Galatians: Freedom from Religion
The Galatians’ new teacher completely disregards and disrespects God’s grace, Christ’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s work. That’s why Paul is so upset.
This book explains the believer’s new relationship with God.
We’re freed from sin.
We’re freed from the Law.
We’re adopted as children of God.
We’re spiritual children of Abraham, whether we’re Jews/non-Jews.
And we’re all empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good works, something sin prevented us from doing and the Law never enabled us to do.
The gospel under attack
Galatians 1:6-7 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
This different gospel is not another of the same kind. It is opposite!
Judaizers – Works
History of the Law vs. grace debate
Galatians 2:11, 13 But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong…As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
Salvation via faith vs. salvation via works
Galatians 3:2-3 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
Paul confirms they are saved…rhetorical question.
Saved by grace, but trying to be made perfect by the flesh!
Slavery vs. sons and heirs of God
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
Roads, Greek language, Roman peace, Jews had a high level of messianic expectancy.
Galatians 4:12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws.
Relationship, not rules!
Galatians 4:19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.
The sinful flesh vs. the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:1, 6 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Galatians 5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
Freedom does not mean an opportunity to satisfy the flesh.
Freedom means to serve in love toward one another.
Love God….love others…as self!
Galatians 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
How to do good in the Christian community
Galatians 6:1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
Only a believer can be overtaken….an unbeliever is still in trespasses and sins.
1 John 1:9
Galatians 6:7-9 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
When a believer sows what is displeasing to God, he will reap God’s displeasure and the consequences of that displeasure.
Physical death not eternal.
Blessings and rewards