Misunderstood Verses of the New Testament - Week 9
In this week's edition of Misunderstood Verses of the New Testament we are going to briefly cover the questions "What does it mean for Christ to have set us free?" from Galatians 5:1,4 and "How does walking in the spirit mean we are no longer under the law?" as mentioned in Galatians 5:18?
Let us know your thoughts on this week's posting and the series in general. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!
Galatians 5:1, 4
Problem: 1-It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. … 4-You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Some teach that Christ freed us from the law of God.
Solution: Psalm 119:44-45 - So I will keep Your law continually, Forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
James 1:25 - But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
The law is liberty. The law is the Word of God. Christ is the Word of God, thus, Christ is freedom. James agrees with Psalm 119, also stating that the law of God is freedom. So our Messiah did not free us from the law of God. He came to free us by teaching us to follow the freedom of the law of God because that is also what he practiced and what he taught as our example. Christ is freedom because He brings us into the Law of God, because the Law of God is freedom. The law is freedom, and thus, doing anything different than the same law that Psalm 119 describes is bondage. Paul is teaching against the Pharisee understanding of circumcision being part of the salvation process, something that Paul, as a Pharisee, also used to preach (verse 11). If circumcision is being kept for salvation, then, of course, it negates grace and it becomes bondage instead of freedom. For more on this topic, please see our teaching titled Why Is Christ Freedom?
Problem: But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
It is often misunderstood that this verse is stating if you are led by the Spirit of God then you are no longer under the law of God.
Solution: Ezekiel 36:26-27 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Romans 8:2 - Because through Christ Jesus (Yeshua) the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Remember, that going after God’s law is the whole purpose of the Spirit of God, being spiritual is going after God’s law (Ezekiel 36 & Romans 8:2). We are no longer under the law of sin and death, but instead, we go after God’s law as being led by the Spirit. This is also what Galatians 5:18 is about; the same thing! We are led by the Spirit and thus we are no longer under the law of sin and death. For more on a related topic, please see our teachings titled Walking in the Spirit and Don’t Be Under the Law