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Galatians



(Galatians 1:1) Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Paul considers himself an apostle even though he did not satisfy the criteria established by Peter when replacing Judas.Apparently there are different kinds of apostles...

  1. The 11 disciples
  2. Matthias
  3. Paul, chosen by God and Jesus
  4. Other New Testament apostles such as Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy
  5. Certain bishops after the apostolic era who brought Christianity to new regions

(Galatians 1:2) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

The Roman Province of Galatia contained the cities of Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra, Iconium, Derbe. Paul visited various of these cities during all three of his missionary journeys.

Perhaps Paul is referring to those who are travelling with him, or perhaps all those of the church of the city he writes this letter from, perhaps Corinth or Antioch of Syria.

(Galatians 1:3) Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

(Galatians 1:4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

This is a reference to people being chosen and called (without using those words). God chose that Christ would provide for the deliverance of fallen humanity.

(Galatians 1:5) To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


The Rebuke

Paul gets right to it. Usually his letters have a long introduction before he offers criticism and correction (but not always.)Perhaps he was pressed for time. Or perhaps he was so focused on correcting the error that he didn't have the patience for small talk.

(Galatians 1:6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

How quickly they forgot. Paul's rebuke is exceptionally blunt.

(Galatians 1:7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

(Galatians 1:8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Apparently angels can preach the gospel,or at least people thought they could.

(Galatians 1:9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

The word "accursed" is the same word the Catholic Church often uses in defining dogma; those who do or teach or believe such and such are cursed, anathema.Anti-Catholics often object to stating things this way but it is biblical to do so.

Paul considers his gospel message to be correct and, therefore, infallible.Apparently, Peterand the other apostlesagreed which him.

Notice that the source of Christian truth is apostolic teaching, not the Bible. The New Testament was still being written.

(Galatians 1:10) For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

(Galatians 1:11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

(Galatians 1:12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

(Galatians 1:13) For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

(Galatians 1:14) And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

(Galatians 1:15) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

(Galatians 1:16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

(Galatians 1:17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

(Galatians 1:18) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Jesus stated he would build his Church upon Peter and his proclamation of faith.Certainly God used Paul to build his Church also, so the fact that Paul spent a couple of weeks with Peter is fitting.

The problem with using this visit by Paul as evidence of the Catholic doctrine of the papacy is that Jesus did not specify that the bishop of Rome would be the pope, nor did he specify how popes would be selected. Peter was never the bishop of Rome even though he lived there, as Paul also did. Both were martyred there; but since when does being martyred somewhere make that city special?

(Galatians 1:19) But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

(Galatians 1:20) Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

(Galatians 1:21) Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

(Galatians 1:22) And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

(Galatians 1:23) But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

(Galatians 1:24) And they glorified God in me.

(Galatians 2:1) Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

(Galatians 2:2) And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

(Galatians 2:3) But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

The converts from Judaism to Christianity thought it was necessary to be Jewish to be Christian. Certainly it is OK to retain many of the Jewish traditions but it is wrong to demand non-Jewish converts to Christianity do so. The council of Jerusalemsettled this matter. The letter of Paul to the Galatians was written before that council.

(Galatians 2:4) And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

(Galatians 2:5) To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

(Galatians 2:6) But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

(Galatians 2:7) But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

(Galatians 2:8) (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

(Galatians 2:9) And when James, Cephas [Peter], 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 2:10) Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward [eager] to do.


Peter Backslides

(Galatians 2:11) But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

(Galatians 2:12) For before that certain [men] came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Peter stopped associating with Gentile Christians, but he didn't again adopt all the Jewish practices. He shunned the Gentiles and so Paul remarks on this.

(Galatians 2:13) And the other Jews dissembled [joined in hypocrisy] likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation [hypocrisy].

(Galatians 2:14) But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter had been given a vision from God to eat food that was unclean according to the Jewish law.

Even though several of the apostles fell into error, Paul singled out Peter for rebuke, either because Paul had a special rapport with Peter(but he spent more time with Barnabas than with Peter) or because Paul considered Peter as their leaderand the one accountable.

If Jews who converted to Christianity are no longer bound by the Mosaic Law, why should non-Jews who convert to Christianity be forced to obey the Mosaic Law?

(Galatians 2:15) We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

Three categories of Christians...

  1. Those born into Judaism before converting to Christianity. Notice that the above verses refer to those in this group.
  2. The God-fearers; Gentiles who practiced Jewish traditions but were not circumcised. Apparently Paul doesn't mention this group in this verse.
  3. Gentiles who converted to Christianity. Not having the Mosaic Law to guide and constrain them; Gentiles tended to live lives of debauchery.

(Galatians 2:16) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The Christians of group one above (born Jews) were taught by the apostles that their mere adherence to the Mosaic Law did not bring them salvation; in fact, the apostles were from this group. This verse contrasts salvation by faith with salvation by works only. It does not mention the connection between faith and works.

(Galatians 2:17) But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

In other words, if Christians base their salvation on their works only, which is all the Gentiles could do, being outside of the covenant with God, these Christians will be found by God to be sinners. Christ is not a minister of sin because he does not provide redemption by a person's works only.

Before Christ's incarnation to earth as a human, only the Jews had a covenant with God; the Gentiles did not. Therefore, the only hope Gentiles had of salvation was through their works; the Jews had their covenant relationship with God with its sacrifices for sin.

(Galatians 2:18) For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

(Galatians 2:19) For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

(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.

Paul was not crucifiedbut was beheaded; this occurred, of course, after he wrote this letter. I have no reason to believe Paul was writing figuratively; I prefer to interpret this verse strictly literally.Here's why: Later in this letter Paul refers to crucifying the flesh,and the crucifixion of the whole world.The letter to the Hebrewsprovides a clue: Christians who fall away from the faith, who apostatize; these crucify Christ all over again. Thus, in rejecting Christ, their souls join with the crowds who shouted "crucify him". In the spiritual realm,these kinds of events literally occur. It makes perfect sense that in rejecting Christ, the soul of an apostate would engage in rejecting Christ with others who rejected Christ. I can imagine that in some mystical dream sequence, their soul and its corresponding spiritual body travelled to the spiritual time and place of the crucifixion, and entered in to the spitting and cursing of Jesus along with the souls of the others who literally did this in their physical bodies and with their souls and corresponding spiritual bodies.

Having been transported to the third heaven, Paul is all-too connected with these mystical workings and describes to them events that actually occurred. I suspect that in choosing to follow Christ, the soul and corresponding spiritual body of each Christian experienced its own crucifixion at the hand of the same spiritual enemies of Christ. Note that every phrase of this verse refers to mystical aspects of the life of faith, of the doings in the spiritual realm. For example, Paul has to use the word "flesh"to clarify that he is referring to his bodily life. He would not need to do this if this was all mere figures of speech.

In baptism, a part of us dies via crucifixion along with Christ, and we are reborn as a new man in Christ. This reborn man is the Spirit of Christ who now lives inside of us. These goings on are not mere figures of speech but actual mystical occurrences in the spiritual realm, in our soul.

Here is my translation of this verse if it is all figurative: I am spiritually renewed because of Christ's bodily crucifixion; but I didn't have to physically die and be bodily resurrected as Christ did. Even though Christ died bodily, yet his Spirit lives within me because I have received his saving grace through faith. This faith works in my physical, material life.

Several aspects of our faith life are missing in the above...

  1. The realm of thoughts, dreams, and visions are real, and we interact with God in these; we truly worship God when we imagine ourselves hanging on the cross with Christ, for example.
  2. When we suffer, we share with Christ's suffering on the cross and unite with him. In taking on human nature and experiencing human experiences he is deifying all things human, including enduring the ravages of the wicked spirits. Therefore, in all human experiences we can, if we choose, understand that these human experiences are, in some way, the presence of Christ. Pantheists believe that all that exists is God; this is, of course, untrue in the way they believe it. But what is true is that all human experiences can provide a way to enter in to Christ's presence. Many Christians commonly believe that during the singing in church, the Holy Spirit "falls" and they experience God's presence. This is true. But it is also true that Christians can experience God's presence in every human experience — except for sinning, of course.
  3. Through Christ's redemptive work on our behalf on the cross, the Spirit of God mingles with our spirit, with our soul.Those living in faith are spiritually empowered by God's Spirit. Many Christians claim to believe this yet for some reason they spend the majority of every sermon admonishing us not to sin. But true faith requires living a holy life of virtue. In living in sin, the presence of God is repulsed. Those who need to be hollered at by the preacher to keep from sinning may not be truly saved.

Jesus loves us and gave his life for us. We express our love for others by what we sacrificially do for them.

(Galatians 2:21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

(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 [publicly] set forth [exhibited as / written about], crucified among [with / in] you?

Paul's letter to the Galatians was written 20 or 30 years after Jesus was crucified; some likely witnessed it first-hand. Possible meanings of "crucified before their eyes"...

  1. They are to be crucified with Christ just as Paul was.Perhaps the image is that Paul and the others were also hanging on crosses among Jesus during his crucifixion just as the two thieves were. This seems to be the most likely explanation since it builds on Paul's thought fro 2 verses before.
  2. Paul's preaching of the crucifixion was so vivid it was as if they saw it themselves. Perhaps he acted out the events in pantomime.
  3. It's possible one or two of the gospels were written and circulating among the churches. These vividly describe the crucifixion.
  4. Perhaps some in Paul's audience witnessed the crucifixion and confirmed Paul's description of it.
  5. Catholic defenders typically say this refers to a crucifix during mass. Certainly the crucifix is intended to be used as a way of visualizing the reality of this event and in worship of Jesus and his work. The fatal flaw in this view is that the crucifix was not used this early.
  6. Notice the flow of ideas: Jesus was set forth or written about before their eyes, crucified among them.

(Galatians 3:2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Paul contrasts faith with works. These Galatians received the sealing of the Holy Spirit in baptism through their hearing of the gospel leading to faith and followed by works. Now, they are teaching that salvation comes by following the Mosaic Law with Christ as Messiah.

(Galatians 3:3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

The Christians Paul refers to became Christians without the Mosaic Law; now they are returning to the Mosaic Law and expecting others to enter in to Christianity through the Mosaic Law.

The goal is perfection. We do not become perfect by adhering to rituals and ceremonies, nor by following rules and laws. We become perfect by performing works of faith, by living in a way that pleases God, by loving God and neighbor. The same way of getting saved in the first place (faith) is the same way we become perfect (works of faith, not works of law.)

(Galatians 3:4) Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

(Galatians 3:5) He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

(Galatians 3:6) Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Notice: Abraham had saving faith long before the time of Christ. In like manner, the Old Testament Jews were able to have saving faith in the context of their obedience to God and the Mosaic Law. Only when a person believes their salvation is by works only, only then are they in trouble.

(Galatians 3:7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

(Galatians 3:8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

(Galatians 3:9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

(Galatians 3:10) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The curse of the Mosaic Law was not intended to cause eternal damnation of everyone trying to observe this law; rather, God gave the Mosaic Law to bless the people. This implies they we capable of following it, and in fact, many did. Only those who in their hearts rejected God didn't follow the law, not from inability but, rather, from open and willful rebellion. This is what's wrong with our modern culture that prefers referring to wickedness as a mere disease, curable or perhaps even tolerated. Even worse is considering wickedness as a mere lifestyle choice and persecuting those who don't see it that way.

The assumption is that people simply can't live perfectly the constraints of the law. Certainly, performing works outside the context of saving faith do not lead to salvation. However, performing the works specified in the Mosaic Law in the context of the covenant with God, these works are pleasing to God in the context of faith in God. Even the Old Testament expects people to have faith as the reference to Abraham illustrates. The Mosaic Law was given in the context of faith.

(Galatians 3:11) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

(Galatians 3:12) And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

(Galatians 3:13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

The Mosaic law had blessings and curses based on a person or nation's following of the law. Apparently it was easy for people or nations to stop following the law and to thereby receive the curses. There is nothing surprising about any of this. God is holy and is repelled by sin. In order to enjoy all the blessings God has to offer we require his constant intercession to drive off the wicked spiritual powers which seek to destroy us. Our sinfulness causes the curses to be applied.

In taking on human nature, Christ became subject to the same buffeting of Satan we experience. He suffered the curse of the law on our behalf. How did he do this since he is sinless? By entering into Satan's realm and allowing Satan to buffet him. God allowed Satan to have his way with him much as he did with Job.

The significance of the reference to hanging on a tree is to answer the question: "was Christ really cursed?" The answer is that he was, because he hung on a tree, the cross.

Christ redeemed human nature and humanity making it possible for all redeemed humans to break free from the kingdom of this world, from the powers of darkness. When human nature became corrupted at the fall and took on original sin, human souls began to live entangled in the spiritual realmwith the wicked spirits. There was no hope of salvation for any of these wicked spirits or those humans entangled in this spiritual darkness. But Christ deified human natureand gave to all humans who chose to, the ability to follow along with Christ to become redeemed.

(Galatians 3:14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

(Galatians 3:15) Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

(Galatians 3:16) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

This is a problem verse because the word "seed" is clearly used in the book of Genesis in the context of Abraham's promised seed as referring to a multitude of peoples,yet Paul insists this word refers only to Christ. A few points to resolve the difficulty...

  1. The word "seed" is indeed singular in all these cases.
  2. Abraham uses the word "seed" to refer to a son.
  3. In verse 29, Paul admits the word "seed" refers to many people.
  4. Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, a "seed" of Abraham.
  5. Jesus fulfills the covenant with Abraham by bringing redemption to those of faith.
  6. Paul uses a similar kind of allegorywith Sarah and Hagar.We should not use this kind of interpretation involving allegory, typology,and other figures of speech;only the apostles could do this correctly.

(Galatians 3:17) And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

(Galatians 3:18) For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

(Galatians 3:19) Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

(Galatians 3:20) Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

(Galatians 3:21) Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

We are not saved by the law without faith. We are not saved by works only.

(Galatians 3:22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

(Galatians 3:23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

(Galatians 3:24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

This verse does not say the Old Testament law was useless or that it did not result in salvation for those following it. This passage is discussing that aspect of the Old Testament law leading up to the appearance of the Messiah and his redeeming work of redemption. Those of the Old Testament were not aware of this aspect of the law.

(Galatians 3:25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

(Galatians 3:26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

(Galatians 3:27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

(Galatians 3:28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Galatians 3:29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(Galatians 4:1) Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

(Galatians 4:2) But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

(Galatians 4:3) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

(Galatians 4:4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

(Galatians 4:5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

(Galatians 4:6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

(Galatians 4:7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

(Galatians 4:8) Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

(Galatians 4:9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

(Galatians 4:10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

(Galatians 4:11) I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

(Galatians 4:12) Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

(Galatians 4:13) Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

(Galatians 4:14) And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

(Galatians 4:15) Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

(Galatians 4:16) Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

(Galatians 4:17) They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.

(Galatians 4:18) But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

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

(Galatians 4:20) I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

(Galatians 4:21) Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

(Galatians 4:22) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

(Galatians 4:23) But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

(Galatians 4:24) Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

(Galatians 4:25) For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

(Galatians 4:26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

(Galatians 4:27) For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

(Galatians 4:28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

(Galatians 4:29) But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

(Galatians 4:30) Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

(Galatians 4:31) So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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.

No longer bound by the Mosaic law, Christians have freedom. You wouldn't know it by looking at the Churchthroughout much of church history;it didn't take very long for the power-crazedbishopsto impose the rule of law on Christians.

Even so, our freedom has limits. We are not free to sin, to live in the flesh.We are only free to choose things pleasing to God, any other choice is a choice made from bondage to sin. We must choose virtueand moral living.Christians are to love one another and serve one another. This is hard to do when they are at war with each other or when they accuse each other of being unsaved or idol worshippers. We are to have the proper view of unity:it is not unity at all cost; but all true Christians who are among the redeemed should accept one another as true followers of Christ.

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

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

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

Paul uses the term "flesh"to contrast with the Spirit; the flesh is the part of our soul that desires to sin, while the Spirit is the God who indwells our soul and influences us to live holy lives pleasing to God. When we choose to sin we drive away the Spirit of God since God is repulsed by sin. We have to repent and invite the Spirit back in. The only way to keep from sinning is to work — this work involves practicing the virtuesand living a holy moral life;these constitute a Christian's walk with God.

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


Works of the Flesh

(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,

The greek word pharmakeia is here translated witchcraft. Some interpret this word as referring to drug use and certainly the word can mean this, but it doesn't only mean this; none of the translations translate it this way. I think interpreting the greek word pharmakeia as drug use is improper; it would be like swapping the two opposite meanings of the word cleave: to split vs. to join.

(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.


Fruit of the Spirit

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

The word "fruit" is singular. You have to have them all; you can't pick and choose. Holiness is a package deal.

How is it possible to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which every Christian has, but yet not have the fruit of the Spirit?

Any Christian who considers themselves saved should measure up to these...

  1. love
  2. joy — this does not mean that you will never be sad, or that you will not be plagued by depression.
  3. peace
  4. longsuffering — patiently enduring hardships
  5. gentleness
  6. goodness
  7. faith

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

The list continues...

  1. meekness
  2. temperance — moderation, self-control. This does not mean that you will never overindulge but, rather, that you will quickly catch yourself and return to moderation.

These are not against God's law because they are in harmony with God's law; in fact, they are the goal and purpose of God's law. God gave his law for the purpose of bringing the fruit of the Spirit to each person. The person who has the fruit of the Spirit doesn't need the law. The Christian who doesn't have the fruit of the Spirit might not even be saved.

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

(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.

(Galatians 6:2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

There is such a thing as the law of Christ. Fundamentalist evangelical Protestants often interpret this to mean "the non-law of Christ" but it says "law of Christ." Thus, one aspect of our salvation by faith in Christ is that we follow the law of Christ. Those who do not do this do not have saving faith. Having faith requires having good works.

(Galatians 6:3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

(Galatians 6:4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

(Galatians 6:5) For every man shall bear his own burden.

(Galatians 6:6) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

(Galatians 6:7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

(Galatians 6:8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

(Galatians 6:9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This verse is about the topic of salvation. The reward we reap is spending eternity in the new heavens and new earth.Notice that receiving this reward is conditional on our not growing weary and not fainting. Thus, we can lose our salvation if we start sinning.Works have a role in our salvation, but we are not saved by works only — faith is required.

(Galatians 6:10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

(Galatians 6:11) Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

(Galatians 6:12) As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

(Galatians 6:13) For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

(Galatians 6:14) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

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

(Galatians 6:16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

(Galatians 6:17) From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

(Galatians 6:18) Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

King James Version