Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Galatians was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Chapter Five
(Lesson Five - 5:1-26)


The book of Galatians is one of the doctrinal foundation stones of the New Testament. The book may be second in importance only to the book of Romans. It is said that Martin Luther lived in Romans and Galatians. The material may seem difficult to understand at times, but we must face the hard cold facts that without an understanding of this book, regardless of the difficulty of its' concepts, one would build his Christian doctrine on shifting sands.

Chapters five and six are the practical chapters of the book. Paul has presented his doctrinal statements and Old Testament biblical comparisons to establish firmly his case against the "Judaizers".

I. Walk in Liberty - (5:1-6)

A. Paul summarizes chapters three and four in verse one of (chapter 5) by comparing "liberty" and "free" with "entangled" and "yoke of bondage". Much controversy rages within the context of the next five verses. Some say that these verses are directed at the lost. If so, and we are not saying they aren't, here's the interpretation:

If a lost man gets circumcised, Christ's death is meaningless. Let's go a step farther, if a lost man goes uncircumcised, Christ's death is also meaningless. The point following that (vs. 3) in either case (lost or saved) a man being circumcised, voluntarily subjects himself to do the whole law under the penalty of the curse.

(Verse four): If you are lost and attempting justification by keeping the Law, then again, Christ is dead in vain, (Gal. 2:21) and you have withdrawn yourself from the grace of God which is shed on the unsaved... (Acts 13:43; Rom. 11:11-25; Acts 10 - Cornelius; Titus 2:11).

If verse four is addressed to the saved, then this would follow... spirituality would be a result of doing the Law, rather than doing a result of spirituality! Eph. 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works..." A "doing Christianity", not properly motivated by the Spirit of God and the Word of God (manifest in spiritual maturity), is a legalistic system created to produce spirituality that can be measured by a number or numbers. The Bible results of spirituality (Gal. 5:22,23) are difficult to measure but obvious in evidence.

If "fallen from grace" meant the loss of your security in Christ the context dictates, that the way you can fall is by trying to justify yourself by keeping the Law and getting circumcised!

B. "Ye" versus "We". Paul makes a distinction. Those "ye's" of verse four are not of "we" verse five. "For we through the Spirit" not the Law, "wait for the hope of righteousness (see Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:1-3; Rom. 8:10,11; Col. 1:5) by faith". (Eph. 2:8-10)

C. (Verse six) teaches a most important biblical, New Testament principle... "faith...worketh". (Verse six) establishes the proper balance, relationship and motivation of faith and-works in the New Testament under grace. "Works worketh" by obligation! not love! True biblical Spirit generated faith works, meaning there is production. Works without biblical saving faith is religion. Faith without biblical works is either dead, or nonsense. Faith with works without love is dangerous, immature, misguided, ineffective and sometimes unnecessarily repulsive!

(See Heb. 12:2,3) - "Consider him" - "worketh by love".

II. The Parenthesis - (5:7-12)

Five practical thoughts can be derived from this brief parenthesis in the chapter.

[1]. (vs. 7) The baby, adolescent and mature Christian needs to be forewarned that people will be one of the greatest opponents in your Christian life. Why so dangerous? Often they will line up on your team.

[2]. (vs. 8) It is important to remember your "father is the Lord." Who bore you? When being tossed to and fro by the seas of heresy, bitterness or the like, it is often safe to seek the one who led you to Christ and consider his advice. For he or she is the one who cared for your soul.

Leaven: Apostasy, Compromise - (Matt. 13:33-38; 1 Cor. 5:6,7; Matt. 16:6,12)

[3]. (vs. 11) The offense of the cross. (1 Cor. 1:23) The offense of the cross in the context of this chapter and the reason why simple salvation by faith is rejected is that it nullifies anything I can do. It offends the self-righteous for his "goodness" is worthless. It offends the wise for it doesn't take a college degree to understand it. It offends the sinner for he knows an innocent man paid the penalty for sin without complaint while the sinner, who is totally guilty complains about his reaping when he knows the worst is yet to come.
[4]. Notice lastly Paul's "loving" Christian attitude. Paul wished that the the troublemaker in Galatia was dead. Christianity should exemplify the attributes of God and be sensitive to exhibit them at the proper time. God is love I John says; (Exodus 15) says, He's a man of war. I'm afraid Christianity has been almost totally pacified so that there lies very little fight within.


III. Walk in Love - (5:13-15)

We have been set free from the law by the salvation we have received in Jesus Christ. We have liberty, not that we have the right to do anything we want but that we have the right to do right. Our service and daily walk is motivated by love rather than fear of impending judgment. Verse thirteen tells us that in being called to liberty that we have not received a license to sin but that we are to use this liberty for spiritual things, serving each other motivated out of love.

Following are some rules the Bible puts forth for us so that we will operate within the bounds of our liberty in Christ.

[1]. (1 Cor. 8:9) We should not use our liberty if it is going to be an occasion of stumbling to a weaker brother.

[2]. (1 Cor. 6:12) "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient..." We are now under the law of the Spirit of Christ. Yes, there's liberty, but at the same time, there is a time and a place for everything. (Ecc. 3:1-8) "There is a time to every purpose." (Col. 2:16)

[3]. (1 Cor. 10:24-33) "For conscience sake." Whatever you do, do it all to the honor and glory of, the Lord. (I Pet. 2:16)

The problem of questionable things. Here is a criteria for judging whether you should, or should not. (Rom. 14:1-15:4)

A. Be fully persuaded in your own mind. (14:5)

B. Do it as unto the Lord. (14:8) Col. 3:17 Remember the Judgment Seat of Christ (14:10) "of what sort it is. of

D. Stumbling block? (See #1) Mk. 9: 33-50; Rom. 15:15,20 (14:13)

E. Remember "whatsoever is not of faith is sin". James 4:17 (14:23)

F. Who are you trying to please? (15: 2-4) (See #2)

"For Conscience' Sake" - can you honestly have a clear conscience? (See-James 2:812)

Walk in Love: "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well." (Ja. 2:8)

IV. Walk in the Spirit - (5:16-26)

"Walk in the Spirit" vs. 16,25, and ye shall not fulfill the Just of the flesh." "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5 :18) How? (Col. 3:16) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another..." "...until Christ be formed in you." (Gal. 4:19) see also (1 Cor. 4:15; Rom 13:14; 2 Cor. 13:5).

Paul exposes in this last section of chapter five the arch enemies of the Christian walk, the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit. This battle is discussed by Paul in the book of Romans chapters 6 and 7. Romans 6: 11-22; 7:1-25 Notice the word fruit in chapters 6 and 7.

"But if ye be led by the spirit..." (vs. 18) (see Rom. 8:14-16; Rom. 1:32; Phil. 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:15)

In verse nineteen there begins a list of seventeen fruits of the flesh. Some of these words are not commonly used today and are far above the vocabulary of the normal 20th century human being.

lasciviousness - lewd, lustful

variance - deviation, sower of discord, fickle

emulations - jealousies

strife - troublemaker, conflict fighting, altercation

sedition - rebellion against authority

revellings - riots, orgies

"...they that do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." (See Col. 3:24; Eph. 5:4; 1 Cor. 6:9) The context of these verses is the loss of rewards or inheritances for Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I Cor. 3:13-16 "shall suffer loss."

"But the fruit of the Spirit is" (vs. 22) note the singular "fruit, is". All of these characteristics go together., The Spirit of God filling an individual Christian will produce the list of these nine positive virtues. (Note: There are nine fruits, in Galatians, the ninth New Testament book; Galatians has nine letters.)

Again some definitions:

longsuffering - patient, compassionate

meekness - humble, submissive

temperance - self-control, moderate

The fruit of the Spirit has to do with attitudes. In every area of your life, in relationships with others, these fruits will be manifest if you are "filled with the Spirit." There is no middle ground for the Christian. The Christian not filled with the Spirit is doomed to manifest the works of the flesh. Only by the filling of the Spirit of God and its' associated biblical principles can a Christian have a day to day victory in Jesus Christ. (See Neh. 9:1-3) for prerequisites for revival, personal or national.

"They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of God with boldness." (Acts 4:31)

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