GALATIANS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:4    who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 

    This answers the following question: {What hope is mine since Christ gave himself for my sins?} Heaven! Jesus died for my sins so that I may someday be with Him and His Father. He loves us so much that He died so that we may be with Him - if we only accept His gift and turn from evil. (DRM 9/30/01)

1:6    I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel;

    I live in a society that seems to like change, and I also like to do things differently occasionally. When I occasionally visit a different church, I am presented with a different way of worshipping my Lord Jesus. I have to be sure that these worship styles are truly worshipping the same Jesus that I love - thus not diverted from the gospel. (DRM 11/1/05)

1:7    . . . which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

    This is the second half of a sentence with verse six above.
    There is only one gospel - and that is what is written in the Bible. The ones that distort the gospel are generally called "cults" today. They even go so far as to re-write the Bible to back-up their views. With all of the different versions of the Bible today - with different words as text - it gets very confusing. I can understand why the "KJV only" people want to be sure they have the original gospel and not a "cult" variation. Pray before choosing which new Bible to purchase. (DRM 9/22/14)

1:8    But even if we [Paul] or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

    That seems clear! But so many people of the world can't tell what is the true word of God. The false teachers are so convincing to them!
    Thanks to God, now I can see these false teachers for what they are and how deceptive they are.
    What will I do to spread God's word to the world? (DRM 6/22/87)

1:9    As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 

    This answers the following question: {What in my life has priority over Christ? Why is this so?} Nothing in my life should be higher priority than telling people of Christ. The problem is that I have to have an income and I get diverted on "junk" to Satan's pleasure. Help me, Lord! (DRM 10/1/01)

    The gospel is what is in the Bible. If you are hearing words or thoughts that are opinion or from other books, then you are not hearing the gospel.
    Believe only what the Bible says, anything else should be suspect, as it is not from God. (DRM 5/31/09)

1:10    For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

    God has a plan for my life and, with earthly influences, I also have a plan - but most likely they aren't the same. Paul is emphasizing that he is doing what God is telling him to do - this is a bond-servant of Christ.
    Am I doing what "I" want to do, or what God=Jesus wants me to do? (DRM 6/1/09)

1:11    For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

    This verse/sentence goes with verse 12 to make a complete thought.
    Paul did not just write things that came from his mind, he was told what to include in his writings. It appears that he also included some of his own experiences as illustrations, so we could learn more about him and his history.
    I personally believe that God, Jesus or an angel gave Paul the thoughts that he was to include in all of his letters. This is why they are included in the Bible - they came from God, through Paul, to us. (DRM 11/20/15)

1:12    For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

    This answers the following question: {How is my present response to the Gospel different from my past?} I always want to learn more about the Bible and what it tells me about how to live my life for Jesus. Before my conversion I had other things on my mind ($) and didn't understand the Bible at all. (DRM 10/2/01)

    According to this verse, Paul's learning came not from a school (man) but from Jesus Himself. Others in and out of the Bible have also been taught directly through the Lord and the Holy Spirit (e.g. the disciples and DLM). While I need training, I wonder Who should be the Teacher? (DRM 11/1/05)

1:18    Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas [Peter], and stayed with him fifteen days.

    This is part of the autobiography of Paul. It tells us more about his history between his conversion and his proclamation of the gospel.
    Paul states here he didn't immediately go and proclaim his new faith, but went away to Arabia then back to Damascus (v. 17); probably to have time to study the Bible and learn more about the Lord.
    We all need to study and learn more about the Lord God and Jesus, His Son. No matter how many times I read the Bible, there's always something new for me to learn. (DRM 8/31/12)

1:22, 23a    And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23but only, they kept hearing. . .

    When Christ changes our hearts, in salvation and also in calling to service, our appearance doesn't change. We don't just start "glowing" from a new revelation. It occurs within our (my) heart. As we (I) speak to others about the experience, the word travels. Everything takes time! (DRM 11/1/05)

1:23    but only, they [the churches] kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy."

    This answers the following question: {What can I do to cause those around me to glorify God?} After Paul's conversion, he learned about the Lord, then he started to preach. While I am unsure that He wants me to preach, at least I hope that the people I meet will see Christ in me. (DRM 10/3/01)

1:24    And they [churches of Judea, v. 22] were glorifying God because of me.

    The churches of Judea knew that God=Jesus caused the change of Paul's heart; that's why they were glorifying God and not Paul.
    Really the conversion occurs through the Holy Spirit, whom we allow to enter in as we repent of our sins and follow Jesus Christ as Lord. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. (DRM 6/2/09)

2:2    And it was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

    My interpretation of this verse is that Paul found other believers of reputation and test-preached to them to be sure he was telling the gospel before going to the public. His learning was from the Word and the Holy Spirit, and he would be preaching to people. If God allows me to do this someday - I will also have to do trials like Paul did. (DRM 11/2/05)

2:4, 5    But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

    Paul called the people in verse four "false brethren." I call them diversions and demons. Some people, distractions and demons all seem to have the same goal - to stop us from sharing the gospel with other people in one way or another.
    The bondage Paul referred to was/is the world system - anything but Christ.
    However the way, I need and I would guess you also need, prayer that we would keep "on track" and fulfill Jesus' mission to share His gospel with others in some way. (DRM 5/11/12)

2:6    But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.

    The apostles, or other people that were higher in authority in the early Christian church adding nothing to Paul's message, because they didn't disagree with the general principles that he expounded.
    God gave Paul the wisdom that he shared with all that would hear. He expects the same from me (us). (DRM 11/13/09)

2:8    (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),

    Everyone has a different gift from God. He gave Peter a ministry to the Jews (circumcised) and Paul a ministry to the Gentiles. It seems to me that He could also give me a ministry to some people group so long as I am willing to constantly learn and grow in devotion to Him and His leading. (DRM 11/3/05) The ministry could be though this website. (DRM 1/3/06)

2:9    and recognizing the grace that had been given me, James and Cephas [Peter] and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

    Like today, there were disagreements in the early church. Some thought they should only speak to the Jews (circumcised) and others, like Paul and Barnabas, thought the Gentiles should be included.
    It seems encouraging to me that, no matter the differences, the goal is still the same - to have all people follow the Lord Jesus; and James, Peter and John seemed to agree on that. (DRM 6/4/09)

2:10    They only asked us to remember the poor - the very thing I also was eager to do. 

    This answers the following question: {What are some ways I can remember the poor?} The best thing that I can think of is to give to local inner-city missions that help feed the poor physically and spiritually. Helping them is better than ignoring them! (DRM 10/4/01)

2:16    . . . know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 

    This is the difference between Jews and Christians. The Jews feel they must obey the law, but we Christians feel that Christ died for our sins. 
    Certainly I would also try to obey all the laws in the Bible, but it is most reassuring to know that when we sin, that by confessing our sins to Jesus, that they will be forgiven. (DRM 8/4/87)

    This answers the following question: {How did I become justified before God?} There is only one way to get to Heaven; by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, NOT by works. God wants us to do good works in appreciation of His gift of Jesus. (DRM 10/5/01)

2:17    But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!

    This continues the thought of verse 16 above. Jesus died for our sins. He justifies us by this act before the Father; God. We, as Christians, have accepted His gift of salvation, but continue to sin. What we do after salvation has no reflection on Jesus' gift. With the Holy Spirit in us, we should confess the known sin (repent) and try to sin no more. It is a lifelong process that only He (Holy Spirit) can bring us through. (DRM 5/16/12)

2:18    "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor."

    Several years ago, I had a small business and after three years of trying to make a profit, I "destroyed" or closed the business. About two years ago, I considered rebuilding what I had destroyed. Fortunately, the Lord convinced me to try to work for Him instead. I am much happier now working for Jesus. (DRM 11/4/05)

2:20    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    While this was originally written by Paul, it is easily "personalized." As a believer in the work of Jesus Christ, I can read this verse and really have the "I" mean me! It is like a statement of faith of what we (I) believe in. (DRM 6/5/09)

2:20b    Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

    This answers the following question: {What evidence is there that Christ lives in me?} Faith is a key word in this verse and Christianity. First I accept Jesus by faith and after conversion, my life continues to grow closer to Him because of the faith that I have in Him. (DRM 10/6/01)

2:21    ". . . I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

    I generally think of the Law as the Ten Commandments. To follow just the Law, I am being a legalist and depending on being a 'good person' to get God's approval. This doesn't get me to Heaven. Only trusting in the Lord Jesus as my Savior will win God's approval. My sins - failures - are covered by Jesus' blood - death on the cross, and I must confess my sins to Him when I am aware of them.
    Saved only by His grace. (DRM 8/30/11)

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

    This answers the following question: {What is there in my life that keeps me from obeying the truth?} Sin. An example is my worrying. The truth is that I should be trusting TOTALLY on the Lord, yet I worry. Any other works that I do without Christ are fruitless. May I be more like Him. (DRM 10/7/01)

3:6-7    Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

    God directed Abraham's path, and Abraham followed and believed in God's direction - which is called righteousness in this verse.
    As believers, we (I) are to follow Abraham's example and have faith in God as Abraham did - thus we can be called "Sons of Abraham" due to our mutual faith in God. (DRM 6/6/09)

3:8    And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU."   

    When Abraham was told "all the Nations. . . " he likely thought first of the Israelite nation. How would the people of the other nations know of him, and where would their faith come from? This verse should underline the words "by faith" as the Gentiles - and also the Jews - all have to come to our Savior Jesus by faith. (DRM 11/5/05)

3:9    So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

    This answers the following question: {For what reason am I a spiritual descendant of Abraham?} Abraham believed in God, he trusted Him. Believers are descendents of Abraham because of their faith. Unlike other religions, our faith is in Jesus Christ as our Savior, and trust in Him. (DRM 10/8/01)

3:11    Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.

    This answers the following question: {How has God's Law impacted my life?} All of my life I have tried to live by the Law, especially the Ten Commandments. I have failed at times and now realize that God wants me to live by FAITH and ask Him for forgiveness when I fail to keep the Law. (DRM 10/9/01)

3:13    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." [Deut. 21:23]

    An interesting thought! I never thought of Christ as cursed, but now I think I understand that Christ took human form to save us and die for our sins, in this way He was cursed for the sins he was bearing within His body when He died on the cross.
    Thank you Jesus, for saving me from all my sins! (DRM 6/18/87)

    This is one of the foundations of my faith. I can't obey all of the 600+ laws in the Old Testament. I don't even know them all! Somehow, Jesus did not sin. He became my substitute, so long as I put my faith in Him. I praise God for opening my eyes to His incredible gift. (DRM 11/6/05)

3:14    in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    This answers the following question: {How have I benefited because Christ died for me?} Faith continues to be the key. After we became Christians we received the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit directs our life - hopefully to be of service to the King Jesus Christ. (DRM 10/10/01)

3:16    Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed." that is, Christ.

    The Law was given to Abraham and to his seed, Christ. Our job is not to obey the Law, but rather to trust in Jesus Christ in FAITH. Faith is more important than works - represented by following the Law - but our (my) goal should still be to follow the Law - knowing salvation comes by faith. (DRM 6/7/09)

    The Law was really given to Moses, who was a part of Abraham's seed. (DRM 11/13/09)

3:19    Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.

    The Law was given to Moses because everyone was sinning. The mediator [Jesus] had the angels enforce - ordain? the Law until He [Jesus] came to fulfill it personally. Now that the Law has been fulfilled, I must trust in my deliverer, my Savior, who is the only One who could be perfect. (DRM 11/7/05)

3:21    Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

    Righteousness-salvation is not based on the Law, the Ten Commandments; but solely on faith in Christ as Savior. The question here is about the purpose of the Law - written thousands of years before Jesus was on earth. Paul points out here that following the Law does not get us eternal life in Heaven - only faith does. (DRM 6/8/09)

3:22    But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

    This answers the following question: {How has the promise of life by faith in Christ impacted my life?} I no longer fear where I will go when I die - I know that Jesus Christ has saved me. With that as a basis, I should live without fear in ALL aspects of my life. (DRM 10/11/01)

3:23    But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

    Here Paul tells us what we were like before we became Christian believers. It we knew it or not, God was judging us by the Law - the Ten Commandments. If we broke ANY of the Ten Commandments, we are not allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
    By the miracle that the Holy Spirit opened our eyes (the day we trusted in Jesus), we realized that the key to Heaven's door was faith in Jesus.
    Satan and his demons are determined to take our faith away by fear and diversions - but we have to stay spiritually strong to the "end." (DRM 4/16/14)

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

    This answers the following question: {What is my current spiritual condition before God?} Before Christ, people depended on the Law for their salvation. Now that Christ has come, He is our substitute for the sins that we commit, but we have to have FAITH in Him. (DRM 10/12/01)

3:27    For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    This DOESN'T mean that being baptized makes a person a Christian.
    To be baptized INTO Christ is to commit to follow Him, to give your whole life to His cause. To give Him your soul. To share His Kingdom with others.
    After this commitment you are spiritually clothed with Christ. Slowly, over time, you receive more of His nature and people see you as a follower of Him. (DRM 2/27/12)

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

    This is a different way to explain how all Christian believers make up one body. Diversity is a common word used today in the city that I now live. We are all different, but living together. Christians are all different - but will live together with Christ in Heaven someday. (DRM 11/8/05)

3:29    And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

    I like this nice, clear summary verse. So long as we (I) have faith in Christ for eternal salvation, and all that He did for us; we will be considered part of Abraham's descendants, children of the promise and have eternal life with Jesus, Abraham and other believers in Heaven. (DRM 6/9/09)

4:1, 2    Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

    This is the background for an illustration that begins in the next verse.
    When I was a minor (under 21), I knew I was going to receive an inheritance when I grew up. It didn't change my life. I was like a slave (Paul's words) to my parents even though I knew something was coming that I could look forward to.
    Today I know that, as I serve Jesus, something better is coming on "the date set by the Father." (DRM 11/24/13)

4:3    So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

    In context, this refers to the time before Jesus was born (v. 4-5). If it were the year 100 B.C., we would have no Savior and, like children, totally dependent on others. The spiritual leadership of the day determined our eternal destiny in the most part.
    Now that Jesus was born and later resurrected, we are able to depend on Him to save us from our sins. Instead of being dependent on others, like in the old days, we are free to follow Jesus as our Savior. (DRM 12/23/11)

4:4-5    But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    Mary and Joseph were Jews, thus Jesus was born under the Old Testament Law - the "rule book" for the Jews. Jesus lived a sinless life under the Jewish Law and gave Himself up as a sacrifice for our sins.
    "Those under the Law" was first Jews, but really everyone, as He died for everyone's sins who will believe - have faith - in Him. (DRM 6/10/09)

4:6    And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

    This answers the following question: {How has God sending His Son affected my life?} How did I know I was "born again?" I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart. My love for Him hasn't changed in these 15 years. Even when I fail, He forgives me, thank God! (DRM 10/13/01)

    This is the end verse of a complex statement explaining how people [sons] can be redeemed through the Son [Jesus]. Verse 5 shows "might" twice - indicating that a decision has to be made. Now as sons [believers], the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts the desire to worship God as Father. (DRM 11/9/05)

4:7    Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

    This verse is dependent on verse six above.
    After we (men and women, "sons and daughters") became Christians, God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside each of us. This Holy Spirit causes us to call out to God as "Abba! Father!" We are thus no longer a slave to this world and its system, but part of the family of God. This is not limited to only male people.
    The point of this verse is that we are no longer slaves to the world - and following its distractions - but proud to be in the family of God and freely serving the Creator of the world.
    The world is not my home, I'm just passing through. (DRM 11/13/14)

4:8    However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.

    The gods of this world are far different than the God that created us.
    All non-believers are following the gods of this world in some fashion. I can think of materialism especially on a day like today. The government encourages this sin to keep the economy running. This society in USA always wants MORE stuff that we leave to others to sort out when we are gone.
    Christians should still think of giving their resources - but to help others in need and to lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus. (DRM 12/26/15)

4:9b    how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

    This answers the following question: {What attitudes and desires in my life tempt me to turn away from God?} I get diverted from my plans all the time. In every room of the house there is something waiting to be done. Ever so slowly I try to sell or throw out these items. I need His help! (DRM 10/14/01)

4:13    but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time;

    God gives us different motivations to tell others of His love for them. For me, I think it's "aging." We become more aware that our time left on earth could be small - and we want to make a difference in others' lives. Paul's affliction was his motivation. I think I need more encouragement to embolden me.

4:14    . . . and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.

    While wheelchairs weren't invented then, it was a way that I could interpret this verse. Paul's physical trial caused the Galatians to have to make some type of special accommodation for him - causing extra effort - and he was thankful for their efforts.
    We (I) should also be more helpful to people with various disabilities. (DRM 6/11/09)

4:15    Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.

    Some people wonder what Paul's thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7) was. I can see two clues in Galatians today. In Galatians 6:11, Paul referred to his bad eyesight, and in this verse he refers to others donating their eyes to him. He must have been going blind.
    As Christians, we want to help others in our Christian family, if it is in our ability. Some are called to give more financially, or in areas of service in the church. Some to hospitality, etc. God=Jesus wants us to use our gifts to help others and encourage their walk with Christ. (DRM 5/17/16)

4:16    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

    There is still something within me that stops me from witnessing to others. 
    Today's verse should tell me that I WILL turn some people away form me by telling them about Jesus Christ, but I will feel guilty all the rest of my life IF I DON'T!
    Lord, spur me on to say things to people that will make them think of You. (DRM 5/3/87)

4:19, 20    My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you 20but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

    Paul was writing to his "children" in Galatia, and would rather be with them in person. He apparently liked his role as teacher, and wonders here how they are growing in faith. I think he fears that they are being taught incorrectly. I must be careful who I listen to also - as there are many false teachers whose "mission" seems to be confusion. (DRM 11/11/05)

4:22-23    For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the freewoman. 23But the son of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the freewoman through the promise.

    God promised Abraham a son, but Abraham couldn't wait, so went ahead and had a son through his bondwoman, Hagar (Gen. 16:15). This was through the fleshly desire. In time, God fulfilled His promise and Sarah had a son, which eventually became the nation Israel.
    God wants us to wait for Him and not rush ahead to do things on our own. (DRM 6/12/09)

4:29    But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.

    This refers to Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was born of Abraham's flesh to Hagar - now the Muslims - and Isaac was born to Sarah - according to the Spirit of God - now the Jews - Christians. Ever since that birth, these two groups never agreed. Still, I believe that individually all can come to trust in Jesus as Savior. (DRM 11/12/05)

4:30    But what does the Scripture say? "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREEWOMAN,"

    Ever since Abraham asked Hagar to bear his son, the world has never been the same. Hagar was the bondwoman here and Sarah was the freewoman; from which came Isaac then Jacob - who is also called Israel.
    There has always been conflict between the descendants of Abraham. Knowledge of this fact may help us (me) to understand the problems in the Middle East better. (DRM 6/13/09)

    Paul's argument is that just as Isaac was the child of promise to Abraham and Sarah, so those who trust in Christ by faith are also the children of promise. As such "all" (4:26) people of faith are (a) free from bondage to paganism (4:8), (b) free from bondage to Jewish legalism (4:5) and (c) free from any other teaching that seeks to draw those of faith back into the "yoke" of works (5:1) to earn salvation. {From Word of Life diary comments}

5:1    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

    This answers the following question: {How am I experiencing the freedom that is found in Christ?} Before I became a Christian, I was a slave to sin - perhaps selfishness. Since that time I have also sinned - but asked for forgiveness when I was aware of my sin. His forgiveness is my freedom. (DRM 10/15/01)

5:2, 3    Behold, I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

    Fleshly circumcision is only an outward act that the Jews did to show their commitment to God. This good work shows the attitude of the heart of the person. Today it is done in the first 10 days of a boy's life, so it's the parents decision, not the child's. We don't get to Heaven as the result of good works, nor the works of the parents.
    Paul says here that after the person is circumcised, as in Jewish tradition, they are now obligated to follow the Law.
    Jesus wants our heart devotion, not any outward sign - which there are many more - but a heart's desire to follow Him. (DRM 11/10/16)

5:4    You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    I think the question here is motive. If I think that just following the Old Testament Law will get me to Heaven, I am deceived - the only way to Heaven is through the Savior - Jesus Christ. In appreciation for His grace of allowing me entrance, I willingly try to be good and follow His law - but know He will forgive me if I ask Him to - when I fail - but I keep trying. (DRM 11/13/05)

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

    The verses before and after this verse remind me/us that we are to live by faith, through grace, and not the Old Testament Law, which includes works.
    As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us direction in life. We add faith and our actions are based on this combination. I/we do works out of thankfulness for what Jesus has already done for us.
    The waiting in this verse is the "redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23) which will take place at the end of our life on earth - however that occurs. (DRM 9/1/17)

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

    Circumcision was an outward expression of devotion to the Jewish Law. Since Christians are trusting totally in Jesus Christ to cover our sins, it is not necessary to follow the customs and traditions of Jewish Law.
    The important part is to live by faith in Jesus. (DRM 6/14/09)

    In the Old Testament circumcision was required for men to become Jews. After the first generation, this was/has been decided by the parents and was performed during the first few days of a boy's life.
    To be a Christian, circumcision is not required; but rather faith in the Lord Jesus and repentance for sins committed.
    While we have no control over our parents decision(s), when we reach the "age of accountability" and can make our own decisions, a commitment to Jesus is required to secure a place in Heaven. (DRM 7/4/12)

5:7, 8    You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.

    [Re: 5:7}    This answers the following question: {What hinders me from excelling in my Christian faith?} I could re-write 10/14/01. Who diverts me? Probably Satan or his demons who keep telling me to put things off - do it later. I need the Lord to give me determination to "keep on track" to work for His glory. (DRM 10/16/01)

    In previous verses, Paul was emphasizing that following the Law is not necessary, but rather grace is what is the basis of our faith.
    In these two verses, Paul was telling the Christians at Galatia that they were doing well by emphasizing grace, but Satan (not Jesus) was pulling them back to only following the Law.
    When we came to trust in Jesus - it was through His free gift - grace - that we were saved. Following the Law or any works on our part - will not bring us to salvation. (DRM 9/13/16)

5:9    A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.

    Leaven=yeast is great for making bread rise, but never used as a positive in the Bible. Like in bread, a little yeast makes a lot of difference. In people, a little criticism or disagreement on a minor point can cause a church split if it continues. The source of this type of leaven is Satan, the master of deceit. I (we) must be careful not to say anything that would cause this type of conflict. Don't let Satan use us as leaven in a church. (DRM 6/15/09)

5:10    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.

    Paul, in his letters and his preaching to the churches, was teaching how to be a follower of Christ. He was teaching the truth, do didn't want people to adopt any other view.
    We have the same problem today. With all the different views, even within Christianity, it's hard to know what the truth is. The answer is right here. The Truth is the Bible, not the false interpretations that are preached and taught to the masses.
    Don't be deceived - read the Bible - which is the source and the Truth. (DRM 11/16/15)

5:12    Would that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

    There are always people who have different views than mine. My first job is to listen carefully to see if my view is wrong. If that is not the case, then I must give them to the Lord and let Him correct them in due time. I shouldn't let these other people trouble me so much. (DRM 11/14/05)

5:13    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.

    When I think of freedom in USA, I think of being able to do and say whatever I want. With government monitoring all of our moves now, it seems that freedom is leaving here.
    Spiritual freedom is different. Galatians 5:11 helps define it. We were born sinners. Jesus died for our sins. After accepting His gift, we have "freedom" to server Him and others. Thus we can do anything we want that's permitted in the Bible. Sin is still sin, so we are to avoid that - but there's still a lot of things we are free to do as Christians. (DRM 4/10/14)

5:14    For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

    This answers the following question: {In what ways am I serving others without concern for my interest?} Sin. I can't think of many. Occasionally I take my neighbor to events she doesn't want to drive to. I feed my friends when they help me - but I don't serve enough. (DRM 10/17/01)

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

    Verse 15 makes no sense without verse 14.
    Paul is telling the believers in Galatia to love each other (v. 14). When we attack others in disagreements, it could be called biting each other verbally. To keep doing this would be spiritually devouring the other person - not physically.
    Referring back to verse 14 (Matt. 19:19 and others), Jesus wants us to love each other. Not just other Christians, but all other people. Friends and enemies alike. This is not the way of the world. We are to be different - like Christ. (DRM 2/8/16)

5:16    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 

    This answers the following question: {Why is it so vital for me to walk in the Spirit, today?} Temptation is caused by the fleshly desire to do evil things. Sexual sins are a prime example. Regenerated Christians have the Spirit in them. I should let Him direct me away from temptation. (DRM 10/18/01)

    The war goes on within our souls. Once we ask Jesus to enter our lives, the Holy Spirit enters and the fleshly spirit [inspired by Satan?] opposes the desires of the Holy Spirit. We must choose who will win each battle. My life is a series of these battles. I must make the right decisions continuously to stay on the Lord's side. (DRM 11/15/05)

5:17    For the flesh sets it desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

    This must happen to everyone at some time or another. . .    
    My flesh (mind) tells me to do something that seems like fun. It's something I've never done before, then my conscience or the Spirit tells me I can't afford to do that - or the equivalent, "What would Jesus do?"
    Clearly what I should do is to follow the Spirit and look forward to the future when God=Jesus will let us do far more things that we (I) can imagine here on earth. (DRM 6/27/12)

5:18    But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

    The moment I (we) became Christians, the Holy Spirit entered our body and has taken control. This may sound scary, but He (Holy Spirit) is directing us on how to live a God-honoring life. We are led by the Holy Spirit.
    If we were under the Law, then we would always be striving to do good works to earn the salvation which is a free gift. We (I) try to follow the Law in love for Christ, but not as a way to salvation. (DRM 6/16/09)

5:19-21    Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    This answers the following question: {Which deed of the flesh is most difficult for me to conquer?} From the list, it is obvious that envying what other people have is the most difficult for me. I'm sure that there is a reason that the Lord didn't give me these things - and must do His will and not worry about others. (DRM 10/19/01)

5:22-23    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 

    This answers the following question: {How am I going to practice more of the fruit of the Spirit I need most?} I think I need love most. Being lonely most of the time, I need to be with people more. If I show them kindness, goodness and gentleness, perhaps they will show me love. (DRM 10/20/01)

5:24    Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    The desires and passions of the flesh are listed in verses 19-21 above. These desires should be put to death - crucified in followers of Christ, thus they are the same as sins. When I have a problem, like an outburst of anger; listed here, it is a sin that I must confess, repent and try to correct with the help of the Holy Spirit living in me. (DRM 11/16/05)

5:25-26    If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

    [Re: 5:25] This answers the following question: {How does my life demonstrate that I am Spirit filled?} To walk in the Spirit means to be trusting in the Lord, and NOT my own desires. When the Holy Spirit tells me to do something, no matter how uncomfortable, I should do it. (DRM 10/21/01)

    This first verse is like yesterday's comment - since the Holy Spirit is in us, as Christians, we are to walk in the direction He leads us. We are not to say we are better than others (boastful) or trying to prove others' faith (challenging) or trying to do better than someone else to hurt them (envying), which are common things that the world does today. (DRM 6/17/09)

6:1    Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. . . 

    This answers the following question: {How do I respond when another Christian is caught in sin?} If the person is someone I know, I should talk gently to him/her about the error of their way. The hard part for me is finding another Christian to share with. (DRM 10/22/01)

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

    This answers the following question: {How can I bear another's burden today?} Offering to help someone is not always enough. They don't agree to it. Actually helping, sometimes without advance "warning" is what people need when they are overburdened. (DRM 10/23/01)

    All Christians belong to one body - of Christ, and as brothers and sisters in this family, we should care more about each other. God has given each of us different gifts/abilities, and that should remind us of our dependence on each other. When my "brother" or "sister" in Christ sins or has a burden, I should be praying and helping them toward their restoration. (DRM 11/17/05)

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

    I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). I can't change the world on my own, without His help.
    This verse is similar in that I can't be something or do something unless He wants it to be done. The Lord Jesus determines what will be done and what won't be done if He doesn't want it. Lean on Him. (DRM 5/14/12)

6:4    But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

    Reality strikes! How much have I really done to help God's Kingdom? How many people have come to Christ for salvation due to my witness? I don't know. Some ministries do know and can boast of their success, but they should not belittle the smaller ministries or individuals who also successfully bring people to the knowledge of the Savior. (DRM 6/18/09)

6:5    For each one will bear his own load.

    This short verse is in conjunction with verses three and four above.
    We can do nothing unless God=Jesus gives us the ability to do it. I'm not sure that the Lord wants us to boast (v. 4) in anything we have done, as we couldn't do it without Him.
    We are all responsible for bearing our own load. We can't get to Heaven because our parents were Christians. The decision has to be made individually. (DRM 10/21/12)

6:6    Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor

    When we have a particularly good encounter with someone else concerning our "spiritual walk," we should share our experience with others of the faith to encourage them that good things are happening in our lives and will happen to them also. (DRM 11/5/86)

    This answers the following question: {How am I supporting those who teach me God's Word?} The pupil should encourage the teacher. If it is a small group - encouragement can be verbal. If larger, then a note or letter of appreciation would help the teacher know that the Word's getting through. (DRM 10/24/01)

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

    You can't hide things from God, He knows all. If I (you) were to do something that we know God wouldn't be pleased with, how could you hide it? You can't!!! If I were to sow or tell others a falsehood, then God would know - and others would also do the same for me (reap what is sown). We must think before we speak! (DRM 6/19/09)

6:8    For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.

    This answers the following question: {What type of seed am I sowing among my friends?} Unfortunately, when I don't feel well, people know it, and that does not lead to good "sowing." Praise the Lord, on other days I feel His presence and sow good Spiritual seeds - hopefully more often. (DRM 10/25/01)

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

    The Lord wants us to help those who are in need. Quite often I feel that I haven't done enough. This is something that has to be done over a period of time.
    Now it seems that I'm on the other end and people have helped me in my financial need. God evaluates and somehow amazingly works through others so they can help people in need. PTL! (DRM 12/28/11)

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

    This answers the following question: {How will I carry out God's opportunities for service today?} Doing good deeds for ALL people, not starting disagreements and showing the love of Christ. Let others see the love of Christ THROUGH me. May I be transparent where they can see Christ's love. (DRM 10/26/01)

    We have limited time here on earth, as our real home is Heaven; where God chose us before we were born - and where we, as believers in Christ, will be going soon. Since this time on earth is so short - why argue? Besides bringing others with me to Heaven, I should be as helpful as possible to believers and unbelievers alike. (DRM 11/18/05)

6:11    See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

    Some people wonder what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7) was. I think this verse could be the answer.
    We put people on a pedestal when we look up to them as they seem to do no wrong. Many people did this for Paul - so this proves that he was human and had limitations like everyone else.
    Paul's thorn in the flesh was probably bad eyesight - what's yours? We all have at least one - especially as we get older.
    Only Jesus=God was perfect. That's why He died for our sins. (DRM 3/18/13)

6:12    Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

    During Paul's time it was debated if a convert to Christianity needed to have circumcision, like the Jews would have in their religion. With this not resolved, some people/disciples suggested that circumcision was needed as they were fearful of persecution from the Jews.
    Today we know that any outward change is not required to be a Christian, but rather a inward change in heart attitude about what Jesus did for them/us. (DRM 6/12/15) 

6:13    For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.

    The people of the circumcision are the Jews. This attack seems to be directed to their leaders, their priests.
    While I wasn't there, Paul and Jesus said the priests weren't following the Law - generally the Ten Commandments and other laws in the Old Testament. There is evidence of their attitudes in the gospels.
    The Jewish priests/rabbis wanted more people to be following their faith, thus they could boast of more followers . . . that continues in all types of religions today.
    We are to follow what the Bible tells us to do, NOT what some religious leader tells us - unless this agrees with the Bible. (DRM 1/7/15)

    Paul was dealing with a legalistic Judaism seeking to impose the demands of the law upon people who had, by faith, embraced grace in Christ. This legalism was intended to pull those followers of Christ back into a performance-oriented approach to pleasing God. Our service to God is to come from an overflowing heart of appreciation for His love for us. (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT 1/7/15)

6:14    But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    This answers the following question: {What should be my priorities as a Christian?} I should only boast in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means I should be more willing to tell people of Him. There is no higher goal. May God use me. (DRM 10/27/01)

    Like Paul wrote here, I should never boast about any of my accomplishments, as Jesus=God is truly the One who works through my life. When I boast, He should get the credit. My earthly desires should be dead and only heavenly desires remain - this is still hard for me to do. (DRM 11/19/05)

6:15    For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

    In today's world, there are many ways that a person can change different parts of their outward appearance - but that doesn't change their heart's attitude toward Jesus the Messiah. Circumcision is an outward change, but we need an inward change to be a part of God's family - a new creation. (DRM 6/20/09)

6:16    And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

    This refers to verse 15 about the act of circumcision. Paul was stating that this act was unnecessary for salvation. The "rule" stated here was about the Jews who still felt circumcision was necessary. He was wishing them peace and mercy.
    What really matters to Christians is the soul - that it be given wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus. Like in baptism, what we do with our body is an expression of what has already transpired in the soul`. Whatever we do externally will not get us to Heaven, it's the internal love and devotion to Jesus, our Savior. (DRM 4/28/17)