As I ended many of the studies in chapter 4, I found them all leading to the first verse in this chapter:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. [Gal 5:1]
There is no doubt good reason for this. Paul says “Stand fast therefore” to refer us back to that which is stated previously. Because of our position in Christ as “sons of God”, we are not to allow ourselves to be put into bondage. Jesus our Lord paid too high of price for us to allow ourselves to go back to bondage. This includes bondage to sin, and bondage to the law.
For us to seek to justify or to sanctify ourselves a little bit more by the law brings us to the argument of this chapter: Either grace justifies and sanctifies us or law does. It is either by Christ or by law. It is not a “both and” proposition. It is one or the other. But scripture is clear in this regard:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. [Rom 3:20]
This should make clear that there is one choice, and one choice alone in the matter.
Chapter 5 goes on to teach us that living by the Spirit under grace will not produce the works of the flesh, and that not being under law is not an occasion to indulge the flesh. As much as we have been crucified with Christ and are therefore dead to the law, we are also dead unto sin and dead unto the flesh. We are alive unto Christ and are free to live and walk in the Spirit.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [Gal 5:24-25]