Today we are looking at Galatians 5. This is another letter from Paul the apostle to the
Church at Galatia. Just so you know, as you read this letter---Paul is very adamant in his communication to the church! It reminds me of a parent who has made a point before and the child chooses to disregard their words and goes ahead and does their own thing. Then when the conversation comes up again, we as parents are more adamant the second time around. We say something like, “Do you remember when we discussed this before? What did I say?” This is the tone of this chapter.
Paul begins by saying in Verse 1, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Now make sure that you stay free and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” He is saying again that Christ died to give you freedom—DON’T go back to being a slave to the law and sin. You are free because of the sacrifice of Jesus. We now live under the grace of God—NOT the law of man. You are no longer a spiritual slave. You have become a willing servant of God, free to make your choice.
What kind of servant will you become? A free servant who serves out of love? Verse 6 Paul writes, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. In our freedom we don’t have condemnation. No past condemnation or present condemnation or future condemnation. Paul also writes that while we are free we are not to take advantage of our freedom to indulge our sinful nature. We should serve one another in love.
Paul states now that we are no longer slaves to sin, we shouldn’t become slaves to legalism.
If we do that we are making a choice to be judged on our own merits and goodness (being a good person) and throwing away all the benefits of grace and freedom. We are rejecting what Jesus did and saying that wasn’t enough for our salvation—that we have to add the law to grace. Grace works from the inside out not the outside in. We don’t become a good person and then God extends grace, salvation, and freedom. He freely gives us grace, salvation, freedom and we begin to change from the inside out.
Paul counsels to let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. If we try to run our lives—be a good person on our own, reject freedom—we end up struggling and fighting the desires of our sinful nature and being a slave again. Following the Holy Spirit of God produces, love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He points out that there is no law against the things of the Spirit. They are free! The fruit that comes from living by the Spirit in freedom brings life!!
Remember, it is for FREEDOM that Christ set you free! You are free!