A. It is God now working in us that which is pleasing in his sight (Hebrews 13:21). For example, in 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul says, "I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me." "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Paul in this summarized his teaching of the last three chapters preceding this (Galatians 5:1-5), and then distinguished between the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit, appealing to the Galatians to live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:6-26). What's the difference? . We need to orient our lives on the clear statements of Scripture regarding God's will. Galatians 5:1-15; Freedom to Serve: To be set free from the bondage of sin, we must become servants of God and one another. And Galatians 3:5 reminds us how it connects with God's side: "Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Galatians 5:1. See under Galatians 5:12 for comment on "in the Lord.". He still knows that Daddy punishes for disobedience, but that is no heavy yoke because he is quite happy to pick up the blocks. Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1535) by Martin Luther Translated by Theodore Graebner (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1949) Chapter 5, pp. If we live in the Spirit (KJV), let us also walk in the Spirit (KJV, Galatians 5:25).SIZE>. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950), Vol. As Russell said: `Even Jesus said, `The Son can do nothing of himself' (John 5:19). If Christ is in you ... the spirit is life (Romans 8:10). Then he received word that certain Jewish-Christians were trying to persuade Galatian Christians to observe Jewish laws and rituals, including circumcision (5:2-12; 6:12-13) and the observance of “days, months, seasons, and years” (4:10). So these verses function as warnings against slavery. But so do the Judaizers! Two phrases in verse 5 sum up how free people wait for the last day. When I say, "OK, Abraham, pick up the blocks and put them in the cart," there are two possibilities: 1) I can leave him to his own and threaten punishment if he does not get the job done. In this chapter, Paul addresses three major things. Through his allegorical interpretation of the story of Hagar and Sarah in chapter four, Paul has argued that in Christ, God has made us children of the free woman and not the slave woman. I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision. That is, do not let the Judaizers bewitch you into thinking that circumcision or any other outward act of obedience can be offered to God as a benefit to him, which he must then reward with some payment. This means "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is relevant to Christianity." So the currency of freedom has two sides. In addition to the above, it should also be observed that Christians are commanded to "have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5), Paul declaring that he himself had "the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16). Because all the spiritual and physical benefits Christ gives are dividends paid from his own investment at Calvary. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. As frequently pointed out in this series, there are no less than eight designations in the New Testament of a single condition (see summary below). Yes, all the good things that come to us sinners now and in eternity must be paid for. We are not perfect yet, so we still *sin. Search. Goodness and kindness are likewise determined by actions involving others outside the person of the believer. One side is the sovereign, gracious work of God in us and for us day by day—Daddy coming down onto the floor and turning obedience into fun. We’re finally in chapter 5 of Galatians. But to remind us that grace is also God's action for now, here is another acronym: G.R.A.C.E.—God's Rescuing And Caring Exertion. So your enjoyment of freedom is much more important to God than many of the day-to-day decisions that fill us with so much concern.  R. A. Cole, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Galatians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. His will for us is that we be free—that we recognize that the whole debt is paid. Also, "The cult of Attis, whose famous temples were at Rome and in Phrygia of Asia Minor, practiced sacral castration. " For further exegesis on all of this, see my Commentary on Romans, Romans 13:9-10. In Romans 13:8-10, Paul outlined this principle more fully, specifying as specific components of this law of Christ such commandments as "Thou shalt not commit adultery ... nor steal ... nor kill ... nor covet, etc." Note: For it is God that worketh in you (Philippians 2:13). Bibliography InformationCoffman, James Burton. Howard observed that "This, in capsule form, is his contention throughout the entire argument. • To understand the purpose of freedom/liberty and recognize the trap it can become if not governed by the Spirit. As a new year dawns, consider that God’s word offers great treasures on a first reading, and many of its greatest ones as we reread year after year. Contributed by Jefferson Williams on Jul 17, 2020. The original meaning of the word translated hinder is to break up a road, as an army before the advance of hostile forces. A good test of your priorities in life would be whether you are just as concerned about the command to enjoy your freedom as you are about other pressing decisions in your life. The yoke of bondage is an approach to justification and salvation, or righteousness, that relies on a syncretism of Jewish ritualistic legalism and pagan practices (usually rites of purification), while at the same time avoiding the sacrifice of Christ.This means that what we believe and who we believe in will determine whether we will be justified. This means that such Spirit-induced thoughts, if permitted to dwell within, will actively dissipate and destroy their opposites, namely, the fleshly lusts. ", John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Even in the Old Testament, the climax and pinnacle of the so-called "seven deadly sins" (Proverbs 6:18) was revealed as "a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations." Some indeed had, through surgery, attempted to become "uncircumcised." I say this is surprising because there is a very common view of Christian behavior which this verse contradicts. Galatians 5:1 Context. " Of course, this is true; and the allegation that Paul was, in these chapters, displaying a brand new conception of being saved "by faith only" is absolutely foreign to the entire Galatian letter, and the whole New Testament. The whole epistle argues grace more from the Christian viewpoint than the non-Christian. I'll pick up the blocks myself. Verse 1. It is called the "Gratitude Ethic." Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  William Sanday, Ellicott' s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Galatians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959), p. 456. True, this was a commandment of the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18), but that is not the frame of reference applicable here. Another example is Romans 5:21, "As sin reigned in death, grace also will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Faithfulness ... includes not merely the inward qualities of "keeping on believing in Christ," but it also means remaining loyal and faithful to the church. This is the will of God for you: your freedom. But that was not an excuse for bad behaviour. The key to freedom is whether we have to do the work ourselves to escape punishment, or whether our Father comes down to be with us and help us. 5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Circumcision happened to be the foremost requirement of the Judaizers who were teaching the Galatians to work their way into God's favor. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Galatians 5:1, 13-25. It is an ongoing way of waiting for the hope of righteousness. There are at least three reasons why this gratitude ethic is wrong.  James MacKnight (on Galatians), op. Jump to Passage. But as soon as this delight in another person's generosity turns into a feeling that we must pay something back, what once was a free gift starts to become a business transaction. There are fifteen evils listed here by Paul, and Ramsay identified them all as characteristic of "the kinds of influence likely to affect the South Galatians recently converted from paganism. Chapter Context . It is not easy to please a 10, 7, and 3 year old with one game. Behold, I Paul say unto you that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. The present tense in this verse must be read as indicating that some of the Galatians had actually defected from Christianity in the manner indicated, with the result that they had "fallen from grace." I close by simply pointing out how verse 5 describes the life of freedom. First, we must guard it, especially from those who would pressure us to follow the law. It is conceivable that little Abraham would pout and say, "I don't want your help. So he hurries and works much faster and more efficiently with my help and we even have fun doing what needs to be done. Earnest De Witt Burton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1971 [reprint]), pp. The cross of Christ was preeminently above everything else the center and citadel of Christian hope; and if Paul trusted circumcision for anything, reliance upon the Great Atonement would have been forfeited. Paul did not hate Judaism, as such; but it simply could not do any good in the kind of warfare that must be won by the soul if people are to please God. When Christ died for our sins to repair the injury we had done to God's honor, our debt was totally covered! cit., p. 195. Resisting the Yoke of Slavery. Apparently, Paul was no Calvinist. 2 Mark my words! Why? Our … Freedom is worth … We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. "I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is a debtor to do the whole law." Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. And even though most Christians who work out of this gratitude ethic would say that they are not trying to earn their salvation, nevertheless, when they start working for God because he has given them so much, it is very easy to begin to think of God's free gift as a loan to be repaid or as advance wages to be earned. Daddy was on the floor helping—even making it enjoyable. 95 There are various ways in which the original text could be rendered. But it doesn't. If he continued in that proud way, he would fall from grace and I would be of no advantage to him. This is by no means an experience attributable to the Holy Spirit as separated in any manner from the other persons in the Godhead, or even apart from the mind of Christ and the word of Christ dwelling in people's hearts. 194-216 Galatians 5:1-13 _____ God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6). The Christian life is a life of freedom because it is lived in the power of the Spirit. This "lusting against the Spirit" by that force has its stronghold in the mind, in the imagination particularly. then hath the stumbling, block of the cross been done away. Freedom to love one another Paul has already insisted that … Continue reading "Commentary on Galatians 5:1, 13-25"  David Lipscomb, A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles, Galatians (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, n.d.), p. 260. One of another sent the Spirit, by the Spirit to help us put the blocks away,. His reign in the first case, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist church, Minneapolis,.... 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