Paul’s parting words of godly admonition | Faith
by The Press and Standard | January 13, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: January 9, 2019 at 10:56 am
We have now come to the end of our study of Galatians. I wish to discuss chapters 5 and 6 of this epistle of Paul, for they must be read as a single train of holy inspired thought, not two separate and exclusive chapters. Paul concludes this wonderous epistle to the young Christians of Galatia, by instructing them to live by the faith that God has granted them through His mercy.
The fifth chapter is dedicated to correcting and directing Christians in matters concerning the Spirit of God, which is made manifest in every believer’s heart when they accept Christ. Paul contrasts the re-born nature of followers of Christ with those who are not of God, who still fall under the law, and still live by the self-serving desires of their sinful flesh. Paul reminds his readers that those who are not freed from the law by the free grace of God will not inherit the kingdom of God, for they have all fallen short of God’s righteous standard and live unforgiven and completely accountable for the entirety of their own sin.
The chapter, likewise, includes sobering instruction for how born-again believers should separate themselves from the darkness of worldly desires and live through that blessed gift of the Holy Spirit. This fifth chapter is one of the more serious-minded pieces of the book of Galatians and some of the most passionate words Paul pens in the entire New Testament.
Chapter six, the final chapter, contains parting words of holy wisdom for its readers. This chapter flows seamlessly from the prior chapter and focuses on how the believer may submit to that personal, supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to the fulfillment of their lives and for the ultimate glory of God. The sixth chapter ends with a final appeal from Paul for all Christians to examine their personal spiritual health and that of the church through a lens of somber self-refection.
I hesitate to elaborate on these concluding chapters any further. For if I do, considering the medium which I am employing, I will be forced to be far too brief. Far too much context, direction and attitude of the text will be lost in a study of these final two chapters through a hasty newspaper summarization of them. These chapters demand our utmost in sincerity and humility.
Furthermore, the Christian should not seek to be under the instruction of the Word of God for only a brief period, rather we should draw the essence of our entire life from every word that flows from the mouth of God. Christian, oh child of God saved by His precious Son’s blood, much is to be gleaned from these parting words of God-inspired admonition.
I invite all to read and know these words of direction as gifted treasures from God, life-changing wisdom for the Christian to truly walk by the spirit that dwells within you, even in this very moment. So, I will not elaborate on these last words of God in this forum. I pray you will feel lead by the Spirit and humble yourself before the Word to study this somber section of scripture personally.
However, please, do not stop there, for in your Bible, just one page over, is the stirring book of Ephesians and its words of comfort and power. No better words could follow the conclusion of the book of Galatians than that of the exciting introduction of Ephesians.
Read Chapter 5 and 6 of Galatians together — they must be read that way — the way in which they were written, and keep all in mind of what we have read up to this point in the text. Then, continue into Ephesians, which sings of the grandeur of God’s providence, love, and power. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Concerning the methodology in which I approached this section of scripture, we have not discussed these chapters in detail; however, they demand nothing less than a detailed explanation, especially verses 4 and 12 of chapter 5 (the former requiring an understanding of biblical theology and the latter an understanding of church history and historical theology). If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to do my best to answer it over the email provided below. I would love to hear from you and talk about the Word.
And, if you have read this far in this little article of mine and do not know for sure your soul is saved by God, there is but one way home, and His name is Christ Jesus. Trust your life to Him now, do not wait!
You never know if tomorrow will ever come. Do not let the sun set on this day, this day the Lord has made for salvation. Paul writes of God’s will to save His people when he writes, “now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Do not tarry, know Jesus, ask for the forgiveness of your sin, ask Him to be your Savior. And, He will give more than just forgiveness — He will give you Himself and eternal life with Him forever.
Write me. I am always here, if anyone needs to talk.
So, until then, may God bless your reading of His holy Word.
(J. Daniel Breland of Ruffin is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)