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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Galatians 6

 

 

Verse 1

My brothers. Paul begins to emphasize the spirit of community which is a very necessary part of the church of Christ. Even those who are being led by the Spirit sometimes are surprised into sin. Compare Galatians 2:11-13; 1 John 1:8-10. The normal human thing to do, is to be hostile to those who sin. The Christian thing to do is to set them right. It is the special responsibility of the spiritual to do this. But it must be done in a gentle way, because hostility might destroy the very one you are trying to save. And keep an eye on yourself. Don't think you are immune to temptation! Being aware of our own weakness will help us to be gentle toward others.


Verse 2

Help carry. "Instead of being hostile and scolding one another, you must help each other carry burdens." This is the spirit of community Burden = BARE! MacKnight says: "This is an allusion to the custom of travelers, who when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another, by bearing the burden of the weak or fatigued, and in that manner show their good disposition toward each other." The law of Christ requires benevolence and good will even to those who are surprised into sin.


Verse 3

If someone. "If you are so proud of your own righteousness that you are hostile to your weak brother and will not help him, you are only fooling yourself. When you think you are too strong to fall, you are living in a fool's paradise!"


Verse 4

Should judge his own. "You must not use the faults of others as the standard for your own conduct. There is no honor in looking at your brother and saying, ‘I am better than you!' If what you do is good, measured by God's standard, then you can be proud of your actions."


Verse 5

For everyone. "At the Judgment, each of us will have to answer for himself!" Load = PHORTION. This can also mean that certain things (such as sickness) and the normal duties of life must be the responsibility of the individual and cannot be shared.


Verse 6

The man who is being taught. The idea is that the one who is being taught ought to support the one who is teaching him. Food, money, housing, etc, is the general meaning. But it goes deeper than this, and Paul may be thinking of spiritual support as well.


Verse 7

No one makes a fool of God. No one can avoid or evade the laws by which God rules the universe. Exactly. "Whatever you plant, that is what you can expect to reap!!!"


Verse 8

If he plants. Paul may be scolding the Galatians for their selfish use of their money. That Isaiah, spending it all on their own pleasures, and not giving a share to the Lord's work (Galatians 6:6). The moral principal is: continued self-indulgence brings its own penalty. From the Spirit. Material things will perish, even our own bodies. The spiritual is eternal! If, then, we spend our time and money and ourselves planting in the field of the Spirit, the result will be eternal companionship with Christ!!!


Verse 9

Not become tired. "You must continue to do good, whether it is to help carry another's burdens, taking care of the sick, sharing sympathy and material things with another, and lifting up Christ in your lives. God will give you all that he promised!"


Verse 10

We should do good to everyone. "We should do good to everyone, whatever their country or religion should be or whatever their physical appearance. But we do have a special responsibility to those who belong to our family in the faith."


Verse 11

See what big letters. Paul had someone else write down his letters, but he usually wrote the ending in his own handwriting to prove the letter really came from him. The fact that he says "big letters" causes some to think he had trouble being able to see well. See note on Galatians 4:15.


Verse 12

Those. Some of your teachers want to show off and be popular with their unbelieving friends, and so they try to force you to be circumcised. It is not because they think circumcision is necessary to being put right with God. They only want to escape from the shame of the cross, and avoid persecution from their unbelieving friends."


Verse 13

Even those. "Those of the circumcision party do not obey The Law themselves! They are really hypocrites when they try to force you to be circumcised. They only want to be able to boast that you submitted to this physical ceremony." [Note that it is Gentile Christians, who have already been baptized into Christ, whom the circumcision party tried to force into the physical ceremony of circumcision.]


Verse 14

I will boast only of the cross. To some, the cross symbolized shame and disgrace. But to Paul, Christ-on-the-cross was God's act to set men free!!! For by means. "The world can no longer seduce me or frighten me! By means of HIS CROSS, the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. In Christ I am no longer under the control of sin and death!!!"


Verse 15

It does not matter at all. "I boast in Christ-on-the-cross, my only hope of salvation and the only means of my being put right with God!!! Whether anyone is circumcised or uncircumcised does not matter at all, because the only thing that puts us in God's favor is being a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)."


Verse 16

Who follow this rule. "To you believing Gentiles who follow this rule (Galatians 6:15) and who come to God by being a new creature in Christ, may peace and mercy be with you, and with all God's people! Peace in this life, and mercy at Christ's coming!!!"


Verse 17

To conclude. "Let no one give me any more trouble by saying I am not a true apostle. Like a slave who has been branded, I have on my body the scars which show I belong to Christ. These are much better proofs that I am really Christ's servant, than the marks of circumcision!"


Verse 18

May the grace. Paul's benediction is deeply sincere and friendly! Paul has scolded them harshly, but they are "my brothers." [The controversy over circumcision and The Law probably began as soon as the first uncircumcised Gentile converted to Christ. But the real issue was between Christ-on-the-cross (1 Corinthians 1:23 and note) and the Christ-but-not-the-cross which the circumcision party wanted to have.]

 


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 6:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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