GALATIANS 1 - 3

I. Background:

1. Galatian's was written by Paul (human instrument) from Corinth during his three month visit there in 58 A.D. (Acts 20:1‑3)

2. This is written to the churches (how many we know not) of Galatia which were established on Paul's second missionary journey. (Act 18:23) Gal. 4:13 bears this out with the mention of "first" which indicates a second visit before he wrote this epistle.

3. Galatia is a country north of the Mediterranean Sea and in the area of Central Turkey today.

4. The people of Galatia are said to be descendants of the Gouls‑‑a name of ancient France.  The Gouls were not Greeks but were barbarians which poured into Greece in the third century before Christ.  They would still be considered Gentiles as mankind was labeled either Jew or Gentile.

5. This is the fifth epistle written by Paul, but rightly placed fourth as II Tim. 3:16 bears out.

A. Doctrine = Romans (the great doctrinal book of the NT); it reveals great truth, that had not been revealed before, to the saints at Rome and also applies to us.

B. Reproof = I and II Corinthians where Paul reproves sin in the church.

C. Correction = Galatians, where Paul corrects false teaching.

D. Instruction in righteousness = Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; in all these epistles Paul teaches holy living based on Christian doctrine.

6. The reason for writing this epistle was because the churches had been infiltrated by Judaizers who had attacked the authority of Paul's apostleship and were trying to add works to the gospel message Paul preached.

7. There were two errors being taught the  Galatians:

A. That obedience to the law is mingled with faith as the ground of the sinner's justification.

B. That the justified believer is made perfect by keeping the law of Moses.

8. The Judaizers were those who were Jews first and later had professed Christianity and were teaching the Galatians that they had to be circumcised and keep the law to be right with God.  That is legalism; therefore, Paul writes this letter to show freedom in Christ plus nothing and minus nothing.

9. The theme I will use is "The Gospel is Enough."

10. Outline of this book.

A. Chapters 1‑2 ‑‑ The Authenticity of the Gospel ‑‑ gives a personal narrative.

B. Chapters 3‑4 ‑‑ The Superiority of the Gospel ‑‑ gives a doctrinal argument.

C. Chapters 5‑6 ‑‑ The True Liberty of the Gospel ‑‑ gives a practical application.

 

 


CHAPTER 1:

 

 

II. Introduction. V. 1‑3

V. 1

1. "Paul" = the human instrument the Lord chose to write His word to the Galatians; a Gentile or Roman name used beginning in Acts 13:9 when he began his ministry to the Gentiles; the use of "also" indicates that Paul always had the name Paul probably due to being born in Tarsus, a city that had been granted freedom and exemption from taxation by Marc Antony; Paul had said he was "free born" in Acts 22:28; we do not know who his mother was (some think Roman and some Jew) but we know his father was a devout Pharisee (Acts 23:6) and had Paul trained at the feet of Gamaliel, an influential teacher in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3); it was customary in those days to open a letter with the writer's name and greeting, rather than place them at the end, as we do today.

2. "Apostle" = one sent on a commission to represent another person, the person sent being given credentials and the responsibility of carrying out the orders of the one sending him; our word "ambassador" adequately translates it; Paul met the qualifications of Acts 1:21‑22 on the road to Damascus by special revelation as I Cor. 15:8 bears out.

3. "Not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father" = the Judaizers were seeking to undermine Paul's authority in the very churches he had founded; they sought to give the impression that Paul was a second class apostle and that he ranked far below the apostles in Jerusalem; therefore, Paul states plainly where his authority came from‑‑from God and not from man; Paul began most of his letters with this credential and authority of his apostleship because some disputed that, but really in this letter he is not trying to prove his apostleship as much as he is the genuineness of the gospel which he preached.

4. "Of" = from.

5. "By" = through.

6. "But" = introduces the contrast.

7. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

8. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

9. "God the Father" = "who" = first person of the Trinity; refers to God being the Father of Jesus Christ.

10. "Him" = Jesus Christ.

11. "Raised" = speaks of Christ's resurrection from death, hell, and the grave.

12. "From" = out from among; our Lord was raised out from among the dead; when He died His soul and spirit went to the part of Hades reserved for the righteous dead (Abraham's bosom [Luke 16:23]; paradise [Luke 23:43]) and His body lay in Joseph's tomb, but when He was raised from the dead, the rest of those in Hades (except a number of saints that rose when Jesus did; Mat. 27:51‑53‑‑called the first fruits; I Cor. 15:22‑23) stayed there and their bodies remained in the earth.

13. This last phrase dates Paul's call from God after the resurrection which identifies him as one born out of due time. (I Cor. 15:8)

 

 

V. 2

1. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to others that are saved for they had to go through the womb of Holy Ghost conviction like Paul did.

2. "Me" = Paul.

3. "All the brethren which are with me" = this may have included the names mentioned in Acts 20:4 plus Luke the physician who penned down Acts; we really know not for sure who these were but by Paul mentioning them, indicates they were in agreement with this epistle. (Deut. 19:15)

4. "Unto the churches of Galatia" = indicates this epistle was directed to more than one church in Galatia‑‑a country north of the Mediterranean Sea and in the area of Central Turkey today; this applies to us today.

5. "Churches" = plural; when singular it refers to a group of baptized believers who meet together to glorify the Lord; a called out assembly; the only called out assembly that exists today is the local church of which there are many, which are only types of the church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23) which will be called out at the rapture and then there will be a called out assembly in heaven, which will be a local visible body.

 

V. 3

1. "Grace" = unmerited favor; undeserving favor; refers to sanctifying grace, not justifying grace for this is written to the churches‑‑professed saints; this type of grace enables a saint of God to overcome obstacles in their daily living and keep on keeping on for the glory of God (II Cor. 12:9); we have access (freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another) into this grace by faith (Rom. 5:2); this word was also used as a greeting among the Greeks.

2. "You" = the churches‑‑the professed saints.

3. "Peace" = sanctifying peace, not justifying of Rom. 5:1, for he is writing to saints who were already justified; this peace is the peace of God that passes all understanding, even in troubled times (Phil. 4:6‑7); a state of Christian tranquility; we are fighting from victory not for victory; this word was used and is still used now as a greeting among Hebrews.

4. Paul may have been using these terms only as a greeting to the Greeks and Hebrews, but I think he meant more than a greeting as we have just defined above.

5. This grace and peace comes from God whom he identifies as "the Father" and our (personal) Lord Jesus Christ.

6. "From" = as a fountain head and source of grace and peace.

7. "God the Father" = the first person of the Trinity; refers to God being the Father of Jesus Christ.

8. "Lord" = supreme in authority; Paul is saying He is our Lord, referring to Jesus being his Lord; He becomes one's Lord when saved and at some later time.

9. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

10. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

11. The Greek construction refers to God the Father as the source of this grace and peace and also to God our Lord Jesus Christ as the source of this grace and peace.  Even in this introduction Paul is saying Jesus Christ is God, a truth many deny.

 

III. The Authenticity of the Gospel‑‑gives a personal narrative. Chapters 1‑2

      1. Genuine in its origin. Chapter 1

            A. Paul's announcement of his gospel. V. 4-5

V. 4

                 1) The channel of grace.

1. "Who" = "he" = refers to Jesus Christ. (verse 3)

2. "Gave himself" = this is the strongest imaginable description of what Christ did to redeem us; to give of one's own accord (voluntary); Christ gave Himself, no man took His life (John 10:15, 17‑18); this was prophesied in Gen. 22:8.

 

                 2) The purpose of grace.

3. "For our sins" = means Jesus died in our place‑‑paid our sin debt so that we might have forgiveness.

4. "That" = introduces the reason He died.

5. "He might deliver us from this present evil world" = this refers to salvation complete, which is glorification, which is when the Lord comes back in the rapture and delivers this body from the presence of sin; until then He will deliver our souls from the power of sin; this is taught in Titus 2:11‑13. (Rom. 13:11; I Peter 1:5, 9; Phil. 1:6)

6. "Evil" = wicked; sinful; that is exactly what this world is.

7. "World" = age; the Jews viewed the present age as the wicked age, the age of the Evil One; in contrast, the age to come was to be an age of peace and prosperity for those who were truly saved.

8. "Us" = Paul is referring to himself and those with him as well as the saints in the churches to whom he was writing; refers to the saved today as well as then.

 

3) Source of God's grace‑‑"According to the will of our Father."

9. "According" = refers to the end aim or purpose.

10. "Will of God" = refers to God's desire and plans He put into action which shows the sovereignty (chief; supreme) of God; never has there been a plan with such wisdom and thinking behind it as God's plan to redeem fallen man, therefore He is the source of this grace.

11. "Our Father" = Paul referred to God as his Father as well as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

4) Reason for God's grace (v. 5) ‑‑ to give God glory, which is why man was created. (Isa. 43:7)

V. 5

1. "Whom" = God, our Father. (verse 4)

2. "Glory" = Majesty; splendor; the manifestation that brings forth praise; means to show forth to the world the correct opinion or estimate of who God is.

3. "For ever and ever" = eternity; perpetuity of time; the double use of these words gives the notion of long undetermined duration.

4. "Amen" = a Hebrew word denoting strong affirmation; means to let it be; so be it; may it be fulfilled; an expression of absolute trust and confidence.

 

            B. Paul's astonishment at their removal from the gospel. V. 6‑10

V. 6

1. When this book is compared with Paul's other writings, there is no word of thanks given to these churches as in the other writings.  The reason‑‑there was nothing Paul could be thankful for since the churches had been turned aside from the truth so he begins to deal with the problem at hand.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Marvel" = to wonder; word is used with reference to something disappointing, something felt to be painful as well as strange; this is a mild word, not a word of severe reproof, that expresses Paul's astonishment that such a thing could happen; the tense is continuous action.

4. "Ye" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

5. "So" = in this manner.

6. "Soon" = quickly; shortly.

7. "Removed" = to desert; defect; to put one in place of another; it implies that foreign influence had been used to turn away their minds from the truth; their affections had become transferred to other doctrines than those which they had first embraced; they were in the process of moving off the only true foundation, to one which would give them no support; the Greek construction implies at the time of Paul's letter, the Galtians' defection had only begun and was still in progress‑‑they were beginning to sympathize with the Judaizers.

8. "Him" = God, the Father. (II Thess. 2:13‑14)

9. "Called" = to summon; to invite; speaks of the Divine invitation to salvation; called to partake of the blessings of redemption; refers to the effectual (capable of producing the desired effect; in this case, justification) call. (Rom. 8:30)

10. "The grace of Christ" = refers to the plan of salvation which is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

11. "Another" = the Greek word is heteros‑‑another of a different kind.

12. "Gospel" = when used with heteros means any message contrary to the truth; any message other than the true one could not be the gospel at all.

 

V. 7

1. "Another" = the Greek word is allos‑‑another of the same kind.

2. "Which is not another" = Paul is saying there is not really another; there is only one gospel.

3. "Some" = refers to the Judaziers, who were messengers of Satan. (II Cor. 11:14)

4. "Trouble" = to stir up; to disturb the mind; to cause one inward commotion.

5. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

6. "Would" = desire.

7. "Pervert" = to corrupt; change to the opposite; to misrepresent; to twist a thing around or reverse.

8. "The gospel of Christ" = the good news of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1-4) and everything around it such as His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.

9. It was said that at the time this letter was written there were 70 different messages written to destroy truth.  No doubt there would be many more variations today.

10. You may ask "Is it possible to be drawn away from truth?"  Not if a person is saved. (Mat. 24:24; John 10:27,5) He may be swayed or shaken for a short while but the Holy Spirit will bring him back to truth. (John 16:13)

11. It sounds as if there were many in Paul's day who made false professions.  But this is an examination passage for the Galatians professors.  Paul was gracious to those who professed to be saved but he was not gracious to these false teachers as the next two verses bring out.

 

V. 8

1. "Though" = if; suggest a hypothetical case.

2. "We" = reference to Paul and his fellow workers.

3. "Angel from heaven" = Paul uses the strongest possible case as an example to affirm that the true gospel had been preached to them; I think Paul is laying the ground work for the end time when God sends an angel flying in the heavens preaching an everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6); some try to say this is a different gospel but this verse says that any man or angel if they preach another gospel "let him be accursed;" "angel" means messenger and could apply to a pastor as the Lord referred to the pastors of the seven churches of Asia as angels in Rev. Chapters 2‑3. (Rev. 2:1)

3. "Preach gospel" = "preached" = one word in the Greek; means to announce the glad tidings of the salvation to be obtained through Christ, and what relates to this salvation.

4. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; applies to us today.

5. "Any other" = contrary.

6. "Than" = besides.

7. "Him" = refers to an angel, any man, or Paul himself.

8. "Be accursed" = condemned to hell; in other words, Paul said let that individual be cast into hell fire‑‑let that person go on to hell and get out of the way.

9. Some say today. "It doesn't make any difference what we believe, we are all trying for the same place."   It does make a difference what you believe‑‑it is the difference between God's approval and His terrible wrath‑‑the difference between heaven and hell.

 

V. 9

1. "As we said before, so say I now again" = Paul felt so strongly about this matter that he repeated the same basic thing in this verse as in verse 8, except "than that ye have received" = referring to those who were really saved; he gave the professors benefit of the doubt‑‑"unless ye believed in vain" = (empty profession; I Cor. 15:1‑2)

2. If something is said once in the Bible it is true for it is God breathed (II Tim. 3:16) but when it is stated twice it calls for our attention.

3. Paul said let them go to hell (be accursed).  Some would say that is not Christian.  Well it is Bible‑‑God's Word.

4. The gospel is enough and a person needs to be sure he preaches and practices the gospel Paul spoke of.

 

V. 10

1. "Now" = at this time; Paul used this word to express a contrast between his present and his former purpose of life when he was a zealous disciple of Judaism.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Persuade" = to win one's favor; gain one's good will.

4. "Men" = used generically; includes all human beings‑‑male or female.

5. "God" = the sovereign ruler of the universe.

6. "Seek" = desire.

7. "Please" = to accommodate one's self to the opinions, desires, and interest of others.

8. "Yet" = even now; indicating that he use to practice such before he met Christ; implies that had once been his aim.

9. "Servant" = bondslave; the most despicable term used by the Greeks to denote slaves; the word designates:

A. One who was born a slave; Paul was born a slave of sin at his physical birth, and a bondslave of his Lord through regeneration (the new birth.)

B. One who was bound to his master in chords so strong that only death could break them.  The chords that bound him to his old master, Satan, were rent asunder in his identification with Christ in His death.  One Puritan writer said, "If Christ's death for sin has not resulted in your death to sin, you are still dead in sin."

C. One who served his master to the disregard of his own interest.  Paul's will, at one time was swallowed up in the will of Satan, but now it is swallowed up in the sweet will of God.

10. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT; the Lord Jesus.

11. The language of this verse leaves no doubt that the Judaizers had accused Paul of seeking to please the Galatians by not telling them they had to live as Jews in order to be saved.  But Paul clearly sets the record straight--the gospel is enough--Jesus Christ plus nothing and minus nothing.

 

      C. Paul's argument for the gospel he preached. V. 11‑24

      1) He received his gospel personally from Christ. V. 11‑14

V. 11

1. "I" = "me" = Paul.

2. "Certify" = to make known; declare unto.

3. "You" = the professing saints in the churches of Galatia.

4. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to others that are saved for they had to go through the womb of Holy

Ghost conviction like Paul did.

5. "The gospel which was preached" = refers to the good news herald forth of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

6. "Not after man" = not according to mankind; not man originated; no doubt Paul was accused by the Judaizers of having a man originated message but Paul makes it plain that his authority came from God not man.

 

V. 12

1. "I" = Paul.

2. "Received" = to receive something transmitted; negated by "neither by man."

3. "It" = the gospel Paul preached.

4. "Neither was I taught it" = he was not imparted instruction by man concerning the gospel.

5. "But" = shows contrast‑‑not by man but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

6. "Revelation" = manifestation; appearance; this occurred on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 qualifying him for the office of apostleship‑‑as one born out of due time. (I Cor. 15:8)

7. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

8. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

 

V. 13

1. "Ye" = the professing saints in the churches of Galatia.

2. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is announced in one's presence.

3. "My" = "I" = Paul.

4. "Conversation" = behavior; manner of living.

5. "In the Jew's religion" = Judaism.

7. "Beyond measure" = excessively.

8. "Persecuted" = to pursue in a hostile manner; to mistreat.

9. "Church of God" = "it" = refers to believers who embraced Christ as their Lord; refers to local churches who belong to God; it is the Lord's church.

10. "Wasted" = destroyed; word is used of wild animals which maul and devour their prey; his purpose was utterly to root out and destroy the Christian religion; Acts 8:3 reveals Paul made "havock" of the churches; "havock" means devastation; in fact that was what Paul was doing at the time he had his encounter with the Lord Jesus. (Acts 9:1‑2)

 

V. 14

1. "Profited" = to make progress.

2. "Jew's religion" = Judaism.

3. "Above" = more than; beyond.

4. "Many my equals in my own nation" = those of his own age in the Jewish nation, Israel.

5. "Being more exceedingly" = ready in a greater degree.

6. "Zealous" = burning with zeal; most eagerly desirous of; vehemently (with great force and violence) contending for a thing.

7. "Traditions" = a giving over, which is done by word of mouth or in writing; a body of precepts which in the opinion of the Pharisees (Paul was a member of this sect) and all later Jews, were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to later generations; they were to be obeyed with equal reverence as God's Word.

8. "My fathers" = Paul's forefathers.

9. Paul listed his pedigree in Phil. 3:4‑6.  He was far above many in religious ability because he was taught at the feet of Gamaliel, who was a highly respected doctor of the law. (Acts 22:3; 5:34)

10. There was probably no better educated man than Paul in his day and certainly there was none more zealous than him.  He even said he did what he did with a pure conscience (Acts 23:1), because he thought he was right.

 

 

2) He did not receive his gospel from the apostles. V. 15‑17

V. 15

1. "But " = shows the contrast between his way and God's way.

2. "When it pleased God" = when it seemed good to Him; means when the time was right‑ God's time‑‑He called him.

3. "Separated" = to set apart for some purpose; God in His foreknowledge as the master potter who knows what He can do with clay, had set apart Paul for the purpose to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

4. "From my mother's womb" = from the time of conception.

5. "Called" = refers to Paul's call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles; when the time was right God made it known to Paul; this was on the road to Damascus to which Paul testified to Agrippa in Acts 26:16‑18; this call came three days before he was saved on the street called Straight in Damascus as his testimony brings out in Acts 22:12‑16.

6. "His" = God's.

7. "Grace" = unmerited favor; undeserved favor; it was undeserved favor to call such a one to carry His gospel because he had wasted (destroyed) the church.

8. It is grace for the Lord to call any one to handle the most precious commodity‑‑the gospel.

 

V. 16

1. "I" = "me" = Paul.

2. "His" = God the Father.

3. "Him" = "Son" = Lord Jesus.

4. "Reveal" = to make known.

5. "In me" = not "to me;" this is talking about letting the light of the Lord shine in and through you so that others can see Christ in you (Mat. 5:16); this is only possible as a result of all things being made new. (II Cor. 5:17)

6. "Preach him" = equivalent to preach the gospel.

7. "Among" = in the midst.

8. "The heathen" = the Gentiles; the lost; the portion of the world that was not Jewish, or that which was destitute of the true religion.

9. "Immediately" = at once; this was after his salvation on the street called Straight in Damascus.

10. "Conferred" = to take one into counsel; to lay one's case before another; negated by "not."

11. "Flesh and blood" = refers to any human being, even the apostles.

 

V. 17

1. "I" = "me" = Paul.

2. "Neither went I up to Jerusalem" = several of the apostles remained in Jerusalem for a considerable time after the ascension of the Lord Jesus and it was regarded as the principle place of authority.

3. "To them which were apostles before me" = this implies that Paul then regarded himself to be an apostle, as he states they were apostles before he was; the design of this first part of this verse is to show that in no way did he derive his commission from man.

4. "But" = shows contrast between where he didn't go and where he did.

5. "Went into Arabia" = country south, southeast of Damascus that extends into the Syrian desert; we do not know the details of this journey nor the exact time Paul stayed there; he was there long enough to unlearn some things he was previously taught so he could learn right things; this learning came from the prince of teachers‑‑the Holy Ghost‑‑not man.

6. "Returned again in Damascus" = this was where he was saved; it seems he preached Christ immediately in Damascus and then went to Arabia and came back to preach with great power, so much that the Jews tried to kill him and he had to be let down the wall in a basket. (Acts 9:20‑25)

 

3) Paul received acknowledgment for his gospel from the churches. V. 18-24

V. 18

1. "Then after three years" = this time includes his stay in Damascus after he was saved, his trip to Arabia, and his prolonged stay (labeled "many days" in Acts 9:23) in Damascus after his return from Arabia.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Went up" = Jerusalem is the highest point, geographically, in Judea, therefore the city can not be reached without going "up."

4. "Jerusalem" = the city where the Lord chose to put His name and where the temple was built. (I Kings 11:36)

5. "See" = to know face to face; refers to visiting Peter in order to become personally acquainted.

6. "Peter" = "him" = a piece of rock; used as a metaphor of a soul hard and unyielding, thus resembling a rock; our Lord added this name which was to become descriptive of Simon's character after the Holy Spirit had gotten control of him (John 1:42); he is the writer of two books in the NT bearing his name; why Paul went first to him we do not know; it may have been because he was the oldest and most distinguished of the apostles; also he wasn't afraid to speak up.

7. "Abode" = to stay with; to tarry in a place.

8. "Fifteen days" = the time may have been mentioned to reinforce Paul's statement that his gospel came not from man nor from apostles; 15 days would not be enough time for Peter to teach Paul the nature of Christianity.

 

V. 19

1. "Apostles" = a messenger sent forth with orders; here it is not speaking of the 12 apostles since the Greek construction uses the word "other" = one not of the same nature.

2. "Saw" = means not just see with the eyes but to converse with‑‑to know; when used with "none" means Paul ("I") didn't meet with any of the brethren in the church "save" (except) James.

3. "James" = is identified here as "the Lord's brother;" this is not either of the James listed as apostles in Mark 3:14‑19; really a half brother of Jesus ("Lord's") born to Mary and Joseph (Mark 6:3); Jesus had no physical father; this verse is enough to stop the false teaching of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

4. James did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah until after his resurrection, then he was saved, became the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, and wrote the book of James (human instrument). (John 7:5)

 

V. 20

1. "Now the things which I write unto you" = refers to what he testifies in verses 15‑19 and 21‑24.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

4. "Behold" = focus your attention on what he was about to say; turn your ears to it.

5. "Before God, I lie not" = this was a legal phrase used in the courts which assured that what he said was true; this also indicated that Paul would proceed further to prove his position if that was necessary; Paul used this term to emphasize that the Judaizers had lied about him; this would be like calling God as his witness that he was telling the truth; the design of this was to prevent all suspicion of falsehood.

 

V. 21

1. "Afterwards" = after conversing with only Peter and James, the Lord's brother, Paul left Jerusalem.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Came into" = went to and arrived in.

4. "Regions" = synonymous with country.

5.  "Syria" = a region of Asia east of the Mediterranean Sea, north of Israel; Antioch was a city there in which Paul spent considerable time.

6. "Cilicia" = a province in the southeast of Asia Minor, north of the Mediterranean Sea, and west of Syria; its capital is Tarsus which was the birthplace of Paul (Acts 21:39); Paul spent some time in these regions and started churches there and later went back to establish them. (Acts 15:41)

 

V. 22

1. "Was unknown by face" = would not have recognized Paul if they saw him.

2. "Churches of Judaea" = "which" = local called out assemblies in the country of Judea; even at the early period of the conversion of Paul there was no doubt many churches in various parts of the land.

3. "In Christ" = means they were united to Christ, thus were true Christian churches.

4. The design of mentioning this is to show that he had not derived his views of the gospel from any of the Christians in Judea.

 

V. 23

1. "But" = reveals a contrast‑‑they would not recognize him but they had heard about him.

2. "Heard" = to perceive by the ear what is announced in one's presence; the Greek construction indicates they had heard, not just once, but from time to time.

3. "Only" = used to reinforce the fact they had not laid eyes upon him.

4. "That" = introduces what they had heard.

5. "Which" = who; Paul is a person not a thing, thus this is masculine gender instead of neuter.

6. "He" = Paul.

7. "Persecuted" = to pursue in a hostile manner; to mistreat.

8. "Us" = refers to those of "this way" (Acts 9:2) or those of the true churches of Christ even though all were not directly persecuted for they had not seen Paul.

9. "Times past" = refers to before Paul was saved on the street called Straight in Damascus.

10. "Now" = at present‑‑after Paul's conversion.

11. "Preacheth the faith" = to herald forth the good news of God's Word revealed to the saints.

12. "Destroyed" = same Greek word as "wasted" in verse 13; word is used of wild animals which maul and devour their prey; Paul's purpose was to utterly root out and destroy the Christian religion; Acts 8:3 reveals Paul made "havock" of the churches; "havock" means devastation; in fact that was what Paul was doing at the time he had his encounter with the Lord Jesus. (Acts 9:1‑2)

 

V. 24

1. "They" = those in the Christian churches who had heard Paul preach the faith instead of destroying the churches.

2. "Glorified God" = to cause the dignity and worth of God to become manifest and acknowledged.

3. "In me" = they perceived God was in Paul by hearing of him and they gave God the glory.

4. And that is what Paul was doing as he lays the foundation to this epistle.  He gives God all the glory for his salvation and calling and in so doing establishes the fact that the gospel he preaches was authentic and genuine in its origin.

5. The gospel is enough: Jesus plus nothing and minus nothing.

 

CHAPTER 2:

 

      2. Genuine as to its nature. V. 1‑21

 

            A. Comparing. V. 1‑10

V. 1

1. "Then" = afterwards.

2. "Fourteen years after" = means 14 years after his first trip to Jerusalem as a saved man.

3. "I" = "me" = Paul.

4. "Went up" = Jerusalem is the highest point, geographically in Judea, therefore the city can not be reached without going "up."

5. "Jerusalem" = the city where the Lord chose to put His name and where the temple was built. (I Kings 11:36)

6. "Again" = the repetition of the action; this could apply to going up to Jerusalem with Barnabas a second time with the first time not mentioned here, but it is in Acts.

7. "With" = to accompany one.

8. "Barnabas" = his name means "son of consolation" ‑‑comfort and exhortation; we see his unselfish act when he gave his property, his all, and no doubt himself to the service of the Lord Jesus in Acts 4:36‑37; he is mentioned in Acts 9:26‑27 as he fulfills his name by reaching out to Paul when none of the other disciples would and brought him to only to the apostles‑‑Peter and James, the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:18‑19); next he is mentioned in Acts 11:22‑26 and he went with Paul to Jerusalem to deliver relief supplies to the saints in Jerusalem sent by the church at Antioch (Acts 11:29‑30)‑‑a trip not mentioned in Galatians; now Barnabas accompanies Paul on his third trip and Barnabas second trip back to Jerusalem after he had left in Acts 11; this trip to Jerusalem is after Paul's first missionary journey with Barnabas and is described in Acts 15.

9. "Took" = to take along together with.

10. "Titus" = a Greek or Gentile; probably lived as other Gentiles up to the time of his conversion; it seems he had not been converted to the Jewish religion, before salvation, because he was not circumcised (verse 3); it is possible that he was pastor for a while of the church at Corinth (II Cor. 8:6); Paul wrote the book of Titus to this young pastor.

11. "Also" = indicates Titus was also with Paul as well as Barnabas; there were probably others not named that traveled with Paul as well.

 

V. 2

1. "I" = Paul.

2. "Went up" = refers to going up to Jerusalem. (verse 1)

3. "By" = according to.

4. "Revelation" = instruction; refers to the express command of the Lord.

5. "Communicated" = to set forth in words; made them acquainted; he did so not to get their approval on the message he preached for he already had that from the Lord (Gal. 1:15), but he wanted to put a stop to the error that was going forth.

6. "Them" = refers to the apostles, disciples, and leaders of the church in Jerusalem.

7. "That gospel" = refers to the doctrine he preached to the Gentiles.

8. "Among" = to.

9. "Gentiles" = all who are not Jews.

10. "But privately" = means he did not do it in a public manner or in a public assembly; he did this so as not to stir up opposition and bring embarrassment upon them.

11. "Them which (who) were of reputation" = the leaders of the church, some he calls by name and refers to them as "pillars" of the assembly in verse 9.

12. "Lest by any means I should run or had run, in vain" = lest the effects of his labors and journeys should be lost; if opposition arose among the leaders of the church it would hinder his future usefulness and would lessen the success of his past labors.

13. "Run" = to spend one's strength in performing or attaining something; refers to effort exerted.

14. "Vain" = fruitless; ineffectual.

 

V. 3

1. "But neither" = not even.

2. "Titus, who was with me" = Titus a Greek or Gentile who traveled with Paul on this journey. (verse 1)

3. "Me" = Paul.

4. "Being a Greek" = Gentile; word embraces all nations not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own; both Titus' parents were Greeks; an uncircumcised Gentile was considered as a "dog."

5. "Was compelled" = was trying to be persuaded.

6. "To be circumcised" = to cut around; was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham that set the Jews apart; it was a sign that coming out of Abraham's descendants would be a Saviour, so it pointed forward to Christ; in this day of grace we could say baptism has replaced circumcision as a sign (picture); baptism points back to the fact that Christ has already come, died, was buried, and rose again for mankind; if a man depends on circumcision or baptism for his salvation, he is lost.

7. In English this verse is hard to rightly divide.  What Paul is saying is that the meeting they had with the apostles and elders did not cause a problem over Titus being there uncircumcised, for he demonstrated the gospel Paul preached of Jesus plus nothing, minus nothing saved even a Gentile.  Even though the council of the church did not compel circumcision, there were others who did as verse 4 brings out.

 

V. 4

1. "Because of" = on account of.

2. "False brethren" = "who" = "they" = one who professes to be a Christian but is destitute of Christ Himself. (I John 5:12)

3. "Unawares brought in" = one word in the Greek; came in by stealth; planted by the devil; one who has stolen in.

4. "Came in privily" = one word in the Greek; to enter secretly; infiltrated.

5. "To spy" = to view closely in order to inspect and plot against.

6. "Our" = "we" = "us" = refers to Paul and Titus.

7. "Liberty" = in context this refers to omitting circumcision and the law because they do not save a person; salvation is not keeping a set of rules but when one is saved, he will want to obey the Lord and will not use his liberty as a license to sin. (Gal. 5:1,13)

8. "Which we have in Christ Jesus" = in Christ‑‑saved‑‑is the only place one can have this liberty; believers have this freedom from the demands of the Law because of their faith in Christ.

9. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

10. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

11. "That" = introduces the reason the false brethren slipped in secretly and tried to compel Titus to be circumcised.

12. "They might bring us into bondage" = to enslave; they wanted to bring them in bondage to the law again.

13. The Judaizers had attacked Paul's ministry and preaching because they were jealous of the liberty and assurance he had in Christ.  They claimed to have a clearer view of the nature of the true gospel than he; therefore, they perverted and misstated his views.

 

V. 5

1. "Whom" = the false brethren.

2. "We" = Paul and Titus; Titus stood firm in his conviction as well as Paul.

3. "Gave place" = to yield.

4. "By subjection" = by obeying their demands.

5. "No, not for an hour" = this phase is equivalent to the shortest period of time; means something like "we didn't even think about it or have to pray about it, not even one minute."

6. "That" = introduces the reason they didn't have to pray about this situation.

7. "The truth of the gospel might continue with you" = the sure unadulterated doctrine, which is embodied in the gospel, and is its very hinge and substance, might never cease to have its home with you, to be believingly entertained by you; that you might enjoy the full benefit of the pure gospel without its being mixed with false views.

8. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

9. It is interesting to note that Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts. 16:3), but that does not mean that Paul was inconsistent in his conduct. In the case of Titus it was demanded as a matter of right and stated as being necessary for salvation;therefore Paul resisted here because the principle was wrong.  Circumcision is not part of salvation.  The gospel is enough.  In the case of Timothy it was a voluntary compliance, on his part, with the usual customs of the Jews and it was not pressed as a matter of necessity to be saved.  He was circumcised on the principle of I Cor. 9:22‑23.  Even on this principle Paul would never violate the gospel he preached.

10.  It is not wrong to make concessions for the sake of harmony but only if it does not violate basic Bible principles.

 

V. 6

1. "But" = shows contrast between the false brethren (verse 4) and "these" = "who" = "they" = the apostles and elders of reputation. (verse 2)

2. "Who seemed to be somewhat" = phrase is used twice in this verse; refers to the apostles who were said to be Paul's superiors, both in knowledge and in office; they were something in the eyes of the Judaizers, while the Judaizers looked down on Paul.

3. "Me" = Paul.

4. "Whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me" = Paul is not saying, "I do not care" but made a grave assertion of a matter of fact; whatever were the gifts of knowledge and spiritual insight which the apostles and elders in the church at Jerusalem possessed, or whatever their ministerial privileges or authority, whether derived from the Lord Jesus personally when He was upon the earth or in any other way, Paul's apostolic authority was neither of them nor at all affected by them; Paul did not admit for a moment that he was inferior to them as an apostle.

5. "God accepteth no man's person" = it is never on account of his person that God accepts a man; God is not influenced in His judgment by a regard to rank, or wealth, or external condition of anyone.

6. "In conference added nothing to me" = when Paul conferred with them (verse 2) they did not impose on him any new obligations; they imparted nothing fresh to him; they recognized his teaching was already adequate and complete and his work as standing on equal footing with their own.

 

V. 7

1. "But contrariwise" = on the contrary; instead of imposing some new obligation (verse 6) they were in full agreement with Paul concerning the gospel he preached.

2. "They" = the apostles and elders of reputation. (verse 2)

3. "Saw" = to perceive; discern; discover; implies the fact was new to them.

4. "The gospel of the uncircumcision" = the duty of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised part of the world‑‑the Gentiles; Paul had received this as his peculiar office when he was called into the ministry (Acts 9:15; 26:16‑17); this did not mean that Paul would preach only to the Gentiles for he preached in the synagogues to the Jews; this means his main ministry was to preach to the Gentiles.

5. "Was committed" = to be intrusted with; in the Greek this is in the perfect tense which means a past completed act with existing results‑‑Paul was committed with the gospel on the Road to Damascus and that commitment remained at the time Paul penned down Galatians.

6. "Me" = Paul.

7. "The gospel of the circumcision" = the office of preaching the gospel to the Jews; this means Peter's main ministry was to preach to the Jews.

8. "Peter" = the English spelling of the Greek word "petros" translated "stone" in John 1:42; he is not the first Pope for his name means "a piece of the rock;" therefore, he is not the "rock" Jesus said He would build His church upon in Mat. 16:18‑‑Jesus is that Rock and Peter is a piece of that Rock as all saints are (I Peter 2:5); he was a leader in the early NT church; the epistles of I and II Peter was penned down by him. (II Peter 1:21)

 

V. 8

1. This verse is in parenthesis which indicates this is a further explanation of verse 7.

2. "He" = "the same" = refers to God who worked through the Holy Spirit.

3. "Wrought effectually" = "was mighty" = one word in the Greek; means to work in a manner to produce the intended effect.

4. "In Peter" = by means or agency of "Peter" = see notes on verse 7.

5. "To" = "towards" = with respect to.

6. "Apostleship of the circumcision" = refers to the apostle who was primarily sent to the Jews.

7. "Me" = Paul.

8. "Gentiles" = those Paul was primarily sent to.

9. The Greek construction reveals that this verse is not describing the work of grace in the hearts (salvation) of Peter and Paul, but the work of God's blessing on their preaching with the result that souls were saved in each case.  This verse speaks of God's approval resting upon the work of both Peter and Paul and thus, upon their apostleship.

 

V. 9

1. "James" = the half brother of Jesus, mentioned in Gal. 1:19, who became the pastor of the church at Jerusalem after Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again; this is at least 20 years after the cross; he penned down the book of James; he, being mentioned first, showed respect to the mother‑church at Jerusalem and its highly esteemed leader.

2. "Cephas" = another name for Peter. (John 1:42)

3. "John" = John the beloved who was the human instrument who wrote the book of John, I, II, and III John, and Revelation.

4. "Who" = "they" = James, Cephas, and John.

5. "Seemed" = to be of the opinion; these were the ones, others in the church looked up to.

6. "Pillars" = means properly firm support; applies to persons of influence and authority; those looked to as steadfast upholders of the truth of the gospel of the Christian cause; that was James representing the Church at Jerusalem, and Cephas and John representing the 12 apostles.

7. "Saw" = perceived; come to know and understand.

8. "That grace was given unto me" = this is not talking about salvation but the undeserved favor of God to entrust the gospel to Paul to carry to the Gentiles; Paul thought he did not deserve it because of what he had done to the saints (churches) of God. (I Tim. 1:11‑15)

9. "Me" = Paul; Barnabas not being mentioned as this grace being given clearly sets Paul apart as an apostle while Barnabas is not.

10. "Gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship" = Paul is saying that the three of them clasped each of us by the right hand, in token that they both did then and would thereafter continue to regard us and we, also, them as partners with one another in a common work; they publicly acknowledged us a fellow‑laborer and expressed the utmost confidence in us.

11. "We" = Paul and Barnabas.

12. "Heathen" = Gentiles primarily.

13. "Circumcision" = Jews primarily.

 

V. 10

1. "Only" = but; they put their seal of approval upon them but there was one thing they wanted to remind them to do.

2. "They" = James, Cephas, and John.

3. "We" = Paul and Barnabas.

4. "Remember" = be mindful of; don't forget "the poor" = the poor saints at Jerusalem who had suffered due to famine and persecution for their stand for Christ; it might have been said by some that Paul would be inclined to forget his own countrymen since he regarded himself as an apostle to the Gentiles; the object of this request was to bind together the Christians from among the heathen (Gentiles) with Christians among the Jews.

5. "The same" = refers to the request first mentioned.

6. "I" = Paul; he was speaking for himself.

7. "Also" = even; indeed.

8.  "Was forward" = to give diligence; make haste; eager.

9. "To do" = to carry out; to execute.

10. Paul had already proved that he was eager to carry out their request as he along with Barnabas had already brought aid to Jerusalem for the poor saints a few years before this trip. (Acts 11:29‑30) And he continued his diligence on his second and third missionary journey and through his letters to the saints by challenging them to give to the poor saints at Jerusalem. (Rom. 15:26; I Cor. 16:2)

11. Remember Paul is recapping the events in his life that dealt with problems he had already had to deal with concerning mixing law with grace.  He recaps these things to the churches of Galatia in hopes that they may not listen to the Judaizers who were trying to pervert the gospel and place them in bondage again.  Therefore, he maintains the theme of this book, "The gospel is enough‑‑Jesus plus nothing and minus nothing."

 

            B. Contesting. V. 11‑21

V. 11

1. "But" = reveals contrast with Peter's actions at the conference in Jerusalem (verse 9) and when he came to Antioch.

2. "Peter" = "him" = "he" = an apostle sent primarily to the Jews; see notes in verse 7.

3. "Was come" = arrived.

4. "Antioch" = capital of Syria; situated north of Israel and east of the Mediterranean Sea; many Jews and Gentiles lived here; the followers of Christ were first called Christians here. (Acts 11:26)

5. "I" = Paul.

6. "Withstood to the face" = to openly oppose and reprove‑‑lay blame on with the purpose of correcting; Paul did not go to others and whisper his suspicions nor did he seek to undermine the influence and authority of another by slander.

7. "Because" = introduces the reason he withstood Peter publicly to his face‑‑"he was to be blamed."

8. "Blamed" = to find fault with; has the idea that he had done wrong and that he was by his conduct doing injury to the cause of Christ.

 

V. 12

1. "For" = introduces what Paul found fault with in Peter.

2. "Certain" = "they" = "them" = refers to Jews who had professed Christianity.

3. "Came from James" = means they came from Jerusalem where James, the half brother of Jesus, was the pastor of the church.

4. "He" = "himself" = Peter.

5. "Did eat with the Gentiles" = means Peter disregarded the Levitical law and tradition of the Jews concerning meats and drinks and partook of the common food which was in use among the Gentiles and he sat down to eat with them at the same table.

6. "Gentiles" = all mankind who are not Jews.

7. "But" = shows the contrast between what Peter did "before" they arrived in Antioch and his actions after they arrived.

8. "Withdrew" = to draw back.

9. "Separated" = to disconnect; to make space between; Peter acted as if he did not want anything to do with the Gentiles.

10. "Fearing" = to be afraid of those of the "circumcision" = the Jews‑‑those who professed to be saved and came from Jerusalem. (Pro. 29:25)

11. He feared the effect of their opposition if he associated with the Gentiles.  This would be called peer pressure.  He feared their reproaches and the report which they might make to those at Jerusalem.

12. You would think that Peter had already learned his lesson from Acts 10:9‑16 where God clearly revealed to him that no foods or people were unclean just before he carried the gospel to the Gentiles.  But now he is back into legalism again.

 

V. 13

1. "The other Jews" = refers to the converted Jews who were already at Antioch.

2. "Dissembled" = word means they concealed their true sentiments; they attempted to conceal from those who had come down from Jerusalem the fact that they had been in the habit of associating with the Gentiles and eating with them.

3. "Likewise" = also; Peter's actions influenced others to do the same as he did for they naturally regarded him as a leader. (Rom. 14:7)

4. "Him" = Peter.

5. "Insomuch" = to the degree.

6. "That Barnabas also was carried away" = Barnabas would be the last man from whom such conduct could have been expected for he was the one in the beginning of Paul's ministry, which was to the Gentiles,  who spoke up in defense of Paul to the apostles. (Acts 9:26‑27)

7. "Carried way with" = influenced to separate himself from the Gentiles.

8. "Their" = refers to Peter and the other converted Jews at Antioch who separated from the Gentiles.

9. "Dissimulation" = hypocrisy; the Greek construction indicates that Barnabas would never have fallen into so grievous a mistake in conduct himself; oh, the power of influence; actions speak louder than words.

 

V. 14

1. "But" = contrast what the majority of the Jews did with what Paul did; he did not separate himself from the Gentiles but reproved Peter for doing what he did.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Saw" = knew; to perceive; to discern; to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; Paul saw their actions and knew their motive.

4. "They" = "them" = Peter and all the converted Jews who had separated themselves from the Gentiles.

5. "Walked not uprightly" = their conduct was not honest nor right‑‑"according to the truth of the gospel" = according to the true spirit and design of the gospel.

6. "Said" = rebuked; to lay blame on for the purpose of correcting, sharply and sternly with authority.

7. "Peter" = "thou" = an apostle primarily sent to the Jews; see notes on verse 7.

8. "Before them all" = refers to the Jews who separated from the Gentiles as well as the Gentiles present; probably the church at Antioch was assembled; had this been a private affair Paul would have rebuked him privately but this was a public situation and it was necessary to rebuke publically (I Tim. 5:20); this public rebuke proves that Paul, as well as the church at Antioch, regarded himself as an equal with Peter in both the gospel and authority.

9. "Being a Jew" = a Jew by birth.

10. "Livest after the manner of the Gentiles" = this means to have a mental attitude or habit which had in time past showed itself in outward actions; refers to eating and fellowshipping with the Gentiles as he had done before the Judaizing teachers came from Jerusalem.

11. "Manner of Gentiles" = like the Gentiles.

12. "And not as do the Jews" = again this is referring to the past actions of Peter while he was with the Gentiles.  He did not observe the Jews' peculiar customs, and their distinctions of the meats and drinks.

13. "Why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews" = the idea is, that the conduct of Peter was such as to lead the Gentiles to the belief that it was necessary for them to be circumcised in order to be saved; Paul knew what Peter was thinking and why he reacted the way he did; after all Paul had a Jewish heritage (Phil. 3:4‑6), but he had traded that for Christ. (Phil. 3:7‑8)

14. By Paul contesting with Peter, he proved his gospel to be identical in nature with what the other apostles preached‑‑the gospel is enough, Jesus plus nothing and minus nothing.

 

V. 15

1. "We" = "who" = refers to Paul and to Peter to whom Paul is addressing the rest of the chapter to; some say it was not likely that Paul would go into such a long discourse to Peter on the subject of justification but we need to consider that all present heard this discourse, even the Judaizers.

2. "Jews by nature" = refers to being born a Jew; Jews by birth.

3. "And not sinners of the Gentiles" = this does not mean that Paul did not regard the Jews as sinners; it means that the Jews were not born under the disadvantages of the Gentiles in regard to the true knowledge of the way of salvation; the Jews were not left wholly in ignorance about the way of justification, as the Gentiles were. (Eph. 2:12)

 

V. 16

1. "Knowing" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts.

2. "Man" = generic word that includes all human beings‑‑male and female.

3. "Justified" = given a right standing before God.

4. "Not by the works of the law" = this phrase is used basically three times in this verse to strongly affirm that works of the Law have no effect in making men righteous.

5. "But" = reveals contrast between works of the law and faith.

6. "Faith of Jesus Christ" = faith is a noun and has to be granted to a person before one can act upon it by believing; notice it is the faith "of Jesus Christ" therefore, He must give His faith to you for you to be saved or justified. (Eph. 2:8; John 3:27)

7. "Even" = indeed.

8. "We" = refers to Paul and to Peter to whom Paul is addressing the rest of the chapter to; the saints at Antioch were present along with the Judaizers; applies to all saints. 9. "Believed" = to trust; to place confidence in; refers to acting upon the saving faith given a person.

10. "In" = preposition which indicates to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose, which is to embrace the Lord Jesus as one's own righteousness; this will never happen in one's life until there is a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction which is called reproval in John 16:8‑11.

11. "Believed in Jesus Christ" = means to believe the gospel of Christ with the heart and not the head. (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 15:1‑4; also involves virgin birth, sinless life, ascension, ministry of intercession, the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit, and His bodily coming back again.)

12. "That" = introduces the result of believing‑‑"we might be justified by the faith of Christ" = be given a right standing before God.

13. "No flesh" = Jew or Gentile; no Jew was ever saved by law; the law brought the knowledge of sin, thus condemnation and death. (Rom. 3:20)

14. You would expect Paul to say, "Gentiles must be saved the way we are."  But he reverses it and says, "Salvation does not demand that the Gentile be like a Jew, but that a Jew must take the place of a condemned Gentile.

 

V. 17

1. "If" = since; in view of the fact; the Greek construction reveals this is a fulfilled condition not a hypothetical statement.

2. "We" = "ourselves" = Paul and Peter in context; refers to any Jew.

3. "Seek" = to crave; to seek in order to find; to strive after; seek what? = "to be justified by Christ."

4. "To be justified" = to have a right standing before God; to be saved.

5. "By Christ" = in Christ; the Greek refers to the sphere of location; in Him is life (John 1:4); in Him we are chosen (Eph. 1:4); also in Him we seek to be justified because the law could not justify us. (Rom. 8:1‑2)

6. Paul in quoting what he said to Peter is trying to correct the problem in the churches of Galatia.  The Judaizers were trying to lead them back under law‑‑self righteousness.  Therefore, the question in this verse paraphrased, "Is Christ the minister of sin when we (Jews) find we are lost and condemned while we are seeking to be saved by faith alone in Christ's atoning sacrifice?"

7. "Also" = indeed.

8. "Found" = come to know; to find out for one's self.

9. "Sinners " = term used to describe the fallen condition of man.

10. "Therefore " = in view of the fact--that Jews are sinners.

11. "Is Christ the minister of sin?" = is He the cause of it; can it be traced to Him?

12. "God forbid" = Paul answers his own question with an emphatic expression; let not this be; may it not come to past; horrors to even think such a thing.

13. This verse is a hard verse to understand.  The Jews considered themselves to be ethnically members of God's covenant people and descendants of Abraham, thereby having an upper hand in getting to God.  But Paul is stressing that regarding salvation there are no privileged (Jews) or underprivileged (Gentiles) people.  All are equally guilty and all can be saved if they will come God's way.

14. The Judaizers seemed to think that if a person was justified by faith alone, then there would be no restraint of the law upon him thus living a lawless life.  But what they did not know was that grace and love have more restraint on a person than law ever did.

 

V. 18

1. "If" = introduces a hypothetical case since Paul put himself ("I") in this statement; this also applies to anyone especially Peter.

2. "Build" = when used in connection with the law (context here) means to render or declare valid.

3. "Destroyed" = when applied to the law means to deprive of force; to abrogate (to annul by an authoritative act.)

4. "The things" = refers to the Levitical legislation regarding the eating of food; applies to any other part of the Levitical law.

5. "Make" = to exhibit in one's conduct.

6. "Transgressor" = lawbreaker; refers to one who disregards the ethical spirit of the law, while "sin" in verse 17 refers to one who disregards the letter of the law.

7. Paul is really referring to Peter's action of declaring the Levitical law, regarding eating of food, null and void by his eating with the Gentiles, and then declaring it valid by his act of withdrawing from that fellowship.  This emphasizes the point that one who is obedient to the statutes of the law can miss the real meaning of the law.  Peter, by withdrawing from fellowship with the Gentiles, was obeying the letter of a law he knew had been set aside by God, and was ignoring its significance, namely, that of a temporary measure for the time of the OT dispensation, to be abolished at the cross.

V. 19

1. "For" =  a conjunction which points back to this whole passage (verses 15‑18) which he is speaking to Peter with the entire church of Antioch, as well as those from Jerusalem, present.

2. "I" = Paul; his use of this personal pronoun in the Greek indicates that he is speaking of his own personal experience.

3. "Through" = a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; the "law" demanded perfection and Paul could not live up to that standard; it brought condemnation and death to Paul; it made him a sinner and then condemned him for being one.

4. "Dead to the law" = means he ceased to have any relation to the law of Moses, so that it had no further claim upon or control over him; his attempt to fulfil its requirements as a means of salvation had taught him his own inability to meet its demands, and its inability to make him righteous; thus he finally abandoned it as a means of justification and received salvation in Christ.

5. Paul had formerly expected to be justified by the law and he had endeavored to obey it, even to the extent he said he was blameless in Phil. 3:6.  But when he met Christ, he understood the extent of the law's requirement and he laid aside all expectations of being justified by it‑‑dead to the law.

6. "That" = introduces the result of laying aside all expectations of being justified by the law.

7. "That I might live unto Christ" = that I might be truly alive; that I might be saved; that I might be found engaged in his service.

8. Rom. 7:7‑10 sums up these verses.

 

V. 20

1. "I" = "me" = Paul.

2. "Am crucified with " = implies being put to death as if on the cross; man can kill himself by a lot of different methods, but he cannot crucify himself; therefore, the Holy Ghost must perform His work of reproval (John 16:8‑11) before one will allow Him, the executioner, to crucify our old man (self); the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means there was a time in Paul's past (on the street called straight) where the old man died and the old man is still dead. (Rom. 6:6; the tense here is a one time action and will not be repeated nor does it need to be.)

3. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah; the Lord Jesus who was crucified on the cross of Calvary in Paul's place and also in ours as well.

4. "Nevertheless" = notwithstanding, that is, in opposition to anything.

5. "Nevertheless I live" = this expression is added to prevent the possibility of being mistaken; Paul was not inactive or insensible, as the dead are, to the appeals made from God.

6. "Yet not" = no longer.

7. "But" = reveals contrast‑‑it was not the old man but Christ.

8. "Christ liveth in me" = it is no longer a self‑centered life that he lives, but a Christ centered one (II Cor. 5:17); this is a mystery which Paul spoke of in Col. 1:27 by saying "Christ in you, the hope of glory;" how can this be? it is by the Holy Ghost who is the Spirit of Christ present in every saint; Rom. 8:9 makes it very clear that if the Spirit of Christ is not present in a person, he is not saved.

9. "And the life which I now live in the flesh" = if saved, the old man is dead but the flesh is not and it is hard for us to discern the difference; Paul had to mortify (put to death; a continuous action verb) daily the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13); also he had to daily beat his flesh into subjection (I Cor. 9:27); the only way he could do this was "live by the faith of the Son of God" = a life begun by faith is to continue in faith; an initial act leads to an issuing act (Rom. 1:17); notice it is "the faith of the Son of God" = it is His faith we must have granted to us‑‑given to us, if we are to be saved and if we are to serve Him. (John 3:27)

10. "Who" = "the Son of God" = "himself" = Christ.

11. "Who loved me and gave himself for me" = this is a kindred statement of John 3:16.

12. "Gave" = carries the idea of Christ giving himself over into the hands of those who sought His life.

13. "For me" = in the place of Paul who classified himself as the chief of sinners (I Tim. 1:15); what love; applies to us as well.

 

V. 21

1. "I" = Paul.

2. "Frustrate" = to set aside; to make void; to nullify; to make invalid; negated by "not."

3. "Grace of God" = phrase here refers to the favor of God manifested in the plan of salvation by the gospel and is another name for the gospel; the fundamental meaning of grace is that salvation is given free, without money and without price; in other words without works.

4. "If" = introduces a second class conditional sentence in the Greek which means the condition is determined as unfulfilled; the condition is assumed to be contrary to fact.

5. "If righteousness come by the law" = if justification can be secured by the observance of any law‑‑ceremonial or moral.

6. "Then Christ is dead in vain" = there was no need of the death of Christ as an atonement.

7. "Vain" = for nought; groundlessly; without cause.

8. Verses 15‑21 is what Paul told Peter face to face as he reproved him for doing wrong.  He used his own testimony to reveal to Peter the life he now lived and Peter did not say a word that is recorded.  He probably bowed his head and asked for forgiveness for his wrong actions, admitting that that was the life he should have been living.  He held nothing against Paul.  We know that by what he later said in II Peter 3:15. (Pro. 9:8)

9. By Paul writing this personal experience to the churches of Galatia he is building his case that the gospel is enough because it is genuine in its origin and genuine to its nature.

 

IV. The Superiority of the Gospel‑‑gives a doctrinal argument. Chapters 3‑4

1. These chapters give a doctrinal argument because Paul explains the relationship between law and grace.

2. In these two chapters Paul presents six arguments, three in each chapter, seeking to prove to the Galatians that salvation is by grace, through faith, apart from the law.

 

CHAPTER 3:

 

 

      1. The personal argument. V. 1‑5

V. 1

1. Paul begins with their own personal experience which is the best evidence of how God works.

2. "O foolish Galatians" = "you" = "ye" = "whose" = this is an expression of surprise mingled with indignation‑‑righteous. (Eph. 4:26)

3. "Foolish" = senseless; unwise; thoughtless; void of understanding; failure to use insight and wisdom.

4. "Galatians" = refers to the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

5. "Who" = Paul asked who was it that led you astray?  he knew it was the Judaizers and may have known who the individuals were but he wanted the Galatians to think.

6. "Hath bewitched you" = to fascinate; to influence by a charm; to mislead by pretenses; the idea is that they were not led by reason and sober judgment.

6. "That ye should not obey the truth" = that you should yield your minds to falsehood and error instead of the truth of the gospel.

7. "Before whose eyes" = in whose very presence; that is, it has been done so clearly that it may be said, "you have seen it."

8. "Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth" = by the preaching of the gospel.

9. "Evidently set forth" = one word in the Greek; the word speaks of the act of posting up public announcements or notices; refers to Paul preaching the gospel to the Galatians with such clarity and power so that no one should make any mistake in regard to the gospel.

10. "Crucified" = refers to Christ death on the old rugged cross; the Greek construction shows that Paul is not speaking of the figure of a dead Christ on a crucifix, but of the risen, ascended Christ who has been crucified, who is alive, whose body still bore the wounds of the nails and spear, and who is the living Saviour by virtue of His atoning work on the cross.

11. "Among you" = this indicates that the preaching had been as clear and impressive among the Galatians as if they had seen Him with their own eyes.

12. The argument is, that they had so clear a representation of the Lord Jesus, and of the design of His death, that it was strange that they had so soon been perverted from the belief of it.

 

V. 2

1. "This only" = this one thing; refers to the question asked in this verse.

2. "Would" = to be resolved or determined.

3. "I" = Paul.

4. "Learn" = to understand.

5. "You" = "ye" = the professed saints of the churches of Galatia.

6. "Received ye the Spirit" = refers to the initial entrance of the Holy Spirit into their heart which is necessary for one to be saved. (Rom. 8:9)

7. Paul ask the professed saints did they receive the Holy Spirit "by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" = did you receive the experience you enjoyed (until the Judaizers came along) by working or by hearing? by doing or by receiving? through ritual or through faith?

8. The Galatians, if they were really saved, knew the experience they had had and Paul is asking them to think back on how it happened.

 

V. 3

1. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

2. "Foolish" = senseless; unwise; thoughtless.

3. "Having begun in the Spirit" = this is Paul's answer to his question in verse 2; this is equivalent to having received the Spirit by faith.

4. "Are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"

1) "Now" = at this time; in the present; indicates after their profession of salvation.

2) "Made perfect = to bring to completeness; refers to progressive sanctification which is the walk of progression toward perfection gained at the first resurrection; speaks of a spiritually mature Christian, one who is living a well‑rounded, well‑balanced, mature life.

3) "By the flesh" = refers to all that a person is as the product of natural generation apart from the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration; indicates works such as the observance of the carnal rites of the Jews‑‑the law.

5. For the Galatians or anyone to go back under the law (flesh) to accomplish sanctification was to act like a fool.

 

V. 4

1 "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

2. "Suffered" = to be afflicted; refers to tribulation; the Galatians had not only embraced the Christian doctrine but they had suffered for it also.

3. "So many things" = refers to various means of suffering which he did not specify but evidently knew about.

4. "Vain" = without a cause; without a reason; without purpose.

5. "If it be yet in vain" = the Greek construction leaves a loophole for doubt in Paul's mind as to whether the Galatians were really swinging away from grace to law; implies an unwillingness on his part to believe this.

 

V. 5

1. "He" = this refers to Paul even though he did not get personal in identification.

2. "Ministereth the Spirit" = equivalent to preach the gospel.

3. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

4. "Worketh miracles" = could have been the signs that followed the apostle as in II Cor. 12:12:

1) "Patience" = endurance under trials; the quality of an individual who does not surrender to circumstances or succumb to trials.

2) "Signs" = means something authenticating the divine mission of the doer.

3) "Wonders" = indicates a miracle of a rare extraordinary happening.

4) "Mighty deeds" = an exhibition of divine power; this is especially implied in the word "miracles;" there was an exhibition of divine power that changed sinners into saints‑‑greatest miracle of all.

5. Paul then asked them how he did that, "by works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" = their personal experience had to say by faith, thus establishing the superiority of the gospel.

6.  The gospel is enough‑‑Jesus Christ plus nothing and minus nothing.

 

      2. The Scriptural Argument. V. 6‑14

V. 6

1. By scriptural, I'm not suggesting that Paul's other arguments are not true to the Word, but in this section he appeals strongly to OT verses‑‑Scripture.  The Word stops mouths. Jesus silenced the Devil three times by the Word in Mat. 4:3‑11.

2. This verse is a quote from Gen. 15:6 and also quoted in to the Roman saints in Rom. 4:3 as well as James quoting it in James 2:23.

3. "Abraham" = "him" = the Father of the Jews; the Jew's ancestor whom they respected and reverenced; the father and founder of the nation of Israel; the Judaizers pointed to Abraham as their example, so Paul does the same thing.

4. "Believed" = to commit to one's trust; refers to saving faith; a faith that is a cessation of self effort thus no boasting in self; Ex: a drowning man reaches out his hand making it possible for the life guard to save him; no praise or glory is given to the drowning man because he stretched out his hand; instead the praise goes to the one who saved him; in salvation it is even the work of the Holy Spirit that enables one to reach out his hand in faith.

5. "Believed God" = believed the promise God had given him with his heart; this involved the "seed" who was Christ and our Lord said, "Abraham saw My day." (John 8:56)

6. "It" = refers to the outstretched hand of faith of a sinner reaching out for salvation that God grasps in His own to lift him out of the mire of sin and places him upon the rock‑‑Christ Jesus. (Psa. 40:1‑3)

7. "Accounted" = reckoned; to place to the account of; translated "counted" in Rom. 4:3 and "imputed" in James 2:23.

8. "Righteousness" = the state acceptable to God which becomes a sinner's possession through faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory (means of atonement) death of Jesus Christ.

9. Abraham believed the promise of God with saving faith in Gen. 15:6, nine years after he entered the land of Canaan.  Up until that time, his faith consisted of a seeking faith. (Heb. 11:8, 10; Gen. 15:1) When he understood the promise, he believed from the heart.  At which time God placed on the credit side of his ledger, righteousness, until the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, and then Abraham had Christ who is the righteousness of God. (I Cor. 1:30; I John 5:12; Rom. 3:25)

10. Since the cross, when an individual exercises saving faith, at that instant he receives the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God.

 

V. 7

1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that Abraham was saved by faith.

2. "Know" = to know by experience; Paul is causing them to examine their experience.

3. "Ye" = the professed saints of the churches of Galatia.

4. "They" = "the same" = anyone who trusts Christ with a saving faith whether they be OT or NT believers.

5. "Which" = who; "they" refers to mankind who are persons not things; thus, this is masculine gender not neuter.

6. "They which are of faith" = refers to anyone saved; for all are saved by grace through faith; the OT believers looked forward to the cross and the NT believers look back to the cross.

7. "The same are the children of Abraham" = Abraham is labeled "the Father of Faith" (Rom. 4:16) and all who trust Christ (OT or NT) are children of Abraham and this designation comes not by law but by faith (Rom. 4:13); thus all the saved are Jews‑‑spiritual Jews.

8. This refuted what the Judaizers were saying.

 

V. 8

1. "And" = a conjunction introducing another item of proof.

2. "Scripture" = the OT Scripture, since that was basically all that was written at this time.

3. "Foreseeing" = to see before; the idea is that He by whom the Scriptures were inspired, foresaw that; thus this doctrine is contained in the OT; it was foreseen and predicted that the heathen would be justified by faith, and not by the works of the law. (II Tim. 3:16)

4. "God" = the one who foresaw, which was due to the foreknowledge of God; yet foreknowledge is not "causation."

5. "Would justify" = be given a right standing before God.

6. "The heathen" = the Gentiles; the lost; the portion of the world that was not Jewish, or that was destitute of the true religion.

7. "Through" = by means of; a preposition denoting the channel of an act.

8. "Faith" = to trust; to rely on; to commit; refers to faith operating in the heart and not the head; that which is produced and given by God.  (Rom. 10:17; Eph. 2:8‑9; John 3:27)

9. "Preached before the gospel" = one word in the Greek; to announce or promise glad tidings beforehand.

10. "Abraham" = "thee" = the Jew's ancestor, whom they reverenced and respected; the father and founder of the nation of Israel.

11. "In thee shall all nations be blessed" = Paul is quoting what the Lord said to Abraham in Gen. 12:1‑3. (Rom. 4:9‑13)

12. The gospel Abraham believed was the same as it is today but not manifested like it is today. (Rom. 16:25‑26) Even the apostles did not fully understand the meaning of Christ's death until it was explained to them.

13. We have the full gospel and the gospel is enough.

 

V. 9

1. "So then" = in view of the fact just mentioned.

2. "They which be of faith" = refers to anyone, OT or NT, that exercises the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. "Which" = who; people, not things, exercise faith therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.

4. "Are blessed" = to make happy; to bestow blessings on; to be favored by God; kin to the word that means spiritually prosperous.

5. "With faithful Abraham" = they are justified in the same manner, and admitted to the same privileges on earth and in heaven; he was blessed by righteousness being placed upon his account because he continued‑‑walked the steps of faith‑‑intellectual faith led to a seeking faith which led to a saving faith (Rom. 4:12); and if we will continue in these steps of faith, we too, shall be blessed with righteousness being placed on our account.

 

V. 10

1. "For" = a general preposition designed to show that it is impossible to be justified by the works of the law whether it is the moral law or ceremonial law.

2. "As many as are of the works of the law" = refers to anyone seeking to be justified by the law "are under the curse" = having failed by all their efforts to yield perfect obedience they must be exposed to the curse which  the law announces on the guilty.

3. "Curse" = the act of calling evil upon a person; to bring evil or injury down on a person.

4. "It is written" = to pen down upon parchments or some other kind of material; the tense is perfect in the Greek which means a past completed action with existing results; this means that the OT scripture Paul is quoting was recorded at a point in past time and stands on record today. (Psa. 119:89)

5. Paul does not directly quote Deut. 27:26 but gives the sense of it.

6. "Continueth not" = does not yield perfect obedience.

7. "Cursed is every one" = means that the violator of the law shall be consigned to punishment or destruction.

8. "The book of the law" = to make sure there was no misunderstanding Paul clarified what law he was referring to‑‑not just to the 10 commandments but to the five books of Moses call the Torah in Hebrew and Pentateuch in Greek.

9. If one could be saved by the works of the law, he could not break even one law. (James 2:10) Only the Lord kept the law.

10. The law does not save, it curses.

 

V. 11

1. "It is evident" = to make clear; manifest; certain; Paul is saying it has been made clear "that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God."

2. "Justified" = means to be brought out of a state of guiltiness and cursedness into a state of acceptance and this cannot be accomplished "by the law."

3. "In the sight of God" = refers to the all seeing eye of God who knows the heart; James 2:24 is dealing with man ("ye see") who can only see the outside; therefore, there is no contradiction between these verses.

4. "For" = introduces why it is evident that man is not justified by the law as Paul quotes Hab. 2:4.

5. "The just" = one who has been justified.

6. "The just shall live by faith" = not only are we saved by faith but we are to live by faith; Paul is trying to correct the problem the Judaizers had caused by trying to get those saved in Galatia to live by the law.

 

V. 12

1. "And the law is not of faith" = if it is not of faith, it is of works and it demands unwavering and continuous obedience if a man would obtain life by it.

2. "Man" = a human being; indicates man or woman.

3. "Doeth" = to perform; refers to being justified by law‑‑which is not possible but if it were, a person "shall live in them;" Paul is quoting Lev. 18:5.

4. "Them" = the laws.

5. This states that the man who doeth those things shall live (order his life) by them (law) which brings self‑righteousness and not divine righteousness (imputed) which is what God requires.

6. Nobody was ever saved by doing the law, because nobody can ever fully obey the law.  There is a vast difference between "doing" and "believing."

 

V. 13

1. Paul refers to Deut. 21:22‑23 in this verse.

2. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

3. "Hath redeemed" = there are three Greek words that tell the meaning of this word:

1) "Agorazo" = to buy in the slave market; we were slaves to sin, under the sentence of death (Rom. 6:23a) and the purchase price was the blood of our Redeemer who died in our place, thereby paying the price; now we are His bondslaves; this Greek word is used in Rev. 5:9.

2) "Exagorazo" = to buy a slave out of the market‑place; the bondslave of the Lord Jesus is bought not only to be His bondslave, but he is brought out of the slave market, never to be put up for sale in any slave market for time and eternity; this Greek word is used in this verse.

3) "Lutroo" = to set free by the payment of a ransom; the bondslave of the Lord Jesus is set free from his former slavery to sin, to realize in his life that for which God created him‑‑to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever; this Greek word is used in I Peter 1:18.

4. "Us" = Paul put himself in the group he was writing this epistle to‑‑the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; Paul gave all the professed saints the benefit of doubt as to their being saved.

5. "It is written" = to pen down upon parchments or some other kind of material; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means that the OT scripture Paul is quoting was recorded at a point in past time and stands on record today. (Psa. 119:89)

6. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" = this speaks of the execution of one guilty of a capital offense; he was first executed and then his dead body was hung up on a tree for all to see; during Jesus' time it was understood that anyone executed for certain religious crimes by crucifixion was to be under God's curse as found in Deut. 21:22‑23; Paul's words reflected this understanding.

7. Law puts man under a curse but Christ died to remove us from that curse.  He died on a tree (cross; I Peter 2:24) and fulfilled the word given in Deut. And because He has taken our curse, we are free to live in Christ.

 

V. 14

1. "That" = introduces the benefit of Christ being made a curse for us.

2. "Blessing" = to bestow blessings on; to be favored by God; refers to the blessing which Abraham enjoyed‑‑that of being justified by faith.

3. "Abraham" = the Jews ancestor, whom they reverenced and respected; the father and founder of the nation of Israel.

4. "Might come on the Gentiles" = as well as the Jews; Abraham was blessed in this manner before he was circumcised (Rom. 4:11), and the same blessing might be imported to others also who were not circumcised.

5. "Gentiles" = all who are not Jews.

6. "Through" = primary preposition denoting instrumentality.

7. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

8. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

9. "We" = Paul again put himself in the group with the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; this applies to all the saved.

10. "Might receive" = to appropriate to one's self.

11. "The promise of the Spirit" = simply means the Holy Spirit who had been promised; this refers to all His influences in renewing the heart, in sanctifying the soul, and in comforting the people of God; these influences were the sum of all the blessings promised and they were not to come by law but "through faith."

12. It seems that Paul was repetitious, but he wanted to make it plain that a person is saved through faith and he is to live through faith not works nor law nor flesh.

13. This scriptural argument should have stopped the mouths of the Judaizers and corrected the Galatian's error.

 

      3. The Logical argument. V. 15‑29

V. 15

1. All of Paul's arguments are logical but this one depends on reasoning as he compares a physical contract with that contract or covenant God made with Abraham.

2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to all the saved because all saved come from the womb of God as the result of complete reproval (Holy Ghost conviction) of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8‑11); Paul gives all the professors in Galatia the benefit of doubt by calling them brethren, even though some of them, no doubt, were not saved.

3. "I" = Paul.

4. "Speak" = to point out with words; refers to this epistle he is writing.

5. "After the manner of men" = refers to the way of performing or executing a covenant between men; in OT time the parties involved met in the gate of the city where business was transacted.

6. "Confirmed" = to make valid; to confirm publicly; the party transferring his right, took off his shoe to bind the covenant; Ruth 4 is an example; today a notary witnesses the signatures and then it is registered in the courthouse; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; therefore, a covenant that has been confirmed, even between men, indicates that in the past time the covenant was made valid and that at present, the matter is closed and established--still valid.

7. "Covenant" = a contract; a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons to do or to forbear some act or thing; described in this verse as "man's" = refers to this covenant being between two or more men‑‑mankind.

8. "Disannulleth" = to do away with; disregard; to set aside; to make void; no man can set aside a covenant that they have agreed upon and confirmed--this includes the parties involved or any one else.

9. "Addeth thereto" = to add something to a covenant that has been confirmed‑‑no man can do it.

10. It is illegal for one of the persons making the covenant or for a third party to step in and change or cancel it.

 

V. 16

1. "Now" = reveals contrast between a covenant between two men and between God and man.

2. "To Abraham and his seed were the promises made" = this refers to the covenant God made with Abraham (Abram, for his name had not been changed when this covenant was made) right after he was saved in Gen. 15:6 (Gen. 15:13‑16, 18); this was confirmed in Gen. 22:17‑18.

3. "His seed" = notice this is singular, therefore, it is not speaking of Isaac but of the Messiah‑‑Christ; the last phrase of this verse makes this very plain‑‑"He saith not, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ" = the covenant refers to seed, singular or to Christ, therefore when one is saved he is "in Christ" or in the seed and this covenant includes him, whether Jew or Gentile.

4. "Made" = to utter; to speak.

5. The devil did everything in his ungodly power to frustrate the plan and program of God and corrupt the seed but in spite of all he did, Jesus (the seed of the woman conceived of the Holy Ghost) came right on time. (Gal. 4:4)

 

V. 17

1. "And this" = refers to the statement he is about to make.

2. "I" = Paul, the human instrument who wrote this book.

3. "Say" = to point out with words; to affirm over.

4. "Covenant" = a contract; a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons to do or to forbear some act or thing; in this case, it refers to God's covenant with Abraham.

5. "Confirmed before" = one word in the Greek; to make valid; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this would indicate that his covenant was an unconditional covenant and could not be broken--it ever more remained valid.

6. "Of God" = the One who made a solemn promise to Abraham.

7. "In Christ" = with respect to the Messiah; means unto Christ‑‑the covenant had respect to Christ‑‑the seed.

7. "The law" = the law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

8. "Which was four hundred and thirty years after" = these 430 years was from the time Abraham was 75 years old and entered Canaan at which time the Lord promised the seed (Gen. 12:1‑3,7); the time is not the main point of issue-‑the point is that the law given after the solemn promise could not make the promise (covenant) void.

9. "Disannul" = to render void; deprive of force and authority; make it of none effect; negated by "cannot."

10. "Make effect" = one word in the Greek; to render idle; to deprive of force; to come to cease; "none" negates this word.

11. "Promise" = announcement; refers to the covenant God made with Abraham.

12. Just as it was illegal for the third party to step in and cancel a covenant two men made (verse 15), the law-- the third party did not change the contract or covenant with Abraham.  Law can not, has not, and will not change or cancel the original promise made to Abraham.  It is unconditional.  The Lord did not say, I will, if you will or do something.  No. God said I will, and He will no matter what man does because His promise to Abraham was unconditional.

 

V. 18

1. "Inheritance" = "it" = refers to the inheritance promised to Abraham; relates to a spiritual possession; implies salvation.

2."If the inheritance be of the law" = if it be by observing the law of Moses; or if it come in any way by the fulfilling of law; if this was the case‑‑"It is no more of promise" = Paul is saying it could not be by the promise made to Abraham if it were of law. (Rom. 4:13)

3. "Promise" = announcement; covenant.

4. "But" = Paul moves from hypothetical to fact‑‑God gave it to Abraham by promise.

5. "Gave" = from the same root word as grace and means a gift which is given out of the spontaneous generosity of the giver's heart, with no strings attached; refers not to an undertaking based upon terms of mutual agreement, but upon the free act of one who gives something, expecting no pay for it or nothing in return; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with present results; the past act of God (almost 4000 years ago) giving the inheritance on the basis of a promise has present results, even to you and me.

 

V. 19

1. "Wherefore" = why; Paul knew what was on the Judaizer's mind, therefore, he asked this question‑‑"But why then did God even give the law?"

2. "Then" = these things being so‑‑what Paul had just stated.

3. "The law" = "it" = the law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

4. "Was added" = brought in along side of; it was an additional arrangement on the part of God for great and important purposes; not a replacement for the Abrahamic promise.

5. "Because" = on this account; for this cause‑‑"of transgressions" = to overstep; neglect; violate; to go past or pass over; another word for sin; means that which happens when a law is made; literally it means a law which is overstepped; violation of an explicit law (Rom. 4:15); results in multiplying sin‑‑an overstepping of what is right into the realm of what is wrong.

6. When a sinner meets the law, he reacts by transgressing it and this results in committing more sins.  To say it another way: hit a sleeping lion with a stick and it at once reacts with anger.  The stick did not make the lion a wild beast.  It was already a wild beast but hitting the lion merely resulted in showing what the lion truly is.  Therefore, the law exposes the sinfulness of man. (Rom. 7:7)

7. "Till the seed should come" = until the first advent of Christ should come; Luke 16:16 bears this out‑‑John the Baptist was a forerunner of the Christ; this does not imply that the law would be of no use after that, but that it would accomplish important purposes among the Jews until the Messiah (the seed) should come; at which time a large portion of the laws of Moses would cease to be binding‑‑ceremonial laws and dietary laws, while the moral law would continue to accomplish valuable objects after the Messiah's first advent in showing men the nature of transgression and leading them to the cross of Christ.

8. "To whom the promise was made" = refers to Abraham whom God promised the "seed" = Christ.

9. "Was ordained by angels" = administered through angels; in Acts 7:53 Stephen said the law was given by "disposition of angels" = "disposition" properly means the constituting or arranging of an army; implies that the law was given amidst the attending ranks of angels, as if they were summoned to witness the pomp and ceremony of giving the law to an chosen people, and through them to an entire world.

10. "Angels" = the created beings of God who are His messengers sent at His beckon; the OT makes no mention of the presence of angels at the giving of the law, but it was a common opinion among the Jews that the law was given by the instrumentality of angels and arranged by them, and Paul speaks in accordance with this opinion.

11. "In the hand of" = by means of ; under the direction of.

12. "Mediator" = one who intervenes between two parties; refers to Moses standing between God and man when he received the law from the Lord in Mount Sinai. (Deut. 5:5)

 

V. 20

1. This verse is designed to mark the difference of the relations which existed at the time of the giving of the law, compared with the relations which existed between God and Abraham's seed in the covenant of grace.

2. "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one" = the word "mediator" implies the existence of more than one party, of two parties at least, for him to mediate between.

3. "But God is one" = means that He acts alone without a mediator is respect to the promise of grace; God acted for Himself when He made His covenant of grace with Abraham, and this provides God's way of salvation for all, both Jew and Gentile alike.

 

V. 21

1. "Is the law against the promises of God?" = since the law of Moses was added or came in alongside the promise already made to Abraham, does that mean that law is to be regarded as opposed to the promises of Abraham?

2. Paul then answers his own question, "God forbid" = it cannot be; it is impossible; horrors to think such a thing; the answer is that the law and the promise are not in conflict because each has a distinct function; God is not in conflict with Himself.

3. "If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law" = if the law can be supposed capable of imparting the Spirit of life, it must be supposed capable of imparting righteousness.

4. "Righteousness" = the state acceptable to God which becomes a sinner's possession through faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory (means of atonement) death of Jesus Christ.

5. The law is a ministry of condemnation while the promises are a ministry of salvation.  The law judges a person on the basis of obedience or disobedience, while the promises judge man on the basis of faith.  The law demands of the sinner the death penalty (Rom. 6:23a); therefore, it cannot give eternal life.

 

V. 22

1. "The scripture" = denotes, sometimes, the sacred writings collectively and not one particular passage; Paul probably had in view a general summary of the content of God's Word concerning the subject at hand, since we cannot give a specific verse that Paul refers to.

2. "Hath concluded" = to shut up on all sides; to inclose; to shut in; to confine.

3. "All" = everybody‑‑Jew and Gentile alike.

4. "Under sin" = under the condemnation of sin.

5. "Promise" = announcement; covenant; refers to that made to Abraham and applies to us if we meet the condition which is to "believe" = saving faith which has to be "given" (supply; furnish) you from above (John 3:27) and that makes it something you cannot muster up within yourself but it is the "faith of Jesus Christ" = faith is a noun and has to be granted to a person before we can act upon it by believing, since it is the faith "of Jesus Christ;" He must give His faith to you for you to be saved or justified. (Eph. 2:8; John 3:27)

6. The function of the law was to reveal sin that men might turn to the Lord Jesus for salvation.  No man can be saved until he realizes he is guilty and helpless.

 

V. 23

1. "Before faith came" = there is a definite article "the" connected to "faith" in the Greek; thus, this implies before the Seed (Christ) came. (verse 19)

2. "We" = refers to the Jews to whom the law was given. (Rom. 3:1-2)

3. "Kept under the law" = under the control of the Mosaic law.

4. "Shut up" = to shut up on all sides; to shut up completely; the law was a jailer who held in custody those who were subjected to sin, in order that they should not escape the consciousness of their sins and their liability to punishment; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means there was a time the Jews were shut up and they remain in that condition; can apply to us‑‑we are under the law (I Tim. 1:9) until personal faith is exercised in the Seed‑‑Christ.

5. "The faith" = the Seed‑‑Christ.

6. "Unto" = with a view to; that means that OT sinners were kept guarded under the law until Christ came.

7. "Which should afterwards be revealed" = refers to a time in OT times that looked to a future time when the Messiah would be "revealed" = lay open what has been veiled or covered up; to make known; the Seed has been revealed being lifted up on the cross to pay our sin debt; this was not done in a corner or in secret.

8. During the 1490 years the law was in force, it was a means of convicting sinners of their sins and causing them to look ahead in faith to the atonement God would some day offer which would pay for their sins.  And when faith was exercised in the coming "seed"‑‑Christ the Messiah‑‑they were saved by the blood of Christ just as surely and just as eternally as believing sinners are since the cross.

 

V. 24

1. "Wherefore" = in view of what has just been stated.

2. "The law" = the law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

3. "Our" = "us" = "we" = the Jews; refers to us as well as the Jews.

4. "Schoolmaster" = pedagogue; a guardian and guide of boys; child conductor; originally referred to as a slave who conducted the boys from home or school, or had general charge over a boy from 6 to 16 years of age; the idea is not that of instruction; therefore, his main duty was not instruction, but to watch over the boys‑‑to restrain them from evil and temptations, and to conduct them to the schools where they might receive instruction; they even punished the boys they watched over.

5. "To bring us to Christ" = in like manner, as the schoolmaster of OT time, the law restrains and rebukes us as well as leads us to the instructor who is Christ.

6. "That" = introduces the reason the schoolmaster brought us to Christ, "that we might be justified by faith" = that the Jews, as well as us, might be "justified" = given a right standing before God; means to stand in front of a Holy God and there be no charge against that person‑‑all because of Jesus' finished work and faith being applied in the One who did that work on Calvary; means to be saved.

 

V. 25

1. "But" = shows contrast before and after "faith is come" = there is a definite article "the" connected to "faith" in the Greek; thus this implies after the Seed‑‑Christ came (verse 19); when He came and went to the cross, the veil was rent and the dispensation (man labeled it such) was ended and the result is that "we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

2. "We" = the Jews; applies to every sinner once Christ has come into his life.

3. "No longer" = no more.

4. "Under a schoolmaster" = refers to being kept in restraint by the schoolmaster; thus under bondage, condemnation of sin, and death; negated by "no longer."

 

V. 26

1. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; refers to the Gentiles since Paul had just spoken concerning the Jews.

2. "All" = each and every one who was really saved‑‑Gentile as well as the Jew; refers to all who have exercised faith on the Lord Jesus.

3. "Children of God" = word for a mature child of God.

4. Under law the individual was young and immature and under a guardian, but now under grace he has attained his maturity, having outgrown the watch care of his former guardian‑‑the law.

5. "By" = through; the means through which a person is saved; faith does not do the saving but it is the channel through which one is saved. (Eph. 2:8)

6. "Faith" = to believe; to trust; to place confidence in; refers to acting upon the saving faith given you. (John 3:27)

7. "In" = on; preposition which indicates to come to a point, place, and time with a purpose; this will never happen in one's life until there is a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction which is called reproval in John 16:8‑11.

8. "Jesus Christ" = the One who saves because He died for our sins on the cross of Calvary. (I Cor. 15:3)

 

V. 27

1. "As many of you" = refers to the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; the construction of this phrase calls for an examination as some were not saved.

2. "Baptized" = to put on or place into; this is not referring to water baptism for that is only a picture (or type) of what happens to one the moment they are saved; when a person exercises saving faith (given him) in Him as Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit baptizes him into Christ‑‑into vital union with Him (Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 12:13);  water baptism never put a believing sinner in Christ.

3. "Put on" = refers to the act in which one enters into an actual relationship with someone else, Christ in this case; all who are saved "put on Christ" which is a one time action and a work of the Holy Spirit.

 

V. 28

1. The Jews thought they were the religious elite, and the Judaizers were trying to get the Galatians to revert back to their old schoolmaster, the law.

2. Therefore, Paul makes it clear that in Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female" for the ground is level around the cross.

3. "Ye" = the professing saints of the churches of Galatia; applies to all the saved.

4. "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus" = all who are saved are merged into one in Christ Jesus; one heart now beats in all‑‑the pulsating life of the Lord Jesus; one mind guides all-‑the mind of Christ; one life is lived by all‑‑the life of the Lord Jesus produced by the Holy Spirit in each believer.

5. "Jew" = that portion of mankind in OT time that professed to yield obedience to the law of Moses which included proselyte Gentiles.

6. "Greek" = Gentile; a class of people which included all who were not Jews.

7. "Bond" = a slave.

8. "Free" = not a slave.

9. "Male nor female" = man nor woman; gender has nothing to do concerning salvation.

 

V. 29

1. "If" = introduces one of Paul's many verses that demands examination; Paul always gave the benefit of doubt to those who professed to be saved, but he also called them to examine themselves. (II Cor. 13:5)

2. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.

3. "If ye be Christ's" = if you belong to Christ; if you are really saved.

4. "Then" = therefore; in view of the fact you found you were saved after examination‑‑"are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

5. "Abraham's seed" = the seed of Abraham which was Christ; the Judaizers taught that by becoming subjects of the law, the Galatian Gentiles would become the seed of Abraham (they only thought in the physical realm); but Paul gives a logical argument stating that this privilege only comes to one by faith in Christ whether circumcised (Jew) or uncircumcised (Gentile); therefore, Abraham is the spiritual father of all believers and since all believers are in Christ, they are the seed of Abraham (in the spiritual realm).

6. Also "if ye be Christ's" you will be "heirs according to the promise" = means you will inherit the blessings promised to Abraham, if saved, and this is in accordance with the promise (announcement or covenant) made to Abraham; it is not by the obedience of the law; it is by faith, in the same way that Abraham possessed the blessing.

7. The gospel is enough‑‑Jesus Christ plus nothing and minus nothing.

 

 

New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
email: edgarleepaschall@juno.com
The Persuader