Galatians Chapter 5

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Introduction

THIS chapter is, properly, a continuation of the argument in the previous chapter, and is designed to induce the Galatians to renounce their conformity to the JewiSh law, arid to become entirely con- formed to the gospel. In particular it seems to be designed to meet a charge that had been brought against him, that he had preached the necessity of circumcision, or that he had so practised it as to show that he believed that it was obligatory on others. Under his example, or pleading his authority, it seems the false teachers there had urged the necessity of its observance. Gal 5:11. The argument and the exhortation consist of the following parts: --

(1.) He exhorts them to stand firm in the liberty of Christianity, and not to be brought again under bondage, Gal 5:1.

(2.) He solemnly assures them, that if they depended on circumcision for salvation, they could derive no benefit from Christ. They put themselves into a perfect legal state, and must depend on that alone; and that was equivalent to renouncing Christ altogether, or to falling from grace, Gal 5:2ff.

(3.) He assures them that their present belief could not have come from him by whom they were originally brought to the knowledge of the truth; but must have been from some foreign influence, operating like leaven, Gal 5:7ff.

(4.) He says he had confidence in them, on the whole, that they would obey the truth, and that they would suffer him who had troubled them to bear his proper judgment, gently insinuating that he should be disowned or cut off, Gal 5:10, Gal 5:12.

(5.) He vindicates himself from the charge that he preached the necessity of circumcision. His vindication was, that if he had done that he would have escaped persecution, for then the offence of the cross would have ceased, Gal 5:11.

(6.) He assures them that they had been called unto liberty; that the gospel had made them free. Yet Paul felt how easy it was to abuse this doctrine, and to pretend that Christ had freed them from all restraint, and from the bondage of all law. Against this he cautions them. Their liberty was not licentiousness. It was not freedom from all the restraints of law. It was not that they might give indulgence to the passions of the flesh. It was designed that they should serve one another; and not fall into the indulgence of raging passions, producing strife and mutual hatred, Gal 5:13ff.

(7.) To illustrate this, and to show them the evils of giving indulgence to their appetites under the pretence that they were free, he proceeds to show what were the passions to which carnal indulgence would give rise, or what were the works of the flesh, Gal 5:16ff.

(8.) On the other hand, the Spirit produces a train of most lovely virtues, feelings, and affections, against which there could be no law, Gal 5:22, Gal 5:23.

(9.) They who were Christians had in fact crucified the flesh. They were bound to live after the teachings of the Spirit; and Paul, therefore, exhorts them to lay aside all vain-glory and envy, and to live in peace, Gal 5:24ff.

Text

1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. edit

2: Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. edit

3: For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. edit

4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. edit

5: For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. edit

6: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. edit

7: Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? edit

8: This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. edit

9: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. edit

10: I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. edit

11: And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. edit

12: I would they were even cut off which trouble you. edit

13: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. edit

14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. edit

15: But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. edit

16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. edit

17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. edit

18: But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. edit

19: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, edit

20: Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, edit

21: Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. edit

22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, edit

23: Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. edit

24: And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. edit

25: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. edit

26: Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. edit

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