Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Yesterday it was announced that Mrs. Pelosi will be refused “holy communion” according to the declaration of a bishop in the U.S. Apparently the Pope has warned his bishops of getting political in their thinking. The Catholic church is all about politics. It has been trying hard to take control of the governance of the world and has forced itself upon some pagan nations like Britain, in the past. Those who are saved need to pray for Mrs. Pelosi. She is certainly a wicked woman according to God’s standard of righteousness.
In our text we see that God has granted liberty to those who are in Christ. Jesus Christ was never under bondage. He never sinned and was never guilty of any sin. He always did the will of His Father. He is seated on the right hand of the Father in glory at this very time.
There is a movement in North America known as the Libertarians. This movement is a dangerous movement that has managed to lure some professing Christians into its ranks.
God was not directing the apostle Paul to promote such a movement. God is a righteous God and He declares truth openly and often in the Scriptures. He demands that people know Him and follow His way. He warns against those who would defy Him and choose their own way. He has warned many times of the final judgment of those who reject Him.
It is true that man is created with a free will.
Adam was given all the facts he needed to choose wisely in the Garden. He chose to ignore the facts and he chose to believe a lie. The Bible says he disobeyed God. He had the opportunity to do that. He also was told prior to his disobedience, that there would be severe consequences to disobedience. Adam knew that. He did not need to eat of the forbidden fruit to know that. He was a very intelligent person. Yet he chose to ignore all that he knew to be true, and chose to accept the lie. The result was that he experienced the judgment of God upon him. He lost a very privileged position and he plunged all of humanity into sin with one extremely foolish choice.
Jesus Christ is the last Adam, and He took upon Himself flesh and was obedient unto death, even to death on the cross. He did not follow the path of Adam. He was and is righteous and due to His obedience to His Father, He made the way for man, from the time of Adam, to be forgiven and saved. He provided the way for man to be set at liberty.
Those who are saved today, have been set at liberty in Christ. We did not set ourselves at liberty. Our liberty is found in Christ. We see in verse 1 here that the danger is of becoming entangled in a yoke of bondage.
False religion has been around since the fall of man. False religion is under the influence of the devil. False religion demands loyalty to the devil’s plans. Lost people are deceived by the devil into thinking that what they do is good. They have no hope of salvation because they can never do enough to be assured they have done enough.
The true child of God is saved by God’s grace and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The true child of God knows there is nothing they can do to earn salvation. When a person is saved, they have passed from death into life. They have been made a new creature. They have chosen to come under the authority of the God of Creation and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote that born again Christians need to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ HATH MADE US FREE. The repentant sinner turns to God and is saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God, in Christ makes that person free. God, in Christ forgives all the past sins of that person.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The born again child of God is set at liberty from the curse of sin at the moment of salvation. Mrs. Pelosi may do some type of penance or she may give a large donation to the Catholic religion and she may be offered her wafer and sip of alcohol again. It will just further condemn her. By God’s grace, she may get saved and that will set her free from the bondage of sin.
Those who are saved have the ability to say no to the temptation to sin.
What a blessing it is to be set free from bondage by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. In our context, the bondage being addressed was that of works salvation.
Paul addressed that in verse 2. One of the heretical groups of that time was a group called “Judaizers”. That name comes from a phrase found in Galatians 2:14 which reads: “to live as do the Jews?”
The Judaizers were unsaved people who believed that is was necessary to keep the law in order to be saved and to remain saved. They were a constant trouble for the apostles. They would travel to their areas to try to stir up the people against the apostles. They would make false accusations against them. The Roman government did not care that they existed. However, the government officials understood that they were attacking the apostles for religious reasons, and so the government tried to stay out of the disputes unless it interfered with keeping the “peace”.
As we see in verse 2, the Judaizers demanded that their followers be circumcised as a matter of salvation. They tried to interfere with the true Gospel by trying to get the saved people to also be circumcised as a matter of salvation.
In that context, Paul was directed to state that Christ would profit them nothing if they tried to add works to the work of Christ in salvation. Circumcision was never given to the nation of Israel as a means of salvation. It was a sign that God gave them for the males within that nation. It was to be enacted when the male child was 8 days old. It was important for their national identity, but it did not save them.
God shows us circumcision does not save back in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 15:6, God counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness. God gave Abraham the law of circumcision in Genesis 17. It was a law that the nation of Israel was to keep as part of their national identity, not as a means of their salvation.
Pharisees and Sadducees would have fit the mould as Judaizers. Those groups had corrupted God’s Word and made works the means of “salvation”. Of course they were not saved, and Jesus condemned them for their hypocrisy and their false teaching. Those who set laws as a means of salvation will prove that they cannot keep those laws themselves.
Seventh Day Adventists claim to be followers of the Levitical laws. However, when you question them on law keeping, they will admit they do not keep the law perfectly. No one can. Yet they claim law keeping is necessary for salvation.
Our governments, which promote the false religion of humanism, have proved over the past 2 years that they cannot even keep the wicked mandates they demand others keep. They give out tickets to those who do not comply, and yet individuals within the government and the medical profession have been caught numerous times not abiding by their own mandates. They never give themselves tickets. They think they have a justifiable excuse.
Paul made it clear here that any religion that suggests any type of human work in its salvation, does not have Christ as Saviour. Without Christ as Saviour, they have no salvation. God offers liberty to man. That liberty is to know that our sins are forgiven by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The saved person is no longer under the bondage of trying to keep the law and wondering if they have done enough to be saved.
The true child of God will do good works as the evidence of salvation. As we noted in Galatians 2:20, the true child of God has Christ living in them. Jesus did many good works while on this earth. Those works were the fulfilment of Bible prophecy. The Old Testament prophesied that when the Messiah would come, He could be identified by His Words and by His deeds.
Those who are saved in Christ demonstrate that they are saved by obeying God’s will for His children. Abel demonstrated his faith in God by offering a right sacrifice. He was not under bondage. He was a free man and he chose to glorify God in the way that pleased God.
Rather than being bound by some imaginary standard of righteousness, the true child of God is given Christ’s righteousness at salvation and now is free to demonstrate that righteousness in his or her actions.