Galatians 6 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Galatians 6)

Verse 1

[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.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in any fault — By surprise, ignorance, or stress of temptation.

Ye who are spiritual — Who continue to live and walk by the Spirit.

Restore such an one — By reproof, instruction, or exhortation. Every one who can, ought to help herein; only in the spirit of meekness - This is essential to a spiritual man; and in this lies the whole force of the cure.

Considering thyself — The plural is beautifully changed into the singular. Let each take heed to himself.

Lest thou also be tempted — Temptation easily and swiftly passes from one to another; especially if a man endeavours to cure another without preserving his own meekness.

Verse 2

[2] Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Bear ye one another's burdens — Sympathize with, and assist, each other, in all your weaknesses, grievances, trials.

And so fulfil the law of Christ — The law of Christ (an uncommon expression) is the law of love: this our Lord peculiarly recommends; this he makes the distinguishing mark of his disciples.

Verse 3

[3] For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

If any one think himself to be something — Above his brethren, or by any strength of his own.

When he is nothing, he deceiveth himself — He alone will bear their burdens, who knows himself to be nothing.

Verse 4

[4] But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

But let every man try his own work — Narrowly examine all he is, and all he doeth.

And then he shall have rejoicing in himself — He will find in himself matter of rejoicing, if his works are right before God.

And not in another — Not in glorying over others.

Verse 5

[5] For every man shall bear his own burden.

For every one shall bear his own burden — ln that day shall give an account of himself to God.

Verse 6

[6] Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Let him that is taught impart to him that teacheth all such temporal good things as he stands in need of.

Verse 7

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

God is not mocked — Although they attempt to mock him, who think to reap otherwise than they sow.

Verse 8

[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.

For he that now soweth to the flesh — That follows the desires of corrupt nature. Shall hereafter of the flesh - Out of this very seed.

Reap corruption — Death everlasting.

But he that soweth to the Spirit — That follows his guidance in all his tempers and conversation.

Shall of the Spirit — By the free grace and power of God, reap life everlasting.

Verse 9

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

But let us not be weary in well doing — Let us persevere in sowing to the Spirit.

For in due season — When the harvest is come, we shall reap, if we faint not.

Verse 10

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

Therefore as we have opportunity — At whatever time or place, and in whatever manner we can. The opportunity in general is our lifetime; but there are also many particular opportunities. Satan is quickened in doing hurt, by the shortness of the time, Revelation 12:12. By the same consideration let us be quickened in doing good.

Let us do good — In every possible kind, and in every possible degree.

Unto all men — Neighbours or strangers, good or evil, friends or enemies. But especially to them who are of the household of faith. For all believers are but one family.

Verse 11

[11] Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

Ye see how large a letter — St. Paul had not yet wrote a larger to any church.

I have written with my own hand — He generally wrote by an amanuensis.

Verse 12

[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.

As many as desire to make a fair appearance in the flesh — To preserve a fair character.

These constrain you — Both by their example and importunity.

To be circumcised — Not so much from a principle of conscience, as lest they should suffer persecution - From the unbelieving Jews.

For the cross of Christ — For maintaining that faith in a crucified Saviour is alone sufficient for justification.

Verse 13

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

For neither they themselves keep the whole law — So far are they from a real zeal for it. But yet they desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh - That they may boast of you as their proselytes, and make a merit of this with the other Jews.

Verse 14

[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.

But God forbid that I should glory — Should boast of anything I have, am, or do; or rely on anything for my acceptance with God, but what Christ hath done and suffered for me. By means of which the world is crucified to me - All the things and persons in it are to me as nothing.

And I unto the world — I am dead to all worldly pursuits, cares, desires, and enjoyments.

Verse 15

[15] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

For neither circumcision is anything, nor uncircumcision — Neither of these is of any account.

But a new creation — Whereby all things in us become new.

Verse 16

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

And as many as walk according to this rule — 1. Glorying only in the cross of Christ. 2. Being crucified to the world. And, 3. Created anew. Peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel, that is, the Church, of God - Which consists of all those, and those only, of every nation and kindred, who walk by this rule.

Verse 17

[17] From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

From henceforth let none trouble me — By quarrels and disputes.

For I bear — And afflictions should not be added to the afflicted.

In my body the marks of the Lord Jesus — The scars, marks, and brands of my sufferings for Him.