Galatians 5:1-6

Set Free To Stay Free


Intro After the Civil war & the abolishing of Slavery here in the US – a lot of former slaves – had a hard time believing they were free

A)For a while – some of them were even duped by their owners into thinking that the whole thing was not true.


B) Because of this confusion many of them continued to live in slavery for a while even though they were completely FREE 

1) Some even enduring harsher – treatment from their owners than they did before.


C) Many Christians are confused on the same point. 

1)Jesus Christ has given them an “Emancipation Proclamation,” but their “old master” tells them they are still slaves to a legal relationship with God.


D) . They doubt that God's grace is really sufficient, so they toss in a few good works just to be on the safe side.  .


E)What they don't realize is trying to be on the safe side can put you on the wrong side. 

1)    Can’t mix Christ work for Salvation / with our Works !!!!

                 Can’t Mix God’s Grace with the Law!!!



That is the issue that Paul has been laboring over here in the book of Galatians

A)Paul spent the first 4 Chapters – presenting his point from a doctrinal point of view –


B) IN these final two chapters he moves from the doctrinal to the Practical – to solidify his point with his Galatian Brother & sisters


                                           READ V.1 again


[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.

A)Jesus died to set us free from performance-based religion. He shed blood to end the drudgery of dos and don'ts –


B)He died to remove us from the guilt of never stacking up - from the impossible pressure of trying to be good enough for God.

1)And Yet many people who Christ died to set free are in bondage “to rock'n chair religion” -


C) They're working real hard at going nowhere./  There's a lot of movement, but zero progress!!!

1)    They are weighted down & Restricted by a YOKE OF BONDAGE!!!


The phrase yoke of bondage reminds us of what Peter said in Acts 15:10 about those who would bring the Gentiles under the law:

Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 


A) A Yoke was a controlling device – that was put on a horse or an Ox to restrict their movement. Make them go where master wanted!!


B) Peter referred to the demands of the Law as a yoke that would choke out the joy & freedom we have in Jesus.


C) There're still Judaizers in the church who's desire it is to refasten this yoke on the necks of the believers.

1)Preachers who browbeat the congregation for what they've done or left undone.


C) Status quo saints who's sole goal is to enforce their traditions.

1)    Self-righteous people who judge others and refuse to accept anyone who doesn't fit their own private standards.


One of my favorite movies is the Man from Snowy river – Horse scene absolutely incredible.

A)Story about this man – who wants to tame this horse – Brombie – this wild stallion – causing havoc – Runs on Instinct


B)Now the legalist wants to take a horse like that & wants to make him a plow horse – control him & Restrict him

1) But the true Rider sees what that horse can become – He sees the potential He wants to take that horse & get him to do what he never thought possible


C) In some ways we were like that horse – wild running on instinct – following our own course – Causing havoc – looking for purpose

1)    The legalist sees us – running Wild – He wants to control us – he wants to put a Yoke around our necks to restrict us


 But Jesus came to free us /  free to run / to live – not by our instinct but running w/ Purpose thru the leading of the HS in our hearts

A)He wants to do more with us  than we ever thought possible !!!


B) But There will always be those people out there trying to fit some Yoke  around our necks.

1)    This is why Paul is so adamant here - stand fast, { Don’t be moved – don’t be swayed – DIG IN and keep standing!           


C) Christ has set you free so don’t go back !!!!


Now As we come to v. 2 Paul addresses the main issue that the Judiazers were advocating – that being – CIRCUMCISION –  RD v.2-4

A) The false teachers told the gentiles in Galatia that if they really wanted to be pleasing to God they needed to submit to a ceremonial circumcision.


B) These guys would come into the men’s study & announce “Drop um”

They were Crotch inspectors –

1)    In essence, they looked to an external badge for eternal approval.


C) The same thing happens in many Church circles today - The only difference is the badges are different


D)Its no longer circumcision that signifies spirituality/ its church attendance,

1) It is speaking in tongues, having a daily quiet time, being baptized

  tithing a certain percentage, home schooling kids,


E) It is meeting a witnessing quota, joining the church, , or getting involved in a right-to-life group.


F) Now All these activities have their place, but when the impression is given you can't possibly be pleasing to God - if you're not involved those things – that is when it becomes a Problem:         



Paul warns them if you make circumcision a requirement for obtaining or maintaining, establishing or enhancing - a right standing with God

A)Then you're in danger of forfeiting your benefits in Christ! Paul says, "Christ will profit you nothing."


B) In other words If you don't trust exclusively in the righteousness received by faith in Christ then you're not entitled to it at all.

1) See Christ plus X equals X minus Christ.


C) You can’t have it both ways : I can’t trust in Christ work & my own work as the means of my right standing with God –

1)    One or the other – It is either all me – which means that I have to keep the whole law – in it’s entirety perfectly forever – or it is all Christ


D) If we try to mix the two – then the work of Christ profits us nothing & we have fallen from Grace { Paul’s language here is strong!!!!

1) Literally, Paul writes, “you have fallen out of grace” Fallen out of that covering of grace upon your life.   [Estranged from- Christ – Separated]


Most people think of “falling from grace ” in terms of getting caught up in some immoral conduct, - [ Can mean] but it is broader than that

A)You see we are not saved by our conduct.  we are saved by our continuing reliance by faith on the grace of God. 


B) See Someone may fall from grace without ever falling into gross immoral conduct.

1)    They might be very religious – but they have fallen from Grace because they are leaning on their own righteousness to save them.


C)And then are in just as bad a place as the person who has walked completely away from the Lord & is living in Sin


D) Now what does Paul mean here when he says they have fallen from grace & that Christ profits them nothing –

1)    Is he saying that they are in danger of going to Hell – Isn’t it once saved always saved ?



Here is what I think we need to understand when talking about this

A)We obtain and maintain a right standing with God by faith. Faith is not a work but a RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE !!!


B) But the key is the phrase, "by faith".

1)    But here is what people fail to understand: faith is not a sign-on-the-bottom-line type of proposition - a once and for all deal.


C) Faith is more like a plant. If you want it to live you water it and feed it, or it can shrivel up and die.

1) Colossians 1:23 states clearly, "You... He has reconciled... IF INDEED YOU CONTINUE IN THE FAITH, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel"


D) Key phrase there is Continue in the faith -  CHUCK ABIDE



I think  Paul’s point is clear – by turning to the law as a means of their right standing w/ God

A) the Galatians were in Jeopardy of forfeiting their standing in Christ

         And their standing UNDER GRACE


B) See we start in Faith & we are to continue in faith – trusting in the ability of Christ to finish in us the work that He started

1) And  When the believer walks by faith, depending on the Spirit of God, he lives in the sphere of God's grace; and all his needs are provided.


C) He experiences the riches of God's grace. And, he always has something to look forward to

1)one day Jesus shall return to make us like Himself in perfect righteousness.



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

A)eagerly wait: “The word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and an eager waiting for something.  { Amanda Singing in the rain


B)Here it refers to the believer’s intense desire for and eager expectation of a practical righteousness which is being produced in his life by the HS


D) We are longing for the day – rid of these bodies – plagued by sin / temptation – fear / other struggles – IN the meantime we eagerly wait


In Union Grove Wisconsin there is a Home for Mentally Challenged Kids called the Shepherds Home

A)The Founder of the home Bud Wood says one of the major maintenance problems at the home is dirty windows


B) How do the Windows get so dirty ? Bud says that you can walk thru the corridors of that home almost any time of the day & see kids w/ their hands noses & faces pressed to the windows Looking to see if Christ might be coming back right then to take them home & make them Whole


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

A)In Christ the badges, the outward observances, don't matter. God looks below the badge to the heart!


B) Its not whether you tithe or don't, attend church or stay at home, read your Bible or the newspaper –

1)All those actions may demonstrate your love for God, but they don't determine His love for you.


C) He accepts you and chooses to bless your life not because of your feats, but because of your faith.



Now A lot of pastors are afraid to preach grace –because they feel like they are  giving up their leverage.

A)If their congregation discovers the reason God blesses their lives is because of what Christ has done not what they can do - what motivation will the people have to serve and work and obey?


B) Never get them to sign up for CM / Come out for Church work day


C) But Pastors who fear the grace of God don't understand its power.

1)    See When you tell a person God blesses them regardless of what they've done or do –


C) That God is going to bless'm simply because they trust and rely on Jesus - it frees'm to serve the Lord –

1) not because they have to, but because they want to.


D)Paul tells us how it works in the last phrase of verse 6, "faith works through love".

1) You see The more you realize God loves you the more you trust Him, and the more you trust Him the more God does to demonstrate His love.


 Kid in a swimming pool learning to swim – more understand – Dad loves me I can trust him – More  fun they have – more life is changed

A) So too – I want to follow the Lord – His love for me so great I want to love Him & trust Him – do what He says/ CAUSE & EFFECT APP.


B) I want to come to Church because He says it is important for my growth & development as a Christian


C) I can still be blessed if I don’t come – but the blessing is limited – like the kid with his arms around daddies neck- not experiencing everything

1)    Because I am not putting myself in the place to experience it.


D) I am part of a family – but because not ever around the family I don’t give the Lord the opportunity to bless me by using me in the family

1)    So I never discover my gifts / or my place in the body of Christ – Stunted growth


And when I learn to trust the Lord – I understand that Bible study [personal & in Church] is essential to my spiritual growth

A)EATING SPIRITUALLY -  nourishment – it is the means thru which the HS transform my life


B) Can I experience the Blessing of God apart from reading – Yes – but again it will be limited – because I am removing myself from the Spout


C) My Status doesn’t Change – But my closeness does / My understanding & perception does

1) The more I understand who He is the More I want all that He has for me

The more I want to Run thru His leading – His direction