Galatians Chapter Five
I. Content of the Chapter
We should Hold Fast the Freedom of the Gospel of Grace
I. Freedom from keeping the law and circumcision:
A. Christ makes us no long in the bondage of the law (v.1).
B. If we still turn to keep the law, we have fallen from grace:
1. Becoming circumcised is denying grace and Christ will profit men nothing (v.2).
2. Becoming circumcised is being a debtor to keep the whole law (v.3).
3. Becoming circumcised is attempting to be justified by law and therefore men become estranged from Christ (v.4).
4. Grace makes men receive the righteousness by faith through the Spirit (v.5).
5. The efforts in Christ fully rely on faith in stead of circumcision (v.6).
C. Those who preach the circumcision must bear the sin:
1. They make believers not obey the truth (v.7).
2. Their persuasions and teachings are the leaven which would make the whole lump leavened (v.8).
3. They trouble men and shall bear their judgment (v.9).
4. They dislike the cross (v.11).
5. Paul could wish that they would even cut themselves off (v.12).
II. Freedom from the corruption of the flesh and the lust:
A. The true meaning of being called to liberty:
2. Freedom delivers one from the letters of the law, however, he is also led into the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
3. The law of Christ is the law of “love” (v.13b-14).
4. Those who are against the law of “love” shall be consumed (v.15).
B. The way to be delivered from the lusts of the flesh is by the Spirit instead of the law:
1. The flesh lusts and the flesh are against and contrary to the Spirit (v.16-17).
2. Those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law (v.18).
3. Those who have the works of the flesh will not inherit the
4. Only the manifestation (fruit) of the Spirit accords with the law (v.22-23).
C. Believers must cooperate with the Spirit:
1. Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (v.24).
2. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (v.25).
3. Let us not have the works of the passions of the flesh (v.26).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
Gal. 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
YLT: “In the freedom, then, with which Christ did make you free -- stand ye, and be not held fast again by a yoke of servitude;”
Meaning of Words: “stand fast”: persevere, refuse to withdraw; “entangle”: obey, bear willingly (it is in the present tense and it refers to the action that is under way).
The Background: “yoke” is the wooden tool which is placed upon the neck of stock so that it cannot walk at will and it can labor according to the will of the host.
Literal Meaning: the salvation of Christ has delivered us from the bondage of sins and the law and made us have the freedom in the Spirit. On account of such blessing condition, we “therefore” should stand fast in the liberty of Christ, lest we be forced to be under the yoke again which once labored us for a long time.
“The liberty” “The”, the definite word shows that such liberty is not the “liberty” of the world but the liberty that Christ has accomplished by the redemption and only Christians can have such liberty.
“Stand fast” in this verse indicates that we should not give in or withdraw for the fear of the enemies to choose an easier way.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Stock does not have liberty at all under the yoke and men do not have liberty under the law either.
2) The liberty in Christ shall lead us into the life of freedom. The free status in Christ shall bring in the experiences of liberty which influence our walkings.
Gal. 5:2 “Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.”
YLT: “lo, I Paul do say to you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing;”
The Background: the Jewish babies of eight days shall be circumcised and it is the token of the covenant that God had made with His people (Gen. 17:10-14).
Literal Meaning: the Jews’ being circumcised does not hinder them from being Christians. However, the Gentiles do not need to be reckoned of Christ through circumcision.
If the Galatians were circumcised in order to be saved, they indeed forsook the rock of salvation----Christ because circumcision equally made the death of Christ in vain. They thought that the circumcision was the addition to Christ concerning their being saved. However, Paul held that they used circumcision to replace Christ. To Galatians, circumcision became the sign whether they chose the law or grace. Keeping the law was another way and therefore “a little error may lead to a large discrepancy”. Circumcision is little, however, it influences greatly.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christians shouldn’t receive any regulations as their requirements for their being saved because any additional requirement would change our relation with Christ.
2) If Christ is not “all” to a believer, He would turn to be “nothing” to him.
3) Today in the heresies of Christians, Christ is not fully denied, however, this and that are added to Christ and the “additions” make Christ profit them nothing.
4) We could only choose one between keeping the law and believing in Christ. We cannot both keep the law and believe in Christ.
Gal. 5:3 “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.”
YLT: “and I testify again to every man circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law;”
Meaning of Words: “testify”: witness, prove; “debtor”: be in debt, should, be bound by duties.
The Background: Judaizers probably said to the Galatian believers that the Jews had to keep the whole law, however, it was enough for the Gentiles to keep a part of the law: they should keep the circumcision and they could keep the customs, ceremonies and etc that are set by the law at will.
Literal Meaning: Paul wanted to make them understand that if they could be justified by the works of the law, keeping the circumcision is not enough, they cannot be justified until they have kept the whole law. However, no body in the world could keep the whole law.
Enlightenment in the Word: it is difficult to keep the law and it is easy to break the law because one keeps the law only when he has kept the whole law and one breaks the law as long as he violates an item of the law.
Gal. 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
YLT: “ye were freed from the Christ, ye who in law are declared righteous; from the grace ye fell away;”
Meaning of Words: “you”: any, all; “estranged”: free from, pass away; “fall”: fall away, it is used to refer to the withered flowers or the loose chains.
Literal Meaning: all those who want to be justified by the law indeed depart from Christ and turn to be in vain.
“You have fallen from grace” It indicates that they get out of the realm of grace and fall into the realm of the law and they stop relying on God’s resources and rely on their own resources.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Being estranged from Christ is falling from grace, showing that Christ Himself is grace.
2) Men cannot rely on both Christ and the law at the same time. These two cannot coexist with each other.
3) If men want to be saved by relying on something except Christ, they equally abandon their reliance upon Christ.
4) Grace is the abundant blessing of God. If men want to be justified by works, they indeed shut off the door of God’s blessing.
5) The moment men know that we have nothing to rely on and turn to rely on the Lord’s grace single-mindedly, we will find that both His grace and power support us.
Gal. 5:5 “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
YLT: “for we by the Spirit, by faith, a hope of righteousness do wait for,”
Literal Meaning: “through the Spirit” refers to “live in the Spirit” (See v.25); “by faith” refers to justification by faith (Gal. 3:8).
“Wait for the hope of righteousness” indicates that we believers, “according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2Pet. 3:13).
Christ is our righteousness today (1Cor. 1:30) and our hope of righteousness in future------when we see Him in future, we shall receive the whole righteousness (1John. 3:2).
We have the assurance of the hope of righteousness in the Spirit by faith and therefore we wait patiently here.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The salvation takes effect upon men through the working of the Spirit and men’s faith, in like manner, the hope shall be realized through the great power of the Spirit and our persistent faith.
2) There are three differences between a believer of the New Testament and a Judaizer: a) the former relies on the Spirit and the latter relies on the flesh; b) the former is by faith and the latter is by works; c) the former waits for the future and the latter reviews the past.
3) If Christians want to stand fast in truth, we have to do three things through the Spirit: a) rely on faith; b) hold fast to hope; c) work through love (See v.6).
Gal. 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
YLT: “for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith through love working.”
Meaning of Words: “working”: be active, do; “avail”: have strength, be able.
Literal Meaning: Neither “circumcision” nor “uncircumcision” could make a Christian have the hope of righteousness and only the faith which works through love in Christ Jesus is able to do so.
The living faith works through love.
Spiritual Meaning: the spiritual
meaning of circumcision is dealing with the flesh (
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) There is one thing that matters and it is faith in Christ. The true faith is expressed by love (See James. 2:14-19).
2) The one who has love has fulfilled the law (v.14).
3) It is of no value to serve God merely by the outer regulations and customs and only keeping the true love and faith has the spiritual value.
4) The law only gives men the standard and knowledge of life, however, the true faith gives men the power of life to do the will of God.
Gal. 5:7 “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
YLT: “Ye were running well; who did hinder you -- not to obey the truth?”
Meaning of Words: “obey”: persuade, convince, it includes “controlling men’s behavior”.
The Background: there are certain rules in race and men should not violate.
Even if one ran well in the beginning and he violates the rule and departs from the designated runway, all his previous work will be wasted.
Literal Meaning: “ran well” means that one goes forward according to the normal regulations and does not stop, use finesse or circle round. The Galatians ran well in the life of faith, however, they were disturbed, confused and hindered by Judaizers halfway and they even chose to let their behavior not be controlled by the truth of the gospel of grace.
The tense of “hindered” shows that they had been hindered even though we did not know the final result of the race.
Gal. 5:8 “This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.”
YLT: “the obedience [is] not of him who is calling you!”
Meaning of Words: “persuasion”: convince, lobby; “call”: the unforced calling.
Literal Meaning: “this persuasion” refers to the inducement of Judaizers.
“Him who calls you” refers to God.
This verse shows that Judaizers are the enemies of God.
Gal. 5:9 “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
YLT: “a little leaven the whole lump doth leaven;”
The Background: this sentence is a proverb at that time and it is used to describe a kind of influence or element. It is insignificant in the beginning, however, it spreads up gradually until it influences or changes the whole.
Literal Meaning: “leaven” in the Bible generally refers to the evil heresies (Matt. 16:11-12; 1Cor. 5:6).
This verse indicates that a bit of heresy would corrupt not only the gospel of grace but also all believers.
Gal. 5:10 “I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.”
YLT: “I have confidence in regard to you in the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded; and he who is troubling you shall bear the judgment, whoever he may be.”
Meaning of Words: “mind”: men’s view and attitude to an affair in their hearts; “bear”: lift, carry, take up, hold.
Literal Meaning: “I have confidence in the Lord” shows that Paul firmly believed that “the Lord” was able to help them.
“That you will have no other mind” It means that you shall have the same mind with me. Paul believed in the Lord that they shall not depart from the view which made them “run well” at the end. All those who entice men to depart from the way of grace with the false doctrines will be punished.
Gal. 5:11 “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.”
YLT: “And I, brethren, if uncircumcision I yet preach, why yet am I persecuted? then hath the stumbling-block of the cross been done away;”
Meaning of Words: “offense”: stumbling block, snare, net, trap; “cease”: stop, vanish away.
The Background: the preaching of the cross was always the stumbling block to the Jews (1Cor. 1:23).
Literal Meaning: the word “still” shows that Paul had preached circumcision when he was in Judaism.
“Why do I still suffer persecution?” It means that if he still put circumcision in the gospel like Judaizers, he would not be persecuted by them.
“The offense of the cross” Paul preached that the cross of Christ is the only way of God’s salvation and only through the redemption of the cross will men be justified and accepted by God. It is the stumbling block in the eyes of Judaizers and they hated it the most.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) All those who are self-righteous and think themselves wise dislike the cross. However, the true righteousness and wisdom are from the cross of Christ.
2) The truth is always disliked by men. If God’s servants pander to the meaning of men because they are afraid of being persecuted by them, as a result they are faithless to the truth.
3) The cross is a touchstone for the truth of Christ------all those who dislike the cross are manifested that they have departed from the truth.
Gal. 5:12 “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!”
YLT: “O that even they would cut themselves off who are unsettling you!”
Meaning of Words: “cut off”: cut, amputate, mutilate.
The Background: “cut off” means cutting off the function of reproduction. In the past the heretical priests always cut off themselves in order to show their piety.
Literal Meaning: from the view of Paul, the way that Judaizers were circumcised was the same with the brutal behavior of heretics. What they did did not resemble Christianity but resemble the heretical religion. From these words, the Galatians should know those who supported circumcision and the heretical priests who cut off themselves were put on a par.
Gal. 5:13 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
YLT: “For ye -- to freedom ye were called, brethren, only not the freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through the love serve ye one another,”
Meaning of Words: “flesh”: body; “opportunity”: it is a military term and it represents the time to attack; “serve”: it is in the present tense and it means that it is the continuous attitude and action.
Literal Meaning: one receives the liberty from the law and it is not the liberty of sins. Departing from the bondage of the law is being set free from the power of sins. But if one uses it “as an opportunity for the flesh”, he will become the salve of sins.
“The flesh” refers to the depraved and corruptible human nature which is against the Spirit.
“But through love serve one another” “But” means that no matter how other person deals with us, we should deal with him through love. “Serve one another” means being servant of one another and it shows that such service of love is ambilateral.
Christians are called to have liberty in order to be slaves of love and serve one another through love.
Enlightenment in the Word:
2) If the liberty is not with love, the liberty shall be misused by men because the lusts of the flesh work there.
3) The liberty, like faith, needs to be practiced in love.
4) We should not receive others’ service merely and do not serve others. We should serve one another.
5) If we want to be served by others, we’d better take the initiative to serve others through love.
6) Serving one another could provoke one another into love.
Gal. 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
YLT: “for all the law in one word is fulfilled -- in this: `Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;'”
Meaning of Words: “fulfill”: accomplish, complete, fill up, end; “love”: the unconditional love.
Literal Meaning: “all the law” refers to the requests of the Ten Commandments and other scriptures of the Old Testament.
“One word” refers to a principle.
This verse means that if we could do the
word that “love your neighbor as yourself”, we have fulfilled all the law (
Gal. 5:15 “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
YLT: “and if one another ye do bite and devour, see -- that ye may not by one another be consumed.”
Meaning of Words: “bite”: bite of a snake, tear; “devour”: eat down, swallow up.
Literal Meaning: “bite and devour” is the brutal action instead of the way by which Christians deal with each other. The Galatian believers persisted in the regulations of the law regardless of the true meaning of the law and consequently they walked on the way of destruction and shall be consumed by one another.
Gal. 5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
YLT: “And I say: In the Spirit walk ye, and the desire of the flesh ye may not complete;”
Meaning of Words: “the Spirit”: spirit, wind, breath; “walk”: go, act (it is in the present tense and it refers to the routine official affairs. It is a continuous action); “fulfill”: accomplish, make an end, help, perform; “the flesh”: body; “the lust”: a longing, desire, covetousness.
Literal Meaning: if men choose to live in the Spirit and let the Spirit control their daily behavior, they will not practice or fulfill the lust of the flesh or continue in the life of sins.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The affirmative way to defeat the lusts of the flesh is to walk in the Spirit. Withstanding the flesh by our own strength is like sailing against the current. Walking in the Spirit is like pushing the boat with the wind.
2) The true liberty of believers is living and walking in the Spirit.
3) If we mind the flesh and fulfill the desires of the flesh, we do not walk in the Spirit and as a result, we shall fall into sins.
Gal. 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
YLT: “for the flesh doth desire contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit contrary to the flesh, and these are opposed one to another, that the things that ye may will -- these ye may not do;”
Meaning of Words: “against”: suppress, down; “contrary”: the situation of opposition.
Literal Meaning: the flesh of believers is contrary to the indwelling Spirit and they are against each other in us------when a believer wants to do good, the law of sin which is in his members makes him do not do it (Rom. 7:18-23); when a believer wants to do evil, the Spirit rises to oppose it (1Pet. 2:11)------as a result, we “do not do the things that we wish”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Here it is said that the Spirit is against the flesh instead of that we are against the flesh. The key of the spiritual conflict is that we do not take part in and let the Spirit replace us to fight.
2) The reason why we do not love the world is not that the world is not lovely or the world loses its attraction but that the Spirit reigns in us so that we cannot love the world any more.
Gal. 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
YLT: “and if by the Spirit ye are led, ye are not under law.”
Literal Meaning: “you are led by the Spirit” It indicates that one’s will is subject to the Spirit so as to follow His guidance.
“You are not under the law” It indicates that one does not need to please God through the works of the law.
Enlightenment in the Word: Christians are not under the law of letters but keep the law by the inner love.
Gal. 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,”
YLT: “And manifest also are the works of the flesh, which are: Adultery, whoredom, uncleanness, lasciviousness,”
The Background: “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness” are of sensations. Such conditions are quite common in the time of Paul and they were a part of the ceremonies of worshiping idols in the heretical society.
Literal Meaning: “Now the works of the flesh are evident” The true nature of “the flesh” could be seen from the expressional behavior.
“Adultery, fornication” refers to illegal sexual intercourse.
“Uncleanness” refers to the uncleanness in the thoughts and words.
“Lewdness” refers to randomness, indulgence and unruliness of behavior and attitude.
The above-mentioned four items are against the sixth commandment of the Ten Commandments.
Gal. 5:20 “idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,”
YLT: “idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strifes, emulations, wraths, rivalries, dissensions, sects,”
Meaning of Words: “hatred”: hostility, enmity; “contentions”: of uncertain affinity, disharmony; “jealousies”: envy, zeal; “outbursts of wrath”: indignation, short temper; “dissensions”: debate and dispute with the nature of disunion; “heresies”: faction, party, sect.
Literal Meaning: “idolatry” means worshiping images and false gods. “Sorcery” refers to the magic, witchcraft, necromancy, amulet, making men lose self-control and becoming absentminded with medicines. “Idolatry” and “sorcery” are the sin of betraying God and turning to the heresies.
“Hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, dissensions, heresies” are sins in the interpersonal relations. “Selfish ambitions” refers to increasing one’s own influence because of selfishness and ambition.
Enlightenment in the Word: sects (the original meaning of “heresies”) are listed in the works of the flesh in this verse. Many Christians know that we could not do the idolatry, sorcery or hatred and etc. However, we do not know that sects among believers are the works of the flesh condemned by God.
Gal. 5:21 “envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
YLT: “envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revellings, and such like, of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that those doing such things the reign of God shall not inherit.”
Meaning of Words: “practice” does not refer to the occasional behavior but the habitual.
Literal Meaning: “envy” includes all the ideas of envy and it refers to the feelings of both coveting what others possess and letting others not have them; envy is also the social sin.
“Murders” refers to killing another rashly and it is the high peak of the rupture of interpersonal relationship.
“Drunkenness” indicates that one drinks the liquor excessively so that he loses senses and control. “Revelries” indicates that many people are drunk together and clamor together. “Drunkenness and revelries” are the sin of losing self-control and degrading human dignity.
“And the like” shows there are more than these works.
If believers get accustomed to walking
according to the flesh, we cannot enjoy the rights and benefits of the coming
Enlightenment in the Word: the common failing of human beings (believers are included) in the corporate life is to exalt oneself so as to have benefits and depress others.
Gal. 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”
YLT: “And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,”
Meaning of Words: “love”: selfless love, sacred love; “goodness”: gentleness, fineness, purity; “faithfulness”: faith, dependence, reliance, fidelity.
Literal Meaning: “But the fruit of the Spirit” “fruit” is the outcome of the natural growth of life. “The fruit of the Spirit” is the natural expression that believers walk in the Spirit instead of the outer imitation and affectation. These are not the different virtues that the Spirit gives us but the whole fruit that the Spirit bears upon us when He is mature in life. The whole fruit has such features, however, they cannot be divided up. The meaning of the fruit of the Spirit is that Chris turns to be our own characters and features upon us because He is digested by us through the works of the Spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit.
“Joy” is the deep and lasting sentiment and it is rooted in the spiritual exultation of the communion with God.
“Peace” is the condition naturally expressed outwardly because of the inner peace received from the communication with God.
“Longsuffering” means suffering long and not raging.
“Kindness” refers to the character of being kind and amiable to others.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The true good deeds of Christians are not “done” but “bore”.
2) Every true Christian should always bear the fruit of the Spirit (John. 15:1-8).
3) The nine features of the fruit of the Spirit could be divided into three groups: the first group is headed by “love”; the second “longsuffering” (hope); the third “faithfulness” (faith). And therefore the essential points of the fruit of the Spirit are faith, hope and love.
4) The first group “love, joy and peace” specially refers to the inner state of believers; the second group “longsuffering, kindness and goodness” specially refers to state of believers that is manifested outwardly; the third group “faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” specially refers to the state of believers to God (faithfulness), men (gentleness) and selves (self-control) respectively.
5) Love is the bond of perfection (Col. 3:14): joy is the sentiment of love; peace is the state of love; longsuffering is the power of love; kindness is the compassion of love; goodness is the motive of love; faithfulness is the word of love; gentleness is the attitude of love and self-control is the arm of love.
6) The fruit of the Spirit is bore by the Spirit and men cannot bear it. It is the natural expression of God’s life: joy is the exultation of love; peace is the serenity of love; longsuffering is the tolerance of love; kindness is the refinement of love; goodness is the action of love; faithfulness is trust of love; gentleness is the humbleness of love and self-control is the true love to oneself.
7) The fruit of the Spirit is one instead of nine and it is the expressions of the spiritual life in various aspects: joy is the delight of love; peace is the reliance of love; longsuffering is the silence of love; kindness is the consideration of love; goodness is the disposition of love; faithfulness is the firmness of love; gentleness is the exquisiteness of love and self-control is the conquest of love.
8) Love, joy and peace are the enjoyments given by God to us; goodness, longsuffering and kindness are our daily expressions to men; faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the lessons to ourselves.
9) “Love” is the head of the fruit of the Spirit: the fruit shall be meaningful with love and the fruit shall be nothing without love (See 1Cor. 13:1-7). It is obvious that love is before all walkings and love is the general principle of all walkings.
10) Since believers have tasted “the joy of the salvation” when we were saved (Ps. 51:12), we should value and pursue “the joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).
11) Since believers’ peace is the fruit of the Spirit and therefore it has nothing to do with the objective circumstances and we could still have peace in the adverse circumstances (See John. 16:33).
12) Our true peace is from our peace with God. And therefore if we want to always abide in peace, we have to live in peace with God.
13) The “sufferance” of men only lasts a short while and it cannot last long; the sufferance of the Spirit is the endurance to the end (Matt. 10:22) and the patient of a perfect work (James. 1:4).
14) The world deals with themselves kindly and deals with others strictly. Believers deal with themselves strictly and deal with others kindly.
15) No one is good but One, that is, God (Mark. 10:18). And therefore the world always deals with men and walks with the evil intentions. However, since the Spirit of God dwells in believers, we could be good and faithful (Matt. 25:21).
16) The hardest sin for the world to forgive is the faithlessness of Christians.
Gal. 5:23 “gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
YLT: “meekness, temperance: against such there is no law;”
Meaning of Words: “gentleness”: meekness, sereneness, docility, consideration, urbanity; “self-control”: continence, temperance, self-abnegation.
Literal Meaning: the life and conduct lived by the Spirit are above the law and are not bond or controlled by the law. The law only restrains sins more or less, however, it cannot restrain the works of the Spirit.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The meek ones neither let their hearts be hurt by others nor hurt others easily.
2) Believers should have self-control in everything------not only the bad things but also the good things (do not walk according to our own favor but walk according to the guidance of the Spirit).
Gal. 5:24 “And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
YLT: “and those who are Christ's, the flesh did crucify with the affections, and the desires;”
Meaning of Words: “passion”: tendency, impulse; “desire”: a longing, lust.
Literal Meaning: the flesh is the most troublesome and it is hard for us to conquer. However, God has overcome the flesh for us. Today all those who are of Christ Jesus do not need to struggle or fight because God has crucified it. This “crucifixion together” does not refer to the present subjective experience but the finished objective fact. And therefore we have to put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13) and then we can turn this finished fact into our real experience continuously and constantly.
Gal. 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
YLT: “if we may live in the Spirit, in the Spirit also we may walk;”
Meaning of Words: “walk”: walk orderly, stand in a row.
Literal Meaning: Paul exhorted us who receive the spiritual life from the Spirit stand in a row and walk forth, following the guidance of the Spirit the leader.
“Walking in the Spirit” is walking according to the features of the fruit of the Spirit.
Gal. 5:26 “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
YLT: “let us not become vain-glorious -- one another provoking, one another envying!”
Meaning of Words: “conceited”: vain-glorious, self-conceited, proud.
Literal Meaning: “conceited” is “coveting the vain glory” (Pill. 2:3).
Enlightenment in the Word: the result of “conceited” is “provoking one another, envying one another”. It shows that the main cause of the dispute in the church is the “vain glory”.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
Believers and Being in Bondage
II. No longer being in the bondage of the flesh and sins (v.13-26).
III. Being in the bondage of love willingly, i.e. being the slave of Christ (v.13-14).
The Heretical Teachings
I. The cause------it does not come from Him who calls us (v.8).
II. The harm:
A. Hindering men from obeying the truth (v.7).
B. Troubling men (v.10).
C. Spreading and influencing the whole church (v.9).
III. Those who preach the heresies shall be punished (v.10).
The Features of Christians
I. They are men of Christ Jesus (v.24).
II. They are in Christ Jesus (v.6).
III. They live by the Spirit (v.25).
IV. They are guided by the Spirit (v.18).
V. They walk in the Spirit (v.16, 25).
VI. The above-mentioned features are manifested in their relations with others (v.26).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren