Galatians Chapter 5
Focus on v. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
So is faith just passive?
God will act to set things right in the world and to conform the favorable judgment on his people, but it will happen in his own good time.
Those who have received theSpirit and who wait do so by sharing in the travail of a world looking for liberty and fulfillment. … The same Spirit who enables them to wait patiently also creates in them a restlessness with things as they are, a longing for the ‘not yet’ of God’s plan for the world. In these words of the beatitude, they ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness.’ Matthew 5:6
“To speak of hope then, is to speak of the thin line, as one has put it, between presumptuousness that cannot wait and despair that can only wait.” -Biblical Commentator Charles Cousar
Focus on v. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
So is love a prerequisite for faith??
No! Paul has just written 2.5 chapters arguing that righteousness is a result of grace. And it is unlikely that he meant that God’s righteousness is available only to folks who had previously exhibited love. It may refer to love as the expression of faith, or God’s love as the inspiration for faith.
Commentator Victor Furnish: The xn is summoned to love in a double sense: to be loved and to be loving.
Focus on v.11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.
What is the offense of the cross?
TEXT NOTE: offense-scandal-stumbling block (greek “skandalon” = stumbling block)
Final questions: What choice do the Galatians have to make? What hard choices does the cross illuminate for our time?