Galatians 5

The American Standard Version

5:1 For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.

5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.

5:3 Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

5:4 Ye are severed from Christ, ye would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.

5:5 For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.

5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love.

5:7 Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?

5:8 This persuasion came not of him that calleth you.

5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

5:10 I have confidence to you-ward in the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

5:11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? then hath the stumbling-block of the cross been done away.

5:12 I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision.

5:13 For ye, brethren, were called for freedom; only use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love be servants one to another.

5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,

5:21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

5:23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

5:24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.

5:25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.

5:26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

Pathways Notes

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

Galatians 5 is a pivotal chapter in Paul's letter to the Galatians, where he addresses the themes of freedom, life in the Spirit, and the battle against the flesh. This chapter is particularly significant for those interested in self-help and self-control as it outlines the Fruit of the Spirit—a set of Christian virtues that are the result of living in alignment with the Holy Spirit. Paul contrasts these virtues with the acts of the sinful nature, providing a clear framework for understanding the transformative impact of spiritual growth on personal behavior. For individuals working on personal development, Galatians 5 offers a guide for cultivating qualities that lead to emotional well-being and effective Christian living.

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

  • Echelon 1: Enthusiast - Developing Qualities of Christian Character

    • Read: Focus on Galatians 5:22-23 to understand the Fruit of the Spirit.

    • Reflect: Consider how each fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) can positively transform your internal dialogue and emotional responses.

    • Apply: Begin incorporating one fruit of the Spirit into your daily interactions each week. Observe and journal about how striving to embody these virtues affects your feelings and behaviors, especially in challenging situations.

  • Echelon 2: Explorer - The Fruit of the Spirit as Emotional Goals

    • Read: Study the entire chapter, paying particular attention to the list of the acts of the flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit.

    • Analyze: Identify which acts of the flesh you struggle with and how they affect your emotional state. Contrast this with which aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit you already exhibit and which need further development.

    • Reflect: Set specific, measurable goals for cultivating the fruits you lack. Plan activities or set reminders that help you focus on these areas, such as meditating on kindness or practicing patience in traffic.

  • Echelon 3: Expert - Walking by the Spirit to Overcome the Flesh

    • Read: Deepen your understanding of the dynamic between the Spirit and the flesh as described in Galatians 5.

    • Identify: Recognize personal triggers that lead to 'acts of the flesh' behaviors. Analyze situations where your emotional responses could have been better handled by the fruits of the Spirit.

    • Apply: Develop strategies for real-time recognition and redirection of negative impulses. Practice immediate prayer or scripture recitation when tempted to react according to the flesh.

  • Echelon 4: Emissary - Freedom in Christ Used to Serve Others

    • Read: Focus on the concept of freedom as presented by Paul and how this freedom should be employed in service to others through love.

    • Teach: Prepare to guide those you mentor in understanding how their freedom in Christ can be a tool for serving and loving others.

    • Engage: Lead group discussions or workshops on applying the Fruit of the Spirit in community settings. Encourage sharing of personal successes and challenges in embodying these virtues.

  • Echelon 5: Master - Walking by the Spirit at an Advanced Level

    • Read: Revisit Galatians 5 with a focus on mastering the content for teaching and leadership purposes.

    • Consider: Evaluate how well you embody the Fruit of the Spirit in all aspects of your life and leadership. Are these fruits evident in your guidance of others?

    • Lead: Develop advanced teaching modules or retreats focused on each aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit. Mentor others in developing these traits not just as personal virtues but as qualities essential for Christian leadership.

By engaging with Galatians 5 according to these instructions, participants at each echelon can progress in their personal and spiritual development, understanding more deeply how to live a life guided by the Spirit, marked by profound self-control and contribution to the well-being of others.

Galatians 5 Notes:

Galatians 5 stands as a pivotal chapter in Paul's letter to the Galatians, where he passionately addresses the themes of freedom, the Spirit, and the nature of Christian living. The chapter begins with a robust exhortation to stand firm in the liberty that Christ has provided, a liberty that emancipates believers from the yoke of the law and its obligations. Paul contrasts the freedom found in Christ with the bondage of legalism, urging the Galatians not to be burdened again by a slave’s yoke.

Central to this chapter is Paul’s argument against the Judaizers who insisted that Gentile Christians must observe Jewish laws, particularly circumcision, to achieve salvation. He asserts that in Christ, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love. This statement encapsulates the essence of Christian freedom—it is not an opportunity for self-indulgence but a call to serve one another humbly in love.

Paul further explores the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit, a theme that underscores much of his epistle. He delineates the works of the flesh, which are evident and destructive, and contrasts them with the fruit of the Spirit—qualities such as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues epitomize the life that is led by the Spirit and are in direct opposition to the self-serving deeds of the flesh.

The chapter implores the Galatians to live by the Spirit, thus avoiding the pitfalls of the flesh. Paul emphasizes that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Living by the Spirit means letting the Spirit guide every aspect of their lives, leading to a community marked by harmony and mutual care rather than dissension and envy.

Galatians 5, therefore, serves not only as a theological discourse on Christian freedom but also as a practical guide on how to live out this freedom. Paul’s message is clear: true freedom comes from living a life that is led by the Spirit, marked by love and service rather than by adherence to the law. It is a profound call to experience the transformative power of the gospel, which liberates and empowers believers to lead lives of genuine holiness and service.