Religion and Rebellion vs Relationship (Galatians – 5:1-15)

Religion and Rebellion vs Relationship (Galatians – 5:1-15)

Sermon Summary:

Just like a car that is out of alignment that pulls to the left or the right, so too our lives get out of alignment veering toward rebellion or religion. In this very practical section of Scripture, you will learn that both are bad, but that God has good news for a brand new way of life for you!

Car out of alignment pulls to right (religion) or left (rebellion) & these 2 often battle

Freedom and Responsibility

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. [ESV]


Slaves set free 2. Romanticized past 3. Forgot identity 4. False “god”

  • We were slaves to sin, death, Satan/demonic
  • Jesus set us free, won our war, now we need to hold the line
  • We are free to defeat sin, death, Satan/demonic
  • How? Opposing yoke/religious legalism in the Spirit


  1. Legalism is what happens when people try and do the HS job
  2. Legalism is godless (don’t need to pray & seek the Lord, just follow the rules)
  3. Legalism puts law-based people in authority for “transparency & accountability”
  4. Legalism does addition, not subtraction
  5. Legalism seeks to prevent people from needing grace
  6. Legalism makes neutral things necessary (e.g. Paul was circumcised)
  7. Legalism prevents maturity (unless your righteousness exceeds Scribes & Pharisees)

= Kids – the more responsible/mature you are, the more freedom you get

Examples – Are you water baptized? Do you speak in tongues? Do you have the right Bible translation? Do you go to the right kind of church? Do you educate your kids right? Do you have the right religious traditions? Tattoo? Ministry program?

= Legalism can pick any issue, including being anti-legalist

= Grace & I engaged, relative said we needed priest/Catholic Church marriage

Faith and Faithfulness

Galatians 5:2-6 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Option 1 – Faith in me & what I do for God

Keep the whole law (perfect)

Not going to happen

  1. sin is condition, not just action
  2. it’s too late
  3. it’s impossible
  4. Jesus added the spirit of the law (murder vs hating brother, adultery of heart)
  5. There is no grace – pass/fail perfect/imperfect

Option 2 – Faith in Jesus & what God did for me

  1. Jesus did all the work
  2. He gives me grace today & forever
  3. I trust Him by faith
  4. He gives me the Spirit to live & love today

Cessationism stunts maturity

Cessationism supports legalism

= Jesus is the master key – circumcision, diet, priesthood & sacrifice, holidays???

Receiving and Rejecting

Galatians 5:7-11 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

  • Some things are all or nothing – pregnancy, death, legalism

Legalism is Like

  • Track meet – you are following Jesus, someone shoves you off the track
  • Kitchen – leaven of the Pharisees Matt 16:11 “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”
  • Battlefront – war against grace

To Receive Jesus’ Grace is to Reject Human Religious Works

= Grace – I rejected other relationships. Fidelity – reject adultery


  1. Message is offensive, NOT messenger
  2. Jesus’ cross was offensive in His day
  3. Jesus’ cross is offensive in our day (denial of human potential)


  1. People who push you away from Jesus
  2. Little things that can become big things (water heater & mold)
  3. Trying to reconcile things that God does not (syncretism)

Person drowning not making it, lifeguard jumps in, risk is person not surrendering both drown. Christ cannot save someone (grace) determined to save themselves (works), or help their rescue.

Religion and Rebellion

Galatians 5:12-15 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Option #1 – Religion – Legalism (older son)

  1. Legalism is a demonic counterfeit – Ancient feminist cult
  2. Legalism turns people into beasts
  • Satan serpent/dragon lion, demons python spirit, goat demons, & wild animals including ostriches, bulls, hyenas, birds, and scorpions.
  • Evil people vipers, serpents, goats, cows, dogs, wolves, leeches, donkeys, & evil beasts.

Wild animals – wild dogs in Galatia, wild dogs & fight when I was a kid

Social media

Option #2 – Rebellion – Liberalism (younger son)

  1. Indulging flesh/sinful desires
  2. Freedom is freedom from sin to Christ, not freedom to sin against Christ

Option #3 – Redemption – Love

  1. Only the Holy Spirit can produce love – not religion or rebellion
  2. God’s grace 1. FOR you 2. IN you 3. Through you

Water heater story

Religion & Rebellion start like a bit of water that creates mold that overtakes your life

Answer – bring in an expert to rip, replace, & rescue – relationship with Holy Spirit

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

It's all about Jesus! Read More