Could you help me understand Galations Chapter 5?

Yes, Galations is an interesting book!

Please bear with me as I put some references together, from this book, that bring continuity and clarity to chapter 5, I believe.

Chapter 1: Paul (Shaul) greets the "called out ones" of Galatia with grace and peace (shalom) from Yahweh our Father and the Master Yahshua "the anointed one" (Messiah). Paul says that he's astonished that these "called out ones" are so quickly turning to a different evangel. We must realize, of course, that those who received this letter, were aware of the problem to which Paul was referring; at this point, we are not.

Chapter 2: What was the "different evangel" to which they had turned? Since the readers and the writer knew the specific problem, it isn't mentioned openly until chapter 2, verse 3: Paul says that not even Titus, a Greek, thought that he should be circumcised. *The Hebrews knew that the blood of circumcision was covenant blood, the same as the blood of the sacrifices. The "evangel" taught, of course, that the Messiah's sacrifice was the final and perfect one; putting aside the need for any other blood sacrifice or blood covenant.* Paul calls them "false brothers", in verse 4, who tried to convince others that new believers had to be circumcised. The FREEDOM Paul writes about is the freedom from having to shed blood through circumcision and sacrifices: freedom from the ceremonial/sacrificial laws. These were a great burden, because they had to be done daily, on Sabbaths, on special holy days, and again once a year for the people on the Day of Atonement. Paul used strong words when he said that they ("false brothers") were trying to make the believers "slaves" again [to the sacrificial laws]. In verse 15, "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Yahshua Messiah"; this is referring to sacrificial law. Atonement through animal sacrifices is no longer valid; atonement is now through faith in the work of Yahshua Messiah. Paul says [verse 21], "I do not set aside the grace of Yahweh (the gift of his Son); for if righteousness could be gained through the law (the circumcision and sacrifices), Messiah died for nothing!"

Chapter 3: Verse 10 and 11 are again referring to circumcision and the sacrificial law. "The righteous will live by faith" - in Yahshua for atonement, not by the burdensome work of circumcision and sacrificing animals. [The righteous also keep the commandments.] How do we know this is all referring to the circumcision and sacrificial law? We know because Paul writes that he loves the law and keeps the law. Some references to the law that Yahshua "fulfilled" to perfection [that is, Torah without circumcision and animal sacrifices]:

Roma 7:12 (KJ) therefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Roma 7:16 (KJ) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good.

1Tim 1:8 (KJ) But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully;

Acts 21:23 (NIV) so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Acts 21:24 (NIV) Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.

Roma 3:31 (KJ) Do we then make void the law [Torah] through faith? Yahweh forbid: yea, we establish the law. [through faith in Messiah as our atonement without circumcision and animal sacrifices]

Chapter 5 {AT LAST!!!} Having reviewed all the above, we now look at the first verse of chapter 5 and see the word "freedom." We now know from chapter 2 verse 4, that the FREEDOM Paul writes about is the freedom from having to shed blood through circumcision and sacrifices: freedom from the ceremonial/sacrificial laws. We also now know that the "yoke of slavery" in chapter 5 verse 1 is the same slavery referred to in chapter 2 verse 4, slavery to circumcision and the sacrificial laws.

The confirmation is verse 2 of chapter 5: Gala 5:2 (NIV) "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Messiah will be of no value to you at all". Clearly, circumcision is the subject here, and the sacrificial law. Those who claim and teach that we are free of the entire Law (Torah) are not harmonizing all scripture nor understanding the context.

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