In Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, Paul had a lot to say, so today, I’m going to share some notes on Galatians 5-6

Faith expressing itself through love

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:6 (NIV)

In James 2:17, we are given the following intelligence regarding faith.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:17 (NIV)

In other words, faith without works is dead. When talking about love in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes:

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Here in Galatians, Paul tells us, “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Although Paul tells us what love does and doesn’t do in 1 Corinthians 13, we gain a greater understanding of what love is here in Galatians 5:6. Love, like faith, is an action. Therefore, if faith without works is dead, love without action is also dead.

Indulging the flesh

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

This calling to be free is about being free from the bondage of sin. In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul gives us insight into what it looks like to habitually indulge in the flesh with the declaration that “the acts of the flesh are obvious.” In Galatians 5:22-23, we see the fruits of the Spirit. Although the acts of the flesh are evident, we can still be blinded to the sin in our lives. Therefore, we might consider Galatians 5:22-23 as a barometer to gauge how we live.  

The law of Christ

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

What is the law of Christ? Consider what Paul said in Galatians 5:14.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

Paul is talking about the Mosaic law here. Given what Jesus said about the law, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17 NIV), the law of Christ isn’t really different.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34 (NIV)

Stigmata

From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Galatians 6:17 (NIV)

The Greek word Paul uses to describe the marks on his body is “stigmata.” Contrary to what you might have learned through movies, television, and Catholicism, Paul was not telling the Galatians he had marks resembling those Jesus had on his hands, feet, head, and back. Instead, Paul referred to those wounds as reflecting his service to Christ. From whippings, stoning, beatings, shipwrecks, etc. Paul bore these scars on his body. Considering what our Lord said to Ananias before he sent him to pray for Paul, Paul’s wounds should be of little surprise.

“I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Acts 9:16 (NIV)

These are my notes for today. I hope you found something of value here, and I thank you for stopping by.