Galatians 5 is all about having Freedom in Christ. This freedom is what we were made for. However, many people mistake this freedom for what it’s not. Freedom in Christ doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.
We need to understand that we are either serving God or the devil. We were made to serve God, and that is the only way we will feel fulfilled. Later on, in Galatians 5 Paul will allude to the choices we need to make.
The fight isn’t necessarily good vs evil. While I do think those titles work in most circumstances I believe we should also look at freedom vs slavery.
We need to choose whom we will serve, but serving Jesus will give us the freedom our hearts are longing for. When we reject Jesus, we are allowing our hearts to be enslaved to sin, destruction, and death.
God is the one who created the entire universe for us to enjoy. He sent his son Jesus to die for us when we rejected him, and after all of that, he still calls for us to come home.
God is the source of love, light, and righteousness. I’ll even go so far as saying everything and anything that is good in this world comes from him.
This means rejecting him is rejecting all of those things.
A world without love, light, and righteousness sounds a lot like hell to me.
Galatians 5 describes how Christ came and set us free. it explains what our birthright is, and how we should follow him.
5 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.
2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.
4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
Galatians 5 tells us that when we give our lives to Jesus, we have immediate access to the freedom that comes with being a child of God. However, what we think and believe can hinder us in that thought process.
In essence, our own thoughts can hold us, hostage, while Jesus has set us free. This is what Paul is alluding to in these first few verses. Oftentimes Christians will focus on one aspect of their faith that helped them, and they’ll forget that Jesus is the origin of everything.
Worship nights at churches are full of people dancing and singing, often it’s like a concert and everything is hopping. However you have to ask yourself, am I letting God in? Or am I letting this event hype me up?
I’m just using this as an example, but our duty as Christians is to connect with God, we need to hear his voice for clarity and direction.
Connecting with God is the only thing that matters. What is the difference between going to a praise and worship night, if you don’t connect with God? You might as well go to a secular concert, you’ll get the same ringing in your ears and you’ll be tired from dancing at the end of the night.
And the worse thing is, your life won’t be changed.
Galatians 5 is a reminder to us that whatever we do in life, we have to connect with God. He is the only thing that matters. He is our source of life, love, and freedom.
Galatians 5: Freedom From Religion
5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 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.
7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.
11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.
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. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
In these verses from Galatians 5, Paul is warning us that little things can trip us up. It might start as a simple belief but that small concession will grow into something big.
More often than not these beliefs will find their way through the lessons we learn in life. Personally, I’ve believed that God hates me, that he isn’t trustworthy, and that he’s just lying to us all for a good laugh.
But if that were true, what’s the point of sending Jesus? Why does he still heal us? And why gives us a prayer language that transforms the world around us?
Lately, I’ve been begging God to show me why everything seems to be going wrong. It doesn’t seem to me like he’s following his own rules and beliefs.
Galatians 5: Job, Daniel, And David
He keeps bringing me back to 3 different bible stories, and while I’m not comparing myself to these people, but it does give me some comfort. I’ll paraphrase my thoughts below my list.
Job had everything, and Satan was allowed to take it all away. In all of this, he didn’t sin against God and was blessed with double everything and the same amount of children.
Daniel was by the river fasting and praying for 21 days when an angel finally showed up with his answer. The angel told him he was dispatched on the first day, but he was fighting a demonic power that slowed his answer.
David was crowned king, God helped him kill Goliath, and then he went to live at the Palace. Here the current King tried to murder him multiple times causing David to flee into the wilderness. He lived in the wild for years fearing for his life.
All 3 of these men must have asked God where he was, I know I am.
In Galatians 5 we learn about the freedom we have in Christ. But it’s a freedom we can only obtain when we are pursuing him with reckless abandon.
All 3 of those men continued to follow and serve God, even when it seemed like all was lost. God looked like a liar to them (he wasn’t and never will be), and yet they still served.
My lesson from Galatians 5 today is that I need to keep chasing him, and so do you. Your breakthrough is on the way, it might arrive before you finish reading this sentence, or perhaps tomorrow.
The timing doesn’t matter, how you grow during the waiting does, and that part sucks.
Galatians 5: Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 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. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
At the start of this Galatians 5 commentary, I said it’s not about Good Vs. Evil. Instead, I said it’s about freedom Vs. Slavery.
In Vs. 19 Paul hits that point home very hard. When we choose to live under sin we choose death. Death has a hold on us because we chose to cut ourselves off from life.
In John 1 we learn that Jesus is the life, and that life became the light to all mankind.
Jesus is the source of freedom, love, and life. Without him, we have nothing, and we will start to die rapidly. Many of us don’t realize this, and we continue to flirt with the things of evil. This hurts God as he created us to be with him.
And yet we choose to focus on things that’ll kill us.
Galatians 5 is very clear on what we need to do. What will you choose? Once it’s laid out properly I don’t think any sane person can walk away.
As for me, I’ll serve God, he’s my source of life, and I don’t see any other path for me.
I hope you enjoyed my latest post on Galatians 5. Don’t forget to comment and subscribe below.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.