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 BEFORE 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 / 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 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 are 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

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 5:1a, 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 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 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? -"

f) [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 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 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:

g) [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."

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 soley 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.

******

1) [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 Gor, 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.

2) [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."

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 receiving 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]

Then in Gal 5:3, Paul remarks that if a believer reverts to legalism such as circumcision in order to be justified; and since circumcision is part of the Law of Moses; then he 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, "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 those who revert to legalism before they became justified unto eternal life - who for example have chosen to be circumcised in order to be justified by law]

have been severed from Christ,

[i.e., believers who have reverted to legalism have been severed from a temporal beneficial relationship with Christ. But they have not severed themselves from eternal life with God]

[Furthermore]

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]

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 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, (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: .

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."

There are, however, implicit statements throughout the book. See, for example, 2:14-21; 3:1-14; 6:1-5).

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."

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 eternal life for those who have trusted alone in His Son alone + nothing else. An individual does not work to gain it, he waits for it to come from God.

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." Since only those who are justified by faith alone are in view, then the phrase 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:

******

3) [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).

4) [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."

******

5) [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:

1) [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."

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. 1:23), the Cross would not have been included in his message if he was still preaching circumcision and the Law in order to be justified. The Cross and the Law are not compatible relative to the what it takes to be justified unto eternal life. They 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 rephrhensible. 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,

Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:19:

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.

(Gal 5:20 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 Cor 6:9].

Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:21

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.

(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.

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.

(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].

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.

(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, challenging 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 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.

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, challenging 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 4:22-24: The New Nature Of The Believer In Christ]:

(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 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]."

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 NASB) 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-SACRIFICIAL REGARD FOR THE WELFARE OF ANOTHER - A REGARD WHICH NATURE IT IS TO ABHOR WHAT IS EVIL AND 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."

****** 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 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 with destruction.

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 ).

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 by the Spirit, having trusted in Christ to be justified, then we should walk by the Spirit.

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

[Ro 8:3-4]:

(v. 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.

(v. 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

(v. 5:20 NKJV) "Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 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. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 8:1 ASV) There is therefore now no [eternal] condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. (v. 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. (v. 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. (v. 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]:

[(v. 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.

2) [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 .

3) [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.

1) [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," (v. 7:18); and "sin that dwells in me," (v. 7:18); i.e., the sin nature which nature is "sold under sin," (v. 7:14); within which "nothing good dwells," (v. 7:18); doing what he [Paul] hates, (v. 7:15); and not what he wants to do, (v. 7:15); but which is always committing acts of sin;

and another part of Paul's mentality which is defined as the "inward man," (v. 7:22); which is portrayed as always wanting to do good, (v. 7:18); especially doing that which the Law commands, (v. 7:16); which is viewed by the "inward man," (v. 7:22), as holy, just and good, (v. 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, 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 . And since all believers are by definition all led by the Spirit of God, then the phrase they "are not under law," where the word rendered "law" is without the definite article signifying not under any of rules of human doing relative to justification unto eternal life. Romans 6:14 which is posted below has corroborates this position of the believer:

1) [Compare Ro 6:14]:

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

Ro 8:14 has 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, (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 Such Faithfulness Will Be Observable In Their Mortal Lives

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 verse 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 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 any may only be discernible by 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 Things Will Not Inherit - In The Sense Of Be Owners / Co-Rulers Of The Kingdom Of God

(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 Cor 6:9].

1) Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:19:

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.

(Gal 5:20 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 Cor 6:9].

Manuscript Evidence For Gal 5:21

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.