Our freedom and God's law (Galatians 5 v 13-15)

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

At the beginning of chapter 5, Paul re-introduces the idea of Christian freedom that he mentioned earlier (2 v 4). The concept of Christian “freedom” is easy to misunderstand—and in this section Paul seeks to help us grasp what it actually means for our day-to-day lives.

How to use your freedom
Read Galatians 5:13

• What does Paul remind his readers is the status of Christians?
• How could we misuse this freedom?
• What error in thinking lies behind this misuse, do you think?
• How should Christians use their freedom?

Freedom and the law

Paul says we are free from the “supervision” of the law (3 v 25) and we are no longer “under” the law (5 v 18). So does that mean that we are free to disobey or disregard it? That's the question Paul is dealing with here.

Read Galatians 5:14

• How does Paul sum up the law, and who summed it up like this before him (v 14)?
• What's the relationship between freedom, love and God's law?

“You, my brothers, were called to be free” (v 13). Christians are not obliged to obey the law in order to be saved.

But now that we are saved wholly and freely by grace we are, if anything, more obligated to obey the law! Why? Because we have more reason to love God (v 6) than ever before. Obeying the law is the way we please Him—and we will
gratefully want to please the One who saved us at such cost.

The Galatian church was slipping back into an attitude of works-righteousness.
• How were they treating each other (v 15)?
• What does Paul warn them about (v 15)?
• Why might we expect this to be the consequence of people relying on being good themselves, rather than on how good Christ is?
From these verses, how would you answer someone who asked you the question: “Why does a Christian obey God?”

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.

Click here and enter bstexploresub when you check out to buy a year’s worth at 25% off—just $16.

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

more bible reading plans


Originally published December 12, 2011.

Read more Christian blogs at Christianity.com.  You can read blogs about church history, Bible characters, theology,  apologetics, and much more.  Discover study tips on learning the Bible.  Learn new truths about all 66 books of the Bible.

Editors' Picks

  • Why is Hell Eternal?
    Why is Hell Eternal?
  • What is Temptation in Christianity?
    What is Temptation in Christianity?
  • What is the Pentateuch? Summary of the Five Books of Moses
    What is the Pentateuch? Summary of the Five Books of Moses