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Galatians 5:1-15

Talks for Growing Christians

Standing Fast in Our Christian Liberty

Galatians 5:1-15

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Lesson Number 11

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Freedom in Christ cannot include works, because a. adding works devalues Christ, b. adding works demands perfection, c. adding works denies grace, d. adding works disobeys the truth, e. adding works destroys God’s way, f. adding works dismisses the events of the cross.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t let legalism ruin your church.

Questions

  1. What is the difference between a believer’s position and a believer’s practice?
  2. What is sanctification?
  3. Read Galatians 5:4. Does this verse mean that you can lose your salvation?
  4. What was Paul’s great concern for the Galatian believers?
  5. Does freedom in Christ give the believer a license to sin?

Answers

  1. Position has to do with our legal standing before God, which means we have the righteousness of Christ that comes through faith. See Galatians 4:31. Practice has to do with our lifestyle based on our position. See Galatians 5:1.
  2. It is the process of becoming more godly and holy in this life.
  3. Absolutely not! The point here is that if anyone turns to the works of the law for salvation, he is departing from the way of grace, and would be substituting his own works for the work of Christ on the cross.
  4. He was concerned that they were in danger of falling back and adding the works of the Old Testament law to their practice. This would be to deny their freedom in Christ and be enslaved to the law once again.
  5. Hardly! When a believer begins to reason that his sins are forgiven and he’s on his way to heaven, and he has freedom in Christ, he may be tempted to use that freedom wrongly. That’s a wrong attitude. Because we have freedom in Christ, we have freedom to do works of love as the Lord’s servant, not to sin.

Discuss/Consider

  1. If we stand fast in our position of freedom in Christ, we can’t add works in practice for salvation or sanctification. Review the six reasons under doctrinal / teaching point #1. Refer to the Scripture for each reason. Then relate each reason to a “work” that you have observed in contemporary churches.
  2. “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14) Freedom in Christ is not a license to sin. When a Christian considers his freedom as a license to sin, he does not understand the grace of God. Because we have freedom in Christ, we have freedom to serve the Lord in love.

Challenge

  1. Have you known the grief and bitterness of a church split? Many splits occur because of works-oriented sanctification and differences of opinion as to what constitutes spirituality. Many times these splits occur by adding non-essential requirements to the essentials, which in turn result in strife and personality problems. How sad! Don’t let legalism ruin your church. Instead, do all in your power to mend differences by loving and esteeming one another.

Key Verses

  • “Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
  • ”You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Galatians 5:4-5)
  • “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)
  • “You, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

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