Disclaimer: These are my thoughts. It helps me to write down what I think. If you disagree, I don’t care. If it helps in some way, then awesome sauce.
5:11 The offense of the cross. Paul has been saying that the ones who encourage circumcision are still living by the law. The cross enables us to live by the Spirit to know him and to live the way of freedom in the Spirit’s power. The Judiazers negate the cross by encouraging the people to live by the law. So for Paul they are still following the old covenant the covenant of works. The law can show us our faults but is powerless to help us do anything about those faults. Through the cross we live by the Spirit instead of will-power as we have tried to do in the past. Some Galatians may have been Jewish but most weren’t. But they lived by the law by living and doing their thing in their own power.
BW makes this point by saying that no human power could relieve us of our alcoholism, but God could and would if he were sought. He also applies that same principle to the character defects. Paul, in my view is doing the same thing by saying the fruit of the flesh is…………but the fruit of the Spirit is…………….By the Spirit we are set free from those things that our will-power was powerless to help us with.
By faith we are children of the free woman not the slave woman. If we want to be in god’s favor through our own efforts then we are slaves. If we accept the gift from Jesus through the cross. He was born under the law and became a curse for us to set us free from being a curse ourselves. Then by the same faith we are filled with the Spirit who enables us to live the free life instead of the life of slavery when all we had was our will power which was powerless to enable to really live freely. So through faith we are forgiven of our past, present and future wrong doing, I believe and also through faith we are given the Spirit that empowers us to live, not as the world and here by the world I think Paul means in the context of this book the acts of the flesh, envy and all that other stuff he mentions but we are empowered to love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
The Jews who live by the law and gentiles live in the same way through will power. If these gentiles start trying to be good through their own efforts they are no better off than they were before and are still seeking to live in their own power, instead of living through the power of the Spirit. Paul says, I have been crucified and all of my life is lived by faith that Christ lives in him and does the work. So he cannot boast about being right with god or the way he lives as Christ enables all of that.
B W says the same thing by saying “the father doeth the work.” That is to me the power to be sober and to overcome my character defects. Will power is powerless to enable me to do that and I think many AA’s miss this point he is making I believe it is in chapter 7 of the 12 and 12 where gives the example of being set free from the desire to drink as the way god removes our shortcomings as well.