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Firmly free (Galatians 5 v 1-6)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

The thrust of the whole of Paul's last two chapters is stated in 5 v 1. It's what he wants his first readers, and his readers today, to do in response to the great gospel truths he's been proclaiming in the first four chapters.

Read Galatians 5:1

Stand firm

• What is Paul encouraging his readers to do in the two sentences of verse 1?
• The Galatian Christians have been “set free.” Why would it be nonsensical for them to think they still needed to obey the law to be saved?

Paul says the outward expression of saving faith isn’t being circumcised (v 6); it isn’t not being circumcised either!

• So what is it then (v 6)?

It's only if we know we're saved through faith in Jesus that we can truly love those around us.

Now we can serve God not for what He brings us, but for who He is. And we can serve others not for what they bring us, but simply for what we can give to them. Christ’s love frees us to love others.

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APPLY
• What is one area of your life where your actions will change if they are driven by love for others?
• How can Galatians 5 v 5-6 help to motivate you?
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High stakes

• What is Paul warning the Galatian Christians about in verse 2?

As soon as we start trusting for salvation in the Lord Jesus plus something we do, we are not trusting fully in Christ; and so He is no longer our invaluable Saviour. Christ plus anything means that we lose Christ.

• What are the serious consequences of seeking to be justified by what we do (v 4)?

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TIME OUT
Is Paul saying in verse 4 that the Galatians who are real Christians are going to lose their salvation?
Read Galatians 5:10.
• How does verse 10 shed light on verse 4?
Paul clearly believes these are real Christians who will not turn their back on the gospel. If they are Christians, who believe the gospel in their hearts, they will respond positively to his warning.
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PRAY THRU
Ask God to enable you to keep knowing the priceless value of Jesus Christ, your only Saviour.
Ask God to help you to stand firm in gospel freedom all your days, and to keep giving you true faith, which shows itself in real love.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore56 when you check out to get the current quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "my bible" at biblestudytools.com

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Originally published December 10, 2011.

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