Motive of Liberty - Price of Liberty - Note : At the top of every other page one can usually discern which specific verse is being exposited. C H Spurgeon writes that "Brown is a modern Puritan. All his expositions are of the utmost value. The volume on Galatians is one of the scarcest books in the market.. This work belongs to the same class with the others from the pen of the same author, which we have had repeated occasion to notice, and which taken together, already form a contribution to our exegetical literature, such as, whether in extent or importance, no other writer of our age has furnished.
It is a remarkable instance of a difficult theme made plain, and of a dry one made interesting. It would be easy to quote passage upon passage in support of this commendatory notice of this invaluable work. For us even to praise Dr. Brown as an expositor of Scripture we feel to be verging on presumption, and all we can desire for the readers of his book is some measure of the gratitude and admiration which its perusal has excited in ourselves. Recommended: One has to "sift" through his prolific comments but there is "gold in those hills" as the prospectors say!
Rosscup - Based on the Greek text, this commentary grapples with problems in an energetic fashion, presenting various views and coming to conclusions. It is voluminous pages. Spurgeon - This is a most careful attempt to ascertain the meaning of the Apostle by a painstaking analysis of his words. The author is not warped by any system of theology, but yet he does not deviate from recognized evangelical truth.
As a piece of honest grammatical exegesis the value of this commentary is very great, though there is room to differ from it here and there.
A thorough, very helpful exposition for those knowing Greek, but due to its age lacks the insights of more recent investigation. Supports the North-Galatian theory; has an extended note on the identity of James, the Lord's brother pp. An Introduction to the NT. Grand Rapids: Wm. Eerdmans Pub. V reprint. An exhaustive exposition by a conservative scholar of the past century.
Contains much relevant material in spite of its age. If the Christian faith is true -- and it is, blessedly true -- the importance of a correct understanding of Christian truth and of the nature of the life produced by it cannot be over-emphasized. Human destiny is at stake.
Galatians 1 – Challenging a Different Gospel
Yet the popular misconception of the Christian life, everywhere prevalent in Christendom, both inside the Church and out, and that in a day of boasted intelligence and learning, is nothing short of tragic. It is both baffling and alarming. Yet, in a sense, the fact that the essential character of Christian truth should be so far beyond popular comprehension is a tribute to our Faith. Do certain things; don't do certain things, and you are a Christian!
What is a Christian? The answer runs somewhat thus: A Christian is one who accepts CHRIST, especially as the teacher of a way of life; he adopts a set of habits, such as church attendance, Bible reading, prayer; he associates with other "Christian" people; he doesn't lie, steal, or get drunk; he is fair in his dealings with his fellowmen; he can be counted on to take a "Christian" attitude toward the questions of the day. A "Christian" is one who conforms to certain standards! It is this against which the Apostle Paul contended with passionate conviction that it was fatal to the Christian system of truth and experience.
Turning to the Epistle to the Galatians we find the Apostle Paul defining and describing a Christian in such terms as these:. See Gal ; He has had a transforming experience. He begets in the believer new characteristics that are productive of Christian conduct Gal , It is a LIFE that must be free to express itself; to impose regulations upon it is fatal to it. Man in his natural state soon finds he is like the woody growth of the grape vine; running to wood, the real life is choked out.
He has nothing but the external form, an empty shell of respectability Paul is contending against a twofold error. The difficulty with the above errors is that they leave us impotently on Our Side, in struggle and failure. They are powerless to transfer us to the abounding resources of His Side.
Read all the introductory comments Galatians Introduction. James Rosscup writes that "Lightfoot is highly-regarded for his work on the Greek text, top notch exegesis verse by verse, special notes on key problems, giving of views and reasons, etc. He was rarely gifted, and his commentaries rich with assistance to pastors and students.
A classic commentary on the Greek text of Galatians with valuable linguistic insights. Thoroughly grounded in classical Greek, some of Lightfoot's views need some modification in the light of recent Koine studies. Three important dissertations comprise a third of the volume. C H Spurgeon wrote that "This is a great historic work, and is beyond criticism, on account of its great usefulness. As a comment its accuracy might be questioned; but for emphatic utterances and clear statements of the great doctrine of the Epistle it remains altogether by itself, and must be judged per se.
Spurgeon, C. Click Galatians. Be very discerning and ask the Spirit to guide you into all truth and enable you to discern truth from error! Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. London: Hodder and Stoughton 5th Ed. A verse-by-verse interpretation by a Wesleyan theologian of the past century. Provides doctrinal summaries as a contribution toward systematic theology. Holds to the North-Galatian theory and thinks the "Lord's brothers" were the sons of Joseph by a former marriage. Cambridge: University Press A scholarly, independent elucidation of the Greek text.
Offers summaries of previous views and gives special attention to grammatical and linguistic matters. Makes important word studies. Favors the South-Galatian theory and equates Acts 15 with Galatians 2 but holds that Acts is "inaccurate. Rosscup - "Here is a helpful commentary on the historical background of this epistle.
Ramsay has been called an outstanding authority on the background of Paul's travels. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House The major emphasis is on the background for the epistle. The author used his vast knowledge of the historical and archaeological backgrounds of Asia Minor to support his strong defense of the South-Galatian view. Identifies Galatians 2 with Acts 11 and thinks that Paul's thorn in the flesh was malaria.
Be a Berean. Introduction to Galatians - Galatia was not a city, like Rome or Corinth, but rather a Roman province containing many cities and numerous churches. At least some of these churches, such as those in Iconium, Lystra and Derbe, had been founded by Paul on his first missionary journey note Acts , along with Galatians This was prior to the calling of the Jerusalem Council, where Paul and Barnabas argued against the teachings of the Judaizing Christians, who were claiming that Gentile Christians had to be circumcised and obey the Mosaic laws in order to be saved or else to become sanctified Christians after being saved through faith.
The Council, however, settled this question once and for all, in favor of Paul's doctrine of salvation by grace through faith, completely apart from these works of the law. This decision was fully supported by the Apostles Peter and James see Acts However, the "churches of Galatia," to whom Paul addressed this epistle Galatians , were being confused and led astray by either the same or similar Judaizers with similar arguments.
Since it seems unlikely that this could have happened after the Jerusalem Council, many New Testament scholars believe that Galatians must have been written prior to the Council; otherwise it would seem that Paul would have referred to it in his Galatian letter. On the other hand, others believe that Galatians was written after the Council. They argue that the Judaizers at Antioch were contending that believers were not saved until they were circumcised.
Those in Galatia, however, were simply claiming that circumcision and the law were essential, not for salvation, but for Christian maturity and sanctification. Both groups believe that Paul was writing to the churches in southern Galatia, those founded by Paul in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe on his first missionary journey. There is a minority group of scholars, however, who believe that Galatians was written to churches in northern Galatia, even though none of these are mentioned by name in the New Testament. Galatia, in fact, was named after the Gauls who inhabited north central Asia Minor at the time, and who thus were the true ethnic Galatians.
The southern portion of the Roman province was not originally part of Galatia, and was inhabited more by Greeks and Romans than by descendants of the Gauls. Whichever theory is correct really is irrelevant as far as the message of the book is concerned. The great theme of Galatians is that of justification by faith without the works of the law. Furthermore, we are not only saved by grace but kept by grace—not by works. Galatians extols Christian liberty—freedom in Christ. Liberty is not libertinism, of course; "use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh," Paul wrote, "but by love serve one another" Galatians Legalism in any form—whether circumcision or ritualism or anything else—will neither save a sinner nor perfect a saint.
The Christian life is not controlled by commandments but by the Holy Spirit. That is the message of Galatians for the Christian believer. NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel. Note: These links are from the old study notes new not yet available Nov, Note: The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture Compare Scripture with Scripture and these cross references compiled by Torrey are the most comprehensive work of this type with over , entries.
However, always check the context Keep Context King to make sure that the cross reference is referring to the same subject as the original Scripture. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said it this way - "The Scripture is to be its own interpreter or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture. See also Use of Cross-References.
A simplified commentary on the original text carried over into English for the student who does not know Greek; presents an expanded translation and exegetical comments and word studies. Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, " bibliocentric " commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers.
I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil Heb note.
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Galatians Sowing and Reaping. Galatians Don't Minimize God's Grace! Galatians Flesh and Spirit in Conflict. Galatians Freedom in Christ vs. Galatians What is the Purpose of the Law? Part 1 Galatians 3 What is the Purpose of the Law? Galatians - Introduction Term "Apostle" The Circumstances Galatians 1 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies Galatians 2 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies Galatians 3 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies Galatians 4 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies Galatians 5 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies Galatians 6 Exposition scroll down for multiple homilies.
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Galatians Are You My Father? Galatians Beholding the Crucifixion R. Halley, D. Galatians Bewitched W. Galatians Paraphrase of the Verse Bishop Lightfoot. Galatians Paul's Lament A. Galatians Power of Christ Professor Phelps. Galatians The Enchantment of Error R.
Maclaren, D. Burns, D. Galatians The Galatians' Deflection C. Simeon, M. Forsyth, M. Galatians Appeal to Experience and Scripture R. Galatians Faith and Works C. Galatians The Mode of Salvation C. Galatians The Venture of Faith C. Galatians Going Back W. Galatians Changeable Christians Dr.
John Hall. Galatians Love of Change John Ruskin. Galatians Backsliders Run in Vain Spencer. Galatians The Power of Hopefulness R. Dale, LL. Galatians Use of Adversity Cawdray. Galatians Inspiration to be Respected Vinet. Galatians Inspiration, Literary and Moral Vinet. Galatians Miracles of To-Day H. Galatians Faith Accounted for Righteousness E. Shalders, M. Galatians The Faith of Abraham T. Whitelaw, D. Roberts, M.
Galatians Faith Obtains Salvation J. Galatians The Blessing of the Gospel Luther. Galatians The Children of Abraham W. Dale, M. Galatians The Gospel Thomas Jones. Galatians The Gospel Is J. Rogers, M. Galatians A Call to the Unconverted C. Galatians Cursed, Etc J. Guthrie, D. Galatians No Salvation by Works Dr. Galatians One Sin Ruinous J. Clarkson, B. Galatians The Claims of the Law Swinnock. Galatians The Curse Philip Henry. Galatians The Curse of the Law S.
Tyng, D. Galatians The Curse Realized C. Galatians The Desert of Sin T. Boston, D. Grosart, LL. Hopkins, D. Galatians Faith: Life Jeremy Taylor. Galatians Justification by the Law Impossible R. Pearson, M. Galatians Life by Faith C. Galatians Life by Faith Lightfoot. Galatians The Law and the Gospel W.
Galatians Christ Made a Curse C. Brown, D. Galatians Christ Our Substitute W. Galatians Sin and Redemption C. Clemance, D. Owen, D. Galatians The Substitute Dr. Riddle, D. Cumming, D. Galatians The Blessing of Abraham J. Parker, D. Galatians The Purpose of Redemption W. Galatians Covenants Professor Crosskerry. Galatians Promise and Law R. Galatians Seed and Seeds Canon Liddon.
Henry Burn, B. Galatians The Promises Spurstow. Denton, M. Galatians The Covenant in Christ J. Galatians The Everlasting Covenant C. Galatians The Everlasting Covenant W. Galatians Law and Promise P. Gloag, D. Galatians Life Gift Dr. Galatians Salvation All of Grace E. Galatians The Inheritance of the Promises C. Galatians Christ Our Mediator T. Galatians Law J. Galatians The Function of the Law J. Galatians The Law W. Galatians The Nature of the Law J. Denham, M. Galatians The Object of the Law W.
Galatians Direct Communication with God W. Evans, D. Galatians St. Paul's View of the Unity of God J. Barmby, B. Ferguson, LL. Galatians The Mediation of Christ J. Galatians The Mediator R. Hamilton, D.
Free Bible Commentary on Galatians in easy English
Galatians Contrasts W. Watts, D. Galatians The Harmony of Revelation H. Melvill, B. Galatians The Importance of the Law T. Blarney, D. Galatians The Law Useful Dr. Jowett, M. Galatians Law and Gospel William Tyndale. Galatians Shut Up unto the Faith Dr. Galatians The Great Prison J. Hare, M. Galatians The Reasonableness of Faith Dr.
Galatians The Reasonableness of the Gospel H. Galatians Under Arrest C. Galatians Works a Hindrance to Salvation C. Galatians Before and After Faith R. Galatians Christ Our Schoolmaster J. Galatians Christ Supersedes the Law Luther. Galatians Life a School E. Ffoulkes, B. Galatians Pedagogic Character of the Law C. Vincent, D. Galatians The Law a Schoolmaster C. Lloyd Engstrom, M. Galatians The Law a Schoolmaster F. Greenwood, D.
Galatians The Law and the Gospel Lockhart. Galatians The Law is a Schoolmaster F. Robertson, M. Binney, D. Galatians The Pedagogue Canon Liddon. Galatians The Schooling of the Law J. Owen, M. Galatians The Stern Pedagogue C. Galatians Jesus the Only Saviour C. Galatians Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity W. Galatians Baptismal Privileges Luther.
Galatians Baptismal Regeneration F. Galatians Putting on Christ Bishop Moberly. Galatians Believers One in Christ Dr. Galatians Christian Unity J. Galatians Grounds of Unity J. Galatians One in Christ Dean Vaughan. Galatians Oneness in Christ Archbishop Taft.
Galatians The Oneness of Believers Trapp. Beddome, M. Galatians Union with Christ and its Results J. Murphy, LL. Galatians Unity and Union J. Angell James. Galatians Unity in Diversity H. Reynolds, B. Galatians Unity not Necessarily Uniformity J. Galatians Abraham's Spiritual Seed J. Henderson, D. Galatians Christian Freedom W. Galatians Christian Liberty Canon Ince. Galatians Christian Liberty a Trust C. Kenrick, M. Galatians Liberty not Lawlessness Newman Hall.
Galatians Personal Liberty of the Christian H. Galatians Spiritual Freedom J. Vaughan, M. Galatians Spiritual Liberty C. Galatians Stand Fast C. Galatians Stand Fast J. Harding, M. Galatians Standing Fast in Liberty H. Galatians The Freedom of the Christian J. Galatians The Secret of Steadfastness W. Galatians Christianity not Uniformity Thomas Jones. Galatians Circumcision Matthew Henry.
Galatians The Law and Grace T. Manton, D. Galatians The Superfluousness of Circumcision H. Galatians Circumcision R. Finlayson Galatians Falling from Grace R. Galatians Falling Away Cawdray. Galatians Falling from Grace Foster. Irons, D. Galatians Faith and Morality Jeremy Taylor.
Galatians The Hope of Righteousness W. Pusey, D. Galatians Faith and Love T. Galatians Faith Working by Love C. Galatians Faith Working by Love T. Galatians Faith Working by Love J. Adeney Galatians Faith, a Power T. MacNeece, D. Galatians Faith's Evidences J. Galatians Prevailing Faith C.
MeIvill, B. Galatians The Grandeur of Faith B. Palmer, D. Emmons, D. Galatians Uncircumcision Availeth Nothing A. Galatians A Difficult Race G. Galatians A Sailor Remarks Cheever. Galatians Fickleness W. Galatians Gradual Back-Sliding H. Galatians Hindered W. Galatians Hindrances Rev. Rawnsley, M.
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Galatians Hindrances to Religious Life H. Galatians Obeying the Truth W. Nevins, D. Galatians Religious Decline H. Galatians Running W. Galatians Signs of Backsliding C. Galatians Spasmodic Religion S. Galatians Spiritual Declension D. Galatians Spiritual Declension Insidious H. Galatians The Nature of Backsliding C. Galatians Various Hindrances C. Galatians Want of Perseverance T. Galatians This Persuasion W. Galatians A Little Leaven Kurtz. Galatians Danger of Little Sins T. Galatians Infectious Nature of Evil Hedinger.
Galatians Insidiousness of Little Sins H. Galatians Leaven W. Clifford, D. Winterbotham, B. Macmillan, LL. Galatians Bearing the Judgment Trench. Galatians Preach the Cross Bishop Ryle. Galatians The Offence of the Cross C. Galatians The Offence of the Cross Spencer. Galatians The Slandered Apostle W. Galatians Church Troublers W.
Galatians Reasons for Paul's Indignation T. Galatians Liberty Through Love S. Brooke, M. Johnson, M. Galatians The Joy of Liberty C. Galatians Liberty and not Licence W. Galatians The Fulfilling of the Law W. Galatians Evils of Strife Spencer. Galatians The Evil of Dissensions T. Fuller, D. Galatians Entire Consecration Necessary S. Galatians Flesh and Spirit Dean Stanley.
Galatians How to Overcome Temptation T. Boyd Carpenter, M. Galatians The Divine Rule Bp. Morgan, D. Galatians The Renewed Man H. Galatians The Spirit and the Flesh C. Kingsley, M. Galatians The Spiritual Walk T. Galatians The Spiritual Walk J. Galatians Twofold Nature of Man A. Galatians Value of Spirituality of Mind S. Adeney Galatians Walking in the Spirit J. Venn, M. Galatians Walking in the Spirit Bishop F.
Galatians Walking in the Spirit Canon Tristram. Galatians Walking with God H. Edgar Galatians Conflict and Conquest H. Arnot, D. Galatians Involuntary Transgression J. Newman, D. Galatians Self Versus Self J. Galatians Sins of Infirmity J. Galatians Spiritual Conflict J. Galatians The Believer's Struggle T. Galatians The Christian's Conflicts H. Mackennal, B. Landells, D.
Galatians The Traitor Within C. Galatians The Two Selves W. Parkhurst, D. Galatians Christian Freedom Chas. Galatians Freedom Only for the Spiritual Chas. Galatians The Guidance of the Spirit Chas. Galatians The Leading of the Spirit R. Evans, B. Galatians The Spirit's Leading H. Galatians Anger J. Beaumont, M. Galatians Drunkenness Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Drunkenness, Revellings Starke. Galatians Emulation Bishop Beveridge.
Galatians Envyings Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Evil of Hatred Plutarch. Galatians Fornication Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Heresies H. Galatians Murders C. Galatians Seditions Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Strife Bishop Beveridge. Hall, D. Galatians Uncleanness Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Variance Bishop Beveridge. Galatians Sin and Death T.
Galatians Advantage of Meekness John Trapp. Galatians Armour of Peace C. Galatians Benefits of Joy C. Galatians Catechism of Religion H. Galatians Christian Peace Abp. Galatians Christians a Joyful People C. Washburn, D. Galatians Definition of Meekness W. Elliott, M. Galatians Definition of Temperance J.
Galatians Description of Gentleness J. Galatians Duty of Joy H. Galatians Faith W. Galatians Faith, a Fruit of the Spirit W. Murray, D. Galatians Fruit of the Spirit E. Galatians Gentleness J. Norton, D. Galatians Gentleness John Thornton. Galatians Gentleness W.
Galatians Gentleness and Goodness J. Reeve, M. Galatians Gentleness, a Fruit of the Spirit W. Galatians Gentleness: its Strength George Eliot. Galatians Goodness J. Galatians Goodness Dr. Galatians Goodness W. Galatians Goodness Is H. Galatians Hindering Christianity H. Galatians Joy H. Galatians Joy J. Galatians Joy W. Galatians Joy in Jesus Dr. Galatians Joy, a Fruit of the Spirit W. Galatians Labours of Love Light C. Galatians Long-Suffering H. Galatians Long-Suffering W. Galatians Long-Suffering -- Meekness J. Galatians Love R. Galatians Love J.
Galatians Love W. Galatians Love Ennobles W. Galatians Love First A. Galatians Love Lightens Duty T. Galatians Love, the Fruit of the Spirit W. Galatians Love, the Heat of the Universe H. Galatians Love, the Test of Discipleship W. Galatians Man's Productive Capabilities H. Galatians Meekness J. Eadie, D. Galatians Meekness W. Galatians Meekness and Forgiveness Anecdotes of the Wesleys. Galatians Meekness, a Fruit of the Spirit W.
Galatians Nature is Love Thomas Jones. Galatians Of Joy T. Galatians On Meekness John Thornton. Galatians On Temperance John Thornton. Galatians Peace H. Galatians Peace W. Galatians Peace J. Galatians Peace in Poverty C. Galatians Peace is Love Reposing J. Galatians Peace, a Fruit of the Spirit W. Galatians Peace, a Treasure Krummacher. Galatians Perseverance in Goodness Archbishop Seeker. Galatians Power of Gentleness Anon. Galatians Spiritual Fruit in the Church H. Galatians Spiritual Tests E. Galatians Temperance W.
Galatians Temperance, a Fruit of the Spirit W. Cunningham, M. Galatians The Harmony of Manhood W. Galatians The Voice of Love C. Galatians True Goodness A. Galatians Value of Goodness Dr. Galatians The Fruit of the Spirit W. Adeney Galatians , 23 Crucifixion of the Flesh C. Galatians Crucifying the Flesh Samuel Jones. Galatians Crucifying the Flesh Luke H. Wiseman, M. Galatians Crucifying the Flesh T. Galatians Moral Crucifixion J. South, D. Galatians The Christian's Calvary W. Recently Popular Pages x. Recently Popular Media x.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Galatians 1. Chapter 1 In this chapter, after the preface or introduction v. From his end and design in preaching the gospel v. From his having received it by immediate revelation v. For the proof of which he acquaints them, 1. What his former conversation was v. How he was converted, and called to the apostleship v. How he behaved himself afterwards v. Gal In these verses we have the preface or introduction to the epistle, where observe, I. The person or persons from whom this epistle is sent-from Paul an apostle, etc. The epistle is sent from Paul; he only was the penman of it.
And, because there were some among the Galatians who endeavoured to lessen his character and authority, in the front of it he gives a general account both of his office and of the manner in which he was called to it, which afterwards, in this and the following chapter, he enlarges more upon. As to his office, he was an apostle. He is not afraid to style himself so, though his enemies would scarcely allow him this title: and, to let them see that he did not assume this character without just ground, he acquaints them how he was called to this dignity and office, and assures them that his commission to it was wholly divine, for he was an apostle, not of man, neither by man; he had not the common call of an ordinary minister, but an extraordinary call from heaven to this office.
He neither received his qualification for it, nor his designation to it, by the mediation of men, but had both the one and the other directly from above; for he was an apostle by Jesus Christ, he had his instructions and commission immediately from him, and consequently from God the Father, who was one with him in respect of his divine nature, and who had appointed him, as Mediator, to be the apostle and high priest of our profession, and as such to authorize others to this office. He adds, Who raised him from the dead, both to acquaint us that herein God the Father gave a public testimony to Christ's being his Son and the promised Messiah, and also that, as his call to the apostleship was immediately from Christ, so it was after his resurrection from the dead, and when he had entered upon his exalted state; so that he had reason to look upon himself, not only as standing upon a level with the other apostles, but as in some sort preferred above them; for, whereas they were called by him when on earth, he had his call from him when in heaven.
Thus does the apostle, being constrained to it by his adversaries, magnify his office, which shows that though men should by no means be proud of any authority they are possessed of, yet at certain times and upon certain occasions it may become needful to assert it. But, 2. He joins all the brethren that were with him in the inscription of the epistle, and writes in their name as well as his own. By the brethren that were with him may be understood either the Christians in common of that place where he now was, or such as were employed as ministers of the gospel.
These, notwithstanding his own superior character and attainments, he is ready to own as his brethren; and, though he alone wrote the epistle, yet he joins them with himself in the inscription of it. Herein, as he shows his own great modesty and humility, and how remote he was from an assuming temper, so he might do this to dispose these churches to a greater regard to what he wrote, since hereby it would appear that he had their concurrence with him in the doctrine which he had preached, and was now about to confirm, and that it was no other than what was both published and professed by others as well as himself.
To whom this epistle is sent- to the churches of Galatia. There were several churches at that time in this country, and it should seem that all of them were more or less corrupted through the arts of those seducers who had crept in among them; and therefore Paul, on whom came daily the care of all the churches, being deeply affected with their state, and concerned for their recovery to the faith and establishment in it, writes this epistle to them.
He directs it to all of them, as being all more or less concerned in the matter of it; and he gives them the name of churches, though they had done enough to forfeit it, for corrupt churches are never allowed to be churches: no doubt there were some among them who still continued in the faith, and he was not without hope that others might be recovered to it. The apostolical benediction, v. Herein the apostle, and the brethren who were with him, wish these churches grace and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the usual blessing wherewith he blesses the churches in the name of the Lord- grace and peace. Grace includes God's good-will towards us and his good work upon us; and peace implies in it all that inward comfort, or outward prosperity, which is really needful for us; and they come from God the Father as the fountain, through Jesus Christ as the channel of conveyance.
Both these the apostle wishes for these Christians. But we may observe, First grace, and then peace, for there can be no true peace without grace. Having mentioned the Lord Jesus Christ, he cannot pass without enlarging upon his love; and therefore adds v. Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins, as a great sacrifice to make atonement for us; this the justice of God required, and to this he freely submitted for our sakes. From this we may note, 1. This present world is an evil world: it has become so by the sin of man, and it is so on account of the sin and sorrow with which it abounds and the many snares and temptations to which we are exposed as long as we continue in it.
Jesus Christ has died to deliver us from this present evil world, not presently to remove his people out of it, but to rescue them from the power of it, to keep them from the evil of it, and in due time to possess them of another and better world. This, the apostle informs us, he has done according to the will of God and our Father. In offering up himself a sacrifice for this end and purpose, he acted by the appointment of the Father, as well as with his own free consent; and therefore we have the greatest reason to depend upon the efficacy and acceptableness of what he has done and suffered for us; yea, hence we have encouragement to look upon God as our Father, for thus the apostle here represents him: as he is the Father of our Lord Jesus, so in and through him he is also the Father of all true believers, as our blessed Saviour himself acquaints us Jn.
Gal Here the apostle comes to the body of the epistle; and he begins it with a more general reproof of these churches for their unsteadiness in the faith, which he afterwards, in some following parts of it, enlarges more upon. Here we may observe, I. How much he was concerned at their defection: I marvel, etc.
It filled him at once with the greatest surprise and sorrow. Their sin and folly were that they did not hold fast the doctrine of Christianity as it had been preached to them, but suffered themselves to be removed from the purity and simplicity of it. And there were several things by which their defection was greatly aggravated; as, 1. That they were removed from him that had called them; not only from the apostle, who had been the instrument of calling them into the fellowship of the gospel, but from God himself, by whose order and direction the gospel was preached to them, and they were invited to a participation of the privileges of it: so that herein they had been guilty of a great abuse of his kindness and mercy towards them.
That they had been called into the grace of Christ. As the gospel which had been preached to them was the most glorious discovery of divine grace and mercy in Christ Jesus; so thereby they had been called to partake of the greatest blessings and benefits, such as justification, and reconciliation with God here, and eternal life and happiness hereafter. These our Lord Jesus has purchased for us at the expense of his precious blood, and freely bestows upon all who sincerely accept of him: and therefore, in proportion to the greatness of the privilege they enjoyed, such were their sin and folly in deserting it and suffering themselves to be drawn off from the established way of obtaining these blessings.
That they were so soon removed. In a very little time they lost that relish and esteem of this grace of Christ which they seemed to have, and too easily fell in with those who taught justification by the works of the law, as many did, who had been bred up in the opinions and notions of the Pharisees, which they mingled with the doctrine of Christ, and so corrupted it; and this, as it was an instance of their weakness, so it was a further aggravation of their guilt. That they were removed to another gospel, which yet was not another.
Thus the apostle represents the doctrine of these judaizing teachers; he calls it another gospel, because it opened a different way of justification and salvation from that which was revealed in the gospel, namely, by works, and not by faith in Christ. And yet he adds, "Which is not another -you will find it to be no gospel at all-not really another gospel, but the perverting of the gospel of Christ, and the overturning of the foundations of that'-whereby he intimates that those who go about to establish any other way to heaven than what the gospel of Christ has revealed are guilty of a gross perversion of it, and in the issue will find themselves wretchedly mistaken.
Thus the apostle endeavours to impress upon these Galatians a due sense of their guilt in forsaking the gospel way of justification; and yet at the same time he tempers his reproof with mildness and tenderness towards them, and represents them as rather drawn into it by the arts and industry of some that troubled them than as coming into it of their own accord, which, though it did not excuse them, yet was some extenuation of their fault.
And hereby he teaches us that, in reproving others, as we should be faithful, so we should also be gentle, and endeavour to restore them in the spirit of meekness, ch. How confident he was that the gospel he had preached to them was the only true gospel. He was so fully persuaded of this that he pronounced an anathema upon those who pretended to preach any other gospel v. This will not justify our thundering out anathemas against those who differ from us in minor things. It is only against those who forge a new gospel, who overturn the foundation of the covenant of grace, by setting up the works of the law in the place of Christ's righteousness, and corrupting Christianity with Judaism, that Paul denounces this.
He puts the case: "Suppose we should preach any other gospel; nay, suppose an angel from heaven should:' not as if it were possible for an angel from heaven to be the messenger of a lie; but it is expressed so the more to strengthen what he was about to say. This he gives sufficient evidence of, I. From the scope and design of his ministry, which was not to persuade men, but God, etc. The meaning of this may be either that in his preaching the gospel he did not act in obedience to men, but God, who had called him to this work and office; or that his aim therein was to bring persons to the obedience, not of men, but of God.
As he professed to act by a commission from God; so that which he chiefly aimed at was to promote his glory, by recovering sinners into a state of subjection to him. And as this was the great end he was pursuing, so, agreeably hereunto, he did not seek to please men. He did not, in his doctrine, accommodate himself to the humours of persons, either to gain their affection or to avoid their resentment; but his great care was to approve himself to God. The judaizing teachers, by whom these churches were corrupted, had discovered a very different temper; they mixed works with faith, and the law with the gospel, only to please the Jews, whom they were willing to court and keep in with, that they might escape persecution.
But Paul was a man of another spirit; he was not so solicitous to please them, nor to mitigate their rage against him, as to alter the doctrine of Christ either to gain their favour or to avoid their fury. And he gives this very good reason for it, that, if he yet pleased men, he would not be the servant of Christ.
These he knew were utterly inconsistent, and that no man could serve two such masters; and therefore, though he would not needlessly displease any, yet he dared not allow himself to gratify men at the expense of his faithfulness to Christ. Thus, from the sincerity of his aims and intentions in the discharge of his office, he proves that he was truly an apostle of Christ. And from this his temper and behaviour we may note, 1. That the great end which ministers of the gospel should aim at is to bring men to God.
That those who are faithful will not seek to please men, but to approve themselves to God. That they must not be solicitous to please men, if they would approve themselves faithful servants to Christ. But, if this argument should not be thought sufficient, he goes on to prove his apostleship, II. From the manner wherein he received the gospel which he preached to them, concerning which he assures them v.
One thing peculiar in the character of an apostle was that he had been called to, and instructed for, this office immediately by Christ himself. And in this he here shows that he was by no means defective, whatever his enemies might suggest to the contrary. Ordinary ministers, as they receive their call to preach the gospel by the mediation of others, so it is by means of the instruction and assistance of others that they are brought to the knowledge of it. But Paul acquaints them that he had his knowledge of the gospel, as well as his authority to preach it, directly from the Lord Jesus: the gospel which he preached was not after man; he neither received it of man, nor was he taught it by man, but by immediate inspiration, or revelation from Christ himself.
This he was concerned to make out, to prove himself an apostle: and to this purpose, 1. He tells them what his education was, and what, accordingly, his conversation in time past had been, v. Particularly, he acquaints them that he had been brought up in the Jewish religion, and that he had profited in it above many his equals of his own nation -that he had been exceedingly zealous of the traditions of the elders, such doctrines and customs as had been invented by their fathers, and conveyed down from one generation to another; yea, to such a degree that, in his zeal for them, he had beyond measure persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.
He had not only been a rejecter of the Christian religion, notwithstanding the many evident proofs that were given of its divine origin; but he had been a persecutor of it too, and had applied himself with the utmost violence and rage to destroy the professors of it. This Paul often takes notice of, for the magnifying of that free and rich grace which had wrought so wonderful a change in him, whereby of so great a sinner he was made a sincere penitent, and from a persecutor had become an apostle.
And it was very fit to mention it here; for it would hence appear that he was not led to Christianity, as many others are, purely by education, since he had been bred up in an enmity and opposition to it; and they might reasonably suppose that it must be something very extraordinary which had made so great a change in him, which had conquered the prejudices of his education, and brought him not only to profess, but to preach, that doctrine, which he had before so vehemently opposed. In how wonderful a manner he was turned from the error of his ways, brought to the knowledge and faith of Christ, and appointed to the office of an apostle, v.
This was not done in an ordinary way, nor by ordinary means, but in an extraordinary manner; for, 1. God had separated him hereunto from his mother's womb: the change that was wrought in him was in pursuance of a divine purpose concerning him, whereby he was appointed to be a Christian and an apostle, before he came into the world, or had done either good or evil. He was called by his grace. All who are savingly converted are called by the grace of God; their conversion is the effect of his good pleasure concerning them, and is effected by his power and grace in them.
But there was something peculiar in the case of Paul, both in the suddenness and in the greatness of the change wrought in him, and also in the manner wherein it was effected, which was not by the mediation of others, as the instruments of it, but by Christ's personal appearance to him, and immediate operation upon him, whereby it was rendered a more special and extraordinary instance of divine power and favour. He had Christ revealed in him. He was not only revealed to him, but in him. It will but little avail us to have Christ revealed to us if he is not also revealed in us; but this was not the case of Paul.
It pleased God to reveal his Son in him, to bring him to the knowledge of Christ and his gospel by special and immediate revelation. And, 4. It was with this design, that he should preach him among the heathen; not only that he should embrace him himself, but preach him to others; so that he was both a Christian and an apostle by revelation. He acquaints them how he behaved himself hereupon, from v.