Paul continues to voice his concerns for the Galatian church now addressing free will among believers. In these verses the apostle writes about the fact anyone attempting to abide by the law puts his salvation at risk per of the historical truth, that all fall short of the law.
It is through faith that we are saved, through free will given to us by God we can choose to accept and follow Christ. By choice it is through Christ we are saved, through the gospel we are made righteous, not of the covenant of bondage that is the Mosaic law.
“1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Paul invites us to stand firm in the truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ as we resist temptation brought on by evil and more importantly, false teaching.
The apostle, identifying himself as “Paul” states that Jesus’ sacrifice would be in vain for those who choose to abide by the law through circumcision.
“2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.” (Galatians 5:2)
Paul labels those who are attempting to be saved through the law, in this case circumcision, as aliens of Christ. Then the apostle tells us that those who look to the law for salvation, by choice have denied themselves the gift of eternal life that comes along the grace of God.
“3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:3-4)
Again Paul reiterates it is by faith we are saved, by Jesus’ sacrifice we are freed from bondage. By faith we are sanctified, through hope we are made righteous as we allow ourselves to grow according to the gospel.
“5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:5-6)
Paul declares circumcision as meaningless to Christ, to God. However faith, showed through the abundance of love is the gauge to one’s rewards both on earth and in heaven.
“7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” (Galatians 5:7-8)
Like the Galatians many are headed in the right direction, hearing the word and understanding Jesus is Lord. Like those who resorted to the law, would be believers allow themselves to be coerced by false teaching which results in deception rather than salvation.
Paul then uses a metaphor to illustrate the point that false teaching, even from only one person can affect many. The Galatians should stand firm to the truth that is the gospel of Jesus Christ knowing that God’s judgment will be upon those who deceive through false teaching.
“9 A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.” (Galatians 5:9-10)
Paul mentioned he was still persecuted in spite of the fact he preached positively about the circumcision to the Jews, hence Timothy’s sacrifice per the gospel.
“11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.” (Galatians 5:11)
Because of the significant impact of false, legalistic teaching among the early church Paul sarcastically wishes for false teachers to go the whole way, passed circumcision to castration.
“12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!” (Galatians 5:12)
Free will is a gift from God, one that should be used to proclaim His sovereign presence. Believers are called to use this freedom to worship and serve the Lord through one another, in Christ like love.
“13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
Paul then summarizes Christ’ law in a single, merciful phrase. Failure to abide by this law of love only leads to destruction.
“14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)
By God every human being is given free will. Those in Christ count free will as a blessing because they have made the right choice, one that leads to eternal life.
Through God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross we are freed from bondage, from the law of Moses. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to walk in love, in unity and in faith. Let’s make the most of this freedom and reap the rewards according to our works, to our choices. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre