Pastor-Teacher Steven R. Cook explains Galatians 5:1-12 and how legalism was a problem for the early church.

Galatians 5:1-12 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision [according to the Mosaic Law], Christ will be of no benefit to you [because you have stopped living under the system of grace]. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law [because the Mosaic Law is a unit; cf. Gal. 3:10; Jam. 2:10]. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace [as a system of living before God]. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything [because the Mosaic Law has been fulfilled and is not the rule of life for anyone; cf. Matt. 5:17-18; Rom. 8:2-4; 10:4; Heb. 8:13], but faith working through love. 7 You were running well [in your spiritual walk]; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion [teaching] did not come from Him who calls you [does not come from God]. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough [legalism permeates and corrupts the spiritual life]. 10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [i.e. the Mosaic Law], why am I still persecuted [by those who try to live under the Mosaic Law]? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves [i.e. castrate themselves].

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