Galatians

Galatians 5:7-15:

7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Paul now adds to our understanding of what we are calling the “Law of Love.”  He says we are to “use our freedom to serve one another in love.”

How do we do this?  First on his list is that we don’t listen to the false teachers who want to get us back to a fear-based faith that has to follow the rules, such as the rule of circumcision.  Then Paul adds that we are to stop any back-biting, eliminate a critical spirit, and develop a non-judgmental attitude to my fellow believers.

Paul is echoing Jesus’ words that we are not to judge each other.  But Paul does judge, but it’s not his fellow believers he is judging.  It is that he is not loving towards those who seek to pervert the message of the Gospel of grace.

 

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