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Galatians Chapter Six


I. Content of the Chapter


The Principle of Christians’ Walkings

I. Restoring the one who is overtaken in any trespass:

  A. Those who are spiritual should do it (v.1a).

  B. Dealing with it in a spirit of gentleness (v.1b).

  C. Also considering ourselves (v.1c).

  D. Bearing one another's burdens (v.2).

  E. Admitting that we are nothing (v.3).

  F. Examining our own works (v.4).

  G. Knowing our own load (v.5).

II. Doing good:

  A. Sharing in all good things with him who teaches (v.6).

  B. The reasons why we should do good to others:

1. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked (v.7a).

2. Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (v.7b-8).

3. In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart while doing good (v.9).

  C. As we have opportunity, let us do good to all (v.10a).

  D. Especially to those who are of the household of faith (v.10b).


The Cross Is the Touchstone of the True and False Workers

I. It is written by Paul with his own hand (v.11).

II. Those who preach circumcision only seek their own glory:

  A. They desire to make a good showing in the flesh (v.12a).

  B. They preach circumcision because they are afraid of suffering persecution for the cross of Christ (v.12b).

  C. They themselves do not keep the law (v.13a).

  D. They desire that they may boast in others’ flesh (v.13b).

III. The true servants of the Lord exults Christ’s cross:

  A. I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (v.14).

  B. The cross makes men “a new creation” (v.15).

  C. The cross brings in peace and mercy (v.16).

  D. The cross makes men have the marks of the Lord Jesus in them (v.17).

IV. Conclusion------the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (v.18).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Gal. 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

   YLT: “Brethren, if a man also may be overtaken in any trespass, ye who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering thyself -- lest thou also may be tempted;”

   Meaning of Words: “trespass”: departing from the appointed way, fall, depravation; “overtake”: take the food, swallow, seize; “restore”: repair, mend, redeem, recover, make perfect, join the dislocated bones again; “consider”: look on, pay attention to.

   Literal Meaning: “you who are spiritual” are of the Holy Spirit, i.e. those who are led by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:18) and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

  Those who are “conceited” (Gal. 5:26) must take pleasure in others’ misfortune if they see others are overtaken in any trespass. However, if those who are spiritual see a brother is overtaken in any trespass, they should not mock or judge him but specially support and help him.

  When helping the brother who is overtaken in any trespass, we should not be conceited or proud but have the spirit of gentleness. At the time, remembering our own weakness, we should be on the alert and fear, lest we be overtaken in the same trespass.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) It is possible that Christians are overtaken in any trespass occasionally, however, we cannot stay in the trespass long.

2) To a normal Christian, the time that he overcomes the “trespass” is more than the time that he is overtaken in any “trespass”.

3) Whether one is spiritual does not lie in his knowledge but his attitude to the weak members.

4) Whether one is spiritual lies in whether he is able to understand the feeling of the Lord deeply and restore those who are overtaken in any trespass with the love of the Lord.

5) Those who are spiritual will not give up a failed brother easily or regard that he does not have any hope of being restored.

6) When we see one who is taken in any trespass, we should not hold the attitude of condemnation, contempt and abandonment to him. Contrarily, we should deal with him with the heart of mercy and the spirit of gentleness.

7) “The spirit of gentleness”, “gentleness” is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). And therefore we won’t have the true gentleness until we walk in the Spirit.

8) It is not real that spiritual ones won’t fail forever and they themselves may also be tempted and fall.


Gal. 6:2 “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

   YLT: “of one another the burdens bear ye, and so fill up the law of the Christ,”

   Meaning of Words: “one another”: each other; “burden”: goods on the boat, weight.

   Literal Meaning: the “burden” in this verse may be probably related to “one’s being overtaken in any trespass” in the previous verse. Nobody could bear the burdens of the law of Moses. However, we should bear one another’s burdens in the life of faith.

  “The law of Christ” refers to the commandment given by the Lord that we should love one another (John. 13:34).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Judaizers wanted men to bear the burdens of the law (Acts. 15:28). However, Paul wanted men to bear the burden of love which is light (Matt. 11:30).

2) Not only we need to bear the burdens of others but also we may need others to bear our burdens. Not only we should show sympathy, comfort and support to others in their difficulties but also we may need others’ compassion, comfort and support in our difficulties.

3) Bearing one another’s burdens is the performance of love and love is the fulfillment of the law (1Cor. 9:21; Rom. 13:10).


Gal. 6:3 “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

   YLT: “for if any one doth think [himself] to be something -- being nothing -- himself he doth deceive;”

   Literal Meaning: believers should know that we have nothing and we are nothing by ourselves and everything is of God’s grace. If believers think that they have some good points (e.g. love, faith, endurance and etc) or think that they are someones, these are the thoughts of self-deceit.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The one who is unwilling to help others when seeing them have failed and contrarily shows his pride and thinks that he is spiritual indeed deceives himself.

2) Believers are usually misled by “their thinking themselves to be…” and therefore we should specially take heed (See 1Cor. 10:12).

3) The one who thinks himself to be something won’t truly bear the burdens of others (v.2) because such man helps others only to show off his “being something”.


Gal. 6:4 “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

   YLT: “and his own work let each one prove, and then in regard to himself alone the glorying he shall have, and not in regard to the other,”

   Literal Meaning: “examine” means testing, observing and confirming.

  Each of us shall give an account concerning himself to God (Rom. 14:12; 2Cor. 5:10) and therefore we are responsible for examining ourselves.

  “Have rejoicing in” refers to the things in which one has rejoicing, comfort and glory.

  “In himself alone” refers to only caring about whether his walkings are of value before God.

  “Not in another” shows that he does not compare with others or boast in others’ false praise.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “A bystander is always clear-minded” Ordinary ones always see others’ faults and cannot see their own faults.

2) Examining oneself (See 2Cor. 13:5) is an important step to avoid self-deceit.


Gal. 6:5 “For each one shall bear his own load.

   YLT: “for each one his own burden shall bear.”

   Meaning of Words: “load”: soldiers need to bear their own baggage.

   Literal Meaning: “load” refers to the duties and responsibilities that every believer should take as a man in the world (or a brother in the church).

  When examining our own behavior, we shall see whether we ourselves have done the duty instead of looking into others.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We should bear one another’s “burdens” (v.2), however, we should bear our own “load”. We should bear one another’s difficulties, however, we should take our own responsibilities.

2) We could entrust our burdens of sins and life to the Lord because He is the one who daily loads us with benefits (Ps. 68:19). However, it does not mean that we could ignore our own responsibilities.


Gal. 6:6 “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

   YLT: “And let him who is instructed in the word share with him who is instructing -- in all good things.”

   Meaning of Words: “share”: have together, distribute, communicate, be partaker.

  Literal Meaning: though it is said in the previous verse that each one shall bear his own load, however, such principle could not be applied to those who teach and let them bear their own necessities of life. Those who are taught should share all the necessities of life with those who teach so that they could give attendance to preaching and exhortation (1Tim. 4:13).

   Enlightenment in the Word: according to the original meaning of “share”, “all good things” not only refers to the physical needs but also includes the sharing with each other in the spiritual life.


Gal. 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

   YLT: “Be not led astray; God is not mocked; for what a man may sow -- that also he shall reap,”

   Meaning of Words: “mock”: give a snout of contempt, fool.

   Literal Meaning: if one ignores his own responsibilities, he is indeed deceived and God shall give to every one according to his work.

  In the husbandry whatever a man sows, that he will also reap and so it is in men’s walkings. 

   Enlightenment in the Word: doing good is not a loss but a kind of investment with payback.


Gal. 6:8 “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

   YLT: “because he who is sowing to his own flesh, of the flesh shall reap corruption; and he who is sowing to the Spirit, of the Spirit shall reap life age-during;”

   Meaning of Words: “to”: into; “corruption”: decay.

   Literal Meaning: 1) We are “sowing” every time we does one thing and we shall “reap”. What matters is that whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.

  2) There is the certain law of the spiritual life: one shall reap corruption and death if he walks according to the flesh; one shall reap life and peace if he walks in the Spirit (Rom. 8:6).


Gal. 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

   YLT: “and in the doing good we may not be faint-hearted, for at the proper time we shall reap -- not desponding;”

   Meaning of Words: “grow weary”: become tired gradually, be weak; “lose heart”: desponding.

   Literal Meaning: we should persevere in the good works that are done in the Spirit and should not lose heart or be tired. We shall have an abundant harvest in due season.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When doing good, believers should not bear in mind the reward at present but keep in mind the reward of God in future (See Matt. 6:1-4).

2) The gestation period of the life of high ranking is longer. The seed that is sowed to the Spirit needs more time to be reaped, compared with the seed that is sowed to the flesh.


Gal. 6:10 “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

   YLT: “therefore, then, as we have opportunity, may we work the good to all, and especially unto those of the household of the faith.”

   Meaning of Words: “especially”: most of all, particularly.

   Literal Meaning: “as we have opportunity” It indicates that it is in the power of our hand to do so (Prov. 3:27) and others are in need.

  “All” refers to the ordinary ones, including pagans.

  “Those who are of the household of faith” Believers are of one family in the Lord (Eph. 2:19; 1Tim. 3:15).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Believers should take care of their own family members according to the flesh and if we still have the power of our hand, we should give brothers in the Lord who are in need the precedence and help them more.

2) “As we have opportunity” means taking initiative in finding opportunity in the original. Christians do not do good when it is convenient but find opportunity to do good.


Gal. 6:11 “See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

   YLT: “Ye see in how large letters I have written to you with my own hand;”

   The Background: usually the epistles of Paul were written by others (Rom. 16:22). Some Bible scholars held that the words in the verse and Gal. 4:13-15 could prove that Paul had the eye disease and the poor eyesight and therefore his letters were large. He may write the whole book of Galatians and probably someone else wrote the previous words on behalf of him and he continued the following several verses by himself.

   Literal Meaning: the words in this verse prove that this letter was of him, hoping the Galatian believers will pay attention to his exhortations more.


Gal. 6:12 “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

   YLT: “as many as are willing to make a good appearance in the flesh, these constrain you to be circumcised -- only that for the cross of the Christ they may not be persecuted,”

   Meaning of Words: “a good showing”: a good appearance, make a fair show; “compel”: force, constrain.

   Literal Meaning: “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh” refer to Judaizers who gained the glory of men by the works of the law.

   Enlightenment in the Word: circumcision is the type of Christ’s crucifixion. The true circumcision that cuts off the flesh is not the circumcision in the Old Testament but Christ’s crucifixion. Only Christ’s cross could deal with our flesh.


Gal. 6:13 “For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

   YLT: “for neither do those circumcised themselves keep the law, but they wish you to be circumcised, that in your flesh they may glory.”

   Literal Meaning: “boast” means that one always talks to others with too much pride.

  The reason why Judaizers advocated circumcision is to keep the law strictly. However, they themselves cannot keep the law at all because men cannot fulfill the regulations of the law completely. They compelled the Gentiles to be circumcised just because they could boast in the increase in the number of the Gentile believers.


Gal. 6:14 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

   YLT: “And for me, let it not be -- to glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which to me the world hath been crucified, and I to the world;”

   Literal Meaning: to Paul, the cross is his whole life and the greatest glory. His relation to the world was completely changed because of the salvation of the cross. From the first day when he received the salvation of the cross, to Paul the world lost its attraction because he counted all things dung; to the world he also lost his function and he was regarded as the filth of the world and the offscouring of all things. Of him the world was not worthy and the world did not allow him to live.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The cross is between the world and the Lord. All believers stand on the side of the Lord and therefore only through the cross can we enter into the world. Today our attitude to the world should be appropriating the cross.

2) The carnal ones like boasting in the outer behavior with the aim of exulting themselves. The spiritual ones only boast in the Lord’s cross with the aim of glorifying the Lord.

3) Whenever Christians love the cross, they do not love the world; whenever they love the world, they flee from the cross.

4) One who flees from the cross glorifies the world and boasts in the world. One who does not love the world glorifies the cross and boasts in the cross.

5) If men do not love the cross, they cannot love God. If men do not boast in the cross, they cannot overcome in all aspects.


Gal. 6:15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

   YLT: “for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation;”

   Literal Meaning: the circumcision of the flesh only cuts off a piece of skin of the body and it has not truly cut off the various kinds of flesh and corruption in men. And therefore the one who is circumcised is still the old creation. Only through faith can one be in Christ and he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2Cor. 5:17).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) A new creature does not stress on the outer letters but the inner Spirit (See Rom. 2:28-29).

2) Concerning our walkings, all that cannot pass the test of the cross belong to the old creation and all that pass the test of the cross is a part of the new creation.


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

   YLT: “and as many as by this rule do walk -- peace upon them, and kindness, and on the Israel of God!”

   Meaning of Words: “rule”: principle, standard, line, limit, canon.

   Literal Meaning: “walk according to this rule” refers to the rule of the new creation and the message of the cross that Paul had mentioned previously.

  “The Israel of God” refers to the Jews who obey the truth. They believe that Christ is the only salvation and they are totally different from the carnal people of Israel (1Cor. 10:18).

  The greatest longing of men in the Old Testament is the peace of God------God’s order is restored in the world and the mercy of God------the accomplishment of God’s covenant. In Paul’s prayer, he hoped that peace and mercy would be upon those who regard the cross as their glory and are glad in God’s new creation.

   Enlightenment in the Word: we should not merely know the “rule” of the Bible but “walk” according to the rule.


Gal. 6:17 “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

   YLT: “Henceforth, let no one give me trouble, for I the scars of the Lord Jesus in my body do bear.”

   The Background: “marks” refer to the marks made with a piece of hot metal on farm animals or salves to show who owns them.

   Literal Meaning: Paul suffered whips, persecution and danger for the sake of preaching the gospel of the cross. The scars were still there when he wrote the book of Galatians. These were “the marks of the Lord Jesus” and also his marks as the servant of Christ.

  All suffering and tribulation that we suffer for the sake of the Lord Jesus are the invisible “marks of the Lord Jesus” which make others see the image of Christ upon us. They are also the clear proof of the servants of Christ.


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

   YLT: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [is] with your spirit, brethren! Amen.”

   Literal Meaning: the grace of Jesus Christ is the thesis of this book (Gal. 1:3). However, the Lord’s grace is not merely the idea in the knowledge. One is truly blessed only when he always experiences the Lord’s grace in him and lives out His grace outwardly.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the “peace and mercy” in v.16 is to our souls; the “marks of Jesus Christ” are to our bodies; the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is to our spirits.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The States that the Spiritual Ones should Have

I. The love to restore the one who is overtaken in any trespass (v.1).

II. The spirit of gentleness (v.1).

III. The heart of alertness (v.1).

IV. The responsibility for bearing the burdens of others (v.2).


How to Fulfill Christ’s Law of Love

I. Restore the one who is overtaken in any trespass (v.1a).

II. Bear one another’s burdens (v.2).

III. Share in all good things with him who teaches (v.6).

IV. Seize every opportunity to do good to all and those who are of the household of faith (v.10).


How should Believers Deal with Themselves?

I. Consider ourselves lest we also be tempted by other’s trespass (v.1).

II. Do not think ourselves to be something, when we are nothing (v.3).

III. Examine our own works (v.4).

IV. Bear our own loads (v.5).

V. Do not be deceived (v.3, 7).


The Features of Judaizers

I. They desire to make a good showing in the flesh (v.12a).

II. They fear that they may suffer persecution for the cross of Christ (v.12b).

III. They themselves cannot keep the law (v.13a).

IV. They may boast in your flesh (v.13b).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren