I added a new quote to the Galatians 5 page from M. James Sawyer’s post:
Years ago, I wrote my Th.M. thesis on the book of Galatians (for those who are interested, I applied the method of Discourse Analysis to the entire books of Galatians. It is posted at: http://www.bible.org/series.php?series_id=73 ) This was a slow and painstaking analysis that took more than four hundred hours to complete. The point was to trace the argument (the case Paul was building) of Galatians. I discovered something remarkable. Everything stated in Galatians leads up to or flows from Galatians 5:1: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not be subject to the yoke of slavery.” In chapter 1 he calls down imprecations from heaven on anyone who would corrupt the simple gospel of Christ: “. . . If we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! As we have said before, and now I say again, “if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!”
Paul was here talking about the simplicity of the gospel which was being compromised by those who wanted to add the Torah (Jewish law with all its ceremonies and particularly circumcision as its sign) but the application is wider. Many teachings have arisen over the centuries that promise protection, provision, perfection and the like. They sound good at the front end, but the results are bondage.