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Notes on Galatians 5

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning at 10:00am! Here are my notes for Galatians 5, but we'll also go through chapter 6. See you then!

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.

Don’t abandon the freedom you have in Christ! He has redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). Don’t go back to being under that bondage and heavy burden.

2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Meaning, if you submit to circumcision and depend on that plus all the other Jewish ceremonies, for justification and salvation, then Christ’s death has no value for you.

3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

If you are going to go down that path with circumcision as a means of salvation then you need to do everything in the law. James 2:10 says that if you break the law in one point, you’re guilty of all of it. Basically, if you want to work your way to Heaven you’ve already failed.

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

It’s one or the other. To be under grace means acknowledging your sin, knowing there’s no way to overcome it, and receiving the free gift of eternal life.

5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

See Titus 2:13 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

1 Corinthians 7:19 “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”

7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

It seemed like the Galatians were off to a good start but the subversive Judaizers pulled them back.

8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

Paul is saying that he never taught this heresy of turning back to the law. Christ freed us from bondage unto liberty.

9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Like in 1 Corinthians 5:6-7. This is what Paul is saying in verses 2 & 3 of this chapter. You start to do a little Law, just one thing, you’re lost and Christ is no benefit to you.

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.

This judaizer, this false teacher that turned some of Galatia away from the completeness and sufficiency of Christ, will be rewarded for his works, just like Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14).

11 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.

Your translation might say “emasculate” or “mutilate” instead of “cut off.” Put those words together and you get the sense of what Paul was saying about his desire for these false teachers.

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.

“A total freedom from all the burthensome rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law. Only use not that liberty for an occasion to the flesh. By flesh, here, we may understand all the unrenewed desires and propensities of the mind; whatsoever is not under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. Your liberty is from that which would oppress the spirit; not from that which would lay restraints on the flesh. The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law: but binds you still faster under the moral law. To be freed from the ceremonial law is the Gospel liberty; to pretend freedom from the moral law is Antinomianism.” – Adam Clarke

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

See Romans 13:9-10.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Stop all the fighting among yourselves.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

This is a great standalone verse that’s a simple but profound statement. This is what I’ve said for a long time that God doesn’t want us to focus on “not sinning.” We are to focus on Him and set our affection on things above! If you’re focused on Christ you won’t be sinning. If you’re walking in the Spirit you won’t be fulfilling the lust of the flesh. In just a few verse we see those two paths described.

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.

Our own corrupt and willful hearts, and the Holy Spirit of God, are ever drawing us different ways; and we have to choose between them.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

The point Paul is making through the entire book of Galatians. See Ch. 3:1-3.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Uncleanness: Impurity.

Lasciviousness: Inappropriate sensual conduct, lewdness, excess, shamelessness.

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Witchcraft: Sorcery, drug use.

Hatred: Enmity.

Variance: Quarreling, rivalry, debates.

Emulations: ζηλος, envy, jealousy, zeal in a bad way.

Strife: Ambition over others, contentiousness.

Seditions: Divisiveness (see Romans 16).

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.

Revellings: Drunken feast where people would dance in the streets with torches afterward in honor of an idol Bacchus.

Romans 1:29-32; Romans 13:13-14

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

This doesn’t mean that people who have ever done any of these things aren’t saved (that would be all of us). But the word translated “do” as in “they which do such things” is πρασσοντες which means “the active process in performing (accomplishing) a deed, and implying what is done as a regular practice – i.e. a routine or habit.”

In other words, people “whose whole lives are employed in such work, living and dying in such a state, without repentance towards God and faith in Christ, shall never enjoy eternal life and happiness” (John Gill). Look at Revelation 21:7-8 and see that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire, except “he that overcometh” (v. 7). We looked at this last time: Who is he that overcometh? 1 John 5:4-5 says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

We are all sinners before and after our salvation. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Even Paul struggled with sin; see Romans 7:14-25.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

We can always have joy because of what Christ did for us. The maturity of your Faith can be assessed by what it takes to steal your joy. The closer your walk with God, the more significant an event must be to steal your joy. If you drive a car it often doesn’t take much!

See Romans 5:1-6

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

There is nothing restricting those things. Doing these things means being led by the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit. These are the attributes the Holy Spirit will produce in our lives as we submit to Him.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

“I once heard of two men who, under the influence of liquor, came down one night to where their boat was tied; they wanted to return home, so they got in and began to row. When the grey dawn of morning broke, behold, they had never loosed the mooring line, or raised the anchor. And that’s just the way with many who are striving to enter the kingdom of heaven. They cannot believe, because they are tied to this world. Cut the cord! Cut the cord! Set yourselves free from the clogging weight of earthly things, and you will soon go on toward heaven.” – D. L. Moody

“To resist the flesh in this manner is to nail it to the Cross. Although the flesh is still alive it cannot very well act upon its desires because it is bound and nailed to the Cross.” – Martin Luther

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Walk the walk. Jesus was no friend of the hypocrites. See Matthew 23:14

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Pretty clear, right? Don’t seek to be puffed up. Don’t look for glory in yourself. See Ch. 6:16


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