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Lyn Mize

Paul writes this epistle to the churches of Galatia (vs 2). Galatia was the largest province of Asia Minor and was conquered by the Gauls, from which it received its name. In Wikipedia “Gaul (Latin Gallia, Greek Galatia) was the region of Western Europe occupied by present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river.” Galatia was located on the Anatolian peninsula which is now the Asian portion of Turkey. The Latin name is Asia Minor, which comes from the Greek Mikra Asia. The churches of Galatia were founded by Paul himself (Acts 16:6; Gal 1:8; 4:13, 4:19).  

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the Epistle to the Galatians:

“The churches of Galatia were founded by Paul himself (Acts 16:6; Gal 1:8; 4:13, 4:19). They seem to have been composed mainly of converts from paganism (4:8). After Paul's departure the churches were visited by individuals whom Paul regarded as troublemakers preaching a "different gospel" from that preached by Paul (1:6–9). The Galatians appear to have been receptive to the teaching of these newcomers, and the epistle is Paul's angry response to what he sees as their willingness to turn from his teaching.

The identity of these "opponents" is disputed. We do not have a record of their activity, but are left to reconstruct it from Paul's response. However, the majority of modern scholars view them as Jewish Christians (i.e. Judaizers), who taught that in order for pagans to belong to the people of God, they must be subject to some or all of the Jewish Law. The letter indicates controversy concerning circumcision, Sabbath observance, and the Mosaic Law. It would appear, from Paul's response, that they cited the example of Abraham, who was circumcised as a mark of receiving the covenant blessings. They certainly appear to have questioned Paul's authority as an apostle, perhaps appealing to the greater authority of the Jerusalem church governed by James the Just.

It appears the teachers made some headway among Paul's converts. Sociological research has suggested that converts from dominant paganism may have suffered a "loss of identity", and found the clarity offered by a Jewish identity and a law-observant lifestyle attractive.”  

“Paul responds angrily. He reminds the Galatians of the "law-free" gospel (see also Antinomianism), he has preached to them. He rehearses his conversion and apostolic credentials, records his relationship with the Jerusalem Church, and engages in a halakahic argument over the interpretation of the Abraham story.”  

Contents of Galatians per Wikipedia follows:  

“This epistle addresses the question, was the Jewish law binding on Christians? The epistle is designed to counter the Jews' position that men cannot be justified by faith without the works of the law of Moses. After an introductory address (Gal. 1:1-10) the apostle discusses the subjects which had occasioned the epistle. (1) He defends his apostolic authority (1:11-19; 2:1-14); (2) shows the evil influence of the Judaizers in destroying the very essence of the gospel (3 and 4); (3) exhorts the Galatian believers to stand fast in the faith as it is in Jesus, and to abound in the fruit of the Spirit, and in a right use of their Christian freedom (5-6:1-10); (4) and then concludes with a summary of the topics discussed, and with the benediction.”  

“The Epistle to the Galatians and that to the Romans taken together "form a complete proof that justification is not to be obtained meritoriously either by works of morality or by rites and ceremonies, though of divine appointment; but that it is a free gift, proceeding entirely from the mercy of God, to those who receive it by faith in Jesus our Lord" (Easton).  

“In the conclusion of the epistle (6:11) Paul says, "Ye see how large a letter I have written with mine own hand." It is implied that this was different from his ordinary usage, which was simply to write the concluding salutation with his own hand, indicating that the rest of the epistle was written by another hand. Regarding this conclusion, Lightfoot, in his Commentary on the epistle, says: "At this point the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries... In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his hand-writing may reflect the energy and determination of his soul."”

Galatians was written in the winter of AD 57–58 according to the majority of Bible scholars. We will now begin our verse-by-verse exegesis of Galatians.  

I.      Introduction (1:1-10)  

A.            The Salutation (1:1-5)  

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

Paul refers to himself as “an apostle” sent by Jesus Christ and not men. This confirms that he was the replacement chosen by God for Judas Iscariot. We know that Jesus Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus and personally commissioned him for service. This qualifies Paul as one of the original 12 Apostles. This verse also attests to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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

Paul alludes to the fact that Christian brethren are with him at the time that he is writing this epistle, and he confirms the recipients of this epistle as the churches of Galatia.

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

Paul wishes grace and peace to his fellow Christians from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He is referring to the spiritual meaning of grace, which is the divine influence upon the heart and the reflection in the life of the Christian. He is also referring to the peace of God, which is that peace of mind that passes all understanding. These are Christian brethren, so they have already been reconciled to God and have peace with God. “Grace and peace” find their source in God as the Christian walks in the light of God’s Word.

(Gal 1:4 KJV)  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:  

Paul refers to the Atonement of Jesus Christ for the sins of the Church (i.e., brethren) and he shows the conditional nature of being delivered from “this present evil world” in his use of the word “might”. Jesus died for Christians, which effected their spiritual salvation, but it is God’s will that we be presently delivered from the power of sin in this evil world. All Christians have been delivered from the penalty of sin, but they can also be delivered from the power of sin, if they crucify self and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in them and be in charge of their lives. Spirit salvation is certain and complete, but soul salvation is conditional, requiring the cooperation of the believer in dying to self, so that the life of Jesus Christ can be lived out in each individual believer. Our spirits are saved by the death or atonement of Jesus Christ, but our souls are saved by the life of Jesus Christ. Spirit salvation is the justification by faith that all Christians possess upon faith in Jesus Christ. Soul salvation is the sanctification or justification by works that requires the effort of Christians. Spirit salvation pertains to the unconditional Covenant of Grace, but soul salvation pertains to the conditional Covenant of Works. Just as the Jews received the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, along with the conditional Mosaic Covenant, the Church received the unconditional Covenant of Grace along with the conditional Covenant of Works. A clear understanding of Scripture requires an understanding of the difference between spirit salvation and soul salvation.

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

Paul refers to the glory of God, which will be for all eternity, and ends the salutation with the traditional “Amen”, which attests to the truth to that which has just been spoken.

                        B.            The Denunciation (1:6-10)

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

Conspicuously absent is Paul’s typical expression of thanksgiving to God for the readers of the epistle. Instead, Paul initiates a strong rebuke over the Galatians defection from doctrinal truth. Paul’s astonishment occurs over the fact that the Galatians are defecting from the truth so quickly after his visit to them and his teaching of justification by faith without the works of the law of Moses.

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

There were some false teachers who had entered into the Galatian churches and were teaching that Jewish rituals and ceremonies were required for soul salvation. Scholars view these false teachers as Jewish Christians (i.e., Judaizers) who were teaching that pagans (i.e., Gentiles) who come to God must also fulfill some or all of the Jewish law to realize soul salvation. The Judaizers were preaching that Gentiles who come to God in faith must also be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to be faithful Christians.

Paul was preaching the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles, which pertains to soul salvation. It did not require the practicing or keeping of the Law of Moses. The gospel of Christ requires the crucifying of the flesh nature and allowing the life of Christ to be worked out in the individual. Circumcision is not required for a Christian to be faithful. The phrase “gospel of Christ” is used 11 times in Scripture and every use of this phrase refers to living a life of faithfulness to Christ, being established in the faith or being partakers in the power of God unto salvation. The salvation alluded to is the salvation of the soul. The gospel of Christ includes the gospel of grace, but it pertains to more than just being saved by faith. It pertains to realizing the power of God and going on to being an established and faithful Christian. The Judaizers were teaching that keeping the Law of Moses was necessary for this, but Paul was teaching that this is not true. The gospel of Christ pertains to the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth”. The salvation is of the soul. The following verse pertains to soul salvation and not merely spirit salvation:

(Rom 1:13 KJV)  Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

(Rom 1:14 KJV)  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

(Rom 1:15 KJV)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

(Rom 1:16 KJV)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

(Rom 1:17 KJV)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

(Rom 1:18 KJV)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  

Please note in the above passage that the “gospel of Christ” is for believers, and the purpose is to instill spiritual fruit in Christians (vs. 13) and to allow the power of God to be realized in Christians (vs. 16) so that they “live by faith” (vs. 17). The final purpose of the “gospel of Christ” is to avoid the wrath of God that will be revealed from heaven against Christians who “hold the truth in unrighteousness”. In simple terms, the gospel of Christ is to keep Christians from living ungodly and unrighteous lives. Paul does not want Christians to “hold the truth in unrighteousness.

(Gal 1:8 KJV)  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.  

Paul emphasizes his disdain by telling the Galatians that even if he or even an angel from heaven comes to them preaching another gospel than that which has already been preached to them by Paul, then he should be “accursed”. This Greek word for “accursed” means that the person preaching the “other gospel” should be doomed to destruction. For Paul, this would mean the sin unto death or the unpardonable sin, which would automatically result in the loss of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul was trying to make a strong distinction between the Law of Moses and the gospel of Christ.

(Gal 1:9 KJV)  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.  

Paul repeats his warning, but he adds that “If any man preach any other gospel” unto the Galatians then he should be “accursed”. This repetition adds the curse to the false teachers or Judaizers who were actually preaching this other gospel that these Gentile Christians must also adhere to the Law of Moses.

(Gal 1:10 KJV)  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.  

Apparently, the Judaizers had accused Paul of tickling the ears of the Galatians by telling them that salvation was by faith alone. The rebuke in this epistle is clear evidence that Paul was not in the habit of tickling anybody’s ears. Also, his other epistles do clearly emphasize the importance of works in the Christian life, but these works are definitely not for the purpose of spirit salvation. Paul clearly differentiates between salvation by faith alone for the spirit, and reward in the kingdom of heaven for the Christian’s good works. Paul’s teachings can be easily summed up in one brief statement: Salvation is by faith alone, but rewards are according to works. Paul taught a great deal about the works of Christians and the importance of obedience to the Word of God, but these are never linked to spirit salvation. Paul does link the works of Christians and obedience to the Word of God for soul salvation, but the performance of Jewish rites and rituals are never linked to soul salvation. Thus, the keeping of the Mosaic Law is unnecessary for spirit salvation and it is also unnecessary for soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

II.  Personal: A Defense of Paul’s Authority (1:11-2:21)  

                        A.  Paul was Independent of the Apostles (1:11-24)

                                    1. Thesis: Paul’s Gospel was a Revelation (1:11-12)

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

Paul certifies that the gospel (i.e., of grace) that he preached was not received from men, but from Jesus Christ directly, as is stated in the following verse.

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

Paul states that the gospel of grace that he taught to the Galatians was revealed to him from Jesus Christ and not from man.

                                    2. Events before Paul’s Conversion (1:13-14)          

(Gal 1:13 KJV)  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:  

In defense of his assertion of spirit salvation by faith alone, Paul refers to his own manner of life as an orthodox Jew striving to keep the Mosaic Law. In essence, Paul is stating that if the keeping of the Mosaic Law was necessary in addition to faith in Christ, then he would certainly tell them about it, since he was such a devout keeper of the Mosaic Law.

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

Paul continues to explain his zealousness for the Jewish Law by stating that he was much more devout in orthodoxy than many of his peers. Paul is saying that he is definitely not one with prejudice toward the Mosaic Law, as he was a devout Jew above most. Therefore, Paul’s assertion of salvation by faith alone is certainly true, or else he would have told the Galatians that the keeping of the Law of Moses was also required.

                                    3. Events at Paul’s Conversion (1:15-16a)

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

Paul explains his unconditional election by God to salvation by the grace of God. He states that it was in God’s timing that he was called to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul asserts that it was strictly the grace of God that effected his salvation by faith, and he even alludes to the fact that God was responsible for his physical birth also. Christians are not only born again spiritually by God’s choosing, but they are born physically at God’s choosing. God opens and closes the womb in accordance with the following verses:

(Eccl 11:5 KJV)  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.  

(Isa 49:5 KJV)  And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.  

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

God was responsible for the physical and spiritual birth of Paul, and He commissioned Paul to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of Paul. Paul was called for a special purpose to preach the Lord Jesus Christ among the “heathen”, which is a term for the Gentiles. The majority of the Galatians came to salvation in Jesus Christ from paganism, so they did not have a Jewish tradition. Paul states concisely that his birth, calling, salvation, and commission was for the express purpose of preaching among the Gentiles, and none of these came from a human source. Jesus Christ called and commissioned him personally and taught him personally in Arabia in accordance with the following verse.

                                    4. Events after Paul’s Conversion (1:16b-24)

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

After Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, he did not go to the Apostles in Jerusalem for consultation, but he went into Arabia to be taught by God and then returned to Damascus. The result of Paul’s teaching in Arabia is contained in the Book of Romans, which is an extensive treatise on salvation—both spirit and soul.

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

It was not until three years later that Paul “went up to Jerusalem to see Peter” where he spent 15 days with him.

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

The only other Apostle that Paul talked to was James, the half brother of Jesus. Paul provides this information to confirm that his teaching about salvation did not come from the Apostles, but from God alone. Of course, the teachings of Paul are in perfect accord with the Book of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter and the whole New Testament, because all were written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

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

Paul asserts that the things that he writes to the Galatians in this epistle are truth, and he vows before God that they are true.

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

After his brief visit in Jerusalem, Paul worked in Syria and Cilicia for an extended period. This is why he was unknown personally in the churches of Judea, which is stated in the following verse.

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

The churches of Judea did not know Paul personally during the time that he was in Syria and Cilicia. The following are excerpts from Wikipedia on Cilicia and Syria:

“Çukurova is the modern name for the ancient region of Cilicia in southern Anatolian peninsula. The region consists of the modern provinces of Adana, Osmaniye, Mersin and Tarsus.”

“Archaeologists have demonstrated that Syria was the center of one of the most ancient civilizations on earth.”

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

The Christians in the churches of Judea did not know Paul personally, but they had heard that one of their most vehement persecutors was now preaching the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Upon hearing this news about Paul, the churches of Judea glorified God because of Paul’s conversion. Salvation is definitely of the Lord, as he chooses his own.

                        B. Paul was Recognized by the Apostles (2:1-10)

Chapter 2 continues Paul’s defense of his apostolic authority and the gospel of grace that he preached. However, in this chapter he focuses on the content of his message rather than the source of his message. Also, in chapter 1 he emphasized his independence from the other Apostles, whereas in this chapter, he sets forth the basic unity between himself and them.

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

There is much debate among Bible scholars on identifying this trip that Paul took to Jerusalem with Barnabas, a Jewish believer, and Titus, a Gentile believer. There are five visits to Jerusalem by Paul after his conversion that are mentioned in the Book of Acts. This is significant since the number 5 is the number of grace. The five visits mentioned in Acts are outlined in the following table:

Five Jerusalem Visits by Paul in Acts
Scripture Reference
1. The visit after he left Damascus
Acts 9:26-30; 1:18-20
2. The famine visit
Acts 11:27-30
3. The visit to attend the Jerusalem Council
Acts 15:1-30
4. The visit at the end of Paul's second missionary journey
Acts 18:22
5. The final visit resulting in his Caesarean imprisonment
Acts 21:15-23:35

It seems that verse 1 above alludes to the Famine Visit by Paul described as follows:

(Acts 11:27 KJV)  And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

(Acts 11:28 KJV)  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

(Acts 11:29 KJV)  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

(Acts 11:30 KJV)  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

(Gal 2:2 KJV)  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.

On this second visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, Paul went in response to a revelation or direction by God. Thus, Paul went because God had directed him to go and not because the Jerusalem leaders had summoned him. On this visit, Paul explained to the Church leaders (i.e., the Apostles) the gospel of Christ that he preached to the Gentiles. Paul was not seeking their approval for the truth of his message, for he had received it directly from God. Rather, Paul was seeking to know their position on the gospel that he was preaching. If the Jerusalem leaders were insisting on circumcision and other requirements of the Mosaic Law, then Paul’s work (i.e., his running) may have been hindered by the Judaizers.

NOTE: The gospel of Christ is simply Christ in you, the hope of glory. The gospel of Christ pertains to living a faithful Christian life, and keeping the Law of Moses is not required for this.

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

It becomes clear why Paul brought Titus with him, as he was a test case for the Apostles. As an uncircumcised Greek, Titus was not compelled by the Apostles to be circumcised. Clearly, the Church leaders at Jerusalem were not swayed by the Judaizers, and the gospel of Christ was confirmed.

(Gal 2:4 KJV)  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:

Even though the truth of the gospel of Christ was clearly established by the Apostles, there were some “false brethren” who came into the meeting and attempted “to spy out” the liberty or freedom that they had in not being required to keep the Law of Moses. These Judaizers also wanted to make Christians slaves or to bring them into bondage to the rules and rituals of the Mosaic Law.

In accordance with Thayer’s Lexicon, “false brethren” is defined as follows:

5569  pseudadelphos-

1) a false brother

2) one who ostentatiously professes to be a Christian, but is destitute of Christian knowledge and piety

Thus, these false brethren may have actually been misguided Christians who were simply “destitute of Christian knowledge and piety”. The scriptures are clear that at the end of the Church Age, the Church will be completely leavened with false doctrine based on the teachings of man that are not Scriptural. The most common error in the Church today is to make repentance a condition for spirit salvation. Repentance is clearly a work—a difficult work—that pertains to the gospel of Christ. The gospel of Christ pertains to soul salvation and the inheritance in the coming kingdom of God, and not to spirit salvation. All Christians are saved spiritually by faith alone in the atonement of Jesus Christ. They are then commanded to “repent and be baptized”. Repentance and baptism go together and are related to the Covenant of Works and the salvation of the soul. Faith alone pertains to the Covenant of Grace and is related to the salvation of the spirit. It is very important for the Christian to understand the difference between grace and works, which is the difference between spirit salvation and soul salvation. The following table provides a graphic on the three aspects of salvation for man, who was created in the image of God as a tripartite being:

Spirit
Soul
Body
Spirit salvation--a free gift of God.
Soul salvation--a works salvation.
Believers are promised a new body.
Once saved, always saved. Spirit salvation is secure.
Backsliding is a reality--results in loss of reward.
Occurs on Resurrection day--no conditions.
A work of the Holy Spirit
Works yield rewards--saves the soul.
A flesh and bone body.
Justification
Sanctification
Glorification
I have been saved.
I am being saved.
I shall be saved.
Escapes the penalty of sin.
Escapes the power of sin.
Escapes the presence of sin.

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

This verse confirms that the Judaizers were unsuccessful in their attempt, as the Apostles were not subjected to the teaching of the Judaizers for even a moment. In Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the Greek word for hour means a point in time or a moment in time. Thus, the Church leaders were not swayed by the teaching of the Judaizers for even a moment, and the truth of the gospel of Christ would continue with the Galatians because of this refusal to listen to the Judaizers.

(Gal 2:6 KJV)  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:  

Paul is stating that those in the conference who seemed to be important people did not add anything to his ministry. Paul also adds that God is not impressed with the importance of people or their standing, and Paul iterates that he was not impressed with them either.

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

Paul continues in stating that those who seemed to be important did not add to his ministry, but on the contrary they came to understand and see that Paul’s ministry was to the Gentiles, just as Peter’s was to the Jews. In essence, Paul had more influence on these Church leaders than they had upon him.  

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

The reason that Paul had so much influence on these Church leaders is that God was working just as mightily in him toward the Gentiles as He was working through Peter toward the Jews.

(Gal 2:9 KJV)  And when James, Cephas, 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.  

Furthermore, the three main leaders of the Church, James, Peter and John, realized that the grace of God was given unto Paul to minister unto the Gentiles just as they were to minister unto the Jews. Therefore, the three leaders gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, an uncircumcised Gentile.

(Gal 2:10 KJV)  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.  

The New International Version translates this verse clearly as follows:

(Gal 2:10 NIV)  All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.  

                        C. Paul Rebuked the Reputed Chief of the Apostles (2:11-21)

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

Peter visited Antioch after Paul and Barnabas visited Jerusalem, and Paul opposed him face to face in front of other Christians because of inappropriate behavior by Peter.

(Gal 2:12 KJV)  For before that certain 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 would eat with the Gentile Christians without regard to Jewish dietary laws until a group associated with James came for a visit. This group believed that circumcision was also required for faithfulness, and Peter feared what they would think about him eating with the Gentiles without regard to the Jewish dietary law. Peter gradually disassociated himself from the Gentile Christians

(Gal 2:13 KJV)  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.  

The group of Jews that came to Antioch also disassociated themselves from the Gentile Christians, and even Barnabas was caught up in their hypocrisy.

(Gal 2:14 KJV)  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?  

When Paul saw that these Jewish Christians along with Peter did not walk or act in accordance with the truth of the gospel, then Paul rebuked Peter in front of them all. Paul was in essence rebuking the other Jewish Christians as well, letting the Gentile Christians know that Peter and the Jewish Christians were acting hypocritically.

Paul asked Peter why he was eating and drinking with the Gentiles and not following Jewish laws, but required that the Gentiles follow the Jewish laws or customs.

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

Paul embarks upon a doctrinal teaching in this verse to explain spirit salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and becoming a mature or complete Christian by works of faith and not works of the flesh in keeping the Jewish law, customs and traditions. In the very next verse Paul makes a strong distinction between believing “in Jesus Christ” for spirit salvation, but being “justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law”.

The justification that Paul is addressing is the justification by works, but he is speaking of works of faith and not works of the law (i.e., keeping the Jewish laws and traditions).

(Gal 2:16 KJV)  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.  

Paul clarifies that they who are born Jews and are now Christians understand that their justification does not come by keeping or following the Jewish laws, traditions and rituals that were handed down by Moses and referred to as the Mosaic Law. Paul very clearly states that they understand that a man is justified by “the faith of Jesus Christ”. He then distinguishes faith “in Jesus Christ” from “the faith of Christ”. Paul emphasizes the difference in the statement “we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ”. This distinction is made in the Greek by the Greek word eis for “in” and the possessive of Christ for the faith of Christ.

Paul is making a strong distinction between works of the Jewish law and works of faith. This is clarified further in the following verses where he speaks of seeking to be justified by Christ (vs. 17), living unto God (vs. 19), being crucified with Christ (vs. 20), Christ living in us (vs. 20) and living by faith (vs.20).

(Gal 2:17 KJV)  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.  

This justification that Paul is speaking about is justification by works, but it is justification by works of faith and not works of the law. The works of faith come when the Christian crucifies his old flesh nature and allows the life of Christ to be lived out in him. It is a justification that Christians seek after, as stated very clearly in this verse. However, many Christians seeking after this justification are still found or revealed as sinners. Is Christ, therefore, “a minister of sin?” Paul answers his own rhetorical question by stating “God forbid”, which vehemently means absolutely not. Paul explains in the following verses that these Christians who are seeking to be justified by Christ are trying to do it in the power of the flesh and not in the power of the spirit.

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

Paul is stating that we cannot die to self and then attempt to be justified by working in the power of the flesh nature. If the Christian does this, then he is a transgressor (i.e., sinner). The main point is that the Christian cannot reform this old self. This old self must die, and the person must allow Christ to live in him. A Christian goes on into spiritual maturity by living the exchanged life, and not by reforming the old self or the old man. The old man or the old flesh nature cannot be reformed. The old man must die for the new man in Christ to be revealed. This is addressed in the following passage in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians:

(Eph 4:20 KJV)  But ye have not so learned Christ;

(Eph 4:21 KJV)  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

(Eph 4:22 KJV)  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

(Eph 4:23 KJV)  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

(Eph 4:24 KJV)  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  

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

Paul states that if he dies to self because of the law of sin and death, then it is possible for him to “live unto God”. This will result in the salvation of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Please read my tracts The Old Man Must Die! and The Law of Sin and Death for a brief overview and summation of the law of sin and death. This spiritual law pertains to the soul and not the spirit. The Christian’s spirit is alive forever and cannot die, and the unsaved reprobate’s spirit is already dead, so it cannot die either. It is the soul of the Christian that must perish or die in this life, so that it will not perish or die at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is the essence of the law of sin and death. The details of the law of sin and death are provided in Chapter 18 of Ezekiel. My dissertation To Perish or Not to Perish provides a detailed explanation of soul salvation and the law of sin and death.

(Gal 2:20 KJV)  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 sums up the law of sin and death in this verse by stating that he is presently crucified with Christ, and the life that he lives is not in the power of the flesh nature. He states that he lives “by the faith of the Son of God”.  

III.            Justification by Faith & Living by Faith (2:21-4)  

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

Paul states that he does not “frustrate the grace of God” by keeping the Law. This means that he does not disannul or set aside the grace of God by keeping the law of God. Paul is speaking of the justification by faith alone in this verse, so he can make the point (vs. 3:3) that the Galatians were saved spiritually by the grace of God and not keeping the Law. He emphasizes that if they were saved by keeping the Law of God, then it was unnecessary for Christ to die.

                        A.  Christian Maturity thru Faith (Chap. 3)

(Gal 3:1 KJV)  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  

Paul chastises the Galatians for being deceived by the Judaizers, and he emphasizes that they need to obey the truth and not the Judaizers. He states that it has been clearly shown to them the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and spirit salvation by faith in his death. This is addressed in the following verse.

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

Paul emphasizes their spirit salvation by faith alone by asking them a rhetorical question. Paul asks if they received the Spirit by keeping the Law or by faith in hearing (i.e., believing) in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The implied answer, of course, is by the hearing of faith.

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

The Christian life begins via spirit salvation by faith alone in the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Christian is then “made perfect” by works of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for “perfect” means to be made complete or to become a mature Christian. The NIV translates this very well as follows:

(Gal 3:3 NIV)  Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  

The goal is maturity in the faith, which comes by crucifying the old man and allowing Christ to live in us. We cannot reform the old man or the old nature to become obedient to the Law of God. We must kill the old man and the life of Christ must be lived in us via the power of the Holy Spirit. In simple truth, our spirits are saved by the death of Christ, and our souls are saved by the life of Christ. When we crucify the old man in us, then we become free from the Law of Sin and Death. It is very important to understand that we only become free from the Law of Sin and Death, when we kill the old man. If we do not kill the old man in this life, then Christ will kill him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If we kill the old man in this life, then we lay hold on eternal life, which results in glory, honor and immortality at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This definition of eternal life is given in the following passage of Scripture:

(Rom 2:3 KJV)  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

(Rom 2:4 KJV)  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

(Rom 2:5 KJV)  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

(Rom 2:6 KJV)  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

(Rom 2:7 KJV)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

(Rom 2:8 KJV)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

(Rom 2:9 KJV)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

(Rom 2:10 KJV)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

(Rom 2:11 KJV)  For there is no respect of persons with God.  

PLEASE NOTE IN VERSE 7 THAT ETERNAL LIFE IS ATTAINED “BY PATIENT CONTINUANCE IN WELL DOING”. Eternal life must be laid hold onto by doing works of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit—NOT BY KEEPING THE LAW OF GOD. Eternal life pertains to the soul and not the spirit. The following verses establish that eternal life is attained to by the Christian after he has been born again spiritually:

(1 Tim 6:12 KJV)  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.  

(1 Tim 6:19 KJV)  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  

(Titus 1:2 KJV)  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;  

(Titus 3:7 KJV)  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  

It is crucial to understand that eternal life is something the Christian must “fight” for, “lay hold on” and “hope” to attain in his Christian life. Eternal life and eternal security are not the same thing. All Christians are eternally secure in their spirit salvation, but eternal life pertains to reward (Rom. 2:6 above) in accordance with “deeds”, and it pertains to the soul and not the spirit.

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

Paul asks the Galatians if their suffering has been in vain. If they think they can become mature Christians by doing the works of the law, then they will be greatly surprised at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Galatians are saved spiritually and nothing can change that, but they can lose their reward if they attempt to become mature Christians by keeping the Law.

(Gal 3:5 KJV)  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?  

Paul asks the Galatians on what basis had God performed miracles in their midst. Was it because they had performed the works of the law, or was it because of their faith in the power of God to perform miracles. When we Christians ask in prayer for God to do something for us, does He do it because we have been circumcised, celebrated the feast of atonement or kept the Ten Commandments without failure? The obvious answer is NO. He answers our prayer in the positive because we believe that He will answer it. The stronger and deeper our faith, the more power there is in our prayers. This is seen in the following passage of Scripture:

(James 5:15 KJV)  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

(James 5:16 KJV)  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  

The righteous man is the man who performs righteous deeds or acts in the power of the Holy Spirit, because his faith is very strong. The righteousness referred to in verse 16 is the practical righteousness that comes from God as the Christian walks by faith. Every Christian has the imputed righteousness of Christ, but not every Christian has the practical righteousness of God. Practical righteousness grows little by little as the Christian matures in the faith. This is seen in the following verse:

(Rom 1:17 KJV)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  

The righteousness in this verse is the practical righteous that is lived out in the Christian who performs righteous acts and deeds out of faith. These righteous acts are “from faith to faith”. This faith is the faith that is lived out in the Christian and not the faith that justifies the Christian when he believes in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We are spiritually saved by faith in Jesus Christ, but our souls are saved by faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Faithfulness comes by living by faith and it is “revealed from faith to faith” as stated in the above verse.

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

In this verse Paul emphasizes the imputed righteousness that Abraham received simply by believing God. This is also seen in the following two verses:

(Rom 4:3 KJV)  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  

(James 2:23 KJV)  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  

Abraham was saved spiritually when he left Ur of the Chaldees to go into the Promised Land. This was his justification by faith. He was later justified by works when he offered his only son, Isaac on the altar to God.

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

This verse is difficult to understand from the translation. One must look at the Greek to understand the meaning of this verse. Paul has been addressing spiritual rebirth and the imputed righteousness that comes from faith. In this verse, Paul makes a transition from simple faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ to actually living by the faith of Christ. The transliterated Greek word for “of” in this verse is “ek” and it means “out of” faith. This verse actually means to live by faith, and it is not referring to spirit salvation, which comes by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Also, the transliterated Greek word for “children” is the word “huios” and refers to mature sons who walk by faith or walk via faith. An accurate paraphrase of this verse is as follows:

(Gal 3:7 Paraphrase)  Know ye therefore that they which live by faith, the same are the sons of Abraham who realize the inheritance via their faithfulness.

(Gal 3:8 KJV)  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.  

This verse continues the thought that the contents of the Scriptures foresaw that God would justify Gentiles via their faithfulness to God. Paul is addressing the gospel of Christ, which pertains to soul salvation and the inheritance that comes via faithfulness or fidelity to Christ. Paul is talking about the blessings that come to the Gentiles because they live by faith. The transliterated Greek word for faith is “pistis” and it means faithfulness or fidelity to Christ. The message preached to Abraham was that faithfulness to God results in blessings, and the same blessings that Abraham realized by being faithful to God will also be realized among all kinds of Gentiles. The transliterated Greek word for “nations” in this verse is “ethnos” and means “Gentiles”, and the Greek word for “all” means “all manner, or all kinds” of Gentiles. An accurate paraphrase of this verse is as follows:

(Gal 3:8 Paraphrase)  The contents of Scripture foretold that God would justify the Gentiles out of their faithfulness, and this good news was preached unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all manner of Gentiles be blessed.  

This verse is addressing the benefits or blessings that will arise out of the faithfulness of Gentiles who live for Christ and will enter into the kingdom of heaven along with Abraham, who was also faithful to God. The meaning in this verse is confirmed in the following passage of Scripture in Matthew where Jesus was alluding to many in the Church entering into the kingdom of heaven along with Abraham:

(Mat 8:10 KJV)  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

(Mat 8:11 KJV)  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

(Mat 8:12 KJV)  But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

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

Paul restates the message by saying that those who are faithful to Christ shall receive blessings right along with Abraham. It is very important to note that the issue is blessings for faithfulness and not just being saved and going to heaven.

(Gal 3:10 KJV)  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.  

Paul sums up his point by stating that anyone who tries to become mature Christians via the works of the law is really still under the curse, for the Law must be kept perfectly to escape the Law of Sin and Death, and no one but Jesus Christ ever kept the Law perfectly. The key issue in these verses is maturity in the faith, and not simply spirit salvation. This is confirmed at the beginning of this passage in verse 3 above and in verse 11 below. Verse 3 addresses being made “perfect”, which means to be made into a mature Christian? Verse 11 below addresses living or walking by faith and not the simple faith that results in spirit salvation.

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

This verse is addressing the justification by works, but it is works of faith and not works of keeping the Law. This is proven by the statement “The just shall live by faith.” It is the living by faith that justifies the Christian and not the simple receipt of the measure of faith that is given to the Christian resulting in his spirit salvation. The following passage of Scripture in Philippians addresses this same issue:

(Phil 3:8 KJV)  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

(Phil 3:9 KJV)  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

(Phil 3:10 KJV)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

(Phil 3:11 KJV)  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection (i.e., out-resurrection) of the dead.

(Phil 3:12 KJV)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

(Phil 3:13 KJV)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

(Phil 3:14 KJV)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(Phil 3:15 KJV)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

(Phil 3:16 KJV)  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

(Phil 3:17 KJV)  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  

The word “perfect” in verses 12 and 15 means to be complete or mature. The Christian who crucifies self is said to be complete or mature. It refers to the soul and not the spirit. The soul is saved by works, but the works are works of faith and not works of the flesh. The flesh nature or the old man can do nothing good. He must be destroyed so the Holy Spirit can do good works through the Christian. The Christian who dies to self is no longer subject to the Law of Sin and Death, which pertains to the soul. The Christian who loses his soul in this life will not lose it at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The soul must perish in this life now, or it will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

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

Keeping the Law is not the same as living by faith. The Christian must die to the Law—NOT LIVE BY IT. Neither the Christian’s spirit nor soul is saved by keeping the Law. 

(Gal 3:13 KJV)  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:  

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by keeping the Law perfectly and then dying on the Cross to atone for our failure in keeping the Law. Our spirits are saved by faith in the death of Christ, and our souls are saved by faith in the resurrection of Christ. The soul of the Christian is saved by living the exchanged life. This is what Paul meant in Phil 3:10 above. The Christian’s spirit is saved by the death of Christ. The Christian’s soul is saved by his own death—figuratively speaking. The Christian’s spirit is saved by the crucifixion of Christ. The Christian’s soul is saved by his own crucifixion—figuratively speaking.

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

The blessings of Abraham were for the Gentiles as well as the Jews, but the medium of these blessings was through faith and not the works of the Law. The Christian is born again by faith in Christ, and he is made complete or mature by living by faith.

(Gal 3:15 KJV)  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.  

This verse is accurately translated in the NIV as follows:

(Gal 3:15 NIV)  Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 

Paul is speaking of the inheritance, which is by promise to the “seed” of Abraham. The promise is to Christ and all those who “put on Christ”. We will see in the following verses that the promise is to those believers who are adopted as sons (i.e., huios). The Christian who puts on Christ and walks or lives by faith will realize his inheritance and be “placed as a son”. Many Christians remain immature children (i.e., teknon) and do not realize sonship. This is the warning that Paul is giving to the Galatians. Paul is not questioning their spirit salvation because they are attempting to become mature believers through the works of the flesh. He is questioning whether they will realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven and be adopted or placed as sons (i.e., huios).

(Gal 3:16 KJV)  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 verse confirms that the promise of the inheritance was to Abraham and his seed. Christ is the seed of Abraham, and all those Christians who put on Christ will receive the adoption as sons. All Christians who live by faith are one with Christ and will receive the inheritance.

(Gal 3:17 KJV)  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.  

The law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, was given to Moses 430 years after the promise by faith was given to Abraham. Thus, the inheritance comes by faith and not by keeping the law. The law was given to bring God’s elect to Christ, so they could realize their inheritance by living by faith. The Christian is born again spiritually by faith in Christ, and he realizes his inheritance by living by faith—not keeping the law. This is clearly stated in the following verse.

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

The inheritance is in entering the kingdom of God, and it is realized by faith. Abraham received his imputed righteousness when he believed God when God told him to leave Ur. Abraham received his practical righteousness when he acted upon his faith and offered up his son Isaac. In like manner, the Christian receives his imputed righteousness by faith in the atoning death of Christ, but he receives his practical righteousness when he lives by faith and crucifies self. This is confirmed in the following verses in James:

(James 2:21 KJV)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

(James 2:24 KJV)  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

(James 2:25 KJV)  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  

The inheritance is realized when the believer is justified by faith and by works. Christians who are justified by faith only do not realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. They are still saved spiritually, and they still go to heaven, but they do not reign and rule with Christ, and they do not receive the adoption as sons. Those Christians who are adopted as sons will be presented at the Second Coming of Christ as confirmed in the following passage:

(Rom 8:12 KJV)  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

(Rom 8:13 KJV)  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

(Rom 8:14 KJV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

(Rom 8:15 KJV)  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

(Rom 8:16 KJV)  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

(Rom 8:17 KJV)  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

(Rom 8:18 KJV)  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

(Rom 8:19 KJV)  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

(Rom 8:20 KJV)  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

(Rom 8:21 KJV)  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

(Rom 8:22 KJV)  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

(Rom 8:23 KJV)  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

(Rom 8:24 KJV)  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  

The above passage in Romans makes a strong distinction between the “children” (i.e., teknon) of God and the “sons” (i.e., huios) of God. In verses 13 & 14, the sons are those who crucify the flesh nature and are “led by the Spirit of God”.  They are the Christians who will realize soul salvation. The salvation Christians hope for is the salvation of the soul, as confirmed in verse 24. Soul salvation is a hope and not a certainty. All of creation is waiting to see who will be manifested or adopted as the “sons of God”. These are the faithful Christians who will be placed as sons over the household of faith.

(Gal 3:19 KJV)  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. 

The law was given until the mediator, Christ, would come and fulfill the law for us. The law pointed us to the mediator, who is Jesus Christ.

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

Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and the elect. The mediator does not just represent one person, but God is one person. Therefore, Christ the mediator represents both God and the elect. The mediator breaks down the barrier between God and the elect. Jesus Christ reconciles us to God by his death, and Jesus Christ provides us a way to be adopted as sons by his life. Christians become children (i.e., teknon) by the death of Christ, but they become sons (i.e., huios) by the life of Christ. The Christian must be justified by faith and by works to realize the inheritance and be adopted as a son (i.e., huios) of God.

(Gal 3:21 KJV)  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.  

Even though the law is not against the promises of God, it cannot give “life”. Both imputed and practical righteousness are realized by faith and not be keeping the law. The purpose of the law was to bring us to Christ by faith. We then realize “life” when we crucify self and live by the faith of Jesus Christ.

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

The inheritance is by faith and is conditional upon faithfulness to Jesus Christ. The promise by faith is conditional as it “might be given to them that believe”.  Also, it might not be given to them that believe, if they are not faithful to their calling.

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

Before faith came everyone was kept under the power of the law to reveal to them that the law could not be kept. The purpose was to clearly establish that salvation could not come by keeping the law. The person must be humbled into an understanding that the law could not save. Then salvation by faith was revealed.

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

Paul is addressing spirit salvation by faith in this verse in describing the Law as our teacher to bring us to Christ via faith. This is the justification by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. We come unto Christ for spirit salvation by faith, but we also realize sonship by faith. This transition from being a child (i.e., teknon) of God to being a son (i.e., huios) is also by faith but it comes about by living by faith.

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

This verse makes the expected transition from spirit salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ to soul salvation by being baptized into the death of Christ.

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

The Greek word for “children” in this verse is huios and it refers to the mature “son” who dies to self and experiences the resurrected life of Christ. This is confirmed in the following verse where it refers to those Christians who “have been baptized into Christ” and “put on Christ”. The Greek word for “all” is “pas” and means some of all types of Christians are sons of God by (i.e., by way of faith) in Christ Jesus. It is important to note that this faith is after the faith referred to in verse 25 above. This verse is in reference to living by faith and not the initial faith of believing in Christ for spirit salvation. An accurate paraphrase of this verse is as follows:

(Gal 3:26 Paraphrase)  For all kinds of you are the sons of God by living faithfully to Christ Jesus.  

This accuracy of this paraphrase is confirmed in the following verse, since it refers to a select number of Christians who have been baptized into Christ and have put on Christ. Being baptized into Christ and putting on Christ is a work that comes after the initial faith in Christ.

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

Not every Christian has been “baptized into Christ” and “put on Christ”. This is via works and requires living the exchanged life. The Christian must be a disciple of Christ in order to put on Christ and live the exchanged life. The Christian must die to self in order to do this, and it is work. It is a work of faith. The following passage of Scripture addresses this work of faith:

(Rom 12:1 KJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

(Rom 12:2 KJV)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  

The mind is part of the soul, and it must be transformed by being renewed into the mind of Christ.

(Gal 3:28 KJV)  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.  

The Christian who has been baptized into Christ is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or freeman, male or female, but “are all one in Christ Jesus”. Paul is making the distinction here between belonging to Christ and being “in Christ”. Many Christians belong to Christ but they have not been baptized into Christ. They have not “put on Christ” as stated in verse 27 above.

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

Paul states that if a person belongs to Christ, then he qualifies as Abraham’s seed and he is an heir to the promise of God. A person can be an heir and still fail to realize his inheritance. This is seen in the following verses.

                        B. Heirship vs Sonship (Chap. 4)

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

The heir does not differ from a servant, as long as he remains an immature child. The Greek word for child in this verse is nepios and refers to a young child who is untaught and unskilled.

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

This immature child remains under teachers and overseers until the time appointed by the father.

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

Paul uses the word nepios again here for children, which has reference to an infant or very immature child. It appears that Paul uses the term to refer to the Galatians before they became believers. Thus, it means they were simple-minded persons before they were redeemed. They did not understand spiritual things. The elect person who has not yet been born again spiritually is a nepios. Once he has been born again spiritually, he becomes a teknon, and he is in a position to realize his inheritance and be adopted as a huios.  

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

At the appropriate time, God sent Jesus into the world to redeem his elect, “that we might receive the adoption of sons”. The adoption into sonship means the realization of the inheritance. When we are born into the family of God through spirit salvation, we become children of God. The Greek word for children is “teknon” and refers to the immature child. If we are faithful to our calling and live by faith, then we can be adopted as “sons” and receive the inheritance. The Greek word for sons is “huios” and refers to a mature son who realizes his inheritance in the kingdom of God.

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

Paul uses the word huios for sons and refers to the adoption that may or may not happen for Christians. We are all children (i.e., teknon) of God, but we may become sons (i.e., huios) if we are faithful to our calling and are overcomers in the faith. The clause “To redeem them that were under the law” pertains to our unconditional spirit salvation. The clause “that we might receive the adoption of sons” refers to our conditional soul salvation. The following verse shows the source or origin of our soul salvation, which is “the Spirit of his Son” being manifests in our “hearts”. Our heart is part of our soul and it is what we are in our inmost being. It is our personhood or what we are as persons.

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

The translation of this verse has a misplaced conjunction “because” that changes the meaning of the verse. The literal translation of this verse is as follows:

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

Those Christians who receive the adoption as sons are those who have received the spirit of his Son into their hearts. They have crucified the flesh nature and received the “spirit” of Christ into their hearts. They have put off the old man and put on Christ. The word “because” indicates the source of sonship. Verse 5 above shows clearly that adoption as sons is conditional, and the source of this sonship is via the spirit of Christ in the children of God.

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

If the Christian has the spirit of Christ living in his heart, then he is no longer merely a servant, but he is a son, which means that he has qualified for his inheritance. If he is a son, then he receives his inheritance because the life of Christ is being lived out in him. The “heir of God through Christ” is the Christian who realizes his inheritance by allowing the life of Christ to be manifested in him.  

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

(Gal 4:9 KJV)  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?

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

Paul is asking the Galatians an important question that includes verses 8, 9 and 10. The Greek word allah translated “Howbeit” is a transition to the cardinal matter that Paul is addressing, which pertains to the possible loss of their inheritance. Paul asks how is it that they are returning to their previous servitude of creation, after they have known what it is to be free from that bondage when they served the living God. Verse 9 refers to their intimate knowledge of God through experiencing God and his power. The Galatians had grown into Christian maturity through their experiencing God, but they were now returning to their previous condition of bondage. Verse 10 refers to their observance of the seven feasts of God given in Leviticus 23. This was part of the Mosaic Law.  

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

Paul sums up his point by saying that he fears for the Galatians that his work with them in bringing them to a maturity in the faith might be for nothing, since they have returned to the bondage of keeping the Law instead of dying to the Law.  Paul was concerned about their soul salvation and not their spirit salvation. Paul was concerned about their loss of the inheritance and not about their entrance into heaven.

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

Paul beseeches the Galatians to become like him in his service to God, because he is like the Galatians should be. Their straying from the faith back under the Law has not affected Paul. Paul is not chastising them because they have harmed him in any way, but because they have harmed themselves. Paul’s concern is for their loss and not because he has lost anything. Paul loves the Galatians, and he wants them to realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.

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

Paul is referring to the gospel of Christ, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Paul’s infirmity was bad eyesight, which he alludes to in verse 15 below.

(Gal 4:14 KJV)  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.  

Paul commends the Galatians for their previous behavior in not looking down on Paul because of his weakness in the flesh, which was his poor eyesight. Neither did they reject Paul because of his infirmity in the flesh. They received him as a messenger of God, even as if he were Jesus Christ coming to them in person. Paul is reminding them of their faithfulness prior to being led astray by the Judaizers.

(Gal 4:15 KJV)  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.  

Paul continues to remind them of their previous blessings for faithfulness, and how they would have even given up their own eyesight for Paul to have his eyesight returned. Paul is reminding them of their previous faithfulness and unselfishness prior to their falling away from the faith.

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

Paul asks if he has now become their enemy because he is telling them the truth about their falling away from the faith by returning to keeping the Law.

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

The NIV translates this verse very well, as follows:

(Gal 4:17 NIV)  Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.  

Paul is referring to the Judaizers who are trying to put the Galatians back into the bondage of fulfilling the Law. Pastors and teachers today attempt to do the same thing when they preach the requirement of tithing to the Church. The tithe was part of the Mosaic Law and numerous Christians today tithe to the Church out of necessity, rather than out of a heart of generosity. The tithe was a requirement for the Jews, but it is not a requirement for the Church. Christians should support their local church in their giving, but it should be from a heart of generosity and not out of necessity or obligation to the Mosaic Law of tithing. The Christian should give to the church and to the poor as he is led by the Holy Spirit and not out of obligation to the Mosaic Law. The Christian who is walking in the power of the Holy Spirit will support the work of God with his finances and his work efforts, but it will be from a heart of generosity and cheerfulness and not out of a sense of obligation.

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

Paul says that they should be zealous in their actions and behavior, but their zealousness should be for something good, and not just when Paul was with them. Paul is saying that they should be zealous for good works, even when no one is observing them. Paul is probably stating this because the Galatians were doing very well in their Christian lives until Paul had left them to themselves for a while. After Paul left them by themselves, they were led astray by the Judaizers.  

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

Paul tells the Galatians that they have returned to being immature children (i.e., teknon) and will lose their inheritance in the kingdom of God if they continue on the same path of bondage to the Law. Paul is again travailing or working very hard to have the Galatians return to dying to self and allowing Christ to be formed in them. The Galatians had previously escaped the Law of Sin and Death, but they had returned to the Law of Sin and Death by attempting to keep the Law.

These verses are part of the reason that the majority of Christians believe that a person can lose his salvation. However, these verses are not addressing the loss of spirit salvation. They are addressing the loss of soul salvation, which pertains to the loss of the inheritance in the kingdom of God. Soul salvation occurs when a Christian dies to self and allows Christ to be formed in him. A Christian can realize soul salvation in this life, and then lose it by straying off the narrow path of walking with God and being led by the Holy Spirit. The Christian cannot lose his spirit salvation. Spirit and soul are not the same.

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

The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:

(Gal 4:20 NIV) how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!  

Paul wishes that he did not have to scold and admonish the Galatians in this manner. Paul states that he is confused and bewildered at the Galatians’ in their return to keeping the Mosaic Law.

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

Paul attempts to explain what the Galatians are doing by placing themselves back under the Law. If they are going to become mature Christians by following the Law, then they must keep the Law perfectly, which is impossible to do. Paul now uses the analogy of Ishmael and Isaac to explain the difference between the flesh nature and the new spirit nature. In essence, Paul will explain how it is impossible to become a faithful Christian in the power of the old flesh nature. It can only be done in the power of the new spirit nature. The requirement is death to self in order to allow the new spirit nature to reign and rule in the Christian life.

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

Paul uses the two sons of Abraham to distinguish between the flesh nature and the spirit nature in man. The “bondmaid” was Hagar and her son was Ishmael. The freewoman was Sarah and her son Isaac was the son of promise.

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

Hagar’s son was born of the flesh instead of by the promise of God, but Isaac was the son of promise and represents the new spirit nature. When a person is born again spiritually, he has both the old flesh nature and the new spirit nature in him. The Scriptures commands the Christian to put off or to put to death the old nature and to live according to the new nature, which does not sin but obeys God the Holy Spirit.

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

Paul confirms that the two sons “are an allegory” representing the law and faith. When a Christian crucifies self he dies to the Law and he lives by faith. The command from God is “The just shall live by faith”. The “just” is the Christian who has been justified by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. He can choose to live according to his old flesh nature and attempt to keep the Mosaic Law, or he can die to self and live by faith. If he tries to keep the Law, he will fail and his soul or life will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If the Christian dies to self and lives by the faith of Jesus Christ, then he will be daily cleansed from his sin and he will live at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is the meaning in the following passage:

(Rom 8:1 KJV)  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Rom 8:2 KJV)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

(Rom 8:3 KJV)  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

(Rom 8:4 KJV)  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Rom 8:5 KJV)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

(Rom 8:6 KJV)  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  

The life and death addressed in the above passage of Scripture is referring to the soul and not the spirit.

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

The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:

(Gal 4:25 NIV)  Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.  

In the allegory, Hagar stands for the Law, which was presented to Israel in the form of the Ten Commandments and all of the Mosaic laws that Israel was to follow. The purpose of the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic rituals was to bring the people to faith. The Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law were given to Moses at Mount Sinai in Arabia. Israel is still under the Law so Jerusalem and Israel were still in slavery at the time of the writing of Galatians. The majority of Israel is still in bondage today because they have not come to faith in Jesus.

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

The New Jerusalem symbolizes faith in Jesus, and it will be the new home of the Church, because they have been spiritually regenerated by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

(Gal 4:26 NIV)  But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.  

Since the New Jerusalem, which is above, represents the covenant of faith, it is by faith that we become free from the law by faith in Christ. Faith is the “mother” that bore us by faith in Jesus Christ. We are born again spiritually by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ on Calvary, and we must walk by faith in the life of Jesus Christ to realize that freedom from bondage. We become free from the Law of Sin and Death when we are born again by faith in the death of Christ, AND we walk by faith in the life of Christ. This is confirmed in the following verses of Scripture:

(Rom 1:17 KJV)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  

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

(Heb 10:38 KJV)  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  

Please note that our escape from bondage to the Law comes when we walk by faith. If we have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, but we do not walk by faith, then we are still in bondage to the Law. This is the reason that Paul was chastising the Galatians. They had already been born again spiritually. This is the reason he called them brethren. Also, they had escaped the Law of Sin and Death by their walk of faith. However, the Judaizers had caused them to place themselves back under the Law, which put them back into bondage to the Law. They were still saved spiritually even though they had fallen away from the faith by returning to the Law.

(Gal 4:27 KJV)  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.  

Paul quotes Isaiah 54:1 to make a point that there are many more Christians who try to follow the Law than who walk by faith. God the Father divorced Israel when she did not walk by faith, but there were many more unfaithful in Israel than were faithful. In a figurative sense, there were many more children of Ishmael than there were children of Isaac. There were many more Jews who tried to keep the Law than who walked by faith.

In the same sense, there were many more Christians who attempted to follow the Mosaic Law than there were who walked by the faith of Christ.

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

Paul is addressing the Galatians who are his brothers in Christ. He tells them that they are like Isaac in being the children of promise for the inheritance that will be presented to those who walk by faith in Jesus Christ. The Galatians are the children of promise, but they must do something to realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, which is symbolized by the New Jerusalem.

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

Just as Ishmael and his descendants persecuted the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, those Christians who attempt to follow the Mosaic Law persecute the Christians who walk by faith. There are many Christians today who are legalistic and attempt to follow after the Law. Those Christians who tell us that we must tithe are following the Mosaic Law. Those Christians who tell us we must follow the dictates of Church leaders in doing all kinds of things in accordance with the Mosaic Law are walking by the flesh and not the spirit. The following verse tells us what to do about the legalisms that are thrown at us.

(Gal 4:30 KJV)  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.  

Paul compares the bondwoman with the flesh nature of man. The flesh nature can not be trained or made to come into compliance with the Law in keeping the things that were written therein. Just as the bondwoman must be cast off, the old flesh nature must be cast off. Christians cannot become complete and realize soul salvation by reforming the old flesh nature. The old flesh nature must be destroyed or killed. The Christian must kill or destroy his old flesh nature now in this life, or Jesus Christ will have to do it at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

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

Christians are not children of the bondwoman, so they should not live in bondage to the Law. They need to cast off or crucify the old flesh nature and live in accordance with the new spirit nature.

NOTE: The fact that we are not required to live in accordance with the Mosaic Law does not mean that we are free to sin and live like our old flesh nature desires to live. To cast off the old flesh nature means that we live in accordance with our new spirit nature, which does not sin. As the Christian crucifies the old flesh nature, he lives in accordance with the life of Christ. The more a Christian walks by faith in the life of Jesus Christ, the less he sins and the more like Christ he becomes. This is seen in the following verse:

(Rom 1:17 KJV)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  

As we live by faith, the Christian shows forth the righteousness of God from one faithful act to another faithful act, etc. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it in the believer. However, the Christian is unable to fulfill the Law in the power of the flesh, so he is to crucify the flesh and walk in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. When we crucify and die to self, the life of Christ is lived out in our lives as we yield control to the Holy Spirit. The more we yield control to the Holy Spirit, the more we keep the commandments of God, but it is not in the power of the flesh, but in the power of the spirit. This is confirmed in the following passage:

(Rom 8:12 KJV)  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

(Rom 8:13 KJV)  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

(Rom 8:14 KJV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  

The Christian must walk by faith in the power of the spirit to realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Christians who do this are the ones that will receive the adoption as “sons of God” and will become rulers over the household and receive their inheritance. Those Christians who do not walk by faith will have their souls perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and they will lose their inheritance in the kingdom of God.

IV.  A Defense of Christian Liberty (5:1-6:10)  

                        A.  A Life Apart from Law (5:1-12)

                                    1. Return to Law Ruins Grace (5:1-2)

(Gal 5:1 KJV)  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  

Paul warns the Galatians to stand fast “in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” and to not go back into the bondage of trying to fulfill Law in the power of the flesh. We overcome the Law of Sin and Death by dying to the Law, and not by living by it. When we do this, we walk by faith in the power and authority of Jesus Christ and we sin less and less. When we do sin, we confess our sins and are cleansed by the blood of Christ, and we have fellowship with Christ and we love the brethren.

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

Paul confirms that keeping the Mosaic Law does not profit the Christian. He is talking about the physical act of circumcision, which does not profit the Christian in regard to his spiritual life.

                                    2. Return to Law Makes One a Debtor (5:3)

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

If the Christian tries to be made complete by being physically circumcised, then he must keep the whole law, and not just a part of it.

                                    3. Return to Law is a Fall from Grace (5:4-6)

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

Paul clearly states that the life of Christ has had no effect in their lives, since they are trying to live by the Law instead of the faith of Jesus Christ. He states that they have “fallen from grace”. A Christian can not fall away from something that he never had previously. The Galatians had walked by faith previously, but they had now fallen away from the faith in trying to keep the Law.

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

The “righteousness” mentioned is not the imputed righteousness that comes from faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but it is the practical righteousness that comes by walking by faith. The practical righteousness is the Christian’s hope in that he hopes to attain to it. The Christian attains to practical righteousness “through the Spirit” as stated in this verse. The Christian does not attain to practical righteousness through the power of the flesh in keeping the Law, but by walking by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian who attains to practical righteousness is the one who is filled with the Holy Spirit and produces fruit unto righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian already has the imputed righteousness, but he hopes for the practical righteousness, which also comes by faith.

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

The physical act of circumcision does not profit the Christian who walks in the power of the Holy Spirit. It does nothing for the Christian, but the Christian who is filled with agape or Christian love profits a great deal from this love. Agape is a fruit of the spirit and only comes as we crucify the flesh nature and walk by faith.

                                    3. Return to Law Hinders Maturity (5:7-10)

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

Paul reminds the Galatians that they did “run well”, which means they did live in the power of the spirit, but someone hindered or got in the way of their spiritual walk with Christ. Of course, the Judaizers were the ones that hindered their walk of faith, and they were no longer obeying the truth. The issue is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and not spirit salvation.

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

The Galatians were not persuaded by God to fall away from the faith. God is the one who called them to salvation by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, but it was the Judaizers who caused them to walk in disobedience to the truth of the Word of God. Unfortunately, the Judaizers are still in the Church today requiring the tithe, Sabbath-keeping, adherence to dietary rules, keeping the feasts of God, following dress codes and following numerous manmade rules and regulations that emanate from the Mosaic Law.  

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

The leaven is the false teaching and false doctrine that comes from the Judaizers. Leaven is the yeast that causes bread to rise, and in the Bible, leaven represents anything that corrupts the truth of the Word of God. The Scriptures are clear that the whole Church becomes leavened with false doctrine and false teaching at the time of the Return of Jesus Christ. This is the meaning of the statement that the whole lump (i.e., the whole Church) is leavened by false doctrine. Numerous Christians who have been born again spiritually by faith are attempting to go on into maturity in their Christian life by following the Mosaic Law.

(Gal 5:10 KJV)  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.  

Paul states that he has confidence in the Galatians “through the Lord”. In simple words, Paul has confidence in the Galatians in so far as they walk with the Lord or in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christian faith places it confidence in Christ and no other. Christian charity places its confidence in our brothers as long as they walk by faith. Paul states “that ye will be none otherwise minded” to the Galatians, and this means that he will have confidence in them as long as they follow the doctrine that He taught them. If they continue to follow the teachings of the Judaizers, then Paul’s confidence in them will dissipate. Paul also states that the Judaizers (i.e., he that troubleth you) will bear their own judgment for leading the Galatians astray, and it makes no difference who it is that troubles the Galatians.

                           3.  Return to Law Removes the Offense of the Cross (5:11-12)

(Gal 5:11 KJV)  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.  

The following is an exegetical excerpt from Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College in regard to a paraphrase of this verse:

“Because I refuse to recognize circumcision as a factor in our salvation, I have brought upon myself the hatred and persecution of my whole nation. If I were to acknowledge circumcision the Jews would cease to persecute me; in fact they would love and praise me. But because I preach the Gospel of Christ and the righteousness of faith I must suffer persecution. The false apostles know how to avoid the Cross and the deadly hatred of the Jewish nation. They preach circumcision and thus retain the favor of the Jews. If they had their way they would ignore all differences in doctrine and preserve unity at all cost. But their unionistic dreams cannot be realized without loss to the pure doctrine of the Cross. It would be too bad if the offense of the Cross were to cease.”

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

Paul is pronouncing a curse upon the Judaizers for bringing trouble to the Galatians. To be “cut off” means to lose the salvation of one’s soul and to forfeit ones inheritance. Thus, Paul is not questioning spirit salvation for the Judaizers, but he is questioning the salvation of their souls and the receipt of their inheritance.

                        B. Liberty vs License (5:13-15)

(Gal 5:13 KJV)  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  

The word “use” in this verse is not in the Greek text, but it was added by the translators. The correct translation is as follows:

(Gal 5:13 Literal Translation)  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but through love to serve one another.  

Paul reminds the Galatians that they have been set free from the law and called into freedom, but this liberty or freedom is not to live according to the flesh nature, but to love one another. Even though they have been set free from the law because they had previously died to their old flesh natures, they can still allow their flesh natures to control. Paul tells them not to allow the flesh to gain the upper hand, but to love one another instead, for the law can be summed up in one word, love. True liberty is to live as we should and not as we please.

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

Paul states that the whole law of God can be summed up by the command “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Liberty is the freedom to live as one should, which means to love the brethren. Paul is reiterating the law of sin and death. The Christian is set free from the law when he dies to self and allows his spirit nature to be in control. When this happens, agape—godly love—flows through the Christian and he loves the brethren and fulfills the purpose of the law of God. The Christian cannot fulfill the law in the power of his flesh nature, but he must die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to control his life. When this happens the Christian is free to live as he should and not as his flesh nature dictates.

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

The Greek word for bite is as follows:

1143  dakno-

1) to bite with the teeth

2) metaphorically, to wound the soul, to cut, to lacerate, to rend with reproaches

  Paul is not speaking of the literal meaning of biting with the teeth, but the metaphorical meaning of wounding the souls of fellow believers. The Greek word for “consumed” is as follows:

355  analisko-

1) to expend

to consume, for example, to spend money

2) to consume, use up, destroy

The Galatians were destroying one another by their criticism and rebuke. This is what happens when Christians try to live in accordance with the old flesh nature. They gossip, criticize and blame each other instead of loving and forgiving one other. The final result of living according to the flesh nature is the destruction of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Thus, the Galatians were consuming or destroying each other’s soul by living in accordance with their old flesh natures. The soul can perish or be lost at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

C.  Life According to the Spirit (5:16-26)

                                    1. Promise of Victory Over Sin (5:16-18)

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

Paul provides the remedy for the destruction of the souls of the Galatians. They were to “Walk in the Spirit” so that they would “not fulfil the lust of the flesh”. Paul confirms in this verse and the following verses that the Christian has two natures—spirit and flesh.

(Gal 5:17 KJV)  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.  

The flesh nature and the spirit nature in the Christian war against each other. If the Christian lives according to his flesh nature, he is subject to the law of sin and death. The only way to escape the law of sin and death is the crucify self. The Galatians had done this at one time, but they had stopped doing this and had placed themselves back under the law of sin and death.

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

This verse states emphatically that the Christian who is “led of the Spirit” is not under the law of sin and death. IT DOES NOT STATE THAT THE CHRISTIAN WHO IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT UNDER THE LAW. IT STATES THAT THE CHRISTIAN WHO IS LED OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT UNDER THE LAW. Numerous Christians who are born of the spirit are not led of the spirit. This is the case for the Galatians since they had placed themselves back under the law.

                                    2. Peril to Victory Over Sin (5:19-21)

(Gal 5:19 KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  

Paul states the works of the flesh nature, which are as follows:

1. Adultery: The figurative meaning is given here, since the literal meaning of adultery and fornication is the same. Figuratively, adultery means idolatry, which is placing anything before God.

2. Fornication: Literally fornication refers to illicit sex and includes adultery, incest and homosexuality.

3. Uncleanness: Physical or moral impurity. It refers to Christians who are not confessing their sins regularly.

4. Lasciviousness: Rebellious or resistant to authority. It refers to Christians who are not living in obedience to the Word of God.

(Gal 5:20 KJV)  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  

5. Idolatry: Image worship or the worshipping of other gods.

6. Witchcraft: The use or sale of drugs. Also, refers to giving heed to seducing demons.

7. Hatred: Enmity or hatred of fellow Christians.

8. Variance: Contentious or quarrelsome with fellow Christians.

9. Emulations: Being envious or jealous of fellow Christians.

10. Wrath: To be angry or have wrath toward fellow Christians.

11. Strife: To provoke or strive against fellow Christians. To be uncooperative.

12. Seditions: To create divisions or dissensions among fellow believers. To be a divisive Christian.

13. Heresies: To follow ones own tenets or traditions that are opposed to the Word of God.

(Gal 5:21 KJV)  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.  

14. Envyings: To have ill-will or to be spiteful towards fellow Christians.

15. Murders: Literally means to slay or murder someone else. This was seen recently when a pastor’s wife murdered him because of a disagreement over finances. Murder happens when ill-will, anger or spitefulness are carried to the extreme.

16. Drunkenness: To be intoxicated or controlled by alcohol. The Christian is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not by alcohol.

17. Revellings: Loud and noisy partying without restraint or discipline (i.e., revelry).

Paul sums up by stating that Christians who are controlled by their flesh natures and practice such things will lose their inheritance in the kingdom of God.

                                    3. Power for Victory Over Sin (5:22-23)

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

Paul itemizes the fruit of the Spirit, which is contrary to the practices of the old flesh nature. Paul lists seven fruits of the spirit as 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness, 6) goodness, 7) faithfulness,

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

Paul completes his itemization of the fruits of the Spirit with 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. He then states that the fruit of the spirit is not opposed to the law of God.

                                    4. Provision for Victory Over Sin (5:24-26)

(Gal 5:24 KJV)  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  

The Greek word for Jesus has been left out of this translation. It is as follows:

2424  Iesous-

Jesus = "Jehovah (Yahweh) is salvation"

1) Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses' successor

2) Jesus, son of Eliezer, one of the ancestors of Christ

3) Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, God incarnate

4) Jesus Barabbas was the captive robber whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Jesus Christ

5) Jesus, surnamed Justus, a Jewish Christian, an associate with Paul in the preaching of the gospel

This verse states simply that those Christians who are disciples of Christ Jesus are the ones who have crucified the old flesh nature with its afflictions and unholy desires. This verse clarifies that true disciples of Christ are the ones who crucify the flesh nature. If the Christian is not crucifying the old flesh nature, then he is not a true disciple of Christ Jesus. He may be born of the Spirit, but he is not walking by the Spirit. This is seen in the following verse:

(Gal 5:25 KJV)  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  

Paul identifies with the Galatians and states that if they are truly alive in the Spirit, then they need to conduct their lives in the power of the Spirit. Paul is talking about the life that is lived out in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. This verse could be paraphrased in the Christian world today as follows:

(Gal 5:25 Paraphrase)  If we are going to talk the talk, then we need to walk the walk.  

This statement is one used in prison ministries frequently. Many inmates talk the Christian talk, but they do not walk the Christian walk. Many are no doubt saved spiritually, but they have not yet crucified the old flesh nature along with its passions and lusts.

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

This is what happens to Christians who attempt to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh. They seek after vain glory, which is boastful, unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities. It was because of this selfish pride and arrogance that the Galatians were provoking one another and were envious of each other. They were definitely not caught up in agape, which is the unselfish love of God.  

                        D. A Life of Service (6:1-10)

                                    1. The Faithful Christian Helps His Brethren (6:1)

(Gal 6:1 KJV)  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.  

Paul cautions the Galatians to help one another live the Christian life by correcting one another and restoring one another in love. It has been stated that Christians are the only ones that shoot their wounded. This ought not to be true. The spiritual Christian is the one who helps his wounded brother to be made whole again in the power of love and gentleness. He does this because he realizes his own weakness and knows that he can also fall into temptation. The Christian who thinks that he cannot fall into temptation is the one who will most likely fall into temptation.

                                    2. Judgment is Individual & Based on Works (6:2-5)

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

Paul continues and states that the Galatians should bear one another’s burdens, and they should do this to fulfill the “law of Christ”. The “law of Christ” is the law of faith and refers to the moral teaching of Christ, and especially the precept concerning love. It is necessary to walk by faith in order to fulfill the law of Christ. As stated earlier, our spirits are saved by faith in the death or atonement of Jesus Christ, but our souls are saved by faith in the resurrected life of Christ. The spirit is saved by faith in Christ, but the soul is saved by faithfulness to Christ. The great majority of the Scriptures address soul salvation and not spirit salvation. Christians should help one another become faithful, mature Christians, for each one will stand before Christ individually to be judged for his works.

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

A paraphrase of this verse is as follows:

(Gal 6:3 Paraphrase)  For if a Christian thinks he is a mature, faithful Christian, when he is not, he deceives himself.  

The Scriptures are clear that if a Christian thinks that he is living a wonderful Christian life, then he may not be doing so well in his Christian walk. This is seen in the following judgment by Christ on the pride of the Laodicean church:

(Rev 3:14 KJV)  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

(Rev 3:15 KJV)  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

(Rev 3:16 KJV)  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

(Rev 3:17 KJV)  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  

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

Every Christian will be required to prove his own work at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If his work comes through the fire, then he will be able to rejoice in being found faithful at that time.

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

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, every Christian will be responsible for his own life, and not for his brethren. It has been stated “At the Judgment Seat of Christ, every tub stands on its own bottom.” This is a colloquialism that emphasizes the point that every Christian will be judged based on his own works at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Greek word for burden in this verse refers to the obligations that Christ lays upon his disciples in contrast to the precepts of the Pharisees, which were oppressive to its adherents. The contrast is to walk by faith in lieu of keeping the Law of Moses, which had been handed down by the legalistic Jews, and were now being presented to the Galatians by the Judaizers.

                                    3. The Christian Reaps what He Sows (6:6-9)

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

The key to understanding the meaning of this verse is the Greek word for “communicate”, which is defined as follows:

2841  koinoneo-

1) to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, to be made a partner

2) to enter into fellowship, to join oneself to an associate, to make oneself a sharer or partner

The person that is taught is the disciple who studies the Bible and is taught by the Holy Spirit. This person is to be a partner or associate in communicating the Word of God to other believers. The person that becomes a partner or associate with the Holy Spirit is led by the Spirit and will be adopted or placed as a son at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Only the faithful Christian who is taught by the Holy Spirit can become an associate or partner with the Holy Spirit. The associate or partner with the Holy Spirit is a mature Christian. Becoming a partner or associate with the Holy Spirit is also addressed in the following passage:

(Heb 6:4 KJV)  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

(Heb 6:5 KJV)  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

(Heb 6:6 KJV)  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  

The Greek word (noun) for “partakers” in verse 4 is as follows:

3353. metochos, met'-okh-os; from G3348; participant, i.e. (as noun) a sharer; by impl. an associate:--fellow, partaker, partner.  

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

Paul is warning the Galatians that they are accountable for their works. Sowing is working and Paul nails down the fact that Christians SHALL reap what they sow. Paul emphasizes for the Galatians to “Be not deceived” for they shall reap what they sow, whether it is good or bad. This is stated in the following verse:

(Gal 6:8 KJV)  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.  

The Christian who sows in accordance with his flesh nature shall reap corruption or destruction. This is the destruction of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is definitely a negative reward for the Christian. Please note that the opposite of being destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ is to reap “life everlasting”. These same Greek words are translated “eternal life” in other passages of Scripture. The Christian who sows or works in accordance with his spirit nature shall receive the reward of eternal life. Eternal life pertains to the soul and reward and not the spirit. This is confirmed in the following verse, which  addresses “well doing”, which pertains to works.

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

Paul tells the Galatians to not become weary in their work, for they will reap “in due season”. This means that they will receive their reward at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is the Judgment Seat of Christ.

                                    4. The Faithful Christian Performs Good Works (6:10)

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

Paul continues to tell the Galatians to take advantage of every opportunity to do good works unto all kinds of men, especially to them who are Christians.

V. Conclusion (6:11-18)  

                        A.  Paul’s Autograph (6:11)

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

Paul now refers to his affliction of blindness to demonstrate that even handicapped people can still be faithful Christians and do good works to receive their inheritance. In other words a good showing in the power of the flesh does not mean good works. This is confirmed in the following verse:

                        B. Paul’s Adversaries, the Judaizers (6:12-13)

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

Paul refers back to the Judaizers who desired to make a display of their works and required the Galatians to be circumcised. The NIV translates this verse very well:

(Gal 6:12 NIV)  Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.  

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

The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:

(Gal 6:13 NIV)  Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.  

Paul states that even though the Judaizers are circumcised, they are not obeying the law. They are going through the motions in obeying the law but their hearts are far away from God.

                        C. Paul’s Boast (6:14-16)

(Gal 6:14 KJV)  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.  

Paul affirms that he does not want to glory in anything but the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul is stating that the only way to fulfill the law is to crucify self and die to the law. Paul repeats the law of sin and death for the Galatians.

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

Paul sums up the law of sin and death by stating that being circumcised or not being circumcised results in no profit to the Christian. The only thing that profits the Christian is to become a new creature, and this requires dying to self by crucifying the old nature. The Christian must take up his cross daily in order to become a new creation. The Christian who becomes a new creation in this way results in soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and he will reap the reward of eternal life. The definition of eternal life is given in the following verse as the receipt of glory, honor and immortality at the Judgment Seat of Christ for well doing:

(Rom 2:6 KJV)  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

(Rom 2:7 KJV)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

(Rom 2:8 KJV)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

(Rom 2:9 KJV)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

(Rom 2:10 KJV)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  

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

Paul states that as many Christians as walk according to the rule or law of sin and death, they shall enjoy the peace of God and shall receive mercy at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul adds that this is true for God’s firstborn son, Israel, as well as the Church. Of course, we know that Israel did not follow this rule, so they forfeited their inheritance, which is eternal life. The following Scripture passage addresses this result for one of God’s elect:

(Mat 19:16 KJV)  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

(Mat 19:17 KJV)  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

(Mat 19:18 KJV)  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

(Mat 19:19 KJV)  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

(Mat 19:20 KJV)  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

(Mat 19:21 KJV)  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

(Mat 19:22 KJV)  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

This rich, young ruler lost his inheritance in the coming kingdom of God.

                        C.  Paul’s Final Warning & Benediction (6:17-18)

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

Paul makes a pronouncement that he will no longer be bothered with this problem, for he bore the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is referring figuratively to the marks of crucifixion that the Lord Jesus Christ bore in his body. In essence, Paul is telling them that this is the last warning he would give them and they need to follow in his footsteps in dying to self. This statement is similar to Joshua’s statement to the nation of Israel, which is as follows:

(Josh 24:15 KJV)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  

Paul is clearly giving the Galatians an ultimatum. They know now what they need to do, and they can either do what Paul is doing or they can suffer the consequences.

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

Paul ends this epistle with the statement that confirms that the epistle was written to born again Christians and that Paul wishes the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ on them. This grace that Paul is wishing on his brethren, the Galatians, is the divine influence upon the heart, which results in soul salvation and reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.