July 6, 2003

                                Galatians 5:1-15



Eph. 4:15a


My calling, perhaps I should say my temperament,

etc.  Last Days - Rev. 22:17,11


To be saved by faith and living by the Law perpetuates

falling from grace.


Either you are saved by God’s plan of salvation or

else you have a do-it-yourself-religion.


            Spirit vs. flesh

            liberty vs. bondage


v. 1 - The Law is not to be the rule of life for the

            believer - Grace supplies the indwelling &

            filling of the Spirit to enable us to live on a

            higher plane than Law demanded.


Christ was sinless, He kept the Law, He came not

to destroy the Law but to fulfil it.


Sermon on the Mount - “Thou shalt not kill”  - “but I

say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother

without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment”


“Thou shalt not commit adultery” - “but I say unto you

That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her

hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”

James 2:10 - “For whosoever shall keep the whole law,

            and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”


Paul is addressing serious problems within the church or

churches in Galatia.


Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Lamb of God that taketh

away the sin of the world, was made of a woman, took

upon Himself our form, was in all points tempted like

we are, yet without sin, became sin for us, was crucified,

buried and arose from the grave.


This for our salvation & deliverance from this present

evil world.


Eph. 2:8-10


Works have a place but not for salvation.


v.1 - “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free”

v. 6 - “faith which worketh by love”

v. 12 - “use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but

            by love serve one another”


Those causing dissension in the church were telling the

Galatian people that they had to be circumcised to be saved.


v. 3 - To be circumcised to gain  righteousness is wrong -

it is at extreme peril that a Christian allows himself

misgivings as to whether Christ’s blood as an atonement was

all-sufficient for peace with God or entrance into His kingdom.


Now circumcision was enjoined on Abraham as a token of the

covenant which assured to him & his descendants the promise

of the Messiah.


At the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, I read where that Jews

wishing to assimilate themselves into the heathen around them,

went through a procedure to uncircumcise themselves.


v. 4 - Remember - justification by the Law is unattainable - 3:11


“ye are fallen from grace” - now I believe in the eternal security

of the believer but nowadays, as in Paul’s day, and I am afraid

throughout history, there are those who have held or hold to



v. 5 - “the hope of righteousness by faith”


By faith we look forward to the hereafter, to receive the hope

of righteousness.


Rom. 5:1-11    (never going to reach perfection in this life)





The Do-It-Yourselfer has an ever-unappeased conscience

always striving at pleasing God through personal righteousness

whereas it is the privilege & glory of faith that one can enjoy

the assurance of being justified by faith now and be at peace

& at one, with God.


Chase a butterfly, can never catch it, be still, it will land on

your nose.


v. 6 - Only damning mischief results from prying with salvation,

circumcision or uncircumcision - NO LEGAL APPARATUS


is “faith which worketh by love”


II Cor. 5:14-15,17


Rom. 7:18 - “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)

            dwelleth no good thing:  for to will is present with me;

            but how to perform that which is good I find not.”


Christ’s love to the Christian awakens in his soul a sentiment

of love for his Redeemer which is so strong & influential,

that it regulates the whole of the Christian life.


John 8:36 - “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye

                        shall be free indeed.”


Christ imparts the gift of love to Himself & that makes

obedience to be no longer a constrained service.


v. 7 - Why are you looking elsewhere for grounds of



“that ye should not obey the truth”


They were turning their ears away from the truth to listen

to pernicious counsels or teaching.


II Tim. 4:1-4 - Giving attention to things which they ought

                        to be giving to the gospel.


v. 8 - Coming not from God but the world - Satan.


Col. 2:20-23                II Cor. 11:13-15


What they were listening to now had “anathema” written

all over it.  (curse)                  ch. 1:6


Paul declares in the strongest manner that the Gospel he

preached was the one & only way of salvation, and that to

preach another was to nullify the Death of Christ.


(The distance across home plate in baseball - compare with left field distance to right field)  The further you go the farther off base you are!


v. 9 - a noxious element - promising comfort & sense of

            acceptance - external religiosity - when once it

            begins to show itself, has a great tendency to SPREAD.


Leaven in the Bible is always a symbol of evil - it may be

the kind of gospel that is passing around today as legal tender

but it is still evil. 


There seems to be a lot of leaven being put to the gospel

today to make it more palatable (taste better).


Sight - Not Faith - much like it is the economy, not

morality, stupid although the scripture tells us "For we walk

by faith, not by sight" - II Cor. 5:7


It tastes good but we are warned against it. 


Pulpit Commentary - Verbatim - part of writings on v. 9-


For always, in every Church, there are unstable souls, too

often not a few, never able to come to the knowledge of the

truth; which have never truly discerned Christ’s all-sufficiency

for their spiritual needs, or have lost any superficial

persuasion of it once enjoyed; and which, consciously

unsatisfied with what they as yet possess, and nevertheless

only toying with spiritual things, are ready to adopt almost

any novelty of religious behavior offering itself for their

acceptance.  The particular form in which the external

religionism of seekers after another gospel clothes itself

varies according to varying tastes & circumstances......

the fatal blunder of mistaking the external shows of

saintliness for the reality of saintliness......The danger of

the leaven in the present case, increased by the

instability of character and the quick impulsiveness

belonging to the Celtic temperament.


pp. bottom 244- top 245 - if you don’t believe it go to

our church library and look in Vol 20 of Pulpit Commentary

written a century or two before the present.


When I studied this all week - I relate it to contemporary



Book - Why I left the Contemporary Christian Movement:

 Confessions of a Former Worship Leader by Dan Lucarini.


There are things going on in churches in Christian County

and throughout the Southern Baptist Convention that if

done 20 years ago would have produced an outrage.


I size up the situation as God’s people getting hurt in church

splits and don’t want to rock the boat and go through that again

and the vacuum is filled with a more worldly, delicious form

of worship which we can see & feel, forgetting that God is

a Spirit and does not require or want physical contact.


John 4:23-24


True antidote - the gospel of the righteousness of

                        Christ crucified!


The remedy - Ps. 119:130 - “The entrance of thy words

            giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”


            John 5:39 - “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye

            think ye have eternal life:  and they are they which

            testify of me.”


Youth Movement not as grounded on Scripture but has roots

in the world.


Flesh/Spirit                 Senses/Spirit


The only remedy - Christ crucified for the sins of the world -

not the church crucified for the world.  Jesus plus nothing.


Nothing plus nothing equals nothing.  Jesus plus nothing = JESUS!


v. 10b - read - ch. 1:7-9


v. 13 - Freedom/Liberty


John 8:34 - Jesus said “Whosoever committeth sin is the

            servant of sin”


Freedom which allows a man to obey his lower nature is a perverted  & generic use of the term freedom and is a world of difference  from that freedom wherewith Christ makes us free -




Exhibit A - Luke 16:26 ****


II Pet. 2:18-19           


Today’s attack on morality & it’s support in the U. S. Constitution by Civil -Libertarians          - that low class of the nether world!  even have political party


The moral behavior required of those who enjoy the

freedom which Christ gives - remaining part of this

chapter and part of next.


The flesh is not to have its own way but it is to own

the mastery of the Spirit. 


v. 17                            Rom. 8:5-8                                         


The Law is negative - produces a negative goodness - a

legal goodness and never rises to positive goodness where

one tries to please God because we love God & love to

please Him!


Political correctness in the world is on the wrong side

of this one -


John 14:15 - “If ye love me, keep my commandments”


I John 4:19 - “We love Him, because He first loved us”


The indispensable requirement to fulfill  the Law is the

Spirit of Christ dwelling in us & leading us!


Romans 13 - all


v. 15 - A description of Christian cannibals - no love for one

another -they bite & devour one another.

“biting & eating up” - are images drawn from carnivorous

animals furiously fighting with one another


The verb “to eat up” in the Greek describes the intense

desire to vex & damage an antagonist, which often disgraces

the so-called religious controversialist or partisan.


The verb “consume or utterly destroy” in the Greek,

points to another sphere of hurt than that referred to by

the two foregoing verbs.


Eat up and bite implies eagerness to sting and run down

an opponent.


Consume describes the utter laying waste of the inward

life of piety.


Exposing the evils of contentiousness - LOVE - the corrective.

Such evils were rife among the Galatians, whose natural

character was commonly described as quarrelsome.




Remedy - A loving temper of mind, along with other benefits,

is recommended also by this, that it guards Churches from

corrupting innovations in doctrine & church practice; checking

our self-will and our obtrusive vanity, it leads us to avoid giving

uneasiness to others by thrusting upon them new notions or

new modes of conduct, and makes it our ambition to keep the

unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Once again verbatim from p. 250, vol. 20 Pulpit Commentary


Perhaps a good food washing service as exampled by our

Master in John 13 might put us more in the right frame of mind!


This bitter antagonism & controversy has to be eaten out

and love can & will do the job.


“by love serve one another” in v. 13

“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” in v. 14


A Christian disciple who has ceased to love, Christ teaches

us, is salt which has lost its savor - utter refuse and hopeless

of recovery.  Mark 9:50


May God save us from such apostate situations

and from such Laodicean-like symptoms of which Christ

mentions in the Revelation where He, Himself is on the

outside, knocking to get an entrance!  Rev. 3