“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Sin is like a shackle that holds us in bondage. When we receive Christ, those chains are broken and we are set free; sin no longer has dominion over us. However, it is possible to let sin back into our lives, and we become enslaved to it once again. In order to ensure our freedom from sin, Paul exhorts us to “stand fast.” This term is used to speak of not being easily moved. It is a term that would describe an offensive lineman in football. He knows that at the snap of the ball, there will be a full-fledged attack on the quarterback. The realization of what is coming causes him to prepare to stand. In the same way, as Christians, we must realize we are under attack. The attack is an attempt to get us bound in the sins from which we were set free, when we came to Christ. Your freedom in Christ is way too valuable for you to be toying around with sin.
Galatians 5:7 “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
Notice the word “ran” is in the past tense. Simply put, these Christians were at one time “charging forward” in their relationship with Christ; but that time is over. Something happened that caused them to stop running. Perhaps they slowed down to a walk, a stroll, or even stopped moving forward altogether. Paul exhorts them to examine their walk with the Lord to see what happened. What person or event has led you to stop running toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus? That is a very important exhortation and one we must take seriously. How would you describe your current relationship with the Lord? Are you running, walking, standing still or falling backwards? If you are not running, take inventory and figure out what is holding you back. For some, it is the addition of things to your life that act like an anchor, keeping you from moving ahead. For others, it is the lack of church attendance, Bible reading, and Christian service, that keep you from moving ahead.
Galatians 5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Finally, Paul exhorts us to walk in the Spirit. This is the secret to both standing and running. Walking in the Spirit is a bi-product of determining we want to live lives pleasing to God, and is accomplished by abiding in Jesus. When we will sit before the Word of God, and let it write on the tablet of our hearts, we will know what things are pleasing to the Lord, and what things are not. It is when we lay out our lives before the Lord, we will be strengthened to withstand the temptations of the flesh and be able to move forward in our walk with Christ.
Take time, now, to evaluate your life. Are you running forward, or being held back by some sin? Then take time to lay your life open before the Lord and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, that you might live well pleasing to Him today.
Questions for Galatians 5
1. What is Paul commanding us not to be entangled with?
2. According to verse 4, in order for us to be estranged from Christ and fall from grace, what must we do?
3. According to verse 6, what’s the most important thing to the Lord?
4. Verse 8 is a very important scripture. Beware of the weird interpretations of scripture. Paul says “this persuasion did not come to you from the Lord”. We here at Calvary Chapel of Vero Beach encourage you to read your bible daily, use Gods word as your filter against worldly influences. The bible says, “Take the sword of the spirit which is the word of God”.
What is meant by “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”?
5. According to verse 13, how should we use our liberty?
6. What is the consequence if we bite and devour one another?
7. In order to not fulfill the lust of the flesh, what are we to do?
8. For a better understanding of the works of the flesh, do a word study by using a good bible dictionary and or the website http://www.blueletterbible.com
9. In contrast to the works of the flesh, we have the fruit of the spirit. These are characteristics of a person who has a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus. Do a word study on these as well and examine your growth as a Christian.