V. Exhortation to Christian Living
The Importance of Faith.*
2It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you.b
5d For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.
Be Not Misled.*
7You were running well;* who hindered you from following [the] truth?
9A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough.g
10I am confident of you in the Lord that you will not take a different view, and that the one who is troubling you will bear the condemnation, whoever he may be.h
12Would that those who are upsetting you might also castrate themselves!*
Freedom for Service.*
17For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.m
18But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.n
20idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,p
21occasions of envy,* drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,q
23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.r
24Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.s
25If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.t
26Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envious of one another.u
* [5:1–6] Paul begins the exhortations, continuing through Gal 6:10, with an appeal to the Galatians to side with freedom instead of slavery (Gal 5:1). He reiterates his message of justification or righteousness by faith instead of law and circumcision (Gal 5:2–5); cf. Gal 2:16; 3:3. Faith, not circumcision, is what counts (Gal 5:6).
* [5:1] Freedom: Paul stresses as the conclusion from the allegory in Gal 4:21–31 this result of Christ’s work for us. It is a principle previously mentioned (Gal 2:4), the responsible use of which Gal 5:13 will emphasize.
* [5:7–12] Paul addresses the Galatians directly: with questions (Gal 5:7, 11), a proverb (Gal 5:9), a statement (Gal 5:8), and biting sarcasm (Gal 5:12), seeking to persuade the Galatians to break with those trying to add law and circumcision to Christ as a basis for salvation.
* [5:11] Preaching circumcision: this could refer to Paul’s pre-Christian period (possibly as a missionary for Judaism); more probably it arose as a charge from opponents, based perhaps on the story in Acts 16:1–3 that Paul had circumcised Timothy “on account of the Jews.” Unlike the Gentile Titus in Gal 2:3 Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother. The stumbling block of the cross: cf. 1 Cor 1:23.
* [5:13–26] In light of another reminder of the freedom of the gospel (Gal 5:13; cf. Gal 5:1), Paul elaborates on what believers are called to do and be: they fulfill the law by love of neighbor (Gal 5:14–15), walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16–26), as is illustrated by concrete fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
* [5:19–23] Such lists of vices and virtues (cf. Rom 1:29–31; 1 Cor 6:9–10) were common in the ancient world. Paul contrasts works of the flesh (Gal 5:19) with fruit (not “works”) of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Not law, but the Spirit, leads to such traits.
* [5:21] Occasions of envy: after the Greek word phthonoi, “envies,” some manuscripts add a similar sounding one, phonoi, “murders.”
Life in the Community of Christ.*
1Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted.a
3c For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself.
4* Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else;
5for each will bear his own load.d
8because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.f
9Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.g
13Not even those having themselves circumcised* observe the law themselves; they only want you to be circumcised so that they may boast of your flesh.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.o
* [6:1–10] The ethical exhortations begun at Gal 5:1 continue with a variety of admonitions to the community (brothers: see note on Gal 1:2). Nearly every sentence contains a separate item of practical advice; the faith and freedom of the gospel underlie each maxim. Tensions and temptation within communal life have previously been addressed in Gal 5:15, 26 and Gal 6:1 continues with a case in which a person is caught in some transgression such as those in Gal 5:19–21; cf. Gal 2:17.
* [6:4–5] Self-examination is the cure for self-deception. Compare what you are with what you were before, and give the glory to God; cf. Rom 6:19–22. Load: used elsewhere of a soldier’s pack. Correcting one’s own conduct avoids burdening others with it.
* [6:10] The family of the faith: the Christian household or church. Doing good has a universal object (to all), but the local community makes specific the reality of those to be served.
* [6:11–18] A postscript in Paul’s own hand, as was his practice (see 1 Cor 16:21; 2 Thes 3:17). Paul summarizes his appeal against his opponents (Gal 6:12–13), then returns to his message of glorying in the cross, not in circumcision, as the means of salvation (Gal 6:14–15; cf. Gal 5:11). A benediction follows at Gal 6:16. In the polemical spirit that the attack on his apostleship called forth (Gal 1:11–2:21), Paul reasserts his missionary credentials (Gal 6:17) before giving a final benediction (Gal 6:18).
* [6:11] Large letters: in contrast to the finer hand of the scribe who wrote the letter up to this point. The larger Greek letters make Paul’s message even more emphatic. Some find a hint of poor eyesight on Paul’s part. See note on Gal 4:13.
* [6:12–15] The Jewish Christian opponents wished not to be persecuted, possibly by Jews. But since Judaism seems to have had a privileged status as a religion in the Roman empire, circumcised Christians might, if taken as Jews, thereby avoid persecution from the Romans. In any case, Paul instead stresses conformity with the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; cf. Gal 2:19–21; 5:11.
* [6:13] Those having themselves circumcised: other manuscripts read, “those who have had themselves circumcised.”
* [6:14] Through which: or “through whom.”
* [6:16] This rule: the principle in Gal 6:14, 15. The Israel of God: while the church may be meant (the phrase can be translated “to all who follow this rule, even the Israel of God”; cf. Gal 6:10; 1 Cor 10:18), the reference may also be to God’s ancient people, Israel; cf. Ps 125:5; 128:6.
* [6:17] The marks of Jesus: slaves were often branded by marks (stigmata) burned into their flesh to show to whom they belonged; so also were devotees of pagan gods. Paul implies that instead of outdated circumcision, his body bears the scars of his apostolic labors (2 Cor 11:22–31), such as floggings (Acts 16:22; 2 Cor 11:25) and stonings (Acts 14:19), that mark him as belonging to the Christ who suffered (cf. Rom 6:3; 2 Cor 4:10; Col 1:24) and will protect his own.
This is taken from The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, Bible, Galatians Chapters 5 and 6, https://bible.usccb.org/bible/galatians/6