Background of Judaizers pushing circumcision as a requirement for salvation. Paul adamantly declares this to be a “different gospel” and not actually a gospel at all (not good news – see 1:6-9).
He works through how we must not add any works to the gospel of Jesus. Our freedom from sin is entirely of Jesus. We are saved by “hearing with faith” not “works of the law” (3:2).
He then tells us that this has always been the case. The promises to Abraham “and his offspring” have always been about Jesus. And, that through Jesus we have each become that offspring.
And, then he puts it in terms of what we are naturally versus what we are by promise – of slavery and freedom. And, the thought of freedom carries us into our passage and our message.
** Love is the source of Christian freedom.
For freedom Christ set you free
If you accept circumcision, you lose Christ and have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit by faith we wait for righteousness. For in Christ only faith working through love counts.
** Love is the service of Christian freedom.
Freedom is not an opportunity for the flesh.
Who cut in to draw you from the truth (of Christian freedom)? This is not from God. Those who lead astray will pay the penalty. But, Paul is not teaching this way.
The freedom we are called to is not to serve the flesh, but to serve in love. This is the fulfillment of the law. (Sounds familiar? Jesus said this.)
** Love is the fruit of Christian freedom.
We avoid freedom serving the flesh by walking by the Spirit. For the Spirit and flesh are opposed to each other. Following the Spirit frees you from the law (as a means of salvation). The works of the flesh will not lead to heaven. But the fruit of the Spirit has no law against it.
Those who belong to Jesus crucify the works of the flesh to pursue the work of the Spirit (love).
By love we are saved, by love we live in freedom, and by love we fight for holiness. This through the Spirit, by faith, in Christ (5:5-6).
So, since we live by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit – not conceited (in our position), not provoking (in our freedom), not envying (for law or lack thereof)
In love you have been freed.
In that same love stand firm.
With the same love serve one another (rather than use the freedom for sin).
In the growing fruit of love keep in step with the Spirit.
Messages in this series
Messages by Greg Taylor