Free to be friends

Free to be friends

Galatians 5:13-15

And the many passages, here and there interspersed in this paragraph, are so plain as to need no comment.

Hawker, R., 1805. Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary.

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. (Likely not said by Denis Diderot.)

There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don’t---that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture---that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values or Western values. Member of Congress, they are not Western values. They are universal values of the human spirit.

Blair, T., 2003. Speech to the United States Congress.

Galatians 5:13

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. (use)

For all these reasons, when I hear the words "Lazarus, come out!" which Jesus utters to his friend, locked inside his cold tomb, I think of the invitation for all of us to leave behind in our "tombs" whatever keeps us bound, unfree, dead.

Martin, J., 2023. Father James Martin: Jesus’s greatest miracle and LGBTQ people. Outreach.

Luke 4:18

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, (use)

Jesus reading from Isaiah 61:1-2

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (use)

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (use)

Colossians 2:16

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. (use)

The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law: but binds you still faster under the moral law.

Clarke, A., 1831. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible.

Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (use)

It is liberty from the servitude of sin, and religious rites and ceremonies, not freedom from the necessary restraints of virtue.

Barnes, A., 1884. Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible.

Galatians 5:14

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (use)

Matthew 19:19

Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (use)

The method here explained of restraining liberty from breaking out into wide and licentious abuse is, to have it regulated by love. Let us always remember that the present question is not, in what manner we are free before God, but in what manner we may use our liberty in our intercourse with men.

Calvin, J., 1555. Commentary.

Romans 13:9

For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (use)

Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (use)

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (use)

...the Christian is not a man who has become free to sin, but a man, who, by the grace of God, has become free not to sin.

Barclay, W., 1953. Daily Study Bible.

Though they were servants of each other, they were not masters of each other.

Spence-Jones, H.D.M., 1880. The Pulpit Commentary.

Galatians 1:10

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (use)

Galatians 1:1

Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead (use)

Galatians 1:6

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel (use)

Galatians 5:15

But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (use)

It's not conflict with the world that surprises us; the division within the visible church confounds us.

Butterfield, R., 2023. A Time for Courageous Love. Desiring God.

Nothing is so destructive to the peace of man, and to the peace of the soul, as religious disputes; where they prevail, religion in general has little place

Clarke, A., 1831. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible.

Christian churches cannot be ruined but by their own hands; but if Christians, who should be helps to one another and a joy one to another, be as brute beasts, biting and devouring each other, what can be expected but that the God of love should deny his grace to them, and the Spirit of love should depart from them, and that the evil spirit, who seeks the destruction of them all, should prevail?

Henry, M., 1896. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible. UK. Galatians

Galatians 5:16

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (use)

If, on the other hand, Christians allow God's Spirit to control them, their lives become full of the most pleasing virtues - the opposite of those things that the law forbids (22-23). Their lives should demonstrate the truth that their sinful nature has been crucified with Christ and has no further power over them. They are now controlled by God's Spirit (24-26).

Fleming, D.C. 1994. Bridge Bible Commentary: A Running Explanation of the Biblical Text for the People of Today's World. Bridgeway Publications. pg.568