You’ve Been Freed, Act Like It Now!


 

 

Galatians 5 is a letter Paul wrote to the Jewish Christians, many of which didn’t understand living under grace instead of by the law. He wrote this letter to explain to them that they were giving up the freedom that comes with being a believer by putting all these rules upon themselves. I’m gonna go through it verse by verse using the Message and give you my take on it. Remember I so delight in comments, questions and discussion.

This is Part 1 of 2.

DON’T STOP NOW! IT’S GOOD FOR THE BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT. (My words are italicized.)

Galatians 5:1-18

1-Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.  (Amen!)

2I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rulekeeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered.

( Grace was given to us  freely we don’t have to do anything to keep it. I need to read my Bible every day and visit sick people etc. but if I don’t I haven’t lost not even one ounce of God’s love or grace)

3I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law. (Who wants that kind of life? Think about it: freedom to let Christ live in and through you or you doing it in your own strength struggling to do your best.)

4-I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.  ( This is not loss of salvation but one who lives a life of legalism cannot pursue a close relationship with Christ because he is not living in the love and grace He gives.  He is too busy trying, working, and striving to build relationship. It is through this that real close relationship is formed with Him)

5-6Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love. (When we are IN Christ our faith  should be expressed in love not working and doing and trying to be good enough or to earn blessing.)

7-10You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. ( Don’t let anyone tell you lies. The truth is God’s love and favor is not earned. Stay on course.)

And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. (it’s very important for you to realize that you can put yourself in a type of prison when you allow a little legalism to slip in. God has set you free from it in Christ  so don’t let those chains hold you back from the abundant life of John 10:10)

Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment. (Wouldn’t want to be him/her)

11-12As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves! ( Paul seems to be a little upset that people are telling lies about him. After he became a believer he never taught legalism and tried very hard to lead the Jews away from it. That’s what the whole book of Galatians is all about.)

13-15It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. ( In other words this freedom is not a license to sin but the freedom to live in power of the Holy Spirit that leads to an abundant life.)

Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. (To be free to love others unselfishly, to give grace willing, to accept them just where they are at the moment, to love and not judge, this is freedom.)

If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? ( There is no freedom in the land of hate, selfishness, judgementalism, criticism, envy and striving to better than others.)

16-18My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. ( Notice it’s by God’s Spirit in you not by motivation of self)

For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? ( In other words because you as a believer are a new creation in Christ and have been given a new Spirit, it makes it hard for you to live a selfish, sinful way of life. Flesh and the new Spirit in you will collide and you will feel conflicted when doing something contrary to who you really are in Christ. Make sense?)

More in a day or two. Live free as Grace Full Women

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