads and guides us into the abundant life and all good things.
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. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
The believer must walk in the freedom that Christ has purchased for them. The believer must not submit to legalism in any of its forms all of which bring bondages. This includes the legalism of the Judaizing teachers who wanted to circumcise them as part of keeping the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
You can have either salvation by grace or try to earn it by keeping the Law and the choice is yours. However you will not manage to keep the Law and hence you can fall away from grace! The believer must highly prize the grace of God as a gift for this is what makes the difference in a believer’s walk of faith. Our faith is demonstrated by love in action towards God and our fellow man.
Love Fulfils the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 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.11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
Paul here alludes to the Judaizing teachers who were hindering the believers, trying to dissuade them from the true faith, and they were troubling the Galatian Christians. Paul in reference to those preaching circumcision says that he wishes that they would go the whole hog and emasculate themselves!
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. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
The whole point of Christian liberty is not to remove the moral constraints of the Law but to give us the opportunity to serve one another in love. The constraints of love are the highest form of constraint. The goal of our liberty is to be of loving service to other people.
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