Let’s pick up our study today in Galatians 5:1 where it says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” In other words, this is the culmination of everything that we have been talking about for the past several week, “Don’t be tempted to go back under the Law.” It will do you no good. Why does Paul spend so much time talking about this? - Because we have a tendency to do it!
Notice vv.2-6, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” In other words, if you are keeping the Law to find your justification (salvation), you’re trusting in the wrong thing. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Now, lest any of you should think to himself, “Oh, that’s not describing me.” Let’s think about that for a moment. I can’t judge you in this, but you can judge yourself. Paul encouraged us in 1 Corinthians 11:28 to examine ourselves. He also said in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves…” With that in mind, “Why do you do what you do for God? Do you do it because you think that you will gain or keep your salvation? If so, Paul is talking to you! He is actually giving you a stern warning. Don’t you think for one minute that by keeping one aspect of the Law (I.e. circumcision, baptism, the Sabbath) that it will save you. The Law never could and never will be able to save you. If it could have, Jesus would not have had to come and die on the cross in your place because you could have saved yourself. I don’t think so.