Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:5

For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
New American Standard Version
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Adam Clarke Commentary

For we, Christians, through the Spirit - Through the operation of the Holy Ghost, under this spiritual dispensation of the Gospel, wait for the hope of righteousness - expect that which is the object of our hope, on our being justified by faith in Christ. Righteousness, δικαιοσυνη, may here, as in many other places of St. Paul's epistles, mean justification, and the hope of justification, or the hope excited and inspired by it, is the possession of eternal glory; for, says the apostle, Romans 5:1, Romans 5:2, Being justified by faith, we have peace with God - and rejoice in Hope of the Glory of God. But, as this glory is necessarily future, it is to be waited for; but this waiting, in a thorough Christian, is not only a blessed expectation, but also a continual anticipation of it; and therefore the apostle says, απεκδεχομεθα, we receive out if it, from απο, from εκ, out of, and δεχομαι, I receive. This is no fanciful derivation; it exists in the experience of every genuine Christian; he is continually anticipating or receiving foretastes of that glory, the fullness of which he expects after death. Thus they are receiving the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls. 1 Peter 1:9.

That they could not have the Holy Spirit without faith, was a doctrine also of the Jews; hence it is said, Mechilta, fol. 52: "That faith was of great consequence with which the Israelites believed in Him who, with one word, created the universe; and because the Israelites believed in God, the Holy Spirit dwelt in them; so that, being filled with God, they sang praises to him." Cicero, De Nat. Deor., lib. ii., has said: Nemo vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino unquam fuit: "There never was a great man who had not some measure of the Divine influence." However true this may be with respect to the great men of the Roman orator, we may safely assert there never was a true Christian who had not the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit.

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

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For we - We who are Christians. It is a characteristic of the true Christian.

Through the Spirit - The Holy Spirit. We expect salvation only by his aid.

Wait for - That is, we expect salvation in this way. The main idea is, not that of waiting as if the thing were delayed; it is that of expecting. The sense is, that true Christians have no other hope of salvation than by faith in the Lord Jesus. It is not by their own works, nor is it by any conformity to the Law. The object of Paul is, to show them the true nature of the Christian hope of eternal life, and to recall them from dependence on their conformity to the Law.

The hope of righteousness - The hope of justification. They had no other hope of justification than by faith in the Redeemer; see the note at Romans 1:17.

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

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:5

For we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,

Salvation by faith and the work of the Spirit

Faith is not opposed to the spirit, but is the child of it.
Through the Spirit we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

I. Declare the Christian’s hope.

1. Its singularity. Not founded on parentage, outward rites and ceremonies, moral virtues and spiritual excellencies; but upon Christ.

2. Its speciality. In grace alone--looking entirely to the free mercy of God. Nothing by merit. Nobody has any claim upon God. He blesses us because He is good, not because we are; He saves us because He is gracious, not because He sees any grace inherent in us.

3. Its ground. It is founded upon right--a solid base for hope. We expect to be saved by an act of justice as well as by a deed of mercy. By faith the righteousness of Christ becomes ours, so that we have a right to salvation (Romans 4:23-25; Romans 5:1-2; Romans 8:1-4; Romans 8:32-34).

4. Its substance. A triumphant death, a glorious eternity.

5. The posture which our hope takes up. Waiting. All is done; we have but to wait for the reward. To the garment which covers us we dare not think of adding a single thread. To the acceptance in which we stand before God, we cannot hope to add a single jewel. Why attempt it? Has not Jesus said, “It is finished?” Waiting implies continuance. Our faith is not for to-day and to-morrow only, but for eternity.

II. The relation of this matter to the Holy Spirit. No division in the purposes and works of the three sacred Persons in the Trinity. Their will is one. That which glorifies Jesus cannot dishonour the Holy Spirit.

1. The faith which brings this righteousness is never exercised by any but those who are born of the Spirit. The new heart which the Spirit creates is the only soil in which faith will grow.

2. Faith for righteousness is based on the testimony of the Holy Spirit.

3. Simple faith is always the work of the Spirit.

4. When a man has believed, he obtains a great increase to his faith in Jesus by the work of the Spirit.

5. It is by the Spirit that we continue to exercise faith.

III. Concluding inferences.

1. Whoever has this hope of righteousness by faith has the Spirit of God. He that believeth hath the witness in himself. He that believeth in Him is not condemned.

2. Wherever there is any other hope, or hope based upon anything else but this, the Spirit of God is not present. The Spirit will not bear witness to man’s home-born presumptuous hopes, but only to the finished work of Jesus. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Difference between faith and hope

There is so great affinity between faith and hope, that the one cannot be separate from the other. Notwithstanding, there is a difference between them, which is gathered of their several offices, diversity of working, and of their ends.

1. They differ in respect of their subject, that is, of the ground wherein they rest. For faith resteth in the understanding, hope in the will; but the one is to the other, as the two cherubim on the mercy-seat.

2. They differ in respect of their office, i.e. of their working. Faith tells what is to be done, teaches, prescribes, directs; hope stirs up the mind that it may be strong, bold, courageous, that it may suffer and endure adversity, waiting for better things.

3. They differ as touching their object, that is, the special matter whereunto they look. Faith has for her object the truth, teaching us to cleave surely thereto, and looking upon the word and promise of the thing that is promised; hope has for her object the goodness of God, and looks upon the thing which is promised in the word, that is, upon such matters as faith teaches us to hope for.

4. They differ in order. Faith is the beginning of life, before all tribulation; hope proceeds from tribulation.

5. They differ by the diversity of working. Faith is a teacher and a judge, fighting against errors and heresies, judging spirits and doctrines; hope is, as it were, the general or captain of the field, fighting against tribulation, the cross, impatience, heaviness of spirit, weakness, desperation, and blasphemy, and it waits for good things even in the midst of all evils. Therefore, when I am instructed by faith in the Word of God, and lay hold of Christ, believing in Him with my whole heart, then am I righteous by this knowledge. When I am so justified by faith, or by this knowledge, by and by cometh the devil, the father of wiles, and laboureth to extinguish my faith by wiles and subtleties; that is to say, by lies, errors, and heresies. Moreover, because he is a murderer, he goeth about also to oppress it by violence. Here hope wrestling, layeth hold on the thing revealed by faith, and overcometh the devil that warreth against faith; and after this victory followeth peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Luther.)

Faith and hope complementary of each other

In civil government, prudence and fortitude do differ, and yet these two virtues are so joined together, that they cannot easily be severed. Now, fortitude is a constancy of mind, which is not discouraged in adversity, but endureth valiantly, and waiteth for better things. But if fortitude be not guided by prudence, it is but temerity and rashness. On the other side, if fortitude be not joined with prudence, that prudence is but vain and unprofitable. Therefore, like as, in policy, prudence is but vain without fortitude; even so in divinity, faith without hope is nothing; for hope endureth adversity and is constant therein, and in the end overcometh all evils. And on the other side, like as fortitude without prudence is rashness, even so hope without faith is a presumption in spirit, and a tempting of God: for it hath no knowledge of Christ and.of the truth which faith teacheth, and therefore it is but a blind rashness and arrogancy. Wherefore, a godly man, before all things, must have a right understanding instructed by faith, according to the which the mind may be guided in afflictions, that it may hope for those good things which faith hath revealed and taught. To be short, faith is conceived by teaching; for thereby the mind is instructed what the truth is. Hope is conceived by exhortation; for by exhortation hope is stirred up in afflictions, which confirmeth him that is already justified by faith, that he be not overcome by adversities, but that he may be able more strongly to resist them. (Luther.)

Hope with faith

The heir must believe his title to an estate in reversion before he can hope for it: faith believes its title to glory, and then hope waits for it. Did not faith feed the lamp of hope with oil, it would soon die. (Ambrose.)

The believer’s treasure

1. The riches of a believer are not so much in possession as in expectation and hope.

2. None have right to heaven here, or shall enjoy it hereafter, who are wholly unrighteous.

3. No personal righteousness of our own can entitle us to this blessed hope and heavenly inheritance; but only the righteousness of Christ.

4. It is only the inward, efficacious teaching of God’s Spirit, that can sufficiently instruct us in the knowledge of this imputed righteousness by faith, and make us with security and confidence venture our eternal well-being and hope of heaven upon it. (James Fergusson.)

Faith and morality

When faith is finished a good life is made perfect in our kind: let, therefore, no man expect events for which he hath no promise; nor call for God’s fidelity without his own faithfulness; nor snatch at a promise without performing the condition; nor think faith to be a hand to apprehend Christ, and to do nothing else; for that will but deceive us, and turn religion into words, holiness into hypocrisy, the promises of God into a snare, the truth of God into a lie. When God gives us better promises, He intends that we should pay Him a better obedience; when He forgives us what is past, He intends that we should sin no more; when He offers us His graces, He would have us make use of them; when He causes us to distrust ourselves His meaning is that we should rely on Him; when He enables us to do what He commands us, He commands us to do all that we can. (Jeremy Taylor.)

Faith the only basis of righteousness and hope

Our religion is spiritual faith, which speaks after this fashion: “Believe in God; believe in Jesus Christ; believe in your own soul; believe in redemption from sin, from guilt, and from punishment; and believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting.” This is our religion. Infidelity comes and unfolds its little couch and lays it on the ground, and says to my soul, “Rest there.” But I have tried, and cannot. The bed is too short for my soul to stretch itself upon it. It only reaches from the cradle there to the grave yonder, while my soul has desires that wander through eternity. No, thank God, here is room: God is, Christ is, thy soul is, redemption is, pardon is, liberty from sin is, and the glorious life eternal is! Stretch thy soul upon that couch and rest for ever. (Thomas Jones.)

Faith and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

I. Consider faith in Christ.

1. Explain the nature of it.

2. It is our duty to believe in Christ.

1. Though it be our duty to believe in the Lord Jesus, and this should be pressed upon our consciences, yet we need the aids of Divine grace to enable us to discharge this duty; therefore we should ask them of God.

2. It is not only the duty of persons, when they are first awakened to a sense of sin, to believe in Jesus Christ; those also who have received Him should be daily exercising faith in Him.

II. Consider hope in Christ.

1. Let us consider what it is true Christians hope for in the Lord Jesus.

2. Let us inquire into the reasons of this their hope in Christ.

Concluding reflections:

1. We may hence learn that true Christians should be ready always to answer every man that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them. Seeing it is so reasonable, so well grounded, they should never be ashamed of it, nor suffer themselves to be moved from it by the vain cavils of men.

2. Is our hope in Christ Jesus? Then it should be our great care to “glorify His name, and to adorn His doctrine in all things.” And in order hereto let us live answerably to our hope in Him.

3. It behoves us to be very solicitous that we do not take up with such a hope as shall make us ashamed. The salvation proposed by Jesus Christ to His disciples is inexpressibly great; and it should be our great concern that our expectations of it be not disappointed. “Not every one that says unto Christ, “Lord, Lord,” that pretends respect for Him, “shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “The hope of the hypocrite shall perish.” (S. Price.)

The Spirit inclining us to seek after righteousness

In these words observe--

1. The end, scope, and blessedness of a Christian in the word “hope.”

2. The firm ground of it--“The righteousness of faith.”

3. The carriage of Christians--“We wait.”

4. The inward moving cause of waiting for this hope in this way--

“Through the Spirit.” They are taught by Him, inclined by Him, so to do.

1. The blessedness of a Christian is implied in the word “hope.” For hope is taken two ways in Scripture--for the thing hoped for, and for the affection or act of him that hopeth. Here it is taken in the first sense, for the thing hoped for. As also Titus 2:13, “Looking for the blessed hope.” So Colossians 1:5, “For the hope which is laid up for us in heaven.”

2. The ground and foundation of this hope, “The righteousness of faith.” What it is I will show you by and by. Only here it is opposed, partly to the covenant of works, which could not give life; partly to the legal observances; for it presently followeth, “Neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision,” etc. But by no means is it opposed to evangelical obedience; for the whole New Testament obedience is comprised in this term, “The righteousness of faith; “ as appeareth by the apostle’s explication in the next verse, “But faith, which works by love.”

3. The duty of a Christian--“We wait.” All true Christians wait for the mercy of God and life everlasting. And he calleth in waiting, because a believer hath not so much in possession as in expectation. And this waiting is not a devout sloth, but implieth diligence in the use of all means whereby we may obtain this hope.

4. The inward efficient cause--“Through the Spirit.” We are taught by the Spirit, inclined by the Spirit so to do. That by the Spirit all true Christians are inclined to pursue after the hope built upon the righteousness of faith.

I. What is the righteousness of faith? We told you before it is opposed either to the law of works or the ceremonial observances of the law of Moses. But more particularly it may be determined--

II. What is the hope built upon it, or the things hoped for by virtue of this righteousness? and they are pardon and life.

1. Certainly pardon of sins is intended in the righteousness of faith, as appeareth by that of the apostle (Romans 4:6-8).

2. There is also in it salvation, or eternal life (Titus 3:7). These two benefits give us the greatest support and comfort against all kind of troubles.

III. What is the work of the Spirit in this business in urging believers to wait for the hope of righteousness by faith? The work of the Spirit doth either concern the duties of the new covenant or the privileges of the new covenant, or what is common to them both. I begin with the latter.

1. What is common to them both. He doth convince us- of the truth of the gospel, both of means and end; that there is such a hope, and the righteousness of faith is the only way to obtain it. Now this he doth externally and internally.

2. The work of the Spirit as to the duties of the new covenant. He doth not only convince us of the reality and the necessity of Christ’s obedience and our holiness, but by His powerful operation frameth and inclineth our hearts to the duties required of us. Faith itself is wrought in us by this holy Spirit, for it is “the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8); and so is repentance and obedience: Hebrews 8:10, “I will write My laws upon their hearts, and put them into their minds.” Moses’ law was written on tables of stone, as a rule without them; but Christ’s law on the heart and mind, as drawing and inclining them to obey it. The renewing grace of the Spirit of God doth prepare us and fit us, and His exciting grace doth quicken us, that we may do what is pleasing in His sight.

3. The work of the Spirit as to the privileges of the new covenant, which are pardon and life.

(a) He prepareth us and fitteth us for it (2 Corinthians 5:5).

(b) He assureth us of it (2 Corinthians 1:22).

(c) He comforteth us and raiseth, our longing after this blessed estate, for the beginnings we have here are called also the first-fruits (Romans 8:23). The beginnings are sweet; what will the completion be? Application:

1. Here you see your scope, what you should look for and hope for--the forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among the sanctified.

2. Here you see your work, and what you should now seek after--“The righteousness of faith.”

3. Here you see your help, and what will enable you to obtain--“Through the Spirit.” Oh! let these things be more in your thoughts.

(i) The forgiveness of sins. The sin be forgiven you can never have found peace within yourselves, but still God will be matter of fear and terror to you.

(ii) By waiting on the duties of the gospel, this comfort is more and more settled in the heart.

To enforce this consider--

1. There is no appearing before God without some righteousness of one sort or another. Why? Because it is an holy and just God before whom we appear; and “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right” (Genesis 18:25); and 1 Samuel 6:20, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?” If not now in the time of His patience, how, then, in the time of His recompense? His holiness inclineth Him to hate sin, and His justice to punish it. “Thy law is exceeding pure” (Psalms 19:14). The gospel abateth nothing of the purity of it. Now when we appear before an holy God, and must he judged by an holy law, surely we must have holiness and righteousness answerable, or how can we stand in the judgment?

2. No ether righteousness will serve the turn but the righteousness of faith; and therefore, till we submit to the new covenant, we are in a woeful case. Now the righteousness of the new covenant is supreme or subordinate; the supreme by way of merit and satisfaction, the subordinate by way of application and qualification on our parts.

The hope of righteousness reasonable

How foolish and ignorant we should esteem an artificer, who, having taken a piece of iron, should melt and mould, file and polish it, and then imagine that it has become gold! It shines, it is true; but is its brilliancy a proof that it is no longer iron? And does not God require pure and refined gold; that is to say, a perfect righteousness and a perfect holiness? (Malan.)

Righteousness by faith

As the graft is kept in union with the stock by means of the clay which has been applied by the gardener, so is the believer united to Christ by faith, which is the gift of God. The clay cement keeps the parts together, but has no virtue in itself: so faith is the means of union to Christ; it shows that the husbandman has been there. When the clay is removed in an ordinary tree, the graft is found united to the stock: so, when faith is swallowed up in sight, then the perfect union of Christ and His people is seen. (J. H. Balfour.)

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

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.

Through the Spirit ... The Holy Spirit is conferred upon all baptized believers, according to the promise of Acts 2:38, thus identifying those who "by faith" were waiting for the hope of righteousness.

By faith ... has the meaning here of "by the Christian religion." "Faith" as used in the popular theology of this current era, meaning the subjective experience of sinners and the sole ground of their justification, is merely the jargon of religious cultism, utterly different from the New Testament meaning of the word.

Cole's opinion that "The gift of faith is the first gift of the Spirit"[4] cannot be correct; because only those who have already believed, repented and have been baptized into Christ are promised the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

ENDNOTE:

[4] R. A. Cole, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Galatians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), p. 143.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

For we through the Spirit wait,.... Who have believed in Christ, Christians in general, and the apostle and the brethren with him in particular; who also were Jews born, and brought up as such; and yet they did not look for, and expect heaven and happiness through circumcision, or any of the works of the law, but through the righteousness of Christ received by faith, under the influence and testimony of the Spirit of God, and therefore much less should Gentiles:

for the hope of righteousness by faith; by which is meant, not the believer's justifying righteousness, as if it was something future he is waiting for; for this is already wrought out, and brought in by Christ, the end of the law for righteousness; is revealed in the Gospel from faith to faith; is discovered and applied to the saints by the Spirit of God; is put upon them, and imputed to them by the Father; and is what they now have, not in hope, but in hand; their faith having received it, as their justifying righteousness; in which they will ever be found, living and dying: but eternal glory and felicity is here intended, called "hope"; because it is the object of hope, or is what is hoped for; it is unseen, as what is hoped for is: it is future, and what is to be enjoyed hereafter, and therefore hoped for; it is certain, possible to be enjoyed, though with difficulty; which gives room for hope, and exercises and tries that grace; the foundation and encouragement of hope in it are the person, blood, sacrifice, and righteousness of Christ, who is our hope: and hence it is styled "the hope of righteousness", because none but righteous persons shall enjoy it: and that by virtue, and in consequence of their being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which gives them their title to it; and hence they look for it, and shall enjoy it, on the foot of justice, as well as of grace and goodness: "waiting" for it supposes it to be certain, real, solid, substantial, valuable, and worth waiting for; which, when possessed, will be with the utmost pleasure, and be abundantly satisfying; and that the persons that wait for it have knowledge, and at least hope of interest in it; and do highly value and esteem it, having their hearts set on it, and looking with contempt on the things of time and sense, in comparison of it: the manner in which they wait is, "through the Spirit", and "by faith"; the Syriac version reads, "through the Spirit, which is of faith"; that is, by the Spirit received through faith; see Galatians 3:14 but it is best to consider them apart; believers look and wait for heaven, under the influence and encouragement of the Spirit of God; who is the author of the faith by which they look for it, and of the hope which is concerned with it; and who is the revealer and applier of the righteousness of Christ, the foundation of it; and which gives some glimpses of the heavenly glory to the saints, shows them their interest in it, witnesses to their sonship, and so to their heirship; and is the pledge and earnest of their inheritance; all which gives great strength and encouragement to faith, by which they also expect it; believing not only the reality of it, but their own interest in it; and so walk by faith in the believing views thereof, until they receive the end of it.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 For we through the d Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

(2) He privately compares the new people with the old: for it is certain that they also did ground all their hope of justification and life in faith, and not in circumcision, but in such a way that their faith was wrapped in the external and ceremonial worship. But our faith is without such ceremony, and content with spiritual worship.

(d) Through the Spirit who brings about faith.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

For — proof of the assertion, “fallen from grace,” by contrasting with the case of legalists, the “hope” of Christians.

through the SpiritGreek, rather, “by the Spirit”: in opposition to by the flesh (Galatians 4:29), or fleshly ways of justification, as circumcision and legal ordinances. “We” is emphatical, and contrasted with “whosoever of you would be justified by the law” (Galatians 5:4).

the hope of righteousness — “We wait for the (realization of the) hope (which is the fruit) of the righteousness (that is, justification which comes) by (literally, ‹from - out of‘) faith,” Romans 5:1, Romans 5:4, Romans 5:5; Romans 8:24, Romans 8:25, “Hope  …  we with patience wait for it.” This is a farther step than being “justified”; not only are we this, but “wait for the hope” which is connected with it, and is its full consummation. “Righteousness,” in the sense of justification, is by the believer once for all already attained: but the consummation of it in future perfection above is the object of hope to be waited for: “the crown of righteousness laid up” (2 Timothy 4:8): “the hope laid up for you in heaven” (Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:3).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Paul concludes the whole matter with the above statement. "You want to be justified by the Law, by circumcision, and by works. We cannot see it. To be justified by such means would make Christ of no value to us. We would be obliged to perform the whole law. We rather through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness." The Apostle is not satisfied to say "justified by faith." He adds hope to faith.

Holy Writ speaks of hope in two ways: as the object of the emotion, and hope as the emotion itself. In the first chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians we have an instance of its first use: "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven," i.e., the thing hoped for. In the sense of emotion we quote the passage from the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans: "For we are saved by hope." As Paul uses the term "hope" here in writing to the Galatians, we may take it in either of its two meanings. We may understand Paul to say, "We wait in spirit, through faith, for the righteousness that we hope for, which in due time will be revealed to us." Or we may understand Paul to say: "We wait in Spirit, by faith for righteousness with great hope and desire." True, we are righteous, but our righteousness is not yet revealed; as long as we live here sin stays with us, not to forget the law in our members striving against the law of our mind. When sin rages in our body and we through the Spirit wrestle against it, then we have cause for hope. We are not yet perfectly righteous. Perfect righteousness is still to be attained. Hence we hope for it.

This is sweet comfort for us. And we are to make use of it in comforting the afflicted. We are to say to them: "Brother, you would like to feel God's favor as you feel your sin. But you are asking too much. Your righteousness rests on something much better than feelings. Wait and hope until it will be revealed to you in the Lord's own time. Don't go by your feelings, but go by the doctrine of faith, which pledges Christ to you."

The question occurs to us, What difference is there between faith and hope? We find it difficult to see any difference. Faith and hope are so closely linked that they cannot be separated. Still there is a difference between them.

First, hope and faith differ in regard to their sources. Faith originates in the understanding, while hope rises in the will.

Secondly, they differ in regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. Faith teaches, describes, directs. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous.

Thirdly, they differ in regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God.

Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation. (Hebrews 11.) Hope comes later and is born of tribulation. (Romans 5.)

Fifthly, they differ in regard to their effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fights against tribulations, the Cross, despondency, despair, and waits for better things to come in the midst of evil.

Without hope faith cannot endure. On the other hand, hope without faith is blind rashness and arrogance because it lacks knowledge. Before anything else a Christian must have the insight of faith, so that the intellect may know its directions in the day of trouble and the heart may hope for better things. By faith we begin, by hope we continue.

This passage contains excellent doctrine and much comfort. It declares that we are justified not by works, sacrifices, or ceremonies, but by Christ alone. The world may judge certain things to be ever so good; without Christ they are all wrong. Circumcision and the law and good works are carnal. "We," says Paul, "are above such things. We possess Christ by faith and in the midst of our afflictions we hopefully wait for the consummation of our righteousness."

You may say, "The trouble is I don't feel as if I am righteous." You must not feel, but believe. Unless you believe that you are righteous, you do Christ a great wrong, for He has cleansed you by the washing of regeneration, He died for you so that through Him you may obtain righteousness and everlasting life.

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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

For we (ημεις γαρhēmeis gar). We Christians as opposed to the legalists.

Through the Spirit by faith (πνευματι εκ πιστεωςpneumati ek pisteōs). By the Spirit (Holy Spirit) out of faith (not law). Clear-cut repetition to make it plain.

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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 5:5". "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

For we ( ἡμεῖς γὰρ )

Γὰρ forintroduces a proof of the preceding statement, by declaring the contrary attitude of those who continue under the economy of grace. Ye who seek to be justified by the law are fallen from grace; for we, not relying on the law, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.

Through the Spirit ( πνεύματι )

The Holy Spirit who inspires our faith. Not as Lightfoot, spiritually. The words πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως are not to be taken as one conception, the Spirit which is of faith, but present two distinct and coordinate facts which characterize the waiting for the hope of righteousness; namely, the agency of the Holy Spirit, in contrast with the flesh (comp. Romans 7:6; Romans 8:4, Romans 8:15, Romans 8:16; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 2:22), and faith in contrast with the works of the law (comp. Galatians 3:3, and see Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:3; Romans 1:17; Romans 3:22; Romans 9:30; Romans 10:6).

By faith ( ἐκ πίστεως )

Const. with wait, not with righteousness.

Wait for ( ἀπεκδεχόμεθα )

Quite often in Paul, and only twice elsewhere, Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:20. See on Philemon 3:20.

The hope of righteousness ( ἐπίδα δικαιοσύνης )

Hope for the object of hope, as Romans 8:24; Colossians 1:5; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 2:13. The phrase means that good which righteousness causes us to hope for. Comp. hope of the calling (Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4): hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

For we — Who believe in Christ, Who are under the gospel dispensation.

Through the Spirit — Without any of those carnal ordinances.

Wait for — in sure confidence of attaining.

The hope of righteousness — The righteousness we hope for, and full reward of it. This righteousness we receive of God through faith; and by faith we shall obtain the reward.

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

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Wait for; depend upon. We are looking to that source as the ground of our reliance.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/galatians-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

А мы духом ожидаем. Здесь апостол предваряет возможное возражение. Ведь кому-то могла прийти к голову мысль: выходит, что от обрезания нет никакой пользы. Апостол отвечает: во Христе оно действительно ничего не значит. Поэтому праведность кроется в вере и достигается духом без каких-либо обрядов. Лелеять надежду на спасение означает основывать упование на той или иной вещи; иначе говоря, определить для себя, откуда следует ожидать праведности. Хотя возможно, что этими словами означается также и стойкость. Апостол как бы говорит: мы постоянно пребываем в уповании на праведность, которую обретаем верою. То, что по его словам праведность приходит к нам по вере, относится и к нам, и к ветхозаветным отцам. Ибо все они угодили Богу своей верою, как о том свидетельствует Писание. Однако их вера была завернута в покрывало обрядов. Поэтому апостол отличает нас от них, говоря о духе, и противопоставляя его внешним теням. Он хочет сказать, что теперь для достижения праведности достаточно простой веры, той, которая не украшается обрядовой помпой, а довольствуется духовным поклонением Богу.

 

 

 

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

Scofield's Reference Notes

righteousness

(See Scofield "Romans 10:10").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Galatians 5:5". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/galatians-5.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Ver. 5. For we through the Spirit] We apostles hope for righteousness by faith. If you will go to heaven any other way, you must erect a ladder, and go up alone, as Constantine said to Acesins the Novatian heretic, Erigito scalam, Acesi, et solus ascendito.

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

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Galatians 5:5. For we It is evident, from the context, that St. Paul here means himself; but we, is a more graceful way of speaking than I, though he be vindicating himself alone from the imputation of setting up circumcision.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". 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

That is, "We Christians, we believers, through the Spirit which we have received, and not by legal observances, do hope both for such a righteousness as will denominate and constitute us righteous in the sight of God, and also for the crown of righteousness in heaven, which now we wait and hope for here on earth."

Note, 1. That a believer does not value himself by what he has in hand, but by what he has in hope; his riches are not so much in present possession, as in future expectation: We wait for the hope: that is, for heaven, the good hoped for.

Note, 2. That none have either right to heaven, or can warrantably expect the enjoyments of heaven, who are destitute of righteousness; heaven is here called the hope of righteousness, that is, the rational hope and expectation of righteous persons only.

Note, 3. That it is a righteousness made ours by faith, even the righteousness of the Mediator, which gives us the best title to, and the firmest ground to hope and wait for, the kingdom of heaven and eternal life.

Note, 4. That it is the special work of the Holy Spirit to produce in us the graces of the Spirit, both faith and hope; faith to enable us to apprehend, and hope to enable us to wait for, the crown of righteousness, even eternal glory: We through the Spirit do wait for the hope of righteousness by faith?

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". 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

5.] Proof (hence γάρ) of ἐξεπ. τ. χάρ., by statement e contrario of the condition and hope of Christians. Emphasis (1) on ἡμεῖς, as opposed to οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε,—(2) on πνεύματι (not ‘mente’ (Fritz.), nor ‘spiritually,’ Middleton, al., but by the (Holy) Spirit, reff.), as opposed to σαρκί, the fleshly state of those under the law, see ch. Galatians 4:29,—(3) on ἐκ πίστεως, as opposed to ἐν νόμῳ, which involves ἐξ ἔργων.

ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης] Is this genitive objective, the hope of righteousness, i.e. the hope whose object is perfect righteousness,—or subjective, the hope of righteousness, i.e. the hope which the righteous entertain—viz. that of eternal life? Certainly I think the former: for this reason, that ἐλπίδα has the emphasis, and ἐλπίδα δικ. ἀπεκδεχ. answers to δικαιοῦσθε above—‘Ye think ye have your righteousness in the law: we, on the contrary, anxiously wait for the hope of righteousness (full and perfect).’ The phrase ἀπεκδέχεσθαι ἐλπίδα may be paralleled, Acts 24:15; Titus 2:13; Eur. Alcest. 130, τίνʼ ἔτι βίου ἐλπίδα προσδέχωμαι; Polyb. viii. 21. 7, ταῖς προσδοκωμέναις ἐλπίσιν.

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

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

I detain the Reader at this verse, just to make a short remark. The waiting for the Spirit to make manifest Christ's righteousness to the soul of the believer, is a beautiful testimony of God the Holy Ghost's grace, upon this occasion. I hardly know a passage in the Bible, which so blessedly, and fully makes known, this great office-work of the Holy Ghost. It appears then most decidedly from hence, that until God the Holy Ghost, by this his special act, hath fixed our minds upon Christ's Person and righteousness, so as to make us completely satisfied with both; and that we have done with every other method of justification, and are delighted with this, as God himself is delighted: the full consent of soul is not obtained. But when God the Spirit, who keeps us in waiting for it, and at length makes it known; we then rest with full assurance of faith, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Reader! do you enter with my soul, into an apprehension of this precious, precious work, of God the Holy Ghost? Oh! then, think how sweetly the words and promise of Jesus are here, as in a thousand other instances fulfilled, when he said of the blessed Spirit: he shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:14.

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

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2079

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH

Galatians 5:5. We, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

THE object of St. Paul, in this epistle is, to maintain and establish the doctrine of justification by faith alone, without the deeds of the law. This doctrine had been assailed and controverted by Judaizing teachers, who had gained such influence in the Church, as to draw multitudes after them, and to intimidate even the Apostles themselves. We are told that Peter, through fear of the circumcision, dissembled, and drew Barnabas also, his friend and fellow-labourer, into a participation of his crime. St. Paul, with becoming zeal, set himself to stem the tide. He felt for the honour of God, whose Gospel was thus perverted; and for the welfare of immortal souls, whose salvation was endangered; and, without partiality, he rebuked Peter in the face of the whole Church; shewing that all mixture of the Law with the Gospel was a fatal error; and that all who would be saved must seek salvation wholly and exclusively by faith in Christ.

Having concluded his argument, he enforces the truth he had established; and declares, that all who were under the influence of the Spirit of God would wait for the hope of righteousness, not by works, but by faith alone.

The words before us will lead me to shew,

I. To what every true Christian looks for justification before God—

The context makes known to us the Apostle’s views—

[The energy of the Apostle on this subject is such as must, on no account, be overlooked. He declares, in opposition to the Judaizing teachers, that the blending of the Law with the Gospel, in any respect, would make void all that Christ has done and suffered for us; that it would bring us back altogether to the covenant of works, which promised nothing but to perfect obedience; and that it was, in fact, an utter renunciation of the Gospel, and a contempt of all the grace contained in it. “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you: whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.” Now, of all works that could be performed, circumcision was the most innocent: for it had been expressly commanded of God, from the first moment that Abraham had been admitted into covenant with him: it was enjoined under the penalty of death: Moses himself was in imminent danger of being slain by God for the neglect of it: and, though abrogated by the Gospel, St. Paul had sanctioned the observance of it in the case of Timothy. ‘Yet,’ says St. Paul, ‘the observance of this rite, with a view to increase or confirm your interest in the Gospel, will invalidate the Gospel altogether, and plunge your souls into inevitable perdition.’

Having solemnly asserted and testified of these things, he goes on to declare what he himself, and all true Christians, looked to for their justification before God: “ ‘we,” we Apostles, we who are truly under the influence of the Spirit, “wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” We renounce every other hope whatever: we blend nothing with the merits of Christ: we look for acceptance through His righteousness alone: and we expect to obtain an interest in it, and to be made partakers of it, simply and solely by faith in Him.’]

In accordance with these are the views of every true Christian—

[Every one who is but a babe in Christ knows that he neither has, nor can have, any righteousness of his own. Having transgressed the law, he feels that he is obnoxious to its curse denounced against him; and that he must obtain some better righteousness than his own, if ever he would find acceptance with God. He looks into the Scriptures, and learns, that the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, the co-equal, co-eternal Son of God, has left his throne of glory, and assumed our nature; and in that nature has suffered the penalty which we had merited, and obeyed the law which we had broken; and has thereby “brought in an everlasting righteousness” for all who believe in him. Convinced of this, he casts himself entirely on the Lord; calling him “The Lord our Righteousness;” and saying, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” Thus, renouncing all hopes by the works of the law, he “waits for the hope of righteousness by faith” alone. He considers that righteousness as wrought out on purpose for him: he regards it as promised to him the very instant he believes in Christ: he looks to him by faith, in order to obtain an interest in it; and he “waits for” it God’s appointed time: he waits for it here, even for the manifestation of it to his soul; and he waits for it hereafter, as the ground of his acquittal at the bar of judgment, and as the ground of his elevation to the throne of glory. At no period does he hope for any thing on the ground of his own merits: and though he knows that his works shall be rewarded, he looks for that recompence, not as a reward of debt, but of grace: and to God alone does he give all the glory of his salvation, from first to last.]

As the Apostle ascribes his experience in this respect to the agency of the Holy Spirit, it will be proper for me to shew,

II. How far the Holy Spirit operates to the production of these views—

“In God we live, and move, and have our being.” But, in the economy of redemption, there is a special office assigned to the Third Person of the ever-blessed Trinity, even that of applying all its benefits to the souls of men, and rendering it effectual for their salvation. It was “through the Spirit” that the Apostle waited for the hope of righteousness by faith:

1. Through his teaching in the word—

[All the prophets, from the beginning, have spoken by inspiration of God, even as they were moved by the Holy Ghost [Note: 2 Timothy 3:16. 1 Peter 1:10-11 and 2 Peter 1:21.]. Now, from the beginning has the Holy Spirit declared, that our hope of righteousness is solely by faith in Christ. To Adam, as soon as he had fallen, was it made known, that “the Seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ, should bruise the serpent’s head,” and repair the evil which that wicked fiend had introduced. Abel, we arc told, “by faith offered” an acceptable sacrifice unto his God. Now this presupposes a revelation from God in relation to that sacrifice: for there can be no scope for the exercise of faith, where nothing has been revealed. Here, then, it is clear, that God had made known to Abel, that a sinner should be saved through the intervention of a sacrifice, even of that Great Sacrifice which should in due time be offered upon the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ; who is therefore called, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Through all successive ages was this represented by a variety of types, and proclaimed in a variety of prophecies; to particularize which will be unnecessary, because St. Paul expressly affirms all that we have asserted:—“Now,” says he, “the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe [Note: Romans 3:21-22.].” Here, I say, we are not only directed to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Author of salvation, but we are told that his righteousness is the ground of our hope; that we must obtain an interest in it by faith; and that to this way of salvation both the law and the prophets have borne witness from the beginning. It is clear, therefore, that if we ever attain to it at all, it must be “through the Spirit’s” teaching in the word.]

2. Through his influence upon the soul—

[To this way of salvation man is extremely averse. He wants to have something of his own whereon to trust, and something which shall serve him as a ground of glorying before God. No human power can divert him from this: no arguments can convince him; no persuasion can move him; not all the promises or threatenings of the Scriptures can induce him to renounce all self-confidence, and rely on Christ alone. “God himself must make him willing in the day of his power.” And this work the Holy Spirit effects. “He convinces the man, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment [Note: John 16:8.]:” of sin, so as to make him feel himself lost and utterly undone; of righteousness, so as to shew him that in Christ there is a sufficiency for the very chief of sinners; and of judgment, so as to assure him, that, by faith in this Saviour, Satan himself shall be vanquished, and bruised under his feet.

But, as man, whilst ignorant of his own sinfulness, disdains to accept of mercy in God’s appointed way; so, when his eyes are opened to see how unworthy he is, he is ready to think that God never can shew mercy to one so vile as he. Here, therefore, the Holy Spirit’s operations are again called for: and here he exerts himself effectually for the production of the desired end. Having first inclined the person, and made him willing to submit to God’s method of justifying a sinner, he next encourages and enables him to repose his confidence in God, and to accept the proffered mercy. This the Holy Spirit does, by revealing Christ unto his soul, in all the fulness of his sufficiency, and in all the freeness of his grace. He glorifies Christ: he takes of the things that are Christ’s, and shews them unto the trembling soul [Note: John 16:14.]; and thus overcomes his reluctance on the one hand, and his diffidence on the other. In this way the person is brought to see, that “righteousness is by faith” only; and to “hope” for that righteousness, yea, and to “wait for” it, till it shall please God to make known to him his interest in it, and to speak peace unto his soul.]

Address—

1. Those whose views of this subject are indistinct—

[All have “a hope of righteousness,” which, in some way or other, shall prove sufficient for their acceptance, when they go hence. But, if we come to examine the grounds of their hope, we find that few, very few, have their views clear, decided, scriptural. To renounce all dependence on our own works, to have no leaning whatever to any righteousness of our own, is a very rare attainment. If we were told, that the smallest measure of self-righteousness would make “Christ himself of no effect to us,” and leave us in the very state of the fallen angels, who have no Saviour, we should account it harsh. We are willing that the Lord Jesus Christ should have the principal share of the glory arising from our salvation, but not all. Beloved brethren, I pray you, examine into this matter: see whether you can be content to be saved precisely as one of the fallen angels would be, if he were now plucked as a brand out of the burning. You must be brought to this. Why was it that so many millions of moral and religious Jews have perished, whilst millions of immoral and idolatrous Gentiles have been saved? It has arisen from this: the Jews could not be brought to renounce all dependence on the law; whilst the Gentiles have thankfully accepted the righteousness provided for them in the Gospel. “The Jews have stumbled,” as thousands of Christians also do, “at that stumbling-stone:” for, on this account, Christ has proved to them no other than “a rock of offence;” whilst to those who have believed in him he has invariably proved a rock of salvation [Note: Romans 9:30-33.]. And this is the peculiar danger of those who are most moral, and most religiously inclined. It was the Jews, who “had a great zeal for God,” who fell into this unhappy snare, and would not submit to the righteousness provided for them in the Gospel [Note: Romans 10:2-4.]. I pray God, that you, my brethren, may not reject the overtures that are now made to you. I believe that there are many of you who have a zeal of God: but I fear that, in many cases, it is not a zeal “according to knowledge.” You do not clearly see that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness;” and that he is so to those only who “believe [Note: Romans 10:2-4.].” I beseech you, leave not this matter unexamined, and undecided, in your minds: but beg of God to reveal his Son in you; and that you may never be suffered to rest, till you can say, with the Apostle, “I desire to be found in Christ, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith [Note: Philippians 3:9.].”]

2. Those who, whilst they have these views, are afraid fully to rely upon them—

[A free and full salvation, even to the chief of sinners, and simply by faith in Christ, seems to be so rich a blessing, that it would be presumptuous in any human being to entertain a hope of it: and, from this feeling, many are led to put it away from them, as too great ever to be obtained. But, my brethren, if God has revealed it, and absolutely appointed it as the one only way in which he will receive sinners to himself, who are we that we should refuse it? This is a false humility. If we could see ourselves possessed of some worthiness, then we should be content to receive salvation at God’s hands: but, because we see our utter unworthiness, we put it from us. But this is greatly to dishonour God, and grievously to insult the Lord Jesus Christ; yea, and to do despite also to the Holy Spirit, who has revealed this salvation to us. Be content to receive all freely from God, as you receive the light of the sun, and the very air you breathe. Remember, that the more unworthy you feel yourselves to be, the more will his grace be exalted and magnified. There is a righteousness already wrought out for you, and ready to be imparted to you. It is appointed to be received simply and solely by faith. It is “the hope laid up for you in heaven:” and you are to “wait for” it, in the exercise of earnest and continual prayer. O! beg of the Holy Spirit to reveal it fully to your souls, and to overcome all your doubts and all your fears; and so to work faith in your hearts, that you may be filled with peace and joy in this world, and attain, in a better world, “the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/galatians-5.html. 1832.

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

Galatians 5:5. Ground e contrario for the judgment passed in Galatians 5:4 on those becoming righteous by the law; derived, not generally from what makes up the essence of the Christian state (Hofmann), but specially from the specific way in which Paul and those like him expect to be justified. The reasoning presupposes the certainty, of which the apostle was conscious, that the ἡμεῖς are those who are not separated from Christ and have not fallen from grace.

ἡμεῖς] we, on our part: “qui a nobis dissentiunt, habeant sibi,” Bengel.

πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως] is not (with Luther) to be considered as one idea (“Spiritu, qui ex fide est”), since there is no contrast with any other spirit, but rather as two points opposed to the ἐν νόμῳ in Galatians 5:4 : “by means of the Spirit, from faith, we expect,” etc.; so that the Holy Spirit is the divine agent, and faith in Christ is the subjective source of our expectation. On πνεύματι, comp. Romans 7:6; Romans 8:4; Romans 8:15 f., Ephesians 1:13 f., Ephesians 2:22, et al.; and on ἐκ πίστεως, comp. Galatians 2:16, Galatians 4:22, Romans 1:17; Romans 3:22; Romans 9:30; Romans 10:6, et al. We must not therefore explain πνεύματι either as the spirit of man simply (with Grotius, Borger, Fritzsche, and others), or (comp. on Romans 8:4) as the spiritual nature of man sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Winer, Paulus, Rückert, and others; comp. Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hofmann); but similarly to Galatians 5:16, as the objective πνεῦμα ἅγιον, which is the divine principle of spiritual life in Christians, and which they have received ἐξ ἀκοῆς πίστεως (Galatians 3:2; Galatians 3:5, Galatians 4:6). And the Holy Spirit is the divine mainspring of Christian hope, as being the potential source of all Christian sentiment and Christian life in general, and as the earnest and surety of eternal life in particular (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:11; Romans 8:23).

ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχ.] ἀπεκδέχεσθαι (Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 3:20) does not indeed denote that he who waits is wholly spent in waiting (Hofmann), but rather (comp. generally Winer, de verb. compos. IV. p. 14) the persistent awaiting, which does not slacken until the time of realization (C. F. A. Fritzsche in Fritzschior. Opusc. p. 156). The genitive δικαιοσύνης is not appositionis (Wieseler), so that the sense would be: “the righteousness hoped for by us,” the genitive with ἐλπίς never being used in this way; but it is the genitive objecti: the hope of being justified, namely, in the judgment, where we shall be declared by Christ as righteous. At variance with the context, since justification itself is in question (see Galatians 5:4), others understand it as the genitive subjecti, as that which righteousness has to hope for,(224) that is, the hoped for reward of righteousness, namely, eternal life. So Pelagius, Beza, Piscator, Hunnius, Calovius, Bengel, Rambach, Baumgarten, Zachariae, Koppe, Borger, Paulus, Windischmann, Reithmayr, and others; comp. also Weiss, bibl. Theol. pp. 333, 341. The fact that the δικαιοσύνη itself—that is, the righteousness of faith, and not that of a holy life (Holsten)—is presented as something future, need not in itself surprise us, because during the temporal life it exists indeed through faith, but may nevertheless be lost (see Galatians 5:2; Galatians 5:4), and is not yet a definitive possession, which it only comes to be at the judgment (Romans 8:33 f.). In a corresponding way, the υἱοθεσία, although it has been already entered upon through faith (Galatians 3:26, Galatians 4:5), is also the object of hope (Romans 8:23). This at the same time explains why Paul here speaks in particular of an ἐλπὶς δικαιοσύνης; he thereby indicates the difference between the certainty of salvation in the consciousness (Romans 8:24) of the true Christians, and the confidence, dependent upon works, felt by the legally righteous, who say: ἐν νόμῳ δικαιούμεθα, because in their case the becoming righteous is something in a continuous course of growth by means of meritorious obedience to the law. Lastly, the expression ἀπεκδέχεσθαι ἐλπίδα is not to be explained by the supposition that Paul, when he wrote ἐλπίδα, had it in his mind to make ἔχομεν follow (Winer, Usteri, Schott),—an interpretation which is all the more arbitrary, because there is no intervening sentence which might divert his thought,—but the hope is treated objectively (comp. on Colossians 1:5; Romans 8:24; Hebrews 6:18), so that ἀπεκδέχεσθαι ἐλπίδα belongs to the category of the familiar expressions ζῆν βίον, πιστεύειν δόξαν (Lobeck, Paralip. p. 501 ff.). Comp. Acts 24:15 : ἐλπίδαἣν καὶ αὐτὸ οὗτοι προσδέχονται, Titus 2:13; Job 2:9; Isaiah 28:10; 2 Maccabees 7:14; Eur. Alc. 130: νῦν δέ τίνʼ ἔτι βίου ἐλπίδα προσδέχωμαι; Dem. 1468. 13: ἐλπίδαπροσδοκᾶσθαι. The Catholic doctrine of the gradual increase of righteousness (Trident. vi. 10. 24, Döllinger) is entirely un-Pauline, although favoured by Romang, Hengstenberg, and others. Justification does not, like sanctification, develope itself and increase; but it has, as its moral consequence (Galatians 4:6), sanctification through the Spirit, which is given to him who is justified by faith. Thus Christ is to us δικαιοσύνη τε καὶ ἁγιασμός, 1 Corinthians 1:30.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". 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 5:5. ἡμεῖς γὰρ, for we) I and all the brethren, and as many of us as are in Christ. Let those, who differ from us, keep their views to themselves.— πνεύματι, in the spirit of grace) Without circumcision, etc.— ἐκ πίστεως) from the faith of Christ; comp. the preceding verse.— ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης, hope of righteousness) Righteousness is now present; and that affords us hope, for the time to come. Romans 5:4-5.— ἀπεκδεχόμεθα) We wait for, and obtain by waiting for it. A double compound. Paul includes and confirms present things, while he mentions those that are future.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". 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

For we; we Christians, who have truly embraced Christ; or, (as others think), we that are turned from Judaism to Christianity, and so are more concerned in the law, which was not given to the Gentiles, but to us Jews: yet,

through the Spirit, by the guidance and direction or the Spirit, or through the operation of the Spirit in us, we wait for the hope of righteousness; that is, we hope for righteousness; that righteousness whereby we shall be made righteous before God; or, (as some will have it), the crown of righteousness: I had rather understand it of righteousness itself, that having been all along the argument of the apostle’s discourse here.

By faith; not by our observance of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

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

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

надеемся праведности от веры Христиане уже владеют вмененной им праведностью Христа, но они все еще ожидают полной и совершенной праведности, которая должна прийти при прославлении (Рим. 8:18, 21).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

We; true Christians.

Righteousness; the righteousness which God gives through faith. Romans 1:17. True Christians to the end of life depend on Christ for salvation, and expect it only through faith in him. Those who depend on their works, must through their whole lives neglect no duty and commit no sin, but in all things obey perfectly the whole law of God, or they will be lost.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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 5:5. ῾ημεῖς γὰρ πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχόμεθα—“For we by the Spirit are waiting for the hope of righteousness from faith.” Tyndale's translation is an exegetical paraphrase: “We look for and hope in the Sprite to be justified thorow fayth.” The γάρ introduces the proof, based on a contrary experience. The Judaists and their party thought themselves justified by works of law; we, on the other hand, by the Spirit, who cometh not through works but faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness, which has also faith as its source. The ἡμεῖς are the apostle and those who, like him, so thought and felt that Christ did profit them, who also still clung to Christ, and had a living interest in His gracious process of justification.

πνεύματι is the dative of instrument-by the assistance of the Spirit-not as if it were ἐν πνεύματι. It plainly in such a context refers to the Holy Ghost, though, like a proper name, it wants the article. The older interpretation of Wolff, Rambach, that the word means doctrina evangelii, is baseless. 2 Corinthians 3:6, adduced in proof, presents a sentiment of a different nature and contrast. Nor is it spiritus pro fide (Beza), nor evangelium (Seb. Schmid), nor promissio gratiosa (E. Schmid). Middleton, Peile, Brown, and Windischmann take it adverbially—“spiritually,” or in a spiritual manner, nach geistiger Weise. Middleton, Greek Art. p. 126. Grotius, Borger, and Fritzsche are disposed to regard it as referring to the human spirit; the first explaining it by intra animam, the second by interioribus animi sensibus, and the third by mente: Opuscula, p. 156. This interpretation takes a very low and incorrect view of the apostle's statement. Akin to it is another opinion which takes πνεύματι as the human spirit enlightened and spiritualized by the Holy Spirit (Rosenmüller, Morus, Paulus, Winer). Winer explains it, in Christi communione; Baumgarten-Crusius, der höhere, heilige Lebensgeist. But the apostle often refers to the Spirit of God as the gift of Christ, as dwelling and working in the heart of believers, and creating and sustaining such graces as that of hope here referred to. Many expositors suppose an ideal contrast in πνεύματι to σαρκί, as characterizing the genius and form of Jewish observance. But the apostle refers not so much to legal observance by contrast in this verse as to the result of it,-not to the pursuit of right-eousness on the part either of legalists or believers, but to the condition into which those who trust in Christ are brought by the Spirit, who cometh from the hearing of faith. Rather, perhaps, the contrast is: Ye are fallen away from Christ; we, on the other hand, are enjoying the Spirit of Christ given to those redeemed by Him, trusting in Him, in union with Him, and therefore no longer under the law, but heirs, and full of the hope of future blessing: Galatians 3:5-7; Romans 8:15; Ephesians 1:13.

Luther and some others wrongly join πνεύματι to ἐκ πίστεως-spiritu qui ex fide est-since, as Meyer remarks, no contrast is made with any other spirit; it is the contrast to ἐν νόμῳ of the previous verse. The double compound verb ἀπεκδέχομαι signifies “to wait for,” and so to be in earnest and constant expectation of (Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:20), the sub-local reference being to the place whence the object is expected to come. Fritzschiorum Opusc. p. 156; Eurip. Alcest. 130. It is needless to suppose that there is a pleonasm (Jowett), or to imagine that the apostle originally intended to write ἔχομεν (Winer, Usteri, Schott); or, with Matthies, to give the verb the unjustifiable sense of accipimus, wir fassen. ᾿ελπίς is used with another compound, προσδέχομαι, in Acts 24:15 and Titus 2:13. It is not formally, but in thought, a cognate accusative, like ζῆν βίον, though Winer in his commentary styles it a pleonasm, and likewise Usteri. Lobeck, Paralip. p. 501. Wieseler objects that the noun and verb are not synonymous in meaning; but in these passages quoted, the accusative connected with the verb contains the object of hope,-future good or blessing being the object of expectation, for hope is the expectation combined with the desire of blessing to come.

In the phrase ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης the difficulty is to define the relation of the genitive. First, it may be the genitive of object, righteousness itself being the object of hope. So Theophylact, Winer, Usteri, Rückert, Schott, Olshausen, and Meyer. In that case the meaning is, we wait for the hoped righteousness-justitia sperata-righteousness itself being the object of hope. But the genitive, even with such a meaning, can scarcely be that of apposition (Wieseler, Gwynne). Or, secondly, it may be the genitive of subjective possession-the hope which belongs to righteousness, or that blessing connected with righteousness which is the object of hope. So Pelagius, Hunnius, Bengel, Borger, Windischmann, Bisping, Bagge, and Jowett. Thus Beza makes it coronam gloriae-spem quam justitia praebet. Rosenmüller and Koppe err when they give δικαιοσύνη the meaning of omnis felicitas. In this view of the relation indicated by the genitive we are inclined to concur. For,

1. To expect hoped-for righteousness is an idea that enfeebles the argument, and places believers in no strong position as against legalists. They think themselves justified-we hope to be justified. To describe a condition opposed to their delusions about justification, something stronger than mere hope might be expected.

2. Righteousness to believers is a present possession, and as such the apostle usually represents it. Faith brings righteousness now, and such is the illustration in the third chapter. Ellicott's objection to this, that the Jew regarded δικαιοσύνη as something outward, present, realizable, is of little weight; for what is inner may be regarded equally as present and realizable. It is true, as Neander says, that δικαιοσύνη is one of those divine results which “stretch into eternity;” but it is perfectly possessed in time, though not in its fullest development. Thus σωτηρία is enjoyed as soon as faith is possessed; but that salvation has a fulness still to be revealed, as is indicated in Romans 13:11, Hebrews 9:28. Adoption may be described in similar terms.

3. Alford remarks that ἐλπίδα has the emphasis: this, however, does not favour his view, but ours. We believers have not only righteousness really now, but we are waiting also for the realization of the great hope wrapt up in it; we believers have now and in reality what you legalists imagine you have-justification; nay, we are cherishing the hope which it excites and sustains. Romans 8:30. The hope belonging to this righteousness is final acceptance-future blessedness and glorification, though we do not, as Ellicott, affix this idea to δικαιοσύνη itself, but take it as one of the assured and hopedfor results to which it leads.

The phrase ἐκ πίστεως is opposed to ἐν νόμῳ, and probably belongs to δικαιοσύνη, though some would connect it otherwise, as if the meaning were-We by the Spirit and out of faith do expect. It is noticeable that all the nouns in this and the following verse want the article. Gersdorf, Beiträge zur Sprach-charact. p. 273, etc.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". 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

‘For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.’

For those who are Christians walk through the Spirit by faith. And they are waiting for the final hope when they will be presented holy, unblameable and unreproveable in His sight (Colossians 1:22). This is the Christian Gospel. The grace of God has provided His Spirit to work in men’s heart and lives. So those who are His respond to Him in faith with the result that they await the hope of righteousness. Biblical hope is always certain hope. And the Spirit’s work is then the guarantee of the final perfection of His people (Ephesians 4:12-13; 1 Peter 5:10) and it all results from the response of faith. To fall away from this, and to try to attain such righteousness by religious ritual and behaviour is to fall away from grace indeed. It is to reject the Spirit.

‘The hope of righteousness.’ Either what we hope for because we have been reckoned as righteous (Galatians 2:20), or the hope that we have of being made truly righteous.

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

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:5. For we, by the Spirit, from faith wait eagerly for the hope of righteousness. ‘For’ introduces an argument from the opposite for the judgment passed in Galatians 5:4 against those who seek justification by the law. ‘By the Spirit,’ the Holy Spirit, who is the Divine source of faith and spiritual life in us. ‘From faith,’ which is the subjective source of our expectation. ‘Wait eagerly,’ or persistently, patiently. The hope of the Christian does not decline, but increase until the time of fruition. Comp. Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20. ‘For the hope of righteousness,’ the righteousness hoped for by us as a possession that is secured here by faith, but extends into eternity and involves the bliss and glory of the future life. Comp. Romans 8:30. Others take ‘hope’ as equivalent to the crown of glory which awaits the justified as their reward. The passage affords no aid to the doctrine of a gradual increase of justification, which, as Meyer says here, ‘is entirely un-Pauline. Justification does not, like sanctification, unfold itself and increase, but it has as its normal consequence sanctification through the Spirit, which is given to him who is justified by faith. Thus Christ is to us righteousness and sanctification. 1 Corinthians 1:30.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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 5:5. . In the absence of an article this dative must have an adverbial force, and should be rendered in spirit. The Holy Spirit is uniformly designated to .— . This verb expresses eager expectation rather than the attitude of patient waiting attributed to it in our versions. True faith in Christ inspires a confident hope of acceptance ( ) before God.

 

 

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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

-6

We in spirit hope for true justice by faith in Christ; yet not by faith only, but by faith working by charity. (Witham) --- Here note with St. Augustine, that faith is not to be idle, but working or doing good works in charity: wherefore not faith alone. (De opere et fide. chap. xiv.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/galatians-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Spirit. App-101.

wait for. Greek. apekdechomai. Compare Romans 8:19, Romans 8:23, Romans 8:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7. Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:20. Hebrews 9:28.

righteousness. Greek. dikaiosune. App-191.

by. Greek. ek. App-104.

faith. Greek. pistis. App-150.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

For - proof of the assertion, "fallen from grace," by contrasting with the legalists the Christian's "hope."

Through the Spirit, [ Pneumati (Greek #4151)] - rather, 'by the Spirit' (the absence of the Greek article does not hinder taking "Spirit," THE HOLY SPIRIT: for proper names omit it: the Giver of faith), in opposition to after the flesh (Galatians 4:29), or fleshly ways of justification, as circumcision and legal ordinances. "We" is emphatically contrasted with 'whosoever of you would be justified by the law' (Galatians 5:4).

The hope of righteousness - `we assiduously wait for the (realization of the) hope of righteousness (justification), by [ek, from] faith' (the spring of hope) (Romans 5:1; Romans 5:4-5; Romans 8:24-25), a further step than "justified;" not only are we this, but "wait for the hope" which is its full consummation. Romans 8:24-25, the same Greek as here [ Elpida (Greek #1680) apekdechometha (Greek #553)]. "Righteousness," in the sense justification, is by the believer once for all already attained; but its consummation above is the object of hope to be waited for: the "crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:8); "the hope laid up for you in heaven" (Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:3). Legal justification is only in the present (Galatians 5:4), and in the legalist's imagination. Justification by faith is present, and also stretches in sure "hope" on to eternity. Righteousness, now the believer's hidden possession, shall then shine out as glory (Matthew 13:43; Colossians 3:3-4).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

(5) Through the Spirit.—Through the operation of the Spirit. It is the Spirit which makes faith effectual and righteousness real. The righteousness which comes by the Law is entirely human or “carnal,” the product of a man’s own efforts. The righteousness which is by faith is the gift of God, and that gift is communicated through the Spirit.

Wait for.—The Greek word means “to wait earnestly or eagerly,” as in Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25, et seq.

The hope of righteousness.—The righteousness which is the object of our hopes; the hoped-for, promised righteousness. More often the Apostle speaks of the state of righteousness as conferred upon the Christian at his baptism. This is, however, only a sort of ideal or potential righteousness; it is a state inherent in that kingdom of which the Christian then becomes a member, not a state inherent in the Christian himself. This ideal or potential righteousness becomes real and actual only at the end of the Christian’s career, when it is finally confirmed to him. Looking forward to this point, it is an object of hope.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
through
John 16:8-15; Ephesians 2:18
wait
Genesis 49:18; Psalms 25:3,5; 62:5; 130:5; Lamentations 3:25,26; Hosea 12:6; Romans 8:24,25; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:5
the hope
Romans 5:21; Philippians 3:9; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13
Reciprocal: Psalm 24:5 - righteousness;  Ezekiel 36:27 - I will;  John 16:10 - righteousness;  John 16:14 - for;  Romans 3:21 - righteousness;  Romans 4:11 - righteousness;  Romans 9:30 - even the righteousness;  2 Corinthians 3:8 - the ministration;  2 Corinthians 3:9 - the ministration of righteousness;  2 Corinthians 9:9 - his;  Ephesians 1:18 - is;  Colossians 1:5 - the hope;  Colossians 1:23 - the hope;  1 Thessalonians 1:5 - in the;  1 Thessalonians 5:8 - the hope;  Hebrews 6:11 - of hope;  Hebrews 11:7 - righteousness;  James 5:7 - Be patient;  1 Peter 1:22 - through

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

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Simple fact of where Paul and other believers are in their spiritual life - living by faith and enjoying a righteous life through the Spirit of God.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5.Wait for the hopeHope, here, means the object hoped for; the hope-object. See notes, Romans 8:24; Colossians 1:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 6:18. Note also on promise, Galatians 3:14.

Righteousness—As this righteousness is waited for, many commentators understand it of the final justification at the judgment.

 

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

The Bible Study New Testament

5. Our hope. “We who are in Christ look forward to the time when God will put us right with himself by setting our whole being free in the Resurrection (Romans 8:18-23)!God’s Spirit who lives in us Christians (Romans 8:11)is both the guarantee and the means of this!!!” [Compare the contrast in Galatians 3:2; Galatians 3:5. The Spirit does not make himself available to people through The Law!!!]

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:5". "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

5.For we through the Spirit. He now anticipates an objection that, might readily occur. “Will circumcision then be of no use?” In Jesus Christ, he replies, it availeth nothing. Righteousness, therefore, depends on faith, and is obtained, through the Spirit, without ceremonies. To wait for the hope of righteousness, is to place our confidence in this or that object, or, to decide from what quarter righteousness is to be expected; though the words probably contain the exhortation, “Let us continue steadfastly in the hope of righteousness which we obtain by faith.” When he says that we obtain righteousness by faith, this applies equally to us and to our fathers. All of them, as Scripture testifies, (Hebrews 11:5,) “pleased God;” but their faith was concealed by the veil of ceremonies, and therefore he distinguishes us from them by the word Spirit, which is contrasted with outward shadows. His meaning therefore is, that all that is now necessary for obtaining righteousness is a simple faith, which declines the aid of splendid ceremonies, and is satisfied with the spiritual worship of God.

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