Galatians 6:15
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
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(15) In Christ Jesus.—These words are omitted by the Vatican MS. and by the best editors. They would seem to have come in from the parallel passage in Galatians 5:6.

Neither circumcision . . .—We have had almost the same words in Galatians 5:6 and in 1Corinthians 7:19. It is interesting to note the different ways in which the sentence is completed:—

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but

Faith which worketh by love (Galatians 5:6).

A new creature (Galatians 6:15).

Keeping the commandments of God (1Corinthians 7:19).

The first is an analytical statement of the process which takes place in the Christian; the second is the state resulting from that process; the last is the visible sign and expression of the presence of that state.

A new creature.—The Greek may mean either the “act of new creation” or the “person newly created.” The Authorised version apparently takes it in the latter sense, which perhaps is to be preferred.

Galatians 6:15-16. For in Christ Jesus — (See on Galatians 5:6,) neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision — To prove that we are accepted of God, and possessed of genuine religion; but a new creature — Or, a new creation, described 2 Corinthians 5:17, where see the note, as also on Galatians 5:6; where the same true and vital religion is termed, faith which worketh by love, implying the renovation of the whole man, by the power of the Divine Spirit, and producing universal, constant, and persevering obedience to God, or the keeping his commandments; which (1 Corinthians 7:19) is opposed to circumcision and uncircumcision, as here a new creation, and Galatians 5:6, faith working by love, is opposed to these things. Compare these passages, and the notes on them, with each other. As many as walk according to this rule — 1st, Glorying only in the cross of Christ; 2d, Being crucified to the world; 3d, Created anew; peace be on them — That peace, which is the fruit of justification and a new creation, Romans 5:1. And mercy

The source of that peace, and of every blessing enjoyed by fallen and sinful man, temporal or spiritual; and upon the Israel of God — That is, the church of God, which consists of those, and only those, of every nation and kindred, tongue and people, who walk by this rule.

6:12-15 Proud, vain, and carnal hearts, are content with just so much religion as will help to keep up a fair show. But the apostle professes his own faith, hope, and joy; and that his principal glory was in the cross of Christ. By which is here meant, his sufferings and death on the cross, the doctrine of salvation by a crucified Redeemer. By Christ, or by the cross of Christ, the world is crucified to the believer, and he to the world. The more we consider the sufferings of the Redeemer from the world, the less likely shall we be to love the world. The apostle was as little affected by its charms, as a beholder would be by any thing which had been graceful in the face of a crucified person, when he beholds it blackened in the agonies of death. He was no more affected by the objects around him, than one who is expiring would be struck with any of the prospects his dying eyes might view from the cross on which he hung. And as to those who have truly believed in Christ Jesus, all things are counted as utterly worthless compared with him. There is a new creation; old things are passed away, and new views and dispositions are brought in under the regenerating influences of God the Holy Spirit. Believers are brought into a new world, and being created in Christ Jesus unto good works, are formed to a life of holiness. It is a change of mind and heart, whereby we are enabled to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to live to God; and where this inward, practical religion is wanting, outward professions, or names, will never stand in any stead.For in Christ Jesus - In his religion; see the note at Galatians 5:6.

But a new creature - The fact that a man is created anew, or born again, constitutes the real difference between him and other people. This is what Christ requires; this is the distinction which he designs to make. It is not by conformity to certain rites and customs that a man is to be accepted; it is not by elevated rank, or by wealth, or beauty, or blood; it is not by the color of the complexion; but the grand inquiry is, whether a man is born again, and is in fact a new creature in Christ Jesus; see the note at 2 Corinthians 5:17, for an explanation of the phrase "a new creature."

15. availeth—The oldest manuscripts read, "is" (compare Ga 5:6). Not only are they of no avail, but they are nothing. So far are they from being matter for "glorying," that they are "nothing." But Christ's cross is "all in all," as a subject for glorying, in "the new creature" (Eph 2:10, 15, 16).

new creature—(2Co 5:17). A transformation by the renewal of the mind (Ro 12:2).

Under the gospel state as settled by Christ, with reference to salvation, it is of no moment whether a man be a Jew or a Gentile; but whether a man be regenerated or not, and be renewed by the Holy Ghost, so as old things with him be passed away, and all things be become new. He had said the same, Galatians 3:28 5:6. See also 2 Corinthians 5:17. Under the law, indeed, there was something in circumcision, as it was God’s covenant in the flesh to that people to whom he gave it, and the uncircumcised were strangers to the covenants of promise, and aliens to the church of God; but under the gospel, circumcision and uncircumcision are of no significancy; God neither regardeth any for the former, nor rejecteth any for the latter, he only looketh at the heart and inward man, whether that be renewed and sanctified, yea or no.

For in Christ Jesus,.... These words are omitted in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; See Gill on Galatians 5:6, 1 Corinthians 7:19, they contain a reason why the apostle gloried in a crucified Christ, and looked upon the world as dead to him, and he to that, in every state of it; particularly as it may design "the worldly sanctuary" of the Jews, and all the rites and ceremonies appertaining to it; and among the rest

circumcision, which availeth not anything; neither as a command, type, or privilege; or in the business of salvation, being abolished by Christ:

nor uncircumcision; being now no bar to the Gospel, Gospel ordinances, or a Gospel church state; or to any of the blessings of the everlasting covenant, which come upon the uncircumcision, as well as the circumcision. But to apply these words to baptism and non-baptism is a wretched perversion, and making a very ill use of them, whereby the minds of men are worked up to an indifference to a Christian institution; for though baptism is of no avail in the business of salvation, yet it cannot be said of it, as of circumcision, that it avails not anything as a command; for it is a standing ordinance of Christ; or as an emblem and sign, for it is significative of the death and burial, and resurrection of Christ; or as a privilege, for it is of use to lead the faith of God's people to his blood and righteousness for pardon and justification; for he that believes, and is baptized, shall be saved; and it is necessary to church communion: and, on the other hand, it cannot be said that non-baptism avails not; it is a bar to church fellowship; and a neglect of baptism in those who are the proper subjects of it, is resented by Christ, and is a rejecting of the counsel of God against themselves; which was the case of the Pharisees, in the time of John the Baptist:

but a new creature. The phrase is Rabbinical; See Gill on 2 Corinthians 5:17 by which is meant, not a new creation of a man, as a man, of the members of his body, or of the faculties of his soul; nor of an external reformation, or a walking in newness of life, which is the fruit and effect of this new creation work; but an internal principle of grace, a good work of God begun in the soul, called the hidden man of the heart, the new man, Christ formed in us, of which faith that works by love is a part: this is called a "creature", and so not of man, but God; for none can create but himself; and in which work man is purely passive, as the heavens and the earth were in their creation: it is "but" a creature, and therefore needs divine support, fresh strength from God, and frequent supplies of grace to maintain and preserve it; nor is it to be trusted in, but the grace which is in Christ, from whence it comes, and by which it is secured. This is a "new" creature, in opposition to the old man; and because it is a principle in man, which never was there before; it consists of a new heart and spirit, of new eyes, ears, hands, and feet, expressive of new principles and actions, of new light, life, love, desires, joys, comforts, and duties: now this is of avail; it is a branch of the new covenant of grace, which God has therein promised to bestow on his people; it is an evidence of interest in Christ, the new and living way to the Father, and eternal life; such are newborn babes, regenerated persons, and have a right and meetness for the kingdom of God; shall possess the new Jerusalem, shall dwell in the new heavens and new earth; they are called by the Lord's new name, the adopted children of God; and have a new song put into their mouths, which none but redeemed and newborn souls can sing; and shall drink the new wine of endless joys and everlasting pleasures with Christ, in his Father's kingdom. These words are said to be taken out of the Apocalypse of Moses, a spurious book, but without any foundation.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Galatians 6:15. Γάρ] introduces an explanatory reason assigned, not for the καυχᾶσθαι ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ (Hofmann, Matthias, Reithmayr, and others), which has already received its full explanation in the relative sentence διʼ οὗ κ.τ.λ., but for the just expressed διʼ οὗ ἐμοὶ κόσμος κ.τ.λ. This relation of his to the world cannot indeed, according to the axiom οὔτε περιτομή κ.τ.λ., be other than that so expressed. In justification of this reference of γάρ, observe that περιτομή and ἀκροβυστία comprehend the two categories of worldly relations apart from Christianity, which had so prominently re-asserted themselves in those very Galatian disturbances (comp. Galatians 5:6). For neither circumcision availeth, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature:[269] that is, “for it is a matter of indifference whether one is circumcised or uncircumcised; and the only matter of importance is, that one should be created anew, transferred into a new, spiritual condition of life.” As to the form and idea of καινὴ κτίαις, see on 2 Corinthians 5:17. As characteristics of the καινὴ, ΚΤΊΣΙς, we find, according to Galatians 2:20, the Ζῇ ΔῈ ἘΝ ἘΜΟῚ ΧΡΙΣΤΌς; according to Galatians 3:27, the “having put on Christ;” according to Galatians 5:6, ΠΊΣΤΙς ΔΙʼ ἈΓΆΠΗς ἘΝΕΡΓΟΥΜΈΝΗ; according to Ephesians 2:10, the ΠΕΡΙΠΑΤΕῖΝ ἘΝ ἜΡΓΟΙς ἈΓΑΘΟῖς; and according to 1 Corinthians 7:19, ΤΉΡΗΣΙς ἘΝΤΟΛῶΝ ΘΕΟῦ. In the new man (Colossians 3:10), Christ determines all things; the new man is ΣΎΜΦΥΤΟς Τῆς ἈΝΑΣΤΆΣΕΩς of Christ (Romans 6:5), set free by the Spirit from the law of sin and of death (Romans 8:2), a child and heir of God (Romans 8:16 f.). That this principle, moreover, was that of the Christian point of view, was self-evident to the reader; without again adding ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, as in Galatians 5:6 (see the critical remarks), Paul has rendered this Christian axiom the more striking by setting it down in an absolute form. It stands here as his concluding signal of triumph.

[269] It is stated by Syncell. Chron. p. 27 (ed. Bonn, p. 48), and Phot. Amphil. 183, that Paul derived this utterance from the apocryphal Apocalypsis Mosis. It is possible that the same thought occurred in that book; but it is certain that Paul derived it from his own inmost consciousness. It may have passed from our passage into the ἀποκάλυψις Μωϋσέως. Comp. Lücke, Einl. in d. Offenb. Joh. I. p. 232 f.

Galatians 6:15. Circumcision is again declared, as in Galatians 5:6, to be a mere accident of outward circumstance and of no spiritual import: faith working in love was there pronounced essential for Christian life, and here a new creation, the birth of the spirit in the heart of man.

15. See note on ch. Galatians 5:6. There the all-important thing is ‘faith working by love’; here ‘a new creature’; in 1 Corinthians 7:19, ‘the keeping of God’s commandments’. All these are essential—the being circumcised or not is in itself a matter of indifference. Why? Because the latter is an outward rite. It may be nothing more. But faith, regeneration, obedience—these are spiritual—and they are everything.

The words ‘in Christ Jesus’ are omitted in R.V., and for ‘availeth’ we have ‘is’. The change, for which there is ample authority, does not affect the sense.

a new creature] The word so rendered here and in 2 Corinthians 5:17 originally had the abstract sense of ‘creation’, ‘the act of creating’—and from that, the concrete, ‘that which is created’, including the individual, and so = ‘creature’. It is to be observed that the same word is used of the calling into being of the material universe which is here (and elsewhere) used of the change which is produced in the individual soul by the operation of the Holy Ghost, when a man is brought out of a state of nature into a state of grace. Compare Mark 10:6; Mark 13:19; Romans 1:20 : and especially Revelation 4:11 with Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:24.

Galatians 6:15. Οὔτε γὰρ περιτομή τι ἐστὶν οὔτε ἀκροβυστία[65]) So it is according to a very old reading. The more recent reading is in conformity with ch. Galatians 5:6.[66] Both circumcision and uncircumcision are not merely of no avail [ἰσχύει], but they are [ἔστιν] nothing: but there is truly [something, nay, everything in] the new creature and glorying in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.—καινὴ κτίσις) the new creation arising from the cross of Christ, Ephesians 2:15-16. This is opposed to “old things,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

[65] Tischend. reads οὔτε γὰρ, omitting ἐν γὰρ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, with B Syr. and Theb. But Lachm. and Rec. Text read the latter words, with ACD(Δ)Gfg Vulg. Rec. Text has ἰσχύει with Vulg.; but ABCDGfg Origen have ἔστιν.—ED.

[66] The Germ. Vers. agrees with the Gnomon here, although the larger Ed. has reckoned the shorter reading among those less sure. The margin of the 2d Ed., by the mark β, agrees with the Gnomon and the Vers. There is the same reason for the word ἐστιν, to which, by a more recent decision, ἰσχύει ought to yield.—E. B.

Verse 15. - For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (οὔτε γὰρ περιτομή τι ἔστιν οὔτε ἀκροβυστία ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις); for neither is circumcision anything, nor un-circumcision, but a new creature (or, creation). The reading of the Textus Receptus, followed in our Authorized Version, is this: ἐν γὰρ Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε ἀκροβυστία ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις. But by almost all recent editors this reading is replaced by the one given above. That ἔστιν is the true reading, and not ἰσχύει, all are agreed in thinking; ἰσχύει being regarded as a correction imported from Galatians 5:6. The evidence for the rejection of ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, which is found in all the uncial manuscripts except the Vatican, is by no means equally decisive. The presence of those words in Galatians 5:6, where they are very suitable to the context, has with great probability been supposed to explain their being also found here, being introduced, like ἰσχύει from the former passage, by the copyists; but here the qualification made by them is not so certainly required. The apostle felt it to be not merely true relatively, that is, for those "in Christ Jesus," but, since Christ died on a cross, true absolutely, that for salvation neither circumcision was aught, nor uncircumcision, but only a new creature. For the discussion of the terms of the aphorism as here stated, as compared with its form in Galatians 5:6 and in 1 Corinthians 7:19, the reader is referred to the notes on Galatians 5:6. The words καινὴ κτίσις may mean either "a new creature," or "a new act of creation making a man a new creature." It is hardly admissible to take κτὶσις as "creation" in a collective sense, as in Romans 8:19; though this may, perhaps, be its meaning in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "If any man is in Christ, there is a new creation," that is (perhaps), he finds himself, as it were, in a new heaven and a new earth. Christians as such are elsewhere described by the apostle as the product of God's creative hand; thus in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship (ποίημα), created (κτισθέντες) in Christ Jesus for good works." As "begotten again" (1 Peter 1:23, ἀναγεγεννημένοι), or "born anew" (John 3:3, γεννηθέντες ἄνωθεν), subjects of a "regeneration" (παλιγγενεσία, Titus 3:5), they must, of course, be the products of a new act of creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:14-18 the sentence, "If any man is in Christ, there is a new creation," or "he is a new creature," lies embedded in a passage which describes in language of remarkable intenseness the transforming influence of Christ's death, wherever by faith it has been fully grasped. That passage, occurring as it does in an Epistle written nearly at the same time as the Epistle to the Galatians, leaves no doubt as to the ideas which in the apostle's mind cluster round the term" new creation," mentioned, here too as in effect there, in close connection with the cross of Christ, his sole supreme glory. It points to the state of a sinner consciously reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and finding himself thus translated into the midst of new perceptions, new joys, new habits of life. new expectations. "The old things are passed away" - guilt, the overmastering power of sin, laborious effort after goodness frustrated after all and ineffectual, the servile routine of a dead unquickening ceremonialism: "behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself through Christ." The phrase, "a new creature," appears to have been used by the Jews to describe the change resulting in the case of a heathen becoming a proselyte. That was no doubt a great change; but far greater seemed to the apostle to be the transformation in the case of one translated from the bondage and darkness of the "letter" into the "newness of the Spirit" (Romans 7:6). lie had himself experienced how marvellously great as well as how blessed the transition was; and he has described it in glowing terms also in Ephesians 1:17-2:10. In the present passage the particle "for" seems to point back, not exclusively to ver. 14, but to the general tenor of the whole passage in vers. 12-14, as rebuking that great ado about circumcision which the innovators referred to were making in the Galatian Churches, thereby diverting the minds of those that listened to them from the Christian's true business. This sense of the particle may seem somewhat loose; but it suits well the rapid, decisive, summarizing strain with which the apostle is now closing up his letter. The supreme concern, he means, for every one who wishes to be a member of God's kingdom is that he shall realize in his own experience the "new creation;" alike in the freedom and joy of adoption which appertains thereto (ch. 4.), and also in that walking of the Spirit which includes the crucifixion of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). On this point we may compare Ephesians 4:23, 21 and Romans 12:2. Galatians 6:15A new creature (καινὴ κτίσις)

Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:17. For καινὴ new see on Matthew 26:29. For κτίσις see on Romans 8:19; see on 2 Corinthians 5:17. Here of the thing created, not of the act of creating. The phrase was common in Jewish writers for one brought to the knowledge of the true God. Comp. Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 2:15.

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