Freedom in Christ


Sun, Mar 20, 2022

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Galatians Scripture: Galatians 5:1-26

MARCH 20, 2022



Galatians 5:1-3
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.


Circumcision is the surgical removal of foreskin from a baby's penis. For Jews, it was a part of Jewish law that originally came from a covenant between Abraham and God:

Genesis 17:9-11
9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

That covenant between God and the people of God was a religiously and legally binding covenant as a part of the Law. But, Jesus brought a new covenant: one paid for with His blood, not our actions and ceremonies.

So, when the Galatians started believing the lies that they needed to get circumcised in order to be Holy, it wasn’t just them doing extra steps. It was them not believing that the covenant we have through Jesus on the cross was enough to cover their sins.

Galatians 5:4-6
4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

...Then, he turns his attention to the people that have been spreading the lies in the church, and have been pulling the Galatians away from Jesus.

Galatians 5:7-12
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Paul just spent 4 1/2 chapters ripping into his spiritual children, the Galatians, for all of the dumb things they’ve fallen for.  Then all of the sudden he switches, and his righeous anger comes out to protect his spiritual children.

Paul continues on in verse 13 by encouraging them in how they SHOULD be living their lives.

Life by the Spirit

Galatians 5:13
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Again, Paul is showing that our flesh is at odds with the Holy Spirit.


Galatians 5:19-21
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

This list goes 2 ways…
1. Use it as a litmus test for where you are.

2. Know that when you follow your FLESH,
 you will start embodying these things.


First, I think this is a good list to search your own heart, and ask the question, where am I living in my flesh?

  • Am I sexually immoral, or giving in to impurity and debauchery, or orgies?
  • Am I engaged in idolatry or witchcraft?
  • Am I treating people around me with hatred, discord, jealously, or fits of rage?
  • Am I letting selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy take over the way I relate to other people?
  • Am I giving into drunkenness, 
or any other lack of control and discipline?


These things are all indicators that you are living according to your own flesh, and your own power, and not looking to the new covenant of Jesus, living under the power of what He afforded you on the cross.


When you give into one of these things, or try to live according to the flesh, it is a slippery slope to seeing more of these things rear their ugly heads in your life.


Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

This list goes 2 ways…
1. Use it as a litmus test for where you are.

2. Know that when you follow Jesus, 
you will start embodying these things.


First, I think this is a good list to search your own heart, and ask the question, where am I living in the Spirit?


  • Do I embody Love?
  • Do I consistently choose Joy?
  • Do I err on the side of Peace?
  • Am I a Patient person?
  • Do people see Kindness from me regardless of how they treat me?
  • Do I yearn for Goodness in everything?
  • Am I a Faithful man or womank?
  • Do people see my Gentleness?
  • Am I a Self-Controlled person?

The good news is, these aren’t things that you just have to work and work and work at in order to get under control in your life. These are fruits OF THE SPIRIT… they come from time with Jesus!

If you want to live these things, and have: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your life… GO HARD AFTER JESUS! He will do those things in you!


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