Galatians 5 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Galatians 5
Pulpit Commentary
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Verse 1. - (See p. 209.)
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Verse 2. - Behold, I Paul say unto you (ἴδε, ἐγὼ Παῦλος λώγω ὑμῖν); lo, I Paul say unto you. The adverbial exclamation ἴδε, found in St. Paul's writings only here (in Romans 2:17 it should be εἰ δὲ), seems to be more abrupt than ἰδού, pointing to the immense importance and yet possibly unexpected character of what follows. The Galatians might be surprised to hear it; but that which they seemed disposed to take in hand was fraught with utter ruin. "I, Paul:" he thus puts forward his personality, as solemnly gaging his whole credit and responsibility upon the truth of that which he is about to affirm. The turn of thought is somewhat different in 2 Corinthians 10:1 and Ephesians 3:1. There is no reason to suppose that he is glancing at the use which might have already been made or might be made of the fact of his having himself circumcised Timothy. That if ye be circumcised (ὅτι ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε); that if ye set about having yourselves circumcised. The present tense is used also in the next verse and in Galatians 6:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 7:18. Compare the present tense, δικαιοῦσθε, in ver. 4. In Acts 15:1 the πωειτέμνηαθε of the Textus Receptus is replaced by recent editors by περιτμηθῆτε, which is better suited to the posture of mind of those Pharisee Christians who had in view the abhorrent uncleanness attaching, as they considered, to those described as ἀκροβυστίαν ἔχοντες (Acts 11:3); upon whom themselves the Jews fastened the epithet of ἀκροβυστία, not as a mere colourless anti-theton to περιτομή, but as a selected term of reproach as objects of offence and disgust. The apostle, on the other hand, is here not thinking of outward corporeal condition; for he presently (ver. 6) affirms that in Christ Jesus it mattered nothing whether a man were in περιτομὴ or in ἀκροβυστία, as indeed he proved to be his feeling by circumcising Timothy (Acts 16:3). It is the posture of mind that the apostle-is thinking of exclusively. What was this? The very warning of this verse shows, that, in wishing for circumcision, these Galatians did not intend to withdraw from Christ; and it appears from the next verse that they did not, either, contemplate the doing of the whole Law. But then, too, the fourth verse, in which apparently the apostle means to explain and justify the assertion of this second verse, indicates that they sought circumcision with the view of being justified by the Law; not, as has just been remarked, by obeying the whole Law, but by submitting themselves to the Law so far as undergoing this one rite prescribed by it. The conclusion to be drawn from these premisses is that what the apostle means is this: If ye have yourselves circumcised with the view of thereby obtaining righteousness before God, ye forfeit all hope of receiving benefit from Christ (see note on Galatians 4:10). In comparing the present passage with Galatians 6:12, 13, we observe that, while here he is dealing with those who sought circumcision with the view of assuring their righteousness before God, he is there referring to persons actuated by an altogether different set of motives. Christ shall profit you nothing (Ξριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφωλήσει). "The future tense marks the certain result of their being circumcised: 'Christ (as you will find) will never profit you anything'" (Bishop Ellicott). The future time is not, in particular, for example, the time of Christ's second coming; but that which follows upon their receiving circumcision - the hour in which their distrust in Christ eventuated in the overt act of having themselves circumcised for the purpose of gaining righteousness thereby, would decisively cut them off from Christ. Their circumcision would be for them the sacrament of excision from Christ. We may compare with this the awful passage referring to the consequences accruing to Jewish Christians from their relapsing to Judaism, in Hebrews 10:26-30. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this passage, in determining the relation between trust in Christ's atonement and participation in the benefits of that atonement. It is at his extreme peril that a Christian allows himself in misgivings as to whether Christ's mediation is all-sufficient for the securing of his peace with God and his part in God's kingdom. It is by reliance upon Christ's work that his salvation through Christ is secured; by distrust in it his salvation is brought into peril; by definite unbelief his salvation is forfeited. This is in perfect accordance with the apostolic doctrine in general; but rarely is it so strongly and incisively asserted as it is here.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Verse 3. - For I testify again (μαρτύρομαι δὲ πάλιν); I protest again. In using the word μαρτύρομαι, pro teste loquor, "I speak in the presence of a witness," the apostle intimates that he is making his affirmation with a definite sense of the Lord being his Witness (cf. Ephesians 4:17, "This I say and testify in the Lord"). The original construction and force of the verb are shown in Judith 7:28, Μαρτύρομαι ὑμῖν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν. The apostle is wont to use it with a distinct sense of its emphatic import (see Acts 20:26; 1 Thessalonians 2:11). The word "again" points, not to the substance of the subsequent affirmation, as if it were a repetition of that mode in the preceding verse, which in fact it does not appear to be, but to the solemnity with which he makes this fresh affirmation. For the phrase, "I Paul say unto you," was one form of solemn affirmation which in effect gaged his personality as Christ's apostle and as acting in his name; and this "I protest" is another of equally solemn import. To every man that is circumcised (παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ περιτεμνομένῳ); to every man that is having himself circumcised. St. Paul's statements elsewhere, and his own proceeding in circumcising Timothy, as well as the present context, make it certain that, however absolute and universal his affirmation at first sight seems to be, it is nevertheless meant to be taken as made with reference to certain understood conditions. Thus: "I protest to any one of you Gentiles, who, being already baptized into Christ, has himself circumcised with the view of winning righteousness and favour with God, by obeying this one prescription of the Law - that," etc. The conjunction δὲ is most probably the δὲ of transition (metabatic), introducing a fresh particular merely; and in this instance, as often, it needs not to be represented in translation at all. Certainly s for" is not its meaning. Possibly, as De Wette supposes, it points back, as an adversative, to the words," Christ shall profit you nothing," as if it were "but on the contrary." That he is a debtor to do the whole Law (o%ti o)feile/th ἐστὶν ὅλον τὸν νόμον ποιῆσαι); that he is under obligation (Greek, is a debtor) to do the whole Law. By having himself circumcised, he adopts the token of the Lord's covenant (Genesis 17:11, 13) made with those who were his people after the flesh; he enrolls himself with them to share with them their obligations. And to them the Lord had given the Law of Mount Sinai to be their appointed pedagogue till the Christ should come. "By being circumcised" (he means) "you of your own accord put yourself back afresh under this pedagogue, and just his bidding you must do. And for what? All the ordinances and ceremonies he puts you upon observing will leave you as far off as ever from remission of sins and justification with God! And this self-surrender to the pedagogue God has not asked for at your hands; while what he does require, that you withhold, even faith in him whom he hath sent: nay, not merely withhold your belief, but by open act and deed testify your disbelief in him." Under all that the apostle is here writing there appears to lie the principle, which, however, he has not distinctly stored, but which we see to be true, that circumcision was the peculiar badge of "Israel after the flesh," appertaining to them alone and not to be meddled with by any who did not mean to become naturalized as fellow-citizens with them. (For the use of ὀφειλέτης ἰστίν, comp. Romans 8:14.) The noun more commonly points to a debt incurred, or guiltiness; but here it simply denotes obligation.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Verse 4. - Christ is become of no effect unto you (κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ τοῦ Ξριστοῦ); or, ye have disconnected yourselves from Christ. The verb καταργεῖν is a favourite word with St. Paul, occurring twenty-seven times in his Epistles, including twice in the Hebrews, whilst in the rest of the New Testament it occurs only once, and that in the Pauline St. Luke (Luke 13:7). Its proper meaning is "to make inoperative," "make of no effect," as above (Galatians 3:17). The phrase, καταργεῖσθαι ἀπό, etc., occurs Romans 7:2, "If the husband die (κατήργηται ἀπό), she is discharged from the law of the husband;" it ceases to have any effect upon her; so ibid., ver. 6, "Now we have been discharged from the Law (κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμον);" it has ceased to have any operation towards us. The phrase combines the two ideas - separation suggested by the ἀπό (comp. Romans 9:3), and the cessation of a work (ἔργον) or an effect till then wrought by one upon the other of the two parties: the two parties have nothing more to do with each other. The sense given in the Authorized Version is perfectly justifiable; only, perhaps, here the passive takes, as it sometimes does, the reflective sense of the middle verb; but it may be that the apostle means simply to express the result which has accrued. The aorist tense of κατηργήθητε, as well as of the ἐξεπέσατε, expresses the certainty and promptness with which the result followed upon the (supposed) act. Whosoever of you are justified by the Law (oi%tine e)n no/mw"" δικαιοῦσθε); such of you as go about to be justified by the Law. "By the Law;" literally, in the Law; seek to find in the Law the means of justification (cf. Galatians 3:11, and note). The present tense is the present of design or endeavour; the result in this case being, in fact, unattainable (Galatians 3:10, 21). Ye are fallen from grace (τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε); ye have fallen from the state of grace. "Grace" denotes the condition of acceptance with God into which faith in Christ brings us. Cf. Romans 5:2: "Through whom we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." The verb ἐκπίπτω is used as in 2 Peter 3:17, "Lest - ye fall from (ἐκτέσητε) your own steadfastness." So πίπτω, Revelation 2:5, "Remember whence thou hast fallen [πέπτωκας: Receptus, ἐκπέπτωκας]." In classical Greek the verb was frequently used as a set term to describe those who, in the alternating success of adverse factions in the several independent cities of Greece, were compelled by a more powerful adverse party to submit to exile; its correlative verb being ἐκβάλλω. This fact leads Bishop Lightfoot, having an eye to the ἔκβαλε of Galatians 4:30, to render ἐξεπέσατε here, "are driven forth and banished with Hagar your mother." But this very idiomatic colour of meaning it seems very precarious to give to the word in the Greek of St. Paul. The more general signification of the term is amply sustained by its use in Plutarch as cited by Wetstein.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Verse 5. - For we through the Spirit (ἡμεῖς γὰρ πνεύματι); for we for our parts by the Spirit. "We" who abide in Christ, and continue steadfast in the grace into which Christ has brought us; that is, we believers in Christ, as such. Not, "I and those who go along with me," as e.g. in Philippians 3:17. "By the Spirit." Πνεῦμα can hardly here mean, as in Galatians 3:3, the element of spiritual life; but much more probably the personal Spirit of God, referred to as inspiring and prompting the action of the believer's mind. The presence of this Spirit has been a]ready described as the distinguishing blessing of believers in Christ (Galatians 3:2-5, 14; Galatians 4:6); while presently after (ver. 18, πνεύματι: 22-25) the apostle dwells on the work of the same Divine Agent in regulating the Christian's habits of feeling and action (the dative as in vers. 16, 18; Romans 8:13). It is here referred to as evincing the Divine sanction which attaches to the particular action of faith and hope now to be described (comp. Romans 8:15-17; Ephesians 1:13). Wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (ἐκ πίστεως ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἐπεκδεχόμεθα); from the ground of faith do wait for the hope of righteousness. The term which has the principal accent in this clause is ἐκ πίστεως, "from the ground of faith." This appears, both from the preceding context, in which the opposed idea of "justification by the Law" holds the foremost place, requiring here the confronting mention of "faith," and also from the next verse, which substantiates the statement before us by affirming the all-importance of "faith." In point of construction, ἐκ πίστεως does not appear to qualify "righteousness," although, from the classical text Habakkuk 2:4 (Septuagint), it is so often connected with δίκαιος and δικαιοῦσθαι: but rather the whole clause, "wait for the hope of righteousness." What the apostle is now concerned to say is that it is by virtue of our faith that we look forward to hereafter receiving the hope of righteousness. This, of course, includes our being by faith justified. The word "hope" here designates the object hoped for, and not the sentiment itself. So Romans 8:24, "hope that is seen;" Colossians 1:5, "the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens;" Titus 2:13, "looking for the blissful hope." The genitive, "of righteousness," may be

(1) the "genitive of apposition," the hope which is, or which consists of, righteousness, similar to the genitives in the phrases, "the earnest of the Spirit," "the sign of circumcision,' ' "the leaven of malice," "the recompense of the inheritance," "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 5:5; Romans 4:11; 1 Corinthians 5:8; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 12:11); or

(2) "the hope of righteousness" may mean the hope that appertains unto righteousness, which would be the "inheritance" spoken of in Galatians 3:18, 22, as accruing, not "from the Law," but to those who are justified by faith. The apostle is not wont to speak of justification as a blessing to be received at the day of final decision, to which he evidently here refers, but as a blessing received at once by those who believe in Christ as the fruit even here of their faith. Thus Romans 5:1, "Being justified (δικαιωθέντες) by faith, we have peace with God;" ibid., ver. 11, "We have now received the reconciliation." Thus also in this Epistle (Galatians 3:24-27) it is declared that, in consequence of being justified by faith, we are clothed with Christ and God's adopted sons (see also Galatians 4:6, 7). There can surely be no question of the already received justification of those in whom the Spirit testifies that they are sons. Nor does Philippians 3:9 ("That I may be found in him, having... the righteousness which is through faith in Christ" ) speak a different language: he aspires (he there says) to be in that final judgment found in possession of a righteousness which he had received in this life through the faith which he had in this life exercised. As Bengel here observes, "Paul, in mentioning things beyond, includes and confirms things present." Of Judaical legalism it was true that it did not think itself already possessed of righteousness, but with an ever-unappeased conscience was always still striving after it; whereas it is the privilege and glory of faith that it can enjoy the assurance of being even now justified and at peace with, "at one" with, God. Most certainly, what the apostle here calls "hope" is not the sentiment which we so often thus name when we intend thereby an imperfectly assured expectation of some probably coming good. In the apostle's vocabulary it denotes a confident anticipation unclouded by doubt (comp. Romans 8:23-25; Hebrews 11:1). In fine, this is what the apostle means: We Christians, as led by the Spirit of adoption, do rest in the confident anticipation of receiving the inheritance which is the future award of the righteous, on the ground of our faith in the Lord Jesus. The verb ἀπεκδέχομαι, in all the six other passages in which it is found, is used with reference to objects or events pertaining to the close of the present dispensation: Romans 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:28. The proposition ἀπὸ in this compound verb is probably intensive, expressing thorough-goingness; an entirely assured, steadfast expectation, persistent to the end.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Verse 6. - For in Jesus Christ (ἐν γὰρ Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ); .for in Christ Jesus. "For;" to prove that it is from the ground of faith that we look for the final awards due to righteousness, and not from obedience to any ceremonial law. "In Christ Jesus" means more than in Christ's religion. We had the phrase above, Galatians 3:28, "All ye are one man in Christ Jesus." It occurs frequently in St. Paul's writings; remarkable instances are supplied in Romans 16:17, "who were in Christ before me;" ibid., 11, "which are in the Lord;" 1 Corinthians 1:30, "of him [i.e. of God] are ye in Christ Jesus." It is, perhaps, best illustrated by our Lord's own parable of the vine in John 15:1-4. The spiritual union with Christ therein portrayed is maintained and operative through the action of the soul habitually cleaving to and depending upon him, and constantly receiving from him responsive gifts of spiritual vitality and power. Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which Worketh by love (οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε ἀκροβυστία ἀλλὰ πίστις δἰ ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη); neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith operative through love. In two other passages the apostle makes a very similar statement. One is below, Galatians 6:15, "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." The other is 1 Corinthians 7:19, which with its context runs thus: "Was any one called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised (μὴ ἐπισπάσθω). Hath any been called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God." The comparison of these three passages suggests:

(1) That the "availeth not anything" now before us is tantamount to the "neither is anything" and to the "is nothing" of the other two passages; and that the meaning in each case is that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any effect for good; for since the anti-thetic affirmation in all three cases states what is effectual for good, it is obvious to infer that it was of a beneficial effect only that the apostle was thinking in the foregoing statement.

(2) This leads to the question why "uncircumcision" should be thus repeatedly affirmed, twice to the Galatians, to be of no beneficial effect. More must be meant than a mere completing of the sentence by adding to the mention of "circumcision" the mention of its opposite. It is clear that there were those who imagined that uncircumcision made a favourable difference in men's religious condition, just as there were others, like these Galatian reactionaries, who imagined that circumcision did. That there were persons to be found in the Church who held the former view is put beyond doubt by the exhortation," Let him not become uncircumcised," which immediately precedes 1 Corinthians 7:19, now under review with the passage immediately before us; with reference to which exhortation comp. 1 Macc. 1:15; Josephus, ' Ant,,' 12:5. I. It was in no such ways, the apostle tells them, that the Divine approval was to be either gained or secured; and only mischief would result from entering upon them.

(3) The antithetic affirmation of what really is effectual for our spiritual well-being varies in the three passages; but it is natural to infer that that which in all three is declared to be the thing of vital importance, either is at bottom one and the same thing, or at least necessarily involves it. "Faith operative through love" must be identical with, or involve, "the keeping of the commandments of God," and "a new creature." A close examination of the first of these three sentences will show that it is so. The participle ἐνεργουμένη cannot be a passive, as Estius maintained; who even asserted a passive sense for the verb ἐνεργεῖσθαι in all the eight other passages in which it is found (Romans 7:5; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; James 5:16). In perhaps not one of these passages is a passive meaning probable; while in some of them, as Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13, it is palpably inadmissible. In the case before us, if a passive sense were admitted, we should have the expression, "faith wrought in us by love;" an account of the genesis of faith which must be judged to be in the strictest sense of the word preposterous. Faith does indeed grow and become perfected through love; but it is not in the first instance wrought in us by love, except indeed it be God's love to us (Ephesians 2:4). In those passages of the New Testament in which the verb ' ἐνεργεῖν occurs in the active voice (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:14; Galatians 2:8, twice; 1 Corinthians 12:6, 11; Ephesians 1:11, 20; Ephesians 2:2; Philippians 2:13), the subject of the verb is a personal agent, or one which, as in Matthew 14:2 and Mark 6:4, is probably spoken of as such. It is most commonly followed by an accusative of the thing wrought, which, however, is sometimes left to the reader to supply. The middle voice appears in St. Paul always to have for its subject an impersonal agent (Winer, ' Gram. N. T.,' § 38, 6); and such an agent is said ἐνεργεῖσθαι in the sense always of "proving, acting out, its vitality and power," and never of simply "doing" such and such things. It is nowhere followed by an accusative. It is thus distinguished from ἐργάζομαι, which either is followed by an accusative of the work done or is used absolutely of "doing work," as in Matthew 21:28; Romans 4:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 4:12. The apostle, therefore, by the words, πίστις δι ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη means not, "faith through love doing works of beneficence,' 'but "faith evincing its vitality and power through the love which it begets in us;" "faith by love operative and influential.' 'Love is not contemplated as a separate acting of the Spirit, added on to faith as it were by an extrinsic effort of the soul, but as a product of faith itself, by which faith exerts its own internal energy. The apostle's meaning becomes clearer if we consider the object on which the justifying faith of the Christian fastens. This the apostle describes in this Epistle as Christ, "who gave himself for our sins;" "who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 1:4; Galatians 2:20). When this marvellous exhibition of Divine compassion and love is through faith in very deed caught sight of and realized, it naturally becomes a truth-power, exercising over the man an influence imperative and supreme. This was the apostle's own experience; so much so that he seems to struggle with language while compelling it to describe the intensity of self-devotion with which it animated him. In this Epistle we may cite the passages Galatians 2:20; Galatians 6:14. And in other Epistles he writes in a similar strain. Let it suffice to cite 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15: "The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again;" adding, in ver. 17, "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature;... all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ" - words which show what he meant by the "new creature" mentioned below, Galatians 6:15. Thus the apostle evinces how in his own case faith through love became operative and influential. Christ's love to himself, on being realized by him, awakened in his soul a sentiment of grateful affection to his Redeemer, which was so strong and influential as thenceforward to sway and regulate the whole of his life. To complete, however, our estimate of the apostle's view of this matter, we must not forget to take account of the words "by the Spirit" in the preceding verse. The Spirit alone can make even the love of Christ thus influential with our souls, which but for his quickening grace remain, even in sight of the cross, still numbed and cold. The accordance of the notion of "faith through love operative and influential" with that of a "new creature" has been already indicated; and no other principle than this can enable us for the "keeping of the commandments of God;" and this does, and even constrains the soul to keep them. "But," it may be asked, "does the ordinary experience of Christian men and women as we see them bear out this representation? Is faith in their case thus operative and influential?" It would be foolish to say that it is; with the average, even of those Christians who make a religious life their most serious concern, it is not. And the case was no doubt the same with the average of Christian believers in the apostle's own time. But this we can affirm: in proportion as our faith in Christ's being our reconciling Redeemer is vivid and real, in that proportion is it energizing and transforming. It is in its own nature essentially love-inspiring and consecrating. It argues a miserable defect in our faith when we have to supplement, as we so often must, its vitalizing power by injunctions and restraints of "the letter" and "the Law;" so far as it is so with us, so far we live as "bondmen" and not as "free." If "the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed;" and this is how he makes us free - he imparts to us the gift of love to himself; and that makes obedience to be no longer a constrained service, but a very instinct of our nature.
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Verses 7-12. - In these verses the language is remarkably curt and disjointed. Their style seems to betoken, either the mind of the writer musing in painful embarrassment, uncertain how best to grapple with the case before him through imperfect knowledge of the circumstances ("Who did hinder you?" ); or, possibly, the painful effort which it cost the apostle to "write with his own hand." In ver. 13 he at length takes up a line of thought which he is able to follow on with fulness and fluency. Verse 7. - Ye did run well (ἐτρέχετε καλῶς); full well ye were running. "To run" is a favourite figure with St. Paul, drawn from the foot-races of the Isthmian Games or other public games common throughout the Roman empire, and applied above (Galatians 2:2) to his own course of apostolic service, but here, as in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:17; and Philippians 3:14, in a wider reference to the course of general Christian obedience. In vers. 5, 6 the apostle has indicated the proper character of a Christian believer's life, as one which is animated by a faith energizing through love, and by the anticipation of attaining hereafter the awards to be rendered to the justified. Compare the general strain of thought, strikingly similar to that in the present context, pursued in Philippians 3:12-15. Obviously, one Important element in the comparison is the Christian's forward advance in self-improvement, as well as his continuing prosecution of work for Christ's cause. These characteristics had, and not long before, marked the manner of life of the Galatian Christians. Upon the recurrence of this recollection, here again, as in Galatians 3:1-4; Galatians 4:13-16, the apostle bewails the change that had taken place. They had been so full of joy and of love in believing (Galatians 4:14, 15). But now an incipient relinquishment of their hope in Christ had left them cheerless, and, in consequence, ready to look abroad in quest of other grounds of assured confidence; while also the thence ensuing conflicts of controversy and faction had marred their once happy mutual concord (ver. 15). The form of Christian life which the Galatian Churchmen had in those days presented to view was apparently similar to that which at an earlier date he had described as marking the Thessalonian Church (1 Thessalonians 1:3), and at a later time applauds in the Colossian (Colossians 1:4-6, 8). Who aid hinder you; or, who did drive you back (τίς ὑμᾶς ἐνέκοψε [Receptus, ἀνέκοψε]). The ἀνέκοψε of the Textus Receptus would mean, as in the margin of our English Bibles, "Who has driven [or, beaten, struck] you back," and would be illustrated by the use of the verb in Wisd. 18:23, "Standing between, he beat back the wrath," as Aaron did. But ἐνέκοψε is the reading of all recent editors. The precise meaning of ἐγκόπτω does not seem to be, as some suppose, "to stop," but rather "to hamper, shackle, impede." It occurs Acts 24:4, "be tedious;" 1 Thessalonians 2:18, "Satan hindered;" Romans 15:22 and 1 Peter 3:7, "hindered." So the substantive ἐγκοπή, 1 Corinthians 9:12, "That we may cause no hindrance to [clog the success of] the gospel." Possibly this sense is derived from the hindrance caused to the traveller by the road being "cut into" or cut up before he goes over it. But it is more probably connected with the use of κόπτω in the sense of "worry," as in Demosthenes, 'Olynth.,' it. p. 22, "Worried from time to time by these expeditions up and down." So here, "Who was it that clogged your steps in running your race?" Not positively "arrested your steps:" this disastrous result, it was to be hoped, was not yet brought about; they were only as yet lagging in their course. This interrogation "who" does not so much demand that the evil worker shall be named and brought to light, as express the pity of it, that any one should have been able to work them so much mischief; as in Galatians 3:1. Nevertheless, the author of the mischief had cause to tremble (see ver. 12, and note). That ye should not obey the truth? (τῇ ἀληθείᾳ [T. Tr., Lightfoot, omit the τῇ] μὴ πείθεσθαι;); that ye should not be hearkening unto the truth (or, unto truth)? "The truth" directly cites the gospel; that is, the gospel which proclaims righteousness as theirs who believe in Christ apart from works of the ceremonial law; comp. Galatians 3:5, "That the truth of the gospel might continue with you," the particular phase of the gospel there intended being clearly evinced from the circumstances referred to. "Truth," without the article, denoting "that which is true," cites the same by implication. The verb πείθομαι, frequently rendered in the Authorized Version by "obey," as Romans 2:8 and Hebrews 13:17, properly means to lend a compliant ear to advice or persuasion; "to hearken," as Acts 5:36, 37, 40; Acts 23:21; Acts 27:11. The apostle means that they were turning their ears away from the truth to listen to pernicious counsels or teaching. The verb is in the present tense with reference to the continued attention which they ought to be now giving to the gospel.
This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Verse 8. - This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you (ἡ πεισμονὴ οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς); this persuasion, or the mind to hearken to this doctrine, is not from him that calleth you. The exact force of the word πεισμονή, which so far as has been noted does not occur in any earlier writer, is disputed. We may group it with ἐπιλησμονή, forgetfulness; φεισμονή (sparinguess), clemency; πλησμονή, fulness, satiety; which are likewise verbal nouns formed from the perfect passive (ἐπιλέλησμαι, etc.). And the comparison favours the conclusion that πεισμονή denotes the disposition, state, or habit of mind evinced in being persuaded in the way now thought cf. So the Greek commentators (Ecumenius and Theophylact understand it of their having been persuaded to Judaize. The explanation of the noun as an active verbal, as if it were the persuasion which was soliciting them from without, does not seem to be so well berne out by its etymological formation, but appears nevertheless to be that accepted by Chrysostom. This noun, seemingly not often used, appears to have been selected by the apostle to brand the belief in the truth of Judaizing views which the Galatians were imbibing as being in nature diverse from the positive faith, which realizes the truth of the gospel; it is the product of over-persuasion, of cozenage even, rather than an acceptance of the plain setting forth of the simple truth, while "faith" is "the gift of God" (Ephesians 1:19, 20; Ephesians 2:5, 8). As Chrysostom observes, ." It was not men's persuasion (πεισμονὴ ἀνθρωπίνη), but the power of God, which persuaded the souls of these who believe." By "him that calleth you" is plainly meant God (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). "The present participle is preferred here to the aorist, because the stress is laid on the person rather than the act" (Bishop Lightfoot). That persuasibleness of the Galatians was not from God; at the best it was from the world (comp. Colossians 2:20); but was it not, rather, from Satan, whose emissaries those false teachers were (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:15)? The apostle makes this assertion categorically, knowing it to be true. The gospel which he had brought to them had been sealed by the gifts of the Spirit accompanying its reception; while the doctrine they were now in danger of listening to was another thing altogether (Galatians 1:6) - a thing with an anathema upon it.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Verse 9. - A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (μικρὰ ζύμη ὅλον τὸ φύραμα ζυμοῖ); a little leaven leaveneth the whole kneading. This proverb is cited again in precisely the same words in 1 Corinthians 5:6, with the words prefixed, "know ye not that." In both passages the leaven is an element of evil, and so also in Matthew 16:11; but our Lord applied it also to an element of good, which was to penetrate (apparently) the whole mass of humanity (Matthew 13:33). What has the apostle precisely in his view as the leaven in the present instance? In 1 Corinthians 5:6 it is unchastity, which, if once tolerated in a Church, especially amid so licentious a population as that of Corinth, would be but too likely to impregnate balefully the sentiment of the whole community. And here likewise, as there, the leaven does not appear to denote, as some have supposed, the individuals in whom some noxious element was conspicuous, but that noxious element itself; namely, to judge from the colouring of the immediate context, the "readiness to hearken" to" another gospel," which was promising comfort and sense of acceptance, more or less, in the practice of at least some of the outward ordinances of Judaism. This leaven had already begun to work, embodying itself in the observance, pedantically and ostentatiously, of the days and feasts of the Jewish calendar (Galatians 4:10). Now, a movement of mind manifesting itself in some form of external religionism, when once it begins to show itself in a Christian community, has a great tendency to spread. For always, in every Church, there are unstable souls, too often not a few, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; which have never truly discerned Christ's all-sufficiency for their spiritual needs, or have lost any superficial persuasion of it once enjoyed; and which, consciously unsatisfied with what they as yet possess, and nevertheless only toying with spiritual things, are ready to adopt almost any novelty of religious behaviour offering itself for their acceptance. The particular form in which the external religionism of seekers after another gospel clothes itself varies according to varying tastes or circumstances. Among the Galatian Christians such persons were now beginning to feel attracted by that venerable kind of outward piety exhibited by devout or professedly devout Jews; but in their own practice committing the fatal blunder of mistaking the external shows of saintliness for the reality of saintliness, and but too willing to make the former serve in lieu of the latter. The danger of the leaven spreading was, in the present case, increased by the instability of character and the quick impulsiveness belonging to the Celtic temperament. The true antidote to this "leaven" is in every age the same; namely, that which the apostle in this Epistle strives to administer - the gospel of the righteousness and Spirit of Christ crucified.
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.
Verse 10. - I have confidence in you through the Lord (e)gw\ te/poiqa ei) u(ma = e)n Kuri/w""); I for my own part have confidence with respect to you in the Lord. The pronoun ἐγὼ prefixed to the verb, perhaps, distinguishes the writer from some about him, particularly those who had just before brought that un-favourable report of the state of affairs in Galatia which had prompted the writing of this letter. The apostle has himself a vivid remembrance of their warm-hearted acceptance of his message (Galatians 4:13-15), and of their sufferings in the good cause (Galatians 3:4). "Have confidence with respect to you." The preposition εἰς is used as in 2 Colossians 8:22, equivalently with ἐπὶ in 2 Colossians 2:3 and 2 Thessalonians 3:4; in which last passage ("We have confidence in the Lord touching you" ), as well as in Philippians 2:24 ("I have confidence in the Lord that I myself shall come shortly" ), the phrase, "in the Lord," expresses, not the object of trust, but the sphere of consciousness in which he is able to feel this confidence. So also here, in the realized presence of the Lord Jesus, the apostle feels that his care for his people, and his faithfulness towards these in whom "he has begun a good work" so conspicuously as in their case, warrant him in entertaining a strong assurance that, after all, they would not disappoint his hopes (comp. Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). This expression of confidence implies, of course, a measure of underlying apprehension; while it is also in effect an admonition, couched in an affectionate form, designed to rally them back to their true allegiance. The phrase, "with respect to you," separates their case from that of any who were "troubling them;" kindly implying that, in the main, they were still unperverted. That ye will be none otherwise minded (o%ti ou)de\n ἄλλο φρονήσετε); that is, that your sentiments will continue, or will be found to be, such as I have been setting forth as those inspired by the gospel, and such as you once manifestly entertained. The future tense of the verb seems to point forward to the time when his appeal should have reached them, and have led them to bethink themselves as to what, in spite of perhaps some momentary superficial wavering, their sentiments at bottom really were. (For the sense of the verb φρονεῖν, comp. Acts 28:22; Philippians 3:15.) But he that troubleth you (ὁ δὲ ταράσσων ὑμᾶς); but he that is troubling you. "But;" indicating that, even if such a person's machinations proved abortive, through their steady adherence to the gospel, that man should receive his deserts none the less. In Galatians 1:7 we had "There are some that trouble you," Comparing the two expressions, the one in the singular number, the other in the plural, we may conclude, either that the phrase ὁ ταράσσων designates any one who shall be found falling under the description of a παράσσων, i.e. any one of those referred to in the plural number; or that it points to one particular individual on whom the apostle had his eye as the prime ringleader of the rest. If we adopt the first view, the clause, "whosoever he be," appears to mark the absoluteness of the resolve expressed by the apostle, while leaving in indefiniteness the individual to whom it would apply. With the second view, the same clause would affirm that no circumstances attaching to the offender, such as (suppose) a mission from leading Churchmen in Jerusalem, or official eminence in a Galatian Church, or any other, should shield him, as he or others might suppose that it would, from the effect of the sentence to be pronounced upon him. The second seems the more probable view; and, in unison with it, it appears supposable that the hypothetical case stated in Galatians 1:7 ("if we or an angel from heaven" ) had an eye to the eminent position held by the person here alluded to. This individualization of the threatening would make it the more telling when the letter should arrive - a thunder-clap bursting forth upon the head of that arch-troubler. Shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be (βαστάσει τὸ κρίμα, ὕστις α}ν η΅ι). With the phrase, βαστάζειν κρίμα, compare λαμβάνειν κρίμα in Luke 20:47; Romans 13:2; James 3:1. "Shall bear," as a heavy burden (comp. Galatians 6:2, 5). The κρίμα a shall be laid upon him, and carry it he shall, whether he will or no. The κρίμα judgment, is the "sentence;" the decision of the judge upon his conduct, and the consequent punishment. The apostle threatens that he will bring into exercise the "power" which, as he says in 2 Corinthians 13:10, the Lord had given him for the edification of his people, and the use of which would be accompanied by consequences proving that "Christ was speaking in him" (ibid., 2, 3). Instances of its exercise are seen in 1 Corinthians 5:4, 5; 1 Timothy 1:20; Acts 13:11. How grievous was this offender's guilt has been strongly declared by the "anathema" of Galatians 1:7-9.
And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
Verse 11. - And I, brethren (ἐγὼ δέ ἀδελφοί); but in respect to myself, brethren. The personal pronoun is again accentuated. It seems that it had been affirmed by some one, most probably that individual "troubler" of the preceding verse (on which account the point is just here mentioned), that the apostle did himself "preach circumcision." The compellation "brethren" has a tone of pathos in it: it appeals, not merely to their knowledge of his experience of persecution, but to their sympathy with him under it, He is grappling to himself, as it were, the better-minded of those he is writing to. If I yet preach circumcision (εἰ περιτομὴν ἔτι κηρύσσω); if I am still preaching circumcision. The phrase, "preach circumcision," is like that of "preaching the baptism of repentance" in Mark 1:4; it denotes openly declaring that men should be circumcised The force of ἔτι is best explained by supposing that the apostle is quoting the assertion of this gainsayer - "Why, Paul himself up to this hour still preaches circumcision, just as he did when he followed Judaism." And taking it thus, we may discern a shade of irony in the apostle's repeating the ἔτι in his reply: "Why, then, am I still persecuted up to this hour?" He had begun to be the object of persecution as soon as he began to preach Christ, as he pathetically reminds the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11:32; cf. Acts 9:24). In trying to imagine how this gainsayer could have given the least colour of probability to so audacious an assertion, we may suppose that he would point to St. Paul's behaviour at Jerusalem, and no doubt elsewhere, when he "to the Jews became as a Jew; to those under the Law as under the Law" (1 Corinthians 9:20); and in all probability, as Chrysostom and others have observed, cited the well-known fact of his circumcising Timothy; and there doubtless were other facts of a similar complexion, all which, with a little distortion, might enable an unscrupulous or a merely very eager opponent to dress up a statement like that before us with a certain amount of plausibleness. Why do I yet suffer persecution? (τί ἔτι διώκομαι;); why am I still persecuted? The apostle distinctly implies

(1) that his persecutions were mainly occasioned by the hostility of the Jews; and

(2) that the hostility of the Jews mainly originated in his teaching the doctrine that the cross of Christ put circumcision, together with the observance of the Law of Moses, aside as terms of acceptance with God. The first point is fully borne out by the history of the Acts and various allusions in the Epistles, showing that the fact was so, both before and after the time when this letter was written. The second is perfectly consistent with the history, and alone fully explains it. Then is the offence of the cross ceased (ἄρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ); then the stumbling-block of the cross hath been done away. The stumbling-block of the cross is that which makes the cross a stumbling-block. In 1 Corinthians 1:23 "Christ crucified" is designated as "to the Jews a stumbling-block;" while to Gentiles it simply seemed "folly." "Then" follows up an argument ex absurdo, as in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 18. The apostle means that the cross would not be to Jews the stumbling-block that it was if it had been preached in conjunction with the obligatoriness of circumcision together with the observance of the ceremonial law, upon those who believed in Christ. If, then, he had preached Christ crucified thus, he could not have been so offensive to the Jews. But it was all otherwise. It has been supposed that the notion of a crucified Messiah was offensive to Jewish feeling, merely because it ran counter to their conception of the Christ as a secular king and conqueror. St. Paul's words show that this was not the case. That preconception of the Jews no doubt made it difficult to them to believe in the Jesus whose worldly career had been closed by an early violent death; even as before our Lord's passion it had made it difficult to the apostles to believe that he was thus to die. But after the question whether the Christ was predestined to be a suffering Christ (Acts 26:23) had been discussed, and it had been shown from the Old Testament that the Messiah was to suffer before he should reign, it had yet to be determined in what relation the particular form of Jesus' death stood with respect to the Mosaic Law. Gentiles would naturally think of the cross chiefly, indeed solely, as a sign of extremest ignominy; they thought scorn of the Christians who looked for life from "this Master of theirs, who was crucified" (Lucian). But to Jews, with the habits of feeling to which they had been trained in the school of Moses' Law, the cross was more than a sign of extremest ignominy - to them it was a sign also of extremest pollutedness. Now, to the Apostle Paul it had been given to see, with more distinctness than the general body of believers at Jerusalem appear to have seen it, the inference to which the finger of Divine providence pointed in the particular form of death which, in the counsels of God, had been selected for the Christ to suffer (cf. John 18:32). He had seen that faith in the crucified Saviour, by just consequence and in the Divine purpose, disconnected those, who embraced it as the supreme element of spiritual life, from all obligation to the ceremonial law as viewed in relation to their acceptance with God (Galatians 2:19, and note). And because he held forth this truth, and insisted upon its vital importance in determining the mutual relations of Jew and Gentile in the Christian Church, therefore it was that he drew upon himself the peculiar unrelenting enmity with which the Jews pursued him. They could manage to live on terms of peace with their fellow-Jews at Jerusalem who held that the Christ predicted in the Old Testament was to be, in the first instance, a suffering Christ, and trusted in Jesus as fulfilling those predictions; for they saw that they, while believing in Jesus, continued, as St. James told St. Paul all of them did, to Observe and to be zealous for the Law (Acts 21:20); they were able, therefore, in some degree to tolerate their "heresy." But St. Paul was led by the Saviour of all the world to adopt a different line. The truth, which lay wrapped up in the manner of Christ's death, and which at Jerusalem was left, so to speak, in its latency, it became necessary for the welfare of mankind that Paul should bring forth into view, and apply for the doing of the work which it was designed to accomplish. The cross annihilated the obligatoriness upon God's people of the Law of Moses. And, by teaching this, this apostle revived against himself the animosity which had flamed forth so fiercely upon St. Stephen, who was charged with saying that "Jesus the Nazarene was to change the customs which Moses had delivered unto them." It illustrates the economy which marks the Holy Spirit's development of revealed truth in the consciousness of the Church, that this consequence of the crucifixion of our Lord was for a while left so much in abeyance in the mother Church in Judaea. The fact stands on the same footing as the development of the doctrine of the essential Godhead of the Lord Jesus; for this too would seem to have been not at once and by an abrupt illumination brought distinctly home to the consciousness of the Hebrew Church, but to have been deposited like a seed in its bosom to unfold itself gradually. It seemed meet to the Divine Wisdom to cradle the infant faith tenderly, that it should not be exposed to too great risks through want of sympathy on the part of its first nursing mother towards these two of its most important elements. By-and-bye, when circumstances allowed, the same great apostle, who in his Epistle develops the doctrine of the cross in relation to Mosaism, could with advantage address the Hebrew Church, either himself or through another whom he inspired with his thoughts, that Epistle, in which the Godhead of Jesus is proclaimed with as much clearness and emphasis as the dissolution of the Mosaic institute in face of the new spiritual economy. The Epistle to the Hebrews, however, in proving that the new covenant was superseding the old, does not lay the chief stress of the argument upon the Crucifixion, but upon the utter unavailingness of the Mosaic priestly functions for the clearing of the conscience as compared with the efficacy of Christ's one offering. Nevertheless,the other point is not altogether neglected; at least, a kindred argument is suggested in Hebrews 13:10-13, in which passage contact with Christ as suffering without the camp is spoken of as inferring a pollution which was incompatible with "serving the tabernacle." The "Cross" is definitely named only once, and that with relation to extreme" shame" attaching to it (Hebrews 12:2). In other Epistles which are certainly of St. Paul's own composition, the "cross" ]s mentioned in connection with the abrogation of the ceremonial law, in Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:14; but the manner in which it brought about this result is nowhere so plainly indicated as in this Epistle to the Galatians, in which "the cross" is the very key-note of the whole discussion. The flashing out of resentful feeling which we read in the next verse was probably in part evoked by the clear glimpse which the apostle this moment caught of the conscious insincerity of those seducers, shown in their making or adopting such an assertion respecting himself as he here rebuts, which facts proved to be so glaringly false.
I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Verse 12. - I would they were even cut off which trouble you (ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς); would to God they would make themselves even as the apocopi of Cybele (Greek, would even mutilate themselves), who are casting you out of country and home! The word ὄφελον, originally a verb, had got, thus stripped of its augment, to be a mere particle of wishing. Its sense with an indicative aorist is seen 1 Corinthians 4:8, Ὄφελόν γε ἐβασιλεύσατε, "Would to God ye had come to your kingship [which is far from being really the case yet!];" Exodus 16:3; Numbers 14:2; Numbers 20:3 (Septuagint), Ὄφελον ἀπεθάνομεν, "Would to God we had died!" with an indicative imperfect, 2 Corinthians 11:1, Ὄφελον ἀνείχεσθέ μον μικρὸν ἀφροσύνης, "Would to God ye were [i.e. could be] tolerant of a little foolishness of mine! [might I hope for it?];" Revelation 3:15, Ὄφελον ψυχρὸς η΅ς, etc., "Would that thou wert cold," etc. With an indicative future (an extremely rare combination), it may still be regarded as expressing a longing that something might be looked forward to, which in reality is not to be anticipated; different from a simple desire that a thing may be, unaccompanied by the feeling that it cannot be, which is its three with an optative, as in Psalm 119:5. The tone of especially fervid aspiration, the vivacity, which usually marks wishes introduced by ὄφελον, is perhaps unduly tamed down by the rendering "I would that." In respect to the verb ἀποκόψονται, Greek scholars are pretty well agreed that the passive rendering of our Authorized Version, "were cut off," cannot be defended. There is no certain instance (Bishop Ellicott remarks) of a similar interchange of the middle voice with the passive. The sense of the verb is shown by the Septuagint rendering of Deuteronomy 23:1, Οὐκ εἰσελεύσεται θλαδίας καὶ ἀποκεκομμένος εἰς ἐκκλησίαν Θεοῦ: where the word 'to the ἀποκεκομμένος answers Hebrew keruth shophkah, rightly rendered in the Vulgate and in our English Bible (cf. Gesenius's 'Thesaurus,' and Furst, under shophkah). "This meaning is assigned to ἀποκόψονται," observes Bishop Lightfoot, "by all the Greek commentators, I believe, without exception (the Latin Fathers, who read ' abseimtantur' in their text had more latitude), and seems alone tenable." (See Grotius, in Peele's ' Synopsis.' ) This interpretation gives its full force to καί ("not only circumcise, but even," etc.): it explains the form of the aspiration as one not likely to be realized; whereas the excision from the Church of these extremely aberrant members, falling nearly if not quite under the anathema of the first chapter, was a thing quite within the apostle's own power: it harmonizes with the intense resentment which colours the phrase, οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ἡμᾶς (see below). The sentiment, it is true, seems one which it would be impossible for a public speaker, or even a writer, amongst ourselves to give such open expression to. Nevertheless, when viewed as framed in amid the surroundings which environed it at the time, it wears none of that aspect of coarseness which would confessedly be felt to attach to it under the conditions of modern life. That the worship of Cybele at Pessinus, one of the principal cities of Galatia, was deformed by the practice of such self-mutilation on the part of some of its devotees, was a matter of universal notoriety, and we may confidently assume that the apostle, when in the neighbourhood, heard frequent mention of those apocopi as they were called, and thus was led now to allude to it as he seems to do in this malediction. For it is a malediction, as Chrysostom describes it; a malediction, however, which in severity falls far short of the anathema which has been previously pronounced. Good were it (he means) for the Church, and even perhaps themselves, if they would have the rashness to go a little further with what they call "circumcision," which in their case is mere concision (Philippians 3:2), and make it clear to all men how purely senseless and unchristian their action in this matter is. "Casting you out of country and home." The verb ἀναστατοῦν occurs besides only in Acts 17:6 ("turned upside down" ) and Acts 21:38 ("madest an uproar" ). It is not found in classical Greek, in which we have in its stead ἀναστάτους ποιεῖν ορ τιθέναι: the verbal adjective ἀνάστατος, when it is applied, as it frequently is, to populations, meaning, "made to rise up and depart," "driven from house and home;" applied to cities, "ruined," "laid waste" (Liddell and Scott). Chrysostom observes, "Well does he say, ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς: for they compelled them to abandon their own proper country and liberty and heavenly kindred, and to seek an alien and strange one; casting them out of ' Jerusalem which is above and free,' and forcing them to wander abroad as captives and perforce emigrants." The present tense of the participle points to the action of these perverters as one which. if successful, would have this result; which (ver. 10) the apostle hopes to defeat. The selection of this particular verb, which goes far beyond the ταράσσοντες before used, and which the word "unsettle" adopted here by the Revisers, does not, as commonly used, completely represent, betokens the apostle's intense feeling of the ruinous consequences of the proposed Judaizing reaction. It shows that he adds the words aetiologically, that is, to justify his strong words, ὄφελον ἀποκόψονται. The energy of both expressions suggests the feeling that probably the apostle would not have written as he has here done except for his burning resentment on behalf of Christ's people threatened with so great a hurt. In 1 Car. 6:4 indignant feeling carries him away beyond himself to an utterance which in the next verse he virtually retracts, remarking, "I say it to move you to shame." Perhaps we have here something of the same kind.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Verse 13. - For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty (ὑμεῖς γὰρ ἐπ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε ἀδελφοί); for ye, brethren, were called unto (Greek, for) freedom. The "for" points back to the closing words of the preceding verse, which implied a settled state of well-being from which those troublers were driving his readers; that happy state (the apostle says) was the very glory and essence of their "calling." This, of course, was that condition of free men described at the end of the foregoing chapter, and summarized in the first verse of this chapter. This is again, even more briefly, recapitulated in the first clause of the present verse. As the summary in the first verse supplied a starting-point for the warnings against the Judaizers which have taken up the foregoing twelve verses, so this new summary furnishes the starting-point for exhortations designed to guard the evangelical doctrine against antinomian perversion, by insisting upon the moral behaviour required of those who enjoy the freedom which Christ gives. These exhortations occupy the remainder of this chapter and a part of the next. "Ye," being what ye are, believers baptized into Christ. The verb "were called" expresses a complete idea, meaning of itself without any adjunct, "called by God to be people of his own" (cf. "calleth," ver. 8, and the passages there cited). The words, "unto," or "for, freedom," supply an adjunct notion; as in Ephesians 4:4, the clause, "in one hope of your calling," does to the same verb. So again 1 Thessalonians 4:7," For God called us, not unto [or, 'for' ] uncleanness, but in sanctification.' 'The preposition ἐπί, both in the passage last cited and in the present verse, denotes the condition or understanding upon which God had called them: they were "called" upon the understanding that they should be in a state of liberty. So Ephesians 2:10, "Created in Christ Jesus unto ['Greek,' for] good works." God calls us in Christ to be free in these three respects:

(1) free from condemnation and conscience of guiltiness;

(2) free from pupil-age to a ceremonial institute of positive, carnal ordinances, and from bondage to a letter-Law;

(3) free, as consciously his children, knit to him by his adopting Spirit, which makes us partakers of his nature. Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh (μόνον μὴ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῆς σαρκός); only, no freedom which shall be an occasion to the flesh! or, only, make not your freedom into an occasion for the flesh. The noun ἐλευθερίαν, being in the accusative, cannot be taken as simply a resumption of the ἐλευθερίᾳ immediately before. In his eagerness to at once bar the antinomian's abuse of the gospel, the apostle omits the verb which should account for this accusative; and the result is a sentence which may be taken as grouping with various passages in classical Greek authors, being in fact quite a natural way of speaking in any language; such as in Demosthenes, ' Philippians,' 1. p. 45, "No ten thousand mercenaries for me! (μή μοι μυριόυς... ξένους);" Sophocles, ' Ant.,' 573, "No more loiterings! but... (μὴ τριβὰς ἔτ ἀλλά...); "Aristophanes, ' Ach.,' 326, "No false pretences for me, but... (μή μοι πρόφασιν ἀλλά...)." In such cases it simply weakens the vivacity of the style, if we supply any verb. The alternative rendering supplies δῶτε, which is in fact found in two uncial manuscripts, F, G, or ἀποχρήσησθε, proposed by OEcumenius. In the former way of construing we have in thought to supply a second τὴν after ἐλευθερίαν, as in 1 Corinthians 10:18, Βλέπετε τὸν Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα: 2 Corinthians 7:7; Colossians 1:8; Ephesians 2:15. The preposition εἰς is need as Romans 11:9; 1 Corinthians 14:22, etc. The sense of the noun ἀφορμή, starting-point, is well illustrated by its use, in the military language of Greece, for a "basis of operations" (cf. Romans 7:8, 11; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:14). Reflection at once shows us that a "freedom" which allows a man to obey the behests of his lower nature is only by a false use of the term capable of being grouped with that freedom wherewith Christ makes us free. It adopts out of the latter the single element of emancipation from ceremonial law and letter-Law, and lets go altogether the concomitant notions of spiritual emancipation which are of its very essence. Such an emancipation hands its victim clean over to the thraldom of sin (John 8:34; 2 Peter 2:18, 19). St. Peter, in his First Epistle, addressed to a large group of Churches founded by St. Paul, including those of Galatia, has a number of passages which apparently take up sentiments and even expressions found in St. Paul's writings (see 1 Peter 5:12), as it were, ratifying them; and possibly he has an eye to the present verse when he writes (1 Peter 2:16), "as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bond-servants of God." "The flesh" is not to have its own way, but is to own the mastery of the Spirit. But by love serve one another (ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις); but through love be in bondage to one another; i.e. let love make you bondservants to one another. The verb δουλεύω also means "do acts of bond-service,' as Ephesians 6:7 and 1 Timothy 6:2. This sense is included in the "being in bondage ' here spoken cf. In the present posture of affairs in these Churches, the apostle sees occasion for selecting just here one particular branch of Christian goodness to enforce upon their observance. Presently after (vers. 16-20 he enlarges the field of view; though even there still giving much prominence to the vices of malignity and to the benignant virtues. Just now he has his eye especially on the evils of contentiousness (ver. 15), and upon love as their corrective. We may suppose such evils were now especially rife amongst the Galatians, whose natural character, commonly described as quarrelsome, was apparently evincing itself in connection with the disputes which the teaching and yet more the outward action of the Judaizers were giving rise to. In fact, a loving temper of mind, along with other benefits, is recommended also by this, that it guards Churches from corrupting innovations in doctrine and Church practice; checking our self-will and our obtrusive vanity, it leads us to avoid giving uneasiness to others by thrusting upon them new notions or new modes of conduct, and makes it our ambition to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The pattern set by our Lord (John 13:15), both in washing his disciples' feet and indeed in his whole incarnate life (Philippians 2:7), was grandly imitated by the apostle himself (1 Corinthians 9:19-22), who in outward things habitually sacrificed the pride of independence and self-assertion, and the pride of apparent self-consistency, in his devotion to the spiritual welfare of men. He here preaches just what he himself practised.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Verse 14. - For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (o( ga\r pa = no/mo e)n e(ni\ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται [Receptus, πληροῦται], ἐν, τῷ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν [Receptus, ἑαυτόν]); for the whole Law hath in one word been fulfilled, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Thus is very briefly enunciated what in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 13:8-10), written a short while after, the apostle more fully develops thus: "Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled (πεπλήρωκε) the Law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up (ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται) in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: love therefore is the fulfilment (πλήρωμα) of the Law." This passage of the Romans may be regarded as a lengthened paraphrase of the one now before us. From the comparison of the two, several things are made clear. We see from it what is meant by the πεπλήρωται, "hath been fulfilled." Some have been disposed to regard it as equivalent to ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται, "it is summed up." Not to urge that it is very doubtful whether the verb admits of this sense, it is enough to observe that in the parallel passage the verb πληροῦν, both in πεπλήρωκε, hath fulfilled, and the verbal πλήρωμα, fulfilment, means to fulfil in actual obedience; and that the perfect tense of the πεπλήρωται of this passage reappears in the πεπλήρωκε of the other. The sentence in Romans, "He that loveth his neighbour (τὸν ἕτερον) hath fulfilled the Law," that is, as the context shows, "the whole Law," makes it clear that, by the words before us, "the whole Law hath been fulfilled in one word," is meant that the whole Law hath been fulfilled in the fulfilling of the one word, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The whole Law is regarded as couched in that "one word." In the larger passage the Law, so far as it is explained, is represented as regulating our behaviour to our neighbours, for the apostle cites exclusively commandments of the "second table;" in addition to which, we observe that the immediately preceding context (vers. 1-7) is taken up with the discussion of duties to our fellow-men, sliding into what follows through the words, "Owe no man anything, save to love one another." This suggests the inference that when the apostle says, "He that loveth hath fulfilled the Law;" and at the close of the paragraph, "Love is the fulfilment of the Law," he has in view that part only of the Law which enforces the duties appertaining to human relationships, and not the whole Law as enforcing, together with these, the duties we owe to God; for "love," he says, "his the fulfilment of the Law, because it worketh no evil to his neighbour." And this might seem further to justify the like inference with reference to the passage before us; and here also the immediate context (ver. 13) points only to relations between man and man, making no reference to our relations towards God. And this inference we seem warranted in accepting. Only, we have to bear in mind that the apostle has already taken account of our spiritual relations to God, in stating (ver. 6) that in Christ Jesus the all-important and only thing is faith working through love. For the faith which he means is plainly the principle which unites the soul to Christ Jesus, and in him to God as our reconciled Father, through the vitalizing and actuating power of the Spirit of adoption. And precisely the same consideration presents itself with respect to the parallel passage in the Romans; for there, too, the apostle has been previously engaged in building up the gospel doctrine of Christ's redeeming us from the control of a condemning Law, which is also mere "letter," and can give no spiritual life; and of his handing us over to the law of the Spirit of life, whereby the requirement of the Law is fulfilled in them who walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1-4). The apostle takes it for granted that it is with these views in their minds that his readers will receive what he here writes. Further, account is to be taken of the spiritual sense in which the apostle uses the terms "law" and "love." Under the term "law" he no longer intends the Law of Moses, either as a ceremonial institute or as a letter-Law regulating moral behaviour; but that higher and spiritual law, of which the precepts of the letter-Law are only incomplete hints or adumbrations - the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Likewise, by the term "love" he designates a very different thing from that principle of kindness, good nature, benevolence, which an Aristotle or Cicero, an Epictetus or Plutarch, could conceive and describe, and in their own practice exemplify; with St. Paul, as with St. John, it is a fruit of the Spirit, an emanation of Christ's life in the soul, organically and vitally ramifying out of filial love to God. They that were in the flesh could not please God. In order that we may fulfil the Law, the prime and indispensable requisite is that the Spirit of Christ be dwelling in us and leading us.
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
Verse 15. - But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (εἰ δὲ ἀλλήλους δάκνετε καὶ κατεσθίετε βλέπετε μὴ ὑπὸ ἀλλήλων ἀναλωθῆτε); but if ye be biting and eating up one another, take heed that ye be not one of another utterly destroyed. "Biting" and "eating up" are images drawn from carnivorous animals furiously fighting with each other. The verb κατεσθίεν, eat up, which in 2 Corinthians 11:20 and Matthew 23:14 is applied to the eating up of a neighbour's goods, is here employed in its more literal sense, in order to furnish a figure describing that intense desire to vex and damage an antagonist, which but too often disgraces the so-called religious controversialist or partisan. The verb ἀναλίσκω, utterly destroy, occurs besides only in Luke 9:54 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8, of destruction by fire or lightning; so the compound κατανάλισκον, Hebrews 12:29. It points to another sphere of hurt than that referred to in the two foregoing verbs; for while these latter describe the eager endeavour to sting and "run down" a theological opponent, the former describes the utter laying waste of the inward life of piety. The orthodox opinion may survive, and perhaps be even made clearer and more accurate; but the kernel of filial love and joy in God, and of love towards our brethren, may by the φιλονεικία, the bitter antagonism, of controversy have got to be altogether eaten out. A Christian disciple who has ceased to love, Christ teaches us, is salt which has lost its savour - utterly refuse and hopeless of recovery (Mark 9:50).
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Verse 16. - This I say then (λέγω δέ). Like τοῦτο δὲ λέγω in Galatians 3:17, and λέγω δὲ in Galatians 4:1, the phrase, λέγω δέ, here introduces a further illustration of a point already referred to. It points back to the line of remark commenced in ver. 13 in the words, "No freedom to be an occasion to the flesh! but through love be in bondage one to another." The voluntary bondage of love is one most important part of the spiritual life; as indulgence in malignant passions is also a leading branch of the working of the flesh. The mention, therefore, of these two points in vers. 14, 15 naturally leads up to the more general exhortation of the present passage. Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil (or, fulfil not) the lust of the flesh (Πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε); walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust (or, desire) of the flesh. The precise meaning of the several words and statements in this verse, as also in the two which follow it, have been much disputed. It must suffice here briefly to explain and justify what appears to the present writer the true view. The word "spirit," it seems most natural to understand in all three in the same sense. To take it in the first two verses as meaning that part of our composite being which has the nearest affinity to the higher moral and spiritual life (whether as in a state of nature or as informed by the Spirit of God), whilst in ver. 18 its import is determined by comparison with other passages to be the Divine Spirit, appears to be an arbitrary variation of its sense, which there is no necessity for adopting. The "Spirit" is mentioned alongside with "the flesh," not because it belongs to the like category of being a part of our nature, but because he has been graciously sent forth by God to contravene in us that evil principle which else we should be unable to overcome. This evil principle is termed "the flesh;" not as being merely sensual corruption, though vices of that class are mentioned in vers. 19 and 21 as leading instances of its working; for we see in vers. 20 and 21 vicious works of the flesh specified, which are to be referred to malignity (comp. 1 Corinthians 3:3), or to a perversion of the religious element, rather than to sensuality. It appears, therefore, to denote the principle of corruption which taints our moral nature in general - that which in the ninth of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England is deflated under the heading of "Original or Birth-Sin.' The word "flesh" may be supposed to have been selected to denote this, because the depravation of our sensuous beings into sensuality constituted the most prominent and noticeable form in which the general degradation of our state from its proper nobler life in God manifests itself. The dative case of Πνεύματι, marks - either the sphere, element, path, in which we are to walk, which is intended by the rendering in our Authorized Version, "in the Spirit," as the dative is used with πορεύεσθαι (Authorized Version, "walk" ) in Acts 9:31; Acts 14:16, and with περιπατεῖν, walk, in Acts 21:21; 2 Corinthians 12:18; or the rule according to which, together with the enabling power by which, our daily behaviour is to be regulated, so as to be synonymous with the phrase, "walking after (κατὰ) the Spirit," in Romans 8:4. The meaning at all events seems to be, Let the prompting of the Spirit be your guide, and the grace of the Spirit your strength, in the course of your life continually. This is afterwards expressed as being "led by the Spirit" (ver. 18), and as an "orderly walking by the Spirit' (ver. 25). The exhortation implies two things: first, that the Christians addressed, had had the gift of the Holy Spirit imparted to them (comp. Galatians 3:2; Galatians 4:6, where" our hearts" includes the persons addressed; 1 Corinthians 12:13); and next, that this gift would not avail for the actual sanctification of their life without diligent endeavours after self-improvement on their own part. Comp. Philippians 2:12, 13, "Work out your own salvation [i.e. by your own endeavours work out your salvation] with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure." The generality of the form in which the exhortation is couched intimates that they were to endeavour to live in compliance with the Spirit's promptings in all the branches of spiritual activity proper to their Christian calling; not only in that of "love" already adverted to, but in those others also which the apostle presently after counts up in vers. 22, 23. It inculcates, therefore, the cultivation of a joyous spirit of filial love towards God, as well as a high strain of virtuous conduct towards their fellow-men and in relation to their own selves. In the next clause, the words, οὐ μὴ τελέσητε, "ye shall not fulfil." are by many (see margin of our Authorized Version)taken in an imperative sense; as if it were, walk by the Spirit, and by no means fulfil the desire of the flesh. It is, however, with much force objected to this view that, although the future with οὐ is often used for an imperative, as οὐ κλοψεις οὐκ ἐπιορκήσεις, etc., there is no instance adduced of οὐ μὴ being used in the New Testament in this sense. We are led, therefore, to adopt the other view, that the passage belongs to that form of sentence in which an imperative clause is followed by a clause denoting the result which will ensue in case the direction before given has been complied with; as e.g. "Come unto me... and I will give you rest." In place of the simple οὐ τελέσετε, we have the more emphatic form, οὐ μὴ τελέσητε, "Of a surety ye will not," etc. By writing thus the apostle strongly accentuates the statement that walking by the Spirit is absolutely incompatible with an indulgence in the inclinations prompted by the flesh. There is probably a twofold doctrinal inference couched under this emphatic statement; namely, Ye will of a surety not fall under the Law's condemnation (comp. Romans 8:1-4); and, Ye will not need the Law's restraints (1 Timothy 1:9). But it is pregnant also with a hint of rebuke and of practical direction, not unneeded by the Galatians (ver. 15). The article is wanting before ἐπιθυμίαν, probably because it is wanting before σαρκός, as in καταβολῆς κόσμου, Luke 11:50; ἀρχῆς κτίσεως, Mark 10:6; ἔργων νόμου, Romans 3:20, etc.; so that ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς is put for τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν τῆς σαρκός. The verb τελέσητε is selected in preference to ποιήσητε (cf. Ephesians 2:2, ποιοῦντες) to express the idea that it is impossible for one walking by the Spirit to carry into full effect any desire of the flesh. For this is the proper force of the verb τελεῖν, of which the ever-memorable Τετέλεσται, "It is finished" (John 19:30), is a typical illustration. This meaning obtains even in Romans 2:28 and James 2:8. The apostle seems to concede that the desire of the flesh may be felt by one who is walking by the Spirit; nay, even in at least an inchoate degree, given way to; but this much he affirms, that it will be impossible for such a one to ear,' y it out into full accomplishment. This qualified representation of the Christian's holiness is intimated in the next verse more explicitly.
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.
Verse 17. - For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh (ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός); for the flesh doth lust (or, hath desires) against the Spirit; but the Spirit likewise against the flesh. The first clause, "for the flesh hath desires against the Spirit," justifies the mention of "the desire of the flesh" in ver. 16, as being an experience which Christians in general have still to deal with; as if it were, "For the flesh really is present still, originating within you desires contrary to those prompted by the Spirit." Then the apostle adds, "but the Spirit likewise [or, ' hath desires ] against the flesh;" intimating that, although the flesh was still at work within, prompting desires tending away from holiness, that nevertheless was no reason for their giving way to such evil inclinations; for the Spirit was with them as well, originating desires after what was holy and good; and he would help them against those other inclinations towards evil, if only they would surrender themselves to his guidance. That this is the proper way of construing these two passages seems betokened by the δέ. If the apostle had just here meant to say, "There are two mutually opposing principles at work within you" for the purpose of justifying by explicit statement the tone of ver. 16 which implies this fact, he would have written, ἥ τε γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος καὶ τὸ Πςεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός: or, ἡ μὲν γὰρ σάρξ... τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα etc.; "For both hath the flesh desires against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; or, "for on the one hand the flesh hath desires... and on the other," etc. But the adversative δὲ standing alone tends to disjoin the two clauses rather than to conjoin them so closely together as the Authorized Version leads us to suppose. We need supply no ether verb than ἐπιθυμεῖ, "hath desires," with the words, "but the Spirit;" for this verb is used in a good sense as well as in a bad; as e.g. Luke 22:15, ἐπιθυμία ἐπίθυμησα, "with desire did I desire;" 1 Peter 1:12, "the angels desire (ἐπιθυμοῦσιν) to look into;" Philippians 1:23. "the desire (ἐπιθυμίαν) to depart." In fact, the verb properly implies a simply strong wish, not necessarily an ill-governed one. And these are contrary the one to the other (ταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειτει [Receptus, ταῦτα δὲ ἀντίκειται ἀλλήλοις; for these oppose themselves the one to the other. Taking the former two clauses as has been proposed above, we can discern the force of the "for" introducing this new clause. The apostle having been by two several turns of thought led to state, first that the flesh prompts desires or action in opposition to the Spirit, and then, as a distinct sentence, that the Spirit prompts desires or action in opposition to the flesh, he now conjoins the two several notions in the affirmation of the mutual antagonistic agency of these two principles; "For these oppose themselves the one to the other." The verb ἀντίκειμαι always denotes opposing action, and not mere contrariety of nature; being used as a participial noun for "adversaries" or "opponents' ' in Luke 13:17; Luke 21:15; 1 Corinthians 16:9; Philippians 1:28; 1 Timothy 5. i4; and as a verb in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and 1 Timothy 1:10, to denote setting one's self in opposition to. This clause, therefore, describes the continual endeavour of the flesh and of the Spirit to thwart and defeat each other's action in the hearts of the persons spoken cf. So that ye cannot do the things that ye would (ἵνα μὴ ᾳ} α}ν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε); to the end that what things soever ye fain would do, those ye shall not do. This last clause describes the result aimed at by each of those conflicting principles, namely, to thwart each of them the volitions prompted by the other. The words remind us of Romans 7:15, Οὐ γὰρ ο} θίλω τοῦτο πράσσω, "For not, what thing I fain would,that do I practise;" ibid., 16, Ὁ οὐ θέλω τοῦτο ποιῶ, "What thing I fain would not, that I do;" ibid., 19, Οὐ γὰρ ο{ θέλω ποιῶ ἀγαθόν ἀλλ ο} οὐ θέλω κακόν τοῦτο πράσσω, "For not what good thing I fain would, do I do; but what evil thing I fain would not, that I practise." The comparison of the indefinite relative, "what things soever ye fain would do (α} α}ν θέλητε)," in the present passage, with the more definite "what thing I fain would do," or "fain would not do (ο{ θέλω ο{ οὐ θέλω)," in the Romans, points to the conclusion that by the clause, "what things soever ye fain would do," is meant, "whichever be the kind of your volitions, whether they be those prompted by the flesh or those prompted by the Spirit." In comparing the two passages, it is important to notice that in the seventh chapter of the Romans the apostle is Concerned exclusively with the frustration of our good volitions, which, there, are not ascribed to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but to the prompting of our own moral sense quickened by the voice of the Law's commandment. Such good volitions he represents as overpowered by the controlling influence ("law" ) of the evil principle, "the flesh;" a condition of miserable thraldom, out of which, the apostle (ibid., 25), with triumphant gratitude, alludes to believers in Christ being delivered - delivered by the coming in upon the scene of a new agent, "the Spirit of life:" whereas, in the passage before us, he is describing the condition of believers in Christ, to whom now has been imparted this new power for doing what is good. In these, "the mind" (Romans 7:25), powerless before to overcome the law of sin, is succoured by the presence of a mighty Ally, through whom, he intimates elsewhere, the believer has it within his power to do all things (Philippians 4:13). Many expositors, in-eluding Bishop Lightfoot, take ἵνα in the present clause us denoting simply the result actually brought about; thus the Authorized Version, "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Whether this sense, of result actually produced, can be shown ever to attach to ἵνα followed by the subjunctive, is a question which has been much debated. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4, "Ye are not in darkness that (ἵνα) that day should overtake you as a thief," the particle "that" points to the ordering of Divine providence spoken of in the two preceding verses, that they who are in darkness should be taken by surprise by the coming of the day of the Lord. It is certainly possible so to understand the particle here; the mutually thwarting agency of the flesh and the Spirit may be understood as latently attributed to Divine providence ordering that thus it should be. But this view would hardly seem to harmonize, either with the almightiness of the Divine Agent engaged in the conflict or with the triumphant language of Romans 8:1-4. In actual experience, it does indeed seem to be but too often almost a μαχὴ ἰσόρροπος a drawn battle; so greatly is the Spirit's agency dogged and hampered by the weakness of human faith and the inconstancy of human purpose. But it does not need to be so. In the case of St. Paul himself, as we may infer from all that he says of his own career subsequent to his conversion, and in perhaps not a few cases besides, the Spirit has been completely and persistently triumphant. It therefore appears inconvenient to suppose that the apostle means to ascribe such a result to the ordering of Divine providence making it inevitable. Certainly such a construction of the passage is not necessary. We escape from it altogether by ascribing the notion of purpose latent in this ἵνα, "to the end that," to the nisus severally of the two agents. Taken so, the passage affirms this: Will whatever you may, whether good or evil, you will be sure to meet with an adverse agency, striving to bar the complete accomplishment of your desire. There appears to be no good reason for limiting the application of this statement, as some propose our doing, to the case of immature Christians, in whom Christ is as yet imperfectly formed (Galatians 4:19). With every Christian, to the very last, the life of holiness can only be a fruit of conflict; a conflict on the whole, even perhaps persistently, successful; yet a conflict still, maintained by the help of the Spirit against an evil principle, which can never, as long as we live, cease to give occasion for care and watchfulness (see 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7). Why, it may be asked, is the apostle concerned to refer to this conflict here? Apparently because the Galatians showed by their behaviour that they needed to be stirred up and put upon their guard. They were, as the apostle (1 Corinthians 3:3) told the Corinthian believers they were, "carnal, walking as men." They had foregone the sense of their adoption; they were worrying one another with contentions. The flesh was in their case manifestly thwarting and defeating the desires of the Spirit. Therefore the apostle here reminds them of the conditions of the Christian life; it is to stimulate them to that earnest endeavour to walk by the Spirit, without which (ver. 24) they could not be Christ' s.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Verse 18. - But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law (ei) de\ Pneu/mati a&gesqe, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον); but if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the Law. The sense of Πνεύματι as denoting the Spirit of God is put beyond question by the parallel passage in Romans (Romans 8:14), "As many as are led by the Spirit of God (Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἄγονται), these are sons of God." The dative case with ἄγομαι in both passages is illustrated by 2 Timothy 3:6, "silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts (ἀγόμενα ἐπιθομίαις ποικίλαις)." In all three cases the dative must be the dative of the agent, there being in 2 Timothy 3:6 a slight personification. This use of the dative is not in prose writers a common construction with passive verbs, though not altogether unknown (Winer, ' Gram. N.T.,' § 3l, 10). In the present case its harshness is perhaps relieved by the circumstance that the noun does not represent an agent whose personality is markedly conspicuous ab extra; but rather an internally swaying influence, whoso personality is a matter of faith. Hence in 2 Timothy 3:6 we render, "led away with divers lusts." This shade of sense might be represented by rendering, "led with the Spirit." In Luke 4:1, "led by the Spirit," we have ἤγετο ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι. In all these passages the passive, "being led," must, from the nature of the case, include the voluntary self-subjection of those led. In Romans," being led by the Spirit" stands instead of "walking after the Spirit" in ver. 4; "being after the Spirit" in ver. 5; "by the Spirit mortifying the deeds of the body" in ver. 13. Similarly, here it is tantamount to the "walking by the Spirit" mentioned above in ver. 16. The phrase cannot be fairly understood of merely having that presence of the Holy Spirit. which is predicated of the whole "body of Christ," even of those members thereof whose conduct is plainly not regulated by the sacred influence (comp. 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19); it must be understood as describing the case of such as recognize its presence and yield themselves to its guidance. The sense of the phrase, "being under the Law," is illustrated by Galatians 3:23, "we were kept in ward under the Law;, Galatians 4:4, "made to be under the Law;" ibid., 5, "to redeem those which were under the Law;" ibid., 21, "ye who would fain be under the Law;" Romans 6:14, 15, "not under the Law, but under grace;" 1 Corinthians 9:20, "to those which are under the Law as under the Law, that I might gain those who are under the Law." These are all the passages in which the expression occurs. The inference is clear that the apostle designates by it the condition of such as are subject to the Law of the old covenant, viewed as a whole, in its ceremonial aspect as well as its moral; his meaning would not be exhausted by the paraphrase, "subject to the condemnation of the Law." What he affirms here is this: If in the course of your lives you are habitually swayed by the inward motions of the Spirit of God, then you are not subject to the Law of the old covenant. The connection between the premiss and the conclusion has been clearly shown by the apostle above (Galatians 4:5-7), it is this, that the possession of the Spirit of adoption proves a man to be a "son" - one who has attained his majority and is no longer subject to a pedagogue. This aphorism of the apostle, that if they were led by the Spirit they were not under the Law, suggests the inquiry - But how was it with those Christians who were not led by the Spirit? Would the apostle teach, or would he allow us to say, that Gentile Christians (for it is to such that he is writing), and Jewish as well, if not guided by the Spirit, were bound to obey the Law of the old covenant? With reference to this point we are to consider that the apostle has elsewhere clearly stated, for example in Romans 11, that the Church of God forms, in solidarity with Israel of old, one "Israel of God," as he speaks in the sixth chapter of this Epistle (ver. 16); Gentiles, being "grafted in" upon the original stock, have thus become branches (σύμφυτοι) having one common life and nature therewith; or, in the language of another figure, "fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus," with those who originally were heirs and forming the body and partners in the promised blessing (Ephesians 3:6). This leads us to the view that God's Law, the revelation of his will relative to his people's conduct, given in successive developments - patriarchal, Mosaical, prophetical - is, with such modifications as have been made by the crucifixion and the priesthood of Christ, and by the mission and work of the Holy Spirit, God's Law relative to his people's conduct still. The cross and priestly work of Christ, as we are taught by this Epistle and the Epistle to the Hebrews, do for all Christians eliminate from this Law its ceremonial prescriptions altogether; but its moral prescriptions, more fully perfected by the moral teaching of Jesus and his apostles, are still incumbent upon them. Those Christians who really give themselves up to the Spirit to be taught and animated by him, who are as St. Paul says (Galatians 6:1) "spiritual," these use this Law (as Calvin phrases it) as a doctrina liberalis; the Law of the Spirit of life within them leads and enables them to recognize, and so to speak assimilate, the kindred import of the Law embodied in the letter; which thus ministers to their instruction and consolation (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 9:10). The letter of the Law is now their helper, no longer their absolute rigid rule; as a rule it is superseded by the law written in the heart (2 Corinthians 3:6-11; Hebrews 8:8-11). As Chrysostom writes in his note on the present passage, "They are raised to a height far above the Law's injunction." But in the degree in which they axe not spiritual, but natural (ψυχικοί, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Jude 1:19), in that degree must they use the letter of the Law, in the New Testament as well as the Old, as the rule of their conduct. We, those who have been sacramentally brought into covenant with God, cannot be left to ourselves; either we must be sweetly, persuasively, instinctively, swayed by the Spirit of God within, or else own the coercing dominion of the written Law. In fact, the same individual Christian may at different times be subject to alternation between these two diverse phases of experience, passing over from one to the other of them according to his fluctuating needs. Christians may, therefore, be broadly divided into three classes:

(1) the spiritual (Galatians 6:1; Romans 8:1-4);

(2) those who are as yet in bondage to the letter;

(3) those who are living after the flesh - "carnal" (1 Corinthians 3:3).

The above statement of the case commends itself as in accordance with what the apostle writes in 1 Timothy 1:8-11, "We know that the Law is good [καλός: cf. Romans 7:12] if a man use it lawfully [νομίμως, according to the manner in which God has directed us to use it in his gospel (ver. 11)], knowing this [having his eye upon this], that the Law is not made (οὐ κεῖται) for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for,.., according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God." In contrast with this Law, coercing impiety and immorality wherever it is found, whether in the world or in the Church, the apostle has before in ver. 5 declared that its function is superseded in the case of the spiritual believer: "The end of the commandment [see Alford] is charity, out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned." The perpetual obligation of the Law given under the old covenant, subject to the qualifications noted above, appears to be emphatically affirmed by our Lord: "I came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil: for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the Law, till all things be accomplished" (Matthew 5:17, 18). And the recognition of this principle underlies all his moral teaching; as, for example, in the sermon on the mount; in his controversies with the Jewish rabbins; in such passages as Mark 10:19; Matthew 22:37-40. The moral Law given in the Old Testament amalgamates itself with that given in the New, forming one whole.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Verse 19. - Now the works of the flesh are manifest (φανερὰ δέ ἐστι τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός). The apostle's purpose is here altogether one of practical exhortation. Having in ver. 13 emphatically warned the Galatians against making their emancipation from the Mosaic Law an occasion for the flesh, and in ver. 16 affirmed the incompatibility of a spiritual walk with the fulfilment of the desire of the flesh, he now specifies samples of the vices, whether in outward conduct or in inward feeling, in which the working of the flesh is apparent, as if cautioning them; adducing just those into which the Galatian converts would naturally be most in danger of falling. Both in the list which he gives them of .,ins, and in that of Christian graces, he is careful to note those relative to their Church life as well as those bearing upon their personal private life. Instances of enumeration of sins which may be compared with that here given, are found, with respect to the heathen world, in Romans 1:29-31; with reference to Christians, Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 2 Corinthians 12:20, 21; Ephesians 5:3-5, followed by a brief indication of fruits of the Spirit in ver. 9; Colossians 3:5-9; 1 Timothy 1:9, 10; 2 Timothy 3:2-4. "Manifest;" namely, to our moral sense; we at once feel that these are the outcome of an evil nature, and are incompatible with the influence of the Spirit of God. "Works of the flesh" means works in which the prompting of the flesh is recognizable. The phrase is equivalent to "the deeds or doings of the body," which we are called to "mortify, put to death, by the Spirit" (Romans 8:13). In Romans 13:12 and Ephesians 5:13 they are styled "works of darkness," that is, works belonging properly to a state in which the moral sense has not been quickened by the Spirit, or in which the light of Christ's presence has not shone. Which are these (ἅτινά ἐτι); of which sort are. Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (πορνεία [Receptus, μοιχεία πορνεία], ἀκαθαρσία ἀσέλγεια). This is the first group, consisting of offences against chastity - sins against which the Church has to contend in all ages and in all countries; but which idolatry, especially such idolatry as that of Cybele in Galatia, has generally much fostered. The first in our English Bible, "adultery," is rejected from the Greek text by the general consent of editors. But in fact, "fornication" (πορνεία) may be taken as including it (Matthew 5:32), though it may also stand at its side as a distinct species of unchastity. "uncleanness" covers a wider range of sensual sin ("all uncleanness," Ephesians 4:19); solitary impurity, whether in thought or deed; unnatural lust (Romans 1:24), though it can hardly be taken as meaning this lust alone. "Lasciviousness," or "wantonness," is scarcely an adequate rendering of ἀσέλγεια in this connection; it appears to point to reckless shamelessness in unclean indulgences. In classical Greek the adjective ἀσέλγης describes a man insolently and wantonly reckless in his treatment of others; but in the New Testament it generally appears to point more specifically to unabashed open indulgence in impurity. The noun is connected with "uncleanness" and "fornication' 'in 2 Corinthians 12:21; with "uncleanness' ' in Ephesians 4:19; is used of the men of Sodom in 2 Peter 2:7; comp. also 2 Peter 2:18; l Peter 4:3; Jude 1:4 (cf. 7). Only in Mark 7:22 can it from the grouping be naturally taken in its classical sense.
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Verse 20. - Idolatry, witchcraft (εἰδωλολατρεία φαρμακεία); idolatry, sorcery. These two form a second group - sins of irreligion; and such as would be likely greatly to beset new converts from idolatry. We may compare, "in respect to the former, the temptations which the apostle recognizes the danger of in the case of the Corinthians (1 Corinthians rift. and 10.). "Sorcery." The word φαρμακεία, originally denoting the use of drugs merely, means, sometimes, their use for poisoning; but this sense would not be very suitable here. But the nouns φαρμακός, φαρμακεύς, and φαρμακεία, like veneficus and veneficium in Latin, are also often used with reference to the employment of drugs in charms and incantations; and thence of the employment of black arts in general - magic, sorcery, witchcraft; cf. Revelation 9:21; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15; where the Authorized Version gives "sorceries," "sorcerers;" and in the Septuagint, Exodus 7:11, 22; Exodus 8:18 (Authorized Version, "magicians" ); Isaiah 47:9, 12 ("enchantments" ). See also μαγεύων μαγείας ("sorceries" ), Acts 8:9, 11. The claim to the possession of such powers, common at Ephesus (Acts 19:19; 2 Timothy 3:13, γόντες), and rife, perhaps, universally among heathens, certainly so in the Roman empire round the Mediterranean, had no doubt been a snare also to the Galatians. Bishop Lightfoot adverts to a very stringent canon of the Council of Ancyra (the capital of Galatia), A.D. 314, condemning φαρμακεῖαι. It may be doubted whether the apostle himself would regard, or had reason to regard, pretensions to such supernatural arts as merely delusive or superstitious. Experiences such as that recorded in Acts 16:16-18, would hardly permit him to do so. Hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditious, heresies (ἔχθραι ἔρις [Receptus, ἔρεις], ζῆλοι θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι διχοστασίαι αἱρέσεις); enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, heresies (or, parties). This third group, to which belongs also the envyings (φθόνοι), together with the probably not genuine murders (φόνοι) of the next verse, is bound together by the common characteristic of malignity. This vice of our nature, so inveterate in our fallen state - the antithesis to the love which is the essence of goodness - is, strangely enough as it at first sight seems, most readily stimulated into rancour by differences in religion. As at this very same time at Corinth, so here in Galatia likewise, the "flesh" displayed its malignity in "jealousy, strife, and divisions (ζῆλος καὶ ἔρις καὶ διχοστᾶσίαι)," originating from this cause (1 Corinthians 3:3). "Emnities;" manifestations of aversion openly displaying itself. "Strife;" the outward mutual conflict of persons animated with such sentiments. The plural number of ἔρεις, strifes, given by the Textus Receptus, as well as, perhaps, the plural of ζῆλοι, jealousies, which not improbably should also be read in the singular, ζῆλος, jealousy, may have owed its introduction by the copyists to the plural number of ἔχθραι, which is not questioned. The precise import of ζῆλος, rendered "jealousy," is not easily determined. It is spoken of as a virtue in John 2:17, "the zeal of thine house;" Romans 10:2, "zeal for God;" Philippians 3:6, "touching zeal, persecuting the Church;" 2 Corinthians 7:7, "your fervent mind [or, 'your zeal'] for me;" ibid., ver. 11, "what zeal" But in perhaps all these cases, the ardent favouring of what is good is thought of as either ready to take, or actually taking, the aspect of boiling resentment against its assailants; thus also Hebrews 10:27 ("fiery indignation," Authorized Version), literally, "zeal of fire." So in Galatians 1:14, "zealous;" comp. Exodus 20:5, Θεὸς ζηλωτής, "jealous God" (Authorized Version); Hebrews el qanna To this line of meaning is to be referred Acts 5:17, "filled with indignation (ζήλου)." In another class of passages the word denotes a wrong state of feeling, where in the Authorized Version it is uniformly rendered "envy" or "envying.' ' These are Acts 13:45 (Revised Version, "jealousy" ), where it surely means the resentment which the Jews felt at the supposed invasion of their own theocratic prerogatives. In the remaining passages of the New Testament in which it occurs it is linked either with "strife," as it is here; namely, Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20; or with ἐριθεία, as James 3:14, 16. In these passages there does not seem any reason on the face of them for supposing that it means "envy," that is, grudging to another some advantage; this in Greek is φθόνος. A more probable view is that ζῆλος denotes eagerness to find in another some ground for hot resentment against him. Perhaps we have no single equivalent word in our language, "jealousy" being the nearest approach. In the Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, ch. 4-6, we have a long list of instances given of persons who have suffered through being objects of ζῆλος: in many of them "envy," or "rivalry," would seem to be the more prominent notion in the word; but in others it appears to mean rather "jealousy;" in some the same as in Acts 5:17 or Acts 13:45. The next word θυμοί, wraths, denotes violent ebullitions of passionate anger; the plural pointing to different occasions prompting such. The following term, ἐριθεῖαι (rendered "factious" ), was formerly imagined to be etymologically connected with ἔρις, strife - a notion which is now generally abandoned. The verb from which it is derived, ἐριθεύω, is to act the part of an ἔριθος, day-labourer, the noun signifying "labour for hire;" then, scheming or intriguing for a post of employment; and next, "party-action," "the contentious spirit of faction., In the New Testament it occurs six times besides here. In Romans 2:8, τοῖς δὲ ἐξ ἐριθείας (Authorized Version, "them who are contentious" ), it appears to denote those who set themselves in factious opposition to the truth, the apostle having no doubt especially in his eye Jewish gainsayers of the gospel. In Philippians 1:16, "some preach Christ ἐξ ἐριθείας," it points to factious opposition to Christ's divinely appointed heralds. In Philippians 2:3, "let nothing be done κατ ἐριθείαν," the same sense of factious opposition to others is quite suitable. In the remaining passages, 2 Corinthians 12:20, where ζῆλοι θυμοί ἐριθεῖαι, come together as they do here, and James 3:14-16, where, as above noted, it is coujoined with ζῆλον, the notion of "factiousness," or "faction," perfectly satisfies the context. In the present passage the plural, ἐριθεῖαι, denotes factious feelings roused on behalf of this cause and that; such sentiments as are likely to eventuate in διχοστασίαι, divisions, that is, more distinctly formed parties "standing apart" from each other; whilst these again culminate in αἱρέσεις. The noun διχοστασίαι, occurs also in 1 Corinthians 3:3, where they are spoken of as indicative of a fleshly mind. and in Romans 16:17, "Mark them which cause divisions and (σκάνδαλα) occasions of stumbling." We may regard this word as standing in the same relation to αἱρέσεις as the σχίσματα, "divisions," or "schisms," do which are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:18," When ye come together in the Church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and I partly believe it; for there must be also heresies among you." In endeavouring to ascertain the exact import of this last word (αἱρέσεις), "heresies," we must first ascertain the sense in which αἵρεσις was currently used before it was employed to describe phenomena appearing in the Church. The proper sense of "choice" was in this word often limited to the specific sense of "choice of views," particularly in philosophy or religion; that is, it meant "ways of thinking;" and then, by an easy transition, "those who followed a particular way of thinking"- "a school of thought." Thus it occurs in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 'De Dora. et Arist.,' 7, etc. (see Liddell and Scott). This sense was so current in Dionysius's time as to appear in Latin in the contemporary writings of Cicero; thus, in 'Protein. Parad.,' Cicero writes, "Care in ea est haeresi [sc. the Stoic], quae nullum sequitur florem orationis;" 'Ad Famil.,' 15:16; 'Ad Att.,' 14:14. Similarly Vitruvius writes, 'Prier.,' 5, "Pythagorae haeresin sequi." It is not always easy to discriminate whether the "school of thought" so designated means the way of thinking itself or the set of men who held it. In this sense the word is used in the New Testament. Thus Acts 5:17, "the high priest and all they that were with him, which is the heresy (αἵρεσις) of the Sadducees;" where it means the sect, and not their views. So again, Acts 15:5, "certain of those of the heresy of the Pharisees;" ibid., 24.5, "ringleader of the heresy of the Nazaraeans," where Tertullus plainly meant those who held the views of the Nazaraeans, and not the views themselves. But, on the other hand, in the same chapter St. Paul in his reply (ver. 14), when he says, "After the way which they call a heresy, so serve I the God of our fathers," evidently uses the term as applying to "the Way" itself (comp. Acts 9:2), and not to the people who followed it. In Acts 26:5, "after the straitest heresy of our religion (θρησκείας) I lived a Pharisee," the word may be taken either way. In Acts 28:22. "concerning this heresy, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against," it seems, of the two, to be rather the more obvious way to take it of "what Paul thought," than of the persons so thinking. If, however, it be taken of persons, it is of course to be taken of them as holding and representing such views. In 2 Peter 2:1, "false teachers, who shall privily bring in heresies of perdition," the qualifying genitive, "of perdition," would seem to favour our understanding the "heresies" of the doctrines of these false teachers, rather than of the parties following their teaching. On the whole review of these passages, it is of the utmost importance to note the manner in which, in Acts 24:14, etc., St. Paul treats Tertullus's application of the term to the Christian faith. "I confess," he says, "that after the way which they call αἵρεσις, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the Law, and which are written in the prophets: having hope towards God, which these also themselves look for, that there shall be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust." In thus speaking, the apostle repudiates the application of the term αἵρεσις to the Christian faith; not, however, on the ground that the term denoted a flagrantly erroneous and vicious form of doctrine; for there is nothing to show that this was the idea which Tertullus meant to convey to Felix's mind, in so designating either Christians or their faith: what, indeed, should Felix care about the soundness or unsoundness of their doctrines? The apostle rather repudiates the term, because, as signifying" choice," it implied that the views referred to were adopted on the prompting of individual opinion or liking. That it was not this, he shows by referring partly to the broad basis of Divine revelation in general as propounding the doctrine of the resurrection, which lay at the foundation of the Christian faith; and partly to the fact that his accusers themselves admitted that doctrine. Christians believed that Jesus was raised from the dead, not because they "chose" to think so, but because God's Word taught them so to believe. We are thus landed at the conclusion that, antecedently to its introduction into the language of the Church, the term αἵρεσις denoted a school of thought or a set of opinions; sometimes the opinions them-solves; sometimes the people holding them; but that it was understood to do so with reference to points on which there did not appear to be any decisive authority to determine men's convictions, and respecting which, therefore, men might choose their own opinions as they thought themselves best able, This conclusion will help us to understand its import in 1 Corinthians 11:19, in the passage before us, and in 2 Peter 2:1, as well as the passage in Titus 3:10, 11, in which the case of "a man that is an heretic (ἄνθρωπος αἱρετικός)" is dealt with. It is clear, from Galatians 1:6-9, that the apostle regarded the "gospel" which had been delivered to the world (Jude 1:3) by himself and his fellow-apostles, as being a revelation so certain and authoritative that any teacher introducing doctrine seriously infringing upon its substantial import would subject himself to the extreme malediction of God. The whole tenor of this Epistle shows that its author considered the Churches of Galatia as at this very time in danger of either producing from their own bosom, or else admitting from the teaching of others, doctrine which would be thus fatally subversive of the truth. Was it not, then, extremely probable that, when here enumerating, with an especial eye to the case of the Churches he was addressing, "the works of the flesh," which would cut off those who gave themselves up to their practice from the inheritance of the kingdom of God, he would specify this particular "work" of propounding, or embracing when propounded by others, doctrine which should vitally deprave the truth which God had revealed? Any doctrine which thus tampered with the gospel would, of course, be a αἵρεσις - views of men's own devising and "choosing." The term, as has been seen, might also describe a body of adherents to such false doctrine. But in the passage before us, in which the works of the flesh are recited, and not the doers of such works, the term must describe, not persons, but acts - acts, that is, of conceiving or propounding in the Church views subversive of the gospel, and gathering adherents to such views; such adherents would, among Christians, form a αἵρεσις antagonistic to the doctrine of Christ received in the Church. "Caballings" and "divisions,' ' ἐριθεῖαι and διχοστασίαι, might arise among Christians who still held fast to the substance of the gospel; fatal to the spiritual life, it might be, of those indulging in them; but yet essentially different from "heresies," because not involving departure from the faith once for all delivered to the saints, or conscious rebellion against the accredited organ d. It is of prime importance in estimating the nature of this "work of the flesh," with a practical view to our present circumstances, that we bear in mind this feature of it - that it is a relinquishment, a conscious relinquishment of the teaching of Christ, a breaking off from "the Head." The above view is precisely that given by Tertullian, ' De Prsescriptionibus Haereticorum,' 6. Bishop Lightfoot, in his Introduction to his Commentary on this Epistle, pp. 30, 31, writes thus: "It is not idle, as it might seem at, first sight, to follow the stream of history beyond the horizon of the apostolic age. The fragmentary notices of its subsequent career reflect some light on the temper and disposition of the Galatian Church in St. Paul's day. To Catholic writers of a later date, indeed, the failings of its infancy seemed to be so faithfully reproduced in its mature age, that they invested the apostle's rebuke with a prophetic import. Asia Minor was the nursery of heresy: and of all the Asiatic Churches it was nowhere so rife as in Galatia. The Galatian capital [Ancyra] was the stronghold of the Montanist revival, which lingered on for more than two centuries, splitting into diverse sects, each distinguished by some fantastic or minute ritual observance. Here, too, were to be found Ophites, Manicheans, sectarians of all kinds."
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.
Verse 21. - Envyings, murders (φθόνοι, [Receptus adds φόνοι, rejected by most editors]). These belong properly to the third group, and should have been placed in the same verse with them. We have the like alliterative combination of the Greek words in Romans 1:29, φθόνου φόνου. Judging from the evidence of manuscripts, the genuineness of φόνοι, is extremely doubtful. Regard being had to the particular circumstances of the Galatian Churches, which the apostle no doubt had in his eye in this enumeration, "murders' seems too strong a word to be appropriate; and this consideration seems to prove the word here not authentic. Drunkenness, revellings (μέθαι κῶμοι); drunkennesses, revellings. We have the same two plural nouns in Romans 13:13, κώμοις καὶ μέθαις. This fourth group represents sins of excess. Here, too, the apostle touches a form of vice, to which abundant testimony shows the Galatians, as well as other branches of Celts, to have been especially prone. It was, perhaps, this marked feature of the Galatian nationality in particular that led St. Peter, in addressing the Churches of "Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia," to speak (1 Peter 4:3) of their having formerly walked in "lasciviousness, lusts, wine-bibbings, revellings, carousings (οἰνοφλυγίας κώμοις πότοις), and abominable idolatries." And such like (καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις); and those (works) which arc like to these. Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past (ἅ προλέγω ὑμῖν καθὼς [Receptus, καθὼς καὶ] προεῖπον); of the which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you. The construction of the accusative is precisely similar to that of ὅν in John 8:54, Ὅν ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι Θεὸς ὑμῶν ἐστι. The πρὸ in προλέγω), as also in the προεῖπον which follows, has reference to the time when it shall actually be proved who are to enter into the kingdom of God. "As I did forewarn you;" this previous warning was probably given at his very first preaching of the gospel to them he would no doubt at once speak plainly to people, very commonly sunk in vice and excess, of the awards of the "judgment to come." That they which do such things (ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες): that they which practise such things. The present tense of πράσσοντες is more suitable than the aorist, as being the language of warning with reference to future conduct (cf. Romans 2:2, 3, 7-10). Shall not inherit the kingdom of God (βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν). The apostle uses the same words in writing to the Corinthians with reference to the sins to which they were the most prone (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10). So Ephesians 5:5, "No fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, which is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." This "kingdom" is also referred to in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, "Walk worthily of God who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory" ("His own!" Astonishing prospect!); 2 Thessalonians 1:5, "That ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer;" 2 Timothy 4:18, "will save me unto his heavenly kingdom." The like designation of the future felicity is given by St. Peter (2 Peter 1:11), "entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," and by St. James (it. 5), "heirs of the kingdom which he [God] promised to them that love him." It is derived from our Lord's own teaching, as, e.g. Matthew 25:34, "Inherit the kingdom prepared for you;" Luke 12:32, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." It is the manifestation and consummation of "that kingdom of heaven," or "kingdom of God," heralded by Christ and his forerunner as "at hand," which the Prophet Daniel had pointed forward to (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13, 14, 18). Bondage to "the flesh" in this life is constantly declared throughout the New Testament to form an insuperable bar to an entrance into that exalted state. And what is the alternative prospect? This the Apostle Paul does not here specify, though elsewhere he does so with awful emphasis; as e.g. Romans 2:8.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Verse 22. - But the fruit of the Spirit (ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ Πνεύματος). As it was with a hortatory purpose, to warn, that the apostle has before enumerated the vices into which the Galatian Christians would be most in danger of falling, so now with an answering hortatory purpose, to point out the direction in which their endeavours should lie, he reckons up the dispositions and states of mind which it was the office of the Holy Spirit to produce in them. In the Epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 3:12-15), written several years after, most of the features here specified reappear in the form of direct exhortation ("kindness, meekness, long-suffering, love, peace, thankfulness") - "joy" being there implicitly represented by thankfulness. The word fruit here takes the place of "works" in ver. 19, as being a more suitable designation of what are rather states of mind or habits of feeling than concrete actions like most of those previously enumerated "works." The word "fruit," moreover, describing in the vegetable world a matured product, is very commonly used in the New Testament with reference to such product as is not only of a pleasant but also of a useful kind; thus, "fruits meet for repentance;" the fruit of the True Vine in John 15:2-16 which glorifies God; the abundant fruit of wheat (John 12:24); the fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11; Hebrews 12:11); the fruit gathered by an evangelist (John 4:36; Romans 1:13); so that it was no doubt introduced here, as also in Ephesians 5:9, with the intended suggestion, that the graces here specified are results answering to the design of the great Giver of the Spirit's influences, and are in their own nature wholesome and grateful. The singular number of the noun is employed in preference to the plural, which is found e.g. Philippians 1:11 and James 3:17, in consequence probably of the feeling which the apostle had that the combination of graces described is in its entirety the proper outcome in each individual of the Spirit's agency; the character which he will fain evolve in every soul subject to his dominion, comprises all these features; so that the absence of any one mars in a degree the perfection of the product. The relation expressed by the genitive case of the noun, "of the Spirit," is probably much the same as is expressed by the corresponding genitive, "of the flesh;" in each case meaning "belonging to," or "due to the operation of;" for the agent who in the one case does the works is not the flesh, but the person acting under the influence of the flesh; so here, the fruit-bearer is not "the Spirit," but the person controlled by the Spirit. Comp. Romans 7:4, "that we might bring forth fruit unto God;" John 15:8, "that ye bear much fruit." These fruits do not appear upon us without strenuous endeavour on our own part. Accordingly the apostle exhorts the Philippians (Philippians 2:12, 13) to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, because they have so august a co-Agent working with and in them. Indeed, it is for the very purpose of prompting and directing such endeavour that this list of gracious fruits is here given (comp. ver. 25). The enumeration does not expressly mention such dispositions of mind as have God for their object. These, however, may be discerned as lying couched under the three first named, "love, joy, peace," and possibly under "faith;" certainly joy and peace are the proper products of our hearty acceptance of the gospel, and of that alone; they presuppose the establishment of a conscious state of reconciliation with God. But just here the apostle seems more especially concerned to show how blessed, under the Spirit's guidance, the Christian's state will be, and in what manner Christians as thus led will act towards one another (cf. vers. 15 and 26). The Christian life is habitually regarded by the apostle much more as a corporate, fellow-Christian, life, than, owing to various causes, some of which we may hope are now in course of removal, we modern Christians, and especially English Church, men, are in the habit of regarding it. Is love (ἔστιν ἀγάπη). We cannot separate this branch of Christian character from those which follow, as in essence distinct from them; it is organically connected with them, and in fact, as stated above (ver. 14), involves them all, being "the bond of perfectness" (Colossians 3:14). in the "dithyramb of love," chanted in 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle triumphantly proclaims this truth; as also on the other had in 1 Timothy 1:5 he affirms that true Christian love has its root in "a pure heart, a good conscience, and genuine faith." The soul cannot be free for the activity of genuine love, towards fellow-believers and towards fellow-creatures in general, as long as it is restrained in its emotions toward the supreme common Father of all; the inward vice of mind, whatever it may be, which darkens the spirit towards heaven must inevitably cramp and benumb benevolent action universally (comp. 1 John 5:2). In truth, ἀγάπη means a loving temper of mind which, like the love which God bears towards us, is in a degree irrespective of merit, welling forth towards all being, so far as circumstances permit; though with greatest intensity towards God and those in whom it can recognize the image of God. Hence St, John is able to reason as he does in 1 John 4:20, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen." Joy (χαρά). It is impossible to accept Calvin's notion, that this means a cheerful carriage towards fellow-Christians, though it includes it; it must mean the glad-heartedness produced by entire faith in God's love to us (comp. Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13). The exhortation which is here implied, that such sentiments should be carefully cherished, is elsewhere given explicitly and with reiteration; as e.g. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4. There is thus much ground for Calvin's view, that the inward feeling of satisfaction and joy, which is the proper fruit of a true Christian's faith in the gospel, cannot fail to manifest itself in his behavior towards his fellow-men by a sacred species of light-heartedness and hilarity which it is impossible for us to manifest or to feel, as long as we have within a consciousness of estrangement from God, or a suspicion that things are not well with us in relation to him. It is probable that the apostle, in writing down this word, did it with a consciousness of the contrast which is presented by the coldness and severity of feeling towards others which are begotten by the bondage of legality (comp. 1 Peter 1:22). Peace (εἰρήνη), This is conjoined with "joy" in the two passages of the Romans just before cited (Romans 14:17): "The kingdom of God [i.e. its great blessedness] is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit;" (Romans 14:13), "The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit;" in both which passages the "peace" referred to is the serenity of soul arising from the consciousness of being brought home to the favour of God and to obedience to his will. On the other hand, the term as here introduced seems likewise intended to stand in contrast with those sins of strife and malignity noted before among the works of the flesh, and therefore to point to peacefulness in the Christian community. The two are vitally connected: the Spirit produces peaceful harmony among Christians by producing in their minds, individually, a peaceful sense of harmony with God and a compliancy in all things with his providential appointments. This resigned trustfulness towards God quells at their very fountain-head those disturbances of passion and that inward fretting and impatience in reference to outward things, including the behaviour of others, which are the main causes of strife. The interdependence between inward and outward peace is indicated in 2 Corinthians 13:11; Colossians 3:14, 15. If "the peace of God rules, is arbitrator (βραβεύει), in our hearts" individually, if it "holds guard over our hearts and our thoughts" (Philippians 4:7), it cannot fail to produce and maintain harmony amongst us towards one another. Long-suffering, gentleness, goodness (μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη); long-sufferng, kindness, goodness. These are actings of the all-comprising grace of "love." For the two first, comp. 1 Corinthians 13:4, "Love suffereth long, is kind (μακροθυμεῖ χρηστεύεται);" while the third, "goodness," sums up the other actings of love enumerated in vers. 5 and 6 or the same chapter. It is difficult to distinguish between χρηστότης and ἀγαθωσύνη, except so far as that the former, which etymologically means "usableness," seems to signify more distinctly "sweetness of disposition," "amiability," "a compliant willingness to be serviceable to others." It is, however, repeatedly used by St. Paul of God's benignity (Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22; Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4), as ἀαθωσύνη also is by many thought to be in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, which last point, however, is very questionable. This latter term, ἀγαθωσύνη, occurs besides in Romans 15:14 and Ephesians 5:9, as a very wide description of human goodness, apparently in the sense of active benevolence. Faith (πίστις); faith or faithfulness. It is disputed in what precise shade of meaning the apostle here uses this term. The sense of "fidelity," which beyond question it bears in Titus 2:10, seems out of place, when we consider the particular evils which are now in his eye as existing or in danger of arising in the Galatian Churches. Belief in the gospel suits this requirement perfectly, and presents us with the apparently needed contrast to the "heresies" of ver. 20. If this sense seems not to be favoured by the immediate neighbourhood on one side of "kindness" and "goodness," it is, however, quite coherent with the "meekness" on the other, if we understand by this latter term a tractable spirit, compliant to the teaching of the Divine Word; comp. James 1:21, "receive with meekness the implanted word," and Psalm 25:9, "The meek [Septuagint, πρᾳεῖς] will he guide in judgment, the meek (πρᾳεῖς) will he teach his way." In Matthew 23:23, "judgment, mercy, and faith," the term seems (comp. Micah 6:8) to refer to faith towards God. In 1 Timothy 6:11, "righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness," there is no reason for interpreting it otherwise than as faith in God and his gospel; and if so, its collocation there with "love, patience, meekness," countenances us in taking it so here, where it stands in a very similar collocation. Comp. Ephesians 6:23, "Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Verse 23. - Meekness (πρᾳότης). (On this, see last note.) The humble submissiveness to the teachings of Divine revelation, to which this term probably points, stands in contrast with that self-reliant, headstrong impetuosity which in the temperament of the Celt is apt to hurry him into the adoption of novel ideas which he has not taken the trouble seriously to weigh. It may, however, stand in antithesis to self-reliant arrogance in general. Temperance (ἀγκράτεια); or, self-control. This stands opposed both to the "fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,' ' and to the "drunkenness and revellings "before mentioned. Against such there is no Law (κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστι νόμος); against such things as these the Law is not; or, there is no Law. As the apostle does not write "against these things," it seems that he viewed the foregoing list of graces as one of samples only and not as exhaustive; which fact is likewise indicated by the absence of the copulative conjunction (cf. Matthew 15:19); so that κατὰ τῶν, ' τοιούτων represents "and things the like to these; against which," etc. If we render, with the Authorized Version, "there is no Law," we must suppose still that the apostle means that the Law which all along he has been speaking of is in particular "not against them." "Against;" as in Galatians 3:21. The Law finds nothing to condemn in these things, and therefore no ground for condemning those who live in the practice of them; the same idea as is more explicitly brought out in Romans 8:1-4. There is a tone of meiosis, of suppressed triumph in this sentence. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's chosen ones?"
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Verse 24. - And they that are Christ's (οἱ δὲ τοῦ Ξριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ [Receptus omits Ἰησοῦ]; now they that are of the Christ Jesus. The expression, ὁ Ξριστὸς Ἰησοῦς is not a common one. It occurs besides in Ephesians 3:1, τοῦ Ξριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, where, however, as indeed here, editors are not quite unanimous in retaining Ἱησοῦ: and Colossians 2:6, τὸν Ξριστὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν Κύριον. Ξριστὸς Ἰησοῦς without the article is continually met with. The presence of the article seems to betoken that the word "Christ" is introduced as an official description rather than as a proper name, "the Christ Jesus" being thus a phrase similar to "the Lord Jesus." Not being so familiar to us as this latter, it appears at first more uncouth than it really is. To understand the precise force of the conjunction δέ, we must review the foregoing context. In vers. 16, 17 the apostle puts in contrast with each other, "walking by the Spirit" and "fulfilling the desire of the flesh." In the three following verses (19-21) he points out what kind of life the flesh prompts men to pursue, and its fatal consequences; in vers. 22, 23 the character formed by the Spirit's influence, and its blessed immunity from the censure of the Law. He is now concerned to show how these considerations apply to Christians. A Christian (he says) by becoming such puts away the flesh; is alive, therefore, if at all, by or to the Spirit; this being so, he must in all reason by the Spirit's direction rule his conduct. It results from this review that the δὲ turns the course of remark upon a new topic, namely, the essential character of a Christian's profession as a premiss to introduce the practical conclusion stated in ver. 25. The use of the possessive, "of the Christ Jesus," is similar to that in 1 Corinthians 3:23, "ye are Christ's;" Romans 8:9, "he is not his;" Romans14:8, "we are the Lord's." Comp. also 2 Timothy 2:19; Titus 2:14, "a people for his own possession;" Ephesians 1:14. We are made Christ's people, outwardly and in covenant, by baptism; but we cannot be his very own, really and vitally (Romans 8:9), unless through faith we recognize him as our Lord and of our own free will and deed attach ourselves heartily to his discipleship. In that hour of renunciation of sin we in truth "fasten the flesh to the cross." Have crucified the flesh (τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν). That is, have put it away from them, as a thing to be abhorred, that it might die the death. These three several particulars of thought appear combined in the mixt mode embodied in the word "crucified." The verb, denoting simply affixing to the cross, and not putting to death by crucifixion, intimates the lingering character of the death which the flesh was to undergo. It was, indeed, put away at once, by a final decisive act of the will; but it would still for a while continue to live. Viewed thus, the notion represented by the image harmonizes with the statement in ver. 17 of the continued conflict which is being waged within us between the flesh and the Spirit. The time when the Christian did thus affix the flesh to the cross is indicated by the form of expression, of being "of Christ;" there can have been no time since he has been Christ's at which this thing had not been already done. It is, alas, but too possible to take the flesh still living down from the cross and clasp it afresh to our bosom; but cherishing that as our friend, we are Christ's no longer. Above (Galatians 2:20) the apostle wrote, "I am hanging on the cross with Christ: but I live;" but with a different application of the image. There he was thinking of the relation into which his union with the crucified Jesus brought him with respect to the Mosaical Law. Here he has in view the renunciation of sin which accompanies the addiction of ourselves to Christ's service. There he himself is crucified; here, the flesh. The cross once more recurs in Galatians 6:9, with yet another reference. The description here given by the apostle of Christian conversion tallies well with that given by him in Romans 6:3-11. There, however, the change through which a man becomes a Christian is couched under a different image - that of a death and resurrection, analogous to and founded upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which, in baptism, administered according to the original primitive mode, are represented by the immersion in and the emerging from the water. While illustrating this image, the apostle further says (ver. 6), "Our old man was crucified with him (συνεσταυρώθη), that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be in bondage to sin;" where the Greek word rendered "was crucified with (him)" again denotes being affixed to the cross, in sympathy with him "who was made sin for us," with the view of bringing to nought "the body of sin "- which phrase, "body of sin," is nearly equivalent to "flesh," being the sum total of the vicious activities in which the flesh manifests itself; this bringing to nought or doing away (κατάργησις) of the body of sin, being the result ultimately to follow from the crucifixion, and not identical with it. In the passage in the Romans now referred to, the apostle brings to view, not only the just now cited description of the negative side of our regeneration, but also its positive side, of a passing into a new sphere of activities "walking in newness of life," and "living unto God in Christ Jesus." In our present passage the negative phrase is alone definitely stated. The difference is probably due to the fact that the figure of crucifying the flesh supplies the illustration of only the negative aspect; whereas baptism, with its watery burial and resurrection, represents the positive aspect as well. With the affections and lusts (σὺν τοῖς παθήμασι καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις); with its affections and its lusts. The difference between "affections" and "lusts" may be probably assumed to be this - that the former denotes disordered states of the soul viewed as in a condition of disease, well represented in the Authorized Version by "affections;" whine the latter points to the goings forth of the soul towards objects which it is wrong to pursue. In Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:11, and a number of other passages the noun παθήματα means "sufferings." Only once besides is it used in an ethical sense; in Romans 7:5 we read, "The παθήματα of sins which were through the Law wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death;" and in vers. 7, 8 the apostle instances "coveting" (ἐπιθυμία) as wrought by sin in his soul, by occasion of the commandment, "Thou shalt not covet." We seem led to conjecture that he meant that a sinful condition of the soul (πάθημα ἁμαρτίας) was by the commandment stimulated into a mere aggressive action. We have πάθος in Colossians 3:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:5, and the plural πάθη in Romans 1:26; in each case of exorbitant sexual desire. But in the apostle's use of παθήματα in its ethical sense we seem to have neither the notion of extreme intensity nor the limitation to one particular class of desire, which are both of them apparent in his use of πάθος. This clause, "with its affections and its lusts," adds nothing to the substantial sense of "the flesh." The apostle seems led to subjoin the words by a pathetic remembrance o the moral miseries appertaining to "the flesh" - "those affections and those desires thereof which are so hard to control, and which are at the same time so fatal to our welfare."
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Verse 25. - If we live in the Spirit (εἰ ζῶμεν Πνεύματι); if we live by, or to, the Spirit. Exact critics have commonly recognized the difficulty of precisely determining either the sense in which the dative case of Πνεύματι, is used, or the meaning of the verb "live." This verb is here distinguished from the verb of the next clause (στοιχῶμεν) in much the same way as it is distinguished from the verb "walk" (περιπατεῖν) in Colossians 3:7, "In the which ye also walked aforetime when ye lived in these things." In both passages it denotes the moral sphere of existence in which it is our ruling choice to live. In Colossians 3:7 the apostle says that their chosen sphere of existence was once worldliness and vice; and, when it was so, then they had followed in detail those different forms of degrading sin which he has specified in ver. 5. The verb "live" is used in the same sense of the general setting of our moral habits viewed as a whole in Colossians 2:20. "If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances, Handle not, etc.?" So, likewise Romans 6:2, "We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?" also Romans 8:13, "If ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye make to die the deeds of the body, ye shall live;" in which last passage the changed sense of the verb in the second sentence is noticeable. In the passage before us, the "we" of the verb ζῶμεν are of course the same persons as are recited by the phrase, "they who are of the Christ," in ver. 21. These persons have fastened the flesh to the cross; by a final, professedly irrevocable resolve, they have renounced sin. The purpose that was the proper, necessary concomitant of this, was to make the domain of the Spirit thenceforward their sphere of existence; their life was now to be in the Spirit; as the apostle writes (Romans 8:9)," Ye are not in (ἐν) the flesh, but in (ἐν) the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you;" for in this last passage the phrase, "in the Spirit," is contrasted with "in the flesh," each denoting the sphere of moral habits; in which sense "the flesh" is often used, as well as at other times of the vitiated nature itself, the indulgence in which characterizes that sphere. So probably "according, to the Spirit of holiness, in contrast to according to the flesh," in Romans 1:3, 4. Now, as in Romans 8:9 the apostle uses the word "Spirit" in two senses, first of the sphere of moral habits determined by the Spirit's influence, and then of the Holy Spirit itself, so he would appear to do here. In respect to the relation expressed by the dative case, although the ἐν of Romans 8:9 is here wanting, it admits of being taken of the sphere of being in which Christians as such live; for so we find the dative used in 1 Peter 3:18, "put to death (σαρκί) in the flesh, but quickened (Πνεύματ) in the Spirit," as also the dative σαρκὶ is constructed in Galatians 4:1 of the same Epistle. The relation expressed by the case, however, may be that which it denotes in Romans 6:2, 10, "die (ἁμαρτίᾳ) unto sin;" ibid., 11, "dead unto sin, alive unto God;" Romans 14:6, "live unto the Lord, die unto the Lord;" 2 Corinthians 5:15, "live unto him that died for them:" thus Bishop Lightfoot takes it. The "if" is logical rather than conditional; they who are Christ's have no life but in the Spirit, and are thus bound in the details of their conduct to act accordingly. Let us also walk in the Spirit (Πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν); by (or, unto) the Spirit let us also walk. The dative is here most naturally understood of the rule according to which we should walk. If the relation intended by the dative in the preceding clause is expressed by "to," it might be most convenient to render it similarly here; but even so, it must mean with reference to the Spirit as our rule and guide. The verb στοιχεῖν, "to move iv a (στοῖχος ι.ε. ) line or row with others" (see Liddell and Scott), is no doubt chosen in place of περιπατεῖν, the more usual word for "walk," as denoting an orderly, well-regulated way of behaviour. This tinge of meaning is discernible in the other instances of its use in the New Testament, as Galatians 6:16; Romans 4:12; Philippians 3:16.
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Verse 26. - Let us not be desirous of vain glory (μὴ γινώμεθα κενόδοξοι); let us not be vain-glorious. The communicative form of exhortation in which the speaker conjoins himself with those whom he addresses in order to soften the tone of superiority implied in exhorting them, connects this verse closely with the preceding one, in which also it is employed. Indeed, as in outward term of expression this verse coheres with ver. 25, so also in substance it coheres strictly with the whole passage beginning with ver. 13; for this is throughout levelled against a spirit of contentiousness then rife in the Galatian Churches. One cause to which the apostle thinks this ill state of things to be especially due was the spirit of vainglory or self-vaunting - a weakness to which the Celtic race has ever been markedly prone (see Lightfoot's 'Introduction,' p. 14). The softened form of exhortation visible in the use of the first person plural has been traced also by many critics in the use of the verb γινώμεθα as if the writer meant to imply that they were not as yet really vainglorious, but were in danger of becoming so. This, however, is not so clear. This verb is often used when there is no reference at all intended to passing out of a former state into a new one, but simply as meaning" show one's self," "be in act, so and so." Thus Romans 16:2, "she hath been (ἐγένετο) a succourer of many;" Philippians 3:6, "found (γενόμενος) blameless;" 1 Thessalonians 1:5, "what manner of men we showed ourselves (ἐγένηθημεν);" ibid., 1 Thessalonians 2:7; James 1:25. Very often is this verb so used in exhortations, and especially in the present tense; as Romans 12:16, "Be not (μὴ γίνεσθε) wise in your own conceits;" 1 Corinthians 4:16, "Be (γίνεσθε) imitators of me;" (so ibid., 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17); 1 Corinthians 10:32, "Be giving no occasion for stumbling (ἀπρόσκοποι γίνεσθε);" 14:20, "Be (γίνεσθε) not babes in understanding, but in understanding be (γίνεσθε) full-grown men;" and so often. In many of such cases there can be no reference to preceding conduct, whether in the way of approval or disapproval, but simply an exhortation to be or not to be so and so. The Authorized Version, therefore, is quite right in here rendering, "Let us not be," etc. The adjective κενόδοξος occurs only here in the New Testament, as the substantive κενοδοξία is only found in Philippians 2:3. The δόξα from which it is derived may be either "notion," "opinion," or "glory." Accordingly in Wisd. 14:14, and Ignatius, 'Ad Magnes,' 11, κενοδοξία appears to mean the following of vain, idle notions with which we may compare the words ὀρθόδοξος ἑτερόδοξος. But here κενόδοξοι is considered by most critics to mean "affecting, desirous of, empty glory;" so the Authorized Version, "desirous of vain glory," where "vain glory" are two words, not one. Such empty glory would mean glory founded on distinctive qualities, which either are merely imaginary, not existing at all, or which, if there, give no real title to honour. Perhaps, however, the δόξα of this compound is always "notion," "opinion," only varying so far in meaning as sometimes to denote opinions respecting ourselves; as Suidas says, "κενοδοξία, a vain thinking respecting one's self;" at other times, notions about ether matters. The best interpretation of the word as here used is suggested by the apostle's own words in the next chapter (ver. 3), "if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." As again in Philippians 2:3," Doing nothing through faction or through vain glory;" the sense of the second noun is illustrated by the converse, "But in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself," suggesting its meaning to be the disposition to claim a superiority over others which we are not entitled to. "Wise in our own conceits" (Romans 12:16) is one form of this vicious quality; but there are others, all, however, fundamentally and intensely inimical to a spirit of loving sympathy with other men. Provoking one another, envying one another (ἀλλήλους προκαλούμενοι ἀλλήλοις φθονοῦντες); challenging one another, envying one another. Here again are two Greek words found nowhere else in the New Testament - προκαλοῦμαι and φθονῶ. The rendering of the first in the Authorized Version, "provoking," is perhaps not meant in the sense in which this English verb is now commonly used, and in which it also frequently occurs in our English Bible, of "making angry," but in the proper sense of the Latin verb prorocantes, "challenging,' ' e.g., to legal controversy, or to battle, or to mutual comparative estimation in any way. Any superiority, real or imaginary, in gifts spiritual (as eharisms) or natural, in eloquence, in theological acquirements, in qualification for office, in public estimation, even in moral consistency (for what follows in Galatians 6:1 seems to point in this last direction), might be among the Galatians either an occasion for self-vaunting or a subject of envy on the part of those who felt themselves cast in the shade. What it was in actual facts which gave the apostle Occasion for administering this implied reproof, it is impossible to conjecture Therein an evident correlation between the "challenging: on the part of those who felt themselves strong, and the "envying" on the part of those who found themselves weak; both faults being, however, traceable to one and the same root - the excessive wish to be thought much of.

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