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Called To Freedom

What’s going on in Galatians?  Paul is fighting a threat from false teachers called Judaizers.  The Judaizers say they come from James in Jerusalem to show them the proper way to live the Christian life.  On one hand they say you must come to faith in Christ.  On the other they say you must keep the Law to maintain faith in Christ.  Paul defends the Gospel he preaches, his ministry and his apostleship in an effort to bring the Galatians back around.  He uses scripture to show that those who come to Christ are actual children of Abraham, not those who follow the Law.  In chapter 5, he attempts to show the Galatians that they have been freed and that they should use their freedom at the Lord intended it.

In Galatians 5:13 says that for you were called to freedom, brethren.  Paul reiterates what he had written earlier when he said that  it was for freedom that Christ set us free.  What an amazing thought.  Christ calls His followers to freedom so that they can be free from slavery.

Paul encourages the Galatians to  not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.  There are two ways that this can work.  The Galatians can try to simply try to do things as the Judaizers encourage by attempting to keep the Law in their own power.  This takes the focus off of Christ’s power working within them and makes them able to boast in their own flesh.  Or one can take their freedom from granted and seek pleasure in the freedom of the flesh.  Either way the flesh is being satisfied.

Instead Paul encourages the Galatians to through love serve one another.  Instead of seeking their own flesh, the Galatians should seek to serve one another through love.  Paul begins to show them how they must begin to live.  They must live lives of love through service.

Paul refers the Galatians to what the Law is really all about.  Rather than attempting to keep the Law in their own power or flesh, he shows them how the Law can be summed up:  For the who Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Rather than attempting to seek happiness through the slavery of legalism, they should seek it by seeking the happiness of others the same as they would themselves.

The flip side is that the Galatians face a danger.  Paul tells them that if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.  The danger is that when they do not love live a life of love, serving one another, they will instead live a life focused simply on themselves.  They will, instead, live a life where seek their own interests over their brothers and sisters.  Paul is telling the Galatians that this is the kind of life they are headed for by following the Judaizers.

Takeaways:

1.  We were called to freedom.

2.  There is a danger in freedom to live the wrong kind of life.

3.  We should live lives of putting others interests equal to our own.

4.  Our danger is that we will live lives of flesh where we will seek our own interests instead.

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