Restoration of the Fallen and Responsiveness to the Word An Exposition of Galatians 6:1–10 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.
EMJ 16:2 (Winter 2007) p. 147
Restoration of the Fallen and Responsiveness to the Word
An Exposition of Galatians 6:1–101
Lewis Johnson regularly ministered the Word at Believers Chapel in Dallas for more than thirty years. During his academic career he held professorships in New Testament and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. At the time of his death in January 2004 he was Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Dallas Seminary. Both MP3 files and printed notes of Dr. Johnson’s sermons and theological lectures may be downloaded from the web site of the SLJ Institute «www.sljinstitute.net».
We are free because we are sons, and yet we are in bondage because we are brothers. Properly explained, that is a simple summary of Paul’s thought in Galatians, the epistle of law and grace. We are free from the law of Moses, with its impossible demands upon sinful men. We cannot be justified by it for, while “a man may live if he does them” (Lev. 18:5), depraved men cannot do them. Further, we cannot be justified by any combination of the law and the principle of grace, because we then destroy the sole saviorhood of God and steal from him his glory. Belief in Christ plus circumcision will not do. It must be Christ alone (Gal. 2:21; 3:21). Finally, we cannot be sanctified by the law of Moses, for the flesh is still with us (5:17). The apostolic message to the troubled Galatians was freedom from the law, both as a means to justification and also to sanctification.
And yet, in spite of these things, we are in bondage, the bondage of a free love for the brethren, implanted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and grounded in the atoning merit of our Lord Jesus Christ (5:13). Through love we serve one another. Our leader is no longer the law of Moses, but the Holy Spirit (5:16, 25),
EMJ 16:2 (Winter 2007) p. 148
by whom we walk before God. By him and his enabling grace the law of Christ is fulfilled within us to the glory of God.
It is true, then—we are free because we are sons living in the age of maturity (cf. 4:1–7), and we are in bondage, a free bondage paradoxically, because we...
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