Understanding Galatians 5:19-21 In The Light Of Redemption



Before looking at what Galatians 5:19-21 holds for us, let’s establish a foundation by looking at verse 1 of that chapter and then read from verse 13 all the way down to 25. it’s going to be a long interesting read. Follow it gradually and notice how and why verse 19 to 21 had to come in. That way, you can easily understand Paul’s message there.
Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
From this verse one we see that Christ has made us free and we are to stand fast (be strong, stand firmly) in that Liberty (i.e Grace) and never go back to the yoke of bondage (i.e the Law, the Old Covenant).
Having seen that, let’s proceed to verse 13 where Paul mentions that word again and then read on from there.
Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 
Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 
Gal 5:15  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 
Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 
Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 
Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 
Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 
Gal 5:20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 
Gal 5:21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 
Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 
Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 
Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
From verse 13 we see that though we have been called unto liberty (freedom, grace), we are not to use that liberty as an excuse to sin or live in sin but rather it should motivate us to humbly serve or walk in love towards one another.
From verse 16, Paul tells us that one sure way to withstand the works of the flesh is by walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit here in this chapter has to do with walking in love and also other fruits of the Spirit.
From verse 19 to 21, he went ahead to describe the works of the flesh and the fate of all those in whom those works of the flesh have residence in. They shall not inherit the kingdom of God. That is simply because they are still of the flesh and have not been born again.
Is verse 21 indirectly talking about believers not inheriting the kingdom of God? Well if you stop right there, that is what it looks like. But just move a little bit further to verse 24.
Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 
They that are Christ’s (the believers) have crucified (take note of the past tense) the flesh, with its affections and lusts. Not that they will have the sin nature crucified either by their lifestyle or anything else but that they have had it already crucified. That sin nature doesn’t exist in them anymore.
Since the believer no longer has the sin nature (the flesh) and its affections and lusts living within him, it simply means the result of having that nature found in verse 21 of that Galatians 5 which is to “not inherit the kingdom of God,” does not apply to him.
That is why in the next verse Paul tells them.
Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
The word “if” in that verse is actually a translation error. It is supposed to be “since.” in other words, what Paul was saying in that verse is:
“since you live in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has begotten you, since you are now a new creature, walk in the Spirit. Don’t live like those whom I have told you in several times before that they can never inherit the kingdom of God.”
That is just what these verses are saying. Read them again for yourself and see how clear they will become as you study them in context.
I hope this blesses and strengthens your love walk with the Lord and those around you!
Glory to God!

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