Sunday, 20 July 2014

Bible Study Series - Galatians Chapter 5

Freedom in Christ Jesus

Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

V1. Stand Fast! Hold your ground, refuse to give up what you have been taught of the true Gospel, for that reason we have liberty by which our Lord Jesus Christ has made us free. Jesus fulfilled all requirements for us, died and was resurrected; his sacrifice made it possible for ALL mankind to enter heaven.
Paul completes his statement by telling the Galatians to not be entangled with the yoke of bondage ever again.

What is a Yoke?

A yoke is a like a noose or a collar, usually to wrap around the neck of two or more animals linked together by ropes for pulling things, they are bonded together. Or consider, cuffs around slaves/prisoners necks which are linked to each other to keep them bound to each other making it harder for them to escape.

There were certain false teachers that came from Judaea telling the Gentiles of Galatia that they had to do all the things required of in the Old Testament to obtain God’s Blessings and Salvation. This can be read in Acts Chapter 15.

Galatians 5:2-3 “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.”

V2. Paul says to the Gentile Galatians that if you still seek to be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Read that? Did you hear that?? That’s right, Christ shall profit you NOTHING! Works of the Flesh cancels out Grace, and cancels out the Promise of the Spirit. You see, there is nothing wrong with being circumcised, even Paul mentioned that in Acts 16:1-3 but, to be so, does not have any spiritual benefit or merit with God.

V3. Every man who seeks God’s glory and Salvation by the works of his own flesh is in debt to do the whole Law. Failing in one point of the Law; fails the entire Law. – James 2:10

Galatians 5:4-6 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

V4. If you try to justify yourself by the Law, Christ has become of no effect to you; you have fallen from Grace. Trying to make yourself perfect through the Law, you will be under the Law instead of Grace.

V5. Through the Spirit, we through the Holy Spirit wait for the promise to be fulfilled at the Lords 2nd coming by faith in him. Christians have already been imputed with righteousness upon belief, we wait for the day of the Lord to receive the completeness of righteousness; we put off the corruptible and put on the incorruptible, our bodies of flesh will be made new and glorified. – Romans 8:18, 21

V6. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth anything, meaning anything done in the flesh accounts for nothing. For we are in Jesus, in the Spirit and we worship in the Spirit by Faith in our Lord Jesus; whom we love. By our Love we work our faith in Jesus Christ.

Christianity is in the Spirit, Christianity is a personal relationship with Christ.

·         Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

Running the Race!

Galatians 5:7-10 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.”

V7. Paul tells the Galatians that they started off well that is, until the Judaizers came along as a stumbling block to them in light of the truth.

V8. This persuasion, what is it? Well, simple enough, the Galatians were being persuaded that they had to essentially come to Salvation through their own works, the deeds of the Law. Any doctrine that claims Gods gracious work is insufficient to save is false doctrine; it is a doctrine of men and devils.

V9. One of my favourite quotations! “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”. Leaven in the bible mostly refers to things that aren’t good; sin. A little leaven here being the false doctrines. 

Leaveneth is the spreading of the corruption, like cancer. The lump, the body, the church.

V10. Paul then encourages the Galatians that through the Lord, he is confident that they will not be swayed into becoming heretics, and will not fall into the false teachings of the Judaizers.

Interesting enough, the question I would ask you is how many religions out there proclaim that we must merit our Salvation? How many have fallen victim to these Judaizers?

It is a very dangerous thing to teach anything but the pure gospel message. Paul states that whosoever will trouble you with these things; being works of the law, they will face the judgement of the Lord, for it is fearful thing to fall into the hands of the almighty living God. I would choose Grace any day over the Law.

Galatians 5:11-12 “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.”

V11. Paul asks the Galatians, if he preached circumcision, why does he still suffer persecution?
Obviously the Judaizers were telling the Galatians that Paul was teaching circumcision, along with Judaism. Paul refutes this idea and says, if this is so, then why am I still being persecuted by the Judaizers?

Paul suffered with Christ. Paul really counted it as gain to be persecuted, bringing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ; the teaching of the cross was an offense to the Jews.

V12. I wish they would be cut off from you, cut off these false teachers.

Life by the Spirit

Galatians 5:13-14 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

V13. Believers are called to freedom on the basis of Grace, no longer oppressed in bondage by the deeds of the Law; you should not use your freedom to indulge in sins whenever you feel like it, but to serve one another by love. Remember when the lawyer asked Jesus which of the Law is the Great Commandment?
Jesus Answers –

·         Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

V14. The Great Commandment which fulfils all the Law; Is to Love the Father in Heaven foremost, and everyone else as we would love ourselves; period.

Galatians 5:15-18 “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

V15. A graphic depiction of biting and devouring one another, liken to wild animals attacking and killing one another. This is what’s happening spiritually when we do not love one another.

·         James 3:14-16 “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

V16. As believers we must walk in the Spirit, when we do this we will not give into the lusts of our flesh, the very temptations of this world.

All believers have the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us as personal, as our way to have the ability or power to please God in the way we walk.

·         1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
·         Romans Chapters 8-9 – for more information

How do we walk in the spirit and not in the flesh?

·         If we are unsure when we are tempted, we should pray to God for the Wisdom so that he might reveal to us through the Holy Spirit.
o   James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
·         You must believe that the Holy Spirit is in you.
o   Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father”
·         In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, you need to submit your own desires to those of the Spirit.
·         We must depend on the Spirit to help us; the Spirit is he which leads us to a God pleasing life.
·         We should listen or anticipate when the Spirit is guiding us.

What does the Flesh refer to?

The flesh does not simply refer to the physical body, but the thoughts of the mind, the heart, and your emotions; which are all subject to sin. We have not yet received our glorified bodies as of yet, not until the time of when the Lord returns.

2 Corinthians 5:3 “If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.”

The lusts of the flesh is what brings us grief and trouble, this is what causes us to sin.

V17. The flesh lust against the Spirit, the desires of the flesh always opposes the Spirit. The flesh will lead to sinful behaviour; something you would not be compelled to do.

Romans 7:14-25 – See for more details.

The Christian, the believer has this internal battle going on inside himself. It is a war between the Flesh and the Spirit to control the will of man, the flesh has destroyed many men since the beginning of creation.

V18. But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law, your choice really…
The Spirit is opposed to our sinful fleshly desires, but it is also opposed to the law. They are mutually incompatible. Believers are of the Spirit, we are the sons of God who worship in the Spirit, not of the letter. The Spirit will lead us into acts of service and love, not into old covenant rituals.

Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

V19-21. Paul lists various kinds of behaviours and attitudes of the flesh; they that do such things, who are they? The unsaved, for which do such things will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
You see, the law does not deal with these things; it shows you that you are these things, for by the law is condemnation; where by Grace is to Eternal life.

Galatians 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

V22-25. Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit, the good things, the righteous things. We who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with all the passions and lusts, if we live in the Spirit, we should also walk in the Spirit. Let us not continue in vain glory, boasting and/or self-righteousness of the flesh, not provoking one another and without envy toward one another.


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