Galatians 5: 1-12 5 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.
Galatians 5: 1-12 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
Galatians 5: 1-12 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Galatians 5: 1-12 11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.
What’s Paul up to? Doesn’t want the kind of religion that separates people and excludes them based on some set of predetermined ‘laws’ Working hard to abolish a dividing wall between people (remember chapter 2) Reminding us all that we receive relationship with God as a free gift
What’s Paul up to? Starting to frame an answer against some of his detractors who claim that he is letting people off the hook, giving them an ‘easy’ gospel Giving us the heart of the matter (verses 5 & 6): waiting for the hope of righteousness and faith working through love
Crowning Thought 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
Commentary on Galatians, 1535 “As the earth itself does not produce rain and is unable to acquire it by its own strength, worship, and power but receives it only by a heavenly gift from above, so this heavenly gift is given to us by God without our work or merit. As much as the dry earth of itself is able to accomplish in obtaining the right and blessed rain, that much can we men
Commentary on Galatians, 1535 accomplish by our own strength and works to obtain that divine, heavenly, and eternal righteousness. Thus we can obtain it only through the free imputation and indescribable gift of God. Therefore the highest art and wisdom of Christians is not to know the Law, to ignore works and all active righteousness...”
First, Waiting Martin Luther’s story His words about ‘active’ and ‘passive’ righteousness There needs to be a ‘receiving’ before there can be an ‘outworking’ So waiting on God is necessary However, it can be a an active passivity! Think ‘waiting on tables’
Imagine a problem Trying to heal a bad character trait or addiction You could try everything but unless there’s a change on the inside of your heart and your brain it’s very tough Come first to God, face to face, asking for help Then try to take all the actions that are likely to bring help Repeat this process
Second, Faith thru Love Similarly, all of our moral efforts don’t fix our problem of being ‘not who we want to be’ But a change of heart focus will Don’t try too hard doing or not doing good or bad things as if you could force your soul into shape Instead, fall in love with the idea of becoming like Jesus and doing His work in the world
The Secret His work was to love each person set before Him in the way that was appropriate to them Some needed healing or deliverance from evil, some needed belonging or teaching or food, some needed a rebuke for their stubborn pride He was a fire-hose of the River of Life, bringing spiritual power from the invisible world into this one
Faith in... The reality of the spiritual world That the Father’s power and love can transfer into this one That God will use you as you connect to Him and try to help each person in front of you in whatever way is appropriate
If this is what you’re up to... You will go far beyond the righteousness of ‘dos’ and don’ts’ You will fulfill what the Law was hoping to accomplish but never could You will be more effective caring for others than when you are filled with a sense of ‘righteous’ pride You will make God very happy