Some read Galatians 5 and say that it shows a saved person who believes on Christ can lose their Salvation by committing the list of sins Apostle Paul gives. But a closer look with context shows his point differently.
Of course, yes, we can fall into sin. We should avoid sinning. Absolutely. There are consequences for sinning (loss of reward at Bema judgement seat of believers, and consequences in our earthly life (steal/jail) but condemnation and loss of Salvation is not a consequence for believers because Jesus died for ALL of life of sins.
The Bible is clear, and even Jesus own words when asked about Salvation in John 3 show, that Salvation is ETERNAL. Passages of Scripture such as John 3:14-18, Hebrews 10: 9-14, Ephesians 1:13-14 are only but a few. Salvation is not of ourselves nor our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul wrote these and I believe he also wrote Hebrews, yet we do not know that for sure.
Yet, we must acknowledge that we have TWO natures as a believer.. The Flesh and Newly created Spirit. (Romans 7) The Spirit NEVER sins and is perfect.(1 John 3) This spirit is the new us. It wars with The Flesh and will until we receive our new resurrected bodies. Our sins as believers have been WASHED away by belief on Christ’s atonement. As far as the East is to the west are our transgressions removed from us! (Psalm 103:12) Jesus was the perfect sacrifice once..for all (Hebrews 10). On the cross Jesus cried out, IT IS FINISHED which in Greek literally means, Debt, PAID IN FULL. Jesus did not provide a partial payment for our sins.
Jesus foreknew the sins of ours from the foundation of the world yet died for our sins anyway. We receive the free gift of Salvation by faith and belief on Christ and His redemptive work on the cross (John 3:18)
In Galatians, the Galatian church members at first believed the true Gospel of Jesus Christ which is Salvation by the GRACE of God (an unmerited favor) through faith (belief) in the atonement for our sins through the ONLY begotten Son of God, Jesus the Christ, taking the punishment for the sins of the whole world on the cross. This is the work of God, not man. This New Covenant is between God and God, not God and man as the Old Covenant was.
We see in Galatians 2 that soon after establishing the Galatian church some people crept into the church and started teaching others that belief in the atonement for sins through Christ was NOT ENOUGH. They taught that the religious rituals of the Law of Moses were also required. When Paul heard this he addressed the Galatian church to show them just how serious and how false a teaching that is when he wrote,
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.” (Galatians 2:6-8 KJV)
Later in Galatians 5, Paul continues showing how reverting to following the Law of Moses, a works based system, as a requirement of Salvation is not the true Gospel of Christ. He uses a rule of the Law of Moses that males are to be circumcised as an example to explain. The Liberty Paul speaks of is the Law of Liberty we have in Christ where all our sins have been completely forgiven to those that believe in the atonement of Christ.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ HATH MADE (Don: past tense) us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1 KJV)
The English word ‘liberty’ in Greek is ‘liberty to do or to omit things having NO RELATIONSHIP TO SALVATION’
“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you NOTHING. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a DEBTOR to do the WHOLE LAW. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are FALLEN FROM GRACE. For we —>through the Spirit<— wait for the hope of righteousness BY FAITH.” (Galatians 5:2-5 KJV)
Adding the Law of Moses to the Gospel of Salvation by faith in Christ is putting a person back into bondage of the Law. What Paul is saying is that trying to keep one of the Laws of Moses, such as males being circumcised, such a person is now in bondage to keep the ENTIRE LAW OF MOSES, the Ten Commandments and all the rest of the laws. This is the very reason Christ came and was crucified for our sins; no person can keep all of the Law of Moses! Every person has sin! It is impossible!
Paul goes on to say that those teaching this false gospel should be CUT OFF, that is kick them out of the church because they are not true believers but are false prophets twisting the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul puts it this way in verse 9, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” This is serious business. Better they be cut off than others be deceived by them. Paul is not talking about cutting off believers as some are teaching today. The context is very clear.
“I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Galatians 5:12-14 KJV)
This is clear. Once you accept the free gift of Salvation through Christ’s atonement do not revert to thinking you that you must add good works nor religious rituals as REQUIREMENTS to be saved. Yes, do good works and help others in Love because it is right to serve others as Christ served us and, well, good works are a good thing right? But NEVER think good works or religious rituals are REQUIRED for Salvation. That is the point I make…Salvation is eternal from the moment of belief as taught by Apostle Paul and Jesus . (Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3).
Notice the difference between THEY and WE in Galatians 5 by Apostle Paul.
The ‘THEY’ are clearly unbelievers and the ‘WE’ are clearly believers. Remember that both believers and non believers have ‘The Flesh’.
“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
>>25 If WE live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:19-25 KJV)
We have this Flesh problem and it wants to sin but since we became saved, we have a newly created spirit which is the now the real NEW US. The Flesh does vs19-21, the spirit does vs22-24 and since the spirit is the new us LET US WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
Paul wrote this in 1 Cor. 6 KJV:
“9 Know ye not that >>THE UNRIGHTEOUS<< shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such WERE some of you: but YE ARE WASHED, but YE ARE SANCTIFIED, but ye ARE JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6 KJV)
Notice that verse 11 does not say it is by our own efforts we are saved and made righteous. It simply states the Gospel message and that believers in Christ alone foe justification and Salvation have been WASHED, SANCTIFIED and JUSTIFIED by what Christ accomplished at the cross. God in the flesh took our sins and nailed them to the cross. We were also buried and raised with Christ and given a newly created Spirit within which is from God – not from our efforts, but from our BELIEF (John 3).
Paul is not contradicting himself here. Both above passages are describing the very same thing. As believers, we still fall and sin but after we feel bad right? We feel “icky” right? Unbelievers do not have this feeling of how bad we blew it knowing what God has done for us in Salvation. We feel full of SHAME. That is because The Flesh is at war with the Spirit. Because we have been washed by the blood of Christ and are now the Newly created Spirit within.
This Spirit is of God and is perfectly Holy Righteous and redeemed and so when we go against this and sin (and we all will fail and sin at times until our bodily resurrection), we feel it! Paul tells us that since we are now this new Spirit, we should walk in the Spirit to avoid the lust of The Flesh. So, we strive to walk in the spirit..in the new us. But it is not about loss of Salvation.