christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

galatians 5 chiastic structures

Read Galatains 5 at Bible Gateway.

Previous studies:
galatians 5:1-6, fallen from grace 2013 apr 22
galatians 5:7-15, the offense of the cross 2013 apr 23
galatians 5:16-26, against such there is no law 2013 apr 24

There are several overlapping smaller and larger chiastic structures in Gal 5-6. This is one of them:

Gal 5:14-6:2
1a) Gal 5:14, The Law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself;”
1b) Gal 5:15, Beware lest you bite, devour, and are consumed by one another;
1c) Gal 5:16, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh;
1d) Gal 5:17, The lusts of the flesh against the Spirit / flesh and Spirit contrary to one another;
1e) Gal 5:18, The Spirit is not against the Law;
1f) Gal 5:19-21a, The works of the flesh;
central axis) Gal 5:21b, Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God;
2f) Gal 5:22-23a, The fruit of the Spirit;
2e) Gal 5:23b, The Law is not against the Spirit;
2d) Gal 5:24, Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires;
2c) Gal 5:25, If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit;
2b) Gal 5:26, Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another;
2a) Gal 6:1-2, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self-control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things.

Galatians 5:22-23

We have to keep in mind Paul’s topic of the whole letter, what it is that saves or justifies a man and sets him in right standing before God. It is not by works of obedience to the Law, as these false teachers were preaching to the Galatians, who were troubling the Galatians. Those who nullify the grace of Christ, are those who seek salvation apart from grace – by works of their own merit. The previous studies explore these truths in detail.

As we can see from the above chiastic structure, the Law itself teaches Love; the Law itself is not opposed to the Spirit, nor is the Spirit opposed to the Law. But what is opposed to one another, is the Spirit and the flesh. Those who practice the works of the flesh condemned by the Law, are not Christ’s, for those who are Christ’s have crucified the works of the flesh. Those who practice, who are unrepentant but habitually practice those things the Law condemns as sin – the works or lusts of the flesh – will not inherit the kingdom of God.


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