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Galatians Chapter 5

Memory verses for this week: 2 Pet 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness..  

Introduction:     Last week in Chapter Four, we found Paul urged the people to stand strong in the doctrine of Grace, rather than turning back to the law.  He used Isaac and Ishmael as examples of sons born under two systems, with Isaac being a song of faith typifying grace.   Ishmael was born of the bondwoman and represented the law.  

I.                Christian Liberty  

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 

Paul declares that when one is saved he is delivered from the yoke of the law and is set free by Christ.   This teaching of course was exactly what Christ had taught in His personal ministry.  

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

There is no freedom in this world like the freedom we have in Jesus Christ.  America is a great country, perhaps the best in the world.  But people here want to have personal freedoms.  There is no freedom that can match with the freedom we have when we know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  When we are saved, we are not under the law.  And praise God, we don’t have to do the things of the law to be saved, nor to keep our salvation. 

J. Vernon McGee had this to say about grace. 

He is saying here that not only are we saved by faith rather than by law, but law is not to be the rule of life for the believer. We are not to live by law at all. The law principle is not the rule for Christian living. Paul is saying that since we have been saved by grace we are to continue on in this way of living. Grace supplies the indwelling and filling of the Spirit to enable us to live on a higher plane than law demanded. This all is our portion when we trust Christ as Savior. It is in Christ that we receive everything—salvation and sanctification. Don’t tell me I need to seek a second blessing. When I came to Christ, I got everything I needed. Paul tells me that I have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. Let’s believe Him and start trusting. Let’s stop trying some legal system or rote of rules.  We have a liberty in Christ.  [1] 

John Gill in his study of Galatians, said this about verse 1. 

There is the liberty of grace, and the liberty of glory; the former of these is here meant, and lies in a freedom from sin; not from the indwelling of it, but from the dominion, guilt, and damning power of it; from the captivity and tyranny of Satan, though not from his temptations and insults; from the law, the ceremonial law, as an handwriting of ordinances, a rigid severe schoolmaster, and a middle wall of partition, and from all its burdensome rites and institutions; from the moral law as a covenant of works, and as administered by Moses; and from the curse and condemnation of it, its bondage and rigorous exaction, and from all expectation of life and righteousness by the deeds of it; but not from obedience to it, as held forth by Christ, and as a rule of walk and conversation; and from the judicial law..


II.               Fallen from Grace  

Gal 5:2  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Gal 5:3  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 

Paul warns the church that if a person seeks salvation by circumcision and law, Christ is of no value to that person.   In the early days of the church, some taught that you had to be circumcised and follow the rules of the law in order to be saved. 

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.  

Philippians 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.


True believers worship God in the spirit and have no confidence in the flesh.   In Verse 4, Paul says that those who were trying to be justified by the law had fallen from the liberty of grace.  He is not implying that they had lost their salvation, for they had never truly been saved if they sought justification by fulfilling the law.


Galatians 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

III.             Faith is What Counts 

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

Gal 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

 As was taught in Acts, circumcision has nothing to do with salvation.  It is wholly of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

IV.            The Heresy Preached in the Churches of Galatia 

Gal 5:7  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Gal 5:8  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

Gal 5:9  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Gal 5:10  I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 

The Galatians had gotten off to a good start in the Christian way of life, but someone hindered them.  It was those that preached false doctrine and heresy that hindered them.     And in verse 8 he says clearly that this was not from God.  We need to keep our eyes open, and be careful of anyone who might hinder our obeying the truth. 

2 Timothy 2:23  But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

Titus 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.  

Verse 9 tells us that just a little false doctrine can crush a spiritual church.  So we need to beware of the little “foxes” that can destroy the walls.  Jesus had clear teachings to avoid the doctrine of the Pharisees.  Looking good on the outside is nothing compared to having a pure heart before God. 

Matthew 16:6  Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

God loves righteous things, but false doctrine is something he hates.  Brother Dan brought a message last week on the 7 things God hates.   And a false witness that spreads lies is one of those things.  Teaching false doctrine is teaching a lie.  We should be men and women that speak the truth with conviction.  This church in  Pergamos had taught the doctrine of the Nicolaitans… something God hated.  God hates all false doctrine.  In verse 10, Paul pronounces judgement on the false preachers who were leading them astray from the truth.


Luke 6:39   And he spake a parable unto them,  Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?


Gal 5:11  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Gal 5:12  I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 

Paul denies preaching circumcision like the false teachers had done.  He asks why would he suffer persecution if he was one of the false prophets.   The true believers and true preachers are the ones the world is against.   Paul is so against these false teachers that he wishes they were totally cutoff (dead) rather than troubling the church.


V.              How A Christian Ought  To Live


Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Gal 5:15  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 

We find that we are free from the law but we are to serve one another in love.  That means following God in love and in truth, and keeping his commandments.  Jesus said that is how you know the true disciples. 

John 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

John 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 

The first and most important commandment is to love God first.  And the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  


Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

When we walk in fellowship with the Spirit of God, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  But to do this is hard.  Each day, we have to die to our physical man and renew our minds in the spiritual. 

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 

Paul describes this warfare that goes on between the two natures.  A lot of people don’t even know we are in a battle, much less walking in the spirit.  We have to guard our minds and our thoughts that we may walk worthy of our calling. 

2 Cor 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

2 Cor 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

2 Cor 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2 Cor 10:6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.


Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.


VI.            The Works of the Flesh 

Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Gal 5:20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Gal 5:21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 

Sin is something that God can not stand.  And we that are in the flesh battle these things of the flesh.  Those in the flesh can not please God.  The work of the flesh is not pleasing in God’s sight. 

Romans 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Praise the Lord that when we got saved, we are no longer ‘in the flesh’ in regards to our spiritual man.  We are alive and perfect before God because of Jesus Christ. 

Romans 8:1    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

VII.          Fruit of the Spirit 

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 

It is interesting that the verse says the ‘fruit’ of the spirit versus ‘fruits.’   All of these things should be things we are known to have and possess.     Perhaps the hardest two are the last two… meekness and temperance.  Do you show a meek and gentle spirit?   Are you able to show total control all of the time?  That is a gift of God when we can and do have these attributes.


When the apostles needed help in the church, they told the people to seek out men full of the Holy Ghost.   That does not necessarily mean someone emotional, but it means someone that is walking in the direction of the Lord. 

 Acts 6:3  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 

If you want to have the fruit of the spirit in your life, you must first be saved, and after that be walking in the Spirit.  That takes crucifying the lusts of the flesh. 

Romans 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.   7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 


Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Gal 5:26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 

When we live in  the Spirit, we should walk in it also.   We are commanded to walk in newness of life, and to feed the new spiritual man with the word of God. 

Romans 6:4   Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1 Peter 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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