Paul teaches them:
1.. To be tender and affectionate towards any who, through surprise and the violence of temptation, had fallen into sin.
and to bear each other's burdens, (vv. 1-2).
2. To think humbly of themselves, and to conclude concerning their own character rather from the evidence of their works than from anything else, (vv. 3-5).
3. To minister to the support of those who instruct them in righteousness, (v. 6).
Paul warns them against self-deception, because whatever a man sows that he shall reap, (vv.7- 8).
Paul exhorts them not to be weary in well doing, and to embrace every opportunity to do good, (vv. 9-10).
Paul intimates that his love to them led him to write this whole epistle with his own hand, (v. 11).
Paul points out the object that those had in view who wished them to be circumcised, (vv. 12-13).
Paul exults in the cross of Christ, and asserts that a new creation of the soul is essential to its salvation; and wishes peace to them who act on this plan, (vv. 14-16).
Paul tells them that he bears in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, (v.17).
Paul concludes with his apostolic benediction, (v. 18).
This chapter is composed entirely of affectionate exhortation, and the expression of the apostle's earnest solicitude in the behalf of the Christians in Galatia.
1. Paul exhorts them to bring back to the ways of virtue anyone who through the strength of strong temptation had been led astray (v. 1).
2. Paul entreats them
a. To bear one another's burdens, and thus to show that they were true friends of Christ, and governed by his laws (v. 2).
b. Not to be lifted up with pride, and not to affix an inordinate estimate to anything that they possessed.
He assures them that their true estimate was to be formed from the character of their own works, (vv. 3-5).
3. Paul exhorts them to minister to the wants of their public teachers, the preachers of the gospel, (v. 6).
4. Paul reminds them of the solemn day of judgment, when all will be tried.
a. He assures them that men will be judged and rewarded according to their work.
b. He entreats them not to be weary in well-doing, but to labor on patiently in doing good.
c. He assures them that they should reap in due season (vv. 7-10).
5. Paul shows them the interest which he felt in them by his having done what was unusual for him.
And what perhaps he had done in no other instance–writing an entire letter in his own hand (v. 11).
6. Paul then states the real reason why others wished to be circumcised (vv. 12-1).
a. It was the dread of persecution, and not any real love to the cause of religion.
- They did not themselves keep the law, and they only desired to glory in the number of converts to their views.
- But Paul says that he would glory in nothing but in the cross of Christ. By that he had been crucified to the world, and the world had been crucified to him, (v. 14).
- Paul repeats the solemn assurance, that in the Christian religion neither circumcision nor uncircumcision was of any importance whatever, (v. 15). This was the true rule of life.
- Paul invokes the blessing of God on as many as walked according to this principle (v. 16).
- Paul closes the epistle by entreating them to give him no more trouble. He bore in his body already the marks or sufferings which he had received in the cause of the Lord Jesus. His trials already were sufficient; and he entreats them to spare him from future molestation, (v. 17).
- Paul closes with the benediction, (v. 18)