Galatians, Chapter 5
© Copyright 1998 Darroll Evans-all rights reserved
Galatians, Chapter 5
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.
"Stand fast" (Gr. steekete-sthkete) means standstill, or be immovable.
This verse speaks of commitment.
Are you committed to Christ?
Or, are you ready to turn back to the bondage of sin.
I know that I may be disagreeing with you denominational standing concerning "backsliding," but the person who has truly known Christ will not continually turn back to sin.
Christ made us free from sin.
Do you believe that?
Many Church attendees do not!
Salvation gives us the license to follow Christ!
Some still proclaim that they are just “old sinners” saved by grace.
If you are saved by grace, you cannot be an old sinner, because you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
You have been born again!
It is also impossible for you to remain an old sinner, because it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
I do not subscribe to the “we all have free will” theory!
Here, we find that those who are in Christ are free!
Those who are not in Christ are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)!
The lost live in a state of rebellion!
They have no “free will” to do anything else!
I do not mean to say that the saved cannot sin.
That would also be incorrect!
But, when we sin, we immediately run to Christ seeking His forgiveness (1 John 2:1)!
We cannot remain in sin and be in Christ!
For a Christian to renounce Christ and return to a sin filled lifestyle would require God to renounce Christ, because it is God who controls the destiny of all Christians.
Here, Paul is telling us that we are not to turn away from Christ and return to a sin filled, rebellious life!
Free (Gr. ἐλευθερόω-eleutheroō) speaks of being delivered (from sin)!
Those who are to just Church attendees have not yet come to Christ!
Consequently they have not been delivered!
Many read this verse and try to co-ordinate it with 2 Cor 5:17.
Then, in their spiritual immaturity, they claim, “I am now perfect and cannot sin!”
If you hear that from anyone, it is being spoken by an immature person!
The English translation of 1 John 3:9 complicates that.
The English is greatly misleading!
The Greek text fact is that this does not say that Christians cannot sin!
It says that they do not continually sin!
Christ gives us the power to turn away from sin!
Without Christ none of us has the power to turn from sin!
Rejecting God’s Messiah, Christ Jesus is sin!
When we come to Him we experience the newness of righteousness, but if you think that being born again totally rejuvenates your body, soul, and spirit, just look in a mirror!
That verse is speaking of the spiritual!
Immature Christians lead immature lives!
Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Circumcision refers to the bondage of the Levitical law.
Following the Levitical law is of no spiritual value.
Christians are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14)!
Circumcision of the flesh is a useless practice!
Circumcision of the heart is necessary!
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
These verses focus on a specific problem that Paul encountered during his time in Galatia.
Jews, working counter to Christ, came in a taught that men must first be circumcised before being accepted into the Church of Christ.
The false teachers taught that those who did not adhere to the Law of Moses could not be Christians!
The fact is that if you attempt to come to Christ via the Levitical law, you will fail!
None of us can keep it.
Most Gentile Christians do not even know what it means.
However, if you are Christ’s, the Holy Spirit will lead you into heartfelt love for the Truth of God.
In verse 4, we find that when we turn away from grace and to the Law we are “fallen from grace”!
That does not mean that your salvation is lost!
Please put “fallen from grace” into the proper context. We cannot fall from a position being equal to or lower than what we already are. We may only fall from a position higher than what we fall too. Grace is higher than the law!
Even if or when we fall from grace God, through Christ Jesus, God still has mercy on us. And, His mercy supersedes, is greater than, the Law! The law only brings judgment. Grace brings salvation!
James 2:13b Mercy triumphs over judgment. (NKJV)
The Apostle Peter turned to the Law, but was still an Apostle!
When we turn from grace to Law the Holy Spirit turns us back to Christ Jesus and faith!
We can never be justified before God through the Law!
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
The Law…Even the Ten serve only one purpose!
The Law…the Ten have no other purpose!
Commit these verses to memory.
If you depend on the Law or any other set of rules and regulations you deny grace!
When you are tempted to follow legalism, recall these verses.
Many suppose that they have been "made righteous by the Law."
The truth is that they have cut themselves off from the benefits of grace!
Whoever depends on the law denies Christ.
Those verses do not say that we can be saved and lost, and anyone who teaches that denies the very words of Christ!
John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Due to faith, we wait eagerly for "the hope of righteousness."
It is only through faith that we gain righteousness!
That hope is the return of Christ Jesus.
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
In Christ, the circumcision of the Jews and the uncircumcision of the Gentiles means nothing.
God looks at the heart. He judges according to faith.
Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Prior to their stumble, the Galatians depended on grace.
In the vernacular, Paul asked, "What went wrong?"
Galatians 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
The deceptive persuasion was not from God.
Satan initiated it.
Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Cooking 101: Kneading is an interesting theological concept.
As yeast kneads through the dough causing it to rise, a false gospel can knead through the Church causing Christians that are weak in the faith to redirect their emphasis.
Galatians 5:10 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.
Troubleth indicates agitation, or a taking away of calmness.
The Galatians had been spiritually agitated.
Their peace had been disturbed.
Notice the word "but." Paul’s confidence was qualified.
His confidence is not based in the Galatians, but in the God that called, appointed, and anointed the Galatians.
Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
If Paul had left grace and preached works, the Jews would have left him alone. Since he preached grace, persecution was ongoing.
Galatians 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Paul made a not so veiled suggestion to those who teach legalism.
Paul says that perhaps those who are troubling the Galatians should be "cut off" (Gr. apokopsontai-apokoyontai).
That refers to physical castration.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Moral liberty is not license.
We are to use our liberty to lovingly "serve one another."
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Notice the word---"word" (Gr. logoo-logw).
As this commandment is considered a "word," the Ten Commandments are considered Ten words.
The Law of human relationship is fulfilled, or crammed into one commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
Backbiting is not a Christian endeavor.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
No matter how society views them, love and lust are not synonyms.
They are not compatible.
Living in the Spirit will not lead us into sin or conflict with the Ten.
Galatians 5:17 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.
The lust of human flesh is contrary to God’s love.
If you live in sin against God, you are not exercising free will. You are a slave to sin.
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Those who find living great difficulty within the Law are either not Spirit led, or immature!
Living within the Law of God is not troublesome to God’s children, because they understand that they are not "under" the Law.
God does not change and His rules of conduct do not change.
Living in freedom does not mean that we are free from the Law.
Instead, we are free to live according to His words.
19 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.
These are works of the flesh, and none of them is good.
They are adultery, prostitution, uncleanness, lewd sexual desire, idolatry, drug addiction, alienation, bitter conflict, envy, murder, drunkenness, and indulgence in boisterous behavior.
If any of these are being performed in our lives, they are not there by the will of God. Furthermore, God does not condone them.
Paul then goes counterclockwise to many that teach Reconciliation.
He tells the Galatians that those committed
to these things shall not inherit the
If someone teaches that such conduct is acceptable, he/she is a false teacher!
If you go to Church, consider yourself a Christian and continue to openly commit these things, you are deceiving yourself.
The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 18:14), and the Holy Spirit does not lead people to do these things.
Society follows deceivers who are nice, BUT lost!
22 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.
Here, Paul contrasts the works of the flesh by listing the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit of God is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, benevolence, and temperance.
Fruit (Gr. karpos-karpoV) is singular.
That indicates that this is a package deal.
The fruit is ours when we live under the Law of life in Christ Jesus.
But, as with all fruit, it needs to ripen---mature.
There are no laws, no rules against, or prohibition of the qualities exhibited by the fruit of the Spirit.
Indeed, the fruit of the spirit is lawful in even godless societies.