Useful Bible Studies > Galatians Commentary > chapter 5

How God makes people *righteous

Galatians 5:1-6

The wrong ideas of some teachers

Paul wrote this letter because the Christians in Galatia had some wrong ideas. They had learned those ideas from some teachers. Those teachers taught people to obey the rules that *Jews obey. And so the teachers wanted to *circumcise the male Christians.

Body and *spirit

The problem was that the teachers were thinking too much about peopleís bodies. The teachers wanted to *circumcise the Christiansí bodies. But that was only the beginning. Then they would teach people to do good things with their bodies. Really, those teachers wanted to rule peopleís lives in this world.

Paul believed that it was more important to think about a personís *spirit. Some people have taught that the human body is itself a bad thing. Paul did not teach that. Instead, Paul taught that God made both the human body and the human *spirit. And everything that he made was good. People became bad because of sin. Sin means the bad, wrong things that we do.

How people become *righteous

Christ makes people free, so that sin does not still rule their lives. Then the *Holy Spirit comes into those peopleís lives. And the *Holy Spirit teaches their *spirits. The *Holy Spirit shows them how to do good and right things. That is what should happen in a Christianís life. But the Christians in Galatia were doing something else.

The Christians in Galatia were not *Jews. But they were trying to become like *Jews. Christ had made them free. Those Christians wanted someone to *circumcise them. But people who want to be like *Jews must obey all the *Jewish rules. A person who must obey rules is not free.

The Christians in Galatia thought that the *Jewish rules would teach them how to become *righteous. But it is God who will make people *righteous, by Christís death. It is not something that we do. It is Godís gift to people who believe. If someone *circumcises a man, that mark does not make that man *righteous.

Next part: People soon believe wrong ideas

See the word list for explanation of words with a *


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© 2015, Keith Simons.