A Walk through Galatians

“I do not frustrate the grace of God (making anything other the cross of Christ the object of our faith): for if righteousness come by the law (any law), then Christ is dead in vain (if we can succeed in ourselves then Christ need not have come).” Galatians 2:21

The Apostle Paul, in the Epistle to the Galatians, is addressing a problem that had arisen in the church and was of a very serious nature. Judaizers had come from Jerusalem telling the church at Galatia that they must add the law (law of Moses) to faith in Christ. They were preaching a combination of grace (faith in Christ) and works (keeping the law). The definition of the word Judaizer is ” to live according to Jewish customs”, and that’s exactly what they were suggesting to the Galatians. Paul knew that this was a very serious error and would cause the church at Galatia to lose its way.

This issue of law verses grace is addressed by Paul in this letter. The Galatians were believing salvation was by grace, but sanctification (our daily walk) was by self (law and works). He knew that mixing anything with faith in Jesus and His finished work was another gospel.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ…..” Galatians 2:16

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The Law (Yoke of Bondage)

(The following verses are all from Galatians)

The law is not of faith.”

“Cursed is every one who continues not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law to do them (an unattainable high standard).”

It (the law) was added because of transgressions (to show man what sin is), till the seed (Christ) should come to whom the promise is made.”

“Wherefore the law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God…”

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“…The just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)

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Grace (Liberty)

(The following verses are all from Galatians)

” I am crucified with Christ (Romans 6:3-5): nevertheless I live (our new life); yet not I (not in our own strength), but Christ lives in me (baptized into His death, buried with Him, and raised in newness of life)”.

“…. the life which I now live in the flesh (daily walk), I live by the faith of the Son of God (continued faith in the cross), Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (grace- the only way).”

“But if you be led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

“….Walk in the Spirit (faith in the cross), and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

“But if you be led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

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We can only be in one of two places – under law (works) or grace (unmerited favor). Either we are determined to succeed in ourselves through law and works, or we have come into the grace of God which is the only way to experience victory. In the following verses Paul points out what will happen should we return to law after beginning in grace:

“For if I build again the things which I destroyed (go back to the law), I make myself a trangressor (sin, and exactly what the Judaizers wanted them to do).” (Galatians 2:18)

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by law (seek to be); you have fallen from grace (moved our faith from Christ to something else).” (Galatians 5:4)

We are to stand fast in the liberty by which we were made free. Free to live a life pleasing to God by our faith (daily) in Christ and the cross. Returning to the yoke of bondage is leaving the cross and going under law of any kind (including those laws we make up). Let us stand, with our faith firmly placed in the cross of Christ. Our victory is assured. The Holy Spirit will cause the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in our lives as we walk this walk of faith. As the words of the song say, “Come Holy Spirit fall on us.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit (fruit is singular not “fruits” and it is of the Spirit, not us) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such, there is no law” (Galatians 5:22).

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

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