Galatians 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 is responding to the teaching of some Jewish converts in Galatia who were telling the gentile converts that they must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses.
The Law of Moses has been superseded by the Law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
In Christ we are freed from the ‘bondage’ of the Law of Moses. Christ fulfilled the Law and our salvation is by faith in him, not by keeping the Law of Moses.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
There is no half measure if we choose to be circumcised and attempt to keep the Law of Moses we will fail. Just one transgression of the Law of Moses condemns us to death. No one other than Christ has been able to keep the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses condemns all men and women to death.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
In Christ or hope rests on the promise of God’s grace – his willingness to forgive our sins and count our faith in Christ for righteousness.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Circumcision or uncircumcision mean nothing in Christ, what matters is faith in Christ and a life lived by love of neighbour and enemy alike.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
The Gentile Galatians had begun well by belief of the gospel and baptism into Christ, but now they were being diverted from the path of truth.
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
This teaching of the ‘judaisers’ was not of God.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
The problem is that once false teaching takes hold, the whole ecclesia will fall away from the truth.
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.
Paul has confidence from his previous experience with the Galatians that they will take notice of what he writes and take steps to exclude the false teacher.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
If Paul preached salvation by circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses, he wouldn’t be suffering persecution from the Jews
12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Cut off in the sense of excluded from the ecclesia. If they were ‘cut off’ the ecclesia would be spiritually circumcised – circumcised in heart.
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.
In Christ we are not called to serve the Law of Moses with its outward show in the flesh; but rather to love one another.
If we love one another we fulfil the Law in this respect.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
To bite and devour one another in contention serves only to pull down whereas the application of love builds up.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
To walk in the Spirit is to live by the commandments of Christ.
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.
The battle against the flesh is fought within – the commandments of Christ go against our natural desires.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
If we live by the commandments of Christ we are freed from the Law of Moses.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
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.
We understand the works which spring from the lust within us, and that if we live by our lusts we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
These are the attributes of a life lived by Christ’s commandments.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
We must deny ourselves and replace our own will with God’s will.
Luke 22:42… Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The way that we think must be demonstrated in the way that we live.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
We are not to seek our own advancement in the ecclesia by strife, but rather to serve one another.
John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
Matthew 23:11… he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Galatians 5:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
We all do things that we afterwards regret, and we must recognise this in others and do what we can to help rather than to criticise.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
If we would serve we must be prepared to share one another’s problems; even as Christ took upon himself the burden of our sins.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
We are not to exalt ourselves above others because that is self-deception.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
We will all reap what we sow at the judgment seat.
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Those who travel about preaching the gospel must needs be supported in the necessary things of this life by those to whom they preach.
1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
It is important that we recognise the difference between what we want to do and what God wants us to do.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
We are to persevere in doing that which is right, because our reward is sure.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
If we truly love others we will do them good and not harm both within the ecclesia and outside.
11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
This could mean that he has written the letter himself rather than dictating it to someone else to write; or it could mean that he is appending his signature in large letters. Probably the former is correct.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Circumcision and the carnal observances of the Law of Moses constituted an outward show which would abrogate the persecution by the unbelieving Jews.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
The outward show was not accompanied by inward holiness but an end in itself. What they did was to be seen of others.
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men…
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Paul, though circumcised, would not glory in it. Rather he gloried in the things which he suffered for Christ’s sake
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Circumcised or uncircumcised we must be born again of water and the Spirit. We must live a new life.
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.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
He gives an apostolic blessing of peace and mercy on those who live by the commandments of Christ.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Paul bore the physical marks of beatings endured for Christ’s sake..
2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. « To the Galatians written from Rome. »
Grace is the promised free gift of remission of sin and eternal life in the kingdom of God which serves as an encouragement in living our lives by Christ's commandments.
I hope you find this helpful.