Fallen from Grace

Galatians 5:2-8 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worked by love. You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? This persuasion comes not of him that called you. 

‘Christ shall profit you nothing.’ If you insist on circumcision (or any other part of the law) you take on the whole obligation of the law. You then testify that you seek justification by the law instead of by faith so Christ will profit you nothing (5:3-4). It is either the old or new covenant which you must observe so take your choice (5:2-3). In case you choose the law, you are fallen from grace (1:6-8; 3:1-5; 4:9-31; 5:4).

‘Every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.’ Every man that is circumcised as a token of obedience to the old covenant is a debtor to do the whole law, including sacrifices, offerings, and commandments. Every man that is not so circumcised is free from all such law observance, including the Ten Commandments. He is only under obligation to obey the laws and commandments of the new covenant.

‘You are fallen from grace.’ That falling from grace is possible is clear here (1:6-8; 2:21; 3:1-5; 4:9-10, 19; Acts 13:43; 2Cor. 6:1; Heb. 12:15; Jude 1:4).

‘For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.’ Four secrets of continued grace: Live and walk in the Spirit (5:5; 16-26; Rom. 8:1-13; Col. 3:5-10). Be patient in hope (5:5; Rom. 8:24; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:19). Continue in Christ (5:6; John 15:1-8; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 3:14). Continue in faith (5:6; Col. 1:23).

‘You did run well’ – Proving they were true Christians for a time (1:6-8; 3:1-5; 4:9-19; 5:1-4). Here again, the Christian life is compared to a race (1Cor. 9:24; Heb. 12:1).

‘Who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?’ They quit obeying the truth (1:6-8; 3:1).

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