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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Galatians 5

 

 

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Verse 1

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

A B Delta C read no "wherewith." [G, Vulgate, have ee (Greek #2228) in the beginning; but the position of stekete oun below is against it]. There is no Greek for "in" or "the," as there is in 1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 1:27; Philippians 4:1. '(It is) FOR freedom (that) Christ made us free' (not for bondage). 'Stand fast, therefore (this is the order of "therefore" in 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G steekete (Greek #4739) oun) (Greek #3767), and be not entangled (implying the difficulty of getting free again) again (as when ye were pagan: note Galatians 4:9) in a yoke of bondage' (namely, the law, Galatians 4:24; Acts 15:10). Compare Galatians 5:13.


Verse 2

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

Behold - i:e., mark what I say.

I Paul. However you disparage me, I give my personal authority as enough by itself to refute all opposition.

If ye be circumcised. - `if ye still suffer yourselves to be circumcised' (Present, peritemnesthe: implying continuance); namely, under the notion of its being necessary to justification (Galatians 5:4; Acts 15:1). Circumcision is not regarded simply by itself (for, viewed as a national rite, it was practiced for conciliation's sake by Paul himself, Acts 16:3), but as the symbol of Judaism and legalism. If this be necessary, then the Gospel of grace is at an end. If grace be the way of justification, then Judaism is not.

Christ shall profit you nothing (Galatians 2:21) - for righteousness of works and justification by faith cannot co-exist. 'He who is circumcised (for justification) is so as fearing the law; he who fears disbelieves the power of grace; and he who disbelieves can profit nothing by that grace which he disbelieves (Chrysostom).


Verse 3

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

For , [ de (Greek #1161)] - 'Yea, not only "Christ shall profit you nothing," BUT you will be debtors to the whole law.'

I testify again to every man - as well as "unto you" (Galatians 5:2).

That is circumcised (present participle) - allowing himself to be circumcised. Such a one became a 'proselyte of righteousness.'

The whole law - impossible for man to keep in part, much less wholly (James 2:10); yet none can be justified by it, unless he keep it wholly (Galatians 3:10).


Verse 4

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

[ Kateergeetheete (Greek #2673) apo (Greek #575)] (a word frequent in Paul's letters: only in his companion's gospel (Luke 13:7) besides in the New Testament. Its presence, Hebrews 2:14, supports Paul's authorship). 'Ye became void from Christ' - i:e., your connection with Christ became void (Galatians 5:2). Romans 7:2, the same Greek.

Whosoever of you are justified - `are being justified;' i:e., are thinking to be justified.

By the law - Greek, 'IN the law,' as the element in which justification takes place.

Fallen (Aorist, ye fell, the moment ye sought justification by legalism) from grace - ye no longer 'stood' in it (Romans 5:2). Grace and legal righteousness cannot co exist (Romans 4:4-5; Romans 11:6). Christ, by circumcision (Luke 2:21), undertook to obey all the law, and fulfill all righteousness for us; any, therefore, that now seeks to fulfill it for himself in any degree for justifying righteousness, severs himself from the grace which flows from Christ's fulfillment, and becomes "a debtor to do the whole law" (Galatians 5:3). The decree of the Jerusalem council said nothing so strong as this: it merely decided that Gentile Christians were not bound to legal observances. But the Galatians, while not pretending to be so bound, imagined there was an efficacy in them to merit a higher degree of perfection (Galatians 3:3). This accounts for Paul not referring to the decree. He took higher ground. The natural mind loves outward fetters, and is apt to forge them for itself, to stand in lieu of holiness of heart.


Verse 5

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

For - proof of the assertion, "fallen from grace," by contrasting with the legalists the Christian's "hope."

Through the Spirit , [ Pneumati (Greek #4151)] - rather, 'by the Spirit' (the absence of the Greek article does not hinder taking "Spirit," THE HOLY SPIRIT: for proper names omit it: the Giver of faith), in opposition to after the flesh (Galatians 4:29), or fleshly ways of justification, as circumcision and legal ordinances. "We" is emphatically contrasted with 'whosoever of you would be justified by the law' (Galatians 5:4).

The hope of righteousness - `we assiduously wait for the (realization of the) hope of righteousness (justification), by [ek, from] faith' (the spring of hope) (Romans 5:1; Romans 5:4-5; Romans 8:24-25), a further step than "justified;" not only are we this, but "wait for the hope" which is its full consummation. Romans 8:24-25, the same Greek as here [ Elpida (Greek #1680) apekdechometha (Greek #553)]. "Righteousness," in the sense justification, is by the believer once for all already attained; but its consummation above is the object of hope to be waited for: the "crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:8); "the hope laid up for you in heaven" (Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:3). Legal justification is only in the present (Galatians 5:4), and in the legalist's imagination. Justification by faith is present, and also stretches in sure "hope" on to eternity. Righteousness, now the believer's hidden possession, shall then shine out as glory (Matthew 13:43; Colossians 3:3-4).


Verse 6

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

For - confirming the truth that it is 'from faith' (Galatians 5:5) that the 'waiting hope' springs.

In Jesus Christ - Greek, 'in Christ Jesus.' In union with Christ (the ANOINTED) - that is, Jesus of Nazareth: the mean of which union is faith.

Nor uncircumcision - leveled against those who, being not legalists or Judaizers, think themselves Christians on this ground alone.

Faith which worketh, [ energoumenee (G1754); energetically working; exhibiting its energy] by, [ dia (G1223): through] love. This corresponds to "a new creature" (Galatians 6:15). Thus in Galatians 5:5-6 are the three, "faith," "hope," and "love" (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Love is not joined with faith in justifying, but is the principle of the works which follow after justification by faith. Let not legalists think that the essence of the law is set at nought in justification by faith only. Nay, "all the law is fulfilled in ... love," the principle on which "faith worketh" (Galatians 5:14). [Energeitai in the New Testament is always used actively: it puts forth energy from itself: the force of the middle voice, generally applied to things: energei active voice, persons.] The Romanist translation is thus untenable, 'which is made perfect by love.' Let them then seek "faith" to fulfill the law. Again, let not those who pride themselves on uncircumcision think that, because the law does not justify, they are free to walk after "the flesh" (Galatians 5:13). Let them seek "love," inseparable from true faith (James 2:8; James 2:12-22). Love is opposed to the enmities which prevailed (Galatians 5:15; Galatians 5:20). The Spirit (Galatians 5:5) is a Spirit of "faith" and "love" (cf. Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 7:19).


Verse 7

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

[ Etrechete (Greek #5143)] 'Ye were running well' in the Gospel race (1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Corinthians 9:26; Philippians 3:13-14).

Who ... - none whom ye ought to have listened to: the Judaizers (cf. Galatians 3:1).

Hinder , [ Enekopsen (Greek #1465), 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G: not anekopsen, as received text] - 'hinder by breaking up a road.'

Not obey the , [so C Delta G. But A B 'Aleph (') omit "the"]

Truth - not submit yourselves to the Gospel way of justification.


Verse 8

This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

This persuasion - `The persuasion;' a play on words akin in sound and in root [ peismonee (Greek #3988), persuasion: peithesthai (Greek #3982), "obey," Galatians 5:7]. The readiness to obey those who oppose truth.

Cometh not of - from Him, but from the Father of lies. Ye obey not truth; ye are ready to obey its hinderers. Ellicott takes persuasion as 'the act of persuading.' Rather (as the Greek commentators), it is the state of being persuaded. The paronomasia favours this.

That calleth you (Galatians 5:13; Galatians 1:6; Philippians 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). The calling is the rule of the whole race (Bengel).


Verse 9

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. A little leaven - the false teaching of the Judaizers. A little legalism, mixed with the Gospel, corrupts its purity. To add ordinances and works in the least degree to justification by faith, is to undermine 'the whole.' So "leaven," false doctrines (Matthew 16:12; cf. Matthew 13:33). In 1 Corinthians 5:6 it means the corrupting influence of one bad person; so Bengel refers it here to the person (Galatians 5:7-8; Galatians 5:10) who misled them (Ecclesiastes 9:18; 1 Corinthians 15:33). False doctrine answers better to "persuasion" (Galatians 5:8).


Verse 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.

Greek, 'I (emphatic: "I on my part") have confidence IN [ en (Greek #1722)] the Lord (the ground of confidence) with regard to [ eis (Greek #1519)] you (2 Thessalonians 3:4), that ye will be none otherwise minded' (than what by this letter I desire you to be, Philippians 3:15) [ heteros (Greek #2087): but here allo (Greek #243) phronein (Greek #5426).]

But he that troubleth you (Joshua 7:25; 1 Kings 18:17-18; Acts 15:24; Galatians 1:7). The article has a selective and definitive force; the one who, for the time being, calls forth Paul's censure as the troubler (Ellicott) (Galatians 4:17).

Shall bear - as a heavy burden.

His - the judgment he deserves; namely, excommunication (Galatians 5:12): an earnest of God's judgment (Romans 2:3). Paul distinguishes the case of the seduced, misled through thoughtlessness, who, now that they are set right, he confidently hopes, will return to the right way, from that of the seducer doomed to judgment.

Whosoever he be - whether great (Galatians 1:8) or small.


Verse 11

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

'If I am still preaching (as I did before conversion) circumcision, why am I still persecuted?' The Judaizing troubler said, 'Paul himself preaches circumcision,' as is shown by his having circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3 : cf. Acts 21:24). Paul by anticipation meets their objection. As regards myself, the fact that I am still persecuted by the Jews shows that I do not preach circumcision; for it is just because I preach Christ crucified, not the Mosaic law, as the sole ground of justification, that they persecute me. If for conciliation be lived as a Jew among Jews, it was in accordance with his principle (1 Corinthians 7:18; 1 Corinthians 7:20; 1 Corinthians 9:20). Circumcision or uncircumcision are things indifferent in themselves: their lawfulness or unlawfulness depends on the animus of him who used them. The Gentile Galatians' animus in circumcision could only be their supposition that it influenced favourably their standing before God. Paul's living as a Gentile among Gentiles showed that, if he observed Jewish rites, it was not that he thought it meritorious before God, but as a matter indifferent, wherein he might lawfully conform, as a Jew by birth, to those with whom he was, in order to put no needless stumblingblock to the Gospel in the way of his countrymen.

Then - presuming I did so, 'then after all,' in that case, the offence of (stumblingblock, 1 Corinthians 1:23, occasioned to the Jews by) the cross has become done away' [katergetai]. Thus, the Jews' accusation against Stephen was not that he preached Christ crucified, but that "he spake blasphemous words against this holy place and the law." They would have borne the former, if he had mixed with it justification by circumcision and the law, and if he had, through Christianity, brought converts to Judaism. But if justification in any degree depended on legal ordinances, Christ's crucifixion in that degree was unnecessary, and could profit nothing (Galatians 5:2; Galatians 5:4). Worldly Wiseman, of the town of Carnal Policy, turns Christian out of the narrow way of the Cross to the house of legality. Bat the way to it was up a mountain, which, as Christian advanced, threatened to fall on and crush him, amidst lightning flashes from the mountain ('Pilgrim's Progress;' Hebrews 12:18-21).


Verse 12

I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

They ... which trouble you , [ anastatountes (Greek #387)] - turning upside down (Acts 17:6): setting up what ought to be down, and down what ought to be up: different from [ ho (Greek #3588) tarassoon (Greek #5015)] Galatians 5:10, 'they who are subverting you.'

Were even cut off - rather, 'that they would even cut themselves off' from your communion, as a worthless foreskin cast away; even as they desire you to cut off your foreskin (Galatians 1:7-8 : cf. Philippians 3:3) [apokopsontai: middle]. Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom explain, 'Would that they would even cut themselves of' -

i.e., cut off not merely the foreskin, but the whole member, like the Galatian priests of Cybele: if circumcision be not enough, then let them have excision also: an outburst hardly suitable to the gravity of an apostle, and unsupported by the ancient versions. Galatians 5:9-10 point to communication as the judgment threatened against the troublers; and danger of the "leaven" spreading, as the reason for it.


Verse 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.

Natural transition to the hortatory part.

For - I wish their excision (Galatians 5:12): not that I would emancipate you from law; FOR your "liberty" from legalism is quite distinct from fleshly license. YE is emphatic, from its position in the Greek, 'Ye brethren,' etc.; as opposed to those legalists. Unto liberty , [ ep' (Greek #1909) eleutheria (Greek #1657)] - 'for liberty.' The object for which ye were called is liberty. Gospel liberty consists in three things-freedom from the Mosaic yoke, from sin (1 Thessalonians 4:7; John 8:34-36), and from slavish fear.

Only ... Translate, 'only turn not your [ teen (Greek #3588)] liberty into an occasion for the flesh.' Do not give the flesh the handle (Romans 7:8, "occasion") for indulgence, which it eagerly seeks: do not let it make Christian "liberty" its pretext for indulgence (Galatians 5:16-17; 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Peter 2:19; Jude 1:4).

But by love serve one another - `be servants [be in bondage: douleuete (Greek #1398)] to one another.' If ye must be servants, then be servants to one another in love. While free as to legalism, be bound by love [in the abstract, tees (Greek #3588) agapees (Greek #26): else 'your love'] to serve one another (1 Corinthians 9:19). He hints at their unloving strifes springing out of lust of power, which 'is the mother of heresies' (Chrysostom).


Verse 14

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

All the law , [ ho (Greek #3588) pas (Greek #3956) nomos (Greek #3551)] - 'the whole law.' Love to God is pre-supposed as the root from which love to our neighbour springs. In this sense the latter precept ('word') is the fulfilling of "all the law." Love is "the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2; Matt. 7:12,22,39-40; Romans 13:9-10 ).

Is fulfilled , [Delta G f g, Vulgate, pleerootai (Greek #4137)] - 'is being fulfilled;' implying the process of fulfillment is going on. But 'Aleph (') A B C read, 'has been fulfilled [ pepleerootai (Greek #4137)] permanently and perfectly already (Romans 13:8). The law only united Israelites; the Gospel unites all men, and that in relation to God.


Verse 15

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

Bite - backbite the character.

Devour - the substance, by extortion, etc. (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 23:14; 2 Corinthians 11:20.) Bite, the act of one enraged: devour, of one persevering in malice (Chrysostom).

Consumed ... Strength of soul, health, character, and resources, are all consumed by broils.


Verse 16

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

This I say then - explaining Galatians 5:13, 'What I mean is this.'

Walk in the Spirit - `By [ Pneumati (Greek #4151)] the (Holy) Spirit' (as your governing principle, rule) (Acts 15:1; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:16 : cf. Galatians 5:16-18; Galatians 5:22; Galatians 5:25; Galatians 6:1-8, with Romans 7:22; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:9; Romans 8:11). The best way to keep tares out of a bushel is to fill it with wheat.

The flesh - the natural man, moving in the world of sense and self only. Its manifestations are various (Galatians 5:19-21). The spirit and the flesh mutually exclude one another. It is promised, not that we should have no evil lusts, but that we should "not fulfil" them. If the spirit in us can be at ease under sin, it is not a spirit that comes from the Holy Spirit. The gentle dove trembles at the sight even of a hawk's feather.


Verse 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.

For - the reason why walking by the Spirit will exclude fulfilling the lasts of the flesh; namely, their mutual contrariety.

The Spirit - not "lusteth," but 'tendeth (or, some such word) against the flesh.'

So that ye cannot do (so as to be an obstacle to your doing) the things that ye would. The Spirit (in the beginning stage of one's repentance) strives against the flesh and its evil influence; the flesh against the Spirit and His good influence; so that neither the one nor the other can be fully carried out into action. "But" (Galatians 5:18) where "the Spirit" prevails, the struggle no longer continues doubtful (Romans 7:15-20). The Greek is, 'that ye may not do whatsoever things ye would.' 'The flesh and Spirit are contrary one to the other,' so that you must not fulfill what you desire according to the carnal self, but what the Spirit within you desires (Neander). But the antithesis of Galatians 5:18 ("But," etc.), where the conflict is decided, shows, I think, that Galatians 5:17 contemplates the inability both for fully accomplishing the good we "would," owing to the opposition of the flesh, and for doing the evil our flesh would desire, owing to the opposition of the Spirit in the awakened man (such as the Galatians are assumed to be), until we yield ourselves wholly by the Spirit to 'walk by the Spirit' (Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:18).


Verse 18

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

'But if ye are led (give yourselves up to be led; in contrast to the previous struggle, Galatians 5:17, the Spirit now prevailing) by the Spirit, ye are not under the law,' because it finds in you no ground of condemnation. For ye are then not working the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:19-21), which bring one "under the law" (Romans 7:7-8; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:14). Legalism and carnality go together. The 'Spirit makes free from the law of sin and death' (Galatians 5:23). The law is made for a fleshly man, and fleshly works (1 Timothy 1:9); not for a righteous man (Romans 6:14-15).


Verses 19-23

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

Confirming Galatians 5:18 by the contrariety between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.

Manifest - the hidden fleshly principle betrays itself palpably by its works: these leave no doubt whether men "are under the law" or not, as "the fruit of the Spirit" evidences that against it and its bearers "there is no law."

Which are these , [ hatina (Greek #3748)] - 'such as,' for instance, "adultery." So C G f g: omitted in 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate.

Fornication - a heinous sin in the Christian view; an act indifferent in the pagan (Acts 15:20).

Lasciviousness , [ aselgeia (Greek #766)] - rather, 'wantonness,' petulant insolence: it may display itself in "lasciviousness," but not necessarily (Mark 7:21-22, where it is not associated with fleshly lusts) (Trench). "Works" (plural) are attributed to the "flesh," because they are not necessarily connected-nay, often mutually at variance-and are man's doings. There are four classes:

(1) Sensuality;

(2) Idolatry (1 Corinthians 8:7);

(3) Malice;

(4) Excesses (Winer).

But the "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22) is singular; because, however manifold the results, they form one organic whole springing from the Spirit. The results of the flesh are not dignified by the name "fruit;" they are but works (Ephesians 5:9; Ephesians 5:11). He enumerates those fleshly works (committed against our neighhour, against God, and against ourselves) to which the Galatians were most prone (the Kelts have always contentions), and those manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit most needed by them (Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:15). "The flesh" does not mean merely sensuality, as opposed to spirituality; for 'divisions' in the catalogue do not flow from sensuality. The identification of "the natural (Greek, animal-souled) man" with the "carnal" or fleshly man (1 Corinthians 2:14), shows that "the flesh" expresses human nature as estranged from God. It is proof of our fallen state how much richer every vocabulary is in words for sins than in those for graces. Paul enumerates seventeen (or sixteen: note above) "works of the flesh;" only nine manifestations of "the fruit of the Spirit" (cf. Ephesians 4:31).

Verse 20. Witchcraft - sorcery: prevalent in Asia (Acts 19:19 : cf. Revelation 21:8).

Hatred - Greek, 'hatreds.'

Emulations , [ zeeloi (Greek #2206)]. So 'Aleph (') C f g, Vulgate. In B Delta, singular, 'jealousy:' for one's own advantage. "Envyings" (Galatians 5:21) are even without advantage to the person.

Wrath , [ thumoi (Greek #2372): plural] - 'bursts of passion.'

Strife - rather, 'cabals' [ eritheiai (Greek #2052), derived from erithos, 'a worker for hire'], hence, factious practices, party spirit.

Seditions , [ dichostasiai (Greek #1370)] - 'dissensions' as to secular matters, or religious matters also (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Heresies - as to sacred things (note, 1 Corinthians 11:19); self-constituted parties [from haireo, to choose]. A schism is a recent split in a congregation, from a difference in opinion, Heresy is a schism become inveterate (Augustine).

Verse 21. Tell you before - namely, before the event.

I have also told you in time past - beforehand [ proeipon (Greek #4277)], when I was with you.

You - who, though maintaining justification by the law, are careless about keeping it (Romans 2:21; Romans 2:23).

Such - `all such things' [ ta (Greek #3588) toiauta (Greek #5108)].

Things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:5).

Verse 22. Love - the first as well as the last of the band of graces (1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 2 Peter 1:7).

Joy (Philippians 4:4).

Peace - opposed to 'hatred,' 'variance' (Galatians 5:20).

Gentleness , [ chreestotees (Greek #5544)] - 'benignity,' 'kindness,' conciliatory to others; whereas 'goodness,' though ready to do good, has not necessarily such suavity of manner (Jerome).

Faith - `faithfulness:' opposed to 'heresies' (Bengel) (1 Corinthians 13:7). 'Love believeth all things: faith in God's promises, and loving trust toward men' (Ellicott). 'Trustfulness' (Conybeare). Verse 23. Meekness - submissiveness of spirit toward God and man (Ellicott).

Temperance , [ engkrateia (Greek #1466)] - self-restraint as to one's desires.

Against [all: toon (G3588)] such - not persons, but things, as in Galatians 5:21.

No law - confirming Galatians 5:18 (1 Timothy 1:9-10). The law commands love (Galatians 5:14): so far from being "against such."


Verse 24

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

And - Greek, 'But.' There is no law against love, etc. But Christians crucify the flesh, which is contrary to the Spirit, whose fruit love is; therefore they are led by the Spirit, and yield its fruit, and are not under the law. A B C 'Aleph (') read 'They that are of Christ Jesus' - i:e., belong to Christ Jesus: 'led by (His) Spirit' (Galatians 5:18).

Have crucified, [aorist, estaurosan (G4717), 'crucified'] the flesh. They nailed it to the cross once for all when they became Christ's (Romans 6:3-4). They keep it now in a state of crucifixion (Romans 6:6); so that the Spirit can produce in them, comparatively uninterrupted by it, "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22). 'Man, by faith, is dead to the former standing-point of sin, and rises to a new life of communion with Christ (Colossians 3:3). The act by which they crucified the flesh with its lust is already accomplished in principle; but the outward confirmation of the life must harmonize with the tendency given to the inward life' (Galatians 5:25) (Neander). We are to be executioners of the body of sin, which caused the acting of all cruelties on Christ's body.

With the affections , [ tois (Greek #3588) patheemasin (Greek #3804)] - 'with its passions.' Thus they are dead to the law's condemning power, which is only for the fleshly and their lusts (Galatians 5:23).


Verse 25

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

In ... in - rather, 'If we live (note, Galatians 5:24) BY the Spirit, let us also walk [ stoichoomen (Greek #4448): studiously and with measured step] (Galatians 5:16; Galatians 6:16) BY the Spirit.' Let our practice correspond to the ideal principle of our spiritual life-namely, our standing by faith as dead to, and severed from, sin and the law's condemnation. 'Life by the Spirit' is not an occasional influence, but an abiding state, wherein we are continually alive though sometimes inactive; not only live, but let life put forth activity.


Verse 26

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

'Let us not BECOME' [ ginometha (Greek #1096)]. While not asserting that the Galatians are "vain-glorious" now, he says they are liable to become so.

Provoking, [ prokaloumenoi (G4292): challenging] one another - an effect of 'vain-gloriousness' on the stronger, as "envying" on the weaker. A danger common both to the orthodox and Judaizing Galatians.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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