This study, taught by pastor Barry Forder at our Sunday morning service on Sunday 29th November 2015 is the 5th study in our verse-by-verse journey through Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.
In chapter 5 Paul urges the Galatian believers to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”. This immediately highlights that we are in a battle, we need to hold the line, because it is all too easy to drawn away from the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace. Too often we allow our own efforts, or a particular doctrine, or an ordinance or ritual that we have become accustomed to through tradition to remove us from the simple fact that Christ has done it all. There is nothing you can do that is of greater value than the blood of Jesus. None of your efforts can make you more righteous or more holy; nothing you do can improve your standing with God, for (if you are a born again believer) you are already a ‘son and heir’, adopted by God into His family – and it doesn’t get better than that! Your sins are forgiven, past, present and future, you have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ!
Paul reminds his hearers that the moment you become legalistic and try to insist on something else that a person must do to be saved, you are placing yourself and those foolish enough to follow you under the bondage of the Law once again, and if you try to get to God that way, you have to keep ALL the commandments, for every minute of every day for every year of your life! The Law of Moses and any of the systems of this world are based on self sufficiency, i.e. your own ability, and your simply cannot attain to God’s standard that way.
The only solution is to come empty handed and fall at the feet of God’s mercy and (undeservedly) receive His grace.
Now, of course, there comes a challenge to the simplicity and completeness of the Gospel of Grace which says, IF you have this liberty now, what’s to stop you going out and just doing anything you like? Paul give the answer in verse 13 of Chapter 5. In a word, Love. Love for God and love for the brethren.
At this point I recommend you read 1 John which in many ways is the instruction manual on Grace, and how to live by Grace.
May you be blessed and challenged as you listen to this study.
You can listen to the audio on this web page, or save it for later listening. The PowerPoint slides in PDF format are also available for download.