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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Galatians 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-10

Exhortation to Walk in Liberty - After writing at length about his divine calling and the relationship of the Mosaic Law within the new covenant in Christ Jesus Paul then exhorts the Galatians to stand fast in their freedom and not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. In order to walk in this freedom in Christ Jesus, Paul gives them some guidelines to follow regarding the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of their lifestyle ( Galatians 5:1 to Galatians 6:10).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Mental: Understanding Our Liberties — Galatians 5:1-15

2. Spiritual: Walking in Our Liberties — Galatians 5:16-26

3. Physical: Helping Others to Walk in Their Liberties — Galatians 6:1-10


Verses 1-15

Mental: Understanding Our Liberties - Galatians 5:1-15 places emphasis upon our mental realm by helping the Galatians to understand their liberties in Christ Jesus. Paul first exhorts them to make a decision to stand fast in their liberties ( Galatians 5:1), and not to have any other mindset ( Galatians 5:10). Their freedom in Christ will be maintained by developing their mental understanding of their liberties and making a decision not to compromise in any area.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1 Comments- Galatians 5:1 makes an exhortative conclusion from Galatians 4:21-31, in which he uses the allegory of Hagar and Sarah. He now says that Christ Jesus has set us free from the yoke of bondage, and within the context of this epistle, this bondage primarily refers to the Mosaic Law. Paul uses a Hebrew idiom to describe the liberties of a child of God, literally saying, "He has freed us in freedom." Paul is essentially saying that Christ Jesus has set us entirely free from every bondage of this world.

Galatians 5:1-15 brings out two dangers that the Christian must be aware of, that of legalism and libertinism.

(1) Legalism ( Galatians 5:1-12) - Legalism refers to the Mosaic Law used after their conversion to Jesus Christ, which ideas are seen in Colossians 2:20-22, "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?" We see legalism today in the doctrines of men, such as the teaching that no one is to work on Sundays.

(2) Liberalism or Libertinism ( Galatians 5:13-15) - Liberalism, or libertinism, is the opposite of legalism. Our liberties should not lead to sin, as in Romans 6:1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" We also see this idea in Jude 1:4, "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Therefore, it is necessary to be led by the Spirit of God ( Galatians 5:16), as in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Galatians 5:1Comments- Joyce Meyer said that being free is not being free from problems; rather, it is being free from fleshly reactions to problems. 108] Serving the flesh is bondage. However, walking in the Spirit is liberty.

108] Joyce Meyer, Life in the Word (Fenton, Missouri: Joyce Meyer Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:2"Behold, I Paul say unto you" - Comments- Already Paul has said much to them. This phrase shows that in that Paul's heart there is an earnestness in his voice and in his heart to plead for them to receive his words. This earnest plea is also seen in Galatians 3:1, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"

"that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing" - Comments - Paul is saying that if a person trusts in his circumcision to achieve his right standing with God, if he has added circumcision as an additional condition of salvation, then the atonement of Jesus Christ has no value in his life.

Paul had contended for the liberties of the Gospel for years. He was at the center of the controversy over circumcision that arose at Antioch, which was later settled in Jerusalem at the first church council ( Acts 15:1-2, Galatians 2:1-10). His zeal for this message still burns years later when Judaziers try to bring the Galatians into the bondage of the teaching that circumcision was a necessary part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Galatians 5:3Comments - In becoming a debtor to the Law, a man becomes entangled again to the present Jerusalem and its legal system, to Mount Sinai, where the Law was instituted.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4"ye are fallen from grace" - Comments- Noah found grace in God's eyes ( Genesis 6:8-9). When we stop trusting God and doing as others do, we lose God's favor, though we may gain man's favour. God is not pleased without faith in Him ( Hebrews 11:6) and we fall out of His grace and favor.

Genesis 6:8-9, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."

Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he Isaiah , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Paul made a similar statement to the Corinthians when he begged them not to receive God's grace in vain ( 2 Corinthians 6:1).

2 Corinthians 6:1, "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."

Note that Paul received grace from God in Galatians 2:9, "And when James , Cephas, and John , who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

Galatians 5:4Comments- Galatians 5:4 is a troublesome passage for those who embrace the doctrine of eternal security, or once-saved-always-saved, since this verse so clearly states that a believer can lose his standing of grace with God. The doctrine of eternal security states that once saved, a believer cannot lose his position of saving grace with God under any circumstances; thus requiring them to give a special interpretation to this verse of Scripture. However, this passage means exactly what it says. Although we were justified when we believed in Jesus Christ, by which we initially found our position of grace in God's sight, it is the office of Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father interceding for us that maintains our position of justification and grace. As we confess our sins regularly, Jesus intercedes for us before the Heavenly Father, who keeps us under His grace. Galatians 5:4 reveals that it is indeed possible for a believer to fall out of this position of grace. It explains that we can remove ourselves from this position when we reject Jesus' work of redemption and no longer rely upon Him for our daily cleansing of sin. Instead, the believers of Galatia were returning to their reliance upon the Law in order to maintain their right standing before God. This was all in vain because Jesus not only provides our only way of salvation, but His present-day office as our High Priest maintains our position of justification and grace before the Father.

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

Galatians 5:5Comments- We are waiting for the redemption of our bodies ( Romans 8:23-24). The groanings within ourselves mentioned in Romans 8:23-24 mean that our inner Prayer of Manasseh , i.e, our spirit, is waiting to be released from this mortal, sinful flesh, which we have no hope in as to become righteous ( Romans 7:24). Under the law, you can see circumcision and works of the law. There, a person's hope of being righteous before God is visible through circumcision and other works of the law. We, as children of God, hope for deliverance from our bodies, and ultimately, a perfect and complete fellowship with our heavenly Father.

Romans 8:23-24, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?"

Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

However, we must wait for our redemption by faith ( Hebrews 11:1).

Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Galatians 5:6"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision" - Comments- Circumcision is not able to accomplish anything. Instead, it has an out ward appearance of religion but does nothing to check the indulgences of the flesh ( Colossians 2:23). The NIV says, "they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."

Colossians 2:23, "Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

1 Corinthians 7:19, "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God."

Galatians 6:15, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

Galatians 5:6 — "but faith which worketh by love" - Comments (1) - Faith operates, expresses itself, displays its activity, or manifests itself through love. One author explains Galatians 5:6 in the following way. Just as a man is able to follow the civil laws of a nation because the moral laws of the Ten Commandments are written in his heart, so do the laws of faith operate because the law of love is written in his heart. For example, if a man did not have any moral convictions, he would not be inclined to obey civil laws in treating his neighbour well. However, if the foundation of the moral laws found in the Ten Commandments are in a man's heart, he is very willing and able to follow all of the civil laws that he knows, because he walks in the fear of God. In the same way, when a man walks in the law of love as the motive for his actions, this provides the foundational law upon which the laws of faith are able to operate in a man's life. Faith dwells in our hearts. Love is expressed by our actions. Thus, our actions of love serve as an expression of our faith in God.

Circumcision was given to Abraham to signify that the laws of God were written in his heart. This is what Moses meant when he rebuked the children of Israel by telling them to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts.

Deuteronomy 10:16, "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked."

Just because a Jew is circumcised, it does not mean that his heart is clean before God. Circumcision does not mean that a man has faith in God. Neither does uncircumcision determine the attitude of a man's heart. Love is the determining factor of whether a person has faith in God or not. Therefore, love is the foundation upon which faith is expressed and manifested in a person's life. In contrast, faith is not expressed by circumcision, that Isaiah , by being a Jew.

For example, King David was a man of great faith. He was also a man that walked in love. When he was being persecuted by King Saul, or being cursed by Shimei, David responded in a God-kind of love. David was able to respond like this because of his great love and faith towards God ( 1 Samuel 24:8-15, 2 Samuel 16:5-12.).

The heart is the wellspring of love, as well as the source of faith. Look at a young couple who fall in love. In a very short while, there are deep feelings and a strong heartfelt love. This love will bind a couple together in faith, regardless of distance or circumstances. When there is this same deep, heartfelt love for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, faith comes easily. We cannot doubt the one we love. As we live a life in fellowship with the Lord, God will bring us to a place of perfect love, and thus perfect faith, a faith that can move mountains. To the measure that a man lives a pure and holy life, he will walk in that measure of faith towards his Beloved Saviour.

Thus, we know that faith does avail. BDAG says the Greek word ισχυω, translated here "worketh," means, "to be valid," or to "have power." It refers to having strength in our Christian walk."

In Hebrews 11:1-2, we see what faith is and that only by faith working in our lives will we obtain a good witness before God.

Let's look at faith at work and find love being expressed. When Abraham offered up Isaac, he loved God and sought to obey Him. When Rahab helped the messengers, she feared God more than man. This shows her love towards God ( James 2:21-25).

Note Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." The Hebrew word for "covereth" ( הסכ) (H 3680) means, "to cover (for clothing or secrecy)" (Strong). Hatred tries to expose sins. The word "all" means that there is no wrong done against you that love cannot help you deal with. For example, the ministry of Corrie ten Boom illustrates a believer's ability to forgive even the worst of wrongdoing. She spent years in a Nazi concentration camp, yet she learned to forgive her German oppressors. 109]

109] Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place (New York: Random House, Inc, 1982).

How does faith work by love?

1. By not gossiping:

Proverbs 17:9, "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."

Illustration: As a young seminary student, I saw Southcliff Baptist Church dismiss song leader quietly without announcing this to the congregation. The purpose was to save embarrassment.

Proverbs 11:13, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." This is the same Hebrew word here for "covereth" ( כּסה) (H 3680).

Ecclesiastes 10:20, "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."

1 Peter 4:8, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Note:

There are times to reveal and to confess. Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."

When they are your sins, in confessing sins, you also have to deal with the person(s) who was (were) wronged and make things right with them.

First, we have wronged God:

Psalm 51:4, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."

2. By converting the sinner:

a. By confronting a sinner with his sins:

Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

James 5:20, "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

b. By fervent Prayer

Galatians 4:19, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,"

Colossians 4:12, "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

3. By forgiving:

Psalm 85:2, "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah." Note that forgiving and covering are synonyms.

Jesus:

Luke 23:34, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

Stephen:

Acts 7:60, "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

4. By overlooking faults:

1 Corinthians 13:7, "Bears all things." Literally: to put a root over.

BDAG, "(1) cares, passes over in silence, keeps confidential. Of love that throws a cloak of silence over what is displeasing in another person. (2) To bear, stand, endure."

Some matters have to be endured (dealt with) by trying to ignore or cover them over by silence, etc.

5. By thinking no evil:

Do not dwell on bad thoughts about others.

Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Song of Solomon , in conclusion, love covers any kind of sin against you, no matter how often multitude it comes.

Comments (2) - We are to seek to walk in faith in order that we may be able to love more. God can only trust those with His power and gifts who walk in love. The more God can trust us as stewards of His love, the more power and anointing with which He can entrust us.

Comments (3) - In Galatians 5:6 Paul is referring to brotherly love between those of diverse backgrounds. It has been my experience that when we walk in love with others, the blessings of God are in our lives. We are not in sickness because one of these blessings is divine health. We are not poor and lacking because another aspect of divine blessings is abundance. When our hearts are right with God, then our conscience does not condemn us. When our conscience is pure, we have confidence towards God in our prayers of faith. It is this prayer with a clean conscience that moves the heart of God to respond to our faith and trust in Him. Creflo Dollar said that a believer will never go beyond the level of his character. 110]

110] Creflo Dollar, "Sermon" (Fort Worth, Texas: Kenneth Copeland's Southwest Believer's Conference), 7 August 2007.

Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Galatians 5:7Comments- Paul knew who had hindered them, but he wanted them to know also.

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

Galatians 5:7-8Comments The Source of This Hindrance- Paul knew who had hindered the Galatians when he asked them this question, but they needed to know. Paul himself had been hindered by Satan ( 1 Thessalonians 2:18), so he knew the source of this trouble.

1 Thessalonians 2:18, "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us."

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Galatians 5:9Comments- Your spirit, soul, and body can all become corrupt if one part is allowed to continue in sin ( 2 Corinthians 7:1).

2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Also:

Ecclesiastes 9:18, "Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good."

Galatians 5:10 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.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Galatians 5:11 — "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision" - Comments - The word "yet" means that Paul the apostle used to preach circumcision as Saul the persecutor of the Church. After encountering Christ Jesus on the Damascus Road, he began to preach Christ.

The primary characteristic of the Mosaic Law was circumcision. The act of circumcision served as an "induction" into life under the Law. Thus, the preaching of circumcision represents the preaching of the Mosaic Law, which brings us into bondage.

"why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased" - Comments - In contrast, the preaching of the Cross declares men to be sinners and without hope outside Christ Jesus, and is designed to set us free. The preaching of the Cross is an offence to those who justify their sinful lifestyles and reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

Galatians 5:12Word Study on "cut off" - Strong says the Greek word ἀ ποκό πτω (G 609) means, "to amputate, to mutilate." BDAG says this word is used in extra-biblical literature to mean, "cut off (one's limbs or other body parts)," but in Galatians 5:12 it means, "to castrate, to make a eunuch."

Comments - In Galatians 5:12 Paul takes the practice of circumcision and exaggerates it into castration and imposes it upon the Judaizers so that the Galatians will see the useless value of circumcision.

Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Galatians 5:13Comments- We have been freed from the Law of sin and death. In Galatians 5:13 Paul exhorts the believers not to use this liberty for an occasion, or opportunity, to continue in sin. In the epistle of Galatians , Paul was speaking to a primarily Greek culture and teaching them not to be bound by the "elements of the world" ( Galatians 4:3; Galatians 4:9). This included the traditions that these societies placed upon the people. Note how Paul immediately qualifies these liberties in Christ by warning them not to serve their flesh, but rather, learn to walk in love. I saw a clear example of this in a restaurant in Dubai today (June 24, 2004). There was a young Arabic man and woman having a meal together who were not dressed in the traditional head coverings. They were acting very "westernized" in their behavior as a result of the liberties they had taken in their dating lifestyle. If I were to have spoken to them, I would have sounded like Paul did in Galatians 5:13 by saying that they were not wrong by laying aside their traditional clothing, but that they were using their liberties for fleshly desires.

Many non-Christian cultures impose traditions upon their people in order to maintain controls on immoral behaviour. Non-Western cultures are much more rigid on dating and marriage than the modern world and this helps avoid sexual promiscuity until marriage. The excessive liberties on developed countries have a real problem in this area that more rigid societies have under control. Therefore, Paul was having to be careful not to tear apart his society, but to teach the believers that there were much more liberties in Christ than what their society allowed. However, these liberties must be managed by a rule of thumb, which he defined as the love walk.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Galatians 5:14Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - Galatians 5:14 quotes from Leviticus 19:18 :

Leviticus 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

Note also:

Matthew 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

Romans 13:8, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."

Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

Galatians 5:15Comments- Galatians 5:15 describes a clear description of the works of the devil ( 1 Peter 5:8). We can see a progressive order in biting, devouring and consuming. Biting reflects the initial stage of Satan working to hinder a believer, with devouring describing a more intense act of destruction, while consumption refers to total annihilation.

1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

Illustration- One day while I was working for Al Shukoske I saw something moving in the grass behind his barn. As observed closer, it was a big black snake twirling around with a shorter snake in its mouth. He had given the small snake a deadly bite, which was bleeding on its side. Slowly, the black snake eased his grip closer to the small snake's head, and finally, swallowed head and all. Later, I found the dead carcass of this consumed snake by a tree on the ground. It did not seem as if the victorious snake had benefited in consuming the smaller snake, being swallowed, because its size was still the same, except perhaps in gaining this territory.


Verses 16-26

Spiritual: Walking in Our Liberties - Galatians 5:16-26 places emphasis upon the spirit realm where Paul explains how to walk in liberty by being led by the Holy Spirit. In this passage Paul explains the need to develop their inner spirit by learning how to be led by the Spirit and no longer yield to the lusts of the flesh ( Galatians 5:16).

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit" - Comments- We walk in the Spirit by conducting our lives under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Kenneth Hagin says, "Walking in the Spirit is walking in the fruit of the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is walking in love." 111] The epistle of Romans defines this walk as "yielding yourselves unto God."

111] Kenneth Hagin, Love the Way to Victory (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1994, 1995), 28.

Romans 6:12-13, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

Galatians 5:16 — "and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" - Comments- Note that it does not mean that you will not feel fleshly desires or that you will not wrestle against those desires; because you will experience a battle. Instead, it means that the will of God and the spirit will win out over the flesh.

Galatians 5:16Comments- A key phrase in the epistle of Colossians is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" ( Colossians 1:27). Because the passage in Colossians 1:24-29 is a reference to the role of the Holy Spirit in Christ's lordship over the Church, we may interpret this phrase to refer to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Because the theme of the epistle to the Colossians is the lordship of Jesus Christ, Paul phrases this in reference to the indwelling of Jesus Christ rather than of the Holy Spirit. In his epistle to the Galatians Paul will expound upon the role of the Church in Christ's lordship by exhorting us to "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh," ( Galatians 5:16). Thus, since Christ dwells in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are exhorted to be led by the Spirit as a way of allowing Christ to be lord over us. As we try to become better Christians, attempting to conduct our lives without sin, we find ourselves failing. When we wait upon God and move by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves able to walk above sin and selfishness. The Law could not bring perfection in our lives, nor can our best efforts apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Galatians 5:17 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.

Galatians 5:17 — "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" - Comments- The doing is what you allow the members of your body to accomplish, do, or work. The wishing here is in one's heart or spirit ( Romans 7:22).

Romans 7:22, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:"

Scripture References- Note similar passages:

Romans 7:25, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

Romans 8:13-14, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Galatians 5:18 — "But if ye be led of the Spirit" - Comments- One day, as I was praying and asking the Lord how to be led by the Spirit, so that I do not fall into temptation, The Lord showed me an illustration out of my own life to say that many temptations are obvious to us, and we do not need an unction to resist them. We have already received a word from God on many obvious temptations.

My experience in being led by the Holy Spirit is that often, in the early morning hours, I will be write down a number of things that the Spirit quickens for me to do that day. I call this a sort of to-do-list. Then, when I am at work, I will refer to this list of projects to do that the Spirit reminded me in the morning to do ( John 14:26). This is one way that the Spirit works and leads us to set our day in order.

I do not necessarily "feel" an unction from the Holy Spirit during the day as I am working thru my to-do-list; but, I know that I am being led by the Holy Spirit from the morning unction. Therefore, being led by the Spirit does not always coincide with the unction to do the task. This is what the Scripture means when it says, "we walk by faith and not by sight" ( 2 Corinthians 5:7). However, there are those wonderful times when an unction is evident as we walk in this leadership of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

2 Corinthians 5:7, "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Galatians 5:23, "Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Romans 8:14-15, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

Galatians 5:19-23 Testimonies of the Spirit and the Flesh - Galatians 5:19-23 will clear illustrate to us the vices of a person who is fulfilling the lusts of the flesh ( Galatians 5:19-21) and the virtues of the person who is being led by the Holy Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-23). The Galatian churches were being accused by the Judaizers of living a licentious lifestyle because they were not incorporating circumcisions and other devout practices of the Law. For this reason, Paul takes the time to clearly define a lifestyle of licentiousness by listing the works of the flesh, and he contrasts this by explaining the attributes of a devout Christian as he lists the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Galatians 5:20 — "heresies" - Illustration- The Sadducees and the Pharisees are biblical examples of heresies. Man created religious sects and denominations, not God.

Galatians 5:20"seditions, heresies" - Comments - The words "seditions" and "heresies" refer to "divisions," and "religious factions," respectively. Today, the church uses a neutral word called denominations. However, this actually refers to religious groups of Christians who are divided over the doctrines of the Scriptures. God is not divided; neither is His Word. Man created denominations, not God.

As a young seminary student, I was taking a second-year New Testament Greek class. In this course, we translated the entire book of Galatians from the Greek. When I came to these two words during my studies, I saw for the first time a Scriptural basis for the fact that man created denominations, and not God. God brings unity and love, not division ( Ephesians 4:2-6).

Ephesians 4:2-6, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Thus, the answer to the question of which denomination is right, the answer is that God right. His Word has never been up for debate and argument. There is only one body of Christ, one Spirit to guide and teach us, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God overall, and there is only one doctrine in the Holy Scriptures.

Galatians 5:21 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.

Galatians 5:19-21Scripture References - The Works of the Flesh- Note similar passages on the works of the flesh:

Mark 7:20-23, "And he said, That which cometh out of the Prayer of Manasseh , that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Ephesians 5:3-7, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous Prayer of Manasseh , who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them."

Colossians 3:5-9, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things" sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;"

1 Timothy 1:9-10, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous Prayer of Manasseh , but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"

Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 5:22 — "But the fruit" - Comments- The subject of the statement in Galatians 5:22 is the word "fruit," which is singular, while the direct object of this sentence is plural, listing the nine virtues of the Spirit. Creflo Dollar explains this to mean that the fruit (singular) refers to love, while the 9-fold virtues define the manifold attributes of love. He compares this to the makeup of a fruit with its various components of the skin, the meat, the seeds, etc. 112] We find a reference to the law of love in the preceding verse, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." ( Galatians 5:14) The love walk in the believer's life is a walk where one is being led by the Spirit of God, which then produces the "fruit" of the Spirit of God as God lives in and through us.

112] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program, 30 January 2009.

"of the Spirit is" - Comments- The KJV interprets the word "Spirit" as a reference to the Holy Spirit. Kenneth Hagin believes that it actually refers to the human spirit. 113] He explains by saying that fruit grows on branches, which represents the believers, while the trunk represents Jesus Christ. The life of the branches comes from the trunk. The fruit of love is produced from our regenerated spirits because of the life that flows from abiding in the Vine ( John 15:5). Therefore, if we feed our spirits upon the Word of God and exercise it, the fruit of love will grow and develop in our lives. None of these fruits starts out being fully mature. Love starts out in our lives as a tiny bud; but just like the fruit on the branch, it grows and matures as it is properly nurtured.

113] Kenneth Hagin, Love the Way to Victory (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1994, 1995), 20-2.

John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Another reason that this verse refers to the human spirit is because the fruit of the spirit is contrasted with the "works of the flesh." Therefore, "walking in the spirit" is walking in the fruit of the spirit rather than the works of the flesh. We walk in the spirit when we are walking in love and the other fruits of the spirit.

"longsuffering" - Comments- I once watched two birds feeding their babies that had hatched in a small hole in a tree. One bird flew up, but did not go into the nest. I wondered why. I was observing when the second bird emerged and flew off to find more food. This first bird was being kind and patient in waiting for the second bird to finish feeding the babies, since there was not room for both birds in the same hole. We could learn that lesson on waiting patiently.

Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:23 — "against such there is no law" - Comments- There is no law against doing these good things that are motivated by the virtues of the fruit of the Spirit listed here. It is not against the law to do good deeds.

Galatians 5:22-23Comments- The Fruit of the Spirit- The fruit of the Spirit is referring to the outward evidences of someone who is being led by the Spirit of God, as Paul is exhorting his readers in Galatians 5:16.

Scripture References- Note other similar passages on the fruit of the Spirit:

Ephesians 5:9, "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)"

Colossians 3:12-17, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual Song of Solomon , singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

1 Timothy 6:11, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."

Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ"s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25"If we live in the Spirit" - Comments- That Isaiah , if our life is now a spiritual life, a spiritual rebirth of Jesus living in us now ( Galatians 2:20), then let us conduct our lives according to the prompting of God's spirit, and not be led by our old nature and fleshly desires ( Romans 7:6).

Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Romans 7:6, "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

Galatians 5:25"let us also walk in the Spirit" - Comments- How do we walk in the Spirit? The rest of the book of Galatians describes how in practical living.

Galatians 5:25Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

Colossians 2:6, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:"

Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:26 Illustration- A class of students is striving to make good grades on their pop quizzes so that they will be praised by one another. In the process, they are challenging and envying one another as they achieve and then boasting of their achievements.

Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

Philippians 2:3, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/galatians-5.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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