No Going Back to Egypt — Galatians 5:1-6
What sense would it make to be a former slave with new freedom who turns right around and sells himself back into slavery? This is the conundrum which Paul addresses to the Galatians. Christ sets believers free from the bondage of sin and its punishment. For Gentiles, this freedom was from idolatry. For Jews, the freedom is from the practice and penalty of the law.
In this text, just as God warned the Israelites never to go back to Egypt (Deuteronomy 17:16), Paul tells the Galatians what a disaster it would be to return to a works-based, law-centered means of achieving salvation. To require circumcision of believers would be to become debtors of the whole law and would signal a forfeiture of grace. It is not only unnecessary but dangerous. Through the Spirit, we have the hope of righteousness, that is, we have the one true source of righteousness found in Christ, who will give us eternal life. The Christian life of faith is not powered by keeping the rules but empowers us through love to follow Christ.