The book of Galatians has three lines of defense against the legalism of the Judiazers:
1) The past history recorded in chapters 1 and 2. It included:
a) Paul’s own experience
b) The Galatian’s personal experience
c) Paul’s experience with defending the gospel message to the apostles in
Time and could be easily proved or disproved as true statements
2) The teaching of scripture (the law, the prophets) and the theology developed from the study of scripture in chapters 3 and 4:
a) Theology developed exegetically by traditional hermeneutics
b) Theology developed by allegory as used in the hermeneutics of the
3) The power of the Holy Spirit in the believer to live a holy life:
a) Salvation by grace found in the gospel followed by the indwelling Holy Spirit produced a moral change in people that never successfully occurred in those who followed a law.
b) Paul was showing that the result of “true” salvation by grace and an
“actual” indwelling of the Spirit is a growth in holiness and should never be misinterpreted as the basis for antinomianism.
5:1 The point is that this liberty, or freedom, is not a license to sin.
It is a freedom from law (bondage to works of the flesh) into a freedom to grow into a mature, Christ-like person.
The Holy Spirit fills this freedom with power to change the believer’s production
5:1 is a summary of chapters 1-4 and an introduction to chapters 5 and 6
This verse should be read in two parts:
1- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free
2- Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
It is a statement to resist bringing any Christian under any form of legalism.
“Yoke of slavery” is a term used by the Jews in the phrase, “taking the yoke of the law upon oneself.”
The concept would be that the law was a yoke of slavery that the Christian was released from to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus spoke of taking “his yoke” in Matthew 11:29-30
Acts 15:10, Peter said, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear.”