Replace Performance-Based Anxiety with Grace

By Rick Bayer, November 13, 2022

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV

  1. -based religious living (v. 2-12)

2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. Galatians 5:2-6 NLT

7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? Galatians 5:7

8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! Galatians 5:8-9

10 I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

11 Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended. 12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves. Galatians 5:10-12

  1. -based relationship living (v. 5-6, 13-14)

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

R.E.L.A.X. in God's Grace:

nobody's perfect

Nothing is perfect except God’s word. Psalm 119:96 LB

God's unconditional love

I no longer call you servants…instead I have called you friends. John 15:15 NIV

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1 NIV

God handle things

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

in faith, not fear

“According to your faith it will be done to you.” Matthew 9:29

performance-based living for grace-based living

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 NIV

Questions for Discipleship group and/or personal study:


  • How do you react when someone cuts you off in traffic or cuts in line ahead of you at the grocery store?

Go to the Source:

  • Read Galatians 5:1-14

  • How would you describe Paul’s tone?

  • How would you answer Paul’s question in verse 7?

  • If rule-keeping doesn’t make you right with God, what does?

Live it out:

  • What is a spiritual measuring stick that our church uses, or you use to measure spirituality?

  • One danger of reacting to legalism is to go to the opposite extreme of total license to sin. What do you think Paul would say to that?

  • When have you felt the effect of vs. 4: “falling away from grace?” Does that describe you now? If so, how can your group help you daily flourish as you abide in God’s grace?