Galatians 5 Outline – David Vallance

Galatians 1-2 – Historical – Origin of Paul’s Gospel – Paul defends his apostolic authority.

Galatians 3-4 – Doctrinal – Vindication of Paul’s Gospel – Paul defends justification by faith.

Galatians 5-6 – Practical – Power of Paul’s Gospel – Paul defends Christian freedom.


Call to Stand Fast in the Freedom of the Gospel [5:1-6:10]

  1. Freedom from Legalism (Ritual Circumcision) [1-6]
    • “For freedom Christ has set us free” [1a].
      • A call to stand strong in the freedom we now have in Christ [1b].
      • A plea not to be entangled again with a yoke of slavery [1c].
    • Circumcision is No Longer Necessary [2-4]
      • If you accept circumcision, Christ is of no advantage to you [2].
      • A man who accepts circumcision is obligated to keep the whole law [3].
      • Attempting to be justified by the law severs from you from Christ; you have fallen away from grace [4].
    • The Basis of Our Hope of Righteousness [5-6]
      • Through the Spirit and by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness [5].
      • Circumcision is irrelevant; what matters is faith working through love [6].
  2. Freedom That Fulfills the Law [7-15]
    • Beware of Those who Pervert the Gospel by Binding the Law [7-12]
      • They had been running well and were now hindered from obeying the truth—and not by God [7-8].
      • Beware of the influence of “a little leaven” [9].
      • Paul is confident the Galatians will come around, and that the Lord will judge the troublemakers [10].
      • Had Paul been preaching circumcision, the offense of the cross would not be an issue, and he would not be persecuted [11].
      • A strong condemnation of those who were troubling them [12].
    • Proper Use of Freedom will Fulfill the Law [13-15]
      • You were called to freedom—do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; fulfill the law by using it to serve one another in love [13].
      • The whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” [14].
      • Abuse your liberty, and it will end up biting and devouring one another! [13b, 15].
  3. Freedom to be Led by the Spirit [16-26]
    • Liberty is Not an Excuse for License—We Must Walk in the Spirit [16-18]
      • Only then will we not gratify the desires of the flesh [16].
      • The Spirit battles the flesh in order that we may not do the things that please the flesh [17].
      • If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law [18].
  4. The Works of the Flesh Versus the Fruit of the Spirit [19-23]
    • The Works of the Flesh [19-21a]
      • Sexual sins: [adultery,] sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (3 or 4).
      • Spiritual sins: Idolatry and sorcery (2).
      • Relationship sins: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, [murder] (8 or 9).
      • Substance abuse: drunkenness, orgies (2).
      • Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God [21b].
    • The Fruit of the Spirit [22-23a]
      • Fruit is singular: The Holy Spirit produces only one kind of fruit—Christlikeness.
      • Character is an inner state: love, joy, peace.
      • Character benefits others: patience, kindness, goodness.
      • Character pleases God: faithfulness, meekness, self-control
      • Against which there is no law against such things there is no law [23b].
  5. Those who are Christ’s Have Crucified the Flesh and are to Walk in the Spirit [24-26]
    • They have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires [24].
    • Since they live by the Spirit, they should walk by the Spirit [25].
    • They should not be conceited, provoking and envying one another [26].
  6. Freedom with a Sense of Responsibility [6:1-10]
    • For helping those with burdens [6:1-5].
    • For doing good to all, thus sowing to the Spirit [6:6-10].


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