G p 1. Justification by faith. Exhortation based on 2:15-21 q 2,3. Circumcision destructive of faith. p 4. Justification by law makes Christ of no effect. q 5,6. Circumcision of no avail.
1 Stand fast (see Cor. 1:13) therefore in the liberty wherewith Chris made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say to you, that if you undergo circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect to you (lit. you were severed from Christ), whosoever of you are justified in the law; you are fallen off from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love.
H Y r 5:7-10. Exhortation as to past failure. s 5:11,12. Paul's teaching. Appeal. Z t 5:13-15. Walking in the flesh. u 5:16-18. Walking in spirit. t 5:19-21. Works of the flesh. u 5:22-26. Fruit of the spirit. Y r 6:1-5. Exhortation as to future conduct. s 6:5-10. Paul's hearers. Appeal.
7 You were running well; who impeded you that you should not obey the truth? (I. e. Christ [John 14:6.])
8 The obedience comes not of Him (God) that calls you.
9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (This proverb is quoted 1 Cor. 5:6)
10 I have confidence in regard to you through the Lord, that you will be nothing otherwise minded: but he that troubles you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision (he circumcised Timothy for them), why am I still persecuted? then is the offense of the cross ceased. (The Galatians wanted to go back to the law.)
12 I would they even dismember themselves which trouble you. (Reference to the rite practiced by the Phrygians in the worship of Cybele. Cp. Mark 9:43. Paul is starting to get aggravated.)
13 For, brethren, you have been called upon liberty (liberty is the foundation); only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Don't let the flesh take over.)
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Quoted from Lev. 19:18.)
15 But if you bite and devour one another, take heed lest you be consumed one by another.
16 This I say then, Walk by spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (See Rom. 6:12,19; 13:14. This is how to make good decisions.)
17 For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: in order that you may not do the things that you should.
18 But if you be led by the spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works (contrast "fruit", v.22) of the flesh are manifest, such as these (18 items, 18 = bondage); Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (see Rom. 1:24), lasciviousness (see Rom. 13:13),
20 Idolatry, sorcery (Gr. pharmakeis. Here and Rev. 9:21; 18:23. See also Rev. 21:8; 22:15. It means magical incantations by means of drugs), hatred (see Rom. 8:7), variance (see Rom. 1:29), jealousies. (see Rom. 13:13), wrath, factiousness (see Rom. 2:8), divisions (see Rom. 16:17), heresies, (See Acts 5:17)
21 Envyings (see Rom. 1:29), murders, drunkenness (see Luke 21:34), revellings (lit. Comus banquets. See Rom. 13:13. In this list 2 sins, idolatry and sorcery, involve the traffic with the powers of evil), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I told you before also in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness (see Rom. 15:14), fidelity (Cp. Tit. 2:10),
23 Meekness (see 1 Cor. 4:21), self-control (see Acts 24:25): against such there is no law. (There is no law against doing what is good.)
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the passions (see Rom. 7:5) and lusts.
25 If we live in the spirit, we should also walk in the spirit. (If you talk the talk, walk the walk.)
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory (self-conceit), provoking one another, envying one another.