Galatians 5:13 – Freedom is a risk29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans
For you were called for freedom brethren, only use not freedom for an incentive to the flesh but through love be slaving for one another.
While the troublemakers (:12) in Galatia wanted to make slaves to the law, Paul here contrasts the Gospel according to which they were called. It was on the basis of freedom that they came to know the grace of Christ (1:6), without obligations of law or circumcision.
Paul realizes that the freedom he preached can easily be misused to assert “the flesh.” By “the flesh” Paul refers to the physical man in his weakness (“the flesh is weak”; Matt.26:41; Rom.6:19 and 8:3) without being led by the spirit (5:19) .
The message of freedom in Christ Jesus (2:4) is by definition a risk. But notice that Paul does not diminish freedom because of the danger of its abuse. Paul recognizes the danger and also warns against it, but leaves freedom completely intact. In the religious world, the freedom that Paul preached is completely unbearable. Human organizations cannot do without obligations. But the ecclesia is not a human organization: it is a body where the members are organically connected to each other through the Head.