5:2 1 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be a circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
(1) Another entreaty in which he plainly
witnesses that justification of works, and justification of faith cannot stand
together, because no man can be justified by the Law, but he that does fully
and perfectly fulfil it. And he takes the example of circumcision, because it
was the ground of all the service of the Law, and was chiefly urged by the
(a) Circumcision is in other places called the
seal of righteousness, but here we must have consideration of the circumstance
of the time, for now baptism is a sign of the new covenant, just as
circumcision was the sign of the old covenant. And moreover Paul reasons
according to the opinion that his enemies had of it, which made circumcision a
essential to their salvation.
5:4 Christ is b
become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are c
justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
(b) That is, as he himself expounds it afterward,
"ye are fallen from grace."
(c) That is, seek to be justified by the Law, for
indeed no man is justified by the Law.
5:5 2 For we
through the d Spirit wait for the hope
of righteousness by faith.
(2) He privately compares the new people with the
old: for it is certain that they also did ground all their hope of
justification and life in faith, and not in circumcision, but in such a way
that their faith was wrapped in the external and ceremonial worship. But our
faith is without such ceremony, and content with spiritual worship.
(d) Through the Spirit who brings about faith.
5:6 3 For in
Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor 4
uncircumcision; 5 but e
faith which worketh by love.
(3) He adds a reason, for now circumcision is
abolished, seeing that Christ is exhibited to us with complete spiritual
circumcision. (4) He makes mention also of
uncircumcision, lest the Gentiles should please themselves in it, as the Jews
do in circumcision. (5) The taking away of an
objection: if all that worship of the Law is taken away, in what than shall we
exercise ourselves? In charity, Paul says: for faith of which we speak cannot
be idle; no, it brings forth daily fruits of charity.
(e) So is true faith distinguished from
counterfeit faith: for charity is not joined with faith as a fellow cause, to
help forward our justification with faith.
5:7 6 Ye did
run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
(6) Again he chides the Galatians, but with both
an admiration and a praise of their former race, so that he may make them more
5:8 7 This
persuasion [cometh] not of f him that
(7) He plays the part of an apostle with them,
and uses his authority, denying that any doctrine can come from God which is
contrary to his.
(f) Of God.
5:9 8 A
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
(8) He adds this, that he may not seem to contend
upon a trifle, warning them diligently (by a metaphor which he borrows of
leaven, as Christ himself also did) not to allow the purity of the apostolic
doctrine to be infected with the least corruption at all.
5:10 9 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.
(9) He moderates the former reprehension, casting
the fault upon the false apostles, against whom he denounces the horrible
judgment of God.
5:11 10 And
I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then
is the offence of the cross ceased.
(10) He wishes them to consider that he seeks not
his own profit in this matter, seeing that he could avoid the hatred of men if
he would join Judaism with Christianity.
5:12 11 I
would they were even cut off which g
(11) An example of a true pastor inflamed with
the zeal of God's glory, and love for his flock.
(g) For those that preach the Law cause men's
consciences to always tremble.
5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto
liberty; 12 only [use] not liberty for
an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
(12) The third part of this epistle, showing that
the right use of Christian liberty consists of this, that being delivered and
set at liberty from the slavery of sin and the flesh, and being obedient to
the Spirit, we should through love help each other to mature in their
5:14 13 For h
all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself.
(13) He sets forth the love of our neighbour, as
a mark unto which all Christians ought to refer all their actions, and to that
he cites the testimony of the Law.
(h) This particle "all" must be limited
to the second table of the ten commandments.
5:15 14 But
if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of
(14) An exhortation to the duties of charity, by
the profit that follows from it, because no men proved worse for themselves
than they that hate one another.
[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the
(15) He acknowledges the great weakness of the
godly, because they are but in part regenerated: but he exhorts them to
remember that they are endued with the Spirit of God, who has delivered them
from the slavery of sin, and so from the Law, inasmuch as it is the power of
sin, so that they should not give themselves to lusts.
5:17 For the i
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
(i) For the flesh dwells even in the regenerated
man, but the Spirit reigns, even though not without great strife, as is
largely set forth in (Romans
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
(16) He sets out that particularly of which he
spoke generally, reckoning up some principal effects of the flesh, and
opposing them to the fruits of the Spirit, that no man may pretend ignorance.
the k fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(k) Therefore they are not the fruits of free
will, but only as far forth as our will is made free by grace.
5:23 Meekness, temperance: 17
against such there is no law.
(17) Lest that any man should object that Paul
plays the deceiver, as one who urging the Spirit urges nothing but that which
the Law commands, he shows that he requires not that literal and outward
obedience, but spiritual, which proceeds not from the Law but from the Spirit
of Christ, who gives us new birth, and must and ought to be the ruler and
guider of our life.
5:25 If we l
live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
(l) If we are indeed endued with the quickening
Spirit, who causes us to die to sin, and live to God, let us show it in our
deeds, that is, by holiness of life.
5:26 18 Let
us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
(18) He adds special exhortations according as he
knew the Galatians to be subject to different vices: and first of all he warns
them to take heed of ambition, which vice has two fellows, backbiting and
envy. And out of these two many contentions necessarily arise.