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Galatians 5:1, 13-26

Galatians 5:1, 13-26

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1. From where were the Galatians freed?

(a) Present Evil Age—ἐξαιρέω: to deliver someone from peril or confining circumstance (1:4 who [Jesus] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age)

(b) Curse of Legalism & Self-Effort Religion—ἐξαγοράζω: liberate or buy back (3:13 Christ bought us back from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, cf. 4:5)

(c) Restrictions of Self-Effort Religion—φρουρέω: to hold in custody (3:23 Before faith came, we were held in custody of the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed)

(d) Elemental Spirits—δουλόω: to make one subservient to one’s interests (4:3 we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe)

(e) Idols—δουλεύω: to be owned by another person (4:8 formerly… you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods)

2. What was the problem with the Galatian Christians?

(a) Adopting New Legalism—ἐπιστρέφω: to return to a point where one has been (4:9 how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?)

(b) Change of Allegiance—μετατίθημι: to have a change of mind in allegiance (1:6 you [Galatian Christians] were deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different Gospel)

(c) Attempt to Place Importance on Externals—σάρξ: finishing with the flesh (3:3 Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?) [νόμος: works of the Law (3:10 all who rely on works of the law are under a curse)] [ἡμέρα, μήν, καιρός, ἐνιαυτός: You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years!]

3. What is Paul’s contention?

(a) Freedom—For “freedom” Christ has set the believers free [check the word order]

(a1) “Christ” is the doer [share the Gospel]

(a2) The verb “set free” is an ingressive aorist: free from external & internal control; no fetters

(b) A believer has three options before him/her

(b1) Legalism (perseverance which is Galatian issue)
– 5:1 do not submit again to a yoke of slavery

(b2) Flesh/licensciousness [do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh 5:13]
– Flesh works against the Spirit [fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, impurity…]
– Such option will not lead [inherit] to the kingdom of God

(b3) Spirit [if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law 5:18]
– Through love be servants of one another (5:13)
– Restore with a spirit of gentleness (6:1)
– Bear one another’s burden (6:2)
– This leads to the fruit of the Spirit (5:22)

4. Take Away

Renounce self-efforts, unattractive legalisms (externals), and learn to walk after the Holy Spirit