Galatians 6

Background

While believers are free from the law of Moses and possesses liberty in the Spirit, but we must fulfill the law of Christ, with the power of the Spirit. Such life involves sacrificial service direct toward sinning Christians, burdened Christians, teachers and all people.

Division

  1. v1-10: The Christians life.
  2. v11-18: Final warning and benediction

Exposition

  • v1: The spiritual mature Christians should care of the spiritual weak Christians, but need to do it careful so that the mature Christians would not fall into temptation.
  • v2: law of Christ? Love. Love your neighbor as yourself, love one another (5:14, Rom 13:8).
  • v3: Christians are called to care for each others (v1,2) but not to think about oneself is somebody. Our love for each other is all normal Christians should do, thus do not think we are somebody better than other Christians because I have helped someone.
  • v4: When a believer boast, he should only boast in the work Christ has done to himself and not what he did to others. Christians are called to love others, but not to boast about it.
  • v5: is this a contradiction with v2? of course not. why not? Verse 2’s burden refers to heavy, crushing, loads (baros G922) – more than a man could carry without help. In v5, the burden/load is a different greek word (phortion, G5413). It is used to designate the pack usually carried by a marching soldier. It is the “burden” Jesus assigns to His followers (Matt 11:30). There are certain Christian responsibilities or burdens each believers must bear which cannot be shared with others. Jesus assured His disciples that such burdens were light.
  • v6: this verse does not ask to teachers of God’s words to ask for financial support from the Christians who received the teaching. It asked the one who received the teaching to share all good things with the teachers.
  • v7-8: we reap what we sow. we either sow with flesh or with Spirit. With flesh, we would reap corruption. Corruption of what? Corruption of our spiritual life. With Spirit, we would reap eternal life. Does this mean we need to sow in order to get eternal life ourselves? Of course not. We gained eternal life by putting our faith in Christ, what is the theme of this epistle. So what is Paul trying to say here? Maybe not eternal for ourselves, but eternal life for others.
  • v10: Justification by faith in Christ alone certainly does not mean we do not need to do good. It just mean that doing good does not make sure righteous. So in that case why we do good? Because we love Christ. When we love Christ, we obey His command (1 John).
  • v10: We need to especially show our love to other believers. Why? The Lord Jesus taught us in John 13:34-35 we should love one another because He loves us. Second, so that the world would know we are His disciples.
  •  v12: The reasons why the Judaizers were persuading the gentiles believers to be circumcise are selfish. First, getting a gentile to be circumcised was a symbol of conversion to Judaism, and would make the Judaizers look good among the Jews, so that they can boast among the Jews (v13). Second, so that they (the Judaizers) would not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. What are the reason the Judaizers would be persecuted for the cross of Christ if gentile believers were not circumcised?
  • v14: The Judaizers were afraid of persecution because of the cross of Christ, Paul however boast before the world because of the cross of Christ. What does the cross of Christ means to us? We are afraid of persecution or do we boldly proclaim the cross of Christ?
  • v14: [… the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world..]. Separation from the world, by the cross of Christ.
  • v17: [From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus]. Paul meant to tell the Judaizers to stop causing trouble to him, and he offers as a final proof to his critics the mars of Jesus on his body. These marks meant signs of ownership such as were branded on slaves and cattle. Paul referred to the scars on his body, which were caused by persecution for Christ’s sake (2 Cor 11:23-28), because they demonstrated he was a slave of Christ and not just a people-pleaser.

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