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GALATIANS CHAPTER 5

I) PAUL DEFENDS THE DOCTRINE OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY (5:1-6:10)

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, pp. 604-5]:

"Having defended both his authority as an apostle and the doctrine of justification by faith, Paul turned to defend the life of Christian freedom. Would the apostle's teaching lead the Galatians into lawlessness or into godliness? The Christian life is described as a life apart from Law, a life apart from license, a life according to the Spirit, and a life of service."

[The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol 10, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1976; Frank E Gaebelein, General Editor, p. 486]:

"Paul has already reached two important goals in his appeal to the Galatians. He has defended his apostleship, including a defense of his right to preach the gospel with or without the support of other human authorities (1:11-2:21), and he has defended the gospel itself, showing that it is by grace alone entirely apart from human works that the Christian is freed from the curse of the Law and brought into a right relationship with God (3:1-4:31). But there is one more point to be made before Paul concludes his letter: that the liberty into which believers are called is not a liberty that leads to license, as his opponents would charge, but rather a liberty that leads to mature responsibility and holiness before God through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This theme dominates the last two chapters of the Epistle."

A) CHRIST HAS SET THE BELIEVER FREE TO BE FREE - NOT TO LET ONESELF BECOME ENSLAVED ALL OVER AGAIN

1) [Gal 5:1]:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

[Expositor's, cont.]:

'''Before plunging into this third section of his letter, Paul interjects a verse that is at once a summary of all that has gone before and a transition to what follows. It is, in fact, the key verse of the entire Epistle. Because of the nature of the true gospel and of the work of Christ on his behalf, the believer is now to turn away from anything that smacks of legalism and instead rest in Christ's triumphant work for him and live in the power of Christ's Spirit. The best MS evidence divides the verse into two parts - a declaration of Christ's purpose in saving us ("It is for freedom that Christ has set us free") and an appeal based upon that purpose ("Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery") - rather than leaving it as one sentence as does the KJV. Thus, though only loosely connected with the preceding, the first part aptly sums up the message of chapters 3 and 4, while the second part leads into the ethical section. The appeal is for an obstinate perseverance in freedom as the only proper response to an attempt to bring Christians once more under legalism.

Since the Jews of Paul's time spoke of "taking the yoke of the Law upon oneself," it is likely that Paul is referring to such an expression here. To the Jews the taking up of the Law's yoke was good; indeed, it was the essence of religion. To Paul it was assuming the yoke of slavery. Perhaps Paul was also remembering that Jesus had spoken of Christians taking his yoke upon them (Matt 11:29, 30), but this involves a different kind of service - one that is "easy" and "light" - as the readers of hte letter are to see.'''

B) A BELIEVER IS TO LEAD HIS LIFE APART FROM TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW

1) [Gal 5:1-12]:

(v. 1) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

(v. 2) Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

(v. 3) Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

(v. 4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

(v. 5) But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.

(v. 6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

(v. 7) You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?

(v. 8) That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

(v. 9) "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."

(v. 10) I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.

(v. 11) Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

(v. 12) As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!"

Paul begins the next 12 verses in Galatians providing a perspective of a believer's life apart from keeping law = any rules governing human behavior in order to be justifed.

a) [Gal 5:1-2]:

(v. 1) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

(v. 2) Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all."

i) TURNING TO LAW CAUSES THE BELIEVER TO BE UNDER PERSONAL SLAVERY CAUSING A PERSONAL LOSS OF FREEDOM AND THE FALSE VIEW THAT CHRIST IS OF NO VALUE FOR JUSTIFICATION (5:1-2)

(v. 1) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" =

i_a) THE GALATIANS HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM HAVING TO PERFECTLY FOLLOW ANY LAW TO BE JUSTIFIED AND THAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE FOREVER

(v. 1a) "It is for freedom that Christ set us free" =

The pagan Galatians were slaves to the law of their consciences before they were set free by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

i_a_[Ro 2:14-15]:

(v. 14) "(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have law,

(v. 15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)"

Notice that Gentiles have a law for themselves - their consciences - which provide the standard by which they must be justified. But this is impossible and their consciences remind them that they are constantly falling short of the glory of God. Thus they are enslaved to their God given consciences until they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone:

i_a_[Ro 3:20-24]:

(v. 20) "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin.

(v. 21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

So the Galatian believers had been set free from bondage to any law of human doing because they had trusted alone in Christ alone. Thus they received the Spirit Who saved and sealed them unto redemption when they believed in the gospel:

i_a_[Gal 3:1-2]:

(v. 1) "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

(v. 2) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?

(v. 3) Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"

i_a_[Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of His glory."

i_a_[Ro 8:1-2]:

(v. 1) "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

(v. 2) because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

i_b) THE GALATIANS AND ALL BELIEVERS ARE SET FREE FROM THE ETERNAL CONDEMNATION OF SIN AND DEATH SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE FREE FROM BEING UNDER LAW TO BE JUSTIFIED

(v. 1) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." =

The Galatians were set free by Jesus Christ from their futile enslavement to the law of their consciences which condemned them all the time, in order to be justified unto eternal life for the purpose that they should live in freedom from law as a principle of human doing in order to be justified unto eternal life; especially the Mosaic Law which the Judaizers were trying to persuade them to follow.

[BKC, cont.]:

"Gal 5:1. This verse summarizes chapter 4, where the theme is bondage and freedom. It also serves to introduce chapter 5. Paul declared that Christ was the great Liberator who set believers free from bondage. The apostle then appealed to the Galatians to stand firm (cf. 1 Cor 16:13; Phil 1:27; 4:1; 1 Thes 3:8; 2 Thes 2:15) in that liberty, for having been delivered from slavery to heathenism, they were in danger of becoming entangled in slavery to the Mosaic Law.

i_b_[1 Cor 16:13]:

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."

i_b_[Phil 1:27-28]:

(v. 27) "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

(v. 28) without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you."

b) [Gal 5:2]:

"Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all."

i) IF THE GALATIANS LET THEMSELVES BE CIRCUMCISED IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED WHEN THEY ALREADY HAD BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE, CHRIST WOULD BE OF NO VALUE TO THEM IN THEIR OWN MINDS THUS RUINING THEIR LIFE OF LIVING BY THE GRACE OF GOD

(v. 2) "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all." =

i_a) [Compare Gal 2:21]:

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

The danger for anyone justified by faith alone in Christ alone and then going back to legalism is not the loss of that actual standing of justification before God unto eternal life, but the loss of one's standing of grace in this temporal life before God to the extent that "Christ will be of no value [to one]... at all".

Legalism is not limited to just circumcision, but water baptism, church membership or anything that adds to what one must do to be saved.

The believer who has already secured eternal life at the moment he believed who now practices legalism thinks that he/she needs to do something more to attain that eternal life. They think it is no longer a finished, completed event. Thus they put themselves on the futile path of trying to please God with their own human doing, (law) which is never good enough to do the job. The path of legalism leads one down the road to where ones entire focus is on oneself and off of Jesus Christ. Christ is thus no longer of any value to one at that moment.

But such is not the case that the believer needs to do anything more. They who have been justified by faith alone in Christ alone have eternal peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and stand in this grace and rejoice in the sure hope of the glory of God that their eternal destiny is heaven in a glorified body:

i_a_[Ro 5:1-2]:

(v. 1) "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

(v. 2) through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the ['elpidi' = a sure hope] of the glory of God."

[BKC, cont.]:

"5:2. Taking up a prime example of such entanglement, namely circumcision, Paul issued a strong warning to the Galatians who were considering submitting to that rite. If they did, and were thereby seeking righteousness by works, Paul declared that Christ will be of no value to you at all. It is not that the apostle condemned circumcision in itself, for he had Timothy circumcised (in Galatia) so that the young man would have a wider ministry (Acts 16:1-3). But Paul was strongly opposed to the Judaistic theology which insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation. Anyone who was circumcised for that reason added works to faith and demonstrated that he had not exercised saving faith in Christ."

B cont.) A BELIEVER IS TO LEAD HIS LIFE APART FROM TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

c) [Gal 5:3]:

"Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law."

i) TURNING TO LAW MAKES MAN A DEBTOR TO THE WHOLE LAW HE IS TRYING TO OBEY (5:3)

(v. 3) "Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law." =

If an already justified believer turns to law, for example the Mosaic Law, more specifically, circumcision, in order to be justified when he has already been justified bu faith alone in Christ alone; he places himself under ALL the provisions of that particular law system, and obligates himself to obey every statute. This is not possible and puts the person under the curse of never measuring up.

This does not say that he no longer has possession of his justification, but that he has in his own mind decided he does not have that justification unless he does something more. In this case, the something more is circumcision. In any case, Paul reminds the legalistic albeit justified believer that to keep one provision of the Mosaic Law system obligates him to keep the whole Law. This is not possible and puts the person under the curse of never measuring up to God's standard intrinsic in that particular law.

i_a) [Compare Jas 2:10]:

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

i_b) [Compare Gal 3:10]:

'''All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." '''

[BKC, cont.]:

" In addition to the fact that turning to the Law ruins grace, it also creates an entirely new obligation: a person is obligated to obey the whole Law. The Law is a unit, and if a person puts himself under any part of it for justification, he is a 'debtor' (KJV) to the entire code with its requirements and its curse (cf 3:10; James 2:10)"

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

d) [Gal 5:4]:

(v. 4) "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated [estranged] from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

i) A BELIEVER TO TRY TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW IS TO FALL AWAY FROM GRACE (5:4-6)

(v. 4) "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated [estranged] from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." =

i_a) BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

"You", (v. 4) = believers who are secure in their salvation.

[Bob Wilkin states,'You Have Fallen From Grace, Galatians 5:4', http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1988/88jan1.html]:

"Paul indicates that he is writing to those who have received the Gospel (1:9) and who have received the Spirit (3:2). In addition, he repeatedly calls them 'brethren' (e.g., 1:11; 3:15; 4:12, 28; 5:11, 13; 6:1, 18). The idea that those addressed in 5:4 were not genuine Christians is unsupported by the text. Christians are being addressed"

i_b) BELIEVERS ALIENATING THEMSELVES FROM CHRIST AS A RESULT OF ATTEMPTING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW IS IN VIEW

"You who are trying to be justified by law", (v. 4) =

"by law" = no definite article, i.e., trying to be justified by some code of behavior, by works of some kind - not necessarily the Mosaic Law.

"You... have been alienated [estranged] from Christ" = The phrase, 'you have become estranged from Christ', refers to falling out of fellowship with our Lord which you will notice here is as a result of a believer attempting to be justified by law when he has already been justified solely by faith alone, (v. 5)]

i_c) GRACE IS DEFINED AS GOD'S UNMERITED FAVOR WHICH APPLIES TO ANYTHING GOD DOES TOWARD MAN

The grace of God = any blessing or favor that God bestows and which is totally without regard for anything man does or is, requiring nothing in return. Thus grace applies to anything God does toward man from permitting him to remain alive to providing salvation as a free gift to bestowing him with food, shelter and clothing every day.

on grace a biblical viewpoint

i_d) FALLING FROM GRACE HERE DOES NOT HAVE LOSS OF ETERNAL LIFE IN VIEW

"You have fallen away from grace", (v. 4) =

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]

"The whole issue here is what falling from grace means. Does it mean that the believers in question have fallen from their positional standing in grace? If it does, then Paul contradicts himself because in other passages he clearly states that is impossible..."

i_d_[Ro 8:38-39]:

(v. 38) "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

(v. 39) neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

i_e_[Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

i_e_[Eph 4:30]:

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.'

i_e_[Col 2:13-14]:

(v. 13) "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

(v. 14) having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross."

i_e_[1 Thess 5:10]:

"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him."

i_e_[2 Tim 2:13]:

"If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself."

Since Scripture is God's Word, it cannot contradict itself. Thus, whatever Paul meant by falling from grace he did not mean falling from one's position as a child of God.

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]:

"Because Paul was not addressing the subject of eternal security in Galatians, we don't find explicit statements of eternal security in the book. (There are, however, implicit statements throughout the book. See, for example, 2:14-21; 3:1-14; 6:1-5.) Nonetheless, it is telling that we don't find the opposite. Paul kept calling his readers "brethren" right up to the last verse of the epistle. Nowhere did he say something such as: "You once were Christians, but you are no longer," or, "If you seek to be justified by the law, you will lose eternal life."

i_f) FALLING FROM GRACE HERE IS THE LOSS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD'S GRACE IN ONES TEMPORAL LIFE

"You have fallen away from grace." =

This phrase parallels "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated [estranged] from Christ" which precedes it in the same verse.

Alienated, i.e., estranged from Christ pictures loss of temporal fellowship here, not loss of eternal life - if the latter were possible, (and it is not).

To be alienated from Christ is to be estranged or out of fellowship with Him in ones daily life. Thus one is outside of the blessing of being in fellowship with the Lord, i.e., fallen from God's temporal grace.

The moment a believer steps outside of relying totally on God to provide salvation as a free gift via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone + nothing he falls outside of God's blessings and under His discipline. The 'fallen' believer ceases to receive many of God's temporal blessings and has come under God's discipline instead, facing trials and tribulations without the mercy of God to see him through until he confesses and repents.

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]:

"What then did Paul mean? The word translated you have fallen ('ekpipto') means to fall (as in withered flowers that fall to the ground). In this context it is used figuratively and refers to the loss of one's grip on grace as a principle to live by (cf. BGD, p. 244; Donald K. Campbell, S.v. 'Galatians,' The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT edition, p. 605).

The believers in the churches of Galatia were being influenced by legalistic teachers called Judaizers. These men were saying that while salvation began by faith in Christ, one could not obtain final salvation without obeying the Law of Moses.

Christians lose their grip on grace whenever they fall prey to the teachings of legalism. If a Christian leaves a church that is clear on the Gospel and grace and joins one which is not, he will quickly lose his grip on grace if he accepts the teaching at the new church. That's why Paul told the Galatians to run, not walk, away from the Judaizers (cf. 1:8-9). They were to stay away. They weren't to listen to them."

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]

"Falling from grace means that a believer who reverts to pharisaical thinking and practices has fallen from a present experience of grace. While our position in the grace of God is secure, our experience of His grace is not.

If a believer today is unwittingly duped into joining a works-salvation cult, he will cease to experience God's grace until he leaves the cult. In fact, if a believer joins any group, cult or otherwise, which teaches that we must produce good works in order to maintain our salvation, he will cease to experience grace. Even the linking of assurance to the quality of our lives can lead a believer to fall from a daily experience of grace."

[Bob Wilkin, cont.]:

"Believers who fall prey to legalism are like husbands who were on good terms with their wives, but who aren't at present. They became estranged because of something one of them said or did. So, too, there is a break in fellowship between a believer and Christ whenever we stop looking to Him alone for salvation and assurance. See Bauer, Gingrich, and Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, S.v. 'katargeo,' p. 417....

Believers cease to experience God's grace whenever they attempt to be justified by the works they do. Believers who fall prey to legalistic cults and denominations are one example. For instance, statistics show that three hundred Baptists in the U.S. convert to Mormonism every week. Surely some of these wooed into Mormonism by friendly people at their door who talk about family values are new or unstable believers.

Falling from grace is not always that dramatic. Many believers today have been taught something which may seem harmless to them: that their works are indispensable for their assurance of salvation. However, once a believer accepts that teaching, he too has fallen from grace, for he no longer looks to Christ alone for his assurance. God's grace is wonderful. Experiencing it is terrific. Losing one's grip on it is terrible. Don't fall from grace. It can and likely will happen if you immerse yourself in legalistic teaching or if you cease to read the Word and to fellowship at a church which is clear on the Gospel."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Turning to the Law and accepting circumcision as a meritorious work has further dire implications which the Galatians were called on to consider. Anyone seeking justification by Law has been alienated (katErgEthEte) from Christ, that is, such a person would not be living in a sphere where Christ was operative. The KJV has a helpful rendering, 'Christ is become of no effect unto you.' In addition, said Paul, they would have fallen away from grace. The issue here is not the possible loss of salvation, for 'grace' is referred to not as salvation itself but as a method of salvation (cf. 2:21where 'a Law' route is mentioned as an unworkable way to come to Christ). If the Galatians accepted circumcision as necessary for salvation, they would be leaving the grace system for the Mosaic Law system. The same error is repeated today when a believer leaves a church that emphasizes salvation by grace through faith and joins one which teaches that salvation depends on repentance, confession, faith, baptism, and church membership."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

e) [Gal 5:5]:

(v. 5) "But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope."

i) BUT BY FAITH BELIEVERS HAVE ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH THE SPIRIT

(v. 5) "But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope." =

"But by faith we...

[= believers who have already been justified by faith, (vv. 3:1-3)]

eagerly await through the Spirit...

[which only believers receive when they believed in the gospel, (Eph 1:13-14)]

the righteousness...

[= the perfect righteousness of Christ, (Ro 3:21) when they receive their redemption bodies, (Eph 1:13-14)]

for which we hope...

[= "elpida" = a sure hope].

The Greek word "elpida" means a sure hope. So eternal security is in view re: the sure hope of righteousness as well as the implication that every believer has the Spirit.

i_a) [Phil 3:20-21]:

(v. 20) "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

(v. 21) who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body."

i_b) [Ro 8:22-23]:

(v. 22) "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

(v. 23) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

(v. 24) For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

f) [Gal 5:6]:

(v. 6) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

i) FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS NEITHER CIRCUMCISION OR UNCIRCUMCISION MATTERS RELATIVE TO JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 6) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." =

"For [those] in Christ Jesus" signifies those who are justified through faith alone apart from circumcision or uncircumcision:

i_a) [Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

[Notice that upon believing one is included in Christ and guaranteed eternal redemption, circumcision or uncircumcision not in view, faith alone is]

[BKC, cont.]:

"For those in Christ Jesus, the true sphere of salvation, neither circumcision nor the lack of it is of any significance (cf. 3:28; 6:15). What matters is faith expressing itself through love (cr. 5:13)."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

f cont.) [Gal 5:6 cont.]:

(v. 6) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

ii) THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS FAITH EXPRESSING ITSELF THROUGH LOVE

"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." =

Since only those who are justified by faith alone are in view, then the phrase "the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" has the Christian life in view, not what it takes to be justified unto eternal life. Since works of any kind do not enter into what it takes to be justified and since 'faith expressing itself through love' implies godly human doing, then salvation unto eternal life cannot be in view:

ii_a) [Compare Gal 3:21]:

"Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law [=human doing] had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the Law."

Thus in the Christian life "the only thing that matters" is not circumcision nor uncircumcision, i.e., whether or not you follow some set of rules in order to be justified unto eternal life, but living a life of "faith expressing itself through love".

ii_b) [Compare 1 Cor 16:13-14]:

(v. 13) "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

(v. 14) Do everything in love."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

g) [Gal 5:7]:

(v. 7) "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?"

i) A BELIEVER TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW HINDERS HIS PROGRESS (5:7-10)

i_a) THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIKE RUNNING A RACE

(v. 7) "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" =

The Christian life is like running a race. Paul points to the reversion of the Galatians to legalism and pictures it as someone cutting in on them, causing them to be kept from obeying the truth.

i_a_[1 Cor 9:24-27]:

(v. 24) "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

(v. 25) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

(v. 26) Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

(v. 27) No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

i_a_[2 Tim 4:7-8]:

(v. 7) "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

(v. 8) "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

i_b) THE SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIFE REQUIRES THAT ONE OBEY THE TRUTH WHICH IS TO CONTINUE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE JUSTIFIES + NOTHING ELSE

(v. 7) "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" =

To be kept from obeying the truth relative to the matter of staying on target in the Christian life is another way Paul has for saying the believer was "trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace", (v. 6:4). In other words the Galatians no longer obeyed the truth that faith alone in Christ alone is all that is required in order to be justified and nothing more.

Note that to obey the truth of the gospel unto justification is simply to believe in Christ as Savior.

i_b_[Heb 5:9b]:

"He [Jesus] became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him."

i_b_[1 Pet 1:17-23]:

(v. 17) "Since you [believers, v. 18] call on a Father Who judges each man's work impartially, [relative to rewards, 1 Cor 3:11-15] live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

(v. 18) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.

[Notice the word "redeemed". The subject is salvation. Peter is reminding Jewish believers that they were saved not by things nor by their "empty way of life", i.e., by trying to be saved by the deeds of the Law handed down by their forefathers but they were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ]:

(v. 18 cont.) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.

(v. 19) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

(v. 20) He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

[And the basis upon which the blood of Christ saved you, Peter says to fellow believers, is faith, i.e., belief in the gospel of salvation]:

(v. 21) Through Him you believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God [relative to salvation unto eternal life]

(v. 22) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart."

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth" = Now that you have received perfect righteousness, i.e., purification unto eternal life by "obeying the truth" = by believing in the gospel of salvation, (cp v. 21).

(v. 23) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God."

[BKC, op cit., pp. 605-606]:

"5:7. Employing a metaphor he was fond of, Paul described the Galatians' Christian experience as a race (cr. 1 Cor 9:24-26; 2 Tim 4:7). They had begun their race well, but someone had cut in on them, causing them to break stride and stumble. Though many false teachers were disturbing the Galatians, the singular pronoun (who) indicates the leader of the Judaizers was in view here. The result was that the believers were no longer obeying the truth, but were attempting to complete the race by legalistic self-effort rather than by faith."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

h) [Gal 5:7-8]:

(v. 7) "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?

(v. 8) That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you."

i) A BELIEVER TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW HINDERS HIS PROGRESS (5:7-10)

i_a) GOD IS NOT THE ONE WHO PERSUADED YOU TO DISOBEY THE TRUTH YOU ORIGINALLY OBEYED

(v. 8) "That kind of persuasion does not come from the One Who calls you." =

Paul emphasizes that the kind of persuasion the Galatians were receiving was to stop obeying the truth and 'that kind of persuasion does not come from the One Who calls you", meaning God Himself:

i_a_[Gal 1:6-7]:

(v. 6) "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One Who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -

(v. 7) which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ."

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

i) [Gal 5:9]:

(v. 9) "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."

i) A BELIEVER TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW HINDERS HIS PROGRESS (5:7-10)

i_a) A LITTLE DEPARTURE FROM THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL RUINS THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE

(v. 9) "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." =

Paul indicates that like a little yeast working through the whole batch of dough, a little contamination of the truth contaminates the entire Christian life and congregation.

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12 cont.]:

j) [Gal 5:10]:

(v. 10) "I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be."

i) A BELIEVER TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW HINDERS HIS PROGRESS (5:7-10)

i_a) PAUL DECLARES THAT HE IS CONFIDENT IN THE LORD THAT THE GALATIANS WILL TAKE NO OTHER VIEW BUT THE ONE HE HAS TAUGHT THEM

(v. 10a) '''I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view.''' =

Paul's confidence in the truth of what he has taught the Galatians, that it was the Lord's truth, would prevail in the Galatians. Hence he proclaims his confidence 'in the Lord' that the Galatians would not succomb to the false teaching.

i_b) PAUL FOCUSES ON ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS THROWING THE GALATIANS INTO CONFUSION AND WHO WILL PAY THE PENALTY

(v. 10b) '''The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.''' =

Paul has a view that one key individual is responsible for the confusion the Galatians have been put into and proclaims that there will be a penalty he will pay. What that penalty is is not specified.

[BKC, cont.]:

"Such false teaching as the Galatians were beginning to embrace did not originate in the God Who called them (cf. 1:6). He called them by and into grace. They were now being seduced by other voices into following a false gospel. And lest someone would feel that the apostle was making too much of the problem, he quoted a proverb (5:9) to the effect that false teaching, like yeast, spreads and permeates. Its converts may have been few but the believers must be on guard lest the error affect the entire church. Paul's point may also have been that one apparently small deviation from the truth could destroy the entire system. If circumcision, for example, were made necessary for salvation, the whole grace system would fall. But Paul was optimistic about the outcome. He was confident the Galatians would share his views and that the leading false teacher, whose identity was unknown to Paul, would suffer his due judgment."

B cont.) A BELIEVER IS TO LEAD HIS LIFE APART FROM TRYING TO BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW

1 cont.) [Gal 5:1-12]:

k) [Gal 5:11]:

(v. 11) "Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished."

i) IF PAUL WERE PREACHING CIRCUMCISION, I.E., JUSTIFICATION BY THE LAW THEN THIS WOULD REMOVE THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS WHICH POINTS TO MAN'S INABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING (5:11-12)

i_a) IF PAUL WERE STILL PREACHING CIRCUMCISION WHY IS HE STILL BEING PERSECUTED - WOULDN'T THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED?

(v. 11) "Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. =

i_a_[1 Cor 1:21-23]:

(v. 21) "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

(v. 22) Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,

(v. 23) but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles."

[BKC, cont]:

"Apparently Paul was charged with still preaching circumcision. Certainly before his conversion he zealously proclaimed circumcision and the Law, and it is easy to see how the apostle's attitude could be interpreted as being in favor of circumcision. Paul countered with a simple question: How is it that he was still being persecuted by Judaizers if he preached the same message they did? If Paul were preaching circumcision, the offense (skandalon, 'stumbling block''; cf. 1 Cor 1:23) of the Cross would have ceased to exist in his ministry. But it had not because people still found the gospel message, which proclaims man's total inability to contribute anything to his salvation, offensive. Thus the Cross marked the end of the Law system and rendered circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic Law unnecessary."

l) [Gal 5:11-12]:

(v. 11) "Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

(v. 12) As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!"

i) IF PAUL WERE PREACHING CIRCUMCISION, I.E., JUSTIFICATION BY THE LAW THEN THIS WOULD REMOVE THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS WHICH POINTS TO MAN'S INABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING (5:11-12)

i_a) PAUL UTTERS A STRONG EXPRESSION THAT THE JUDIAIZERS CASTRATE THEMSELVES

[BKC, cont.]:

"Speaking out of deep concern for the gospel of the grace of God, Paul uttered a strong expression. He wished that the Judaizers, who were so enthusiastic about circumcision, would go the whole way and castrate themselves, as did the pagan priests of the cult of Cybele in Asia Minor. Perhaps the resulting physical impotence pictured Paul's desire that they also be unable to produce new converts. While circumcision had once been the sign of the covenant in Israel, it now had no more religious meaning than any other ritual of cutting and marking practiced by ancient pagans."

Galatians chapter 5