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Galatians 6:18 – A characteristic closing

02-11-2022 - Posted by Hans

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit brethren! Amen!

Every letter of the apostle Paul consistently ends with the above promise. Only the wording differs each time. But always the subject of the sentence is grace. In the case of the Galatian letter, it is extremely to-the-point! For from the beginning to the end of this epistle grace is in question and also the immediate cause of Paul’s writing.

The Galatians had allowed themselves to be turned away from the grace of Christ (1:6). Judaizing preachers had been led to believe that by keeping the law one could become righteous (2:21). But Paul made it very clear that by that teaching one falls from grace (5:4). For if righteousness is to be achieved through human effort, then this means that righteousness is not a free gift.

By also closing this letter with “grace”, the apostle underlines everything he has taught so passionately. That the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is “with your spirit”, and not just “with you”, gets an extra charge in this letter. For the works of the law activate the flesh, but the grace of our Lord connects with our spirit!