11/10/20 – Galatians 5:7-15


Galatians 5:7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?


did runtrecho (run; of persons in haste; run in a race course; exert one’s self; strive; spend one’s strength in attaining something; this word occurs in Greek writings denoting to incur extreme peril, which it requires the exertion of all one’s effort to overcome) That is, not just running for exercise but for a serious purpose.

trecho is also translated “should run” and “had run” in Galatians 2:2And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

1 Corinthians 9:24Know ye not that they which run (trecho) in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.


did hinder – This word has 2 possible Greek terms according to Strongs: (a) anakopto (to beat back; check, as in the course of a ship) or (b) egkopto (to cut into; to impede one’s course by cutting off his way; hinder). Thus it could mean either to hold someone back, or to cut someone off from going forward. egkopto is used to describe satan hindering believers as in 1 Thessalonians 2:18Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered (egkopto) us.


should …. obeypeitho (persuade; make friends of; win one’s favour; tranquilise; to be persuaded to believe; believe; listen to; obey; yield to; comply with; trust; be confident) This word has the idea of obeying someone because of your respect for them or trust in them.


Here the Galatians apparently no longer see the truth that Paul taught as true. Now they trust the teaching of another person rather than Paul. They are disobeying the truth because they now see something else as the truth. The truth of the gospel has therefore now become (to the Galatians) the lie somewhere. They have not been forced to obey the lies, but have chosen to believe the lies taught by the legalistic Jews because they had been deceived into thinking that these Jews were right. They had been indoctrinated by these Jews who used deceptive or treacherous persuasion (see Vs 2 below) in order to turn them away from the truth. They had literally been “bewitched” by these Jews (Galatians 3:1). (It’s how a lot of heresy is creeping into our church today, too!)


When they had first been saved, the Galatians had run their course well. They had been learning and growing in Christ. But it wasn’t long (Galatians 1:6) before they had turned aside to another gospel that was no gospel at all (Galatians 1:7). Now they have ceased running so well. They have been side-tracked or turned aside somewhere. No longer are they obeying the truth that they once learned with the preaching of the gospel of Christ. Paul asks them who it was who hindered them (caused them to be stopped or side-tracked from their growth in Christ). Whatever has happened to them has turned them aside from the truth.


Galatians 5:8This persuasion [cometh] not of him that calleth you.


persuasionpeismone (persuasion; treacherous or deceptive persuasion) It is a derivation of peitho (“should …. obey”) in Vs 7 above. Thus the idea of putting pressure on to obey.


callethkaleo (to call; call by name; give a name to; receive a name; bear a name or title; salute one by name) Can mean “to invite” as one who has his name on an invitation (to a feast etc). It has a different use to the Greek word kletos (which is translated “called” 11 times in the NT).


kletos also can mean to be invited, but in a different sense. kletos means called; invited (to a banquet); invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ; called to (the discharge of) some office; divinely selected and appointed.

Thus both can mean to be invited, but kaleo has more to do with the calling (inviting) by name and kletos has more to do with an invitation (a calling) to salvation.

kaleo (used in Galatians 5:8 above) is like calling out to a person by name to come and be present, or to do something (a call to a ministry), or to receive something.


While many may consider the 2 terms to both mean much the same, the Bible does demonstrate (when both are used in the same passage) that they must have different meanings.


1/. Matthew 22:1-14 has kaleo 5 times where people are invited to the wedding feast (Eg Vs 3 – And sent forth his servants to call (kaleo) them that were bidden (kaleo) to the wedding: and they would not come.) where these people are called by name to attend. That is, their names are on the invitations; thus they may attend.

Yet in Matthew 22:14 kletos is used (For many are called (kletos) but few [are] chosen (eklektos – elected) which represents the calling of all (the many of) mankind to salvation (with only a few accepting that invitation and thus being chosen).


2/. Romans 8:28-30 uses both terms. kletos in Vs 28 again has the idea of those who are called to salvation, while kaleo in Vs 30 has the idea of being called out by name for some purpose.


And kletos is associated with being one of the elect as in Revelation 17:14band they that are with him [are] called (kletos), and chosen (eklektos – elected), and faithful.


The gospel is the kletos given to all mankind to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. God has promised that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So, when a person answers the gospel kletos, God then calls (kaleo) him as one of His elect children.

Therefore “calleth” (kaleo) in Galatians 5:8 must be assumed to mean a calling out to a person by name to come and be present, or to do something, or to receive something. Here it would refer to the calling by God to live for Christ, of those who have been saved. Thus this kaleo is God’s response to their acceptance of His kletos. These Galatians to whom Paul is writing are the Church, the body of Christ.


Note 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (Faithful [is] he that calleth (kaleo) you, who also will do [it].) where it refers to Christians who are called by God to perform a service for Him, a ministry.


The Galatians were being persuaded by legalistic Jews that God required them to be circumcised as specified by the law. No doubt many were deceived into believing that it was God’s will to do so. Paul is telling them that this persuasion to disobey the truth (Vs 8 above) was not from God who had called them to serve Him as His people.


If you are a Christian called to serve God faithfully, then such “persuasion” to lead you astray from your calling is not from the one who calls you. That is, this teaching (that you should not obey the truth) is not given to you by Christ (and therefore you should disregard it.


Galatians 5:9A little leaven (zume) leaveneth (zumoo) the whole lump.


little – or possibly “the least amount of” (mikros). It is translated “the least” in Matthew 13:32aWhich indeed is the least (mikros) of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree (and also in Hebrews 8:11)

Only the smallest amount of leaven (such as yeast) is necessary for even large amounts of flour, as long as the mixture is moist and warm.

Matthew 13:33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven (zume), which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (zumoo).


“Clean” offerings could be contaminated by “unclean”, yet “unclean” could not be purified by “clean”, according to Haggai 2:11-1411Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests [concerning] the law, saying, 12If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 13Then said Haggai, If [one that is] unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 14Then answered Haggai, and said, So [is] this people, and so [is] this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so [is] every work of their hands; and that which they offer there [is] unclean.


If you mix good with bad, the “bad” will always spoil the “good”.

“Therefore,” says Paul, “A little bit of false teaching from those legalistic Jews spoils the whole lot of you.”


Galatians 5:10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.


have confidencepeitho Translated “should …. obey” in Vs 7 above. It has other translations includingtrust” 8 times and “obey” 7 times. In fact, this probably demonstrates its meaning, that whoever you trust you will also obey. However, trust can be misplaced if we are not careful!

A similar verse says “And we have confidence (peitho) in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.2 Thessalonians 3:4

Also note “we are persuaded (peitho) better things of you” (Hebrews 6:9)


mindedphroneo (to have understanding; be wise; feel; think; have an opinion; judge an opinion; to be agreed on something; direct one’s mind to a thing; seek one’s interest or advantage; be of one’s party; side with a person)

Translated “set your affection” in Colossians 3:2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.


That is, “I have confidence in you in the Lord (that is, we should be seeing this from the point of view of all of us being in the Lord) that you will not disagree with this”.


that troublethan agitator; trouble-maker; stir up trouble; perplex the mind of others by suggesting doubts. Paul applied this term to those false teachers who perverted the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Here it seems to be talking about a particular false teacher, possibly the main one stirring up all the trouble. It appears that when imprisoned in Rome, Paul was similarly troubled by someone who turned all others against him at first.

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:


shall bear his judgment – will be held responsible (judged as guilty) for what he has done. That is, he will not escape punishment.

In fact, every single act of our wills will be judged one day.

2 Corinthians 5:10-1110For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. 11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.


whosoever he be – The judgment of God will come upon all regardless of their position or worldly standing. In particular this will apply to this certain troublemaker. Note the lesson taught in Psalm 73. There are wicked ones who seem to get away with everything while the law-abiding ones seem to be the ones who suffer. But those who appear to be above the law will one day be brought down to destruction.

Psalm 73:17-1917Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.18Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.19How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.


Note satan’s fall in Isaiah 14:12; 1512How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.


Galatians 5:11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.


suffer persecutiondioko (put to flight; drive away; run swiftly after someone to catch him; pursue in a hostile manner; harass; trouble; molest; persecute; suffer persecution or harassment) It had the idea of intentional hostility toward others.

2 Timothy 3:12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.


the offenceskandalon (that which triggers a trap; trap; snare; a stumbling block; any person or thing by which one is drawn into error or sin) We get our word “scandal” from this.


is …. ceasedkatargeo (render idle, unemployed, or inoperative; deprive of force, power or influence; cause to cease; do away with; annul; abolish; be severed from; separated from)


Paul puts this as a hypothetical statement. “And (But) I, brethren, if I actually did preach circumcision, why would I continue to suffer persecution when the offence of the cross in me (to others) would have ceased (been abolished; done away with)?”

That is, it is the cross that offends, not the circumcision.

1 Corinthians 1:17-1817For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


So if circumcision means that “Christ shall profit you nothing” (Galatians 5:2) and that “Christ is become of no effect unto you” (Galatians 5:4), then circumcision must abolish the cross and its offence in your life toward others. So why does Paul continue to suffer persecution for the offence of the cross if the offence had actually been abolished? The answer is that the offence has not been abolished. Paul preaches the cross. He preaches Christ crucified. And therefore by logical deduction Paul cannot have been preaching circumcision.

1 Corinthians 1:23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Also see Galatians 3:1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?


It is true that Paul had Timothy circumcised probably in order to avoid offence to other Jews.

Acts 16:3Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Yet Paul consistently opposed the need for circumcision for salvation itself. The problem with the Galatian Jews was that they were making circumcision a necessity for salvation and this Paul taught as unacceptable. Paul was all things to all people for the sake of the gospel, but this could never overrule the gospel truth itself (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).


Galatians 5:12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.


cut offapokopto (cut off; amputate)

Ellicott says it was “referring to an extension of the rite of circumcision, such as the Galatians might see frequently practised by the priests of Cybele, whose worship had one of its most important centres in their country—I would they would even make themselves eunuchs. Let them carry their self-mutilation still further, and not stop at circumcision.” That is, if circumcision is so good for your salvation, then cutting more off must surely be even better!

Some teach that “cut off” means an excommunication from the church or similar, yet Paul used “put away” (exairo – to remove) to order the excommunication of a sinful person from their midst.

1 Corinthians 5:13bTherefore put away (exairo) from among yourselves that wicked person.

apokopto (“cut off”) is used 6 times in the NT. Five times it refers to the physical amputation of a bodily part: hand (Mark 9:43); foot (Mark 9:45); a right ear (John 18:10 & John 18:26); and Vs 12 above. Once it refers to the cutting of ropes (Acts 27:32). It is therefore unlikely to refer to excommunication.


Paul has already accused them of returning to the bondage of their previous false god worship (Galatians 4:8-9). Such bondage could have included self-mutilation including castration in their temple service; it was common for men to become eunuchs as part of their worship of their god. It is likely that Paul is referring to these Galatians returning to their old false god worship with such self-mutilation being evidence of their return to that bondage.


which troubleanastatoo (stir up; excite; unsettle; excite tumults and sedition in the state; to upset, unsettle, minds by disseminating religious error) It can mean to overthrow those who lead, such as in a rebellion or revolution. It’s a stronger word than used in Vs 10 above.

Paul is speaking very boldly against those who are stirring up so much trouble among the Galatian churches. “If you want to return to your false worship bondage, then do it properly and cut it all off (amputate it)!”


Galatians 5:13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.


Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


servedouleuo (to be a slave to; do service; obey; submit to)


For you, brethren, have been called (out of your past darkness) into the light of liberty; however, make certain you do not misuse such liberty by satisfying the flesh (the old sin nature), but in love serve one another.


That is, you have been freed from the bondage (slavery) of the law, so don’t use that freedom to choose to return to that law, but instead use that freedom to present yourselves slaves (or servants) to one another.

Romans 12:10[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Galatians 6:10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


They have been granted freedom from the bondage of the law which had previously declared them dead because of their sin. But such freedom should not be abused.

For us today, if we consider that because we are free from the condemnation of the law, does that mean we can do what we like because God has already forgiven us all our sin?

Romans 6:1-21What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?


Galatians 5:14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


fulfilledpleroo (make full; fill to the full; abound; complete; consummate; bring to completion; render perfect; bring to realisation; bring to pass) Verb form of pleroma (“the fulness” – Romans 11:25).

Romans 13:8-108Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Note Matthew 22:37-4037Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


If you need the law to remain in your life, says Paul, let it be the law of love and service to others. Forget about circumcision, for you are more obedient to the law if you just love your neighbour as much as you love yourself.

Decide how you would like your neighbour to treat you, and then treat him exactly that way, for this is what the law really demands of you.

Matthew 7:12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


Galatians 5:15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.


be …. consumedanalisko (expend; consume – use up or destroy; consume – as in spending money or supplies)

If you bite and devour as do wild beasts (or “dog-eat-dog”) then you will destroy one another.

Ephesians 2:19-2219Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

If any part of that building is out of proportion or crooked, then the house will likewise be imperfect. If any part will not fit in properly with the others around it, especially if all parts are in conflict with each other, then the house may fall. United we stand, divided we fall (see Mark 3:25).


1 Peter 4:8-118And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Addendum – Some further notes on Galatians 5:12 above (I would they were even cut off which trouble you.)


In Philippians 3:2-3 Paul says 2Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Note that word “concision” (katatome – cut up; mutilation). Paul is talking about the Jewish circumcision (“concision”) who have apparently been teaching the same heresy that the Galatians were being led astray with. He is saying that “we” are the circumcision (that is, the true or genuine spiritual ones) while they who demand a physical circumcision are in actual fact mutilating themselves (in the way to be expected of false god worshipers). Paul goes on to say that he himself was a genuine circumcised Jew (Philippians 3:5). However, now that the new covenant had been put in place (after the death and resurrection of Christ), physical circumcision was no longer required. Instead it is the spiritually circumcised who are the true believers now (see Romans 2:28-29).

This is the only use of katatome in the NT. Paul has taken it from its use in the LXX Greek OT (Leviticus 21:5). This verse reads (in KJV) – They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings (LXX κατατεμοῦσιν) in their flesh.


Paul is therefore declaring that physical circumcision now should be seen as a mutilation in the flesh, something that was forbidden by the law (and therefore should have been condemned now by those seeking to obey God’s law). Barnes says “Beware of the concision - Referring, doubtless, also to the Jewish teachers. The word rendered "concision" - κατατομή katatomē - means properly a cutting off, a mutilation. It is used here contemptuously for the Jewish circumcision in contrast with the true circumcision.

A similar word is used for self-mutilation in the LXX in 1 Kings 18:28 (it is labelled 3 Kings 18:28 in the LXX though!).

1 Kings 18:28 (KJV) – And they cried aloud, and cut themselves (LXX Greek κατετέμνοντο) after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.


However, the word used in Galatians 5:12 properly means to be cut off or amputated, and not merely gashed. Paul says that they should not stop at just circumcising but should go further and cut it off. Now, what “it” is can be left to the imagination, but could have meant castration. But, Paul also could have meant that when they were circumcising themselves, they should just cut right through and not just a small piece of skin. (This is what “concision” probably signifies.)

It could mean self-mutilation, but keeping in mind that mutilation also included gashing themselves and not necessarily amputating something. It could mean castration but even that is not absolutely clear. Paul simply says that they should amputate it, whatever “it” may be.


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