Galatians 6 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Galatians 6)
6:1 Brethren, 1 if a man be a overtaken in a fault, ye which are b spiritual, c restore such an one in the d spirit of meekness; 2 considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

(1) He condemns persistent and pressing harshness, because brotherly reprehensions ought to be moderated and tempered by the spirit of meekness.
(a) Through the malice of the flesh and the devil.
(b) Who are upheld by the power of God's Spirit.
(c) Labour to fill up that which is lacking in him.
(d) This is a metaphor which the Hebrews use, showing by this that all good gifts come from God. (2) He touches the problem, for they are commonly the most severe judges who forget their own weaknesses.

6:2 3 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the e law of Christ.

(3) He shows that this is the end of rebukes, to raise up our brother who is fallen, and not proudly to oppress him. Therefore every one must seek to have praise of his own life by approving himself, and not by rebuking others.
(e) Christ, in plain and clear words, calls the commandment of charity his commandment.

6:5 4 For every man shall bear his own burden.

(4) A reason why men ought to carefully watch themselves not others, because every man will be judged before God according to his own life, and not by comparing himself with other men.

6:6 5 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in f all good things.

(5) It is fitting that teachers should be helped by their students, as much as they are able.
(f) Of whatever he has according to his ability.

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

(6) He commends liberality towards the poor, and first of all chides those who were not ashamed to pretend this and that, and all because they would not help their neighbours, as though they could deceive God. And afterward he compares alms to a spiritual sowing which will have a most plentiful harvest, so that it will be very profitable: and compares being a covetous miser to sowing carnally, from which nothing can be gathered but such things as fade away, and eventually perish.

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

(g) To the commodities of this present life.

6:9 7 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

(7) Against those who are generous at the beginning, but do not continue, because the harvest seems to be deferred a long time, as though the seed time and the harvest were simultaneous.

6:10 8 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

(8) Those that are of the household of faith, that is, those who are joined with us in the profession of one self same religion, ought to be preferred before all others, yet in such a way that our generosity extends to all.

6:11 9 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

(9) The fourth and last part of the epistle, in which he returns to his principal end and purpose: that is, that the Galatians should not allow themselves to be led out of the way by the false apostles. And he points out what those false apostles are really like, reproving them of ambition, as men who do not act because of any affection and zeal they have for the Law, but only for this purpose, that they may purchase themselves favour amongst their own sort, by the circumcision of the Galatians.

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

(h) He sets a fair show against the truth.
(i) In the keeping of ceremonies.
(k) For the preaching of him that was crucified.

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

(l) That they have entangled you in Judaism, and yet he dwells on the aspect of circumcision.

6:14 10 But God forbid that I should m glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

(10) He does not dwell in comparing himself with them, showing that on the other hand he rejoices in those afflictions which he suffers for Christ's sake, and as he is despised by the world, so does he in the same way consider the world as wicked. And this is the true circumcision of a true Israelite.
(m) When Paul uses this word in good sense or way, it signifies to rest a man's self wholly in a thing, and to content himself in it.

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

(n) Upon the true Israel, whose praise is from God and not from men; (Romans 2:29).

6:17 11 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the o marks of the p Lord Jesus.

(11) Continuing still in the same metaphor, he opposes his miseries and the marks of those stripes which he bore for Christ's sake, against the scar of the outward circumcision, as a true mark of his apostleship.
(o) Marks which are burnt into a man's flesh, as they used to do in ancient times, to mark their servants that had run away from them.
(p) For it very important whose marks we bear: for the cause makes the martyr, and not the punishment.

6:18 12 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your q spirit. Amen. «[To [the] Galatians written from Rome.]»

(12) Taking his farewell of them, he wishes them grace, and the Spirit against the deceits of the false apostles, who labour to beat those outward things into their brains.
(q) With your minds and hearts.