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Claim Your Freedom      Gal. 5:1-15      June 28, 2009


       I do not like someone saying to me; “you’re a Christian and you can’t do that.” I believe a Christian receives freedom in Christ; not bondage. I may choose not to act a certain way but I would rather act out of freedom than some manmade restrictions. I want to obey the commandments and as I yield to His Spirit; God gives me ability to succeed. For a Christian it boils down to a privilege to Claim Your Freedom.


1.   Claim Your Freedom Through . . Asserting It. 5:1

       A.   Stand Firm Through Christ’s . . Liberation. 5:1a

5 Christ has liberated us into freedom.


       B.   Stand Firm Through A . . Lack Of Submission To Slavery. 5:1b

Therefore stand firm and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery.

       Jesus gives His children the privilege of freedom. He purchased this freedom; we must assert it in our daily life. Our stance needs to be one of liberated people. In addition, we must project a position that lacks agreement with those who want the Christian to submit to a yoke of slavery. Freedom in Christ may accept lifestyle standards, but they need to be suggested by the Holy Spirit not detailed by some man or organization.


2.   Claim Your Freedom Through . . Adversity. 5:2-6

       A.   The Adversity From Raising . . False Claims. 5:2-4

              2 Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all.

       3 Again I testify to every man who gets circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire law.

       4 You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace!


       B.   The Adversity From Reducing . . Faith’s Claims. 5:5-6

5 For by the Spirit we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness from faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus

       neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through


              False claims about salvation began 2,000 years ago and continues unto this day. Salvation is either by grace or it is not the salvation Christ paid for on the cross. False claims were raised and they tried to reduce faith’s claims. In verse four Paul does not talk about falling from salvation but falling away from the posture of grace to a position of law. If you believe your salvation comes from keeping the law you have fallen away from the position of grace. You placed yourself in the camp with those who think you’re saved away from and without the position of grace. (Read and apply Romans 11:6 here). Paul boldly states the Christian life does not receive righteousness through some work or ritual. He specifically mentions the circumcision being regulated by the people called Judaizers.



3.   Claim Your Freedom Through . . Antagonism. 5:7-12

       A.   The Antagonism From . . Unapproved Doctrines. 5:7-9

7 You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come

       from Him who called you. 9 A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough.


       B.   The Antagonism From . . Unrealistic Doctrines. 5:10-12

10 In the Lord I have confidence in you that you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is who

       is troubling you will pay the penalty. 11 Now brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still

       persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish those who are disturbing you

       might also get themselves castrated!

       Paul tells these believers the antagonism of unapproved doctrine caused them to not run well. False doctrine works like the yeast that leavens an entire lump of dough. He also makes an unrealistic, but somewhat humorous, suggestion. If circumcision will do so much for these men why not just go ahead and proceed all the way to castration. I don’t think any of these troubling men accepted this idea.


4.   Claim Your Freedom Through . . Affection. 5:13-15

       A.   The Affection Produced In Your . . Calling. 5:13-14a

13 For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don't use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.


       B.   The Affection Preferred In Your . . Conduct. 5:14b-15

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.

       We were called to freedom in Christ. This position produces an affection for the Lord, His Word, people, and world. The two great commandments center in love for God and people. The design of this calling affects our conduct. When Paul became a Christian the other Christian were afraid and did not trust him. Then they witnessed the change in his conduct. It convinced them the Lord changed his life. Rather than persecuting Christians he loved them. Paul accepted the invitation to come Claim Your Freedom. Amen? Amen!