II. Introduction. V. 1:1-3
III. The Authenticity of the Gospel--gives a personal narrative. V. 1:4-2:21
IV. The Superiority of the Gospel--gives a doctrinal argument. V. 3:1-4:31
1. The Personal Argument. V. 3:1-5
2. The Scriptural Argument. V. 3:6-14
3. The Logical Argument. V. 3:15-29
4. Dispensational Argument. V. 1‑11
1. A "dispensation" is a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and man's responsibility. Man divides time into seven and some eight, while God has two‑‑time past and last days. (Heb. 1:1‑2) Even though there are seven natural divisions in time, man has always been saved by grace through faith.
2. "Now I say" = a form of expression used by Paul when introducing a new statement designed to explain something he had already said. (Gal. 3:24‑25)
3. "Heir" = "he" = one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship.
4. "A child" = a minor; refers to an immature person, intellectually and morally, and describes a person under the law.
5. "Differeth nothing from" = is nothing better than; means he has no control over his property.
6. "Servant" = bondslave; used of a slave in servile condition; one under the control and direction of another.
7. "Though he be lord of all" = "lord" = here means owner; means he has a prospective (looking forward in time) right to all the property which no one else has because he has limited authority due to his being a minor.
1. "But" = shows comparison between being owner but having limited authority due to his being "under tutors and governors."
3. "Tutors" = a steward or manager of a household; a guardian of a minor.
4. "Governors" = word refers to one being a steward of one's property; the tutor was the guardian of the child's person while the governor was the guardian of the child's property.
5. "Until the time appointed of the father" = a legal term referring to an appointed time for the termination of the being a minor and the time for his entering into his inheritance; that time was fixed by the father himself if he was living or may be fixed by his will if he was deceased.
1. "Even so" = indeed in this manner.
2. "We" = in context seems to deal with the Jews; can be applied to us as well.
3. "When" = as long as.
4. "Children" = same word as "child" in verse 1; a minor; refers to an immature person, intellectually and morally, and describes a person under law.
5. "In bondage" = in a state of servitude.
6. "Under the elements of the world = "elements" means first principle; rudiments is also the translation of the same Greek word; used in the NT as:
A. The substance of the material world. (II Peter 3:10, 12)
B. The first principles of religion, Jewish or Gentile, also described as "the rudiments of the world" (Col. 2:8; 20) and as "weak and beggarly elements" (Gal. 4:9), which constitutes a bondage.
C. The "elementary" principles (the ABC's) of the OT as a revelation from God. (Heb. 5:12)
D. To a Jew this refers to the symbolic and ceremonial character of Judaism and its legal observing of the law.
E. To a Gentile this refers to the ceremonial and ritualistic observance of pagan religions.
1. "But when the fulness of time was come" = the full time appointed by the Father; the completion of the designated period for the coming of the Messiah; the law ran its course preparing the way for Christ; this means that Jesus was born right on time‑‑God's time and that He was no afterthought because the Father set the time before the foundation of the world. (I Peter 1:18‑20)
2. "God" = "his" = God the Father.
3. "Sent forth" = refers to the act of one who sends another with a commission to do something, the person sent being given credentials; this means that the person sent is to represent the sender.
4. "Son" = the Lord Jesus Christ‑‑God incarnate (God robed in flesh).
5. "Made of a woman" = implies a previous state of existence and the virgin birth, thus fulfilling the promise of Gen. 3:15 (not the seed of man for the sin nature passed through that) and Isa. 7:14. (John 1:1; "was" = existence without origin; John 1:14)
6. "Made under the law" = He was born and lived His life under the Mosaic law; as a man he was bound by its requirements and subject to its control; He was subject to the Jewish legal economy just as any Jew was subject to it and kept the law to the dotting of the "i" and the crossing of the "t." (Mat. 5:17-18)
1. "To" = introduces the reason the Son was made of a woman and made under the law.
2. "Redeem" = to go into the slave market and pay the ransom price and bring the slave out and set him free never to be put back on the slave block again; that's what our Lord did for us. (I Peter 1:18‑19)
3. "Them that were under the law" = refers to sinners who had violated the law and who were exposed to its dreaded penalty‑‑condemnation and death; all were under law‑‑Jews and Gentiles‑‑even though their laws were different; the Jews were under the Mosaic law while the Gentiles had a law written in their hearts. (Rom. 2:14‑15)
4. "That" = introduces one of the benefits of being redeemed.
5. "We" = refers to all who come God's way in salvation.
6. "That we might receive the adoption of sons" = to be adopted as the sons or the children of God; in order that we might be placed as adult sons.
7. "Adoption" = to share equally in the inheritance with the natural born Son; adoption was so binding in the Roman economy that when one was adopted he could never by law be disowned or disinherited even though a natural born son could.
8. The Galatians knew what this word meant and no doubt this should have thrilled their souls.
1. "Ye" = "your" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; Paul gave them the benefit of doubt concerning their salvation.
2. "Sons" = word for a mature son; therefore, they are no longer under their schoolmaster‑‑the law.
3. "God" = "his" = God the Father.
4. "Sent forth" = refers to the act of one who sends another with a commission to do some thing, the person sent being given credentials; this means that the person sent is to represent the sender.
5. "The Spirit of his Son" = the Spirit of Christ; the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost; also called the Comforter and Spirit of truth as well as other names given to Him‑‑a person‑‑the third part of the Trinity.
6. "Into" = a preposition denoting a time, a place, and a purpose which occurs at the point of salvation and cannot occur unless there is a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction called reproval in John 16:8‑11.
7. "Hearts" = the seat of men's nature and therefore the source of all his conduct; the seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors; the center of all spiritual life.
8. "Crying" = to cry out loud; to speak with a loud voice.
9. "Abba" = an Aramaic (language which the Jews spoke in the first century in Palestine) word not translated meaning "father."
10. "Father" = translated from the Greek; the two words used together speaks of closeness; in English this could be "Father, Father" or even like many today close to their daddy would say when in great need or when really wanting to get his attention "Daddy, Daddy" and He hears; a more tender term could be "Papa, Papa;" it's the Holy Spirit crying for the saints of God (Rom. 8:26‑27); this emphasizes the earnestness and intensity of the Holy Spirit's utterance in the Christian, thereby giving assurance forever. (I Thess. 1:5; Isa. 32:17)
1. "Wherefore" = in view of the fact of verse 6.
2. "Thou" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; applies to all saints.
3. "No more a servant" = no longer in bondage to the law written in their hearts. (Rom. 2:14‑15)
4. "But a son" = a child of God; a member of God's family; one free of all law of bondage and in full possession of a son's privileges; not a sinner but accepted, beloved, cherished, and honored with his Father's confidence; notice Paul changes from "sons" in verse 6 to "son" here; this brings the matter of sonship closer home to each individual reader.
5. "If" = introduces one of Paul's many verses that demand 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)
6. "Then an heir of God" = one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship; thus entitled to all the privileges of a son.
7. "Through Christ" = by means of; on account of; by reason of; Paul reminds the Galatians that this blessing and position came through Christ, not law; the Judaizers had said it was by law and that the Galatians had to submit to the law to receive the blessings of God; this is not so; this position comes through Christ; Rom. 8:17 lets us also know that we are heirs "with" Christ as well.
1. "Howbeit" = forms a transition to the cardinal matter.
2. "Then" = at that time.
3. "Ye" = the professed believers in the churches of Galatia.
4. "When ye knew not God" = in their state of heathenism, when they had no knowledge of the true God and His service.
5. "Ye did service" = served; devoted yourselves to; they were slaves to; they were is a condition of servitude as opposed to the freedom of the gospel.
6. "Unto them which by nature are no gods" = idols or false gods; many were the objects of creation, as the sun and winds and streams; and many were departed heroes that had been exalted to be objects of worship‑‑yet the servitude was real.
7. Paul, in speaking of their former gods, denies they are gods by nature, but he does not deny their existence just their deity. If they were not gods, what then were they? Many of those idols belong to a world not human but demonic, a fact which was no doubt well known to the Galatians. These demons are called "devils" in I Cor. 10:20.
1. "But" = shows contrast between their former life and the present ("now") life after they were saved.
2. "Ye" = the professed saints of the churches of Galatia; applies to all saints.
3. "Known" = to understand; perceive; means to know by experience.
4. "Ye have known God" = means to experience salvation--justification; refers to the true God, and the ease and freedom of His service in the gospel.
5. "Or rather are known of God" = Paul adds this phrase to avoid leaving an impression by the first phrase that their acquaintance with God was by their own doing; it was all because of Him that they had been brought to an acquaintance with Himself; many with their easy believism practice say they know God but the question comes, does He know you?; an example of this is in John 2:23-25 where many believed in Jesus' name when they saw the miracles He did but Jesus said that He did not believe ("commit;" verse 24) them--they were not known by God; are you known by God?; this is real salvation which is of the Lord not yourself.
6. "How turn ye again" = how is it possible? a question of wonder not expecting an answer; it causes the person addressed to consider the amazing unseemliness of his proceeding.
7. "To the weak and beggarly elements" = refers to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law, imposing as great a servitude just as severe as the customs of paganism.
8. "Weak" = because they have no power to save or sanctify a soul.
9. "Beggarly" = because they could not impart spiritual riches.
10. "Turn" = to turn back; the tense is present tense meaning they were in the act of turning away from grace (how they were saved) to law at the time Paul was writing this letter.
11. "Again" = repetition of an action; they had left the bondage of paganism and now were turning to bondage again‑‑this time law instead of paganism.
12. "Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage" = as if you had a wish to be under servitude; the absurdity is as great as it would be for a man who had been freed from slavery to desire his chains again.
13. They had been freed by the gospel from the severe servitude of heathenism, and now they again had sunk into Jewish observances (law) as if they preferred slavery to freedom and were willing to go from one form of it to another. The main idea is that it is absurd for men who have been made free by the gospel to go back again unto any kind of servitude or bondage. How could you after you have been set free from that bondage and have experienced grace?
1."Ye" = the professed believers in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Observe" = keep or practice what the Mosaic law required; denotes careful, scrupulous observance; an intent watching lest any of the prescribed seasons be overlooked; the object of this verse is to specify some of the things to which they had become enslaved.
3. "Days" = refers to Sabbaths and other holy days.
4. "Months" = the festivals of the new moon, kept by the Jews, observed at the beginning of every month. (Num. 10:10)
5. "Times" = seasons; an indefinite period of time in either length or frequency of observances; may refer to the great festivals‑‑Passover, Firstfruits, and Harvest (Tabernacles).
6. "Years" = probably refers to the sabbatical year (every seventh year) or the year of Jubilee, the 50th year.
7. All of the events were of the utmost importance in the thinking of the Judaizers.
8. The Galatians were practicing only part of the law, and now the Judaizers were urging them to adopt circumcision.
1. "I" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
2. "Afraid of you" = to be struck with amazement; Paul feared for the Galatians and their future.
3. "You" = the professed saints of the churches of Galatia.
4. "Lest" = that perhaps.
5. "Have bestowed labor" = one word in the Greek; means to labor to the point of exhaustion.
6. "Vain" = without success; fruitlessly; Paul's fears were that they had no genuine conversion‑‑not saved.
7. Paul loved the Galatians and no doubt wrote these words with tears for he desired them to get in on everything God had for them, which they could not do if they turned back to the law. Paul was a shepherd and not a hireling.
8. If you have experienced real salvation, you will not turn back to law after instruction comes. Who wants to go back to being under a tutor after you have experienced being an adult? No one, for the Gospel is enough.
5. The sentimental argument. V. 12-20
1. This is a sentimental appeal of a concerned father addressing his spiritual children.
2. "Brethren" = "you" = "ye" = an earnest term of endearment; from the same womb; Paul addressed the professed saints at Galatia as brethren giving them the benefit of doubt of being saved for all that are saved have to go through the womb of Holy Ghost conviction like Paul did.
3. "I" = "me" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
4. "Beseech" = to beg; desire; long for.
5. "Be" = literally means to become.
6. "Be as I am" = free from the bondage of the law.
7. "For I am as ye are" = was a sinner‑‑hopeless, helpless, and hell‑bound; he appeals to the Galatians to do this because he who had possessed the advantages of the law (as a Jew) had given up those advantages and had placed himself on the same level in relation to the law as the Gentile; he had laid aside the peculiarity of the Jew on the principle of becoming all things to all men. (Phil. 3:4-8; I Cor. 9:20‑22; I might "save some" = means that he was the human instrument God used in their salvation; this does not mean that he compromised truth.)
8. "Ye have not injured me at all" = you have done me no personal wrong; Paul is trying to assure the Galatians that his writing to them in strong terms of displeasure and indignation was on account of their behavior toward the gospel, not on account of any injury (hurt) that he had to complain of; he was not concerned about himself or his own reputation; therefore, he was not offended. (Psa. 119:165)
1. "Ye" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; they knew the facts when Paul was there and they still knew them at the time of the writing of this epistle.
3. "How" = because.
4. "Infirmity of the flesh" = feebleness of health or sickness of the flesh; 14 different speculations have been suggested what this infirmity was; we do not know for sure what it was; some think it was Paul's thorn in the flesh, but that was identified as a "messenger of Satan." (II Cor. 12:7)
5. "Through" = by reason of or because of this infirmity that caused Paul to visit these churches on his first missionary journey; we can go back in Acts and see what happened:
A. In Acts 13, Paul was made to leave Antioch in Pisidia due to opposition.
B. He and those with him, went to Iconium in Acts 14:1‑6 where the people were ready to stone them.
C. He left and went to Lystra where the Jews from Antioch and Iconium followed and persuaded the people of Lystra to stone him. (Acts 14:19‑20)
D. Thus, he was compelled to leave Lystra and go to Derbe which is in Galatia‑‑one of the churches this letter was written to.
E. Therefore, this infirmity was possibly due to the injuries he received from the stoning at Lystra. We do know his eyes were involved in this infirmity. (verse 15; Gal. 6:11)
6. "I" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
7. "Preached the gospel" = to herald forth the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15:3‑4); involves the virgin birth, the sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, sanctification work of the Holy Spirit in a sinner, and His bodily coming back again.
8. "At the first" = refers to Paul's first visit to Galatia.
1. "My" = "me" = Paul.
2. "Temptation which was in my flesh" = refers to Paul's trial which was in his flesh‑‑his infirmity.
3. "Ye" = the Galatians who received Paul even though his infirmity gave him a repulsive appearance which could have caused the Galatians to despise and reject Paul.
4. "Despised" = to spit out; cause to vomit; to reject; to spurn; to loathe; negated by "not;" the Galatians did not despise Paul.
5. "Rejected" = to hold and treat as of no account; to despise; also negated by "not;" these two words give double emphasis.
6. "But" = reveals contrast between what they did not do and what they did‑‑"received" = to receive favorably; not to reject.
7. "As an angel of God" = refers to being received with the utmost respect, as if he had been an angel sent from God.
8. "Even as Christ Jesus" = they received Paul as they would have if it had been Christ Himself.
1. "Blessedness" = means spiritually prosperous and refers to the Galatians as being in a state of prosperity spiritually when they were willing to give their eyes to Paul.
2. "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?" = where is this prosperous condition now?
3. "Ye" = "you" = "your" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
4. "I" = "me" = Paul; the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
5. "Bear record" = to testify on their behalf; this phrase always denotes commendation.
6. "If it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them (eyes) to me" = they loved Paul so much that they would have done anything they could to contribute to his welfare; now they had changed and were in the process of abandoning his doctrines and yielding themselves to the guidance of those who taught a wholly different doctrine.
1. "I" = Paul.
2. "Your" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
3. "Become" = to come to pass; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; there was a point in past time they had become Paul's enemy and were his enemy even now, even as he wrote this epistle; it seems that Paul had made a second trip to the churches of Galatia in Acts 18:23 at which time he told them the truth of their error, and they became his enemy.
4. "Enemy" = one who opposes another; one that is hostile; the Greek construction reveals that even if Paul was their enemy, they were not his enemies.
5. "Because I tell you the truth" = this is the reason they considered Paul an enemy, but Paul was their friend, even if they considered him an enemy; he told them the truth; he had their welfare at heart.
1. "They" = "them" = the Judaizers who were not telling the Galatians the truth.
2. "Zealously affect" = one word in the Greek; to strive after; to earnestly desire; the word in a sense means to court to gain the other's affection and devotion as a boy courts a girl; the Judaizers were courting the Galatians with "zeal"‑‑intense enthusiasm.
3. "But not well" = not an honorable or noble way; their motive was wrong.
4. "You" = "ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
5. "Would" = desire.
6. "Exclude" = to shut out; to alienate or cause separation from; indicates the Judaizers desired to shut out the Galatians from fellowship with Paul and his companions, thereby shutting them out from the pure gospel of grace.
7. "That" = indicates the reason the Judaizers wanted to shut the Galatians out‑‑"that ye might affect them."
8. "Affect" = desire; strive after or court; the Judaizers wanted to gain the Galatians as their followers; they wanted to secure their zealous love for themselves; they were probably sincere in what they were doing, but they were sincerely wrong. (Jer. 17:9)
9. The intentions of the Judaizers were dishonorable and would result in their eternal damnation.
1. "But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing" = Paul was not against others courting the Galatians or even their courting of others as long as it was a good thing‑‑if it was done in a right spirit and in connection with the truth of the gospel.
2. "And not only when I am present with you" = Paul seems to be saying in this phrase: "You were exceedingly zealous in a good cause when I was with you; you loved the truth; you loved me; since I left you, and as soon almost as I was out of your sight, your zeal died away, and your love for me was transferred to others; allow me to remind you that it would be well to be zealous of good when I am away, as well as when I am with you."
3. Paul's courting of the Galatians was not to attach them to himself but that they might be joined to the Lord Jesus.
4. Paul got stirred up, not because the Judaizers were courting the Galatians, but because their motive behind it was wrong‑‑to lead them astray from the truth.
1. "My little children" = "whom" = "you" = the language of tender affection, such as a parent would use towards his own offspring; he felt like a father to them and he felt the deep and tender feeling of a parent; refers to the professed saints of the churches of Galatia; Paul gives them benefit of doubt concerning their conversion even though he had called time and again for them to examine as to whether they were saved or not.
2. "I" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
3. "Travail in birth" = to feel the pains of childbirth; Paul for the second time is experiencing the anguish and travail that he experienced in his efforts when they were saved; when one is burdened and concerned for an individual he knows and understands what they are going through because he has been there; Paul was going through more travail like a parent still has while their children are growing to maturity.
4. "Again" = repetition of an action.
5. "Formed" = refers to the act of giving outward expression of one's inner nature; the Greek construction indicates that at one time there was evidence of Christ in their lives but now little of Him could be seen; we also need to remember that the stony ground hearers seemed to have had some evidences of Christ in their lives for a while, but they were not saved; the lack of evidence at this time could be due to the fact that the Judaizers were teaching law as a means of sanctification and law brings death‑‑to Christ likeness in one's life.
1. "I" = "my" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
2. "Desire" = wish; like to do a thing.
3. "Present with you" = visit the Galatians in person.
4. "Now" = at this very time.
5. "To change my voice" = he wanted to change from a pen to person; it is hard to express with a letter exactly what you want to say, so Paul's desire was to speak face to face; in person he could put his heart into his voice and just maybe they would have ears to hear.
6. "Stand in doubt" = one word in the Greek; to be without a way or path; not to know which way to turn; to be without resources; to be in straits; to be in perplexity; this speaks of the inward distress of a mind tossed to and fro by conflicting doubts and fears; Paul was perplexed as how he could help them in this present crisis; in essence he is saying: "I am puzzled how to deal with you, how to find an entrance into your hearts;" could also apply to Paul doubting whether they were truly saved. (verse 11)
6. Allegorical Argument. V. 21‑31
1. An allegory is an interpretation of an event or story showing a hidden meaning.
2. "Tell" = to speak; talk to me.
3. "Me" = Paul, the human instrument God used to pen down this epistle.
4. "Ye" = in context this refers to the professed saints in the churches of Galatia; applies to all saints.
5. "Ye that desire to be under the law" = the Judaizers had courted (verse 17; affect) the Galatians and had made their message of law appear good and it had enticed them to desire the law even to the point that they were turning or in the process of turning to it; they were at a point of adopting the whole law--at least some of them.
6. "Do ye not hear the law?" = this is a thought provoking question to them; in essence Paul is saying: "Will you stop for a moment and let me tell you what the law really is and what the law really does and then he uses the rest of this chapter to prove what the law is and does."
1. "For" = connects the contents of verse 21 with those of verses 22‑31; Paul is saying, "Your desire to be under the law is not in harmony with the scripture and here is what the scripture says."
2. "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 referring to was recorded at a point in past time and stands on record today (Psa. 119:89); Paul is referring to the story of Abraham written in the book of Genesis which involves many verses and chapters.
3. "Abraham" = the head of the Hebrew racial family; the father of the Jews; the Jews' ancestor whom they respected and reverenced; the father and founder of the nation of Israel, the prominent ones; later Abraham had several sons by Keturah after the death of Sarah. (Gen. 25:1‑6)
4. "Had two sons" = Ishmael and Isaac.
5. "The one by a bondmaid" = Ishamel.
6. "Bondmaid" = Hagar, the personal property of Sarah.
7. "The other by a freewoman" = Isaac.
8. "Freewoman" = Sarah, who was not a slave.
V . 23
1. First "he" = "who was of the bondwoman" = Ishmael.
2. "Was born after the flesh" = means he was born in the ordinary course of nature, by the will of man. (Gen. 16:1‑4a,15)
3. Second "he" who was "of the freewoman " = Isaac.
4. "Was by promise" = means Isaac was a miracle child, supernaturally born according to the promise of God given to Abraham and Sarah who were past child‑bearing age; for Abraham and Sarah to have a son would have been a natural impossibility, but our God who cannot lie, promised. (Rom. 4:19‑21)
1. "Which things" = "these" = the story of Hagar and Ishmael, and Sarah and Isaac.
2. "Allegory" = a story in which people, things, and happenings have a hidden or symbolic meaning; a figurative description of real facts.
3. "These are two covenants" = the two sons represents two covenants or testaments.
4. "One from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar" = Mount Sinai is where the law was given which is the old covenant and it is identified with Agar which is Hagar the bondwoman of the OT; all this tends to produce is bondage or servitude.
5. The condition of servitude produced by the law had a strong resemblance to Hagar's condition as a slave.
1. "For this Agar (Hagar) is mount Sinai in Arabia" = Hagar represents the law which was given in Mount Sinai of Arabia‑‑a well known peninsula of Asia lying towards Africa and bordering Egypt.
2. "Answereth to Jerusalem which now is" = means the law corresponds with Jerusalem of Paul's day for it was subject to laws, rites, customs, and was bound by a state of servitude, fear, and trembling (under Roman rule), such as existed when the law was given on mount Sinai.
3. "Answereth to" = means properly to advance in order together; means they were alike (mount Sinai and Jerusalem of Paul's day).
4. "Which now is" = as it existed in Paul's day.
5. "And is in bondage with her children" = Jerusalem was in bondage because she was stripped of her freedom by pagan Rome and the center of apostate observance of Judaism for they had repaired the veil and continued in the old covenant‑‑the law.
1. "But" = reveals the contrast between the old and new covenants.
2. "Jerusalem from above" = refers to the new Jerusalem John saw in Rev. 21:2 which descended out of heaven.
3. "Is free" = free from the yoke of the Mosiac law; free from sin and the bondage of rites and customs.
4. "Which is the mother of us all" = this heavenly Jerusalem represents Sarah who identifies with grace and is the "mother of us all" in the sense she is the mother of the promised seed into which all, Jew and Gentile, are included when they believe in Christ's finished work on Calvary; also there is an application whom the Lord uses in the salvation of others and these will reside in the new Jerusalem. (I Cor. 3:5)
5. Ishmael, Hagar, the old covenant, Mount Siani, and present day Jerusalem (Paul's day) all identify with law, bondage, and death.
6. Isaac, Sarah, the new covenant, Mount Calvary (even though not mentioned in this allegory is implied) and New Jerusalem all identify with grace, liberty, and life.
1. "It is written" = to pen down upon parchments or some 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); Paul is quoting Isa. 54:1.
2. "Rejoice" = to gladden; to be merry.
3. "Thou barren that bearest not" = thou who does not conceive thus not giving birth.
4. "Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not" = break out and speak with a high strong voice you who do not feel the pains of birth.
5. "Desolate" = a woman neglected by her husband.
6. Just what does this verse mean?
A. In context: Isaiah foresaw glory and triumph for Israel on the basis of the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. This was after the barrenness of the 70 years captivity. It is still future but Israel can rejoice because it is coming‑‑God has promised.
B. Application used by Paul: applies to Sarah who was barren at first and seemed to be forsaken in favor of another. Hagar seemed to have more. But in God's time Sarah shall come forth with a greater progeny than Hagar. Sarah rejoice, because the seed is coming‑‑God promised.
C. Application to us: the true church who has an husband, Christ, seems to be barren and travailest not, not feeling the pains of childbirth, while the harlot churches with their easy believism, man made plans, and programs seem to be having more professions, and more children, and thereby flourishing. But rejoice because in God's time we shall hear the cry of newborn souls and travail‑‑feel the pains of spiritual birth‑‑because God has promised.
D. Individually applied: Sarah heard the promise time and time again yet thought it would never happen because she was past the age to have a child. She crossed the line so as to speak. Impossible. She doubted God and laughed in Gen. 18 when the angels came. Said it won't happen. Rejoice Sarah. It will come because God promised and it did. The devil is a liar. He says you have crossed the line. You are having to bear reproach. Seems it is happening everywhere but here and with you. Rejoice. You shall come forth. God has promised. (Phil. 1:6; I Thess. 5:24; II Peter 3:9; Heb. 11:6; John 6:37b; Psa. 9:10) Rejoice, you shall come forth.
1. "We" = refers to Paul and the Galatians; applies to all saints.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; all saints are from the womb of Holy Ghost conviction.
3. "As Isaac was, are the children of promise" = not like Ishmael, the son of a slave woman, but like Isaac who was born according to promise, not in the usual course of nature, but miraculously.
4. All who are born from above have their standing before God not on the basis of physical descent from Abraham but upon the promise made to Abraham which applies to all who have walked in the steps of faith like Him‑‑intellectual faith leads to seeking faith which leads to saving faith. (Rom. 4:12‑13; Gal. 3:9)
1. "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit" = refers to Ishmael persecuting Isaac. (Gen. 21:9)
2. "Even so it is now" = refers to the Judaizers persecuting Paul and all those who would not forsake grace for law.
1. "Nevertheless" = forms a transition to the cardinal matter.
2. "What saith the scripture?" = refers to Gen. 21:10 which Paul quotes here.
3. Paul interprets the allegory by saying that the rejection of Ishmael points to a rejection of the children of Abraham after the flesh in favor of those who become children of Abraham by faith. When applied to Mark 10:31, the law was first and grace last, but grace shall be first. The barren wife (Sarah) becoming fruitful (bearing Isaac) even though she was last, when compared to Ishmael she shall be first because the bondwoman (woman of the flesh) was set aside along with her son and he will not be an heir with the son of the freewoman.
1. "So then" = therefore; in view of the fact just stated in verse 30.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; all saints are from the womb of Holy Ghost conviction.
3. "We" = Paul and the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
4. "We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free" = believers are not in bondage to the law but are in a relationship to God as a Son‑‑free in Christ; if one tries to live under law for sanctification, they will be set aside while those of Grace, which was last, shall be first.
5. This ought to bring joy, therefore fulfilling the "rejoice" of verse 27. God has promised, and He is faithful. The gospel is enough.
V. The True Liberty of the Gospel‑‑gives a practical application. Chapters 5‑6
‑This practical application is revealed by four contrasts.
1. Liberty, not bondage. V. 1‑15
1. "Therefore" = in view of the facts; refers to the six arguments in chapters 3‑4.
2. "Stand fast" = to persevere; persist; stand firm; be unwavering; means to steadfastly stand for the truth of God's word and not be swayed by false teachers. (Jude 3-4; I Cor. 15:58)
3. "Liberty" = same base word as "free" in Gal. 4:31; does not refer to the kind of life a person lives and does not refer to his words and actions; has to do with the method by which he lives his life; true liberty is living as we should which is according to truth and not as we please. (John 17:17)
A. Some say today and no doubt the Judaizers also said, "If Christians are free from the law, they will live wicked lives. You are giving people a license to sin." The answer to that is "Oh, No!"
B. I know men down through the centuries have argued that, but they do not recognize that Christ is the One who has "made us free" = to set at liberty; He did this by grace (undeserved favor); therefore, those men who say such do not recognize that grace is the greater teacher and controller in the world (Titus 2:11‑12; Psa. 23:1,3) and His love shed abroad (Rom. 5:5) is the greatest motive (II Cor. 5:14) to live right. Not law, but love; not bondage but liberty.
4. "Entangled" = to be held within; to be ensnared; used of those who are held in a physical net so that they are unable to free themselves; negated by "not;" this is a warning to the Galatians who were being told that they needed to live by the law to receive blessings.
5. "Again" = repetition of an action; implies that before they were saved they were under "a yoke of bondage" = not the OT law but bondage of heathenism, and now they were in danger of becoming entangled in the meshes of legalistic Judaism; applied to law, dogma, or emotions that placed restriction upon their liberty.
6. There are ditches on both sides of the road. On one side is the ditch of liberalism motivated by lust and on the other side is the ditch of legalism motivated by law, but the center of the road is liberty motivated by love. If you have escaped the ditch of legalism and experienced the liberty in Christ, why would you want to go back under law?
1. "Behold" = focus your attention on what he is about to say; turn your ears to it; listen to me.
2. "I" = "Paul" = he is emphasizing himself even though it is the Holy Ghost speaking through him (II Peter 1:21); his testimony had meant something, because he had buffeted his body to keep it in line (I Cor. 9:27); he was not ignorant of Satan's devices (II Cor. 2:11); tales and lies had been told against him but that didn't stop him; his word meant something; it takes time to build a reputation as Paul had (Eccl. 7:1a; Pro. 22:1); it takes a consistent life for years before others really listen to one's lip; many testify as to what they are going to do and others say, "I've heard that before;" Paul said, "Listen to me; I'm trying to save you heartache and embarrassment;" he speaks from experience.
3. "If" = introduces an hypothetical case.
4. "Ye" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
5. "Be circumcised" = refers to circumcision as a seal of the old covenant and in context stands for the whole Mosaic system; these Galatians had accepted some of the Judaizer's teaching, such as observing the feast days and it seems they were contemplating being circumcised which would mean they fully accepted the OT law.
6. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.
7. "Profit" = to assist; to be useful or advantageous.
8. "Nothing" = not one thing.
9. "Christ shall profit you nothing" = we must understand the context of these verses or one will wind up in error; Paul is speaking to professed believers in the churches of Galatia about their living (sanctification) not their position (justification); if the Galatians submit to the rite of circumcision they would put themselves under law and deprive themselves of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to assist them and aid them; therefore, they would not enjoy the blessing God has for His children‑‑that of liberty; thus the warning, "If you submit to that, you shall not profit one thing;" suffer loss at the judgment seat if you are really saved (Paul had his doubts about some and rightfully so) (I Cor. 3:11‑15); John warns us to be careful in II John 8.
1. "I" = Paul.
2. "Testify" = to announce; ratify as truth; affirm; this is not merely a simple testimony but a strong and serious statement of truth.
3. "Again" = repetition of an action; refers to like statements made throughout this epistle.
4. "Every man" = "he" = human being whether male or female; whosoever.
5. "Every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law" = when one submits to circumcision as a seal of the old covenant, he is under obligation (debtor) to do (means to accomplish and refers to the end of an act), namely keeping of the law to the dotting of the "i" and crossing of the "t."
6. "The whole law" = the Mosaic law.
1. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.
2. "Become of no effect" = one word in the Greek; to render idle; inoperative; to cause to cease; to put an end to.
3. "You" = "whosoever of you" = "ye" = professed saints of the churches of Galatia who desired to go back to the law.
4. "Justified" = to be righteous; the tense is continuous action, thus "being justified" or "being righteous;" therefore, this word is not talking about one's position in Christ, which we usually call justification but here it is referring to sanctification‑‑Christian living‑‑righteous living; this verse must be understood in context or one will wind up in error.
5. If you turn to the law for guidance in your living, then Christ has no more effect upon you. And your action causes Him to cease guiding you, because you are guided by another‑‑law. As a result, "ye are fallen from grace."
6. "Fallen from" = to fail of; to lose one's hold of.
7. "Grace" = unmerited favor.
8. This simply means the Galatian professors, if they turned completely to law, would lose their hold upon grace for daily living which had been ministered to them by the Holy Spirit from the day they were saved to such time they turned back to law. This grace mentioned here is not talking about losing one's salvation as a lot of false teachers teach today. It is referring to daily grace for living‑‑sanctifying grace‑‑the same Paul asked be upon them in Gal. 1:3.
9. Why would anyone want to turn back to law, bondage, and death when they had experienced grace, liberty, and life? They wouldn't when exposed to truth if really saved. Thus Paul writes this epistle to expose them to truth for correction. The gospel is enough.
1. "We" = refers to Paul and all the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Through the Spirit" = refers to the Holy Spirit who enables us to be delivered from the power of sin day by day.
3. "Wait" = word speaks of an attitude of intense yearning and an eager waiting for something; the same Greek word is translated "look" in Phil. 3:20.
4. "Hope" = desire for something good with the expectation of obtaining it‑‑in this case "righteousness" = God's uprightness or standard to which the saint is expected to conform; this righteousness is not referring to imputed righteousness when saved, but it refers to the end product of a sanctified life, at which time we will be conformed to God's standard. (I John 3:2)
5. "By faith" = by trusting in the grace and promises of God.
6. Paul is saying this point in your life comes through the Spirit by faith and not through the law by works as the Judaizers taught.
1. "For" = introduces the reason we look for this final righteousness by faith instead of obedience to any ceremonial law.
2. "In Jesus Christ" = means to be saved; refers to one who is joined to Christ Jesus in that life giving union which came about by the act of the Holy Spirit baptizing the believing sinner into the Lord Jesus. (Rom. 6:3)
3. "Circumcision" = the seal (rite or token of cutting away the foreskin) of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants; physical circumcision to the OT Jew meant the putting off of sin and the entering into a covenant relationship with God.
2. "Uncircumcision" = not observing this rite or token.
3. "Availeth" = to have power; to exert power; negated by "neither."
4. "But" = shows contrast between what won't work and what will‑‑"faith" = trust in the grace and promises of God.
5. "Worketh" = to be operative; to display one's activity; the tense in the Greek is continuous action; refers to serving faith which is action and produces. (James 2:20)
6. "By love" = agape; God kind of love; this is a result of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22); without this a person is nothing. (I Cor. 13:2)
1. "Ye" = "you" = refers to the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Did run" = refers to a continuous action going on in the past time.
3. "Well" = bravely; honorably; becomingly.
4. "Who?" = Paul knew it was the Judaizers but asked this question to stir their thinking.
5. "Hinder" = to cut in; to make an incision; Paul is using the figure of a Greek runner and uses this word to suggest a breaking into the race course, a cutting in on a runner by another runner, thus slowing up his progress.
6. "That ye should not obey the truth" = refers to these professors not complying with the truth, namely living the Christian life by grace through faith and not by law; for a Christian to live under law is to disobey truth.
7. The Galatian Christians were running the Christian race well, but the Judaizers cut in on them and now were slowing up their progress in their growth in the Christian life.
1. "This persuasion" = to induce one by words to believe; this refers to the act of the Judaizers inducing the Galatians to believe their preaching.
2. Paul had asked, "Who did this?" and now he answers his question without calling them by name--you can be sure it was not God.
3. "Him" = God through the person of the Holy Spirit.
4. "Calleth" = refers to the effectual call unto salvation (justification) which can only be made effectual by the Holy Spirit who is God; can't be done by man, especially these Judaizers who did not even have the truth.
5. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
1. In this verse Paul uses an object lesson they could understand.
2. "Little" = a very small amount.
3. "Leaven" = a noun = "leaveneth" = a verb; operates on the principle of fermentation and is a symbol of moral and spiritual corruption.
4. "Whole" = completely.
5. "Lump" = a mass of bread dough.
6. In bread a very small amount of leaven readily permeates the entire bread dough. And the crafty work of the Judaizers was slowly permeating the religious life of the professed saints in the churches of Galatia. The Greek construction indicates that the process of doctrinal fermentation was going on, but it had not yet corrupted the entire church structure, but if left undone it would utterly destroy (render it ineffective as Laodicea; Rev. 3:15-17) the church.
7. Paul's warning here is similar to the Lord Jesus' warning in Mat. 16:6. It is false and it will destroy your liberty.
1. "I" = Paul; the use of this pronoun emphasizes the personal character of Paul, and they knew they could trust him.
2. "Have confidence" = to be persuaded; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means there was a point in past time where Paul came to a settled persuasion concerning the saints in Galatia and he is still persuaded.
3. "In you" = "ye" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
4. "Through the Lord" = this refers to the Lord as the basis or ground of Paul's confidence.
5. "That ye will be none otherwise minded" = this means Paul expected the Galatians to take no other view of the source of the Judaizers message than that he took.
6. "But" = reveals the contrast between the believer's action‑‑have same mind as Paul and the action upon the Judaizers.
7. "He" = "his" = "whosoever he be" = the Judaizers; there were probably more than one involved even though Paul spoke in the singular.
8. "Troubleth" = to agitate; to stir up; refers to the act of disturbing the faith of someone.
9. "He shall bear his judgment" = another way to say this is "he shall answer for his error;" this speaks of a grievous burden.
10. Paul warns that they would not get by whoever it was. It did not matter to Paul who they were, what position they held, or how much favor they had with man. He knew they were false teachers and were leading people astray; therefore, they would get what was coming to them. Paul basically said in Gal. 1:8‑9, "let them go on to hell." The dirtiest gang of thieves this side of hell is a group of preachers who deviate from God's word and preach another gospel, therefore stealing other's right to heaven. Let them go on to hell!
1. "I" = Paul.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; all saved are from the womb of Holy Ghost conviction; this is also a term of affection; Paul gave the benefit of doubt to all professors.
3. "If" = means it is a contrary‑to‑fact condition.
4. First "yet" = still; speaks of a thing that went on formerly, but now a different state of things exist; Paul had proclaimed circumcision or law keeping before he was saved.
5. "Preach" = to proclaim after the manner of a herald; has the idea of formality, gravity, and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed.
6. "Circumcision" = refers to law keeping.
7. "Why do I yet suffer persecution?"
A. Second "yet" = in spite of that fact.
B. "Suffer persecution" = one word in the Greek; to be mistreated; to pursue in a hostile manner.
8. The idea is, "If I am still preaching circumcision, why am I, in spite of that fact, being persecuted?" The persecution of Paul had its basis in the fact that the Cross was an offense to the Jews.
9. "Offence" = a stumbling block.
10. "The cross" = refers to the crucifixion of Christ.
11. "Ceased" = to render idle or inoperative; to put to an end; abolish.
12. If Paul had been preaching circumcision; the Jews would never have persecuted him, because then the Cross of Christ would cease to be an offense.
1. "I" = Paul.
2. "Would" = the context expresses more than a desire or wish; it speaks of that which ought to be the logical outcome of the present‑‑a thing that should be done which probably will not be done.
3. "Even" = indeed.
4. "Cut off" = amputate; refers to being excluded from the fellowship of the church.
5. "Which" = who = "they" = who are persons not things, thus masculine gender instead of neuter; refers to the Judaizers.
6. "Trouble" = to upset or overthrow; this word expresses the degree of agitation with which the Judaizers were upsetting the peace and the order of the Galatian churches; refers to perverting the true doctrines of salvation and introducing error into the church.
7. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
1. This verse sums up the preceding argument for Christian liberty and looks ahead to what he is about to say concerning the danger of abusing that liberty.
2. "Brethren" = "ye" = from the same womb; all saints are from the womb of Holy Ghost conviction; the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
3. "Have been called" = the tense in the Greek is point action in past time; refers to the effectual call unto salvation (justification) which can only be made effectual by the Holy Spirit.
4. "Unto liberty" = freedom from restraint of the law but not all restraint because the believer has come out from under whatever the divine law had over him and in salvation he has been placed under a superior control‑‑that of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
A. The Holy Spirit exercises a stricter supervision over the believer than law ever did over the unbeliever.
B. His restraining power is far more effective than the law's.
C. He gives the believer both the desire and power to refuse wrong and choose right‑‑something which the law was never able to do. No preacher ever enables those to whom he ministers to live a better Christian life by putting them under the law nor by letting them smell the brimstone of the lake of fire.
5. Liberty does not refer to the kind of life a person lives and does not refer to his words and actions. It has to do with the method by which he lives his life. True liberty is living as we should not as we please.
6. "Only" = introduces a divine restraint; introduces a warning.
7. "Occasion" = a military term that speaks of a base of operations; opportunity; starting point; sometimes referred to as a license.
8. "To the flesh" = denotes corrupt and gross passions and affections; one's liberty in Christ is not to be used as a spring‑board from which to take off with the intention of sinning; to keep that from happening Paul said, "serve one another by love."
9. "Love" = agape; God kind of love; love in action produced in the heart by the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 5:5)
10. "Serve" = to render service; to do that which is for the advantage of someone else; the tense in the Greek is present tense which means continuous habitual action.
11. "One another" = mutually; reciprocally; to return something given; refers to each individual and does not leave one out.
12. Paul tells these Galatians not to use their liberty from the law as a base of operations from which to serve sin.
1. "For" = introduces the reason to love one another.
2. "All the law" = expresses the substance of the whole law; in this verse Paul alludes to the law in regard to our duty to our fellow‑men‑‑the last six commandments of the ten commandments; Jesus referred to the first and great commandment as loving the Lord (Mat. 22:36‑40) which involves the first four commandments of the ten commandments and then added the second commandment which is man's duty to his fellow-man‑‑love.
3. "Is fulfilled" = to fully perform; to fully obey.
4. "One word" = "Love" = agape; God kind of love produced in ones heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5); love in action.
5. "Even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" = Paul is quoting Lev. 19:18; even this was an OT requirement.
6. Now the question is, "Who is my neighbor?" A lawyer asked Jesus this same question and He explained who was his neighbor in Luke 10:29‑37. Our Lord said that we should love even our enemies. (Mat. 5:43‑44)
1. "But" = shows contrast or opposite of verse 14.
2. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
3. "Bite" = to wound the soul; used in the sense of contending and striving.
4. "Devour" = to consume by eating.
5. "One another" = "one of another" = mutually; reciprocally; to return something given; refers to each individual and does not leave one out.
6. "Take heed" = to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing; to consider; to contemplate; to look at; to weigh carefully; examine.
7. "Consumed" = to destroy; negated by "not."
8. "Bite," "devour," and "consumed" are words used in the Greek in connection with wild animals in a deadly struggle. The Greek construction in this verse indicates that the Galatians were beginning to bite and devour because of the confusion and frustration that was caused by the false doctrine of the Judaizers. If it was allowed to continue, it would destroy ("consume") them. This does not mean they would lose their position in Christ if they were really saved. But if this false doctrine was allowed to continue, it would take away all the blessings in their life and cause the influence of Christ to be of none effect in the community. Furthermore, their power would be diluted and those who made professions would not be saved. Is that not what has happened down through the ages and is that not where we are today?
9. "Take heed" = see to it that you let that not happen; would God our forefathers had heeded that! would God we heed that today!
10. Liberty not bondage. The gospel is enough.
2. The Spirit not the flesh. V. 16‑26
1. "This I say then" = introduces a statement intended to counteract the error that the Galatians had been taught by the Judaizers; the error taught‑‑without the restraining influence of the law they would fall into sin. (Gal. 5:13)
2. "I" = Paul, the human instrument the Lord moved on to write this epistle. (II Peter 1:21)
3. "Walk" = to regulate one's life; refers to the act of conducting one's self or ordering one's manner of life or behavior; the tense in the Greek indicates continuous action‑‑"keep on walking."
4. "In" = by; the Greek stresses that only through the Spirit's work is this possible; Paul had in verse 1 said "stand fast" but now he says "walk in the Spirit;" our standing in Christ determines our walk in the Spirit.
5. "Spirit" = the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Christ.
6. "And" = introduces the result of walking in the Spirit.
7. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
8. "Fulfill" = to bring to fulfillment in action; negated by "not."
9. "Lust of the flesh" = unbridled desires; refers to evil desires that are forbidden, and impulses and passions that are constantly arising from our flesh which is totally depraved‑‑corrupted.
10. This statement gives a strong assurance that if the believer depends upon the Spirit to give both the desire and power to do the will of God, he will not bring to fulfillment in action the evil desires and impulses of the flesh but will be able to resist and conquer them.
1. "Flesh" = refers to the passions of human nature.
2. "Spirit" = the Holy Spirit.
3. "Lusteth" = to have a desire; the tense is continuous action.
4. "Against" = has the idea of suppression; a holding down; the flesh tries to hold down the Spirit and the Spirit tries to hold down the flesh and will if we will yield to Him and allow Him on the throne of our life.
5. "These" = the flesh and the Spirit.
6. "Are contrary one to another" = to lie opposite to; to oppose; withstand; in other words there is a war going on (James 4:1); it started in the garden (Gen. 3:15) and has been going on ever since; Paul experienced it (Rom. 7:15‑23) and that is why he buffeted his body (I Cor. 9:27) and mortified (put to death) daily the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13) and he had victory. (Rom. 7:24‑8:1)
7. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
8. "So that" = in order that.
9. "Ye cannot do the things that ye would" = it is not that saints "cannot," but they do not obey the leading of the Spirit when they allow flesh on the throne of their life‑‑thus they do not the things that they "would" = should; refers to the desires implanted by the Holy Spirit.
1. "But" = reveals the contrast.
2. "Ye" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
3. "Be led of the Spirit" = means to submit to the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit; the tense is continuous action which refers to an habitual lifestyle of submitting to the Holy Spirit.
4. "Ye are not under the law" = you are free from the restraints and control of the Mosaic law when you are under the control of the Holy Spirit.
1. "The works of the flesh" = the deeds and action of one who allows the flesh on the throne of his life.
2. "Manifest" = apparent; evident; known; means to be plainly recognized. (Mat. 7:20)
3. "Which" = the works of the flesh.
4. "These" = Paul lists some of these works of the flesh in verses 19‑21; Paul lists these manifestations of the flesh to enforce the exhortation of verse 13‑‑that the professed saints in the churches of Galatia were not to use their liberty from the law as a base of operations (occasion) from which to cater to the flesh, but instead, they were to be led by the Spirit, the fruit of whom is mentioned in verses 22‑23; this is only a representative list; I heard it said by some theologian that the Bible mentions 726 sins or vices; whether that is true or not I know not, but Paul gives a representative list of works of the flesh in four categories:
A. Sensual sins = misdirected physical desires; desires are not necessarily sinful in themselves but when used wrongfully, it is sin.
1) "Adultery" = unlawful sex relations with the spouse of another, even if the law allows it; violation of the marriage bed; it is not wrong to have physical desire for the opposite sex (I Cor. 7:1‑3; Heb. 13:4), but when one crosses the boundaries the Lord laid down, it is sin; this word can apply to idolatry or apostasy from the true God.
2) "Fornication" = general word for wrong sex relations of any kind‑‑incest, pre‑marital sex, homosexuality, sex with animals and corpses, and includes adultery; can also apply to idolatry or apostasy from the true God; this English word is used in the Bible mainly to refer to sex relations between the unmarried; sex before marriage is wrong and God expects women to come to the marriage altar pure and God also expects the man to come pure as well; we get our word pornography from this Greek word; I Cor. 6:18 gives us a warning concerning fornication.
3) "Uncleanness" = refers to the impurity of lustful and luxurious living; the misuse of sex and indulging in other forms of immorality; indicates thoughts being unfit to appear before God; any unnatural pollution, whether acted out by one's self or with another; this could apply to homosexuality; this word is used to show the tendency of vice to be contagious.
4) "Lasciviousness" = unbridled lust; excess; outrageousness; shamelessness; refers to one who acknowledges no restraint; an example is sodomy, which is practiced openly without shame.
B. Religious sins = misdirected faith; man is going to believe something so the devil provides.
1) "Idolatry" = worship of an image or the false god represented by it; also giving the affections of your heart to someone or something before God.
2) "Witchcraft" = sorcery‑‑so translated in Rev. 9:21 and 18:23; magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it; enchantment; horoscope; palm reading; psychics; fortune telling; the use or the administering of drugs unlawfully; we get our English word "pharmacy" from this Greek word; has to do with drugs; the Bible is up‑to‑date as tomorrow's newspaper.
C. Social sins = violation of brotherly love.
1) "Hatred" = opposite of love; speaks of enmity and hostility in whatever form manifested.
2) "Variance" = contention; strife; quarreling; wrangling; discord. (God has a disgust for those who sow discord. Pro. 6:16‑19)
3) "Emulations" = an envious and contentious rivalry; jealously; the unfriendly feeling excited by another's possession of goods; to envy--which is an eager desire for possession of another's possessions.
4) "Wrath" = refers to passionate out bursts of anger or hostile feelings.
5) "Strife" = contentions; self‑seeking; selfishness; feeling superior; self‑promoting in one's heart; result of a selfish ambition giving rise to rivalry and a party spirit.
6) "Seditions" = division; dissension‑‑means disagreement in opinion usually becoming violent, producing warm debates or angry words.
7) "Heresies" = the act of taking, of choosing; in context it denotes one's chosen opinion that differs from the Word of God and no doubt was being applied to the Judaizers that were leading the Galatians astray.
8. "Envyings" = just don't want someone to have what they have.
D. Personal sins = sins of excess.
1) "Murders" = slaughter; even hate. (I John 3:15)
2) "Drunkenness" = intoxication; excess of strong drink.
3) "Revellings" = carousing; used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are practiced until late at night and indulge in riot and revelry.
4) "And such like" = includes all other evil deeds of like nature even though they are not mentioned by name; this list is only a representative list of sins of the flesh.
1. "Which" = here and in verse 19 means that all the works of the flesh are not mentioned, just 17, but enough that the reader will be able to form an opinion of their character.
2. "I" = Paul, the human instrument the Lord used to pen down this epistle. (II Peter 1:21)
3. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
4. "Tell before" = one word in the Greek; probably refers to Paul's mentioning this before, even in this epistle.
5. "Also" = indeed.
6. "In time past" = refers to when he was with them on his previous missionary journey.
7. "They" = refers to anyone who yields to sins of the flesh.
8. "Do" = to practice; to commit; the tense in the Greek is present tense which indicates an habitual life style.
9. "Such things" = refers to this representative list of the works (sins) of the flesh.
10. "Shall not inherit the kingdom of God" = this is the end result for practicing naturally the sins of the flesh; this means that a person who has a continuous lifestyle of sins of the flesh is not saved; some try to say this is referring to losing rewards in the kingdom of God; it is true that some will suffer loss, (I Cor. 3:12‑15), but here Paul is calling them to inspect their fruit‑‑is it of the flesh or of the Spirit which he later describes in verses 22‑23; if it is of the flesh and it is an habitual lifestyle that person is not saved and he will not inherit the kingdom. (I John 3:9)
11. "Inherit" = to be an heir; negated by "not;" such a person is headed to the lake of fire.
12. John also gives another representative list in Rev. 21:8‑‑you may say that includes all mankind. Paul also gives another representative list to the Corinthians in I Cor. 6:9‑10‑‑you may say that includes all mankind. Yes, but the Scripture doesn't stop there but gives hope in I Cor. 6:11.
13. All have problems with the flesh. but when we stand fast in liberty (verse 1) and walk in the Spirit (verse 16) then we can say with Paul Rom. 7:25‑8:1.
14. The gospel is enough.
1. "But" = introduces the subject of the fruit of the Spirit as a contrast and the opposite of the works of the flesh.
2. "Fruit" = that which originates and comes from something; singular‑‑like a nine piece pie; all are present in a saint in some degree because the Spirit dwells within and produces His fruit; in Mat. 7:20 the fruit a saint is known by is the fruit of the Spirit, not by going to church, doing good works, etc; but if one has the fruit of the Spirit he will go to church, have good works, and etc; this nine‑fold fruit is in three categories:
A. Character as an inward state.
1) "Love" = agape; God kind of love; love in action; the love of God produced in the heart of the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit (John 3:16, Rom. 5:5; I Cor. 13:4‑8a; I John 4:8; 3:14; 4:20; John 15:12‑13); this love will cause you to even love your enemies‑‑Jesus, our example, did (Rom. 5:8,10); a person can do a lot of "so called" right things but if love is not present, it will not profit anything. (I Cor. 13:1‑3,13)
2) "Joy" = gladness of heart (John 15:11, 9‑10); the Bible has much to say about joy (Psa. 16:11; 30:5; 43:4; 126:5; Pro. 21:15; Neh. 8:10; Isa. 12:3; I Peter 1:7‑8; this is just a few of the verses about joy.)
3) "Peace" = there are two categories of peace:
a. Peace with God = being made one again in Christ (Rom. 5:1); this peace is a person. (Eph. 2:14; I John 5:12)
b. Peace of God = not the absence of trouble but tranquility of heart and soul based on the consciousness of a right relationship with the Lord and content with our earthly lot of whatsoever sort it is (Phil. 4:6‑7); this is the peace the context is referring to; the Bible has much to say about this peace (Psa. 4:8; 37:11; Psa. 119:165; Isa. 26:3); the opposite is true of the wicked. (Isa. 57:21)
B. Character in expression toward man.
1) "Longsuffering" = speaks of steadfastness of the soul under provocation; the idea is forbearance and patient endurance of wrong under ill treatment, without anger or thought of revenge; the Lord is our example (Num. 14:18; Psa. 86:15; Rom. 2:4; I Tim. 1:16; II Peter 3:9); He suffered long with us as sinners, enemies, and ungodly (strong for evil; Rom. 5:6) and exercised forbearance (held back that wrath; John 3:36) to give us a space of repentance and now He wants us to demonstrate that toward others. (Mat. 5:38‑46)
2) "Gentleness" = refers to kindness; a quality that should penetrate the whole nature, mellowing in it all that is harsh and hard even as one grows older; it is benevolence in action; if a person does not mellow as they grow older, they probably are not saved; no fruit = no Spirit = none of His (Rom. 8:9); this is the opposite of bitterness of which Esau is an example. (Heb. 12:15‑17)
3) "Goodness" = uprightness of the soul that abhors evil; uprightness of heart and life; a clear‑cut honesty of motive and conduct; refers to that quality in a man who is ruled by and aims at what is good. (Psa. 107:9; Psa. 23:1 results in 23:6)
C. Character in expression toward God.
1) "Faith" = this does not refer to faith exercised by one to be saved; refers to faithfulness and fidelity produced by the Holy Spirit; translated "fidelity" in Titus 2:10; means faithfulness to obligations and duties‑‑in other words one who has this fruit can be counted on and depended on; how is this expressed toward God‑‑by being faithful toward others is being faithful toward the Lord. (Mat. 25:35-40)
2) "Meekness" = having a teachable spirit (Psa. 25:9; James 1:21); softness of temper--short fuse; refers to the qualities of mildness, gentleness, and meekness in dealing with others; this does not mean you have to be a sissy to be meek. (Gal. 6:1; Eph. 4:1-2; II Tim. 2:25; I Peter 3:15)
3) "Temperance" = self control by aid of the Holy Spirit; the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions such as drinking, sensual lusts, temper, and eating (Pro. 23:1‑2; I Cor. 9:25‑27; Rom. 8:13); this can only be produced by the Holy Spirit.
1. This nine‑fold fruit is present in some quantity in all who are saved: good ground (saved) bears fruit (Mat. 13:23) and by your fruit you are known. (Mat. 7:20)
2. "Against such there is no law" = means, in essence, that these things‑‑fruit of the Spirit‑‑fully meet the demands of the law (verse 14): law exists for the purpose of restraint, but in the works of the Spirit there is nothing to restrain.
3. It is the Spirit not the flesh. The gospel is enough.
1. "They that are Christ's" = refers to those who have been saved and belong to Him because of the gospel (I Cor. 6:19‑20); enmity was slain on the cross but made effectual at the point of salvation. (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:15)
2. "Have crucified" = to put to death; to destroy its power utterly; the tense is point action and reveals a one time action for all time. (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20)
3. "Flesh" = equivalent here to the old man‑‑Adamic sinful, depraved nature; remember our flesh is not dead.
4. "Affections" = a disposition; an impulse; a passion; speaks of natural forces that are present in our evil nature but inactive in saints‑‑crucified.
5. "Lusts" = a desire; a craving; a longing; speaks of the natural forces that are actively reaching out to have these desires fulfilled; but as saints yield to the Holy Spirit, victory is made operative in our lives = victory over sin.
1. "If" = since; in view of the fact; introduces a first class conditional sentence in the Greek which assumes the condition to be true, not hypothetical in nature.
2. "Live" = refers to the manner of living and acting.
3. "In the Spirit" = by the Spirit; by means of the Spirit.
4. "Spirit" = the Holy Spirit‑‑the third part of the Trinity of God.
5. "We" = "us" = Paul included Himself with the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
6. "Also" = indeed.
7. "Walk" = to conduct one's self rightly; to walk in a straight line; walk orderly; the tense is continuous‑‑habitual lifestyle; this speaks of sanctification (the walk of progression toward perfection gained at the first resurrection) or allowing the Spirit to command and control our lives.
8. Walking in the Spirit is not some emotional experience separated from everyday life, but a daily experience of yielding to His leadership.
1. In this verse Paul warns his readers against the opposite of what it means to walk in the Spirit.
2. "Us" = Paul put himself in the group he was writing this epistle to‑‑the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
3. "Let us not be" = we should not become:
A. "Desirous of vain glory" = one word in the Greek; means glorying without a reason; to boast when there is nothing to boast about; to have a false estimate of one's self; after all what is there to boast about‑‑salvation is of the Lord, by the Spirit and so is sanctification.
B. "Provoking one another" = challenging others to do what they may hesitate to do.
C. "Envying one another" = means not wanting others to exercise their liberty by doing what we dare not do.
4. It seems there were two groups of professed saints in Galatia. One group thought they had obtained liberty and were in danger of turning that liberty into a license (occasion; verse 13) to sin. The other group was timid and wanted to do what was right. The first group took pride in their liberty and dared the second group to do things they knew were wrong, insinuating that they were afraid to do them, thus provoking the second group. The first group was guilty of "vain glory" by having a conceit of possessing a rightful claim to honor. Paul rebuked them and said do not be desirous of vain glory. The second group was envying the liberty of the first group, wishing they felt the same way about their freedom. Paul said don't do that. Instead, be led by the Spirit (walk in the Spirit) and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
5. It is the Spirit, not the flesh. The gospel is enough.
3. Others not self. V. 1‑10
This is dealt with in two aspects.
A. Spiritual Help V. 1‑5
1. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to all the saved because they all come from the womb of God (Holy Ghost conviction) as the result of complete reproval 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.
2. "If" = introduces a hypothetical condition.
3. "Man" = "such a one" = a human being‑‑male or female.
4. "Be overtaken" = to take unawares; refers to one being overtaken by sin before he is aware that he has done wrong.
5. "Fault" = a fall beside; a false step; a blunder; a failure to achieve; the opposite of "walk" in Gal. 5:16, 25 which means to conduct one's self rightly; refers to a slip or lapse instead of a willful sin; Paul is speaking of a professed Christian who is desiring to do right yet does wrong because he is not yielding to the God‑appointed method of living the Christian life‑‑which is by yielding to the Holy Spirit‑‑walking in the Spirit.
6. "Which" = who; refers to persons not things, thus this is masculine gender, not neuter.
7. "Are spiritual" = refers to more than just being saved but to those who were living their lives in dependence upon the Spirit.
8. "Restore" = to repair; to restore to a former condition; to mend that which has been broken; used of putting a dislocated limb into place; refers to restoring those who have slipped into sin because of their not yielding to the Holy Spirit.
9. "In the spirit of meekness" = means in a gentle, humble, mild, loving way, seek to restore him; you can not do it yourself but get that person to turn His eyes back on the Lord and truth and He will restore him. (Psa. 23:1‑3a)
10. "Considering thyself" = to look attentively at; to fix the attention upon a thing with an interest in it‑‑in this case "thyself" = "ye" = "thou" = the one who is spiritual; who is trying to restore one overtaken in a fault.
11. "Lest" = for fear that.
12. "Also" = indeed.
13. "Be tempted" = an enticement to sin.
14. In context the professed saints at Galatia are cautioned to keep a sharp watch upon themselves lest they also forsake that liberty for the allurements of the Judaizers and fall into sin. This also has an application to us today. This verse does not do away with church discipline but speaks of the steps (Mat. 18:15‑17) to be taken before exclusion is ever considered. But if one in sin fails to get right and will not allow the Lord to restore Him, the exclusion is necessary. Paul told us what to do in this case. (I Cor. 5:5)
1. "Bear" = to carry; lift; to put on one's self something to be carried; the tense is continuous action.
2. "One another's" = mutually; reciprocally; to return something given; refers to each individual and does not leave one out.
3. "Burdens" = a heavy weight; one which is hard to bear; in context it refers to the responsibility each saint should feel for the spiritual welfare for his fellow saints when they have sinned; Paul does not mean to endure these burdens with a reluctant manner but assuming the burdens of others in a willing, helpful, sympathetic way even though the bearing of them may involve unpleasantness and heartache.
4. "So" = in this manner.
5. "Fulfil" = to supply or satisfy the requirements of.
6. "Law of Christ" = the commands which Christ gave which is expressed in one word‑‑"love" (Gal. 5:14) which is divine love produced in the heart of the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit which exercises a restraint over the individual that takes the place of the restraint which the Mosaic law had imposed.
1. "If" = introduces a hypothetical situation.
2. "A man" = "himself" = "he" = refers to any person who fits the profile of this verse.
3. "Think" = to be of opinion; suppose.
4. "To be something" = refers to having spiritual pride or self righteous attitude.
5. "When he is nothing" = we are nothing in ourselves; all we are we owe to the grace of God.
6. If a person has this kind of thinking, it will make him unwilling to take the burden of responsibility of helping others when they are overtaken by a fault because he "deceiveth" himself.
7. "Deceiveth" = believes what is not true about himself as to his true condition in the Christian experience; does not understand his own character.
1. "Every man" = "own" = "his" = "he" = "himself" = each and every person, male or female.
2. "Prove" = to put to the test for the purpose of approving; examine. (II Cor. 13:5)
3. "Work" = acts; deeds; motives; Paul is saying, let every person put their own work, their own life to the test using the Word of God (plumbline) and not others as a standard. (II Cor. 10:12)
4. "Then" = at that time; when they compare with the Word and not others.
5. "Having rejoicing" = ground for boasting; any ground for boasting is strictly due to the work of the Holy Spirit; when one compares with the plumb line, he can rejoice in himself if he passed the test; but do not rejoice because you "think" you are better than someone else (another) because you did not get into sin or sins that others did (I Cor. 10:12); we don't know what we will do when faced with the same circumstances, and it is just by the grace of God we are not in the deepest gutter of sin.
1. "Every man" = "his" = "own" = each and every human being whether male or female.
2. "Bear" = to carry; lift; to put on one’s self something to be carried.
3. "Burden" = freight; load; this is a different Greek word from verse 2; here it speaks of a soldier's back pack which is that individual's responsibility to carry; we must bear our cross (our lot in life) which is required to be the Lord's disciple (one saved) (Luke 14:27); but sometimes a person can get more weight on him than he can bear alone, and if someone does not help him bear that weight (burden) he will never make it, thus verse 2; the Lord will not put more on you than you can bear (I Cor. 10:13), but we put it on ourselves or allow the devil to do it and try to bear it alone without taking it to the Lord or others.
4. We need each other to help bear one another's burden (verse 2) while we bear our own burden (verse 5), and when you help bear other's burdens, you will find your own burden becoming lighter.
B. Material help. V. 6‑10
1. First "him" = refers to any individual who is taught.
2. Second "him" = refers to any individual who does the teaching.
3. "Taught" = to teach orally; to be instructed; to be informed by word of mouth.
4. "The word" = the truth that he is being taught.
5. "Communicate" = to share; to be a partner in a thing with one who taught you truth; also means to come into fellowship with; translated "communicated" in Phil. 4:15‑16 and "distributing" in Rom. 12:13; this is one of the sacrifices believer priests are to offer. (Heb. 13:16)
6. "All good things" = in context this probably refers to spiritual and material things.
7. This verse is not referring to the false teachers (the Judaizers) for they were not teaching the truth (word) but error. The person taught should work in fellowship with his teacher to promote the spiritual welfare of himself and of others. Also he should share material things with him so that he may be able to give himself to rightly dividing the word‑‑teaching and preaching. (I Cor. 9:14; I Tim. 5:17)
1. This verse is a warning.
2. "Be not deceived" = don't be misled or led away from the truth into error.
3. "God" = the sovereign ruler of the universe; the strong one.
4. "Mocked" = to turn up the nose; to ridicule; to ignore; to sneer; negated by "not."
5. "For" = introduces the reason God is not mocked.
6. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" = the law of harvest is true; if you sow corn, you will reap corn; if you sow beans, you will reap beans; if you do not sow anything you cannot expect to reap anything; the Galatians understood the principle of farming; we often apply this verse to reaping what we sow in terms of sin and certainly that principle is true, but in context it is referring to sharing with others all good things‑‑material as well as spiritual.
7. The thought which Paul wishes to get across to the Galatians is that it is vain to think one can outwit God by reaping a harvest different from that which a person has sown.
8. "Man" = a human being, whether male or female.
1. "He that soweth to the flesh" = refers to the person that makes provision for the indulgence of fleshly appetites and passions; such a person will not share with others "all good things." (verse 6)
2. "Shall of the flesh" = from the flesh; refers to that which indulgence in fleshly appetites properly produces.
3. "Reap" = harvest.
4. "Corruption" = decay; ruin; destruction.
5. "But" = reveals the contrast.
6. "He that soweth to the Spirit" = the person who follows the leadings and cultivates the affections which the Holy Spirit would produce.
7. "Reap everlasting life" = refers to reaping the blessings God has given him in this life and throughout eternity; Mat. 19:27‑29 states we will reap hundredfold.
9. In context this is referring to sharing with others what you have. You can't out give God. Tithe and He will open the windows of heaven. (Mal. 3:10; II Cor. 9:6‑8; Luke 6:38)
1. "Us" = "we" = Paul put himself in the group he was writing to‑‑the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Weary" = to be wearied out; exhausted; from a Greek word used of husbandmen who are tempted to slacken their efforts because of the weariness caused by prolonged effort; negated by "not."
3. "In well doing" = refers to the course of action chosen‑‑that of sowing to the Spirit‑‑allowing their lives to be controlled by the Spirit.
4. "For" = introduces the reason for not being weary in well doing.
5. "Due season" = a fixed time; the time of some decisive event‑‑the judgment seat of Christ.
6. "We shall reap" = the promise is an incentive to keep on working, for at the right time they would gather the harvest‑‑reap rewards. (I Cor. 3:11‑14)
7. "Faint" = to relax effort; to become exhausted physically; a word used of reapers overcome by heat and toil; to become exhausted physically; negated by "not."
1. "We" = "us" = Paul put himself in the group he was writing to‑‑the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "Have" = possess.
3. "Therefore" = in view of the fact of the promise in v. 9.
4. "Opportunity" = a favorable time or circumstance; the Greek construction does not mean to just do good to others when the opportunity presents itself, but to look for opportunities to do good to others.
5. "Unto all men" = "men" is in italics, therefore it is not in the original but supplied by the translators; means to each and every person saved or lost as the Holy Spirit leads.
7. "Especially" = mainly; above all.
8. "Household of faith" = "them" = those who hold like precious faith with us in the fellowship of our church‑‑that includes those the Lord called sheep though not yet saved; they are family; communicate (share) with them both spiritually and materially.
9. Family first and then our concern should extend to all mankind as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Others not self. The gospel is enough!
4. God's Glory, not Man's Approval. V. 11‑18
1. "Ye" = "you" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
2. "See" = to perceive with the eyes.
3. "How large a letter" = this does not mean the number of words or length of the letter, because the epistle is relatively short; it means the size of the individual letters; it has been said to be one inch in size; Paul had an eye problem which the Galatians were aware of (Gal. 4:15); he was almost blind and if he lived today he probably would have been declared legally blind.
4. "I have written with mine own hand" = Paul usually used a secretary when he wrote, dictating the letter, and then adding his personal "grace" signature to the end (Col. 4:18); there had been a case of forgery where someone had written a letter to the church at Thessalonica to the effect that the day of Christ was upon them and had signed Paul's name (II Thess. 2:2); therefore, Paul used two things in most instances that was evidence that he was the author of the epistle; 1) he wrote the concluding words in his own handwriting; 2) His signature; but Paul wrote this entire epistle to the Galatians with his own hand.
5. Paul's eye problem could have been from the stoning at Lystra where he was left for dead. Or it could have been the result of a disease of the eyes. Whatever the cause Paul had to write with large letters to see what he was writing. Why he did not dictate this letter to a secretary we do not know. There may not have been one present at the time he was moved on to write this letter (II Peter 1:21), or he may have wanted to have as personal a touch with the Galatians as possible under the circumstances. In Gal. 4:20 he had expressed his desire to be personally present with them. Whatever the reason, Paul did not permit his physical handicap to hinder him from obeying the Lord and warning his Christian brethren of the evils of legalism.
1. "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh" = refers to the Judaizers' motive‑‑to make a good showing; they desired to appear pleasing to their Jewish brethren who still clung to the law and refused to have anything to do with the Christians; to do this they would have to show them that they still held to the Mosaic economy (law) and the easiest way to do this was to attempt to put the Gentiles in the church under law‑‑that is why they constrained the Galatians (you) to be circumcised.
2. "Constrain" = to compel by force or persuasion; the tense reveals a continuous action.
3. "You" = the professed saints to whom Paul was writing this epistle to.
4. "To be circumcised" = sign of embracing the law.
5. "Only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ" = this phrase simply means that by compelling the Galatians to keep the law, the Judaizers would not be persecuted for preaching the cross of Christ; thus, they would be in good standing with the Jewish community, for anyone who accepted the law rejected the cross.
1. "Neither" = but not; not even.
2. "They" = "themselves" = the Judaizers‑‑"who are circumcised" = a sign that they were keepers of the Mosaic law.
3. "Neither keep the law" = if they were circumcised they brought themselves under obligation to keep the whole law of God, but the Greek construction reveals clearly that they did not keep the law.
4. "But" = reveals the real reason they wanted the Galatians to be circumcised.
5. "Desire" = wish; to delight in.
6. "You" = the professed saints in the churches of Galatia.
7. "That" = introduces the real reason they wanted the Galatians to be circumcised.
8. "They may glory in your flesh" = in having the Galatians as converts, by persuading them to be circumcised would show their zeal for the law, thereby escaping persecution from the Jews.
9. "Glory" = to boast; to brag.
10. "In your flesh" = the same as in your circumcision.
10. Paul is saying that these Judaizers wanted to use the Galatians for their glory. They were not ministering to them for their good but for their own praise. Like the Pharisees of Christ's day (Mat. 23:15) these Judaizers did this, not to help the convert, but to add more glory to their own names‑‑just to get another notch in their gospel belt.
1. "But" = shows the contrast between Paul and these Judaizers; he was not like them.
2. "God forbid" = let not this be; may it not come to pass; horrors to even think such a thing.
3. "I" = "me" = Paul the human instrument who wrote this book. (II Peter 1:21)
4. "Glory" = to boast; to brag; to magnify; to praise; to do honor; to make glorious.
5. "Save" = except.
6. "In the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" = this phrase refers to the whole doctrine of salvation through the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus viewed as the substitutionary atonement for sin; Paul could say this for he knew:
A. The person of the cross = the Lord Jesus Christ = God in the flesh. (John 1:1,14)
B. The purpose of the cross = to redeem those who fall short or to redeem fallen man. (Rom. 3:23)
C. The power of the cross. (Rom. 1:16)
1) Makes trophies of grace out of fallen man and that glorifies the Lord Jesus.
2) Puts the redeemed in His church. (Eph. 3:21)
3) Keeps the saved eternally secure. (II Tim. 1:12)
7. "By" = through; there is no other way other than Christ.
8. "Whom" = the Lord Jesus Christ.
9. "The world" = the aggregate of things earthly.
10. "Crucified" = means its power has been utterly destroyed; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results.
11. Paul is saying his palate has been touched by spiritual things and this world was not his home, He was just passing through as a stranger (one not at home) and a pilgrim (going home). Today the cross is a polished piece of jewelry, but in Paul's day the cross was a shameful instrument of pain and death.
1. "For" = introduces his reason for glorying in the cross of Christ.
2. "In Christ Jesus" = means to be saved.
3. "Availeth" = to have power; to be able; negated by "neither, nor."
4. "Any thing" = not one thing.
5. "Circumcision" = means this rite is of no value to the Jew as far as securing eternal life.
6. "Uncircumcision" = means that the lack of this rite is of no value to the Gentile as far as securing eternal life.
7. "But" = reveals the contrast‑‑that which does secure eternal life‑‑by being "a new creature" = by being born again from above; Jesus and the cross results in a radical transformation of character when believed on with saving faith. (II Cor. 5:17)
1. "Many" = "them" = whosoever.
2. "Walk" = to direct one's life; to order one's conduct.
3. "This rule" = a principle; refers to the cross and all that goes with it in the NT economy, including the ministry of the Holy Spirit of which Paul spoke much about in this last section of Galatians.
4. "Peace" = sanctifying peace, not justifying peace 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.
5. "Be on them" = "be" = is in italics, thus supplied by the translators because the Greek implies this; "on" = upon; the Judaizers had said that the only way to receive the blessing of God was by the Law, but Paul said it is by the cross‑‑by grace through faith; this applies to both "peace" and "mercy."
6. "Mercy" = kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them; describes help bestowed on the helpless; mercy keeps us from getting what we deserve; this is not talking about justifying mercy because it is written to the saints, but sanctifying mercy which keeps us from being destroyed each time we sin; this is new each morning (Lam. 3:22‑23) and is available for the asking. (Heb. 4:15‑16)
7. "And upon the true Israel of God" = the true Israel of God are those who receive Christ as Lord and Saviour, (Rom. 2:28‑29) thus a new creature (verse 15); all the true Israel will share in the promises given to Abraham and his seed because all saved are in that seed‑‑Christ (Gal. 3:16); thus in this verse Paul is saying those Judaizers are not a part of the true Israel even though they thought they were.
1. "From henceforth" = from this time on.
2. "No man" = no body, male or female.
3. "Trouble" = denotes weariness which results from labor; refers to the trouble he was having due to the Judaizers trying to convert the Galatians.
4. "Me" = "I" = "my" = Paul the human instrument used to write this book. (II Peter 1:21)
5. "Bear" = sustain.
6. "In my body" = on my flesh.
7. "Marks of the Lord Jesus" = brands; these were no doubt scars on his body that proved he bore reproach for the cross of Christ. (II Cor. 11:23b‑28)
8. Paul had labored to prove that he was from God and that his message was from God and he had ample proof‑‑marks in his body. In Paul's day men branded soldiers, slaves, and people who dedicated themselves to some heathen god. Paul was Christ's soldier and slave and he bore the marks to prove it.
9. It was said of Missionary Judson, who suffered greatly for the cause of Christ and went seven years without a convert, that he was not allowed to go to the country for the authorities said the people would believe because of the marks on his body.
10. Paul could say, "you false teachers are marked with circumcision but I have on my body marks of the Lord Jesus."
1. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to all the saved because they all come from the womb of God as the result of complete reproval of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8‑11); this is also a tender address to those Paul loved; 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.
2. "Grace" = unmerited favor; undeserving favor; Paul ends this epistle as he began it (Gal. 1:3); refers to sanctifying grace, not justifying grace, for this is written to the churches of Galatia‑‑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)
3. "Of our Lord Jesus Christ" = there is no other source of grace but Him.
A. "Lord" = supreme in authority; Paul is saying He is "our" Lord, referring to Jesus being his Lord as well as those in Galatia, if they were saved; He becomes one's Lord when saved not at some later time.
B. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.
C. "Christ" = the Anointed One, the Messiah of the OT.
4. "Be with your spirit" = refers to a quickened spirit, no longer dead but alive and in need of sanctifying grace; refers to the inner man; we need new grace day by day from His bountiful store for our every need.
5. "Amen" = truly; surely; indeed; so be it; may it come to pass.
6. Thus Paul concludes this epistle of correction (II Tim. 3:16) to the churches of Galatia and it applies to us.
7. The Gospel is enough! Jesus Christ plus nothing and minus nothing.