Galatians Chapter 5

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

  1. The Anointed set us free for freedom; therefore stand firm and don’t entangle yourselves again in a yoke of slavery.
  2. Behold; I Paul tell you that if you circumcise yourself, the Anointed will gain you nothing.
  3. And again, I testify to every man being circumcised: he is a debtor who must keep the whole law.
  4. Whoever is made righteous by the law, you were severed from the Anointed; you fell from grace.
  5. For we eagerly await the hope of righteousness by faith through the Spirit.
  6. For in Jesus the Anointed, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any power, but only faith working through ^love.
  7. You were running well; who hindered you? (To not be persuaded of the truth?)
  8. This persuasion isn’t from the One calling you.
  9. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
  10. I *believe in you in the Lord, that you will think nothing else.  But the man deeply shaking you will endure the judgement, whoever he might be.
  11. And brothers, why am I still persecuted if I still preach circumcision?  (Then the stumbling block of the cross has been nullified.)
  12. O, I wish the men turning you upside down1“turning you upside down” is one word in Greek, often translated “upsetting” here.  It literally mean to turn upside down, with a figurative meaning of upsetting or stirring up trouble. will also cut off their genitals.2“cut off their genitals” the Greek word here literally means to “cut off” and can refer to removing the whole male reproductive organ, which is likely in this context.
  13. For you were called to freedom brothers; only, not freedom as a pretext for the flesh, but you must serve one another through ^love.
  14. For all of the law is *fulfilled in one statement, in the statement: “You shall ^love your neighbor as yourself.”3Quotation/allusion to Leviticus 19:18
  15. But if you bite and devour one another; watch out, lest you are consumed by one another.
Walking in Spirit vs. Flesh
  1. And I say: walk in the Spirit and you definitely won’t accomplish the craving of the flesh.
  2. For the flesh craves what’s contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what’s contrary to the flesh.  For these two stubbornly oppose one another, so you don’t do those things which you desire.
  3. But if you’re led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the law.
  4. Now, the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: fornication, impurity, wanton debauchery,
  5. idolatry, sorcery,4“sorcery” the Greek word here is “φαρμακεία” (pharmakeia) which is the root of our word “pharmacology” and “pharmaceuticals”.  It refers to mixing ingredients to produce effects when ingested, which can be either positive or negative depending on the context. As a doctor, Luke (author of Luke’s Gospel) would’ve engaged in “pharmakeia” in the positive sense of making medicine.  The negative sense was often associated with mixing compounds (often hallucinogenic) in order to contact spirits or other ‘gods’.  Such potions were also used in other ‘magical’ arts which the Bible condemns. hostility, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions,5“selfish ambitions” this Greek word refers to attempting to attract followers, offices, and/or power for one’s own gain at the expense of others. pointless divisions, factions,6“factions” This word could also be translated “sects”, and is the various “sects” of 1st century Judaism.  A modern equivalent might be “denominations”.  See 1 Corinthians 11:19.
  6. spiteful envy, drunkenness, debauched parties, and things like these.  About which I forewarn you – just as I did forewarn you – that the men practicing such things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is: ^love, joy, peace, patience, benevolence,7“benevolence” this Greek word refers to kindness that is both practical (meeting real needs) and morally upright.  It also contains the idea of integrity. goodness, faithfulness,
  8. gentle strength, and self-control; there isn’t a law against such things.
  9. Now the men who belong to Jesus the Anointed crucified the flesh with its passions and cravings.
  10. If we live by the Spirit, we should also march in lock-step with8“march in lock-step with” is one word in Greek, which properly refers to walking in a regular cadence or rhythm, and thus can refer to military style marching in lock-step. the Spirit.
  11. We shouldn’t become conceited braggarts, provoking one another or envying one another.


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