Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:26

Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let us not be desirous of vain glory - Κενοδοξοι· Let us not be vain glorious - boasting of our attainments; vaunting ourselves to be superior to others; or seeking honor from those things which do not possess moral good; in birth, riches, eloquence, etc., etc.

Provoking one another - What this may refer to we cannot tell; whether to the Judaizing teachers, endeavoring to set themselves up beyond the apostle, and their attempts to lessen him in the people's eyes, that they might secure to themselves the public confidence, and thus destroy St. Paul's influence in the Galatian Churches; or whether to some other matter in the internal economy of the Church, we know not. But the exhortation is necessary for every Christian, and for every Christian Church. He who professes to seek the honor that comes from God, should not be desirous of vain glory. He who desires to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, should not provoke another. He who knows that he never deserved any gift or blessing from God should not envy another those blessings which the Divine goodness may have thought proper to bestow upon him. May not God do what he will with his own? If Christians in general would be content with the honor that comes from God, if they would take heed to give no provocations to their fellow Christians, if they would cease from envying those on whom either God or man bestows honors or advantages, we should soon have a happier and more perfect state of the Christian Church than we now see. Christianity requires us to esteem each other better than ourselves, or in honor to prefer one another. Had not such a disposition been necessary to the Christian character, and to the peace and perfection of the Church of Christ, it would not have been so strongly recommended. But who lays this to heart, or even thinks that this is indispensably necessary to his salvation? Where this disposition lives not, there are both the seed and fruit of the flesh. Evil tempers are the bane of religion and totally contrary to Christianity.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Let us not be desirous of vainglory - The word used here ( κενόδοξοι kenodoxoi) means “proud” or “vain” of empty advantages, as of birth, property, eloquence, or learning. The reference here is probably to the paltry competitions which arose on account of these supposed advantages. It is possible that this might have been one cause of the difficulties existing in the churches of Galatia, and the apostle is anxious wholly to check and remove it. The Jews prided themselves on their birth, and people are everywhere prone to overvalue the supposed advantages of birth and blood. The doctrines of Paul are, that on great and most vital respects people are on a level; that these things contribute nothing to salvation (notes, Galatians 3:28); and that Christians should esteem them of little importance, and that they should not be suffered to interfere with their fellowship, or to mar their harmony and peace.

Provoking one another - The sense is, that they who are desirous of vainglory, do provoke one another. They provoke those whom they regard as inferiors by a haughty carriage and a contemptuous manner toward them. They look upon them often with contempt; pass them by with disdain; treat them as beneath their notice; and this provokes on the other hand hard feeling, and hatred. and a disposition to take revenge. When people regard themselves as equal in their great and vital interests; when they feel that they are fellow-heirs of the grace of life; when they feel that they belong to one great family, and are in their great interests on a level; deriving no advantage from birth and blood; on a level as descendants of the same apostate father; as being themselves sinners; on a level at the foot of the cross, at the communion table, on beds of sickness, in the grave, and at the bar of God; when they feel this, then the consequences here referred to will be avoided. There will be no haughty carriage such as to provoke opposition; and on the other hand there will be no envy on account of the superior rank of others.

Envying one another - On account of their superior wealth, rank, talent, learning. The true way to cure envy is to make people feel that in their great and important interests they are on a level. Their great interests are beyond the grave. The distinctions of this life are temporary, and are comparative trifles. Soon all will be on a level in the grave, and at the bar of God and in heaven. Wealth, and honor, and rank do not avail there. The poorest man will wear as bright a crown as the rich; the man of most humble birth will be admitted as near the throne as he who can boast the longest line of illustrious ancestors. Why should a man who is soon to wear a “crown incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away,” envy him who has a ducal coronet here, or a royal diadem - baubles that are soon to be laid aside forever? Why should he, though poor here, who is soon to inherit the treasures of heaven where “moth and rust do not corrupt,” envy him who can walk over a few acres as his own, or who has accumulated a glittering pile of dust, soon to be left forever?

Why should he who is soon to wear the robes of salvation, made “white in the blood of the Lamb,” envy him who is “clothed in purple and fine linen,” or who can adorn himself and his family in the most gorgeous attire which art and skill can make, soon to give place to the winding-sheet; soon to be succeeded by the simple garb which the most humble wears in the grave? If men feel that their great interests are beyond the tomb: that in the important matter of salvation they are on a level; that soon they are to be undistinguished beneath the clods of the valley, how unimportant comparatively would it seem to adorn their bodies, to advance their name and rank and to improve their estates! The rich and the great would cease to look down with contempt on those of more humble rank, and the poor would cease to envy those above them, for they are soon to be their equals in the grave; their equals, perhaps their superiors in heaven!

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:26

Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.

I. Disunion may exist in a Christian community.

II. Entire sympathy with Christ will heighten man’s appreciation of man without selfseeking.

III. Christianity is the only humanizing and fraternizing religion. Iv. Self-seeking is in utter antagonism to the spirit of Christ.

V. Christianity never encourages a degrading view of human nature.

1. Paul’s appeal is for unanimity.

2. Want of unanimity is a reflection on the uniting force. (J. Parker, D. D.)

Vainglory

I. What it is. A branch of pride which makes men refer all they have or can do to show their own private glory and advancement.

II. Why the Galatians were admonished of it? They Were adorned with many excellences, and those who are so favoured are frequently the most vainglorious (2 Corinthians 12:7; Matthew 6:5). Other vices feed on evil; this on good. For a man will be proud sometimes, even because he is not proud.

III. Where is it to be found?

1. In a Church where men make a great show of piety to be praised of men, but not at home to be praised of God.

2. In the world, for honour and renown.

IV. What is the remedy?

1. Meditation on these facts.

2. Practice.

Vainglory

I. Manifests itself in--

1. Display.

2. Boasting.

3. Presumption.

4. Insolence.

5. Depreciation of others.

II. Springs from--

1. Conceit.

2. Ignorance.

3. Contempt of man.

4. Forgetfulness of God.

III. Leads to--

1. Extravagance.

2. Dishonesty.

3. Humiliation,

4. Ruin. (J. W. Burns.)

Unworthy boasts

It would be consolatory could we think this exhortation, though necessary in the apostles’ time, had become unnecessary in ours. But, alas, how different is the truth! How much vainglorying is there among the professors of the name of Christ, even among those of whom charity obliges us to hope that their profession is genuine! How do they glory in their distinctions! One boasts of his connection with a rich and powerful, ancient and venerable establishment; another glories in his being a Dissenter. One boasts of the imposing splendour, and another glories in the primitive simplicity, of their respective modes of worship. Even far less discernible marks of distinction become grounds of glorification, and this provokes to angry controversy, and this again produces strife, jealousy, enmity, malignity. Were we more spiritual it would be otherwise. We should glory chiefly in the grand principles of Christian truth, in which all really good men are agreed; and our attachment to these would produce attachments to all who really believe them. While every man sought after, and endeavoured to communicate to his brother those views of truth and duty which he conceived he had obtained from his Bible--“speaking the truth in love”--there would be no provoking one another, except to love and good works; and instead of envying and hating one another, there would be general edification of the body in love. (John Brown, D. D.)

Love of vainglory

Love of vainglory is a common vice the whole world through, in all conditions. No village so small but there be one or two peasants therein, that will fain be taken for wiser and better than the rest. It is so pleasant to be pointed at with the finger and hear it said: “See, there is a man that is fit for anything!” This vice is common, yet nowhere does it such harm as to those who fulfil a spiritual function and service in the Church. (Luther.)

Vainglory

I recollect a little town where there was a chapel, the people connected with which thought that if they could only buy a chandelier that was on sale, they would cut out all the other chapels entirely, and everybody would feel that they were made weighty and respectable people, and that the place would be filled with people to see the chandelier. I believe for a time it was, but its light grew dim, and they found that was not the way in which the light of the kingdom of God was to be spread. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:26". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Let us not become vain-glorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

Vain-glory and jealousy are two of the fundamental fleshly lusts, especially degrading and unbecoming in the church of Jesus Christ. Nothing that anyone is or has is of himself, but of God. As Russell said: `Even Jesus said, `The Son can do nothing of himself' (John 5:19)."[17] All of the miracles of our Lord were done as a result of prayer to the Father. See John 11:42 and comment in my Commentary on John.

ENDNOTE:

[17] John William Russell, Compact Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1964), p. 471.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/galatians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Let us not be desirous of vain glory,.... Ambitious of being thought wiser, and richer, and more valuable than others; of having the preeminence in the management of all affairs, and of having honour, esteem, and popular applause from men: this may well be called vain glory, since it is only in outward things, as wisdom, riches, strength, and honour, and not in God the giver of them, and who can easily take them away; and therefore is but for a time, and is quickly gone, and lies only in the opinion and breath of men.

Provoking one another; not to good works, which would be right, but to anger and wrath, which is contrary to Christian charity, or true love; which, as it is not easily provoked, so neither will it provoke others to evil things. The Syriac version renders it by

מקלין, "slighting", or "despising one another"; and the Arabic version, "insulting one another"; vices to which men, and even Christian brethren in the same communion, are too prone.

Envying one another; their gifts and abilities, natural and spiritual; their rank and station in the world, or in the church. These were sins the Galatians very probably were subject to; and where they prevail, there is confusion, and every evil work, and are therefore to be watched and guarded against.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

18 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(18) He adds special exhortations according as he knew the Galatians to be subject to different vices: and first of all he warns them to take heed of ambition, which vice has two fellows, backbiting and envy. And out of these two many contentions necessarily arise.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Greek, “Let us not BECOME.” While not asserting that the Galatians are “vainglorious” now, he says they are liable to become so.

provoking one another — an effect of “vaingloriousness” on the stronger: as “envying” is its effect on the weaker. A danger common both to the orthodox and Judaizing Galatians.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians

Let us not be desirous of vain glory.
To desire vainglory is to desire lies, because when one person praises another he tells lies. What is there in anybody to praise? But it is different when the ministry is praised. We should not only desire people to praise the ministry of the Gospel but also do our utmost to make the ministry worthy of praise because this will make the ministry more effective. Paul warns the Romans not to bring Christianity into disrepute. "Let not then your good be evil spoken of." (Romans 14:16.) He also begged the Corinthians to "give no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed." (I Cor. 6:3.) When people praise our ministry they are not praising our persons, but God.

Provoking one another, envying one another.
Such is the ill effect of vainglory. Those who teach errors provoke others. When others disapprove and reject the doctrine the teachers of errors get angry in turn, and then you have strife and trouble. The sectarians hate us furiously because we will not approve their errors. We did not attack them directly. We merely called attention to certain abuses in the Church. They did not like it and became sore at us, because it hurt their pride. They wish to be the lone rulers of the church.

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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/galatians-5.html. Zondervan. Gand Rapids, MI. 1939.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Let us not be (μη γινωμεταmē ginōmetha). Present middle subjunctive (volitive), “Let us cease becoming vainglorious” (κενοδοχοιkenodoxoi), late word only here in N.T. (κενοσ δοχαkenosαλληλους προκαλουμενοιdoxa). Once in Epictetus in same sense.

Provoking one another (προκαλεωallēlous prokaloumenoi). Old word παροχυσμονprokaleō to call forth, to challenge to combat. Only here in N.T. and in bad sense. The word for “provoke” in Hebrews 10:24 is πτονουντεςparoxusmon (our “paroxysm”).

Envying (πτονοςphthonountes). Old verb from phthonos Only here in N.T.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/galatians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Desirous of vainglory ( κενόδοξοι )

N.T.oBetter, vainglorious. The noun κενοδοξία vaingloryonly Philemon 2:3. In lxx see Wisd. 14:14; 4Macc. 2:15; 8:18. Originally, vain opinion, error. Ignatius, Magn. xi., speaks of falling into ἄγκιστρα τῆς κενοδοξίας thehooks or clutches of error. Δόξα has not the sense of opinion in N.T., but that of reputation, glory. This compound means having a vain conceit of possessing a rightful claim to honor. Suidas defines any vain thinking about one's self. It implies a contrast with the state of mind which seeks the glory of God. The modes in which vainglory may show itself are pointed out in the two following participles, provoking and envying.

Provoking ( προκαλούμενοι )

N.T.olxx, only 2 Maccabees 8:11. Lit. calling forth, challenging, and so stirring up strife. Very common in Class.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/galatians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Be not desirous of vain glory — Of the praise or esteem of men. They who do not carefully and closely follow the Spirit, easily slide into this: the natural effects of which are, provoking to envy them that are beneath us, and envying them that are above us.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/galatians-5.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Не будем тщеславиться. Особое увещевание, не только необходимое для галатов, но и весьма подходящее для нашего времени. Матерью многих зол – как в человеческом обществе, так и в Церкви – является самомнение. Поэтому апостол учит нас его остерегаться. Ибо κενοδοξια для Павла значит то же, что и φιλοτιμια, то есть желание славы, когда всякий хочет выделяться среди других. Хотя светские философы осуждали не всякое желание славы, среди христиан любой, алчущий почестей, отходит от истинной славы и заслуженно осуждается в пустом и порочном самомнении. Нам не подобает хвалиться ничем, кроме Бога. Вне Бога только одна суета. Из самомнения детей проистекают обиды и взаимная зависть. Ибо тот, кто надеется на высшее положение, с необходимостью будет завидовать другим. Отсюда распри, оскорбления и взаимные уколы.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ver. 26. Let us not be desirous of vain glory] Ingens dulcedo gloriae (saith Aeneas Sylvius) facilius contemnenda dicitur, quam contemnitur. It was this vice that raised so much trouble in Germany between Luther and Carolostadius, and that bred the sacramentary war that is not yet ended. It was a saying of Luther, From a vain glorious doctor, from a contentious pastor, and from unprofitable questions, the good Lord deliver his Church.

Provoking one another, envying one another] And so discovering your weakness, as the vainglorious peacock doth his filthy parts behind, while he delighteth to be seen and to behold his own tail.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Galatians 5:26. Envying one another. Whether the vain-glory and envying here were about their spiritual gifts, (a fault whereof the Corinthians were guilty, as we may see at large 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14) or upon any other occasion, or on any other account, and so contained in Galatians 5:15 of this chapter, is not very important to inquire; either way the sense of the words will be much the same.

Inferences, drawn from Galatians 5:13.*—There is not a more valuable blessing in human life than liberty, whether civil liberty, as it respects social happiness, or liberty of conscience, as it respects religion. When this latter is restrained, we are treated rather like brutes than men; that is, creatures endued with moral powers, and accountable for their actions:—and therefore it is one of the chief excellencies of the Christian religion, and very far from the air and spirit of an imposture, that it preserves the rights of conscience sacred and inviolable.

* The following thoughts are intended only for the Deists, who are too often to be found even in families which are in the general pious: but the Reflections will, I trust, make ample compensation to the sincere Christian.

But, because the world is apt to run into extremes, the writers of the New Testament, like persons who had a thorough knowledge of human nature, as well as being infallibly inspired by the Spirit of God, have taken care in this respect, as well as in all others, to guard against excess and irregularity. Thus St. Paul advises these Galatians not to mistake licentiousness for Christian liberty; or, in other words, not to imagine that, because they were freed from the expensive and burdensome observances of the Mosaic institution, (which is elegantly described as a state of servitude,) they were discharged likewise from moral obligations, which are an eternal and immutable law to all rational beings.

It may not be unseasonable to consider the subject in a light suited to the complexion and genius of the present age; and to inquire into some of the chief abuses of free-thinking; by which it happens that what is really the peculiar honour and greatest advantage of our intelligent nature, becomes a reproach to it, and is attended with the most injurious consequences.

1. And, first, embracing the principle of liberty, has ended, with many, through the abuse of that excellent principle, in infidelity, or a disbelief of all religion. It is most evident, that infidelity never more abounded than in this age of free inquiry; and that those who are most loose in their sentiments with respect to the obligations of religion in general, and of Christianity in particular, are, in profession at least, enemies to bigotry and implicit faith. Nay, it may be allowed further, that it is likely they would never have gone such a length as to throw off all religion, if they had continued in a blind attachment to the principles of their education, and to established and popular opinions.

Whence now can this arise?—We, who believe that religion, in all the parts of it, is strictly rational, can never allow that infidelity is the natural consequence of a free and impartial examination of it; but must suppose, on the contrary, that the more thoroughly it is considered, and the more nicely weighed in the balance of true and unbiassed reason, it will be the more heartily believed and submitted to, through the grace of God. Indeed, this melancholy event may be sufficiently accounted for from other causes, and shewn, not to proceed from a superior understanding, or more adequate and enlarged views of things, but from ignorance, superficial inquiry, and even from that prejudice and implicit faith which the monopolizers of reason and free-thinking so loudly disclaim.

It is by no means intended, by any thing here advanced, to discourage the most rational and free examination of all religious principles, be they ever so sacred and venerable, and transmitted down with ever so much awe and solemnity by our forefathers; neither is it designed to assert that any man is obliged to receive a revelation, so called, which, upon mature deliberation, appears to be unworthy of God, and repugnant to the reason and nature of things. The present purpose is only to point out briefly some false principles, which are all an abuse of the true principle of liberty; and by which, it is highly probable, many of its professed admirers and zealous espousers have been led to a disregard of all religion.

Some seem to mistake liberty for a right to dispute every thing; and cavil at all religious principles which are commonly received, merely to shew that they are free-thinkers. Now, it is certain, that every one has an undoubted right to debate in his mind upon all principles, before he receives them, whether they are true or false; and no wise man will take up any opinion implicitly, how powerfully soever it may be recommended by great names and worldly advantages: but it also is certain, that disputing only for the sake of cavilling, is not an honest and ingenuous frame of mind, but humour, pride, and singularity. Such men think, perhaps, by this means, to pass for persons whose understandings are delivered from vulgar prejudices, and who, in their pursuits after knowledge, are under no bias, nor influenced by any consideration but the abstract reason and truth of things. And thus, what was at first only vanity, may, by degrees, be confirmed and settled infidelity: for the opposition such persons frequently meet with will make them more eager in opposing, more tenacious of what they have advanced, and more inclined to maintain it; till, at length, what they asserted and urged only for cavilling's sake, or from the spirit of contradiction, too natural to eager disputants, they fancy themselves obliged in honour to stand by, as their own genuine sentiments.

2. Another abuse of the principle of liberty is this, that it has led many, who have not proceeded so far as a downright disbelief of all religion, to pay little or no regard to instrumental and positive duties. Impartial inquiries into things have discovered the folly and mischief of superstition; and that reading, hearing, praying, &c. answer no valuable purposes, unless they influence men to govern their passions, and to behave and shew forth justice and universal benevolence to their fellow-creatures: and they have perhaps met with many hypocrites, the worst of characters, who, while they profess to experience the powers of religion, and the divine influences of the Spirit of God, can keep back their neighbour's property, or defraud in other respects, &c. And hence they have strangely and inconsistently inferred, that the instrumental duties of piety are not only unnecessary, but hurtful; and that an inward veneration and esteem for God, improved by frequent serious meditation, is sufficient, without any outward stated acts of worship; and is all that is fit for us to perform, or God to expect;—an inference for which there is not the least colour of reason; nor can there be any thing more forced.

And, indeed, the ill effects of this notion are but too visible. For, those who have thus neglected all external religion, have, in general, been so far from improving, that they have rather declined in their zeal for the practice even of moral virtue, in proportion as they have grown remiss with respect to the solemn worship of God, and the instrumental duties of piety.

3. Freedom of thought, and impartial inquiry into the principles of religion, have also been abused and perverted in the present age, by degenerating into a light, trifling frame of mind, and a humour of treating things sacred with ridicule. With people who affect this way, liberty is nothing else but a free, bold manner of treating all subjects ludicrously, and turning them into a jest. They have a great inclination to shew their wit, especially upon points which afford the least room for it; for this discovers an uncommon genius!—But these empty triflers ought to know, "that there can be no true wit which has not reason for its foundation;—that ridiculing what is in itself good, useful, and venerable, fixes a certain reproach upon him who attempts it, either as to his understanding, or his morals;—that jesting with things of the highest consequence, is folly and madness;—that it is an easy matter, by misrepresenting, to make any thing appear ridiculous; and, consequently, that this talent is as far from being a demonstration that the person who possesses it is a wit, as it is from being an evidence of his good breeding, that, in violation of all the rules of decency, he banters and treats with scurrility that religion, for which all the pious and virtuous around him have a high value and regard."

From what has been said we learn, that there are no doctrines, or truths, in themselves so excellent, but what are capable of being abused; and be their natural consequences ever so friendly and beneficial to mankind, may be made to produce the most mischievous effects: and yet, as this great and melancholy abuse is no just objection to the wisdom and goodness of God, so neither is it any argument against the excellency and usefulness of the things themselves;—no more than it is an argument against the necessary supports of life, that they are frequently abused to excess and intemperance; or, against wisdom, or talent, that it is too often madly perverted to the purposes of vice and immorality.

Since then this principle of freedom of thought, and an honest and impartial examination into the nature and evidence of religious matters, is the undoubted privilege of an intelligent being, and, in a peculiar manner, honourable, and on the whole highly advantageous to Christianity; let us, notwithstanding accidental abuses to which the best things are liable, constantly assert and vindicate it; ever remembering, that, though we are called to liberty, both these rules have the same foundation, and are of equal authority in the Christian revelation:—Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free;—but use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh.

REFLECTIONS.—1st. Having established the doctrine which he undertook to prove, of free justification by faith alone, without the works of the law, he passes on to exhort them steadily to hold fast the truth. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free from the curse of the law, and its obligation as a covenant of works; and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, and, by submitting to circumcision, return to the Mosaical law as obligatory, and necessary to salvation. Note; (1.) Every true believer is Christ's freed-man. (2.) The liberty of the gospel is not a liberty to sin, but to serve God with freedom of spirit and willing obedience. The Apostle inforces his exhortation with several arguments:

1. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. If you depend on this as essential to your justification before God, all Christ has done and suffered will be of no avail to you; ye are fallen from grace, and excluded from all the blessings of that gospel, whose doctrines you once professed to hold.

2. Every one of them who was circumcised was obliged to immaculate obedience to the law, under the penalty of the curse which it denounces. For I testify again (so earnest am I that this important matter be clearly understood) to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law; and having laid himself under such an obligation, must perish under the least failure, while he expects eternal life on the footing of his immaculate obedience to the law.

3. For even we, who are Jews, whose consciences have been enlightened to see the spiritual demands of the law, despairing of acceptance with God that way, do, through the Spirit, under his divine illumination and influence, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, expecting earnestly and patiently that eternal life which God has promised, not by the merit of works, but through that faith in our great Redeemer, which works by love, and produces holiness of heart and life. And if the Jews were thus necessitated to renounce all dependance on their circumcision, and the legal institutions under which they had been brought up, if they would be saved; what folly would it be for Gentiles, who had never been subject to the law, to have recourse thereto?

4. The gospel has cancelled all distinction of Jew and Gentile. For in Jesus Christ, and under that gracious dispensation which he has introduced, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, as a recommendation to God's favour; but it is faith which worketh by love; that alone is available to salvation—faith, which lays our whole dependance on Christ alone, and, from a confidence in his love, engages our souls in love to him, and in universal benevolence to mankind. Note; (1.) Christ is to the believer all and in all. (2.) Faith justifies, not as a grace in us, but as it receives and embraces the infinite merit of the Redeemer, and leads us to renounce every other hope. (3.) Wherever faith is unfeigned, the genuine fruits of love will spring from it, and hereby it shall be proved and evidenced.

5. It was the more grievous for them to depart from the faith, whose beginnings had been so exceedingly promising. Ye did run well; who did hinder you from proceeding in the happy ways of the gospel, or has diverted you from your course, that ye should not obey the truth, which once you embraced? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you; these Judaizing sentiments I never taught you; and God, by his Spirit in the gospel, laid down a quite different method for your acceptance before him. Note; (1.) It should be matter of serious inquiry with backsliders, what has turned them aside, or retarded them in their Christian race? (2.) They who receive the truth in the light of it, must shew their love of it also by the unfeigned obedience of their hearts thereunto.

6. The insinuation of such dangerous tenets was likely to produce the most fatal effects. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Where once a departure from the principles of truth begins, like the plague, it spreads through the whole body; and one corrupt member in a church may communicate the most fatal and pernicious heresies to the whole.

7. The Apostle, notwithstanding the fears he could not but entertain, yet charitably expresses his confidence in many of them, that they would resist these innovations. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that you will be none otherwise minded, and cleave unshaken to the principles of the gospel: but he that troubleth you, (' Ο ταρασσων ), the arch-heretic, and author of these pernicious opinions, shall bear his judgment, and be laid under the just censures of the church, whosoever he be, however great and distinguished.

8. He exculpates himself from every insinuation, which these seducers suggested, as if he himself was of their sentiments. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision as necessary to salvation, which they would make you believe, why do I yet suffer persecution from the Jewish zealots, my most envenomed foes? then is the offence of the cross ceased; if this were the case, there would be no reason for them to be any longer exasperated with me. His sufferings, therefore, proved the zeal wherewith he opposed a notion so subversive of the fundamentals of Christianity.

9. He, with just indignation, expresses his earnest wish that these troublers of the church's peace had their deserts. I would they were even cut off which trouble you, excommunicated from the society of the faithful. Note; The troublers of the church's peace, who broach their destructive opinions, sow dissensions, and promote schisms in the undivided body of Christ, shall be severely dealt with in the day of recompence.

2nd, As the Apostle had before exhorted them to hold fast their liberty, he also teaches them wherein that liberty consisted. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, as if you were discharged from moral obligations, and might gratify the corrupt desires of the flesh and of the mind: but the gospel of grace teaches us a different lesson, and engages us, by the most powerful principle, even by love, to serve one another, in every instance of brotherly affection, seeking to promote each other's temporal, spiritual, and eternal interests. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, all the precepts of the second table are summed up in one, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, disputing, reviling, and, with fierce contentions, like savage beasts, are exasperated against each other, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another, and forsaken of God, be given up to the evil of your own hearts, which must end in your ruin. Note; nothing tends to the destruction of Christianity so immediately, as dissensions among those who profess the faith of Christ.

3rdly, The advice which St. Paul upon the whole gives, is as follows:

1. In general: This I say then, walk in the Spirit, under his blessed influence, dictates, and guidance, according to the gospel word, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, be given up to the native corruptions of your heart: for there are two contending principles in the heart of every believer not perfected in love; the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, craving indulgence and gratification, and the Spirit against the flesh; opposing and mortifying its corrupt desires; and these are contrary the one to the other, in their nature, actings, and tendencies; so that ye cannot do, or ye do not, the things that ye would; the workings of the old man, it is true, are checked and restrained by the power of divine grace, but not without opposition; and every real believer, who experiences justifying faith, is enabled, by the nobler and divine nature which he has received, to oppose and conquer his carnal will and affection, though the conflict is often sharp. But if ye be led by the Spirit, habitually under his influence, ye are not under the law, its condemnation is no longer dreaded, but ye are brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and walk in the light, as he is in the light.

2. He particularly enumerates those works of the flesh which must be avoided, and those gracious fruits of the Spirit which should be produced in their hearts by his divine operation. Now,

[1.] The works of the flesh, of the corrupt nature in fallen man, are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, with every act of bodily pollution, or mental impurity; also, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, which more immediately are the iniquities of the carnal mind. Add to these the horrid crimes of murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such like debaucheries and abominations; of the which I tell you before the day of vengeance comes, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things, unless they repent, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Reader, mark these awful words, so express, so full, so distinct. Examine thyself; is any one of these things allowed or indulged in thy heart or conduct? Then assuredly the wrath of God abideth on thee. But,

[2.] The fruit of the Spirit, which he produces in the souls of genuine believers, is love to God and men, joy in God, through Jesus Christ; in his people who live to his glory; in his ordinances, now become our delight; peace of conscience, and peace with all mankind; long suffering, under all afflictive providences, or the provocations of the perverse; gentleness of temper and manners towards every creature; goodness that makes us ready to every word and work for the benefit of others; faith and truth in all our promises, engagements, and dealings; meekness, that is not easily provoked, and is instantly pacified; temperance in all our desires, and in the use of every earthly enjoyment: against such dispositions, and those who are possessed of them, there is no law, nor any condemnation, to be dreaded.

3. They that are Christ's, in reality living members of his body mystical, will give demonstrative proof of the truth of their profession, by their spiritual practice; for they have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts; their old man is nailed to their Redeemer's cross. And, while we are here in a state of warfare, if we live in the Spirit, actuated and influenced by his mighty energy, let us also walk in the Spirit, and act, according to our profession, as believers, and the obligations we are under to die daily unto sin, and to live unto righteousness. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, puffed up with a high conceit of our attainments or performances, and affecting human approbation; provoking one another by a proud superciliousness; or envying one another for their superior gifts; tempers the most opposite and contradictory to the profession of Christianity. Note; (1.) All, who are truly Christ's, evidence it by their conduct; the same mind, in a measure, is in them, and they follow his steps; if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie. (2.) Only from pride cometh contention, envy, and every evil work; this must therefore be mortified and destroyed, or we cannot be saved.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/galatians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle closes this excellent chapter with an exhortation to the Galatians to avoid all pride and ambition, all vain-glorious boastings and ostentation, not provoking one another by their contentions, not envying either the gifts or graces of God bestowed on others.

Learn hence, 1. That there is and may be in all men, a desire of applause and just commendation. All men pretend to a share in reputation, and do not love to see it monopolized and engrossed by any person.

Learn, 2. That a vain-glorious desire of applause and reputation is sinful, when we seek for what we do not deserve, or for more than we deserve, or seek more to be applauded by men than to be approved by God.

Learn, 3. That ambition is usually attended with envy and contention; no sin goes single, but has a train of followers; Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

26.] connected with στοιχῶμεν above, by the first person,—and with ch. Galatians 6:1, by the sense; and so forming a transition to the admonitions which follow.

μὴ γινώμ., let us not becomeefficiamur, vulg., Erasm.,—a mild, and at the same time a solemn method of warning. For while it seems to concede that they were not this as yet, it assumes that the process was going on which would speedily make them so. ‘Let us not be,’ of the E. V., misses this.

κενόδοξοι would include, as De W. observes, all worldly honour, as not an object for the Christian to seek, 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 10:17.

ἀλλήλ. προκαλ.] εἰς φιλονεικίας κ. ἔρεις, Chrys. So ἐς δίκας προκαλουμένων τῶν ἀθηναίων, Thuc. vii. 18: εἰς μάχην προὐκαλεῖτο, Xen. (Wetst.) “ φθονεῖν is the correlative act on the part of the weak, to the προκαλεῖσθαι on the part of the strong. The strong vauntingly challenged their weaker brethren they could only reply with envy.” Ellicott.

These words are addressed to all the Galatians:—the danger was common to both parties, the obedient and disobedient, the orthodox and the Judaizers.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/galatians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

SWEET are the properties of a justified state in Christ. Lord! I would say, give me grace to stand fast in it. There is nothing changeable in my Lord. His Person, his love, his righteousness, his blood-shedding, his complete salvation; these are all the same; without shadow of turning. And wherefore then, should I turn aside and seek comfort elsewhere? Shall I not live upon Jesus? Shall ordinances, circumcision, or uncircumcision, prayers or tears, experience or unbelief, toss my soul about, as if righteousness came by the law? Oh! thou dear Lord! with these or without these, in means or without means, may I everlastingly know thee, live upon thee, rejoice in thee, as the Lord my righteousness!

And, oh! thou blessed Lord the Holy Ghost! cause me to enter into an apprehension of the Person, work, grace, and glory, of Jesus. Sweetly hast thou taught the Church, in this blessed Chapter, that it is through thee, the Church are to wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Lord! cause my soul daily, hourly, to wait for that everlasting establishment in Christ, which doubts no more. Lord! on this Rock fix my soul! In Christ's Person, may my whole confidence centre. With the Person of Jesus, do thou, O Lord, cause my soul to be so enamored, that I may behold in him a greater, and more perfect righteousness to make me perfect before God, than all the righteousness of the whole creation of God. Let this view of Jesus, give a firmness to my faith, which nothing can shake. And, while the Lord the Spirit enables me to mortify the flesh with its affections, and lusts; let all the fruits of the Spirit testify, whose I am, and to whom I belong, as sweet testimonies and effects, while Christ alone is the cause, of all my salvation, and all my desire.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/galatians-5.html. 1828.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:26. Special exhortations now begin, flowing from the general obligation mentioned above (Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:25); first negative (Galatians 5:26), and then positive (Galatians 6:1 ff.). Hence Galatians 5:26 ought to begin a new chapter. The address, αδελφοί (Galatians 6:1), and the transition to the second person, which Rückert, Schott, Wieseler, make use of to defend the division of the chapters, and the consideration added by de Wette, that the vices mentioned in Galatians 5:26 belong to the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:20, and to the dissension in Galatians 5:15 (this would also admit of application to Galatians 6:1 ff.), cannot outweigh the connection which binds the special exhortations together.

κενόδόξοι] vanam gloriam captantes. Philippians 2:3; Polyb. xxvii. 6. 12, xxxix. 1. 1. Comp. κενοδοξεῖν, 4 Maccabees 5:9, and κενοδοξία, Lucian. V. H. 4, M. D. 8. See Servius, ad Virg. Aen. xi. 854. In these warnings, Paul refers neither merely to those who had remained faithful to him (Olshausen), nor merely to those of Judaistic sentiments (Theophylact and many others), for these partial references are not grounded on the context; but to the circumstances of the Galatians generally at that time, when boasting and strife (comp. Galatians 5:15) were practised on both sides.

Both the γινώμεθα in itself,(246) and the use of the first person, imply a forbearing mildness of expression.

ἀλλήλους προκαλ., ἀλλήλοις φθονοῦντες] contains the modus of the κενοδοξία. challenging one another (to the conflict, in order to triumph over the challenged), envying one another (namely, those superior, with whom they do not venture to stand a contest). On προκαλεῖσθαι, to provoke, see Hom. Il. iii. 432, vii. 50. 218. 285; Od. viii. 142; Polyb. i. 46. 11; Bast. ep. crit. p. 56, and the passages in Wetstein.

φθονεῖν governs only the dative of the person (Kühner, II. p. 247), or the accusative with the infinitive (Hom. Od. i. 346, xviii. 16, xi. 381; Herod. viii. 109), not the mere accusative (not even in Soph. O. R. 310); hence the reading adopted by Lachmann, ἀλλήλους φθον. (following B G*, and several min., Chrysostom, Theodoret, ms., Oecumenius), must be considered as an error of transcription, caused by the mechanical repetition of the foregoing ἀλλήλους.

The fact that ἀλλήλ. in both cases precedes the verb, makes the contrariety to fellowship more apparent, Galatians 5:13.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:26. ΄ὴ γινώμεθα, let us not become [Engl. Vers., not so well, be]) Those who do not carefully walk in the Spirit, fall in the next place into the desire of vain-glory, of which two effects are here mentioned.— κενόδοξοι) See Chrys. de Sacerd.(58) § 587.— προκαλούμενοι, provoking) to envy. The relative exists on the part of [has reference to] the stronger.— φθονοῦντες, envying) The correlative exists on the part of [has reference to] the weaker.

—————

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/galatians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

Let us not be desirous of vain-glory: ambition or vain-glory is a natural corruption, disposing us to boast and commend ourselves, and to seek the honour and applause of men.

Provoking one another; this is an effect of the former, disposing us, out of hope of victory, to challenge others to a contest with us. Or it may be understood of provoking others by injuries and wrongs done them; which is contrary to the duty of love.

Envying one another; not repining at the good of others; either desiring their portion, or being troubled that they fare so well. Possibly this verse might more properly have been made the first of the next chapter, (as Luther maketh it), where the apostle goeth on, pressing further spiritual duties common to all Christians.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/galatians-5.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Vainglory; empty applause, which puffs up with pride.

Provoking one another; by claims of superiority, or haughty, imperious behavior.

Envying one another; for any real or supposed excellence or distinction. For every thing excellent and praise worthy, men are indebted to the grace of God. They have therefore no good reason for self-complacency or exaltation, but much for humility and gratitude.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Family Bible New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/galatians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Galatians 5:26. ΄ὴ γίνωμεθα κενόδοξοι—“Let us not become vainglorious.” The verb is to be taken with its proper significance; not vaguely, let us not be, but “let us not become”-Vulgate, efficiamur-not simus, as Beza and Calvin. Beza's dogmatic objection to efficiamur is, that men are born such by nature; but, as Meyer remarks, believers have been born again. They were in circumstances and under temptations by which they might easily become vainglorious. In the verb itself and its person, by which the apostle classes himself among them, is a spirit of mildness in rebuke and warning. κενοδοξία is glory without basis, conceit, and is defined by Suidas ματαία τις περὶ ἑαυτοῦ οἴησις. See under Philippians 2:3, where it is opposed to ταπεινοφροσύνη; Wisdom of Solomon 14:14; Polyb. 27.6-12, 39.1, 1; 2 Maccabees 5:9. This vainglory is unworthy of us. 1 Corinthians 1:31, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17. The exhortation of the apostle is general, and is not to be confined to Judaizing sympathizers on the one side (Theophylact), nor, on the other side, to those remaining true to the apostle (Olshausen)-their vainglory resting on their continued faithfulness. Quisque gloriae cupidus est . . . a vera gloria discedit (Calvin).

᾿αλλήλους προκαλούμενοι—“provoking one another”-as Chrysostom adds: εἰς φιλονεικίας καὶ ἔρεις. The verb means to invite or challenge to combat. Xen. Cyr. 1.4, 4; Diodor. Sic. 4.58; often in Homer, Il. 3.432, 6.50, 218, 285; Polyb. 1.46, 11; Wetstein in loc. Such provocation was the natural result of that vainglory against which he is warning.

᾿αλλήλοις φθονοῦντες—“envying one another.” B, G, several MSS. and Greek fathers, read ἀλλήλους, which is adopted by Lachmann and Lightfoot; but the text is supported by A, C, D, F, K, L, א, etc. The other reading may have arisen from a careless repetition of the previous ἀλλήλους. The verb φθονεῖν, which does not occur elsewhere, governs here the dative of person. There are, however, other constructions in classic writers. Kühner, § 578. The provocations referred to excited responsive envyings; the strong challenged the weak, and the weak envied them in turn. Perhaps, however, it is too precise to make such a distinction, for those even of the same party might occasionally provoke and envy one another.

The apostle in this verse “works around,” as Lightfoot observes, to the subject of Galatians 5:15. The divisions in the church were naturally destructive of brother-love, and showed themselves in those works of the flesh-hatred, strife, jealousy, angers, intrigues, divisions, separations, envyings. But against these are ranged the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, trustfulness-graces specially needed by the Galatian churches in this crisis, as they were tempted to vainglory, to challenge and envy one another; the φθονοῦντες of this verse recalling the φθόνοι of Galatians 5:21.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.’

In contrast there are things, which are ever a danger, and are in direct opposition to the Spirit, regardless of how we seek to justify them. If we think much of ourselves and are self-satisfied, if we are provocative in our behaviour or with our words so as to upset others, if we are envious of each other, these things must be done away with, for they are ‘of the flesh’, and if continued in will be our ruin. Rather we must be considerate towards each other, seeking not to provoke one another.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/galatians-5.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This last verse seems to be an application of this principle to the specific Galatian situation.

"This is a very instructive verse because it shows that our conduct to others is determined by our opinion of ourselves." [Note: Stott, p156.]

"To "be conceited" is to boast of things that are insignificant and lacking in true worth, whether the boaster actually has them or only imagines that he has them or desires to have them." [Note: Fung, p277. Cf. Burton, p324.]

Liberty lies between legalism and license. That balance is central in chapter5. The key to being fruitful as a Christian is being submissive to the Holy Spirit, following His leading, walking in dependence on Him (cf. John 15:4-5).

Is the fruit of the Spirit the same as the gifts of the Spirit? In one sense everything that God gives us is a gift since we do not deserve it, including love, joy, peace, etc. However in the apostles" references to gifts of the Spirit the emphasis is on service, abilities God gives us with which to serve Him. In their references to the fruit of the Spirit the emphasis is on personal character and general conduct. Personal character Isaiah, of course, essential for effective service. Thus it should be no surprise to find Paul"s emphasis on love, a fruit of the Spirit, in the middle of his discussion of the gifts of the Spirit in1Corinthians12-14.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/galatians-5.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:26. Let us not become vainglorious, etc. This is the opposite of humility (Philippians 2:3). ‘St. Paul works round again to the subject of Galatians 5:15, and repeats his warning. It is clear that something had occurred which alarmed him on this point’ (Lightfoot). Vanity and quarrelsomeness, self-exaltation, and self-seeking were among the darling sins of the Gauls. But as Luther says, ‘love of vainglory is a common vice all the world over in all conditions. In the smallest village there are some peasants who deem themselves wiser and better than the rest, and like to be looked up to. But nowhere is this vice so harmful as in the officers of the church.’ Calvin remarks: ‘It is not lawful for us to glory but in God alone. Every other kind of glorying is pure vanity. Mutual provocations and envyings are the daughters of ambition.’ Galatians 5:26 is the connecting link between ch. 5 and ch. 6.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/galatians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Galatians 5:26. The English version provoking introduces an idea of wanton provocation which does not belong to the Latin provocantes, nor to the Greek , for this denotes challenges to combat, and so describes the spirit of defiance which animated rival parties amid the heated atmosphere of religious controversy. The verse denounces the vainglorious temper of party leaders which found vent in mutual defiance and ill-will.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

desirous of vain glory. Greek. kenodoxos. Only here. Compare Philippians 2:3.

provoking. Greek. prokaleomai. Only here.

envying. Greek. phthoneo. Only here.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/galatians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

'Let us not BECOME' [ ginometha (Greek #1096)]. While not asserting that the Galatians are "vain-glorious" now, he says they are liable to become so.

Provoking, [ prokaloumenoi (G4292): challenging] one another - an effect of 'vain-gloriousness' on the stronger, as "envying" on the weaker. A danger common both to the orthodox and Judaizing Galatians.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(26) Let us not be.—Strictly, Let us not become. When he left the Galatian Church St. Paul was satisfied with their condition, but he fears that they will change. The warning that he addresses to them exactly hits the weak points in the national character—fickleness, vanity, and a quarrelsome disposition.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
desirous
Luke 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:7; Philippians 2:1-3; James 4:16
provoking
15; James 3:14-16; 1 Peter 5:5 Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 19:43 - our advice;  2 Kings 17:17 - used;  Luke 9:46 - GeneralActs 17:5 - moved;  Romans 13:13 - strife;  1 Corinthians 1:11 - that there;  1 Corinthians 13:3 - though I bestow;  1 Corinthians 13:4 - envieth;  2 Corinthians 12:20 - debates;  Philippians 2:3 - nothing;  Philippians 2:14 - disputings;  Colossians 3:8 - anger;  1 Thessalonians 2:6 - of men;  1 Timothy 6:4 - words;  James 5:9 - Grudge not

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

A little further encouragement not to desire glory in the church and not to provoke others, and certainly don"t envy others in the church. This is the truth that we are all parts of the body, that we are all parts as defined and prepared by God Himself to fulfill the overall plan that he instituted before creation.

We are part of His plan for our little corner of the world, but so is Sister Highbrow, and so is brother Shabby dresser. We are all a part of His plan to minister to and mature us to the work that He has for us in our communities and in our work places and our homes as we have visitors. We are His prepared messengers, and we should live like it as well.

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Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.
Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

26.Vainglory, provoking’ envying—Pointed allusions again to these traits in the Galatians, which were ruining their Christianity.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

26. We must not be. These things destroy Christian community and fellowship!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

26.Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, The special exhortations which were addressed to the Galatians were not more necessary for them than they are adapted to our own time. Of many evils existing in society at large, and particularly in the church, ambition is the mother. Paul therefore directs us to guard against it, for the vain-glory ( κενοδοξία) of which he speaks is nothing else than ambition, (filimia,) or the desire of honor, by which every one desires to excel all others. The heathen philosophers do not condemn every desire of glory; but among Christians, whoever is desirous of glory departs from true glory, and therefore is justly charged with idle and foolish ambition. It is not lawful for us to glow but in God alone. Every other kind of glorying is pure vanity. Mutual provocations and envyings are the daughters of ambition. He who aspires to the highest rank must of necessity envy all others, and disrespectful, biting, stinging language is the unavoidable consequence.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.