GALATIANS CHAPTER FIVE

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Galatians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture. Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

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(Gal 3:22-29) THE PURPOSE FOR SCRIPTURE SHUTTING UP ALL THINGS UNDER SIN IS TO MAKE MAN MORE AWARE OF HIS HOPELESS SINFUL CONDITION BEFORE GOD, WHERE THERE IS NO ESCAPING GOD'S CONDEMNATION BY ANYTHING MAN CAN DO SO THAT THE PROMISE OF GOD'S FORGIVENESS AND HIS SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE MIGHT BE GIVEN TO, I.E., FULFILLED IN THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN HIM FOR THAT

BUT FOR THIS FAITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WOULD HISTORICALLY COME INTO THE MINDS OF MEN - BEFORE CHRIST'S SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT OCCURRED IN HISTORY, WHICH ATONEMENT IS THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM AND ALL MANKIND RELATIVE TO SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL WHO BELIEVE, MANKIND WAS GUARDED UNDER LAW: MANKIND WAS SHUT UP / RESTIRCTED TO THE ONLY MEANS OR JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE: FAITH ALONE IN GOD'S PROMISE ALONE TO ABRAHAM AND MANKIND, WHICH FULFILLMENT IS THROUGH FAITH IN ABRAHAM'S SEED, LATER IN HISTORY TO BE REVEALED AS AND IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

THEREFORE LAW, ESPECIALLY THE LAW OF MOSES, HAS BECOME OUR, [ALL MANKIND'S] "GUARDIAN-TRAINOR" IN ORDER TO PROVE OUT OUR INCAPACITY TO ACHIEVE OUR OWN JUSTIFICATION SO THAT WE MIGHT BE LED TO CHRIST SO THAT WE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH

BUT NOW THAT THE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, I.E., IN HIS SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT HAS COME UPON HISTORY, WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED IN HIM ARE NO LONGER UNDER LAW, I.E., "GUARDIAN-TRAINOR;" FOR WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED IN CHRIST ARE THEREBY ALL SONS OF GOD. WE HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST, WE HAVE PUT ON CHRIST. THERE IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, NEITHER SLAVE NOR FREE MAN, NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE: WE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. AND SINCE WE ARE CHRIST'S, WE ARE SPIRITUAL DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM, HEIRS ACCORDING TO GOD'S PROMISE TO HIM AND ALL MANKIND TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE BY FAITH ALONE

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Gal 3:23 NASB) But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by His appearance in history and His subsequent atonement for sins on the cross]. (Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor [= "guardian-trainor"] to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Gal 3:25 NASB) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [= "guardian-trainor"]. (Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:27 NKJV) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:28 NASB) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:29 NKJV) And [since] you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." =

(Gal 3:22a) The Purpose For Scripture Shutting Up All Things Under Sin Is To Make Man More Aware Of His Hopeless Sinful Condition Before God, Where There Is No Escaping God's Condemnation By Anything Man Can Do, So That The Promise Of God's Forgiveness And His Salvation By Faith Alone In Jesus Christ Alone Might Be Given To, i.e., Fulfilled In Those Who Choose To Believe In Him For That

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." =

Having established in Gal 3:1-21 that the Law of Moses or any law or any human doing cannot be a means by which one might achieve eternal life, which is otherwise provided for only by faith in the promise of righteousness unto eternal life that God made to Abraham and all mankind through Abraham's Seed (; Who is Christ, cf Gal 2:16, 3:10-12, 21 et. al., ); author Paul goes from a discussion of the Law in comparison to the promises of God relative to the reception of eternal life to Scripture shutting up all things under sin:

In Gal 3:22, Paul reiterates that Scripture has shut up all things under sin. Scripture contains the Law, its purpose and many passages about the Righteousness which God expects from man . God's Word has shut up all things under sin in the sense that everything in creation is confined / locked up to experience a destiny of God's condemnation because of mankind's sinfulness, (cf. Ro 3:9, 23; 8:22) - Jews and Gentiles alike. All mankind from all ages is thus destined to eternal destruction. This is not to say that Scripture, i.e., revelation from God makes mankind more guilty of sin than he already is; but properly studied, Scripture makes man more aware of his hopeless sinful condition before a Holy God. Throughout Scripture it instructs man that there can be no escaping God's condemnatory punishment by anything man can do to merit God's redemption, forgiveness and salvation.

(Gal 3:22b) The Purpose For Scripture Shutting Up All Things Under Sin Is To Make Man More Aware Of His Hopeless Sinful Condition Before God, Where There Is No Escaping God's Condemnation By Anything Man Can Do So That The Promise Of God's Forgiveness And His Salvation By Faith Alone In Jesus Christ Alone Might Be Given To, i.e., Fulfilled In Those Who Choose To Believe In Him For That

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." =

The purpose for Scripture shutting up all things under sin is declared in Gal 3:22b, "so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to [i.e., fulfilled in] those who believe," given in the sense of fulfilled in God's promise to Abraham and to all mankind was the promise of justification unto righteousness by a moment of faith alone in Abraham's Seed alone, Who is Christ, (cf. Gal 3:16), for salvation unto eternal life. One is not saved unto eternal life by works or any human doing, but by faith, implying by the grace of God, as a gift, (cf. Eph 2:8-9 ).

When an individual recognizes that he is under God's eternal condemnation for his sinful life and that there is no means of his own doing by which he can escape that imprisonment; and if he believes in the redemption that God has made available for all mankind through Abraham's Seed: Jesus Christ's substitutionary atonement, then he will have forgiveness of sins unto eternal life as a free gift.

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(Gal 3:23) But Before This Faith In Christ Would Historically Come Into The Minds Of Men - Before Christ's Substitutionary Atonement Occurred In History, Which Atonement Is The Fulfillment Of God's Promise To Abraham And All Mankind Relative To Salvation Unto Eternal Life To All Who Believe, Mankind Was Guarded Under Law: Mankind Was Shut Up / Restricted To The Only Means For Justification Unto Eternal Life: Faith Alone In God's Promise Alone To Abraham And Mankind, Which Fulfillment Is Through Faith In Abraham's Seed, Later In History To Be Revealed As And In Jesus Christ

(Gal 3:23 NASB) "But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by His appearance in history and His subsequent atonement for sins on the cross]." =

In Gal 3:1-22, Paul wrote about individuals being declared to have the Righteousness of God unto salvation unto eternal life by faith in the promise which God made to Abraham and all the families of the earth through Abraham's Seed - a Descendant of his, Who at His advent in the first century made provision for forgiveness of sins unto eternal life for that salvation in order to fulfill God's promise. And that Seed is Christ, Paul wrote in Gal 3:16.

Whereupon, Gal 3:23 stipulates that before this faith in Christ came in the sense of before there existed faith in the name of Jesus Christ by virtue of His  substitutionary atonement for the sins of the whole world once it occurred in history - the basis, context and foundation of ones faith in the promise of God to Abraham and mankind - we (all of mankind), were being guarded under law. More specifically, Galatians chapter 3 has in view believers of the church in Galatia who have turned so quickly away from the faith in Christ which they expressed to another [false] gospel, replacing it with works of law, the Law of Moses, (ref. Gal 1:1-7).

But Paul wrote that from the time when the Law was initiated up until the time when Christ Jesus' substitutionary atonement was made, the Law of Moses kept man shut up to the only means for justification unto eternal life: to faith in the promise God made to Abraham and all mankind - the promise which it was later, in the first century, revealed to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For the Law demanded perfection in obedience in order for one to be justified with the Righteousness of God unto eternal life. Mankind was being guarded / restricted by the Law because it teaches one about the impossibility of human doing, i.e., of perfect obedience to the Law which would provide justification unto righteousness and eternal life if it was within man to do - but it is not. Any human doing including obedience to the Law of Moses, the epitome of any laws relative to the Righteousness of God, will fall short of the glory - the Righteousness of God, (cf. Ro 3:9, 23). Therefore attempting to obey the Law is a futile exercise in attaining the Righteousness of God. So a key purpose of the Law was so that mankind can be led to be justified by faith in Christ.

Furthermore, the Law leads those that have already believed like Abraham did - by faith alone in God's promise alone - to remain assured that they have attained the Righteousness unto eternal life through that faith that they had expressed in the first place - in the Seed of Abraham Whom the world will come to know is Jesus Christ from the time of His first advent in the first century and His subsequent substitutionary atonement for sins to fulfill the promise God made to Abraham and all mankind through faith.

And until the historical revelation of Christ, His arrival on earth in His Perfect Humanity, His sacrifice on the cross for sin; the Law of Moses and any rules of human doing served to drive individuals to realize that Righteousness by human doing is impossible. There is no refuge in the Law relative to the reception of eternal life, only imprisonment. There is only sanctuary and assurance in faith in Christ for those that believed as Abraham believed in the promise God gave to him and all the families of the earth of eternal life through faith in the Seed of Abraham, (Who was revealed in history as Jesus Christ, cf. Gal 3:16).

Note that for the sake of the Justice and for the preservation of the Righteousness of God - so that no one can accuse God of letting certain people go without punishment for their sins, Scripture teaches that those who believed as Abraham believed unto righteousness and died before Christ's atonement went to be confined to Paradise in Hades in the center of the earth until the resurrected Jesus Christ came to bring them into heaven with Him to reside forever in the presence of God .

(Gal 3:24) In View Of The Fact That The Law Indicates That No One Can Justify Himself Through His Own Efforts To Be Obedient To It, The Law Has Become Our [All Mankind's] "Guardian-Trainor" In Order To Prove Out Our Incapacity To Achieve Our Own Justification So That We Might Be Led To Christ So That We May Be Justified By Faith

(Gal 3:24 NASB) "Therefore the Law has become our [all mankind' tutor [= "guardian-trainor"] to lead us to [faith in] Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

Note that the Greek word "hEmOn" rendered "our" refers to all mankind including Paul before he believed. And the Greek word "paidagOgos" rendered "tutor" in the NASB is best described as a "guardian-trainor" because the term was used for a slave who was put in charge of his owner's son from the time he was able to leave the care of his nurse. The "paidagOgos" was like a guardian and a trainor who was to teach the boy good manners and mete out punishment as necessary. He accompanied the boy to school and was to review the lessons he was to have learned with the boy.

In view of the fact that the Law indicates that no one can justify himself through his own efforts, i.e., by being obedient to it, the Law has become our [all mankind's including Paul before he believed] "guardian-trainor" in order to prove out our incapacity to achieve our own justification so that we might be led to Christ so that we may be justified by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (ref Gal 3:1-9).

(Gal 3:25-26) But Now That The Faith In Jesus Christ, i.e., In His Substitutionary Atonement Has Come Upon History, We Who Have Believed In Him Are No Longer Under Law, i.e., A "Guardian-Trainor." For We Who Have Believed In Christ Are Thereby All Sons Of God

(Gal 3:25 NASB) "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [= "guardian-trainor"]. (Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." =

(Gal 3:26) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:26 NASB) "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." =

TR, WH, NU Sinaiticus, B, C, D, Maj and all versions have "the faith in Christ Jesus"

P46, cop(sa), 6 have "faith[fulness] of Christ Jesus"

1739, 1881 have "the faith[fulness] of Jesus Christ"

The first variant is unusual in that it does not exactly repeat any other similar phrase in Galatians. Previously, Paul used the expressions "faith of Jesus Christ" (2:16; 3:22) and "faith of christ" (2:16), but never "faith of Christ Jesus." Furthermore, the reading in P46 lacks the article before "faith," which would seem to convey the meaning "Christ Jesus' faith" or "Christ Jesus' faithfulness." This unusualness could speak for the originality of the reading, from which the others deviated. However, the scantiness of evidence cannot warrant an adoption of this reading. The second variant appears to be scribal assimilation to 2:16 and 3:22.

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(Gal 3:25-29) But Now That The Faith In Jesus Christ, i.e., In His Substitutionary Atonement Has Come Upon History, We Who Have Believed In Him Are No Longer Under Law, i.e., A "Guardian-Trainor." For We Who Have Believed In Christ Are Thereby All Sons Of God. We Have Been Baptized Into Christ. We Have Put On Christ. There Is Neither Jew Nor Greek, Neither Slave Nor Free Man, Neither Male Nor Female: We Are All One In Christ Jesus. And Since We Are Christ's, We Are Spiritual Descendants Of Abraham, Heirs According To God's Promise To Him And All Mankind To Inherit Eternal Life By Faith Alone

(Gal 3:25 NASB) "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [= "guardian-trainor"]. (Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:27 NKJV) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:28 NASB) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:29 NKJV) And [since] you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." =

In Gal 3:23-24 Paul wrote "But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind including Paul before he believed] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to, in the sense of limited to only the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by Christ Jesus' appearance in history - by His subsequent atonement for sins on the cross]. Therefore the Law has become our [all mankind's and Paul's before he believed] tutor [= "guardian-trainor"] to lead us to [faith in] Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

The first phrase of Gal 3:25 follows with, "But now that faith has come," in the sense of now that the faith in Christ, i.e., in His substitutionary atonement for the sins of the whole world has come upon history and thus into the minds of men in history who choose to believe - the basis, context, foundation and fulfillment of ones faith in the promise of God to Abraham and mankind. This phrase is followed by "we are no longer under law, i.e., a tutor [= "guardian-trainor"]." The "we" refers to those who have exercised faith in Christ and no longer need a tutor [= "guardian-trainor"] to lead us to Christ, since we have already believed.

This is followed in Gal 3:26 by, "For [we believers] are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus," i.e., we have all become children of God, (cf. Jn 1:12-13 ) - part of the eternal family of God.

And this is further clarified by Gal 3:27, "For as many of you [who have become believers] as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ," indicating that faith in Christ in order to receive the promise of God of eternal life results in all believers being baptized / positioned / immersed into Christ," in the sense that the believer is identified with and actually immersed / placed / put into Christ as part of His body - spiritually, . And the believer receives the benefits brought about by Christ's substitutionary atonement - His death on the cross, (cf. Romans chapter 6: ).

In Gal 3:28, author Paul provides further results when an individual believes in Christ Jesus relative to his new position in Christ: For those who are believers in Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female. The believers' union with Christ surpasses temporal things such as ones nationality, ones religious affiliations, ones social status in life, ones sex, etc. Believers are spiritually and eternally all one in Christ Jesus - each one a part of His body without regard for temporal matters such as stipulated. Each one who has expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for eternal life - Jew or Gentile - will receive the gifts of the Righteousness of God and eternal life as God promised to Abraham and all mankind. And those of the faith in Christ Jesus in this age, (ref. Gal 3:25), will become sons of God in the sense of becoming children of God   as part of the eternal family of God. And they will be baptized into Christ in the sense of (1) receiving the Spirit of God, (ref. Gal 3:1-2); (2) becoming clothed with Christ; (3) belonging to Him; (4) being one in Christ Jesus in the sense of without temporal distinctions such as religion, race, sex, social status, (ref. Gal 3:29), and much .

Albeit there will be different functions for each individual as sovereignly appointed by God alone, such as in the reception of spiritual gifts , and God equipping a believer with his function depending upon the particular dispensation / economy of God .

Finally, in Gal 3:29 it stipulates, "And [since] you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Believers in Christ in this age are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise which God made to Abraham and all mankind to inherit eternal life through a moment of faith alone in God's promise alone through Abraham's Seed; Who centuries later proved out to be Jesus Christ, (ref. Gal 3:16). To be an heir according to the promise which God made to Abraham and all mankind is to be immediately declared to have the Righteousness of God credited to ones account which will result in one inheriting a future transformation of ones being into a Righteous being to experience eternal life with God.

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I) [Gal 5:1-12]:

(Gal 5:1 NASB) "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

(Gal 5:2 NASB) "Behold [in the sense of "Look"] I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision [lit. "are circumcized"], Christ will be of no benefit to you."

(Gal 5:3 NASB) "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law."

(Gal 5:4 NASB) "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen [out] from grace."

(Gal 5:5 NASB) For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.

(Gal 5:6 NASB) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

(Gal 5:7 NASB) You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

(Gal 5:8 NASB) This persuasion did  not come from Him Who calls you.

(Gal 5:9 NASB) A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.

(Gal 5:10 NASB) I have confidence in you in the LORD that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.

(Gal 5:11 NASB) But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.

(Gal 5:12 NASB) I wish that those who are troubling you would even [cut themselves off]. (cf. Gal 2:4)

A) (Gal 5:1) It Was For Freedom That Christ Set Us Free; Therefore Stand Firm And Do Not Be Subject Again To A Yoke Of Slavery

(Gal 5:1 NASB) "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." =

1) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:1

(Gal 5:1 NASB) "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." =

WH, NU, Sinaiticus*, A, B, (D*) P 33 (Sinaiticus(2), C*, Psi, 0278, 1739 with word transposition) have "for freedom Christ freed us; stand therefore"

Variant 1 F, G, it(r) have "in which freedom Christ freed us, stand therefore" which does not appear in an English translated version.

So manuscript evidence favors "for freedom Christ freed us; therefore stand firm."

2) (Gal 5:1a) It Was For Freedom That Christ Set Us Free; Therefore Stand Firm And Do Not Be Subject Again To A Yoke Of Slavery

(Gal 5:1 NASB) "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." =

Gal 5:1a, the first phrase of Gal 5:1, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free;" is a summary statement of the content of chapters 3 and 4, i.e., of hopeless bondage to law (human doing) vs. achieving freedom in Christ via faith alone in Christ alone apart from human doing in order to be justified before God unto eternal life. The letter to the Galatians repeatedly affirms that a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone - apart from any human doing - justifies one unto eternal life before God. This sets one free from the hopeless bondage to law (human doing) in order to be justified.

a) [Compare Gal 2:16]:

(Gal 2:16 YLT) "having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through ... faith [in] Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by ... faith [in] Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh' "

b) [Compare Gal 3:22-29 ]:

(Gal 3:22 NASB) But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Gal 3:23 NASB) But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by His appearance in history with His atonement for sins on the cross].

(Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor [guardian-trainor] to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

(Gal 3:25 NASB) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [guardian-trainor].

(Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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

(Gal 3:28 NASB) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:29 NKJV) And [since] you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

A moment of faith alone in Christ alone removes the individual from the personal bondage of being held accountable for sins relative to the reception of eternal life; and from the personal bondage of being held accountable for continually and perfectly obeying God's rules of conduct embodied in the Law of Moses in order to be justified before God unto eternal life as well. Once justified and hence saved unto eternal life by faith alone, Christ has set us free. This is an absolute freedom. No longer is a believer held accountable to God for his sins relative to the reception of eternal life .

The Galatians were set free by Jesus Christ from their futile enslavement to the law of their consciences which condemned them all the time, in order to be justified unto eternal life for the purpose that they should live in freedom from law as a principle of human doing in order to be justified unto eternal life; especially the Mosaic Law which the Judaizers were trying to persuade them to follow.

So the pagan Galatians were slaves to the law of their consciences before they were set free by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

c) [Ro 2:14-15]:

(Ro 2:14 NASB) "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,

(Ro 2:15 NASB) in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,"

Notice that Gentiles have a law for themselves - their consciences - which provide the standard by which they must be justified. But this is impossible and their consciences remind them that they are constantly falling short of the glory of God. Thus they are enslaved to their God given consciences until they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone:

d) [Ro 3:20-24]:

(Ro 3:20 NASB) "because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

(Ro 3:21 NASB) But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

(Ro 3:22 NASB) even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

(Ro 3:23 NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;"

So the Galatian believers had been set free from bondage to any law of human doing because they had trusted alone in Christ alone. Thus they received the Spirit Who saved and sealed them unto redemption when they believed in the gospel:

e) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13 NKJV) "In Him [in Christ] you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

f) [Compare Gal 3:1-5 ]:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?

(Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?

(Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

(Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?

(Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -"

g) [Compare Ro 8:1-2]:

(Ro 8:1 NASB) "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

(Ro 8:2 NASB) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

On the other hand, God will hold the eternally secure believer accountable to Him relative to temporal blessings / consequences leading to temporal discipline as well as eternal rewards for how faithful a believer is .

The point is clearly made that freedom in Christ Jesus from the consequences of sin relative to the reception of eternal life is attained simply and exclusively by a moment of faith alone in Him alone. This implies that human doing such as attempting to be good, or efforts to make atonement for ones sins such as embodied in the Mosaic Law - which represents the perfect law of God: His Righteousness - enmeshes one in the bondage and futility of trying to be as good as God is when that is clearly impossible for mortal man in this age. Note that the entire population of a future generation of Israelites in mortal bodies in the next age - the Millennial Rule - will experience being righteous as a result of God's unilateral fulfillment of the New Covenant with them through a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone . The Law of Moses is supposed to lead one to the desperate realization of ones depravity, unto repentance to a moment of faith alone in Christ  alone in order to be justified unto eternal life:

h) [Compare Gal 3:24]:

(Gal 3:24 NASB) "Therefore the Law has become our [all mankind' tutor [= "guardian-trainor"] to lead us to [faith in] Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

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3) (Gal 5:1b in italics) "It Was For Freedom That Christ Set Us Free; Therefore Stand Firm And Do Not Be Subject Again To A Yoke Of Slavery"

The phrase in Gal 5:1b, the second phrase of Gal 5:1, "Therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery" is specifically addressed but not limited to the Galatian believers. For they were formerly enslaved to their particular pagan religious beliefs and were at the time of Paul's writing of this epistle in danger of becoming entangled once again in slavery to human doing to be justified. This time it was potentially to be enslaved to the Judaizers' legalistic interpretation of the Mosaic Law.

Although the Law of Moses represented the perfect Righteousness of God , it was misinterpreted by the Judaizers as a means by which individuals might obey it and with perfect obedience, especially relative to circumcision, be justified unto eternal life.

a) [Compare Acts 15:1, 5 with Gal 2:3-5]:

(Acts 15:1 NASB) "Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'

(Acts 15:5 NASB) But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, 'It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.' "

(Gal 2:3 NASB) "But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.

(Gal 2:4 YLT) and that because of the false brethren brought in [secretly], who did come in [secretly] to spy out our liberty that we have in Christ Jesus, that us they might bring under bondage,

(Gal 2:5 NASB) But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you."

So these individuals who were disrupting Paul's ministry were stipulated as believers in Jesus Christ from the Jerusalem Church / from Judea - albeit believers who had then reverted to insisting upon circumcision and the keeping of the Mosaic Law, in order to be saved, (see Acts 15:1, 5). Hence they were in effect "false brethren" in their practice amongst fellow believers, (Gal 2:4). But they were nevertheless saved unto eternal life in their eternal position with God. And these were most likely the false brethren that Paul referred to in Gal 2:3-5, since both accounts refer to only one group within the Jerusalem congregation who insisted that Titus be circumcised. In addition there might have been other dissenters to what Paul preached, i.e., "false" brethren or individuals who were not believers at all; but such were not stipulated in either Paul's or Luke's account. In any case, there is no conflict in the account of Galatians chapter two vs Acts chapter 15.

The absence of any mention in Paul's or Luke's account of the leaders of the Jerusalem Church intervening on behalf of Paul and against the "false brethren" - which would have been notable - implies that the leadership most likely did not raise an objection to the demand that Titus be circumcized or even that they urged that Titus be circumcized for the sake of an outward "harmony" - not taking a stand for the gospel of Christ which they and Paul had received from God and were preaching, (cf. Gal 2:7-9).

So Paul's response to those in the Jerusalem Church who opposed his preaching as stipulated in Gal 2:5 indicates that the false brethren of Gal 2:4 who insisted on Titus being circumcised, described more particularly by author Luke in Acts 15:5 as "some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed, stood up, saying 'It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses', " was not to yield in subjection to them for even [so much as] an hour - so that the truth of the gospel would remain in the Gentile believers in the sense that they would not be convinced to change what they believed in, in order to be saved from Christ alone to adding circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses.

b) [Compare Acts 15:1-4, 7-11]:

(Acts 15:1 NASB) "Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'

(Acts 15:2 NASB) And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

(Acts 15:3 NASB) Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.

(Acts 15:4 NASB) When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.

(Acts 15:7 NASB) After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, 'Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.

[Notice that there was much debate implying that the apostles of the Jerusalem Assembly did not agree at first, which in turn indicates that they were hesitant to take a hard stand against the Judaizers about circumcision and keeping of the Law. Nevertheless at the end of the debate, having seen the results of Paul's and Barnabas' ministries, the apostles from Jerusalem confirmed the message which apostle Paul and Barnabas and their group preached was the same as the message that Peter gave to the Gentiles as well: hearing the gospel and believing in it + nothing else]

(Acts 15:8 NASB) And God, Who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;

(Acts 15:9 NASB) and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

[Notice that cleansing of the heart, i.e., forgiveness of sins is by a moment of faith alone in the Lord Jesus alone (Acts 15:11)]

(Acts 15:10 NASB) Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

(Acts 15:11 NASB) But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.' "

The phrase rendered "[stand] firm" in Gal 5:1b is a command to the Galatian believers and all believers to remain firm in their conviction by which they were saved unto eternal life by which they received the Spirit and the spiritual gifts via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from any enslavement to human doing.

B) (Gal 5:2) Paul Declares To The Galatian Believers And All Believers That If They Receive Circumcision In Order To Be Justified After They Have Already Trusted Alone In Christ Alone For Justification, Christ Will Be Of No Benefit To Them Relative To Benefits In The Temporal Life. This Does Not Effect Their Reception Of Eternal Life Which Has Already Been Secured By Them By Faith Alone. On The Other Hand, Temporal Benefits And Eternal Rewards Will Be Adversely Effected As They Persist In This Or Any Other Legalism

(Gal 5:2 NASB) "Behold [in the sense of "Look"] I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision [lit. "are circumcised"], Christ will be of no benefit to you." =

The phrase in Gal 5:2 rendered, "if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you," is being conveyed in the sense that Christ will be of no benefit to those believers who choose to be circumcised in order to be justified unto eternal life - a reversion to legalism. The danger for anyone justified by faith alone in Christ alone who then goes back to legalism is not the loss of that actual standing of justification before God unto eternal life - for that is secure by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone (Gal 3:1-5 , on eternal security). On the other hand, the believer will suffer the loss of temporal benefits and God's temporal discipline / destruction . Christ will be of no temporal benefit so long as he persists in legalism.

The practice of legalism in order to be justified is not limited to circumcision. Water baptism, church membership / attendance and anything else that adds to what one thinks one must do to be saved beyond the moment of faith alone in Christ alone, is legalism.

One who has already secured eternal life at the moment one believes, (Gal 3:1-5 , on eternal security), who then begins to practice legalism, thinks that he needs to do something more than believe in Christ to attain eternal life. He thinks that his justification unto the Righteousness of God unto eternal life is no longer a finished, completed event, secured forever in Christ by faith alone. The one who does this puts himself on the futile path of trying to please God with his own human doing, (i.e., law), which can never be good enough to qualify as perfectly righteous in order to do the job of self-justification. No one can claim to have absolutely faithful moments without sin, (ref. 1 Jn 1:8, 10 ). The path of legalism leads one down the self-destructive road to where ones entire focus is frequently, if not all the time, on oneself and off of Jesus Christ. Christ is thus no longer of any value to one during those moments while one is considering whether or not ones actions are righteous enough to qualify for obtaining / retaining eternal life, instead of trusting solely in Who Christ is and what He has done on the cross.

According to Scripture, one need do nothing more than express a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in order to have eternal life, (Gal 3:1-5 ; on eternal security). For a believer has been justified by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone and has eternal peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ and may choose to stand in this grace and rejoice in the sure hope of the glory of God, acknowledging that his eternal destiny is in heaven in a glorified body through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone:

1) [Compare Ro 5:1-2]:

(Ro 5:1 NASB) "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

(Ro 5:2 NASB) through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."

Note that in Gal 5:2, author and apostle Paul moves from the general statement which is thematic in tone in Gal 5:1: "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore [stand] firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery," to a specific and egregious example of the Galatian believers' potential reenslavement: "Behold [in the sense of "Look"] I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision [lit. "are circumcised"], Christ will be of no benefit to you." This time the legalism was a bondage to the Judaizers' heretical legalisms which threatened to destroy the Galatian believers' new found freedom in Christ with respect to the temporal life, (their eternal life was secure, ). Note that the temporal destruction would continue as long as they continued to enslave themselves to anything outside of faith alone in Christ alone for justification unto eternal life. On the other hand, relative to eternal destiny, once one is justified and thereby saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, one is forever saved unto eternal life .

Furthermore, diminished eternal rewards in the next life will follow the temporal destruction and loss of freedom in this life so long as legalisms keep on being practiced by the believer .

So Paul issued a strong warning in Gal 5:2 to the Galatian believers who were considering submitting to the Judiaizers' heretical interpretation of circumcision for justification unto eternal life. The phrase rendered "if you receive circumcision" is in the third class condition - one of probability: maybe you will and maybe you won't be circumcised . It gives the sense, "If you should let yourselves be circumcised," which implies that the Galatians had not yet taken this step but rather were considering it. So Paul was not condemning those who had been circumcised, believers or non-believers, unless the act in their minds was for the purpose of being justified unto eternal life - the mentality of the heretical Judaizers.

******

2) [Compare 1 Cor 7:17-20]:

(1 Cor 7:17 NASB) "Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.

(1 Cor 7:18 NASB) Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised.

(1 Cor 7:19 NASB) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.

[So Paul wrote that circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God for temporal benefits as well as for eternal rewards .
Believers in this Church Age are not under law, especially under the Law of Moses. But believers - children of God, born of God are under His grace operation and His commandments for justification and blessings in this temporal life, (ref. Ro 6:14-15
), which are meted out in accordance with obedience to His commandments for believers in this age, (ref. 1 Jn 5:2 ); as well as for eternal rewards in the next life which is eternal . The phrase rendered "what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God" in 1 Cor 7:19 refers not to the Law of Moses which believers are not under, but to those commandments that appear in the epistles of the Greek bible which are commanded to the believer to keep by the power and the grace of God. These Church Age commandments of God to already justified individuals in this age which largely appear in the epistles are not a requirement for the reception of eternal life - for that is by faith alone. For Paul had previously and extensively confirmed to the believers in his letter to the Galatians that they had already been justified by faith alone unto eternal life apart from any human doing , (cf. Gal 2:16-21 ; 3:5-14 ; 22-29, ). But the commandments of God for believers in the Church Age, which are largely delineated in the epistles of the Greek bible, are for the benefits of temporal and eternal blessings to be bestowed upon those who have already become believers in this age. Those benefits are based upon the individual believer's willingness to be obedient to those commands and the power and the grace of God Who provides enablement to His born again children, despite their intrinsic sinfulness . This is all due to the sacrifice of His Son for sins. These blessings - both temporal and eternal are bestowed upon each believer as he acknowledges Christ's sacrifice in His blood to cleanse one from all unrighteousness, i.e., as he walks in the light of Christ's Righteousness, i.e., as he confesses his sins moment by moment ]

(1 Cor 7:20 NASB) Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called."

So if a man who has already been circumcised for whatever reason becomes a Christian - a believer in Christ through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing else - the circumcision will not effect his temporal life - his fellowship with God, nor the status of his eternal life / eternal rewards, provided that he does not revert to trusting in that circumcision to provide temporal benefits or eternal life.

And if a believer is uncircumcised, he may remain uncircumcised, or he may choose to be circumcized - not in order to be justified - but only for godly reasons, and thus without effecting the value to God of his Christian temporal life relative to temporal blessings or eternal rewards. For in Gal 5:2, the apostle did not condemn circumcision in itself. And in Acts 16:1-3, he had Timothy circumcised in Galatia so that the young man would have a wider ministry. Four verses later in Gal 5:6, Paul declared that "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value."

Paul was strongly opposed to the Judaizer's distortion of the Mosaic Law which wrongly insisted that circumcision was necessary for justification unto salvation unto eternal life.

3) [Compare Acts 15:1-2 ]:

(Acts 15:1 NASB) "Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'

(Acts 15:2 NASB) And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue."

Paul indicated that anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ and becomes circumcised unto justification unto eternal life has added works to faith in order to be justified, negating salvation by grace through faith alone. He remains unjustified / unsaved and remains under God's condemnation.

On the other hand if a believer chooses to be circumcized for the purpose of being justified after he became a believer, then it is evident that he once again seeks righteousness / justification by works. So in that circumstance, Paul declared in Gal 5:2 that Christ would neither be of value to that believer relative to benefits that that believer would receive from Christ in the temporal life, nor would he receive additional eternal rewards in the next life - so long as that believer continued to maintain that his circumcision was required for his personal justification. Albeit the legalistic believer's salvation and previously earned eternal rewards would be secure as the two are dependant upon a moment of faith alone in Christ alone which he had originally expressed to be saved ; and faithful actions previous to his reversion to legalism, respectively .

******

C) (Gal 5:3) Everyone Who Receives Circumcision In Order To Be Justified Unto Eternal Life Is Under Obligation To Keep The Whole Law

(Gal 5:3 NASB) "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law." =

Paul then reiterates his testimony that every man who receives circumcision relative to being justified unto eternal life is under the obligation to keep the whole Law of Moses. Every statute of the Law of Moses represents the standard of Righteousness of God. And the Law requires unfailing obedience to each and every statute in order be justified by how one leads ones life. Because God cannot fail, man must not fail either if he wants to be justified in God's eyes by what he does, (ref. Gal 3:21 .

So if an already justified believer turns to law, for example the Mosaic Law, more specifically, circumcision, in order to be justified when he has already been justified by faith alone in Christ alone; he places himself under ALL the provisions of that particular law system, and obligates himself to obey every statute without failure! He has in his own mind decided that he does not have the justification he received by faith alone unless he does something more. In Gal 5:3, Paul reminds the legalistic, albeit justified believer that to keep one provision of the Mosaic Law system obligates him to keep the whole Law. This is not possible and puts the believer and any unbeliever under the curse of never measuring up to God's perfect standard of Righteousness intrinsic within that particular law. Furthermore, it puts the believer under the discipline of God on a path that will - if continually followed - lead to temporal self-destruction, early physical death and great loss of eternal rewards .

1) [Compare Jas 2:10-11]:

(Jas 2:10 NASB) "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

(Jas 2:11 NASB) For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law."

This does not say that the believer who has been justified via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone who turns back to legalism no longer has possession of his justification, but that that he has in his own mind decided he does not have that justification unless he does something more. In the case of Gal 5:1-3, the something more is stipulated as circumcision as an example. In any case, Paul reminds the legalistic albeit justified believer that to keep one provision of the Mosaic Law system obligates him to keep the whole Law. This is not possible and puts the person under the curse of never measuring up to God's standard intrinsic in that particular law.

Since all mankind is sinful except for Jesus Christ , justification through human doing, i.e., works = law is not possible. Justification can only be through a moment of faith alone in God's provision for their sins through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, wherein the one who believers will be declared Righteous.

****** EXCERPT FROM GAL 3 ON THE PURPOSES OF THE LAW ******

Or move to the next section

(Gal 3:10-12) JUSTIFICATION BEFORE GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY LAW - BY SOME STANDARD OF HUMAN DOING - REQUIRES ABSOLUTE PERFECTION - GOD'S ABSOLUTE RIGHTEOUSNESS. THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR FORGIVENESS OF TRANSGRESSIONS UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES OR ANY LAW UNTO ETERNAL LIFE; NOR ROOM FOR ERROR. SO IT IS EVIDENT THAT NO ONE CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW BEFORE GOD. THE ONE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH IS THE ONE WHO WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE AND WILL LIVE OUT HIS TEMPORAL LIFE IN A RIGHTEOUS MANNER AS HE LIVES BY THAT SAME FAITH. KEEPING THE LAW IS NOT BASED ON FAITH, BUT UPON HUMAN DOING. HE WHO PRACTICES LAW, MUST LIVE BY THE LAW WITHOUT ERROR - AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY FOR MAN

(Gal 3:10 NASB) "For as many as are of the works of [law] are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, to perform them.' [Dt 27:26 Septuagint] (Gal 3:11 YLT) and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, [cf. Gal 2:16] because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17] (Gal 3:12 NASB) However, the [law] is not of [i.e., based on] faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices [these things - the precepts of the Law] shall live by [them]' " [Lev 18:5] =

In Gal 3:10, Paul returns to Scripture to conclude that anyone who puts himself under law - rules governing human behavior - in order to be justified before God will inevitably be cursed and not blessed because no man is able to perfectly keep those rules. And this especially applies to the Book of the Law of Moses which Paul refers to when he quotes from Deuteronomy from the Septuagint version:

[Compare Dt 27:26 Septuagint]:

(Dt 27:26 Septuagint) "Accursed is every man whoever shall not adhere to all the words of this law [Law of Moses] to do them. [And shall all the people say, 'Amen' "]

Author Paul quoted from Deuteronomy 27:26 Septuagint in Gal 3:10. These words were spoken by Moses to Israel at Abel-Shittim east of the Jordan shortly before his death on Mount Nebo. They were carried out when Israel renewed its covenant with God at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim (Joshua 8:30-35).

Moses had been instructed that six tribes were to stand on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of Blessing, and six on Mount Ebal, the Mount of Cursing. The Levites were to recite the 12 curses found in Deuteronomy 27:15-26. After each curse the people were to respond with "Amen." The curses emphasized pagan idolatry and gross immorality which God's covenant people were to avoid. Whereas the first 11 curses placed a ban on specific acts of disobedience, the 12th was more comprehensive, especially as found in the Septuagint.

The Law of Moses meets the standard of God's perfect Righteousness by which standard all men will be judged no matter what legal system they choose to attempt to obey. It demanded perfection and the breaking of only one command even once brings a person under the curse of God. Since everybody fails at some point, all mankind - Jew and Gentile alike are under the curse of God. The proposition that a person can be justified by God through human effort is thus completely destroyed. So if a man will not come to God on the basis of faith alone in the atonement made by Christ alone, he must be judged by his works measured against the Mosaic Law's perfect standard and thereby inevitably be condemned.

In Gal 3:11a Paul once again declared that it is evident that no one is justified by law - by any human doing before God: "and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident," (Gal 3:11a YLT).

[Compare Gal 2:16]:

(Gal 2:16 YLT) "having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through the faith of Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by the faith of Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh' "

Then in Gal 3:11b, Paul writes, quoting from Habakkuk, (Gal 3:11b YLT) "because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]

[Gal 3:11b Greek Interlinear]:

"hoti ......ho ...dikaios .............Ek pistEOs zesEtai"

"because the .righteous [one] .by .faith ......will live"

The verse is best rendered from the word order of the Greek text annotated above from which one will accurately conclude the following: A man is not righteous before the exercise of his faith, he becomes righteous by the exercise of a moment of faith alone in Christ alone by which he will live, i.e., have eternal life; and he will live out his temporal life in a righteous manner as he lives it by that same faith - not by any human doing. So the order is - faith, justification, life - temporal and eternal.

[Compare Hab 2:4]:

(Hab 2:4 NASB) "Behold, as for the proud one, (v. 6), his soul is not right within him; [Hebrew and Septuagint  Greek word order]: But a righteous man by his faith will live."

The proud one [the one who is self-righteous, the Babylonian, (vv. 6-20)] his soul within him is not right - not righteous - with God. But the righteous soul - the one declared righteous before God through faith in Him will live out his temporal life, the years appointed to him and forever in eternity, not so the self-righteous one.

By quoting the Old Testament in Gal 3:11, Paul showed that even during the dispensation of Law, legal obedience was not the basis for a justified standing before God because, as the Prophet Habakkuk wrote, The righteous by faith will live," (Hab 2:4).

Most versions have "the righteous [man] / the just will / shall live by faith" [NASB, NKJV, HCSB, ASB, KJV, NIV]. Only a few like the YLT follow the correct word order:

[Compare Gal 3:11 YLT]:

(Gal 3:11 YLT) "and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, [cf. Gal 2:16] because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]"

The improper word order for Hab 2:4 / Gal 3:11 / Ro 1:17 as it appears in most versions, could easily be misconstrued to mean that those that are righteous before God are those who live by being faithful to law, despite the fact that the context of the verses which precede and follow indicates that man cannot faithfully keep the Law and will remain accursed if he tries to be righteous by any kind of human doing.

So then in Gal 3:12, which reads, "However, the [law] is not of [i.e., based on] faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices [these things - the precepts of the Law] shall live by [them]' " [Lev 18:5], the writer and apostle Paul affirms that keeping the Law is mutually exclusive from anything to do with faith. And anyone who endeavors to keep the precepts of the Law of Moses must live by them without fault in order to be justified before God as righteous, otherwise one will be accursed as it is stipulated in Dt 27:26.

[Compare Lev 18:5]:

(Lev 18:5 NASB) "You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD."

Only perfect performance of the Law can win God's approval under the Mosaic Law, or the equivalent for Gentiles, (cf. Ro 2:14-15), but since that is not achievable, the Law of Moses or any law can only condemn a person, (cf. Jas 2:10). But this is purposely intended to cause one to cast himself upon the mercy of God and trust alone in His Son, Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins unto eternal life, (Gal 3:19-22).

(Gal 3:19a) Why, Then, Was The Law Given At All? Reasons Are As Follows:

(Gal 3:19a NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed to Whom the promise referred to had come." =

The Law Was Given To Reveal The Righteousness Of God - The Standard Of Righteousness That God Demands For Eternal Life And A Proper Relationship With Him In The Temporal Life

[Compare Lev 18:5]:

(Lev 18:5 NASB) [The LORD, speaking to Moses said, (v. 1)]: " 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD."

Lev 18:5 promises a good life here and eternal life hereafter - the whole OT context of faith in God and trust in His promises, including those given in the symbolism and typeology of the sacrifices detailed in the Book of Leviticus. Notice that keeping the statutes of the Law resulted in living out the temporal life with blessing, enjoyment, fulfillment.

[Compare Gal 3:21]:

(Gal 3:21 NKJV) "Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law."

Gal 3:21 stipulates that the Mosaic Law is not against the promises of God. On the other hand, if keeping a law could have given eternal life, truly righteousness would have been by the Mosaic Law, implying that the Law is righteous. For man is not capable of being righteous at any time.

[Compare Ro 7:12]:

(Ro 7:12 NASB) "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good."

This implies that the character of the provisions of the Mosaic Law is an absolutely Righteous one - every statute.

[Compare Ro 2:20b]:

(Ro 2:20b) "[the Jews, (vv. 14, 17-18)] Having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,"

Notice that it is stipulated in Ro 2:20b, "You [Jews] have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!"

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's Righteousness.

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people.

The Law Was Given To Provide A Rule Of Conduct / Life For Jews - Especially Those Who Are Of The Faith Of Abraham During That Time Period Before The Establishment Of The Body Of Believers In Christ, The Church - An Example For The Rest Of Mankind To Follow, Leading To The Knowledge Of And Faith In The One True God And His Salvation Through His One And Only Son Through Faith Alone In Him Alone

[Exodus chapters 20-23]:

The Laws Was Given To Keep The Jews A Distinct People - The People Of The One True God

[Compare Lev 11:44-45]:

(Lev 11:44 NASB) " 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.

(Lev 11:45 NASB) 'For I am the LORD Who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.' "

[Compare Lev 20:7-8, 26]:

(Lev 20:7 NASB) " 'You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.

(Lev 20:8 NASB) You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD Who sanctifies you.

(Lev 20:26 NASB) Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine"

[Compare Dt 7:6; cf. Dt 14:1ff]:

(Dt 7:6 NASB) "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."

This was the specific reason for the Law - setting the Israelites to the one true God apart from the peoples of the world who did not worship Him. This was in order to characterize God as holy and unique. The Law was to be a blessing to them physically and spiritually such as the dietary laws and the clothing laws. The Jews were to be distinct from all other people in a variety of ways, such as their worship habits (Lev 1, 7, 16, 23), their eating habits (Lev 11:1-47), their sexual habits (Lev 12), their clothing habits, Lev 19:19, and even the way they cut their beards (Lev 19:27). Other passages for this point include Ex 19:5-8 and 31:13.

The Law Was Given To Provide Israel With Occasions For Individual And Corporate Worship Of God

Review Lev chapter 23 and other key chapters in the Hebrew Bible

The Law Was Given To Reveal Sin To Israel And To All Mankind Through Israel's Experience At Failing To Keep The Law - To Demonstrate All Of Mankind's Utter Sinfulness And Helplessness Before A Holy And Righteous God, To Lead One To Seek Eternal Life Via A Moment Of Faith Alone In The Sacrifice Of His Son For Sins Alone

The Law was given Israel to prove mankind's utter sinfulness and helplessness. This is indicated in Paul's own experience in Romans chapter 7.

[Ro 7:7-13]:

(Ro 7:7 NASB) "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' "

(Ro 7:8 NASB) 'But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

(Ro 7:9 NASB) I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

(Ro 7:10 NASB) and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;

(Ro 7:11 NASB) for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

[That the Law was holy and righteous is obvious as stated by Paul in Ro 7:12-13 as follow]:

(Ro 7:12 NASB) So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

(Ro 7:13 NASB) Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful."

Apart from the life of Jesus Christ in His perfect and sinless humanity, (2 Cor 5:21), there has been universal failure to keep such laws as God has revealed to mankind. The Law was never given as a means for salvation or justification. The Law became a curse to Israel (ref. Gal 3:10) bringing them condemnation (2 Cor 3:9) and death (Rom. 7:10-11) and to all mankind by the example of her failure. A beneficial effect of the Law was to drive Israel to Christ as the only Savior and Mediator.

[Compare Ro 3:19-20 cf. Gal 3:11, 24]:

(Ro 3:19 NASB) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

(Ro 3:20 NASB) because by the works of ... law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through law comes knowledge of sin."

[Compare Ro 5:20]:

(Ro 5:20 NASB) The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

Notice that the Law increased sin, revealing the sinfulness of mankind. It represented to mankind what is holy and righteous as the God of Israel is holy and righteous.

The Law Was Given To Shut Up Everyone Under Sin, So That The Promise By Faith In Jesus Christ Might Be Given To, i.e., Fulfilled In Those - Jew And Gentile - Who Believe. The Law Thus Became Our Tutor [Guardian-Trainor] To Lead Us To Christ, So That We May Be Justified By Faith

[Compare Gal 3:22-24]:

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Gal 3:23 NASB) But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by His appearance in history with His atonement for sins on the cross].

(Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor [guardian-trainor] to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

on the purposes of the Law

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM GAL 3 ON THE PURPOSES OF THE LAW ******

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D) (Gal 5:4) You Galatian Believers Who Have Been Justified By Faith Alone Who Then Chose To Be Circumcised In Order To Be Justified By Law, You Have Been Severed From A Temporal Beneficial Relationship With Christ - You Have Fallen [Out] From Grace - From The Unmerited Favors Of A Temporal Relationship With Christ

(Gal 5:3 NASB) "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. (Gal 5:4 NASB) You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen [out] from grace." =

In Gal 5:2, Paul wrote, "Behold, I say to you that if you receive circumcision,

[in the sense of those who are already justified by faith alone in Christ alone now begin to receive circumcision for the purpose of being justified by law / human doing unto eternal life - specifically the Law of Moses, (Gal 5:4b)]

Christ will be of no benefit to you."

[in the sense that Christ will be of no temporal benefit - not of no eternal benefit]

Then in Gal 5:3, Paul remarks that if a believer reverts to legalism such as circumcision in order to be justified: since circumcision is part of the Law of Moses; then that already justified believer will have thereby obligated himself to keep every statute of the Mosaic Law without failure - an impossible task for sinful, mortal man .

Whereupon in Gal 5:4, Paul concludes in the first phrase, "You have been severed from Christ,"

[Since Galatian believers are in view in Galatians chapter 5 - for they have received the Gospel (1:9) and the Spirit (3:2); and Paul repeatedly called them "brethren," (ref., 1:11; 3:15; 4:12, 28; 5:11, 13; 6:1, 18), then they have been forever justified by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

Whereupon in view in Gal 5:4a are those who have been justified by faith alone who then revert to legalism - who for example have chosen then to be circumcised in order to be justified by law]

Consequently, Paul declares to them, "You have been severed from Christ,"

[Note that believers are in view who have reverted to legalism who have been severed from a temporal beneficial relationship with Christ, i.e., they have fallen out of fellowship with our Lord, evidently under His discipline. But they have not severed themselves from eternal life with God]

[Furthermore in Gal 5:4b it states that]:

"you [believers] who are seeking to be justified by law;

[law = law with no definite article, i.e., trying to be justified by some code of behavior, by works of some kind - including but not necessarily the Mosaic Law]

[And in Gal 5:4c]:

"you have fallen [out] from grace."

The grace of God is defined as any blessing or favor that God bestows upon man which is totally without regard for anything man does or is - requiring nothing in return. Since all men, saved and unsaved, except Jesus Christ are depraved, (cf. Ro 3:19, 23 ), anything God does toward man from permitting him to remain alive to providing salvation unto eternal life as a free gift to bestowing him with food, shelter and clothing every day and innumerable other blessings is undeserved / unmerited,

In the context of Gal 5:4, the phrase rendered "you have fallen [out] from grace" has in view believers - eternally secured unto eternal life by faith alone   - who as the previous phrase stipulates "are seeking to be justified by law." And virtue of this, they have fallen away from receiving the grace of God / the unmerited favor of a temporal relationship with Jesus Christ which relationship / fellowship will remain disfunctional during their moments of unrepentant / unforgiven temporal / daily sin as they walk in the darkness of legalism attempting to be justified by law, (1 Jn 1:6-10 ).

Verse 4 does not have the loss of eternal life in view. Once received eternal life is eternal, confirmed by Gal 2:14-21; 3:1-14; 6:1-5; Eph 1:13-14  & 4:30; and 1 Jn 5:8-13 and many other passages: . Furthermore, it is telling that we don't find that loss of eternal life is a potential. For Paul kept calling his readers "brethren" right up to the last verse of the epistle. Nowhere did he say something such as: "You once were Christians, but you are no longer," or, "If you seek to be justified by the law, you will lose eternal life."

1) [Compare Eph 1:13-14 ]:

(Eph 1:13 NASB) "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

(Eph 1:14 NASB) who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."

2) [Complete Eph 4:30]:

(Eph 4:30 NASB) "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

The phrase in Gal 5:4 rendered, "You have fallen [out] from grace," parallels the phrase "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law," which precedes it in the same verse. So during those moments, when a believer practices legalism of any kind, he will be severed from Christ, and he will have fallen [out] from grace in the sense that for the moments that he persists in legalism, Christ will not be of any temporal benefit / blessing to him. Albeit their justification unto eternal life will not be lost . Nevertheless, he will cut himself off from fellowship with Christ which is experienced by the grace of God, (ref 1 Jn 1-10 ). For as soon as a believer alters his mental committment against doing works in order to be justified unto eternal life and reverts to doing them - as he is once again enmeshed in legalism - he is denying that Christ's work is all sufficient for his justification. In order for one to return to a temporal / fellowship relationship with God one must cease measuring / relying upon ones assessment of ones own good works in order to verify / assure oneself that one is saved. Assurance of ones salvation unto eternal life is a matter of simply acknowledging that one has expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life and nothing else:

3) [1 Jn 5:9-13 ]:

(1 Jn 5:9 NASB) "If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.

(1 Jn 5:10 NASB) The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.

(1 Jn 5:11 NASB) And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

(1 Jn 5:12 NASB) He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 

(1 Jn 5:13 KJV) These things [I wrote to] you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that [you] may know that [you] have eternal life, [unto believing] on the name of the Son of God."

The moment a believer steps outside of relying totally on God to provide salvation as a free gift via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone + nothing he falls outside of God's blessings and under His discipline. The 'fallen' believer ceases to receive many of God's temporal blessings and has come under God's discipline instead, facing trials and tribulations without the mercy of God to see him through until he confesses and repents. A return to temporal fellowship with God may be accomplished by walking in the light of Christ's Righteousness / confession of known sins . On the other hand, there will nevertheless be a certain amount of loss of eternal rewards and loss of temporal benefits.

******

E) (Gal 5:5) For We Believers In Christ Through The Spirit Of God Within Are Given Assurance Of Our Own Eternal Destiny Wherein We Confidently, Assuredly Await Our Resurrection Unto A Redemption Body Having The Intrinsic Righteousness Of God

(Gal 5:5 NASB) "For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness." =

The phrase rendered "For we through the Spirit, by faith" refers to believers who by faith - a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life - have received the Spirit of God, (ref Gal 3:1-5  ; cf. Eph 1:13-14 ), and through the Spirit they are given assurance of their eternal destiny wherein they "are waiting for the [sure] hope of righteousness" - the phrase that follows.

[Note that the Greek word, "elpida" rendered "hope" in the context of Gal 5:5 literally means a sure hope of righteousness unto eternal life, i.e., eternal security. For it refers to that which, though certain, has not yet been realized, i.e., a sure hope]

So believers have God the Holy Spirit's absolute assurance of being resurrected unto eternal life in a redemption body intrinsically having the Righteousness of God, (cf. Eph 1:13-14 ; and Ro 3:21-22 ).

1) [Compare Phil 3:20-21]:

(Phil 3:20 NASB) "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

(Phil 3:21 NASB) who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself."

2) [Compare Ro 8:22-25]:

(Ro 8:22 NASB) "For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

(Ro 8:23 NASB) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

(Ro 8:23 NASB) For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

(Ro 8:23 NASB) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it."

Up to this point Paul has been talking only of the Galatians, using the pronoun "you." He has been warning them about choosing to revert to legalism through circumcision. Now the pronoun changes to "we" and is placed in an emphatic position - "we wait" and "we hope." Paul is saying to all believers that we are to wait in faith - in the sure hope - through the Spirit for the full realization of God's righteousness.

The phrase rendered "through the Spirit" appears first in Gal 5:5, emphasizing by first position in the verse, that salvation unto the Righteousness of God unto eternal life comes through the sovereignty of God, first and foremost. Next comes the phrase rendered "by faith" indicating that it is by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (ref. Gal 3:1-5    that one may wait for, with the sure hope of, attaining a resurrection / redemption body characterized by the Righteousness of God unto eternal life with Him: the full realization of God's promise of salvation from hell unto eternal life for those who have trusted alone in His Son alone + nothing else. An individual does not work to gain it. After the moment he trusted in Christ for it, he waits for it to come from God. First comes salvation from Hell at the point of faith alone in Christ alone; followed by the earning of eternal rewards throughout ones mortal life by the grace of God to be delivered at the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven. And upon completion of ones mortal life ones eternal life will have matured and be presented within one upon resurrection to that promised eternal life ).

F) (Gal 5:6) Paul Conveys A Message To Those In Christ Jesus - Believers Secure In Eternal Life: Just As Neither Circumcision Nor Uncircumcision Means Anything Relative To Anyone Securing Eternal Life; Neither Does Circumcision / Uncircumcision Mean Anything Relative To Believers' Eternal Or Temporal Lives. But Relative To Their Temporal Lives, What Does Matter Are Those Moments Of Faith Working Through Their Expressions Of Agape Love For God.

(Gal 5:6 NASB) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love." =

The first phrase in Gal 5:6 rendered "For in Christ Jesus" signifies those who are justified unto eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from circumcision or uncircumcision, or any human doing; and thereby they are placed into Christ Jesus - into His body as members of His body forever:

1) [Compare 2 Cor 5:17 ]:

(2 Cor 5:17 NASB) "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

2) [Compare Eph 1:13-14 ]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "in Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of eternal life / redemption],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

Notice in Eph 1:13-14 that upon believing in the good news of ones salvation, i.e., believing in Christ - apart from any human doing such as circumcision - one is included in Christ in the sense of becoming a part of His body; whereby one is sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise of eternal life / redemption hence one is guaranteed eternal redemption at the point of the expression of a moment of faith alone in Christ alone.

The second phrase of Gal 5:6 is rendered, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

3) [Compare Phil 1:27-28]:

(Phil 1:27 NASB) "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

(Phil 1:28 NASB) in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God." 

Since only those who are justified by faith alone are in view, then the phrase "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love," in Gal 5:6 has the temporal / mortal life of the believer in view, and not what it takes to be justified unto eternal life. So since works of any kind do not enter into what it takes to be justified and since 'faith expressing itself through love' implies godly human doing, then salvation unto eternal life cannot be in view:

******

4) [Compare Gal 3:21]:

"Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law [=human doing] had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the Law."

The message of Gal 3:21 and 5:6 indicates that whatever it is that is important in the temporal lives of those in Christ Jesus, i.e., those who have believed in Christ Jesus for eternal life; it is not whether one follows or does not follow some set of rules of human doing such as circumcision or any other statute of the Law of Moses; but living a life of "faith expressing itself through love," (Gal 5:6b).

5) [Compare 1 Cor 16:13-14]:

(1 Cor 16:13 NASB) "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

(1 Cor 16:14 NASB) Let all that you do be done in love."

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6) [Compare 1 Cor 7:19 ]:

(1 Cor 7:19 NASB) "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God."

The last phrase in Gal 5:6 underlined and italicized as follows, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love," is comparable  in meaning to the phrase in 1 Cor 7:19b rendered, "but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God," (1 Cor 7:19b). Thus the phrase in Gal 5:6b, rendered "faith working through love" implies faithful human doing in obedience out of agape / godly love for God to the commandments of God for believers in this age as delineated in the epistles.

So in view in 1 Cor 7:19 and Gal 5:6, Paul indicated in both verses that "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything," (Gal 5:6a). And the phrase in 1 Cor 7:19b, "but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God" conveys in both verses the message that out of faith one is to work through agape / godly love for God, that's what matters. And temporal benefits as well as eternal rewards are the reward .

Believers in this Church Age are not under law, especially under the Law of Moses. But believers - children of God, born of God - are under His grace gift operation and under His commandments to believers in this age for temporal justification and blessings in their temporal lives, (ref. Ro 6:14-15 ). These blessings are meted out in accordance with the believer's obedience to His commandments to believers in this age, (ref. 1 Jn 5:2 ); as well as for eternal rewards in the next life which is eternal . So the phrase rendered "what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God" in 1 Cor 7:19 refers not to the Law of Moses which believers are not under, but to those commandments that appear in the epistles of the Greek bible which are commanded to the believer to keep by the power and the grace of God.

These Church Age commandments of God to already justified individuals in this age which largely appear in the epistles are not a requirement for the reception of eternal life - for that is by faith alone. For Paul had previously and extensively confirmed to the believers in his letter to the Corinthians that they had already been justified by faith alone unto eternal life apart from any human doing , (cf. Gal 2:16-21 ; 3:5-14 ; 22-29, ). But the commandments of God for believers in the Church Age, which are largely delineated in the epistles of the Greek bible, are for the benefits of temporal and eternal blessings to be bestowed upon those who have already become believers in this age. Those benefits are based upon the individual believer's willingness to be obedient to those commands and the power and the grace of God Who provides enablement to His born again children, despite their intrinsic sinfulness . This is all due to the sacrifice of His Son for sins. These blessings - both temporal and eternal are bestowed upon each believer as he acknowledges Christ's sacrifice in His blood to cleanse one from all unrighteousness, i.e., as he walks in the light of Christ's Righteousness, i.e., as he confesses his sins moment by moment ].

Note that in Gal 5:6b the Greek participle verb form "energoumene" rendered "working," in the phrase rendered, "but faith working through love" has been the subject of substantial debate within Catholicism and between others and Catholic theologians. If the verb is passive, as most Catholics maintain, then the phrase means that faith is inspired by love; that is, love comes first, then faith stemming from it. This, while linguistically possible, is not biblical relative to justification by faith alone, nor is it Paul's intended meaning. If the verb is in the middle voice, as it seems to be elsewhere in the NT, then the thought is as translated in the NASB: faith working in the sense of expressing itself through love. This is evident because it is a moment of faith alone in Christ alone which results in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which then leads to the development of the fruit of the Spirit in which love is prominent (Gal 5:22). Hence it is not love that leads to faith but faith which leads to the indwelling Spirit and then through the Spirit one is to learn to express godly / agape love toward God and one another:

7) [Compare Gal 5:22]:

(Gal 5:22 NASB ) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,"

G) (Gal 5:7) You Galatian Believers Were Running Well; Who Hindered You From Obeying / Believing In The Truth That Faith Alone In Christ Alone Is All That Is Required In Order To Be Justified And Nothing More?

(Gal 5:7 NASB) "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" =

Author and apostle Paul describes the temporal life of the Galatian believers as running a race. At first, Paul indicates that they had been conducting their lives in a relatively godly manner evidently up until the time he wrote this letter. According to Paul, in order to run well, a believer must train vigorously and repetitively in order to exercise "faith working through [agape / self-sacrificial] love," (Gal 5:6), implying that the content one is to believe in is derived as follows: diligently studying and trusting in and obeying what God has communicated to the believer in His Word, more specifically the promises of God, (Gal 3:21  through faith in the commandments of God to believers of the Church Age as largely delineated in the epistles .

1) [Compare 1 Cor 9:24-27]:

(1 Cor 9:24 NASB) "Do you know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

(1 Cor 9:25 NASB) Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

(1 Cor 9:26 NASB) Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;

(1 Cor 9:27 NASB) but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."

2) [Compare 2 Tim 4:7-8]:

(2 Tim 4:7 NASB) "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

(2 Tim 4:7 NASB) in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

G cont.) (Gal 5:7 cont.) You Galatian Believers Were Running Well; Who Hindered You From Obeying / Believing In The Truth That Faith Alone In Christ Alone Is All That Is Required In Order To Be Justified And Nothing More? (cont.)

(Gal 5:7 NASB) "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" =

Whereupon in the second phrase of Gal 5:7, Paul interjects, "Who hindered you from obeying the truth?"

Though many false teachers were disturbing the Galatians, the singular pronoun "tis" rendered "who" indicates that the leader of the Judaizers was in view here. The result was that the believers were no longer obeying the truth, but were attempting to complete the race by legalistic self-effort rather than by faith in the Son of God and the grace and enablement of God the Father.

****** EXCERPTS FROM GAL CHAPTER ONE AND THREE ******

(Gal 1:6-9) Paul Is Astonished That The Believers In Galatia Are So Quickly Deserting God Who Called Them By The Grace Of Christ - Astonished That They Would Believe In A Different Gospel Which Is Really Not Another Gospel At All. But There Were Some Who Were Troubling Them, Who Wanted To Pervert The Gospel Of Christ. Paul Then States That Even If We - Himself And Those With Him - Or An Angel From Heaven, Should Preach To Them A Gospel Contrary To What They Did Preach To Those In Galatia, Let Him (Them) Be Accursed. Whereupon Paul Repeated Himself: So Now I Say Again, If Anyone Of You Preaches Any Other Gospel To You Than What You Did Receive, Let Him Be Accursed

(Gal 1:6 NKJV) "I am amazed [in the sense astonished] that you are so quickly deserting Him [God] Who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] [unto] a different gospel; (Gal 1:7 NKJV) which is really not another [gospel] but [lit. since] there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal 1:8 NASB) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, [should] preach to you a gospel [contrary to] what we [did] preach to you, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:9 NKJV) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone [of you] preaches any other gospel to you than what you [did receive], let him be accursed." =

Author Paul moves abruptly to a confrontational mode, in lieu of the customary statement of thanksgiving and praise for the believers to whom he is writing. He evidently has no thanksgiving or praise for them at all. He states to them that he is astonished that they so quickly after their conversion to faith in Christ deserted God Who called them by the grace of Christ to believe in the gospel that Paul preached to them. Notice that Paul states that God had called by the grace of Christ the Galatian believers to believe in the gospel of grace and peace which they very soon rejected in favor of a false gospel. They deserted God - the very One Who had called them to faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone + nothing - and espoused a different gospel that others, who had quickly moved into the area, proclaimed instead of the gospel of God which Paul had just recently taught to them. These interlopers taught the Galatian believers another gospel which Paul declared was really not another gospel at all - in the sense that it did not provide eternal life. It was a perversion of the gospel of Christ. For God's gospel is one of grace and peace; and the false / perverted gospel is one which is dependent upon being obedient to the Law of Moses - legalism / meritorious - a complete desertion of God and His grace and peace. Whereupon Paul then wrote, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we did preach to you, let him be accursed," i.e., condemned by God. And Paul repeats this condemnation: "As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone of you preaches any other gospel to you than what you did receive, let him be accursed."

(Gal 3:1-5) Paul Asked, 'You Foolish Galatians, Who Has Bewitched You, Before Whose Eyes Jesus Christ Was Publicly Portrayed [By Paul] As Having Been Crucified? Did You Receive The Spirit By The Works Of law, Or By Hearing With Faith? Are You So Foolish? Having Begun By The Spirit, Are You Now Being Perfected In The Flesh? Have You Suffered So Many Things In Vain - If Indeed In Vain? Therefore He Who Is Supplying The Spirit To You And Is Working Miracles Among You, Does He Do It By The Works Of law, Or By The Hearing Of Faith?']:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified? (Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain? (Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -" =

At the end of chapter 2, Paul emphatically stated that through the Law he died to the Law so that he might live to God. He did not nullify the grace of God by what he preached relative to how one received salvation unto eternal life. For Paul declared that if righteousness came through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. So salvation does not come through the Law - through human doing, but through a moment of faith alone in the death of Christ Jesus alone in payment for the sins of all mankind.

Whereupon in Gal 3:1, author Paul began a chastisement of the Galatian believers, "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?" Notice the impersonal term "Galatians," as opposed to the word rendered "brothers," which he used earlier in 1:11. Paul calls the Galatians "foolish" in the sense of their being irrational and absurd to take up a doctrine which nullified the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross for the sins of all mankind - after they had completely relied upon Christ for salvation and sanctification until they turned to the Law of Moses instead. Their complete reversal from justification by faith alone in Christ alone to dependence upon their own performance under the Law of Moses was to Paul as if they were bewitched - cast under an evil spell. The words rendered "publicly portrayed as having been crucified" imply Paul's vivid, graphic, public and undeniably clear portrayal of the payment for sins of Jesus Christ via His crucifixion to the Galatians as the sole means by which through faith in Him salvation unto eternal life might be received - and this is Who the Galatians had believed in for salvation and for walking faithfully in the temporal life. Note that the verb rendered "having been crucified" is in the perfect tense portraying a completed action with ongoing results implying that a moment of faith in Christ's crucifixion has an everlasting result of eternal life. So there was never any need to do anything else in order to insure ones salvation and for walking faithfully in the temporal life but to trust alone in Christ alone for these things. Hence Paul's conclusion was that the Galatian believers were without excuse for turning to legalism for justification and for walking faithfully in the temporal life.

Then, in Gal 3:2, in order to emphasize the serious consequences of turning to law for justification and for walking faithfully in the temporal life, Paul asks the Galatians a rhetorical question, "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?" This question implies that the Galatian believers had experienced, as a result of the reception of the indwelling of the Spirit, the reception of a new ability / abilities to express one or more miraculous spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, prophesying, word of knowledge, etc., (ref Gal 3:5, ). Since the reception of such spiritual gifts was exclusively a result of receiving the Spirit of God by hearing the gospel of eternal life and believing in it; then at the first moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from observing the Law of Moses, the Spirit was received and those gifts would have been notably exercised in those Galatian lives. So the answer to Paul's rhetorical question should have been immediately understood by the Galatian believers: that it is through the Spirit of God that justification and walking faithfully in the temporal life are received via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from any human doing. This is the answer that is implied within the context of Paul's rhetorical question in Gal 3:2. Note that it is only by the grace of God that human doing by the believer in Christ Jesus, which is flawed at best, (cf. 1 Jn 1:8, 10), is credited to the believer as walking by faith unto temporal righteousness, (cf. 1 Jn 1:7, 9).

In Gal 3:3a, Paul again refers to the Galatian believers as foolish, "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit." When each one of the Galatians believed in Christ Jesus, it began the indwelling of and the work of the Spirit of God in them, including miraculous spiritual gifts which were notably exercised by them, (ref. Gal 3:5). And it was God through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone apart from human doing, Who credited each believer with the Righteousness of Christ, (Phil 3:9). And it was the Spirit of God Who provided the capacity within each believer in order to perfect each one unto temporal righteousness moment to moment as the believer walks by faith. And all of this was a result of each one having expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone - apart from human doing!

Whereupon, Paul then wrote in Gal 3:3b, "are you now being perfected by the flesh?" i.e., are you now going to try to perfect yourself by your own efforts without the Spirit of God by attempting to keep the Law of Moses apart from the grace of God? The answer to the question is a rhetorical "no!"

Then in Gal 3:4, Paul asks them, "Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?" implying that the Galatian believers had indeed been suffering as a result of their new found faith in Christ Jesus, which includes the miraculous deeds that were being worked by the Spirit through them within their midst, (ref. Gal 3:5), evidently to confirm their salvation, and to be a witness for Christ to others. But all of this faithfulness in Christ through the Spirit brought persecution upon them, primarily at the hands of the Judaizers who were pursuing Paul and Barnabas where ever they went in order to counter Paul's missionary work with their demands that one be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses:

[Compare Acts 14:1-10; 19-22]:

(Acts 14:1 NASB) "In Iconium they [Paul and Barnabas, (ref. Acts 13:50)] entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.

(Acts 14:2 NASB) But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren.

(Acts 14:3 NASB) Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, Who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.

(Acts 14:4 NASB) But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.

(Acts 14:5 NASB) And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them,

(Acts 14:6 NASB) they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region;

(Acts 14:7 NASB) and there they continued to preach the gospel.

(Acts 14:8 NASB) At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked.

(Acts 14:9 NASB) This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well.

(Acts 14:10 NASB) said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and began to walk.

(Acts 14:19 NASB) But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

(Acts 14:20 NASB) But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.

(Acts 14:21 NASB) After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,

(Acts 14:22 NASB) strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.' "

Note that it is clear here in Acts chapter 14 that these supernatural expressions of the Spirit were not the result of works of law, i.e., human doing but from hearing that leads to faith in Christ Jesus alone to be justified unto eternal life and receive the Spirit of God as Paul declared to the Galatian believers in Gal 3:3-5.

In Acts 14:22, Paul warned the new Galatian believers that they would suffer tribulation / persecution.

And in Gal 3:4, Paul indicated that persecutions / suffering followed the conversions of the Galatian believers. But after they abandoned God's grace which was received via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in order to keep the Law of Moses, Paul reminded them that if they did not turn back to God's grace, their sufferings for Christ would be in vain.

The message of Gal 3:1-4 is clear: once one becomes a believer he is exhorted to remain in the faith unto perfection, i.e., unto spiritual maturity as a lifelong pursuit. This is what Paul is exhorting the Galatian believers who departed from the faith to do from the beginning of the chapter:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?

(Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?"

And then, notice the two rhetorical questions posed in verse 3,

(Gal 3:3 NASB) "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"

Paul is saying here that for the Galatian believers to depart from the faith is foolish, especially after they had experienced the Spirit of God performing miracles through them, (Gal 3:5; cf Acts 14:3). They were rejecting the availability of the Spirit of God's working within them to perfect them in the faith unto spiritual maturity throughout their mortal lives. This would be a great loss which would make their firsthand suffering for Christ in vain in the sense of their losing the opportunity to be perfected in the faith and to grow in spiritual maturity by the Spirit of God should they not return to trusting in the Spirit to perfect them instead of attempting to do that by themselves by trying to perfectly keep the Law of Moses - the latter an exercise in futility.

Some contend that the Galatian believers who departed from the faith unto legalism considered in their own minds that their suffering and other experiences such as the Spirit working miracles through them were in vain for no godly reason: in the sense of being worthless, profitless - a waste of time and effort which provoked their persecution and suffering to no good end - in view of their new efforts to keep the Law of Moses toward the reception of eternal life and / or the attainment of spiritual maturity in their mortal lives. This mindset which implies a denial of the truth of the gospel that Christ actually did atone for mankind's sins, His resurrection being proof of that, and faith alone in Him alone justifies the believer unto eternal life, (cf. 1 Cor 15:18-19; 29-32), whether it was held by the Galatian defectors or not, however, is not in view in Galatians chapter 3 because the context of the chapter is not a defense of the truth of the gospel, (cf. 1 Cor 15:18-19; 29-32); but an exhortation to the Galatian believers to return to grace salvation and spiritual growth through faith - to that which they had begun with, especially in view of the miracles that the Spirit of God was working through them: namely the ongoing work of the Spirit within them through faith alone in Christ alone apart from law / any human doing toward spiritual maturity throughout their mortal lives. The context of Galatians chapter 3 implies that the suffering and other experiences such as the Spirit working miracles through them might indeed be in vain should they not return to a life of faith in Christ wherein the Spirit may continue to perfect them in the faith toward spiritual maturity, (Gal 3:3). Should they not return, they would lose the benefit of an ongoing life via the grace of God through the work of the Spirit. Their suffering when they first believed relative to this would indeed have been in vain.

So the last phrase in Gal 3:4 rendered "if indeed it was in vain?" is a restatement of the preceding phrase in verse 4, "Have you suffered so many things in vain?" The Greek word "eige" rendered "if indeed," emphasizes the word "if" to convey the sense of 'for the sake of argument, let's assume that your suffering was in vain.' For the sake of argument, then; Paul wrote that if those believers in Galatia permanently abandoned salvation by grace through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, for the ongoing futile effort throughout the rest of their temporal lives of keeping the Law of Moses in order to be saved / stay saved / mature in the faith, etc., then they would indeed lose rewards for future faithfulness, and they would not have the opportunity to reach spiritual maturity. Their suffering for the cause of Christ when they first believed in Him would be in vain in the sense that they would have cut themselves off from Christ for the rest of their temporal lives losing future opportunities to be so rewarded and have the opportunity to reach spiritual maturity.

On the other hand, all is not lost; for they, by the grace of God, had already secured eternal life and will receive their rewards for their past sufferings and faithfulness when they suffered persecution because they were faithful to the grace of God, (Gal 4:11; 1 Co 3:11-15; 15:2, 17-19, 29-32; 2 Th 1:5-7; 2 Jn 8; Heb 6:10).

So the question remains to be answered whether or not the suffering of the Galatian believers who had defected to the Law was in vain - which depends upon their repenting of their legalism or not. The tone of these verses is one of hope that they would choose to return to grace and continue to be rewarded for their consequent sufferings - their future faithfulnesses, instead of being disciplined for their lack of grace unto legalism for the rest of their temporal lives. If not, then their initial suffering was in vain because they never repented and returned to a life of grace.

Whereupon in Gal 3:5, the rhetorical question, "Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], [i.e., by any human doing, especially the Law of Moses which the Judaizers were advancing] or by the hearing of faith," demands the answer: by faith alone. The rhetorical question in Gal 3:2 is similar. It reads, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?" The past tense of the question in Gal 3:2, "did you receive the Spirit" looks back in time to the initial moment of the Galatians' faith in Christ when they received the Spirit. The present participles in verse 5, "[is supplying] the Spirit to you" and the Spirit "[is working] miracles among you" have in view the ongoing work of the Spirit within the believer's life which produces ongoing blessing in the believers temporal lives. Just as eternal life began through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, and not as the result of any human doing; so it is a matter of faith apart from law to receive by the grace of God temporal spiritual blessing in the believer's life via the Spirit of God.

****** END OF EXCERPTS FROM GAL CHAPTER ONE & THREE ******

G cont.) (Gal 5:7 cont.) You Galatian Believers Were Running Well; Who Hindered You From Obeying / Believing In The Truth That Faith Alone In Christ Alone Is All That Is Required In Order To Be Justified And Nothing More? (cont.)

(Gal 5:7 NASB) "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?" =

The phrase in Gal 5:7b rendered, "Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" which has in view the matter of staying on target in the Christian life is another way Paul has for saying that the believers have been "severed from Christ, [they] are seeking to be justified by law; [they] have fallen [out] from grace," (Gal 5:4). In view then are the Galatian believers who no longer were obeying / believing in the truth that faith alone in Christ alone is all that is required in order to be justified - nothing more.

Note that to obey the truth of the gospel unto justification is simply to believe in Christ for eternal life:

3) [Compare Heb 5:9b]:

(Heb 5:9b NASB) "And [Jesus] having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation."

[Obey = exercise a moment of faith, (cf. Heb 4:2)]

4) [Compare 1 Pet 1:17-23]:

(1 Pet 1:17 NASB) "If you [believers, v. 18] address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work [relative to rewards, ref. 1 Cor 3:11-15], conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

(1 Pet 1:18 NASB) knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

[Notice the word "redeemed" The subject is salvation. Peter is reminding Jewish believers that they were redeemed / saved not "with perishable things" nor "by their empty way of life," i.e., not saved by performing deeds of the Law handed down by their forefathers. But they were redeemed / saved unto eternal life by the blood of Jesus Christ being shed for their sins]:

(1 Pet 1:19 NASB) but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

(1 Pet 1:20 NASB) For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

[And the basis upon which the blood of Christ saved you, Peter says to fellow believers, is faith, i.e., belief in the gospel of salvation]:

(1 Pet 1:21 NASB) who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God [relative to salvaton unto eternal life].

(1 Pet 1:22 NASB) Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls" = Now that you have received perfect righteousness, i.e., purification unto eternal life by "obeying the truth" = by believing in the gospel of salvation, (cp v. 21).

(1 Pet 1:23 NASB) for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."

H) (Gal 5:7-8) You Galatian Believers Were Running Well; Who Hindered You From Obeying / Believing In The Truth - That A Moment Of Faith Alone In Christ Alone Is All That Is Required In Order To Be Justified? Nothing More! This Persuasion Did Not Come From Him [God] Who Calls You - To Trust Alone In Christ Jesus For Justification

(Gal 5:7 NASB) "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

(Gal 5:8 NASB) "This persuasion did not come from Him Who calls you." =

In Gal 5:7-8, Paul emphasizes that the kind of persuasion pressure the Galatian believers were receiving from the Judaizers was to hinder them from continuing to obey the truth;  i.e., from continuing to acknowledge that a moment of faith alone in Christ's sacrifice for sins alone was all one needed to do for justification unto eternal life, (ref. Gal 3:1-5 . And this kind of persuasion pressure did not come from Him Who calls you," meaning from God.

1) [Compare Gal 1:6-9 ]:

(Gal 1:6 NKJV) "I am amazed [in the sense astonished] that you are so quickly deserting Him [God] Who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] [unto] a different gospel;

(Gal 1:7 NKJV) which is really not another [gospel] but [lit. since] there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

(Gal 1:8 NASB) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, [should] preach to you a gospel [contrary to] what we [did] preach to you, let him be accursed.

(Gal 1:9 NKJV) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone [of you] preaches any other gospel to you than what you [did receive], let him be accursed."

I) (Gal 5:9) A Little False Expression Within The Body Of Truth Contaminates The Message Of The Gospel And The Temporal Life Of The Believer

(Gal 5:9 NASB) "A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough." =

1) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:9

The best evidence has "a little leaven leavens ["zumoi"] the the whole lump"

D*, it, Marcion Lucifer - much lesser evidence - have "a little leaven adulterates [Greek: "doloi"] all the lump.

2) (Gal 5:9) A Little False Expression Within The Body Of Truth Contaminates The Message Of The Gospel And The Temporal Life Of The Believer

(Gal 5:9 NASB) "A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough." =

Paul indicates by evidently quoting a proverb from outside of Scripture that just as a little yeast contaminates the whole batch of dough, so a single false idea within the body of truth contaminates the message of the gospel and the temporal life of the believer. False teaching like yeast grows and negatively affects everything it touches.

a) [Compare 1 Cor 5:6]:

(1 Cor 5:6 NASB) "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?"

J) (Gal 5:10) Paul Declares Confidence In The Galatian Believers In The LORD That They Will Continue To Adopt No Other View But The Gospel Of Faith Alone In Christ Alone Unto Justification. But The One Who Is Disturbing Them Will Bear The LORD's Judgment, Whoever He Is

(Gal 5:10 NASB) "I have confidence in you in the LORD that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear His judgment, whoever he is." =

In Gal 5:10, Paul proclaimed that his confidence is "in the LORD" that Galatian believers will continue to adopt no other view but the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone unto justification. So his faith in God is that they will not be swayed by the teachings of the Judaizers to attempt to obey circumcision and the Law of Moses in order to be justified. Paul concludes that a key one who is disturbing the Galatian believers in the sense of "hindering [them] from continuing to obey [believe in] the truth [of the gospel]," (Gal 5:7), will bear the LORD's judgment, whoever he is."

K) (Gal 5:11) Paul States That If He Were  Preaching Circumcision - Justification By Law, i.e., Human Doing - Why Was He Being Persecuted By The Judaizers Who Were Preaching That Message Themselves? For Paul's Actual Message Of Justification By Faith Alone In Christ's Work On The Cross Alone, Was A Stumbling Block To The Judaizers' Message Of Justification By Law. Such A Message Of Faith Alone Would Have Been Abolished In The Sense Of Absent From Paul's Preaching Had His Message Been Justification By Keeping The Law. The Two Purposed Means To Be Justified Are Incompatible, i.e., Mutually Exclusive With One Another

(Gal 5:11 NASB) "But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished." =

Paul was evidently accused of still preaching circumcision and the Law in order to be justified, as he did in his preconversion days including the time when he persecuted Christians, (ref Phil 3:4-6 ). This claim about Paul made by his enemies came after his conversion to Christianity; albeit they were false claims made to undermine his ministry of the gospel. But his gospel was not about circumcision. It was a message of faith alone in Christ alone to be justified unto eternal life, apart from law such as the Law of Moses, totally negating anything to do with human doing such as circumcision and the Mosaic Law. Paul countered the Judaizers' accusation with a simple question: How is it that he was still being persecuted by the Judaizers if he preached the same message that they did? If Paul were preaching circumcision, this offense (Greek word "skandalon" is defined as a stumbling block - an offense to the Cross; (cf. 1 Cor. 1:21-23), the Cross would not have been included in his message if he was still preaching circumcision and the Law in order to be justified.

1) [Compare 1 Cor 1:21-23]:

(1 Cor 1:21 NASB) "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

(1 Cor 1:22 NASB) For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;;

(1 Cor 1:23 NASB) but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,"

The Cross and the Law are not compatible relative to what it takes to be justified unto eternal life. If Paul were preaching circumcision, i.e., justification by the Law then this would remove the offense of the cross which points to man's inability to contribute anything. But the two means to justification are mutually exclusive! It is either one or the other. Historically speaking, Paul's preaching of justification by faith alone in Christ alone was wholly consistant as confirmed in every one of his epistles and the book of Acts by Luke as well, which are part of God's inspired Word. And it neither changed nor ceased to be proclaimed by him throughout his life from the time when he was converted. People continued to believe in the gospel message of faith alone in Christ alone where ever he preached. His message proclaimed man's total inability to contribute anything to his salvation . Thus his message of the Cross correctly concluded that justification unto eternal life via circumcision and/or obedience to the Mosaic Law or any human doing was not attainable by mortal man and thus not what is needed to receive justification unto eternal life. It is law that Paul's message abolished / cancelled, not the message of the Cross, (Col 2:13-14 )!

L) (Gal 5:12) Paul Declared That He Wished Those Who Were Troubling The Galatian Believers Would Even Cut Themselves Off

(Gal 5:12 NASB) "I wish that those who are troubling you would even [cut themselves off]. (cf. Gal 2:4)" =

In Gal 5:12, Paul expressed a wish that the Judaizers would not stop with circumcision in their zeal for ordinances, but rather would go on to castration to more emphatically try to prove their case for self-justification by extreme self-inflicted human doing. Sacral castration was known to citizens of the ancient world; it was frequently practiced by pagan priests as in the cult of Attis-Cybele, which was prominent in Asia. Nevertheless, Paul's comparison of the ancient Jewish rite of circumcision to pagan sacral castration is startling. The comparison between circumcision and sacral castration puts the efforts of the Judaizers to have the Gentiles circumcised on the same level as the abhorred pagan practice of sacral castration which is forbidden of Jews under the Law of Moses, (Dt 23:1). Neither one will accomplish the intended purpose of justification unto eternal life before God.

Paul's words in Gal 5:12 sound coarse and reprehensible. But he did not speak out of a malicious spirit or in ill temper, he spoke out of a concern for the gospel of grace - for God's truth of justification by faith alone that pervades Scripture . Since a moment of faith alone in Christ alone is the only means by which a man may be justified; and since any other means is doomed to failure and eternal condemnation; then the stakes are high. Hence Paul's words are emphatic and urgent.

II) [Gal 5:13-26]:

(Gal 5:13 NASB) For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

(Gal 5:14 NASB) For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "

(Gal 5:15 NASB) But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

(Gal 5:16 NASB) But I say, walk by the Spirit, [Ro 8:4; Gal 5:24ff]  and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh [Ro 13:14; Eph 2:3].

(Gal 5:17 HOLMAN) For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, [Ro 7:18, 23; 8:5ff] and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want.

(Gal 5:18 NASB) But if [=since] you are led by the Spirit [Ro 8:14], you are not under [law] [Ro 6:14; 7:4].

(Gal 5:19 NASB) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], impurity, sensuality, ...

(Gal 5:20 NASB) idolatry, sorcery, [Rev 21:8] enmities, [2 Cor 12:20], strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes [NKJV: selfish ambitions], dissensions, factions [NKJV: heresies] [1 Cor 11:19],

(Gal 5:21 NASB) envying [Ro 13:13], drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

(Gal 5:22 NASB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

(Gal 5:23 NASB) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16].

(Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3]

A) (Gal 5:13) Believers Are Called To Freedom. Only They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom Into An Opportunity For The Flesh - In The Sense Of Reenslaving Themselves To Their Sin Natures. But Through Agape / Godly, Self-Sacrificial Love, Believers Are To Serve - In The Sense Of Be In Servitude To - One Another

(Gal 5:13 NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

1) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:13

TR, WH, NU, P46, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, Maj read "through love serve one another"

D, F, G, it have "in the Spirit's love serve one another" This was an expansion of the original text which assimilates the thought of 5:22, wherein love is depicted as being a fruit of the Spirit.

2) (Gal 5:13a) For You Were Called To Freedom, Brethren

(Gal 5:13a NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren" =

In Gal 5:13a, Paul wrote "For you were called to freedom, brethren." Previously, in Gal 5:1a, Paul wrote "It was for freedom that Christ set us free:"

a) [Compare Gal 5:1a]:

(Gal 5:1a NASB) "It Was For Freedom That Christ Set Us Free" =

Gal 5:1a, the first phrase of Gal 5:1, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free," is a summary statement of the content of chapters 3 and 4, i.e., of hopeless bondage to law (human doing) vs. achieving freedom in Christ via faith alone in Christ alone apart from human doing in order to be justified before God unto eternal life. Paul's letter to the Galatians repeatedly affirms that a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone - apart from any human doing - justifies one unto eternal life before God. This sets one free from the hopeless bondage to law (human doing) in order to be justified unto eternal life which is impossible for mortal man.

i) [Compare Gal 2:16]:

(Gal 2:16 YLT) "Having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through ... faith [in] Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by ... faith [in] Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh' "

ii) [Compare Gal 3:22-29 ]:

(Gal 3:22 NASB) But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Gal 3:23 NASB) But before [this] faith [in Jesus] came, we [all mankind] were [being guarded] under law, [having been] shut up to the faith [in Jesus] which was later to be revealed [by His appearance in history with His atonement for sins on the cross].

(Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor [guardian-trainor] to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

(Gal 3:25 NASB) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [guardian-trainor].

(Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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

(Gal 3:28 NASB) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:29 NKJV) And [since] you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

A moment of faith alone in Christ alone removes the individual from the personal bondage of being held accountable for sins relative to the reception of eternal life; and from the personal bondage of being held accountable for continually and perfectly obeying God's rules of conduct embodied in the Law of Moses in order to be justified before God unto eternal life as well. Once justified and hence saved unto eternal life by faith alone, Christ has set us free from these bondages. This is an absolute freedom. No longer is a believer held accountable to God for his sins relative to the reception of eternal life; nor must his conduct be perfect to that eternal destiny .

The pagan Galatians were slaves to the law of their consciences God placed within them before they were set free by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone:

iii) [Ro 2:14-15]:

(Ro 2:14 NASB) "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,

(Ro 2:15 NASB) in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,"

Notice that Gentiles have a law for themselves - their consciences - which provide the standard by which they must be justified. But this is impossible and their consciences remind them that they are constantly falling short of the glory of God. Thus they are enslaved to their God given consciences until they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone:

iv) [Ro 3:20-24]:

(Ro 3:20 NASB) "Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

(Ro 3:21 NASB) But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

(Ro 3:22 NASB) even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

(Ro 3:23 NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;"

So the Galatian believers had been set free from bondage to any law of human doing because they had trusted alone in Christ alone. Through a moment of faith alone they received the Spirit Who saved and sealed them unto eternal redemption when they believed in the gospel, (cf. Eph 1:13-14 :

v) [Compare Gal 3:1-5 ]:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?

(Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?

(Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

(Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?

(Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -"

vi) [Compare Ro 8:1-2]:

(Ro 8:1 NASB) "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

(Ro 8:2 NASB) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."
Those who are "in Christ Jesus," which occurs via a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus, have been set free from the law of sin and death from having to behave perfectly to keep from sinning in order not to suffer eternal death.

3) (Gal 5:13b) Believers Were To Called To Freedom; But They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom In Christ Into An Opportunity For The Flesh / The Sin Nature Within

(Gal 5:13b NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" =

The Greek word  "sarki" in the context of Gal 5:13b, rendered "flesh," means sin nature, describing a characteristic which still exists within the believer . Paul's command to the Galatian believers in Gal 5:13b to not turn their freedom in Christ into an opportunity for the flesh implies that believers still might choose to sin, hence they do have a sin nature with a potential to commit sins. Otherwise there would be no point in admonishing them to not sin if those who have been justified by faith were transformed - all or in part - into sinless mortal beings, as some contend. Hence there is the need for detailed instruction in the Christian life in order for them to live godly lives by grace through faith - which instruction is largely located in the epistles of the Greek bible - those books which are letters sent to local churches. The epistle of First John is especially instructive for this purpose

4) (Gal 5:13b) Believers Secure In Their Salvation Can And Do Commit Sins All The Time

(Gal 5:13b NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" =

So it is possible for genuine believers secure in their salvation , as born again children of God by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (Jn 1:12-13 ) who cannot be unchilded , to walk in the flesh and even practice the egregious sins mentioned in the vice list, (cf. Gal 5:16, 17, 21, 25 and 26), without losing their salvation.

For Galatians chapter 5, Ephesians 4, and many other passages in Scripture warn believers not to sin, which indicates that believers do have such a potential. The truth of the matter is that, although God has broken the enslavement of the believer to the sin nature by crucifying it with Christ.

The context of Galatians chapter 5 and the rest of Scripture explicitly reject the false doctrine of the required perseverance of the saints in order to demonstrate that one is saved unto eternal life . Rather than affirming that all true believers will walk in the Spirit, Paul commands the believers at the churches of Galatia to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Such an admonition would be misplaced if addressed to an unbeliever since it is impossible for those devoid of the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit.

There are clear examples in Scripture of genuine believers who have not persevered in good works, but who instead have walked in the flesh, who are nevertheless secure in their salvation, (ref Gal 5:5 ).

a) Solomon ended his life as an idolator (1 Kings 11). 

b) Many of the believers in Corinth, although five years old as Christians, were carnal and fleshly - yet they are called babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1-3).

c) One believer at Corinth was actually living in immorality with his stepmother and was brazenly unrepentant (1 Cor 5:5).

d) A number of believers in Corinth were sick, and some had already died, as a result of their selfish and drunken disregard for the sacredness of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:30). 

e) Demas, whom Paul at least twice referred to as his co-laborer in Christ's service (Col 4:14; Phlm 24), later is said by Paul to have 'forsaken me, having loved this present world' (2 Tim 4:10).

f) Likewise James refers to the need to turn back fellow believers who have wandered from the truth (Jas 5:19-20)

g) No believers can say that they have no sin nor say that they have not sinned in their mortal lives

i) [Compare 1 Jn 1:8, 10]:

(1 Jn 1:8 NASB) "If we [apostles and fellow believers, 1 Jn 1:1-4; cf. 1 Jn 2:2] [should] say that we have no sin, we [deceive] ourselves and the truth is not in us.

(1 Jn 1:10 NASB)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."

5) (Gal 5:13b) Since Believers Secure In Their Salvation Can And Do Commit Sins All The Time, Then They Still Have An Intrinsic Sin Nature As Well As The Indwelling Holy Spirit. It's A Matter Of Personal Choice Which Lead They Will Follow: The Old Sin Nature Or The New Nature Within Them

(Gal 5:13b NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" =

Galatians chapter 5 and many other passages in Scripture warn believers not to sin, which indicates that believers do have such a potential. Verses 13 through 21 of Galatians chapter 5 indicate that believers have a propensity to and do sin. This is brought about by the intrinsic sin nature in that believer which still has the potential to produce sin.

a) [Compare Gal 5:16-17, 25-26]:

(Gal 5:16 NASB) "But I say, walk by the Spirit, [Ro 8:4; Gal 5:24ff] and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh [Ro 13:14; Eph 2:3].

(Gal 5:17 HOLMAN) For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, [Ro 7:18, 23; 8:5ff] and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want.

(Gal 5:25 NASB) If we live by the Spirit, [we should walk] let us also walk by the Spirit [Gal 5:16].

(Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3]"

Although God has broken the enslavement of the believer to the sin nature by crucifying it with Christ, they still have the potential to lapse back into slavery to their sin natures, letting sin once again gain a foothold in their lives.

At this point, one might ask those who claim that there is no intrinsic sin nature in the believer, 'What is it in him then that has the potential to sin which this passage is pointing to - certainly not the new nature?

b) [Compare Eph 4:20-24: The New Nature Of The Believer In Christ]:

(Eph 4:20 NASB) "But you did not learn Christ in this way,

(Eph 4:21 NASB) if [= since] indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

(Eph 4:22 NASB) that, in reference to your [believers', (v. 4:1)] former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, [ton palaion anthropon = the old man, i.e., the old sin nature which still exists in the believer, (cp. Ro 7:21-25 )], which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self, [the regenerate self which is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

c)  [Compare Ro 6:6-7]:

(Ro 6:6 NASB) "Knowing this, that our [believers'] old self [lit., old man, Gal 2:20; 5:24; 6:14] was crucified [made dead] with Him, [Eph 4:22; Col 3:9] in order that our body of sin [Ro 7:24] might be done away with, [lit. be made powerless] so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

(Ro 6:7) because anyone who has died has been freed from sin [i.e., the controlling influence of the sin nature, (v. 12)]"

The believer still has that sin nature as part of his intrinsic being and he can indeed succomb to its desires at any time:

d) [Compare Ro 6:12-14]:

(Ro 6:12 NASB) "Therefore do not let sin 

["sin" = sin, singular = sin nature in this context. Notice that there is a choice to return control of ones life to the sin nature] reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

(Ro 6:13 NASB) and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness [Ro 6:16, 19; 7:5; Col 3:5]; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

(Ro 6:14 NASB)  For sin shall not be master over you, [Ro 5:18; 7:4, 6; Gal 4:21] for you are not under law but under grace [Ro 5:17, 21]."

Notice that the "old self," the sin nature is still present in the believer which is at odds against the new, regenerate self.

e) [Compare Ro 8:6-8]:

(Ro 8:6 NASB) "For the mind set on the flesh is death [Gal 6:8; Ro 6:21; 8:13], but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

(Ro 8:7 NASB) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God [Jas 4:4]; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

(Ro 8:8 NASB) and those who are in the flesh [Ro 7:5] cannot please God."

6) (Gal 5:13c) Believers Were To Called To Freedom; But They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom In Christ Into An Opportunity For The Flesh / The Sin Nature Within Them; But Through Agape / Godly Love They Are To Serve One Another

(Gal 5:13 NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." =

In Gal 5:13c, author Paul wrote, "But through love serve one another." The Greek word, "agapes" rendered "love" is a genetive, singular noun form of the verb "agapaO," to love, which is defined as follows:

[The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, Joseph Henry Thayer, Hendrickson, Peabosy, Ma, 1981, p. 3]:

"agapaO ..... to love, to be full of good-will and exhibit the same... to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of ... often of the love of Christians towards one another; of the benevolence which God in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending His Son to them and giving Him up to death... of the love which led Christ, in procuring human salvation to undergo sufferings and death... of the love with which God regards Christ..."

This definition is confirmed by the last part of Gal 5:13c, "but through love serve one another," wherein, the "agapes" love is evidenced when one serves another with regard to the welfare of the other - a self-sacrificial love without regard to emotional content, but with regard to the other's welfare and needs. So instead of reverting to the control of the sin nature, believers in Christ are to voluntarily serve / enslave themselves to one another out of agape / godly love for one another.

Gal 5:14-18 which follows provides further corroboration of the meaning author Paul intended for the phrase rendered "but through love serve one another," especially the word rendered "love' in Gal 5:13:

B) (Gal 5:13-14) Believers Were To Called To Freedom; But They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom In Christ Into An Opportunity For The Flesh / The Sin Nature Within Them; But Through Agape / Godly Love They Are To Serve One Another. For The Whole Law Is Fulfilled In One Word, In The Statement, 'You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself .'

(Gal 5:13 NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Gal 5:14 NASB) For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " [Ro 13:8, 10; Jas 2:8; Mt 7:12] =

1) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:14

WH, Sinaticus (1), A, B, C, 33, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weiss, Sod, UBS, various modern versions have "has been fulfilled."

D, K, L, P25, byz have "is fulfilled" best fits the context in the sense that each moment of time one demonstrates love for ones neighbor then that fulfills the Law in that moment of time; and the manuscript evidence is substantial - such that all popular versions have "is fulfilled."

2) (Gal 5:13-14) Believers Were To Called To Freedom; But They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom In Christ Into An Opportunity For The Flesh / The Sin Nature Within Them; But Through Agape / Godly Love They Are To Serve One Another. For The Whole Law Is Fulfilled In One Word, In The Statement, 'You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself .'

(Gal 5:13 NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Gal 5:14 NASB) For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " [Ro 13:8, 10; Jas 2:8; Mt 7:12] =

In Gal 5:13, author Paul stated "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another;" whereupon in Gal 5:14 he completes the thought especially of the last phrase with, "For [= because] the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " So the expression of agape / godly love toward ones neighbor / fellow man throughout ones life is tantamount to fulfilling the whole Law in the sense of being credited with the Righteousness of God by the grace of God - the standard of godly behavior which the Law represents, (ref. Ro 2:13 ).

a) [Compare Jas 2:8]:

(Jas 2:8 NASB) "If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well.

****** EXCERPTS FROM ROMANS CHAPTERS 12 & 13 ******

[Ro 13:8-10]:

(Ro 13:8 NKJV) "Owe no one anything except to [agape / godly] love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled law.

(Ro 13:9 NKJV) For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

(Ro 13:10 NKJV) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of law."

Believers Are To Owe No One Anything Except To Express Agape / Godly Love Toward One Another. A Lifestyle Characterized By Agape Love Toward Others Qualifies As Fulfilling The Righteous Standard Of The Law, i.e., Rules Governing Human Conduct - Specifically The Mosaic Law

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 13:8 NKJV) Owe no one anything except to [agape / godly] love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled law." =

Paul continues to stipulate specific things for the believer to obey in order to achieve the transformation in view in Romans 12:1-2: To "offer [their] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God ... [and to] not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of [the] mind. Then [they] will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." So the believer is to be transformed by the conforming of his conscience to the will of God through a study, acceptance and application to his life of the words of God's Word which explain His will]. Author Paul says that one is to "owe no one anything except to love ["agapan" = express godly love toward] one another.

A Paramount Characteristic For Believers To Exercise Is Agape / Godly Love Toward Others Which Is Without Pretense - A Self-Sacrifical Regard For The Welfare Of Another - A Regard Which Nature It Is To Abhor What Is Evil And To Cling To What Is Godly

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. (Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro 12:3 NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Ro 12:4 NIV) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (Ro 12:5 NIV) so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (Ro 12:6 NIV) We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, [let him use it] in proportion to his faith. (Ro 12:7 NIV) If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; (Ro 12:8 NIV) if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Ro 12:9 NKJV) [Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. [Abhoring] what is evil. [Clinging] to what is good." =

Verses 4 through 8 of Romans chapter 12 continue to elaborate upon Apostle Paul's authoritative exhortation to Gentile believers in 12:1-2 to offer their bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Paul explains in 12:4-5 that each member of the body of believers in Christ belongs to one another and has varying functions within that body. He lists a number of gifts given to the members by God which are to be utilized to perform those varying functions in accordance with His grace and the proportion of faith given to them by God to exercise those gifts. Whereupon verse 9 moves to characteristics which the body of believers are to exemplify in their lives as part of the offering of their bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Verse 9a lists the first and evidently paramount characteristic to exercise which is agape / godly love without pretense / hyposcrisy followed by two participle phrases which further define agape love: "abhoring what is evil" and "clinging to what is good."

So the believer is not to owe anything to others, neither material, nor emotional nor spiritual things to others. He is to operate according to the grace of godly agape love toward others, to not operate on the intention of receiving credit. If necessary for the sake of godliness, he is to do without rather than to incur debt. This implies a lifestyle which is openly honest, unwilling to be indebted to others - one which freely gives and freely receives when freely offered. So believers are not to be involved with individuals or circumstances that put them in a position of indebtedness - except for agape / godly love. Such a gracious and godly lifestyle is hence described as fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law - the Law of Moses, referred to Ro 13:9.

[Compare Ro 8:3-4]:

(Ro 8:3 YLT) "For what the Law was not able to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, His own Son having sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, did condemn ...sin in the flesh.

(Ro 8:4 NASB) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to [the] flesh but according to [the] Spirit." "

Note that the righteous requirement of the Law is fulfilled in believers who walk according to the Spirit. So to live in accordance with the Spirit is to live in accordance with the will of God which fulfills the righteous requirement of the Law. Such a lifestyle which can be described as a transformation:

[Compare Ro 12:1-2]:

(Ro 12:1 NIV) "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.

(Ro 12:2 NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

Note that the avenue to the renewing of the mind of the believer - the control center for all human behavior having to do with the human will, i.e., ones volition - begins with the careful study of Scripture as directed by the Spirit, ()

****** END OF EXCERPTS FROM ROMANS CHAPTERS 12 & 13 ******

Throughout his letter to the Galatians, Paul has been arguing against keeping the Law of Moses in order to be justified unto the righteousness of God so as to receive eternal life. On the other hand, since the standard of Law of Moses is the Righteousness of God, Paul stipulates that when Christians love and serve others with an agape / self-sacrificial love, albeit imperfectly, i.e., not without sin, (cf. 1 Jn 1:8-10 ), through the grace of God, then the Righteous standard of the Law is fulfilled in those moments in the believer's temporal life.

C) (Gal 5:13-15) Believers Were To Called To Freedom; But They Are Not To Turn Their Freedom In Christ Into An Opportunity For The Flesh / The Sin Nature Within Them; But Through Agape / Godly Love They Are To Serve One Another. For The Whole Law Is Fulfilled In One Word, In The Statement, 'You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself .' But If You Bite And Devour One Another, Take Care That You Are Not Consumed By One Another.

(Gal 5:13 NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Gal 5:14 NASB) For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (Gal 5:15 NASB) But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another." =

That agape love is needed to be mutually expressed in the Galatian churches and amongst all believers is made clear in what Paul wrote in Gal 5:13-15. As a result of the inroads of the false teachers, the church was divided and engaged in bitter strife. The followers of the legalists and those who remained steadfast were biting and devouring each other. And it threatened the churches in Galatians with destruction, as it has throughout the world even today!

******

D) (Gal 5:16)  But I Say, Walk By The Spirit, And You Will Not Carry Out The Desire Of The Flesh.

(Gal 5:16 NASB) "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." =

As a believer goes through life, he is commanded to depend upon the indwelling Holy Spirit for guidance and power, (cf. Ro 15:13; Eph 3:16). But the Spirit does not operate automatically within the believer. He waits for the believer to decide to depend upon Him and obey His leading accordingly. When a Christian does yield to the Spirit's control, the promise is that he will not in anywise (the double negative in the Greek, "ou mē" is emphatic) gratify (telesēte, "complete, fulfill" in outward action) the desires of the flesh - the sinful nature. Thus, while no believer will ever be entirely free in this life from succombing to the evil desires that stem from his fallen human nature, (1 Jn 1:8-10 ), he need not capitulate to them. He may experience victory by following the leading of the Spirit, albeit imperfectly and nevertheless be credited with godliness and fellowship with God by the grace of God as he walks in the light of the Spirit's leading - in the Light of the Righteousness of God, (1 Jn 1:7 ) - confessing his sins, (1 Jn 1:9 ).

1) [Compare Gal 5:25]:

(Gal 5:25 NASB) "If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit."

Since we live by the Spirit in the sense of since we are alive unto eternal life and now guided by the Spirit, having trusted in Christ to be justified, then we should walk by the Spirit and live up to our position of freedom in Christ as born again children of God, (cref. Jn 1:12-14 ).

****** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTER 8 ******

[Ro 8:3-4]:

(Ro 8:3 NASB) "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: [having sent] His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

(Ro 8:4 NASB) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to [the] flesh but according to [the] Spirit."

IN VIEW IN 8:3 IS THE WEAKNESS OF THE LAW THROUGH THE FLESH TO ACCOMPLISH A KEY PURPOSE OF THE LAW: TO CONDEMN / JUDGE AND SENTENCE SIN IN THE FLESH SO THAT MEN MIGHT WALK ACCORDING TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW. SO GOD DID IT: HE SENT HIS OWN SON IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH WITHOUT INTRINSIC SINFULNESS AND FOR SIN DID JUDGE SIN AND DID PAY THE PENALTY FOR IT IN HIS HUMANITY PROVIDING THE MEANS BY WHICH MAN CAN NOW EVIDENCE RIGHTEOUS, GODLY BEHAVIOR BY BECOMING IN CHRIST JESUS (= BELIEVERS) AND WALKING NOT ACCORDING TO FLESH BUT ACCORDING TO SPIRIT

(Ro 5:20 NKJV) "Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Ro 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Ro 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (Ro 8:1 ASV) There is therefore now no [eternal] condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. (Ro 8:2 ASV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and of death. (Ro 8:3 NASB) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: [having sent] His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, (Ro 8:4 NASB) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to [the] flesh but according to [the] Spirit." =

.... The Son of God not only passed a judicial sentence upon sin for the sake of sin and justice, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin in a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the whole world, (cf. Ro 3:21-25).

In view in 8:3 is the weakness of the Law through the flesh to accomplish a key purpose of the Law: to condemn / judge and sentence sin in the flesh so that men might walk according to the righteousness of the Law. So God did it: he sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh without intrinsic sinfulness and for sin did judge sin and did pay the penalty for it in His Humanity providing the means by which man can now evidence righteous, godly behavior by becoming in Christ Jesus (= believers), (notice the "us" in verse 8:4 which refers to we believers), and walking not according to [the] flesh but according to [the] Spirit.

[Compare Ro 7:5]:

(Ro 7:5 ASV) "For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." =

In this context the word "sarki" rendered "flesh" in Ro 7:5 is defined then as that part of an individual's mentality before he became a believer that was controlled by the sin nature and was demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

So a key purpose of the Law = a set of godly and righteous rules to live by - in view here is to make man conscious of sin so as to hold man accountable to God for unrighteous living with the intended result that man will live righteously. But since man is fleshly, i.e., sinful by nature, he refuses to accept and obey this purpose of the Law and sins all the more instead, (cf. Ro 5:20-21). Hence the Law is made weak through the flesh, (Ro 8:3). It requires another solution from God. So God is stipulated as having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Note the Greek phrase "en homolOmati sarkos," literally "in likeness of flesh" in verse 8:3 and rendered in the YLT, "in the likeness of sinful flesh" conveys what the rules of language afford in accordance with the context, namely an appearance of sinful flesh without the intrinsic sinfulness, i.e. a Man without sin. This resulted in the Son's condemnation (judgment) of sin in the flesh, i.e., ungodly behavior of mankind through God's incarnate and sinless Son, i.e., in His perfect Humanity. So sin was condemned / judged by God in the flesh, i.e., in the Son's perfect Humanity, as utterly sinful, evidently paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world as part of that judgment, (Ro 3:21-24); so that "the righteousness of the Law may be fulfilled" in man. Evidently, then one must first be "in Christ," i.e., a believer, in order to be in position to have the righteousness of the Law fulfilled in their lives by walking not according to flesh, but according to Spirit. Notice that the phrase "mE kata sarka peripatousin alla kata pneuma" rendered "not according to [the] flesh, but according to [the] Spirit" in verse 8:4 in the NASB, omits the two definite articles shown in brackets, emphasizing the quality of each. The word "pneuma" rendered "Spirit" in the NASB refers not to the human spirit but to the quality of God the Holy Spirit which demands an influence of godly behavior and hence best fits the context of the passage.

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, Walvoord and Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 469]:

"8:3-4. Having stated the fact of freedom, Paul then explained how it is achieved. He declared again the impossibility of attaining freedom over sin through the (Mosaic) Law. It was powerless to free from sin. Not that the Law was weak in itself (as many translations suggest), for it was good (7:12). But because of sinful human nature, the Law could not deliver from sin. The words 'sinful nature' translate sarx (lit., 'flesh'), which can mean either human sinfjul corruption or human weakness (cf. 7:5, 18, 25; 8:4-5, 8-9, 12-13).

God accomplished deliverance over sin, however, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man (lit., 'likeness of flesh of sin'). Jesus was sent not in sinful flesh but in the likeness of it. His human nature was protected and preserved from the indwelling principle of sin that has plagued all other human beings since Adam... He was also sent, literally 'concerning or for sin' (peri harmartias, not as the NIV has it, to be a sin offering). In other words He came to do something about sin. What He did was to condemn it: by His death on the cross, He condemned sin (katekrinen, 'passed a judicial sentence on it'' cf katakrima, 'punishment,' Rom 8:1) so that those in Christ are not condemned. The goal of this was so that the righteous requirements of the Law - a life of holiness... - could be fully met as believers do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. The provision of deliverance from the power of sin is through the death of Jesus Chrsit, but experiencing it in one's daily conduct comes through the controlling power of the Holy Spirit."

Note that as is the nature of being in the position of judge in order to judge sin properly, the Son of God had to be without sin. Since one must be sin free in order to judge sin, then the phrase "in the likeness of" sinful flesh in verse 8:3b, "God, His own Son having sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, did condemn ...sin in the flesh," must be limited to that which is in the likeness or appearance of sinful flesh, as opposed to that which actually is sinful flesh. Certainly our Lord was human in every way except he was never sinful.

This is corroborated by the fact that in order for redemption to come by Jesus Christ, through faith in Him providing a righteousness from God, Jesus Christ Himself had to be in the likeness of flesh but absolutely righteous, i.e., a man without sin:

[Compare Ro 3:21-25]:

(Ro 3:21 NIV) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(Ro 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference.

(Ro 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

(Ro 3:25a NAS) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith [for a display].

(Ro 3:25b NAS) This [display] was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed"

[Expositors Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol. 10, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Frank E Gaebelein, Gen. Editor, Everett F. Harrison, writer, 1976, pp. 86-7]:

[(Ro 8:2 ASV) "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and of death."]

 "But how was this freedom gained (Ro 3)? The opening statement about the powerlessness of the Law because of the weakness of the sinful nature to which its commands are addressed is an obvious reminder of the major thrust of chapter 7. The Law makes demands, and it condemns when those demands are not met, but it cannot overcome sin. This inability of the Law required the personal action of God in Christ. He sent 'his own Son.' The mission could not be entrusted to anyone else or any one less than His Son. While the preexistence of the Son is not formally taught here, it is implied...

The Son was sent 'in the likeness of sinful man' (man' is literally 'flesh'). Observe with what care the incarnation is stated. Paul does not say 'in sinful flesh,' lest the Son's sinlessness be compromised, nor 'in the likeness of flesh,' which would convey a docetic idea and thereby deny the reality of the humanity of our Lord, making it only an appearance of corporeality."

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTER 8 ******

E) (Gal 5:16-17) But I Say, Walk By The Spirit, And You Will Not Carry Out The Desire Of The Flesh. For The Flesh Desires What Is Against The Spirit, And The Spirit Desires What Is Against The Flesh; These Are Opposed To Each Other, So That You Don't Do What You Want

(Gal 5:16 NASB) "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Gal 5:17 HOLMAN) For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want." =

Paul emphatically declares that the flesh and the Spirit are contrasted as mutually exclusive opposites relative to godly human behavior. The flesh, i.e., the sin nature of man, does no godly good at all; nor does it desire to. And the Spirit Who resides in the made alive human spirit of the regenerated / born again individual - the believer  desires never to do evil, but only godly good. So it is the Spirit of God Who prompts the believer to do godly things through the regenerated human spirit within the believer.

But some have maintained because of their misinterpretations of Scripture that there is no conflict within the believer because of their false contention that the old nature governed by the flesh has been eradicated.

1) [Compare 2 Cor 5:17]:

(2 Cor 5:17 NASB) "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

One who is in Christ, i.e., has believed in Christ Jesus for eternal life is a new creature in the sense of that he is no longer a Jew or Greek, but a part of the body of Christ. This does not include a creature that does not have the capacity to sin .

2) [Compare Gal 3:28 ]:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." =

In Gal 3:28, author Paul provides further results when an individual believes in Christ Jesus relative to his new position in Christ: For those who are believers in Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female. The believers' union with Christ surpasses temporal things such as ones nationality, ones religious affiliations, ones social status in life, ones sex, etc. Believers are spiritually and eternally all one in Christ Jesus - each one a part of His body without regard for temporal matters such as stipulated. Everyone who has expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone for eternal life - Jew or Gentile - will receive the gifts of the Righteousness of God and eternal life as God promised to Abraham and all mankind . And those of the faith in Christ Jesus in this age, (ref. Gal 3:25), will become sons of God in the sense of becoming children of God as part of the eternal family of God. And they will be baptized into Christ in the sense of (1) receiving the Spirit of God, (ref. Gal 3:1-2); (2) becoming clothed with Christ; (3) belonging to Him; (4) being one in Christ Jesus in the sense of without temporal distinctions such as religion, race, sex, social status, (ref. Gal 3:29), and much .

Although it is true that believers in this age become new creatures; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Cor 5:17 ); and that believers are one in Christ Jesus, (Gal 3:28 ); according to Paul's epistle to the Galatians, the flesh - the sin nature - is still present in the believer. Nevertheless, it is supposed to become increasingly subdued to a godly way of life as the believer endeavors to learn by the grace of God to walk in the Spirit as a result of an earnest and ongoing study of and obedience to Scripture. The sin nature is never eliminated in the mortal lives of believers. Hence there is a need for the believer to receive instruction from the study of Scripture, especially the epistles which are addressed directly to the believer of this age and apply most directly. So the believer is never released from the necessity of consciously choosing to go in accordance with what he has learned from Scripture which the Holy Spirit utilizes in order to lead the believer to God's way; and away from the inflence of the sin nature, the evil world system and the devil.

3) [Compare Ro 7:18-25 ]:

(Ro 7:18 ASV) "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not.

[Paul explained that as a believer in Christ nothing good dwells in his "flesh," in the sense of somewhere inside of himself - somewhere in his mind. Earlier in Ro 7:14, which reads, "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin;" author Paul used the Greek word "sarkikos" rendered "carnal" or "fleshly" which has the same root word as "sarki" rendered "flesh" in Ro 7:18. Both verses describe a facet of the believer's mentality which is "sold under sin." Evidently the phrase "in me" in Ro 7:18 refers to Paul's own person - his mentality - being responsible for his sinful behavior which is demonstrated by expresion in the members of his body in every believer in Christ Jesus.

So Paul explains that he knows that in his 'flesh', i.e. a part of his mentality previously defined as sold under sin and controlled by the sin nature, no godly good dwells. So despite the fact that the desire to do good is also present with him - somewhere in his mind, nevertheless the impetus to carry that desire out and do godly good is not present.

So Ro 7:18 continues to portray the struggle of Paul, as an example of all believers - a struggle within their minds between that part of their mentalities defined as "sarki" and rendered "flesh," (Ro 7:18); and "sin that dwells in me," (Ro 7:18); i.e., the sin nature which nature is "sold under sin," (Ro 7:14); within which "nothing good dwells," (Ro 7:18); doing what he [Paul] hates, (Ro 7:15); and not what he wants to do, (Ro 7:15); but which is always committing acts of sin;

and another part of Paul's mentality which is defined as the "inward man," (Ro 7:22); which is portrayed as always wanting to do good, (Ro 7:18); especially doing that which the Law commands, (Ro 7:16); which is viewed by the "inward man," (Ro 7:22), as holy, just and good, (Ro 7:12).

Notice that Paul often uses the personal pronouns "I" and "me" in this chapter to portray both parts of his mentality as an example of all believers: one part of which is controlled by the sin nature and the other part of which is motivated to do good as exemplified by the righteousness of the Law.

Paul elaborates on this perspective of the sin nature warring against the inner man within the believer in verses 19-25]:

(Ro 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice.

(Ro 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

(Ro 7:21 KJV) "I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me.

(Ro 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

(Ro 7:23 NKJV) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

(Ro 7:24 NKJV) "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

(Ro 7:25 NKJV) I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin," .

F) (Gal 5:18) Since Believers Are Led By The Spirit By Virtue Of Their Having Become Believers And Thereby Placed Into Christ By The Indwelling Spirit, Then They Are Not Under Law = Rules Governing Human Behavior Relative To Being Justified Unto Eternal Life And Relative To Leading Godly Lives

(Gal 5:18 NASB) "But if [=since] you are led by the Spirit, you are not under [law] [Ro 6:14; 7:4]." =

The Greek English interlinear reads,

"ei  de   pneumati agesthe,       ouk  este       hupo  nomon"

"if  but  by Spirit  you are led, not  you are  under law"

In the phrase rendered "But if you are led by the Spirit," the Greek verb form "agesthe" rendered "you are led," is 2nd person plural, indicative mood, present tense conveying a first class condition "if" statement, meaning "if and it is true," i.e., "since,"  . Hence all believers are by definition led by the Spirit of God in the sense that the indwelling of the Spirit puts the Spirit in the position of authority over the believer as leader. For the Spirit has placed the believer into Christ Jesus, (ref. Gal 5:6), upon His indwelling when he became a believer, (ref. Gal 3:1-3; Eph 1:13-14). The phrase they "are not under law," is without the definite article before "law," signifying that believers are no longer under any rules of human doing relative to justification unto eternal life. Romans 6:14 which is posted below corroborates this position of the believer:

1) [Compare Ro 6:14]:

(Ro 6:14 HOLMAN) "For sin will not rule over you [believers, Ro 3-13] because you are not under law but under grace."

Ro 8:9, 11 and 14 have the same first class condition "if"  = "since," as Gal 5:18 does.

2) [Compare Ro 8:9-14]:

(Ro 8:9 NKJV) "But you are not in [the] flesh but in [the] Spirit, if [= since] indeed [the] Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have [the] Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Ro 8:11 NASB) "But if [= since] the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give [eternal] life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. (Ro 8:12 YLT) So, then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; (Ro 8:13 YLT) for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live. (Ro 8:14 YLT) for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" =

a) The Indwelling Of The Spirit Puts The Spirit In The Position Of Authority Over The Believer As Leader. As Many Individuals As Are Led By The Spirit Of God Are Those Who Are Indwelt By The Spirit - Only These Are The Sons Of God - Regardless Of Their Response To The Leading. Living In Accordance With The Spirit Gives Evidence Of This Leading. But There Are No Guarantees That Faithfulness Will Be Observed In The Mortal Lives Of Believers In This Age

Verse 8:14 explains why one is obligated to live by the leading of the Spirit and not according to the flesh, (Ro 8:13): the believer is a son of God and is by definition led by the Spirit of God because his human spirit is indwelt by the Spirit of God in a leadership position . Previously in Ro 8:9, it was stipulated that a believer by definition has the Spirit of God dwelling in him and thereby belongs to Christ. Having the indwelling Spirit signifies that the believer is under the control of or led by the Spirit. The believer is led by the Spirit and under His control regardless of how the believer follows. On the other hand, if one does not have the Spirit dwelling in him, then he is not a believer and does not belong to Christ.

i) [Compare Ro 8:9]:

(Ro 8:9 NKJV) But you are not in [the] flesh but in [the] Spirit, if [= since] indeed [the] Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have [the] Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

"But [you are] in [the] Spirit, if [since] indeed [the] Spirit of God dwells in you" = But you are under the Spirit's authoritative and godly rule since the Spirit dwells in you - His indwelling means He rules. Verse 8:9 defines who the believer is: the one who has indwelling in him [the] Spirit of God / Spirit of Christ and by this is led by the Spirit.

So there is a distinction between being led by the Spirit of God - which is defined as when one is indwelt by the Spirit; and living according to the Spirit which is defined as when one obeys the leading of the Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit puts the Spirit in the position of authority over the believer as Leader. So one cannot say that one must live according to the leading of the Spirit in order to be a child [son] of God. Once one has the Spirit indwelling one, he is a child of God. Being indwelt / led by the Spirit of God does not warrant the conclusion that a child of God will always be faithful. This would contradict the message of Ro 7:14-25 which portrays the believer's struggle between the sin nature and the mindset that is influenced by the Spirit unto godly behavior. Depending upon the individual believer, there may not be discernible points of observation of the believer's living by the Spirit which evidence would corroborate that one is led by the Spirit. Inspite of lack of evidence, one cannot conclude that one is not a child of God, a believer. Evidence of such leading, if there is any, may only be discernible by the most mature of believers, albeit finite and flawed at best, and God.

Being under the rule of the Spirit does not compute to a believer always responding to God's rule with an obedient and godly lifestyle as some maintain; especially in view of the previous chapter 7 which speaks of the struggle of the believer between his mind which wants to do good and his members which do not, (Ro 7:14-25 ).

G) (Gal 5:19-21) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, Idolatry, Sorcery, Enmities, Strife, Jealousy, Outbursts Of Anger, Disputes, Dissensions, Factions, Envying, Drunkenness, Carousing, And Things Like These, Of Which I Forewarn You, Just As I Have Forewarned You, That Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit - In The Sense Of Becoming Co-Owners / Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God With Jesus Christ

(Gal 5:19 NASB) "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], Impurity, Sensuality, ... (Gal 5:20 NASB) idolatry, sorcery, [Rev 21:8] enmities, [2 Cor 12:20], strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes [NKJV: selfish ambitions], dissensions, factions [NKJV: heresies] [1 Cor 11:19], (Gal 5:21 NASB) envying [Ro 13:13], drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

1) (Gal 5:19) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, ...

(Gal 5:19 NASB) "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], Impurity, Sentuality, ..." =

a) Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:19:

(Gal 5:19 NASB) "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], Impurity, Sentuality, ..." =

WH, NU, Sinaiticus*, A, B, C, P, 33, 1739*, syr(p), cop have "fornication" (or "sexual immorality")

TR, Sinaiticus(2), D, F, G, Psi, 1739(mg), Maj, syr(h) have "adultery, fornication"

Although it could be argued that "moicheia" rendered "adultery" was accidentally deleted due to homoeoteleuton (the next word "porneia" rendered "fornication" has the same last three letters), the manuscript evidence speaks against this. The additon of "adultery" to this list of the works of the flesh most likely exhibits a scribal attempt to harmonize Paul's list with Jesus' list of vices, as recorded in Mark 7:21-22. This insertion found its way into the majority of manuscripts and into TR, followed by KJV and NKJV.

b) (Gal 5:19) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, ...

(Gal 5:19 NASB) "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], Impurity, Sensuality, ..." =

At Gal 5:19, author and apostle Paul begins to contrast works of the flesh - the sin nature, (Gal 5:19-21) - with works of the Spirit, (Gal 5:22-23). If an individual's conduct is characterized by the traits in the first list, then he is either not a believer or else a believer who is not being led by God's Spirit within him.

When Paul says that the acts of the flesh are obvious, he does not mean that they are all committed publicly where they may be seen. Some are, some are not. Instead, he means that it is obvious in the sense of discernable to all who are properly biblically oriented that such acts originate with the sinful nature, and not with the nature given believers by God through the indwelling Holy Spirit within the human spirit.

It is impossible to tell whether or not Paul was thinking in categories of sin as he wrote. But whether or not he did, four divisions in his list are obvious: first, three sins that are violations of sexual morality; second, two sins from the religious realm; third, eight sins pertaining to conduct in regard to other human beings - i.e., social sins; and finally, there are two typically pagan sins—drunkenness and the revellings accompanying it.

The first three words, then, cover sexual sins. "Sexual immorality" or "fornication" (porneia) is the broadest term, denoting any immoral sexual intercourse or relationships. It is often translated "fornication." In starting with this vice, Paul begins with what was acknowledged to be the most open and shameless vice of the Greek and Roman world. From this word comes the term "pornography." "Porneia" refers to any and all forms of illicit sexual relationships.

"Impurity" (akatharsia) is a broad term referring to moral uncleanness in thought, word and deed. It
originally meant the state of being dirty but later developed ethical overtones, referring to a person who was either morally or ceremonially unclean. Paul uses it almost exclusively of moral impurity and perhaps of unnatural vice.

And "sensuality" or "debauchery" (aselgeia) which connotes an open shameless and brazen display of these evils. In this regard it is a fitting term for what is probably intended to be a climax of a number of  evils on display all at once.

2) (Gal 5:19-20) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, Idolatry, Sorcery, Enmities, Strife, Jealousy, Outbursts Of Anger, Disputes, Dissensions, Factions

(Gal 5:20 NASB) "idolatry, sorcery, [Rev 21:8] enmities, [2 Cor 12:20], strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes [NKJV: selfish ambitions], dissensions, factions [NKJV: heresies] [1 Cor 11:19]," =

Paul goes on to list two sins of religion: "idolatry" (eidololatria), a worship of the creature - of pagan gods by bowing to idols, and even sexual sin in connection with heathen religion - rather than worshipping the Creator, and "sorcery" or "witchcraft" (pharmakeia), a secret tampering with and at times a worship of the powers of evil. In ancient times the worship of evil powers was accompanied by the use of drugs to create trances. These two terms are also arranged in an ascending horror of evil and indicate that the works of the flesh include offenses against God as well as against ourselves or our neighbors.

Neighbors are in view in the third section of Paul's list, since this section includes much of what would today be called social offenses. "Enmities" or "Hatred" ("echthrai"), is in plural form to denote multiple manifestations of the quality. It means "enmities" such as those between classes, nations and individuals. It is these enmities that have been broken down for those who are in Christ (Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14-16).

"Strife" or "discord" (eris) is the natural outcome of hatred both in the world and in the church. Four out of six of Paul's uses of the word are connected with church life.

"Jealousy" or "fits of rage" (zelos) refers not to the godly form of jealousy (thumoi), but to the sinful and self-centered type. "Thumoi" is a godly zeal as well as righteous anger. When zeal or anger originate from selfish motives and hurt pride, they are evil and harm others, as Paul implies here.

"Selfish ambition" (eritheiai) may be translated in many ways: contention, strife, selfishness, rivalry, intrigues. Its basic meaning is a selfish and self-aggrandizing approach to work. This and the preceding three words occur in the same order in 2 Corinthians 12:20. "Dissensions" ("dichostasiai") and "factions" ("haireseis") denote a state of affairs in which men are divided and feuds flourish.

3) (Gal 5:19-21) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, Idolatry, Sorcery, Enmities, Strife, Jealousy, Outbursts Of Anger, Disputes, Dissensions, Factions, Envying, Drunkenness, Carousing, And Things Like These, Of Which I Forewarn You, Just As I Have Forewarned You, That Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit - In The Sense Of Not Becoming Co-Owners / Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God With Jesus Christ

(Gal 5:19 NASB) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, [i.e., sexuality immorality, 1 Cor 6:9, 18; 2 Cor 12:21], impurity, sensuality, (Gal 5:20 NASB) idolatry, sorcery, [Rev 21:8] enmities, [2 Cor 12:20], strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes [NKJV: selfish ambitions], dissensions, factions [NKJV: heresies] [1 Cor 11:19], (Gal 5:21 NASB) envying [Ro 13:13], drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

a) Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:21

(Gal 5:21 NASB) "envying [Ro 13:13], drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

WH NU P46, Sinaiticus, B, 33, cop(sa), Irenaeus, Clement have "envyings, drunkennesses"

TR, A, C, D, F, G, Psi, 1739, 1881, Maj, it, cop(bo) have "envyings, murders, drunkennesses"

Although it could be argued that "phonoi" rendered "murders" was accidentally deleted due to homoeoteleuton (the previous word, "phonoi", has the same last four letters), the manuscript evidence speaks against this. The addition of "murders" to this list most likely exhibits some scribe's attempt to harmonize Paul's list with Jesus' list of vices, as recorded in Mark 7:21-22, or with Paul's list of vices in Ro 1:29-31. As in 5:19, this insertion found its way into the majority of manuscripts.

b) (Gal 5:19-21) The Deeds Of The Flesh Are Evident, Which Are: Immorality, Impurity, Sensuality, Idolatry, Sorcery, Enmities, Strife, Jealousy, Outbursts Of Anger, Disputes, Dissensions, Factions Envying, Drunkenness, Carousing, And Things Like These, Of Which I Forewarn You, Just As I Have Forewarned You, That Those Who Practice Such Things Will Not Inherit - In The Sense Of Not Becoming Co-Owners / Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God With Jesus Christ.

(Gal 5:21 NASB) "[envyings, drunkennesses, carousings], and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

The three key Greek words in Gal 5:21a, "phthonoi" [envyings or hatreds], "methai," [drunkenesses] and "kOmoi" [carousings] are plural to convey multiple instances of egregiously sinful behavior, cf. Ro 13:13. Although "phthonoi" rendered "envyings" is closely related to the Greek word, "zelos" rendered "jealousies," "phthonoi" is always bad, whereas "zelos" is not.

The last two sins describing notable sinful activities in Gal 5:21a are concerned with sins related to alcohol abuse: "methai" [drunkenesses] and "kOmoi" ["revels" or "orgies" or "carousing"]. They denote pleasures that have degenerated an individual into debauchery. There are more sins that could have been mentioned. For Paul added the words "and the like," indicating that the list is not exhaustive. These three key sins in Gal 5:21 serve with all the other key sins stipulated in vv. 19-20 to demonstrate the active existense of the "flesh" - the sin nature - that is within all of mankind except for Christ Himself. Together they make people acutely aware of the irreconciliable depravity of mortal man without the supernatural intervention of God Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.

And to the list of egregious sins which encompasses verses 19-21, Paul adds a solemn warning, saying that those, (believers, v. 13), who practice such sinful activities will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This does not mean that if a believer falls into sin such as one or more of the sins listed in Gal 5:19-21, he thereby loses his salvation from hell unto eternal life. For loss of salvation is not in view given that the context is addressing believers, who are eternally secure in their salvation from hell unto eternal life . Yet through unfaithfulness they may jeopardize their inheritance / co-ownership of the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ; but not their residence in it. 

So the wayward believer will not inherit co-ownership / co-rulership of the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ.

Contrary to those that contend otherwise, the Greek present participle verb "prassontes" rendered "practicing" does not need to be and is not accompanified by a Greek adverb rendered "habitually," in order to fabricate a false distinction between someone who is practicing such sins as stipulated in Gal 5:19-21 more egregiously than someone who is doing them less frequently. The lifestyle of believers who are practicing sins in the sense of Gal 5:19-21 may be characterized automatically as habitually sinful without needing the additional word rendered "habitually." So to practice sins is to repeat them in an habitual manner.  Note that believers who practice sin might lose their eternal inheritance of the Kingdom of God, but none are in danger of losing their salvation from hell unto eternal life / residence - but not ownership - in the Kingdom of God.

i) [Compare 1 Cor 6:9-10 ]:

(1 Cor 6:9 NASB) "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

(1 Cor 6:10 NASB) nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

passages on inheritances

ii) (Gal 5:19-21) The Phrase Rendered "Those Who Live Like This Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God," Is A Warning To Believers, Secure In Their Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life, To Not Be Unfaithful Because If They Are They Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God - In The Sense Of Not Becoming Co-Owners And Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God With Jesus Christ. Individuals Who Were Never Saved In The First Place Are Not In View Who Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God, As Some Contend, For Believers Can Behave Dispicably And Disqualify Themselves From Their Heavenly Inheritance. And Neither Is The Loss Of Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life In View As Corroborated By Earlier Passages In Galatians And Numerous Other Passages.

(Gal 5:21 NASB) "[envyings, drunkennesses, carousings], and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

Since passages in Galatians, Paul's other epistles and elsewhere in Scripture teach that eternal life - the salvation from hell unto eternal life - is secure within the believer, ; then the loss of salvation from hell unto eternal life is not scriptural and cannot be in view in Gal 5:19-21:

ii_a) (Gal 5:13b) Believers Secure In Their Salvation Can And Do Commit Sins All The Time Even To The Point Of Disqualifying Themselves From Receiving All Or Part Of Their Heavenly Inheritances

(Gal 5:13b NASB) "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" =

So it is possible for genuine believers secure in their salvation , as born again children of God by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (Jn 1:12-13 ) who cannot be unchilded , to walk in the flesh and even practice the egregious sins mentioned in the vice list, (cf. Gal 5:16, 17, 21, 25 and 26), without losing their salvation.

The context of Galatians chapter 5 and the rest of Scripture explicitly reject the false doctrine of the required perseverance of the saints in order to demonstrate that one is saved unto eternal life . Rather than affirming that all true believers will walk in the Spirit, Paul commands the believers at the churches of Galatia to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Such an admonition would be misplaced if addressed to an unbeliever since it is impossible for those devoid of the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit.

There are clear examples in Scripture of genuine believers who have not persevered in good works, but who instead have walked in the flesh, who are nevertheless secure in their salvation, (ref Gal 5:5 ).

1) Solomon ended his life as a hedonist and an idolator (1 Kings 11). 

2) Many of the believers in Corinth, although five years old as Christians, were carnal and fleshly - yet they are called babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1-3).

3) One believer at Corinth was actually living in immorality with his stepmother and was brazenly unrepentant (1 Cor 5:5). 

4) A number of believers in Corinth were sick, and some had already died, as a result of their selfish and drunken disregard for the sacredness of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:30). 

5) Demas, whom Paul at least twice referred to as his co-laborer in Christ's service (Col 4:14; Phlm 24), later is said by Paul to have 'forsaken me, having loved this present world' (2 Tim 4:10).

6) Likewise James refers to the need to turn back fellow believers who have wandered from the truth (Jas 5:19-20)

7) Since no believer can say that he has no sin nor say that he has not sinned in his mortal life, then no believer can say that he has been absolutely faithful in a single moment so as to prove out his salvation by demonstrating a changed life:

[Compare 1 Jn 1:8, 10]:

(1 Jn 1:8 NASB) "If we [apostles and fellow believers, 1 Jn 1:1-4; cf. 1 Jn 2:2] [should] say that we have no sin, we [deceive] ourselves and the truth is not in us.

(1 Jn 1:10 NASB)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."

ii_b) Gal 4:1-7 Corroborates The Eternal Security Of The Believer

ii_c) Gal 5:1-5 Corroborates The Eternal Security Of The Believer

ii_d) Gal 3:1ff And Gal 6:6-10 Work Together To Establish The Eternal Security Of The Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life Via A Moment Of Faith Alone In Christ Alone Apart From Any Godly Works For The Believer; Yet Together The Passages Also Establish The Availability Through The Spirit Of God Received Via The Believer At The Point Of His Faith In Christ In Order To Enhance That Eternal Life By His Sowing To The Spirit In The Sense Of Performing Godly Works In Order To Reap Eternal Life More Abundantly

Just as Gal 3:1ff   and so many other passages    have established that justification / salvation from hell unto eternal life is secured forever solely via and at the point of a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from any godly works before, during or afterward that moment; so Gal 6:6-10  establishes that the believer may build upon his eternally secure salvation from hell unto eternal life by sowing to the Spirit of God through the grace of God in order to reap additional blessings as he lives out his mortal life to further enhance the already secured salvation from hell unto eternal life initially given to him as a free gift at that first moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (ref. Gal 3:1-2 ). So Gal 6:6-10 does not refute the eternal security of the believer by interjecting faithful godly works in order to be saved from hell unto eternal life.

On the other hand, Gal 6:6-10, does exhort the believer to sow to the Spirit in order to reap an ongoing harvest of an enhanced eternal life - an accumulation of the enhancement of the value of the believer's eternal destiny with what he continually sows to the Spirit throughout his mortal life.

But for those moments when a believer might sow to the flesh, then he will reap corruption / destruction upon himself diminishing the value of his eternal life in the sense of losing some or all of his inheritance of the Kingdom of God, but without canceling his eternal destiny of salvation from hell unto eternal life which has already been secured through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from any godly works, (Gal 5:19-21 ).

******

[Compare Gal 6:6-10]:

(Gal 6:6 NASB) "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

(Gal 6:7 NASB) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

(Gal 6:8 NASB) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

(Gal 6:9 NASB) Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

(Gal 6:10 NASB) So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

[Compare Jn 10:7-10]:

(Jn 10:7 NASB) "So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

(Jn 10:8 NASB) All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

(Jn 10:9 NASB) I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

(Jn 10:10 NASB) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

****** EXCERPT FROM STUDY ON GAL 6 ******

(Gal 6:8 NASB) "For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." =

Since the reception of salvation from hell unto eternal life is stipulated in Scripture as a once for all time moment of faith alone in Christ alone excluding any human doing ;

and since sowing and reaping is an ongoing process of human doing, whether good or bad, such that as one continually sows one continually reaps;

then Gal 6:8 cannot be depicting the reception of salvation from hell unto eternal life, but rather the reaping/accumulation of the enhancement of the value of a believer's eternal life with what the believer continually sows in his mortal life to the Spirit.

[Dr. Zane Hodges, "The Gospel Under Siege", Redencion Viva Publishers, Dallas, Texas, Second Edition, 1992, pp. 86-89]:

INTRODUCTION

'''It is important to see exactly what this text [Gal 6:6-10] says. "Everlasting life," Paul states, is the direct consequence of sowing to the Spirit, of doing good. Corruption is what you reap if you do evil. It is all part of the law of the harvest. A man gets what he deserves to get.

It goes almost without saying that there is nothing said here about the "inevitable" results of saving faith. Indeed, the hortatory thrust of the passage shows the opposite. The Galatians must be careful about how they sow. They must never suppose that they can "mock" God or avoid the inexorable law of the harvest. The final reaping is not a foregone conclusion, but rather it is contingent on not "growing weary" while doing good [Gal 6:9].

But equally there is nothing here about justification by faith or the concept of a free gift. Nothing is plainer than that the "everlasting life" of which Paul speaks [in Gal 6:6-10] is not free, but based on the moral merits of those who reap it. To deny this is to deny the most obvious aspect of the text.

All becomes clear, however, if we simply remember that the Apostle is addressing believers.

[Compare Gal 3:2-5]:

(Gal 3:2 NASB) "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

(Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

(Gal 3:4 NASB) Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

(Gal 3:5 NASB) So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?"

So Paul is addressing those who have already been justified by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone and who thereby possess salvation from hell unto everlasting life as a free gift forever - but without any enhancements. Naturally Paul knew that eternal life was freely given (Rom. 6:23; 5:15-18), just as the Apostle John knew this, (Jn 1:12-13 ; 3:16; 5:24 ; 6:1ff ). But Paul is not speaking about what the Galatian believers already have, but about what they may yet receive. Herein lies the key to this text]'''

ETERNAL LIFE IS EXPERIENCED IN MORE THAN ONE DEGREE

[Hodges, cont.]:

"It must not be forgotten that eternal life is nothing less than the very life of God Himself. As such it cannot be thought of as a mere fixed and static entity. Rather, its potentialities are rich beyond the power of the mind to conceive them. Thus we find Jesus declaring, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). From this we learn that eternal life can be experienced in more than one measure or degree.

But it cannot be experienced at all unless first received as a free gift [by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone]. Not surprisingly, the Creator of the universe has illustrated this with every human life that is born into the world.

No man or woman possesses physical life at all except by his parents imparting it to him. Even physical life, therefore, is a free gift! But when a child is born into this present world, the capacities of human life (all present at birth) must be developed by himself under the guidance of his parents and subsequent teachers. How "abundantly" he will experience human life is determined by his response to instruction and to experience itself.

So it is in the spiritual realm too. In order to have life "more abundantly," one must meet the conditions for this. One must respond properly to his heavenly Parent.

Here it should be stated clearly that in the New Testament eternal life is presented both as a free gift and as a reward merited by those who earn it. But one important distinction always holds true. Wherever eternal life is viewed as a reward, it is obtained in the future. But wherever eternal life is presented as a gift, it is obtained in the present.

Naturally, it goes without saying that no one can ever receive eternal life as a reward who does not first accept it as a free gift. This is the same as saying that a person must first have life before he can experience it richly.

ENHANCING ONES ETERNAL LIFE

[Hodges, cont.]:

"If Galatians 6:8 is understood as speaking only of a man's final salvation from hell, then it teaches clearly that this final salvation is by works. Not to admit this is not to be candid. But no one excludes works from his doctrine of salvation more vigorously than Paul does, and he insists that to mix works and grace is to alter the character of both (see Rom. 11:6).

Galatians 6:8 is irreconcilable with fundamental Pauline truth so long as one holds the view that final salvation is under discussion.

But why hold this view? It is easy to understand how the measure and extent of one's experience of God's life must depend on the measure of his response to God. From that perspective the image of a harvest is exactly right. The nature and quantity of the seed we sow determines the nature and quantity of the harvest.

It is obviously wise for a Christian to be reminded that every act he performs is like a seed sown in a field. Its harvest will be either corruption or eternal life. And is there a Christian alive who has not sown much more often to his flesh than he ought to have done? Clearly the Church needs this reminder about the law of life. To make the issue here a man's final destiny in heaven or hell is to lose the whole point of the exhortation.

If the matters just discussed are kept in mind, other passages which offer eternal life as a future experience based on works can be understood in their proper bearing. One might think especially of Matthew 19:29 with its parallels in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30. The eschatological "harvest" is in view in these places. Obedient men reap an experience of eternal life precisely because they are obedient. But this in no way conflicts with the reality that such obedience must be preceded by, and motivated through, a gift of life given freely and without any condition but faith alone.'''

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM STUDY ON GAL 6 ******

ii_e) Numerous Other Passages Corroborate The Eternal Security Of The Believer

Individuals who have trusted alone in Christ alone unto eternal life immediately have their eternal destiny sealed and secured in heaven by God Himself, (Eph 1:13-14), and have salvation from hell unto eternal life immediately as a possession, (Jn 3:16).

******

iii) (Gal 5:19-21) The Phrase Rendered "Those Who Live Like This Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God," Is A Warning To Believers, Secure In Their Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life, To Not Be Unfaithful Because If They Are They Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God - In The Sense Of Not Becoming Co-Owners And Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God With Jesus Christ. It Is Not A Warning To Anyone To Be Faithful In Order To Attain Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life; Nor Is It An Exhortation To Believers To Act Like - In The Sense Of live Up To - Their Assured Eternal Destiny  Of Being Transformed Into Righteous Eternal Beings To Occupy The Eternal Kingdom Of God.

(Gal 5:21 NASB) "[envyings, drunkennesses, carousings], and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God." =

The Book of Galatians is addressed to genuine believers (ref. Gal 1:8-9). There is no indication in the context of chapter five that unbelievers are being warned, as some contend. In 5:13 Paul refers to those addressed in 5:13-26 as brethren. Furthermore, in 6:1, Paul again refers to those being warned as brethren, and he gives instructions for the spiritual among them to restore those who become ensnared by the deeds of the flesh.

Although there are passages which do exhort believers to live faithful lives in consideration of their assured eternal destiny, (Gal 5:1 ; Heb 4:14-16; 10:23, 36; 1 Pet 4:19; Ro 12:1ff ; Eph 6:13; 2 Ti 2:11-13 ; 1 Cor 15:58; 16:13), the phrase in Gal 5:19c, rendered, "Those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God," is not an appeal to believers' consciences to be faithful because the eternal Kingdom of God is to be a residence for Righteousness, (ref. Ro 14:17 ); thereby shaming / exhorting them to live faithful lives in order to represent to the world who they are in Christ - that their eternal destiny is the Righteous Eternal Kingdom of God.

iv) (Gal 5:19-21) The Phrase Rendered "Those Who Live Like This Will Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God," Is A Warning To Believers Of The Possibility Of Loss Of Their Eternal Inheritance. It Is Not A Warning To Believers That They Might Lose Their Salvation From Hell Unto Eternal Life If They Commit Such Sins As Specified In Gal 5:19-21

The Phrase Rendered "Those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God," is a warning to believers of the possibility of loss of their eternal inheritance of the Kingdom of God. It is not a warning to believers that they might lose their salvation from hell unto an inheritance of eternal life if they commit such sins as specified in Gal 5:19-21.

iv_a) [Compare Eph 5:1-14]:

[= NO IMMORAL OR IMPURE PERSON OR COVETOUS MAN, OR ONE WHO IS AN IDOLATOR BE HE BELIEVER OR UNBELIEVER HAS AN INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD ]:

(Eph 5:1 NASB) "Therefore [believers, v. 4:30)] be imitators of God, as beloved children;

(Eph 5:2 NASB) and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma..

(Eph 5:3 NASB) But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

(Eph 5:4 NASB) and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

(Eph 5:5 NASB) For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

(Eph 5:6 NASB) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

(Eph 5:7 NASB) Therefore do not be partakers with them;

(Eph 5:8 NASB) for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

(Eph 5:9 NASB)  (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

(Eph 5:10 NASB) trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

(Eph 5:11 NASB) Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

(Eph 5:12 NASB) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

(Eph 5:13 NASB) But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

(Eph 5:14 NASB) For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."

Ephesians 5:1-14 defines the situation of a believer who is not walking in fellowship with God, who is not producing fruit, who is not producing work for the Lord and is even involved in a lifestyle of sin. The passage exhorts believers to imitate God in their daily walk. In so doing it indicates the undesirability and the consequences of a disobedient life. Verses 7-12 indicate the shamefulness of going back to the disgusting lifestyle of the world after Christ had sacrificed Himself so that the believer would not have to be a slave to sin and suffer eternal condemnation, (v. 2). The passage says to act instead like the person that a believer is: a child of light possessing eternal life, (v. 8), rather than to act like the world and suffer the consequence of losing one's inheritance in, (and not one's destiny to), the kingdom of Christ for being immoral, (v. 5): .

iv_b) [Compare 1 Cor 6:1-20]:

[= BELIEVERS WHO LIVE UNFAITHFUL LIVES WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD]:

(1 Cor 6:1 NASB) "Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?

(1 Cor 6:2 NASB) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

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(1 Cor 6:3 NASB) Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

(1 Cor 6:4 NASB) So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

(1 Cor 6:5 NASB) I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,

(1 Cor 6:6 NASB) but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?

(1 Cor 6:7 NASB) Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

(1 Cor 6:8 NASB) On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

******

(1 Cor 6:9 NASB) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

(1 Cor 6:10 NASB) nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

(1 Cor 6:11 NASB) Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

(1 Cor 6:12 NASB) All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

(1 Cor 6:13 NASB) Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immortality, but the LORD, and the Lord is for the body.

(1 Cor 6:14 NASB) Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.

(1 Cor 6:15 NASB) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!

(1 Cor 6:16 NASB) Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, 'The two shall become one flesh.'

(1 Cor 6:17 NASB) But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

(1 Cor 6:18 NASB) Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

(1 Cor 6:19 NASB) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

(1 Cor 6:20 NASB) For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."

******

iv_c) [Compare Col 1:9-12, 21-23]:

[= LIVE A WORTHY LIFE AND THE BELIEVER WILL SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT]

(Col 1:9 NASB) "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

(Col 1:10 NASB) so that you [believers, (v. 2), will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

(Col 1:11 NASB) strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

(Col 1:12 NASB) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

(Col 1:21 NASB) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,

(Col 1:22 NASB) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach -

(Col 1:23 NASB) if indeed [= especially since] you [Colossion believers] continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister."

In Col 1:23 the verb form "epimenete" in the Greek phrase "eige epimenete te pistei" rendered "if indeed you continue in the faith" is in the indicative mood with the Greek word, "eige" rendered "if indeed," conveying together the sense of "especially since." For "eige" + the indicative mood is a first class if-then expression  meaning "since" [it is indeed especially true] .This is a deliberately emphatic expression emphatically exclaiming / declaring how faithful the Colossian believers were, (ref Col 1:4-8). Paul was stating, 'surely you - the faithful Colossian believers - will all the more be presented holy and blameless and above reproach in His sight," (v. 22) - albeit their presentation as holy and blameless will be solely by the grace of God through a single moment of faith alone in Christ alone + nothing else; because of what Christ did on the cross and not due in any way to what a beleiver might do.

******

iv_d) [Compare Col 3:23-24]:

[= BELIEVERS ARE TO WORK FOR THE LORD SO THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE AN INHERITANCE AS A REWARD WHEN THEY GAIN ENTRANCE INTO HEAVEN]

(Col 3:23 NASB) "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

(Col 3:24 NASB) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve.' "

Since eternal life in the sense of salvation from hell is only received through a moment of faith alone, not by any works, (ref. Eph 2:8-9 ), and not as a reward, but as a gift;

then the "reward of the inheritance" for performing works for the Lord in view in Col 3:23-4, is evidently something more than salvation from hell - an inheritance as a reward that the believer receives when he enters heaven for his faithfulness during his mortal life.

iv_e) Compare 2 Timothy 2:11-13]: 

[= IF WE BELIEVERS ENDURE, I.E., LIVE FAITHFUL LIVES, WE SHALL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM. IF WE BELIEVERS DISOWN CHRIST'S OWNERSHIP OF US, I.E. BE UNFAITHFUL, HE WILL DISOWN OUR INHERITANCE OF REIGNING WITH HIM]

(2 Tim 2:11 NASB) "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 

(2 Tim 2:12 NASB) If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 

(2 Tim 2:13 NASB) If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."

If we, i.e., believers, who are secure in our eternal life, (Eph 1:13-14), endure the difficulties and testing and live a faithful, productive life - full of divine good production, then we believers will not only have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven because of our one time expression of faith in Him; but we will also reign, i.e., co-rule, with Him and receive unimaginably glorious rewards.

If we believers disown, i.e., disavow Christ's ownership of us by acting in thought, word and deed in disobedience and unfaithfulness, (cp 1 Cor 6:19-20), then Christ will disown our ownership, i.e., our inheritance of eternal rewards and co-rulership with Him, (cp Col 1:10-12; 3:23-24; Eph 5:5; Gal 5:21).

iv_f) [Compare Jas 2:1-5 ]:

[= GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY OF CHOOSING THE POOR TO BE HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM AND BELIEVERS' FREE WILL CHOICE TO PERSEVERE UNDER TRIALS UNTO THE RIGHTEOUS LIFE THAT GOD DESIRES RESULTING IN BECOMING AN HEIR TO THE KINGDOM ARE BOTH IN VIEW]:

(Jas 2:1 NASB) "My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

(Jas 2:2 NASB) For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,

(Jas 2:3 NASB) and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 'You sit here in a good place,' and you say to the poor man, 'You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,'

(Jas 2:4 NASB) have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

(Jas 2:5 NASB) Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?"

iv_g) [Compare Mt 10:32-33, 37-39 ]:

[= TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND BE WORTHY: CONFESS AND BE CONFESSED BEFORE THE FATHER; OR DENY AND BE DENIED YOUR ETERNAL INHERITANCE BUT NEVER YOUR GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE]:

(Mt 10:32 NASB) "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in heaven.

(Mt 10:33 NASB) But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

(Mt 10:33 NASB) He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

(Mt 10:33 NASB) And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

(Mt 10:33 NASB) He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

iv_h) [Compare Mt 5:1-5, 9-12 ]:

[= THE BEATITUDES: THE MEEK, THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL, SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH]:

(Mt 5:1 NASB) "When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

(Mt 5:2 NASB) He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,"

["He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying ..." =

Nine beatitudes are hereafter presented by our Lord to the disciples and the crowd on the mountainside; but His message this time is specifically directed to believers, especially His disciples and especially about believers being rewarded in heaven for being faithful:

(Mt 5:3 NASB) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs [i.e., their inheritance] is the kingdom of heaven.

["Blessed are.." = The term beatitude or blessed comes from the Latin 'beatus' which means blessings, and in this context temporal plus especially eternal blessings or rewards.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" = Our Lord is not describing poverty types. The word poor means aware of one's own spiritual poverty, i.e., spiritual bankruptcy, relative to the righteousness of God. Thus through recognition of one's true poverty in spirit one can rely on the grace of God instead of one's own 'righteousness' for eternal life. One is thereby blessed by God's grace with eternal life so that one may inherit eternal life. But this verse goes further than that for those believers who are "poor in spirit" for it rewards those who continue to be poor in spirit with an inheritance of the kingdom of heaven:

"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" = implies ownership as well as occupancy of the kingdom. Believers who recognize their own spiritual poverty and thereby rely on God's gracious working through them via the leading of the Holy Spirit in them, (v. 16) rather than doing what they perceive as righteous acts, will be following the path of a faithful lifestyle leading to the reward of their actual inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.

(Mt 5:4 NASB) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

(Mt 5:5 NKJV) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

[i.e., they shall inherit the Kingdom of God which comprises the earth. ["meek" = gentleness, obedience, self-control - under the control of the Spirit.

Since an obedient lifestyle is excluded from what is required for an individual to be saved, (Eph 2:8-9 )

...then salvation is not in view but the reward for the obedient believer of inheriting the earth certainly is.

No believer inherits the earth unless he is faithful. When a believer is faithful he is under the control, i.e., filled with or in submission to the Spirit, (Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18-21). He is obedient to the will of God. That's what produces the true meekness and the gentleness in a believer: submission and obedience.

[Wilkin, op. cit., p. 33]:

"The Lord Himself is a perfect illustration of the truth of the beatitudes. He was meek and poor in spirit, and He willingly accepted persecution for righteousness' sake. As a result He Himself will inherit the earth and receive the kingdom. In Ps 2:8 God the Father says....."

[Compare Ps 2:6-8]:

(Ps 2:6 NASB) "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.

(Ps 2:7 NASB) I will declare the LORD’s decree: He said to Me, 'You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.

['He [God the Father] said to Me [the Son of God], 'You are My Son; today I have become your Father [in the sense of now granting His Son all the privileges of royalty: rulership and ownership of the Kingdom of God due to His Son's absolute obedience in going to the cross for the sins of the whole world]:

(Ps 2:8 NASB) 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.' "

[Compare Heb 1:8-9 and 12:2 which reaffirm this point]:

(Heb 1:8 NASB) "But of the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom.

(Heb 1:8 NASB) 'You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above Your companions.' "

(Heb 12:2 NASB) "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

[Robert N. Wilkin states, (Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, "Christians Who Lose Their Legacy: Galatians 5:21", pp. 32-33)]:

"Receiving the kingdom of heaven in this context is a rewards concept. This is easily seen by comparing vv. 10 and 12. Verse 10 says that those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake will receive the kingdom of heaven. Verse 12 says that those who are persecuted for Christ's sake should 'rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.' Receiving the kingdom of heaven is parallel to receiving great reward in heaven just as persevering under persecution for Christ's sake.

Of course, eternal salvation cannot be in view here since it is not a reward for holding up under persecution. It is a free gift (John 4:10ff; Rom 3:24; Eph 2:9; Rev 22:17).

Receiving the kingdom in this passage thus refers to some reward. In light of other passages, rulership and its attendant privileges and responsibilities must be in view. All believers will be in the kingdom; however, only faithful believers will rule and possess it (Luke 19:11-27; Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:12).

Since inheriting the earth is a synonymous expression to receiving the kingdom, it too refers here to ruling and possessing the kingdom. After all, the kingdom will take place on earth (cf. Rev 20-22). To receive the kingdom is to inherit the earth. Those who are meek [i.e., obedient] will be co-heirs with Christ and will share in kingdom rule and glory]

This eternal inheritance of the Kingdom of God is especially evident in verses 9-12 which cap off the passage and bring home this context:

(Mt 5:9 NASB) "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

(Mt 5:10 NASB) Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Mt 5:11 NASB) Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."

[Notice that faithful believers only are in view here, as confirmed by the next verse]:

(Mt 5:12 NASB) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

[Since entrance into heaven is a free gift - an inheritance of eternal life, (Eph 2:8-9 , then the reward for believers' service to the LORD must be something more to occur after the believer enters heaven; and not in order to enter heaven - which the latter is a free gift not dependant upon service / works for the LORD]

[Compare Gal. 6:6-10]:

(Gal 6:6 NASB) "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

(Gal 6:7 NASB) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

(Gal 6:8 NASB) For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

(Gal 6:9 NASB) Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

(Gal 6:10 NASB) So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."

Since Galatians 5:19-23 and 6:6-10 are passages within the same book and within the same context: believers walking in the Spirit enhancing their own eternal inheritances versus believers walking in the flesh resulting in losing their inheritance of the Kingdom of God;

and since we have in view the one [= a believer, (Gal 6:6)] who sows to please his sinful nature, who from that nature will reap corruption [phthoran = corruption, destruction]; as contrasted to the [believer, (Gal 6:6)] who sows to please the Spirit, who from the Spirit will reap eternal life; then the expression rendered "will reap corruption" in Gal 6:8 is parallel to not inheriting the kingdom in Gal 5:2. Whatever corruption means in Gal 6:7-10 must be parallel in meaning to what the phrase rendered, "will not inherit the kingdom" means in Gal 5:21. The word "phthora" rendered corruption in Gal 6:8 therefore refers to the ruin, destruction, dissolution, deterioration, or corruption of all or part of ones enhanced eternal inheritance to be received in the eternal Kingdom of God. On the other hand, according to Gal 6:8, the believer who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life - in the sense of reaping an enhanced / enriched eternal life, i.e., an inheritance of the Kingdom of God, i.e., receiving co-ownership and a co-rulership of some kind within the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ enhanced by ones faithful sowing to the Spirit.

These verses are dealing with something which believers reap for work done, because salvation from hell = inheriting eternal life is not a reward for work done, it is a free gift of ones eternal destiny with God. On the other hand, inheriting the eternal Kingdom of God in Gal 5:21 is equivalent to the continual / repetitive reaping toward ones eternal life in Gal 6:8 which has to do with enhancing / enriching the salvation from hell unto eternal life the individual first and forever received when he believed in Christ as a gift.

Inheriting eternal life unto residence in the Eternal Kingdom of God is not the same thing as inheriting ownership of that Kingdom:

[Compare Ro 3:22b-24]:

(Ro 3:21 NASB) "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

Ro 3:22 NASB) "even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

(Ro 3:23 NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;"

[Note that in the context of Ro 3:21-24, the Greek word rendered "are justified," means are declared / established to be Righteous by God unto salvation from hell with an immediate and present tense possession / an inheritance of eternal life through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus] .

[Compare Eph 2:8-9]:

(Eph 2:8 NASB) "For by grace you have been saved through faith [from hell unto the heavenlies, (ref Eph 2:6)]; and that [salvation because that is neuter] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 

(Eph 2:9 NASB) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

[Compare Heb 1:14]:

(Heb 1:14 NASB) "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?"

[Those meaning those to whom the Book of Hebrews is addressed: those who are "holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, [who are to] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession" [of faith in Him], [v. 3:1]

[Compare Lk 18:18]:

(Lk 18:18 NASB) "A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

[Jesus' answer put the keeping of the Law or anything to do with good works not within the capacity of man - so the ruler went away without qualifying himself to inherit eternal life by his own doing - by faithful, godly works]

[Compare Mk 10:17]:

(Mk 10:17 NASB) "As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

[Jesus' answer in vv. 18-31 put the keeping of the Law or anything to do with good works not within the capacity of man - so the ruler went away without qualifying himself to inherit eternal life.

Then at the end of the passage in Mk 10:29-30 and the parallel passage in Mt 19:29 there is the implication in Jesus' answer that those who not only believe in the name of Jesus Christ for salvation, but who sacrifice for His name's sake, i.e., for the cause of believing in Him for eternal life will not only receive eternal life, but will be rewarded many times what they sacrificed in their temporal lives]

[Compare Lk 10:25-28]:

(Lk 10:25 NASB) "And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

(Lk 10:26 NASB) And He [Jesus] said to him, 'What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?'

[And the lawyer's answer which Jesus affirmed afterward was as follows]:

(Lk 10:27 NASB) And he [the lawyer] answered, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

[Whereupon the lawyer's answer implied his limiting his obligation to express godly / agape love to only his 'kind' and not to a non-Jew; which Jesus responded to with]:

(Lk 10:28 NASB) And He [Jesus] said to him, 'You have answered correctly; 'Do this and you will live.'  [quoting Lev 18:5 and Ezek 20:11]

[Whereupon Jesus followed immediately with an illustrative parable of a good Samaritan - a people whom the Jews despised, which indicated that all men were the lawyer's neighbor, not just priests, Levites and fellow Jews - the implication being that perfectly keeping the Law was just not going to be possible with man in order to have eternal life because of the nature of man, (vv. 30-37]

[Compare Mt 19:29]:

(Mt 19:29 NASB) "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life."

[In Mt 19:29 and in Mk 10:29-30 there is the implication in Jesus' answer that those who not only believe in the name of Jesus Christ for salvation, but who sacrifice for His name's sake, i.e., for the cause of believing in Him for eternal life will not only receive eternal life, but will be rewarded many times what they sacrificed in their temporal lives]

[Compare Rev 2:26]:

(Rev 2:26 NASB) "He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, 'To him I will give authority over the nations;' " [Ps 2:8; Rev 3:21; 20:4]

[Since verse 26 has already saved unto eternal life from hell: believers who overcome in view - who keep Christ's deeds until the end, (vv. 18-19); then the context is eternal rewards based on works, not salvation from hell based on a moment of faith alone in Christ alone. See study on overcomers - those who are believers first who follow up with overcoming faithfulness ]

So the phrase rendered "reap corruption" in Gal 6:8 refers to the loss of eternal treasure and to the loss of present joy, even premature death in the temporal life as well, (1 Jn 5:16-17); and the parallel expression in Gal 5:21 of "will not inherit the kingdom" conveys the same sense of losing out of the co-possession, co-rulership of the Kingdom of God with Jesus Christ, both in the temporal and eternal life.

H) (Gal 5:22-26) But The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control; Against Such Things There Is No Law. Now Those Who Belong To Christ Jesus Have Crucified The Flesh With Its Passions And Desires. If We Live By The Spirit, Let Us Also Walk By The Spirit. Let Us Not Become Boastful, Provoking One Another, Envying One Another

(Gal 5:22 NASB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Gal 5:23 NASB) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:24 NASB) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [lit., "are of Christ Jesus," (Gal 3:26] have crucified the flesh [Ro 6:6; Gal 2:20; 6:14] with its passions and desires [Gal 5:16f]. (Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16]. (Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3] =

1) (Gal 5:22-23)

(Gal 5:22 NASB) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Gal 5:23 NASB) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." =

a) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:23

TR, WH, NU, P46, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, P, 33, 1739*, cop represented in almost all versions have "self-control."

D*, F, G, it have "self-control, purity"

Several Western witnesses add another virtue to Paul's list, that of "purity" or "chastity." This interpolation may have been influenced by 1 Tim 4:12, which includes "hagneia," rendered "purity" in a list of virtues in the latter verse. Or it may have been added to provide an antidote to the sexual impurities listed in 5:19; showing its respect for the Western text. The version NJB is the only notable version which notes the variant.

b) (Gal 5:22-23) But The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control; Against Such Things There Is No Law.

(Gal 5:22 NASB) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Gal 5:23 NASB) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." =

Author Paul moves from believers practicing egregious sins which Paul warns may lead to their being disinherited of co-ownership / co-rulership of the Kingdom of God, (Gal 5:19-21 ); but not the loss of salvation from hell unto eternal life; to those moments when believers are demonstrating in their lives the fruit of the Spirit of God.

It is important to know that the demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit comes via the Holy Spirit working through a believer during those moments when he is sowing to the Spirit, (Gal 6:8 ) - in the sense of a believer first having properly studied Scripture, (), in order to then properly recognize and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, (ref Ro 8:9-14 ) through what he has learned from God's Word. The word rendered "fruit" is singular, indicating that the qualities which Paul stipulates, (albeit not all inclusive), in Gal 5:22-23, constitute a unity of multiple godly character traits which are to be found in a believer while he lives under the control of the Spirit, i.e., as he is demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit.

In the ultimate sense this 'fruit' is the life of Christ lived out in moments in a believer's mortal life when he is following the leading of the Spirit within him. Apostle and author Paul wrote about this in his epistle to the Colossians chapter 3:1-17:

i) [Compare Col 3:1-17]:

(Col 3:1 NASB) "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

(Col 3:2 NASB) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

(Col 3:3 NASB) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

(Col 3:4 NASB) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

(Col 3:5 NASB) Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

(Col 3:6 NASB) For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.

(Col 3:7 NASB) and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

(Col 3:8 NASB) But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

(Col 3:9 NASB) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

(Col 3:10 NASB) and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him -

(Col 3:11 NASB) a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

(Col 3:12 NASB) So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

(Col 3:13 NASB) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

(Col 3:14 NASB) Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

(Col 3:15 NASB) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

(Col 3:16 NASB) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

(Col 3:17 NASB) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

So with Col 3:1-17 just quoted above in mind that the fruit of the Spirit of God is the life of Christ lived out in a believer's mortal life, author Paul indicates in his letter to the Galatians, that the Spirit of God is characterized by a number of things, some of which he stipulates in Gal 5:22-23; beginning with the believer's demonstration of godly agape love, then joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

["love"]:

The apape love is that attribute of God, (ref. Jn 3:16; Ro 5:8; 1 Cor 13:4-7) which may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

Godly agape love, ("agape"), is listed first and foremost in Gal 5:22-23 because it is the foundation for all of the other godly attributes of the fruit of the Spirit as demonstrated in the behavior of the believer who sows to the Spirit of God, (ref. Gal 6:6-10 ). Agape love is a godly love - a self-sacrificing love for God and mankind . It may be expressed toward God and others. For example, the apostle Paul stipulated instructions in his letter to the Roman believers concerning the expression of agape godly love toward fellow believers, (Ro 15:1-3 ).

ii) [Compare 1 Cor 13:4-7]:

(1 Cor 13:4 NASB) "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

(1 Cor 13:5 NASB) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

(1 Cor 13:6 NASB) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

(1 Cor 13:7 NASB) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

iii) [Compare Ro 12:9-10]:

(Ro 12:9 NASB) "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

(Ro 12:10 NASB) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; "

["joy"]:

The joy that is an attribute of God, (Ps 104:31) may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

The next godly characteristic demonstrated by believers of the fruit of the Spirit listed by Paul in Gal 5:22-23 is "joy" ("chara"). In the context of Gal 5:22-23, it is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those believers while they abide in Christ in the sense of while they are in fellowship with God and fellow believers.

iv) [Compare Jn 15:11 ]:

(Jn 15:11 NASB) These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

The words rendered "these things" refers to the first 10 verses which exhort believers to abide in Christ.

The context of John chapter 15 cannot be salvation because it focuses upon the believer keeping God's commandments and thereupon abiding in Christ / in God's love. Unbelievers are never asked to abide in Christ or in God's love. This has to be learned by the individual once he becomes a believer through continual study and obedience to Scripture - moving on to spiritual maturity over time, albeit always via the grace of God attributing success to the imperfectly operating, finite believer. For obedience to the Word and loving God is never perfect with any believer, (1 Jn 1:8, 10, Jn 15:8-10 ). Nor is it a specific requirement for becoming a believer unto salvation from hell unto eternal life. Nevertheless, fellowship with God is available moment by moment through confession of sins, (ref. 1 Jn 1:9).

The term 'abide in Christ's love' is synonymous with 'having fellowship' with God' in 1 Jn 1:9 - an indication of the demonstration of the believer of exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit:

v) [Compare 1 Jn 1:3-4, 9]:

(1 Jn 1:3 NASB) "[Who = Jesus Christ] we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

(1 Jn 1:4 NASB) [And] these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

(1 Jn 1:9 NASB) If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The godly "joy" that the believer experiences through the Spirit within him does not depend upon his circumstances. For in those moments he experiences godly joy, it is as a result of trusting in God's sovereign control of all things for the benefit of the believer - for the benefit of all of those who are have been justified through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto salvation from hell unto eternal life. And God will indeed deliver his born from above child to that eternal destiny:

vi) [Compare Ro 8:28-37 - especially 38-39 ]:

(Ro 8:38 NASB) "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

(Ro 8:38 NASB) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

vii) [Compare 1 Pet 1:3-9]:

(1 Pet 1:3 NASB) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

(1 Pet 1:4 NASB) to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

(1 Pet 1:5 NASB) who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

(1 Pet 1:6 NASB) In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

(1 Pet 1:7 NASB) so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

(1 Pet 1:8 NASB) and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

(1 Pet 1:9 NASB) obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."

["peace"]: 

The peace that is an attribute of God, (Jn 14:27) may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

Following the characteristic of "joy" stipulated in Gal 5:22, is another of the components of the fruit of the Spirit in the believer who sows to the Spirit as stipulated in Gal 5:22-23: the word rendered "peace," ("eirene"). This peace is an inner repose and quietness, even in the face of adverse circumstances; it defies human understanding, yet implies a faith in the sovereignty of God in all things:

viii) [Compare Phil 4:5-8]:

(Phil 5:5 NASB) "Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

(Phil 5:6 NASB) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

(Phil 5:7 NASB) And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Phil 5:8 NASB) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

So the godly peace of God that a believer will experiences as the fruit of the Spirit within him will not include an aspect of trouble or fear. For the fruit of the Spirit does imply that the believer for the moment is exercising his faith in God given to one through Christ in order to see one through all trials and tribulations beginning with a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto salvation from hell unto eternal life:

ix) [Compare Ro 14:17]:

(Ro 14:17 NASB) "For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

x) [Compare Jn 14:27]:

(Jn 14:27 NASB) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

["patience"]:

The patience that is an attribute of God, (2 Pet 3:9, 15) may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

The next characteristic of exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit in the believer in Gal 5:22-23 is a godly patience, ("makrothumia") - especially in the context of Gal 5:22-23 including endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs =  the quality of forbearance even under extreme provocation.

["kindness"]:

The kindness that is an attribute of God, (Eph 2:4-7; Ro 2:4; 11:22), may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

The next characteristic of exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit in the believer in Gal 5:22-23 is a godly kindness ("chrestotes") - a benevolence in action such as God demonstrated and continues to demonstrate toward men, (Eph 2:4-7; Ro 2:4; 11:22). It is doing thoughtful deeds for others. Since God is kind toward sinners (cf. Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:7) a believer should display the same virtue (cf. 2 Cor 6:6; Col. 3:12; Eph 4:32).

["goodness"]:

The goodness that is an attribute of God, (Ps 31:19), may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

The next characteristic of exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit in the believer in Gal 5:22-23 is a godly goodness ("agathOsune"). Godly goodness may be thought of both as an uprightness of soul and as an action reaching out to others to do good even when it is not deserved - a showing of generosity to others.

["faithfulness"]:

The faithfulness that is an attribute of God, (1 Cor 1:9; 10:13; Heb 10:23),  may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

The next characteristic of exemplifying the fruit of the Spirit in the believer in Gal 5:22-23 is a godly faithfulness. Faithfulness ("pistis") is the quality which renders a person trustworthy or reliable, like the faithful servant in Luke 16:10-12. It is defined as trustworthiness and reliability.

xi) [Compare 2 Thes 1:3-4]:

(2 Thes 1:3 NASB) "We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

(2 Thes 1:4 NASB) therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure."

["gentleness"]:

The gentleness that is an attribute of God, (Mt 11:29; Eph 4:2),  may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

Gentleness ("prautes") marks a person who is submissive to God's Word (cf. James 1:21) and who is considerate of others when discipline is needed (cf. 'gently' in Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:25; 'gentle' in 1 Cor. 4:21; 'gentleness' in Col. 3:12; 1 Peter 3:15-16).

The Greek word "prautes" can also mean meekness, (1 Cor 4:21); and humility, (2 Cor 10:1).

xii) [Compare 1 Pet 3:8-16]:

(1 Pet 3:8 NASB) "To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

(1 Pet 3:9 NASB) not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

(1 Pet 3:10 NASB) For, 'The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.

(1 Pet 3:11 NASB) He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

(1 Pet 3:12 NASB) For the eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,' [vv.10-12 = Ps 34:12-16].

(1 Pet 3:13 NASB) Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?

(1 Pet 3:14 NASB) But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. 'And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,'

(1 Pet 3:15 NASB) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

(1 Pet 3:16 NASB) and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."

["self-control"]:

The self-control that is an attribute of God, ("enkrateia"),  may be exemplified in the believer, albeit in a finite, imperfect way:

Self-control ("enkrateia") denotes self-mastery and no doubt primarily relates to curbing the fleshly impulses just described. Such a quality is impossible to attain apart from the power of God's Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:16).

The phrase at the end of Gal 5:23 rendered, "against such things there is no law," is a final, summary statement by way of an emphatic affirmation of the value of the attributes of God being expressed by believers: There is surely no law against such virtues!!

2) (Gal 5:24-26)

(Gal 5:24 NASB) "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [lit., "are of Christ Jesus"] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires [Gal 5:16ff].

(Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16].

(Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3]

a) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 5:24

WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, P, Psi, 0122(1), 33, bo, 1739, cop, Lach, Treg, Alf, Tish, Weiss, sod have "Christ Jesus"

TR, P46, D, F, G, 0122*(2), Maj, it, syr have "Christ"

Since the names "Jesus" or "Christ" were often expanded throughout the course of textual transmission, it is possible that "Christ" originally stood in the text. On the other hand there is considerable and diverse textual evidence for "Christ Jesus" as well.

b) (Gal 5:24-26) Now Those Who Belong To Christ Jesus Are Believers - Sons Of God Through A Moment Of Faith Alone In Christ Jesus Alone. They Have By Virture Of That Moment Of Faith Crucified The Flesh - The Sinful Nature - With Its Sinful Passions And Desires In The Sense Of That Their Lives Are No Longer Under The Absolute Control Of That Sinful Nature. They Are Now Under The Control Of The Spirit, And Are Exhorted To Walk By The Spirit. They Are Not To Become Boastful, [Provoking] One Another, Envying One Another.

(Gal 5:24 NASB) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [lit., "are of Christ Jesus,"] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16]. (Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful,  one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3] =

Gal 5:24 has in view those who belong to Christ Jesus, literally, those who "are of Christ Jesus." And according to Gal 3:26 they "are all sons of God through faith" - through a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone," (). And by virtue of that moment of faith alone, they have crucified the flesh within them, (aorist tense = a completed action - once for all time; active voice = an action taken by the individual himself to believe in Christ Jesus for eternal life whereupon God applied what His Son did on the cross centuries earlier to crucify the flesh / the sin nature within that individual, (= "the old man" / "the old self," "the body of sin," (Ro 6:5-6 ). So the flesh - the body of sin of an individual at the point of faith has been crucified by God once and for all. The believer will no longer be a slave to sin under the sin nature's absolute control of everything he does; albeit the believer may choose of his own volition to commit acts of sin, as corroborated in Gal 5:25-26 which exhorts believers to be faithful; and Gal 5:19-21 which preceded which exhorts believers not to sin, ().

i) [Compare Col 3:9-11]:

(Col 3:9 NASB) "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practice,

[aorist tense = completed action, middle voice where the subject expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone which results in God laying aside the old self / the crucifying of the flesh / the body of sin - its control over the individual]

(Col 3:10 NASB) and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him -

(Col 3:11 NASB) a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all."

ii) [Compare Eph 4:20-24: The New Nature Of The Believer In Christ]:

(Eph 4:20 NASB) "But you did not learn Christ in this way,

(Eph 4:21 NASB) if [= since] indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

(Eph 4:22 NASB) that, in reference to your [believers', (v. 4:1)] former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, [ton palaion anthropon = the old man, i.e., the old sin nature which still exists in the believer, (cp. Ro 7:21-25 )], which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self, [the regenerate self which is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

****** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS  CHAPTER 6 ******

OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

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[Ro 6:5-6]:

(v. 6:5) "For if [since] we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

(v. 6:6) Knowing this that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -"

(Ro 6:5-6:6) THE BELIEVER'S UNDERSTANDING THAT HE HAS BECOME UNITED WITH JESUS CHRIST IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH AND THAT HE SHALL BE ALSO BE UNITED IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION LEADS TO KNOWING THAT HIS OLD SELF WAS CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST

(Ro 6:5) "For [= Since] we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection; (Ro 6:6 NASB) knowing this, that our old self was crucified (aorist, passive voice) with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;" =

The believer's understanding that he has become united with Jesus Christ in the likeness of His death and the likeness of His resurrection by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to be justified unto eternal life, (Ro 5:1 ), leads in the next chapter to author Paul stipulating in Ro 6:5-6 to the believer knowing that his old self, lit., his "old man" = the "body of sin" contained within himself, (Ro 6:6), that controls the individual's actions to have likewise been crucified - aorist tense: a completed past action of being destroyed (passive voice: God Himself performing the action once and for all time) in the sense of the body of sin within / the sin nature within the individual who has trusted in Christ having its absolute control over the individual's actions destroyed / deactivated. So at the moment of becoming united with Christ in the likeness of His death which is concurrent with being united in the likeness of His resurrection, one at the same time has ones old sin nature crucified with Christ. It no longer exercises absolute control over the individual's actions; albeit the believer may choose of his own volition to commit acts of sin, as corroborated in so many passages that exhort believers to be faithful, (ref. Gal 5:25 which follows Gal 5:24; and not to sin such as earlier in the chapter at Gal 5:19-21 and others.

(Ro 6:5-6:6) THE OLD SELF = LIT, 'THE OLD MAN' = THAT PART OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL (INCLUDING BELIEVERS) WHICH CONTROLS THE PRACTICE OF EVIL WHICH HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED = PUT TO DEATH, I.E., IT'S CONTROL IS DEACTIVATED BUT NOT ANNIHILATED AT THE MOMENT ONE BECOMES A BELIEVER

(Ro 6:5) "For [= Since] we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection; (Ro 6:6 NASB) knowing this, that our old self was crucified (aorist, passive voice) with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;" (cont.) =

Since this passage deals with encouraging believers to not go on sinning so that grace may increase but to live a new life such that theirs is an example of a reign of righteousness;

and since being crucified signifies being put to death, i.e., made inactive;

then we must conclude that the old man being crucified refers to the capacity of the individual to sin being made inactive in its absolute control over the individual.

Notice that the verse stipulates "that our old self was crucified with Him" indicating that even before one person is physically born his old man was crucified, i.e., put to death with Christ on the cross nearly 2000 years ago but waiting to be deactivated the moment one becomes a believer!

Hence we must conclude that since all individuals are born with a capacity to sin which continues even after they become believers (Ro 5:20-6:1), then neither a condition of sinlessness, nor a lack of capacity to sin can be in view. Rather, we have the potential created at Calvary in history for an individual to have deactivated in him the absolute control of his sin nature which occurs within him at the moment he trusts alone in Christ alone unto eternal life to become a believer.

[Ro 6:6 cont.]:

(Ro 6:5) "For [= Since] we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection;

(Ro 6:6 NASB) knowing this, that our old self was crucified (aorist, passive voice) with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin."

(Ro 6:6) THE RESULT OF OUR OLD SELF BEING CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST, I.E., PUT TO DEATH, IS THE BODY OF SIN BEING RENDERED POWERLESS SO THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES TO SIN

(v. 6:6) "For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin." =

touto ginOskontes hoti ho ..palaios hEmOn .anthrOpos sunestaurOthE

this ...knowing .......that the old .......our ........man ...........was crucified with

hina katargEthE ..........to ..sOma tEs ....hamartias tou mEketi ....douleuein ............hEmas

that .might be nullified the body ..of the sin ............the no longer to be subservient we

tE ......hamartia

to the sin

Since 'our old self', i.e., the believer's sin nature, has been crucified with Christ, i.e., put to death, (v. 3); then the body of sin, i.e., the sin nature is rendered "katargEthE" = useless, unproductive - but not annihilated as the verb does not carry this possibility of meaning. This is a verb in the 3rd person, singular, aorist tense signifying a completed action. It is in the passive voice indicating that the believer has had the action done to him as opposed to done by him, i.e., done by God Himself at Calvary ready for the individual to activate this completed action within himself at the moment he expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone for salvation unto eternal life. It is also in the subjunctive mood signifying objective possibility. In other words the rendering of the believer's sin nature useless, or unproductive is not absolute and may be reinstated in some manner, by the believer voluntarily doing this. This is elaborated upon later in this passage.

The situation is clear that the believer should no longer be a slave to sin because the reigning power of his body of sin, i.e., that intrinsic part of him that compelled him to sin as a matter of lifestyle = "our old self," the sin nature, has been crucified - put to death, i.e., rendered powerless in its absolute rule over him. The plug on the sin nature has been pulled and so it is rendered powerless. It lies dormant within the believer but the believer can always choose to plug it again. Sadly, this is so often the response amongst believers. And that's a key message that Paul addresses in the negative.

(Ro 6:6) SINCE HIS SIN NATURE WAS RENDERED POWERLESS, THE BELIEVER SHOULD NO LONGER BE A SLAVE TO SIN BUT HE CAN CHOOSE TO CONTINUE IN SIN. HOWEVER THE QUESTION WAS PREVIOUSLY ASKED WHY?

(v. 6:1) "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (v. 6:2) Far be the thought! Such ones as we, - who died to sin! How shall we any longer be living in it? (v. 6:6) "Knowing this that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -" =

Notice that Paul has defined here what he meant earlier by the phrases 'we have died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?' (v. 2); and in verse 6, 'our old self was crucified with Him that our body of sin might be done away with.' He declares that the result of dying to sin and our old self being crucified with Christ is that we should no longer choose to be slaves to sin in our experience.

Taking into account Paul's initial declaration in this section of Romans chapter 6, that where believers' sin increased, grace increased all the more; and his question, 'shall we believers go on sinning so that grace may increase?'; we come to the conclusion that Paul is indicating that the result of the individual becoming a believer is that he can choose to go on sinning so that God's grace will increase to cover that sin, but since the believer is no longer a slave to this compelling nature to sin as a result of receiving the benefit of Christ's death for him, Paul asks in the negative, 'Why should he go back to that lifestyle?' Answer demanded by the context might be stated as follows: 'By no means, absolutely not.' This reiterates the message in vv. 1-2.

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS  CHAPTER 6 ******

b cont.) (Gal 5:24-26 cont.) Now Those Who Belong To Christ Jesus, i.e., Believers / Sons Of God Through Faith In Christ Jesus Have By Virture Of That Moment Of Faith Crucified The Flesh With Its Illicit Passions And Desires In The Sense Of No Longer Being Under The Absolute Control Of The Sinful Nature. Since Believers Are Now Under The Control Of The Spirit, Let Us Walk By The Spirit. Let Us Not Become Boastful, Provoking One Another, Envying One Another.

(Gal 5:24 NASB) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [lit., "are of Christ Jesus,"] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16]. (Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3] (cont.) =

If Gal 5:25 is not carefully interpreted within the normal rules of language, grammar, context and logical sense of Gal 1:1-5:24 - especially Gal 5:16 , one might conclude - as many people contend - that the first phrase in Gal 5:25a, "If we live by the Spirit," is dependant upon the second phrase being performed, "let us also walk by the Spirit," in the sense that one must prove out ones salvation by walking by the Spirit, i.e., by performing consistent godly works, in order to prove out that one lives by, i.e., has the Spirit in the first place, i.e., that one is saved at all.

But the first word of the first phrase, "ei" rendered "if" is in the indicative mood - a statement of fact which means "it is true," or "since," ). In other words, author and apostle Paul continues to address in Gal 5:25, those who are believers - those who by definition have the Spirit of God within them when they believed - the Spirit of God Who now directs them as believers from within them on how to live their lives before God, albeit it is their choice to obey, (ref. Gal 3:1ff ). So then the second phrase rendered, "let us also walk by the Spirit," by virtue of being in the subjective mood = objective possibility depending upon the volition / the free will choice of the believer is thereby an exhortation to the believer who is already saved forever unto eternal life and possesses the Holy Spirit Whom believer is now under His leadership by which the believer is to choose to live his life before God. So it is true that the believer is under the direction of the indwelling Holy Spirit which allows for the believer to choose to obey or not.

iii) [Compare Gal 5:16]:

(Gal 5:16 NASB) "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." =

As a believer goes through life, he is commanded to depend upon the indwelling Holy Spirit for guidance and power, (cf. Ro 15:13; Eph 3:16). But the Spirit does not operate automatically within the believer. He waits for the believer to decide to depend upon Him and obey His leading accordingly. When a Christian does yield to the Spirit's control, the promise is that he will not in anywise (the double negative in the Greek, "ou mē" is emphatic) gratify (telesēte, "complete, fulfill" in outward action) the desires of the flesh - the sinful nature. Thus, while no believer will ever be entirely free in this life from succombing to the evil desires that stem from his fallen human nature, (1 Jn 1:8-10 ), he need not capitulate to them. He may experience victory by following the leading of the Spirit, albeit imperfectly and nevertheless be credited with godliness and fellowship with God by the grace of God as he walks in the light of the Spirit's leading - in the Light of the Righteousness of God, (1 Jn 1:7 ).

b cont.) (Gal 5:24-26 cont.) Now Those Who Belong To Christ Jesus, i.e., Believers / Sons Of God Through Faith In Christ Jesus Have By Virture Of That Moment Of Faith Crucified The Flesh With Its Illicit Passions And Desires In The Sense Of No Longer Being Under The Absolute Control Of The Sinful Nature. Since Believers Are Now Under The Control Of The Spirit, Let Us Walk By The Spirit. Let Us Not Become Boastful, [Provoking] One Another, Envying One Another.

(Gal 5:24 NASB) "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus [lit., "are of Christ Jesus,"] have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:25 NASB) If [= since] we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [= we should walk] by the Spirit [Gal 5:16]. (Gal 5:26 NASB) Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another." [Phil 2:3] (cont.) =

Author Paul then stipulates in Gal 5:26 three things for the believer not to do that might typify that they are not walking by the Spirit, "Let us not become boastful, [provoking] one another, envying one another."

The Greek phrase "me ginOmetha kenodoxoi" rendered "Let us not become boastful" means let us not boast when there is nothing godly to boast about, in the sense of having a false estimate of oneself - of being conceited. And the phrase "prokaloumenoi allelois" rendered "Provoking one another" means to provoke one another - fellow believers and all individuals - for ungodly reasons. And finally, the word "phthonountes" rendered "envying [one another] means to be jealous of, resentful of another - in an ungodly sense. All three are examples of not following the leading of the Holy Spirit.