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.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
The Galatian saints needed to learn to stand upon the truth. It was Jesus Christ Who had made them free. They did not have to pay to be set free. They had heard the faithful preaching of the apostle Paul and they responded in humility and true faith in the Lord. Paul had not been a smooth talker. He had been faithful to God’s will and had given a clear message all along.
There were those who were not interested in the truth. They chose to work hard to try to stop Paul. They did not want people to be forgiven and saved.
However, some in Galatia had been saved. The Judaizers pounced on them with a lie and tried to take away the joy of God’s salvation. They were having some success and thus Paul was directed by God to teach the people the truth. They needed to understand that the false teachers did not want to set the captives free. They wanted them to die in captivity.
The true child of God has been set free by God. The danger is to become entangled in sin, which is called the yoke of bondage. It is bondage to live by law keeping. There have to be many loopholes built into false religion. The message also has to be quite subtle.
Paul told the saints they should not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. They had been set free. Why go back and be entrapped again?
Paul warned the saints that if they would fall for the lie of being circumcised in order to be saved, Christ would be of no benefit to them You cannot claim to be saved by faith and also saved by works. False religions like the Catholics make that claim. They will accept faith in Christ, but not faith without works as a means of possibly being saved. The Galatian saints needed to understand that this lie could never help them.
In verse 3 Paul warned that those who want to live by law keeping are in big trouble. Those who took God’s command to be circumcised and believe that the obedience to the law could save them, were debtors to the whole law. Those who want to follow the law, cannot rewrite the law in any way. They cannot ignore any aspect of the law. They can never have a day off from trying to keep the law. It is extremely tiring to try to live by the law. Most people have tried this at some point in their lives.
This is why we see such an abundance of false religions. They all have their little quirks. They all try to trap people in their lies. They are successful in drawing far too many people.
It is extremely foolish to insist on law keeping as a means of salvation. You could go to the Catholic mass every day till the day you die, and you will still go to hell.
In verse 4 Paul warned that those who want to live by law-keeping, have no connection to Christ. If Jesus Christ was their Saviour, then law keeping could not add anything to their salvation. We have noted before how people who try to live by law keeping often fall.
The Seventh Day Adventist live by law keeping. If you ask them serious questions about the ramifications of their law keeping attempts, you will find them looking for excuses and trying to get away from those who would like to hear the truth.
To try to live by the law means that you have fallen from grace. Grace has no effect on your heart, soul and mind. Grace is not a license to sin. Grace is the gift of God that brings the peace of God to the heart.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The grace the Galatian saints were falling from was the grace to help in time of need. No person can live the Christian life in the flesh. No person can claim to be saved by law keeping and no person who believes in law keeping can live the Christian life.
We will see yet that Christians do not live immoral lives. God’s salvation is not a license to sin. It is the freedom to glorify God without the encumbrances of sin. Paul stated:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The Galatians needed sound teaching. They needed to settled on God’s truth. That is the only truth there is.
We also need to be settled on the truth. We need to know the peace that passeth all understanding. That peace comes only through true faith in God. Those who have been saved have been set at liberty by God. That liberty is the ability to serve God with joy. It is the confidence that God has provided salvation. We do not get up every day worrying about the possibility of losing our salvation. We do not go to bed every night wondering if we did something that would rob us of eternal life. The saved person is saved by God’s grace and he or she lives by God’s grace.