Galatians 5:5-6

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

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

for (v.5) — Paul is about to present the grounds on which what he just said (verses 2-4) is based.

we (v.5) — Christians who aren’t attempting to gain justification by works

through the Spirit (v.5) — pneuma is here without the article; it does not on that account follow that the Holy Spirit is not intended and that the capital initial is wrong, for the article is sometimes absent where the person is certainly means, as in Acts 19:2, and is sometimes present where that is not the case, as in John 6:63. If “in spirit” should be read here, then the meaning is that whereas the Jew sought justification in the flesh, i.e., by the observance of ordinances and obedience to moral precepts, the Christian is justified by an act of the spirit, i.e., through faith, as indeed the apostle states. If, however, as is equally possible, “through the Spirit” is to be read, then the meaning is “through the agency of the Holy Spirit,” i.e., the believer is quickened by Him, and is taught by Him to cherish this hope, and is maintained by Him to continue therein. The Holy Spirit is received by an act of faith, and by the continued exercise of this receptive faculty, faith, the blessings He brings are appropriated. Thus the whole spiritual life of the Christian is a life of faith, life through the Holy Spirit.

Whichever view of the passage is taken, it is important to remember that the sphere of the operations of the Spirit of God is the human spirit (Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22). Every impulse along the line of obedience to the will of God in the spirit of a man is the result of His operations. — Vine, page 231.

wait (v.5) — with expectancy — intense yearning. We wait by faith.

hope (v.5) — the object of our happy anticipation of future good

righteousness (v.5) — the character or quality of being right

hope of righteousness (v.5) — Looking forward to the return of Christ when we will be glorified and conform completely to the will of God — “the hoped-for righteousness”

neither circumcision nor uncircumcision (v.6) — All are sinners and stand on an equal footing of ungodliness, enmity and weakness (Romans 5:6-10) before God. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything, but faith, which expresses itself in love, accomplishes all things.

avails (v.6) — capable of producing results — to have power

working (v.6) — is energized by

through love (v.6) — Faith expresses itself in love. Paul isn’t speaking of how faith is obtained but how it expresses itself.

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