194-216 Galatians 5:1-13 _____ In many ways, Galatians 5:1 is a great summary of everything Paul wanted the Galatians to understand: Christ has liberated us to be free. Any allegation that Paul considered circumcision as related in any manner to salvation was effectively denied by the fact that "if Paul indeed honored circumcision in any such way, the Jews would have stopped persecuting him.". To be sure, people do not like this verse, rendering it "faith inspired by love" (New English Bible margin), or otherwise avoiding the word "working" as they would strive to avoid the plague! Galatians 4:21-26 The Difference Between Law (slave) and Grace (free) Galatians 4:27-31 A Comparison Between The Two Sons of Abraham. Even in the Old Testament, the climax and pinnacle of the so-called "seven deadly sins" (Proverbs 6:18) was revealed as "a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations." At the end of another year, Pastor John reflects on 2020, the world of Ephesians, and the need for a new tidal wave of God-centered teaching. Grace is the powerful work of God which he exerts freely for you in your present life. Stand ... therefore ... Paul, by this admonished the Galatians to hold their ground, resist the Judaizers and reject the persuasions of those who would entangle them in such things as sabbath days, feast days, circumcision and all other Jewish regulations. We can't even begin to pay God back because the slightest movement toward him is a new gift from him. Do you exercise as much diligence in prayer and study to stand fast in freedom as you do to decide about home, job, school, marriage partner? But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof. For this he rose. He goes about his work as though a yoke of slavery were on his back and a big heavy frog were on his bottom lip. But this overlooks the fact that God's work for us is past, present, and future, and it is not only work for us but in us. The present tense in this verse must be read as indicating that some of the Galatians had actually defected from Christianity in the manner indicated, with the result that they had "fallen from grace." Therefore, even our gifts to God are gifts from God. None of us feels completely free while we are burdened with a debt to be repaid. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. And here is one: "For freedom Christ has set us free." Where you go to school, what job you do, where you live, etc., are not nearly so crucial as whether you stand fast in freedom. For example, in 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul says, "I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me." Before moving to a study of the next paragraph, the student should observe the double reference "in Christ" (Galatians 5:6) and "in the Lord" (Galatians 5:10), indicating the ever-present consciousness on his part of the dominating concept which pervades all of his writings, that salvation is always a matter of one's being "in Christ," who alone is righteous, and whose perfect faith and perfect obedience are the only true ground of redemption for any man. Freedom from Jewish observances did not mean freedom to indulge in things forbidden, which Paul would promptly enumerate. Christiansstill have their own desires. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10). It is called the "Gratitude Ethic." Through his allegorical interpretation of the story of Hagar and Sarah in chapter four, Paul has argued that in Christ, God has made us children of the free woman and not the slave woman. From the above citations, there can be no way to avoid the truth that Christians are in Christ, and Christ is in Christians. EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: Paul established the church in Galatia (4:13-14), but had moved on. Daddy was on the floor helping—even making it enjoyable. "[15] For further exegesis on all of this, see my Commentary on Romans, Romans 13:9-10. It is a source of thanksgiving that a scholar of the stature of Huxtable also testified to the truth thus: Of all the preposterous interpretations insinuated into this passage, however, none of them is as incredibly evil as that of William M. Greathouse, who wrote: "All Paul had to say about circumcision he would say equally about baptism! Christ himself had made the "first and great commandment" to be the "love of God, and love of one's neighbor" (Mark 12:29-31), nor has there ever been, from the morning of creation, the slightest relaxation of this primary obligation of all who were ever born on earth. Galatians 5:1-6. Howard observed that "This, in capsule form, is his contention throughout the entire argument. First, true gratitude is, indeed, a sense of joyful indebtedness. Criticism of Paul's remark here is unbecoming, for the remark is a protest, not any sort of recommendation. Embrace your freedom to reject those values and ways. But in the second case he is free. So these verses function as warnings against slavery. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. We are free because God has sent the Spirit of his Son to come help us put the blocks away. Commentary on Galatians 5:1, 13-25 View Bible Text . The gratitude ethic overlooks this never-ending work of grace in our lives. Uncompromising, unrelenting, indomitable freedom. 194-216. Strangely enough, some who believe that those omitted things are the fruit of the Spirit very frequently stop being faithful to the church. The Holy Spirit is conferred upon all baptized believers, according to the promise of Acts 2:38, thus identifying those who "by faith" were waiting for the hope of righteousness. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. The question of true justification does not regard such a thing in any manner whatever. Note, particularly, that it is not said that they had stopped "believing in Christ," for there is no evidence that such was the case. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. When one is "baptized into Christ" be becomes Christ, in the sense of being part of his spiritual body, being saved, not in his own identity, but "as Christ." [9] William M. Greathouse, Beacon Bible Commentary, Romans (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1969), p. 103. The problem with the Judaizers was that they wanted to cash in on Christ's profit, but only by making investments with him from their own moral assets. Slavery is what happens when you fall away from the power of grace. We are not perfect yet, so we still *sin. IX, p. 82. God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6). "Faith only" for them was as impotent as it is today. In this passage is the key to righteous living, Everyone is familiar with the seductive force of carnal, or fleshly desire, a force that operates subjectively within the minds of people, aided, of course, by all kinds of external suggestions and allurements. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 Context. From the above citations, there can be no way to avoid the truth that Christians are in God, and God is in them. So when verse 3 says that the person who gets circumcised is putting himself in the place of a debtor to God, we learn that God does not want to relate to us as debtors who try to pay him back. This means that such Spirit-induced thoughts, if permitted to dwell within, will actively dissipate and destroy their opposites, namely, the fleshly lusts. It is believed here that Dummelow read this correctly as meaning "that only a few of the Galatian converts were affected by the false teachings. Sometimes we get bogged down in a quandary about God's will. Christ does not want you to relate to him as a debtor who uses the law to make installment payments on an unending loan. One way begets children into slavery (like Ishmael, Galatians 4:24). Search. So when Galatians 5:4 implies that the key to freedom is depending on grace, it means that the key to freedom is God's rescuing and caring exertion in our lives here and now. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. For this Christ died. Contrasted with things of no value, here is the essence of justification; and sure enough, it is not "faith alone," but "faith working through love," thus presenting the emphatic apostolic denial of the favorite heresy of our age. There are at least three reasons why this gratitude ethic is wrong. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision ... but the keeping of the commandments of God (1 Corinthians 7:19).SIZE>. (16-18) Using liberty to walk in holy living. 5. First, he says that legalism enslaves the believer (Galatians 5:1-2). Slavery is when you choose to deal with him as a banker who needs your investment to produce dividends for his customers. I'll show you what I can do. When Christ died for our sins to repair the injury we had done to God's honor, our debt was totally covered! In this chapter, Paul addresses three major things. Then verse 5 gives a positive description of how to stand in freedom. They would impose the whole corpus of Jewish law-keeping on the Christian converts of Galatia; and in the process, the gospel of Christ would be totally neglected and replaced. [16] William M. Ramsay, A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1965), p. 447. ButRomans 6:1-14 says that *sin no longer controls us. 1. As frequently pointed out in this series, there are no less than eight designations in the New Testament of a single condition (see summary below). B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), p. 143. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Paul in this summarized his teaching of the last three chapters preceding this (Galatians 5:1-5), and then distinguished between the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit, appealing to the Galatians to live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:6-26). Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. The other side is our faith—a life of joyful reliance on what God does for us, not what we can do for God—a life that is distinctively different from the world because, as we will see next week, it is freed to love. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. We need to orient our lives on the clear statements of Scripture regarding God's will. I have followed that chosen by the translators of the NIV. The text begins with a clear and refreshing statement of Christ's will for our lives. cit., p. 192. Chapter Context . A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Verses 2, 3, and 4 each portray a way to stay under a yoke of slavery. The second reason the gratitude ethic is wrong is that it diminishes the cross of Christ. All else is explanation and incentive. His will for us is that we be free—that we recognize that the whole debt is paid. Bibliography InformationCoffman, James Burton. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love. He is author of. Now the contrary force to evil imaginations is exerted in the mind, the same being the battlefield where the warfare is decided. This threefold summary of what does avail, as contrasted with circumcision or uncircumcision which do not avail, should be pondered by all who seek to be known of the Lord and to stand with Christ "in that day." But as soon as this delight in another person's generosity turns into a feeling that we must pay something back, what once was a free gift starts to become a business transaction. For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage. There also, Paul indicated that love of the brethren is the heart condition that makes the honoring of such commandments possible for the Christian. Christ's will for you is that you enjoy freedom. . The moral commandments of the Mosaic Law are to be fulfilled by Christians, no less than under the law of Christ (see under Galatians 5:14); and Paul's stress here is laid not upon the relaxation of such obligations, but upon the only manner of their fulfillment. He has the freedom of joy and feels no oppressive burden on his back. He does not stand aloof and make demands. The obvious and undeniable teaching of the New Testament is that the Spirit is in Christians and that Christians are in the Spirit. I can say, "No, you pick them up, and get it done in two minutes or there will be trouble!" And Galatians 3:5 reminds us how it connects with God's side: "Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Christians are unavoidably out of step with this world. "[10] A paraphrase of this metaphor, is "Who tore up the race track in front of you?". We exalt the cross and grace and Christ when we admit we have no assets to invest, and that Christ's investment at Calvary was totally sufficient to win free dividends of righteousness and life for all who trust him. By faith ... has the meaning here of "by the Christian religion." Galatians 5:1. The current conception is so obsessed with "Spirit in us" that they are reluctant to admit that it is also true the other way around, we being "in the Spirit." For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. [8] E. Huxtable, Pulpit Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. 20, p. 242. (Galatians 5:1). Galatians 5:1 New International Version (NIV) ... An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Let us not become vain-glorious, provoking one another, envying one another. "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Earnest De Witt Burton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1971 [reprint]), pp. Galatians 5:1–15 focuses on what those in Christ should do with our freedom in Christ. The same work to do: but in one case under the yoke of slavery, in the other case in freedom. See notes under Galatians 5:23. "[6] As Howard correctly summarized it, "For salvation, circumcision had no value; and for salvation, uncircumcision had no value."[7]. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. That's what Paul means in 5:1 by "stand fast and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." There is a clue here for how we can live in freedom and obey Galatians 5:1. In the Spirit ... instead of "by the Spirit" is far better, the same being the rendition in the KJV. "Faith" as used in the popular theology of this current era, meaning the subjective experience of sinners and the sole ground of their justification, is merely the jargon of religious cultism, utterly different from the New Testament meaning of the word. But do you see what that superficial reading does: it makes non-circumcision into something just as dangerous as circumcision, namely, a work that you can use to earn things from God. “He is a … "[3] Of course, this is true; and the allegation that Paul was, in these chapters, displaying a brand new conception of being saved "by faith only" is absolutely foreign to the entire Galatian letter, and the whole New Testament. Cole's opinion that "The gift of faith is the first gift of the Spirit"[4] cannot be correct; because only those who have already believed, repented and have been baptized into Christ are promised the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Abraham's experience is very different in those two cases. Explanation and Commentary on Galatians 5:1 This verse explains that through faithfulness and obedience to Jesus, we are able to lead a Christian life without being subject to the obligations of religious rituals or ceremonies. m Stand firm, n then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. "[14] None of the Galatians, therefore, could misunderstand Paul's ironic, and perhaps humorous, remarks here. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. It is God now working in us that which is pleasing in his sight (Hebrews 13:21). And Paul says that if you try to earn dividends from Christ from your own investment of circumcision or dietary rules or feast days, Christ will profit you nothing. Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1535) by Martin Luther Translated by Theodore Graebner (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1949) Chapter 5, pp. Let's see how fast we can do it together." Walk in the Spirit (KJV, Galatians 5:16). I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Galatians chapter 5, we’re going to be talking about freedom, born to be free. A good test of your priorities in life would be whether you are just as concerned about the command to enjoy your freedom as you are about other pressing decisions in your life. And he usually says, "Will you help me please, Daddy?" The cross of Christ was preeminently above everything else the center and citadel of Christian hope; and if Paul trusted circumcision for anything, reliance upon the Great Atonement would have been forfeited. No relaxation of the commandments of Christ was for one moment intended by anything Paul had written about being "under grace" and not "under law." Now I have two possibilities. He offers his fellowship and help, and even makes the life of obedience a life of joy. Commentary, Galatians 5:1, 13-25, Sarah Henrich, Preaching This Week, WorkingPreacher.org, 2013. Circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing ... Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible. It says that God has done so much for me that I will devote my life to paying back my debt, even though I know I will never be able to completely. As a new year dawns, consider that God’s word offers great treasures on a first reading, and many of its greatest ones as we reread year after year. This verse teaches that the mindset of slavery is the mindset of a debtor—one who is under pressure to pay back what he has borrowed or needs to borrow. So your enjoyment of freedom is much more important to God than many of the day-to-day decisions that fill us with so much concern. The apostle Paul did not list tongue-speaking, charismatic experiences, visions, premonitions, and things like that as being connected in any manner with the "fruit of the Spirit." Also, it is a commandment to the church of all ages that they shall "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16). Jump to Passage. To: Previous Page - Contents Galatians - Martin Luther - Project Wittenberg. This evidently refers to the allegations of the false teachers to the effect that Paul himself taught circumcision, an argument they reinforced, no doubt, by appealing to the known instance of Paul's circumcising Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess (Acts 16:3). They did not have to obeyall the *Jewish laws. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17).SIZE>. Standing Fast In the Liberty of Jesus. Or I can say, "Sure I will. Galatians 6 Commentary; Galatians 5:1-6 Born to Be Free. This was the essence of pre-Christian debauchery of the Gentiles (Romans 1:21); and it was "imaginations" which Paul identified as being "exalted against the knowledge of God" (2 Corinthians 10:5), the Christian warfare being simply that of "casting down," eliminating, reducing and controlling the imaginations of the heart. First, we must guard it, especially from those who would pressure us to follow the law. It is conceivable that little Abraham would pout and say, "I don't want your help. Or to use the words of the verse: your relation to Christ is nullified and you no longer benefit from grace. And note well in Galatians 5:5 that faith is not merely a past decision. As Russell said: `Even Jesus said, `The Son can do nothing of himself' (John 5:19). All the works of the law (including circumcision) are the currency with which the Judaizers aim to satisfy their debts to God. "[5] There was also another consideration: "From Paul's speaking so much against circumcision, some might have believed that there was something meritorious in uncircumcision. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law (literally: that he is a debtor to do the whole law)." The human side of freedom is faith. Then he received word that certain Jewish-Christians were trying to persuade Galatian Christians to observe Jewish laws and rituals, including circumcision (5:2-12; 6:12-13) and the observance of “days, months, seasons, and years” (4:10). Home >> Bible Studies >> Galatians >> Galatians 5:1-15 These small group studies of Galatians contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. The second clause here makes the identity of the freedom in the first clause easy to ascertain. Galatians Bible Study: Lesson 5 Galatians 5:1-26 . The Christian life is a life of freedom because it is lived in the power of the Spirit. • To appreciate the need to walk in the Spirit and the true evidence of The pursuit of sacred studies, the thinking of loving and generous thoughts and the soul's welcome of the thoughts and attitudes of the Saviour, all of these things coming from the indwelling Spirit but remaining only if they are desired and welcomed - all of these things "lust against the flesh." And the surprising point of the verse for us is that God does not want to deal with us as debtors in this way. As Lipscomb said: "Just as one plague-infected person may bring devastation to a city, so may one teacher of doctrine subversive of the gospel corrupt a whole community of believers."[12]. First, he clarifies that if someone seeks to obey the law in order to gain a right standing with God they have to keep the entire law. For me, now I will uncircumcision, etc. 'll show I n't... 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