Galatians 5

Galatians 5:1-26

1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

2  Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

3  And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

4  You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

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

6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

7  You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

8  This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

9  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

10  I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

11  And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

12  I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

13  For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

15  But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

16  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

17  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

24  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

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

26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

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9 months ago

This chapter begins with a renewed emphasis on the futility of fleshly acts when it comes to gaining righteousness. The only thing that is truly effective is faith in Christ. He indicates that being cut in order to gain a righteous standing is totally unprofitable. This is often the basis for an argument that what we do or don’t do is totally apart from what is ours in Christ. But then Paul goes on to list the actions following a decision for Christ that will either validate or confirm it. A claim of grace and its expected kingdom blessings, apart from fruit that backs up that claim, will prove to be empty and even dangerous. It is critical what kind of works are displayed as they are evidence of a living faith inside. A true grace-enabled walk in the Spirit will give no place to the actions and behaviors of the flesh that has been crucified with Christ. Intentionally attempting to produce Spirit fruit in an effort to be righteous will never succeed, but really living in the Spirit will also inevitably produce those identifying acts and expressions of love.

There will always be an ongoing conflict between flesh and Spirit as long as we exist in these earthly bodies of flesh. Ingrained perspectives and habits impress the need to perform in order to qualify, but these efforts will never be sufficient and will always falter if they are the means. There is, though, a simple abiding in the presence of the Lord, where acknowledging and honoring the Spirit overwhelms the dominance of those old ways. As His Word displaces thoughts of lust and earthly desires, there is nurturing of our risen nature with Christ that will produce evidence of the righteousness no efforts of the flesh can attain. The validating performance that glorifies the Father will flow from a life that is simply walking faithfully in its place at His side.

8 months ago

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