Galatians 5:1–15 (ESV)
Christ Has Set Us Free
5 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Look: I,
Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You
are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you
from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you
will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been
removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do
not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But
if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
Paul specifically argues that the acceptance of circumcision in principle violates Christian freedom and endangers a person’s
relationship to Christ. Congregational strife often arises when issues in the area of Christian freedom are elevated to the level of biblical doctrine. Christ Jesus loved us to the end so that He might lift the burden of guilt that troubles our consciences.
I pray: Lord, as we eagerly await Your coming, free us from pettiness and self-indulgence so that we may love one another. Amen.
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House,