Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Galatians 6

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

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Verses 1-5

Galatians 6:1-5 . Third safeguard. If things become bad and a Christian falls into open fault, loving Christian friends (acting as individuals rather than as a church? But, on any view, the verse is an important contribution towards a theory of church discipline) may restore him again. The only thing which could hinder this would be self-righteous pride, which thwarts all good. By thus bearing each other’ s burdens, we fulfil Christ’ s true “ law”— if we are humble. If, however, we think ourselves too good to sympathise with our stumbling brothers, we are deluded. Let us look closer into our own hearts and lives! It is quite true that, in the end, every one is to answer for himself to God ( cf. Romans 14:12) and to bear his own “ load” ( mg.; a different word from that rendered “ burdens” in Galatians 6:2; not that anything is to be made of this except that Paul varies the word when he varies the idea). We may now help to make our neighbours better. But at the end God will judge us all one by one, each just as he is. May we throw back our thoughts to Galatians 5:10?

Verses 1-10

Galatians 5:13 to Galatians 6:10 . Practical appendix to the epistle; in the form of “ guarding” the doctrine of free grace against antinomian abuse.

Verse 6

Galatians 6:6 . Paul thinks he has done with his moral safeguards, and turns to one special duty— that of paying Christian teachers. But presently he feels that something more must be said.

Verses 7-10

Galatians 6:7-10 . Last safeguard: the natural law of God’ s universe stands. Those who propose to make the gospel of grace an excuse for laxity think they can laugh in their sleeves at the Creator, but “ You’ ve gut to git up airly Ef you want to take in God.” No sowing without reaping, and no reaping without sowing— one kind or the other; to flesh or to spirit. Patience only is needed in continuing to “ sow to the spirit” and to “ do well.” Galatians 6:10 returns in a broader way to the theme of Galatians 6:6. We must do good to others, especially to fellow Christians. But this linking of Galatians 6:7-10 with Galatians 6:6 does not disprove our view, that the statement of the final terrible safeguard is an afterthought.

Verses 11-16

Galatians 6:11-16 . Autograph postscript. “ Large” letters need not be literally meant in late Greek; but what else can the word mean here? “ How large a letter” (AV) is not a legitimate translation. Probably the reason is bad sight ( cf. Galatians 4:15), possibly desire for emphasis; as we print in italics or capitals. A very unfavourable estimate of the moral character of the Judaizers is added. They are not really in earnest in their campaign. They are far from being strict Jews personally, but they pride themselves on making proselytes. The true Christian glories in no flattering successes— only in that cross of Christ which brings our old life to a close and separates us for ever from the world. Those thus crucified with Christ and new-created in His resurrection are God’ s true Israel ( cf. Psalms 73:1) whether they be Jew or Gentile.

Verse 17

Galatians 6:17 . Final personal message. Let no one dare henceforth to trouble Christ’ s slave, branded (by persecutions; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff.) as his master’ s property.

Verse 18

Galatians 6:18 . A brief benediction to those whom he still calls “ brethren.”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Galatians 6". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/galatians-6.html. 1919.
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