1. Freedom in Christ Gal 5:1-10
When we think of man as made up of 3 parts of Spirit, Soul and Body or roughly Heart, Mind and Body, we can understand things better. The circumcision was given by God to the Jews was an outward body sign of their covenant with God. Their will and heart comes first and then the external sign follows. Baptism is the outward testimony of our inward faith in Christ. Without the inward heart, external sign has no true effect. There are people who go through the salvation prayer and baptism in order to marry the Christian girl friends that they like. Subsequently, they broke off and they also left the faith. So Paul said earlier that circumcision should be of the heart and not of the body only.
Christ came to set us free from having to follow the law to gain righteousness (Gal 5:5). If we accept circumcision as the way to salvation instead of Christ's redemptive work, we have to go back to follow all the law and have left the grace of God. The consequence of such act is fatal (eternal death) and Paul in Gal 5:10 said he has confidence that the Galatians has no such intention. They were just confused by others to add unnecessary burden on them.
The key first is Gal 5:6, the thing that count in Christ is "Faith working through love". If we are looking for an outward sign of our salvation, then it is found in "love" out of faith in Christ. John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
2. Love Exceeds the Law Gal 5:13-15
Our freedom is not a license to sin freely but freed to serve and love others freely. With the confidence of our new life in Christ, we can change from being self-centered to others-centered. Those who sin deliberately are condemned Gal 5:21. 5:14 said that the whole law is summarized in one word "love" - loving others as yourself.
3. Spirit vs Flesh Gal 5:16-26
The secret to true life and victory is not about following the law but about living in the Spirit - being led and walking in the Spirit. We have to die to the idea that we can fulfill the demand of the law by ourselves. Because, unless we die to our flesh, the desires of the flesh will cause us to sin. By following the Spirit, we bear the good fruit of the Spirit - the fruit is more than the requirements of the law. We can make a list of comparions about the two fruits - of the flesh and of the Spirit. In v26, Paul pointed out the root cause of our sins - our pride. We need to step down on our throne and let Christ sits on it. Christ has shared His throne with us.
- What does freedom in Christ mean?
- What does "faith working through love" mean to you?
- Contrast the Work of Flesh vs Fruit of the Spirit.
- How should one live ?