The Gospel of Freedom

Text: Galatians 4:21-5:26

This is the fifth of six lessons examining the gospel from the book of Galatians. This lesson will focus on the gospel as a message of freedom.

The Announcement

  • You are children of the free woman (Galatians 4:31) – analogy of Abraham’s two sons (Galatians 4:21-30); because of this freedom, we have the promise (Galatians 4:24-26, 28); promise through Isaac, not Ishmael (Galatians 4:30; Genesis 21:10-12)
  • In Christ, neither circumcision or uncircumcision (Galatians 5:6) – circumcision was the sign of the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:9-11); promise is not just for his physical descendants (Acts 2:39); for those who will be born again (John 3:3, 5; cf. Galatians 6:15); all can be in Christ and heirs of the promise (Galatians 3:28-29; cf. Genesis 22:18)
  • You were called to freedom (Galatians 5:13) – liberty in Christ (Galatians 2:4); no longer under the bondage of sin (Romans 6:22); no longer receive the wages of sin (Romans 6:23); we are called, but we had to answer that call (Matthew 23:37; Romans 10:16, 21)

The Instruction

  • Keep standing firm (Galatians 5:1) – admonition given because it would be easy to give up because we are constantly under attack (Galatians 4:29; Ephesians 6:10-13); we will suffer for our faith (2 Timothy 3:12), but must never give up (Revelation 2:10); Satan is trying to enslave us again to sin, but we must overcome him (1 Peter 5:8-9)
  • Through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13) – freedom in Christ is not about doing whatever we want to do (1 Peter 2:16); we must serve Christ (Galatians 2:20; Luke 9:23); we also need to be mindful of others (Galatians 5:14); do what we can to help them (Galatians 6:10)
  • Walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) – means to walk according to the Spirit’s instructions revealed in the word (John 16:13; Ephesians 6:17); the Spirit leads us (Galatians 5:18) because we are sons of God (Romans 8:14); doing this will produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) which is what naturally comes as we obey His word

The Warning

  • Do not seek to be justified by law (Galatians 5:4) – this law is the Law of Moses (Galatians 4:21; 5:3); justification comes through faith in Christ (Galatians 2:16); purpose of the law was to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24); if we seek to be justified by something other than faith in Christ, we fall from grace (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:1)
  • Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh (Galatians 5:13) – again, we are not free to live as we please (1 Peter 2:16); we are to put to death the old man of sin (Romans 8:13; 6:6; Colossians 3:9); we cannot continue in sin so that God’s grace can abound (Romans 6:1-2)
  • Do not practice the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) – this is not an exhaustive list (cf. Romans 1:29-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; et al.); practicing these things will keep us from inheriting the kingdom because we are enslaved to sin (Galatians 4:9; 5:1); these are contrary to the ways of the Spirit (Galatians 5:17); there are two paths (Matthew 7:13-14) and we cannot follow both

Conclusion

  • We have freedom through Christ
  • We must exercise this freedom by serving Him, not by rebelling against Him

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