Galatians
Chapter 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary for Galatians 5

An earnest exhortation to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel. (1-12) To take heed of indulging a sinful temper. (13-15) And to walk in the Spirit, and not to fulfil the lusts of the flesh: the works of both are described. (16-26)1-6 Christ will not be the Saviour of any who will not own and rely upon him as their only Saviour. Let us take heed to the warnings and persuasions of the apostle to stedfastness in the doctrine and liberty of the gospel. All true Christians, being taught by the Holy Spirit, wait for eternal life, the reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope, as the gift of God by faith in Christ; and not for the sake of their own works. The Jewish convert might observe the ceremonies or assert his liberty, the Gentile might disregard them or might attend to them, provided he did not depend upon them. No outward privileges or profession will avail to acceptance with God, without sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. True faith is a working grace; it works by love to God, and to our brethren. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. The danger of old was not in things of no consequence in themselves, as many forms and observances now are. But without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value.

7-12 The life of a Christian is a race, wherein he must run, and hold on, if he would obtain the prize. It is not enough that we profess Christianity, but we must run well, by living up to that profession. Many who set out fairly in religion, are hindered in their progress, or turn out of the way. It concerns those who begin to turn out of the way, or to tire in it, seriously to inquire what hinders them. The opinion or persuasion, ver. #8|, was, no doubt, that of mixing the works of the law with faith in Christ in justification. The apostle leaves them to judge whence it must arise, but sufficiently shows that it could be owing to none but Satan. It is dangerous for Christian churches to encourage those who follow, but especially who spread, destructive errors. And in reproving sin and error, we should always distinguish between the leaders and the led. The Jews were offended, because Christ was preached as the only salvation for sinners. If Paul and others would have admitted that the observance of the law of Moses was to be joined with faith in Christ, as necessary to salvation, then believers might have avoided many of the sufferings they underwent. The first beginnings of such leaven should be opposed. And assuredly those who persist in disturbing the church of Christ must bear their judgment.

13-15 The gospel is a doctrine according to godliness, #1Ti 6:3|, and is so far from giving the least countenance to sin, that it lays us under the strongest obligation to avoid and subdue it. The apostle urges that all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. If Christians, who should help one another, and rejoice one another, quarrel, what can be expected but that the God of love should deny his grace, that the Spirit of love should depart, and the evil spirit, who seeks their destruction, should prevail? Happy would it be, if Christians, instead of biting and devouring one another on account of different opinions, would set themselves against sin in themselves, and in the places where they live.

16-26 If it be our care to act under the guidance and power of the blessed Spirit, though we may not be freed from the stirrings and oppositions of the corrupt nature which remains in us, it shall not have dominion over us. Believers are engaged in a conflict, in which they earnestly desire that grace may obtain full and speedy victory. And those who desire thus to give themselves up to be led by the Holy Spirit, are not under the law as a covenant of works, nor exposed to its awful curse. Their hatred of sin, and desires after holiness, show that they have a part in the salvation of the gospel. The works of the flesh are many and manifest. And these sins will shut men out of heaven. Yet what numbers, calling themselves Christians, live in these, and say they hope for heaven! The fruits of the Spirit, or of the renewed nature, which we are to do, are named. And as the apostle had chiefly named works of the flesh, not only hurtful to men themselves, but tending to make them so to one another, so here he chiefly notices the fruits of the Spirit, which tend to make Christians agreeable one to another, as well as to make them happy. The fruits of the Spirit plainly show, that such are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid and oppose, and what we are to cherish and cultivate; and this is the sincere care and endeavour of all real Christians. Sin does not now reign in their mortal bodies, so that they obey it, #Ro 6:12|, for they seek to destroy it. Christ never will own those who yield themselves up to be the servants of sin. And it is not enough that we cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. Our conversation will always be answerable to the principle which guides and governs us, #Ro 8:5|. We must set ourselves in earnest to mortify the deeds of the body, and to walk in newness of life. Not being desirous of vain-glory, or unduly wishing for the esteem and applause of men, not provoking or envying one another, but seeking to bring forth more abundantly those good fruits, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Galatians 5

  • Fred scanlan on Galatians 5
    Being intimidated by others for your confidence in Christ should be expected, even today as it was then. Faith in christ is found in Him only. We should not judge one another based on a work righteous faith. Paul uses the word biting one another. How many times we offend one another? Being called to liberty in Christ , using this liberty to love one another, while being in Christ causing divisions within the church. It is impossible but offences will come. Some would find any reason to continue against Christ, or believe salvation is without the works of the law, who Paul claimed he was chief of, while leaders in the church still deny him!
  • Mae on Galatians 5
    I read all comments and critically analysed each one, I could not help but noticed no one actually admits to falling in any of these categories! As a serving Christian, I can describe myself as one with many flaws, even though I am seen to others as always doing the right thing.
    After reading Galatian 5 I had to do a self-evaluation, where I use to blame others for their behaviour I am now thinking that I may have contributed to creating the problems based on my reaction or overzealousness, possible obsessive behaviour, pride or lacking self-control which can lead to provocation. these are contributing factors that cause conflicts amongst our family members & peers. let's pray Gal 5: 22- 25
  • Sebastian on Galatians 5
    LOVE is the key fruit here. The other 8 fruits ripples from the first fruit.
  • Sebastian on Galatians 5
    The 9 fruits mentioned are the fruits of the holy spirit. if we have the spirit of god living in us, we must give him the preeminence to reign over our life/body. we must not grieve (ephesians 4:30) or quench (1 thes 5:19) him.

    "the longer we serve him the sweeter he grows the more that we love him more love he bestowed"
  • Ivy Johnson on Galatians 5
    But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    Meekness, temperance:
    The fruit of the spirit: although it consists of nine different words,
    it is counted as one, and not many.
    Why is it that way?
    When we begin to read what the fruit of the Spirit is,
    Paul is not naming different kinds of Fruits, that the Spirit gives.
    Instead he is describing the different characteristics of the grace that
    is working in us.
    Amen!
  • Patricia Walborn on Galatians 5
    I use Galations 5:22 and 23, as a test for me, in relationships and experiences, especially when dealing with family. We can not lead, where we do not walk. As a radio operator calls in heavy artillery when the battle rages against us by the enemy of our souls, so must we remain in conscious prayer for our own responses and standing,to be effective in our service, as, Christian, to all.
  • Laroy on Galatians 5
    It exposes the lies we tell each other regarding the sins we commit. No sin is okay and another is wrong. Jehovah abhors all sin regardless of man's acceptance and practices! His doctrines will not change. Be you, drunkard, homosexual, liar, thief, pedophile, murderer or indulgent in other sins, you are against God and can not enter into heaven! People saying otherwise are fools for Satan!
  • Sally on Galatians 5
    Ye did run well who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
  • Dana - in Reply on Galatians 5
    there was a between these statements. people run here and there looking, running well. but if you run the wrong direction, what hinders you? Satan leads us down the wrong path. truth leads us the right way.
  • C.banks2010 on Galatians 5
    scriptures the married women paster had mentioned, it was about giving 2 others building up the community that she lived in. also using her paychecks 2 help others so they can grow up. she was teaching 2 not think that she was above others in her community but she felt she was there 2 serve. she discussed every part of galatians how she used it to help serve her community.


 

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