Galatians 5:1-6:10-Paul Demonstrates the Practical Application of
Justification by Faith
Free, Freedom, Freely, Freeman, Freedman, Freewoman:
"liberty" (akin to A and B), is rendered "freedom" in Gal 5:1, "with freedom did Christ set us free." The combination of the noun with the verb stresses the completeness of the act, the aorist (or point) tense indicating both its momentary and comprehensive character; it was done once for all. The RV margin "for freedom" gives perhaps the preferable meaning, i.e., "not to bring us into another form of bondage did Christ liberate us from that in which we were born, but in order to make us free from bondage."
The word is twice rendered "freedom" in the RV of Gal 5:13 (AV, "liberty"). The phraseology is that of manumission from slavery, which among the Greeks was effected by a legal fiction, according to which the manumitted slave was purchased by a god; as the slave could not provide the money, the master paid it into the temple treasury in the presence of the slave, a document being drawn up containing the words "for freedom." No one could enslave him again, as he was the property of the god. Hence the word apeleutheros, No. 2. The word is also translated "freedom" in 1Pe 2:16, RV. In 2Cr 3:17 the word denotes "freedom" of access to the presence of God.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words,
Galatians 5:1-12-Justification by faith results in freedom from bondage
If you claim that you must keep the Law in order to be righteous...then you can’t pick and choose which parts of the Law you want, you have to keep the entire Law. If you do this...then “Christ will be of no benefit to you...you have been severed from Christ...you have fallen from grace”. Because you are “under obligation to keep the whole Law”. Meaning...you are seeking to attain righteousness by a means other than through Christ. They have left God's plan of salvation by grace. When Paul speaks of receiving circumcision...it is a reference to practicing the requirements of the Law. The righteousness that comes through Christ is the result of faith placed in Him. Paul says that those
who are deceiving them will be judged (:12).
Galatians comes to grips with the question of what real Christian life is like. The answer can be characterized by one word, "liberty." The Christian is called to liberty in Jesus Christ. The cry of this epistle is that Christians might discover the liberty of the sons of God in accordance with all that God has planned for man in the way of freedom and enjoyment. Its aim is freedom of our human spirits to the utmost extent, restrained only as necessary for us to exist in harmony with the design of God. Therefore, this letter has been called the "Bill of Rights of the Christian Life," or the "Magna Carta of Christian Liberty," the "Emancipation Proclamation" from all forms of legalism and bondage in the Christian experience.
Ray Stedman :: Galatians: Don’t Submit Again to the Slave’s Yoke,
Galatians 5:13-15-Justification by faith is expressed through love for one another
This freedom from the Law as a means of grace does not mean that the Law has no purpose. The purpose of the Law was to guide them in how they were to live. And in relation to one another the Law says that they are to love each other. Evidently there were those who were saying that the Law now has no meaning...and were trying to take advantage of their newfound freedom from the Law and mistreat other people. Paul says that the Law is still active in the way that God had always intended it to be...to serve as a guide for our behavior...not a means for our salvation. When Paul uses the word "flesh" here, he is referring to those attitudes and actions that are self-serving.
Galatians 5:16-26-Justification by faith is empowered by the Holy Spirit
Paul admonishes the people to live by the power of the Holy Spirit...and not by the flesh. He lists deeds that are typical of a life being lived in the flesh, self- serving (:19-21), and says that someone who intentionally and continuously does these things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then he lists some behaviors ("fruit") that are characteristic of a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit (:22- 23). The word “fruit” is singular. There is only one fruit...the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But, it is manifested in numerous ways. Paul says that those who belong to Christ have "crucified the flesh" (the old nature)...put it to death and do not allow it to control them...and are "walk by the Spirit"...their lives are in control of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, I confess that at times I confuse my desires with Your will. I try to live by the Spirit, by my flesh can be deceptive. Please give me Your discernment to know the difference and to always walk and live by Your Spirit.