Paul wrote the words, to the Galatian Christians in fact. (They were at times his most “troublesome” group of Believers, it seems.) This verse represents a true “one-to-another” Text, but again in a negative sense!
It would be most pertinent when a congregation of Christians might be having trouble properly “loving one another!”
Here is Galatians 5:15. “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” Wow, that this line was even necessary is astounding!
The “if” in the verse (“ei” in Greek) often means “since.” In other words, the biting and devouring were already happening!
“Biting” is “dakno,” used only here in all the Bible! Present tense, too, biting and biting and biting! It means “to wound, cut, lacerate, with one’s teeth!” Biting to HURT someone!
“Devouring” is “katesthio,” meaning “to gobble down.” Swallowing them whole, these targets of one’s hatred!
Keep this up, Paul warns, and you will “be consumed” one of another! The verb means “to spend up.” Or “to use until something is gone!” Also “to destroy!” Until nothing is left!
Christians at war!
With each other!
Now, look at the verse immediately preceding our Text today. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5:14
Then the verse following our Text. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
Seeing the surroundings (the “context” it’s often called) sure does help!
The solution, the antidote, the preventative … to such “in-fighting” among the brethren … is LOVING ONE ANOTHER more deeply and BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT more seriously.
No one needs to say any more.
Ponder these great facts.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell