Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Galatians 6:16 - 6:18

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Galatians 6:16 - 6:18

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


v. 16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

v. 17. From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

v. 18. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Crucified to the world, but alive to Christ and in Christ, that is the condition of the believers that have become new creatures by the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. And therefore Paul, in a calm, but triumphant statement, calls out: And as many as shall walk according to this rule: peace upon them and mercy, yea, upon the Israel of God. All believers accept the principle formulated by Paul in

v. 15. it is the standard according to which they regulate their lives. And upon all such, as upon the true Israel of God, the apostle invokes peace and mercy. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, which assures them of the right relation to God, Php_4:7, the peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom_5:1, is the blessing which follows belief in the Gospel. For it has been made possible by the mercy of God, shown to us poor sinners for the sake of His Son, by which He forgives us all our sins and accepts us as His dear children.

Having thus finished his exposition of the truth, Paul has only one wish: Henceforth let no one cause me distresses, wearisome annoyances. He expects it of the Galatians, and feels sure that they will heed his appeal, that they will pay no more attention to the Judaizing teachers. For as for him, he was hearing the marks, or stigmata, of the Lord Jesus in his body. Such marks were branded upon the body for various reasons, the reference here probably being to the brand of freedom placed upon the slave when he was sold to the temple and thus liberated from his master. Paul bore such marks on his body, all the traces, scars, wounds, and welts of the various persecutions which he had been obliged to endure in his apostolic calling. Also herein he had become like his great Master.

And so he concludes: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. The grace which was merited by the atoning work of Christ is the highest gift which God can bestow, and it is Paul's prayer that it may fill their spirit, their mind, with the calm certainty of salvation, a certainty which neither false teachers nor all the forces of the world could take from them. The very last word of the epistle proper is the kind and appealing address "brethren. " The severity of the entire letter is mitigated by this one word, in which unaltered brotherly love is expressed.


The apostle warns against self-exaltation and every show of selfishness, pictures his love in contrast to the hypocrisy of the false teachers, and begs the Galatians to return to the proper spirit of peace in order that they may enjoy the mercy of the Lord.