We know that there is nothing the devil hates worse than the Gospel. We obtain them not as agents, but as beneficiaries. This sending is accomplished by the preaching of the Gospel through which the Holy Spirit inspires us with fervor and light, with new judgment, new desires, and new motives. (Psalm 22:7.) The fact that he is again walking about as a roaring lion to stir up riots and disorders is a sure sign that he has begun to feel the effect of our preaching. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Christ forewarned the faithful against the offense of the Cross, saying: "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." The Law does not justify; it does not bring a person to heaven. The poison is not in the flowers, but it is the nature of the spider to turn what is good and wholesome into poison. we--the Jews primarily, and inclusively the Gentiles also. This teaching forms one of the chief articles of their faith. At the beginning of the Reformation we were honored as the true ministers of Christ. For Abraham had two kinds of children, children born of the promise, like Isaac, and other children born without the promise, as Ishmael. p. 766 C; Dem. The Roman conception of Christ as a mere lawgiver more stringent than Moses, is quite contrary to Paul's teaching. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. My reply is, cursed be any love or harmony which demands for its preservation that we place the Word of God in jeopardy! We do not think of our groanings as a crying. The Scripture explicitly states Abraham's grief in the words: "And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son." Neither do the ordinances of Moses or those of the Pope concern us. But this statement expresses more than grief. And how you Galatians used to tell me that you were blessed. When a believer accepts the heavenly gifts of the Gospel he is in heaven. They remain under the Law, sin, death, and the power of the devil. The doctrine of the Gospel, we are told, is the cause of all the present unrest in the world. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? It is to last only until "the time appointed of the father," until Christ came and redeemed us. But he has the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem in mind, not the earthly Jerusalem. (Luke 10:22.) That God adopted us is due to the merit of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who humbled Himself under the Law and redeemed us law-ridden sinners. He did not conceal his disappointment at their lack of stability. Let them cry out against us as much as they like. I am free now and a son of God. Let Christ be in it and not the Law. In order to make sure that he leaves no stone unturned in his effort to recall them to the Gospel of Christ, he chides, entreats, praises, and blames the Galatians, trying every way to hit the right note and tone of voice. No wonder they failed to understand Paul. ", We are being treated that way. By revealing the evil that is in us it creates a longing in the heart for the better things of God. Even these will be cast out, because they are children of the bondwoman. Then, too, we live in the fear of God. He says: "I have begotten you Galatians through the Gospel, giving you the form of Christ. If Paul had not brought in advance indisputable arguments for the righteousness of faith over against the righteousness of works this allegory would do little good. It holds the mirror to the evil which is in the world. (Romans 13:5.). (John 3:18.) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (Isaiah 54:1.) We ought to have no misgivings about whether the Holy Ghost dwells in us. If he saw that they were repentant he could soften the tone of his voice. If you did not confess my name, the world would not hate you. The Jews had been obliged to keep holy the Sabbath Day, the new moons, the feast of the passover, the feast of tabernacles, and other feasts. Whoever praises Luther is a worse sinner than an idolater, perjurer, or thief. Scripture everywhere separates the two, making His obedience an additional thing, undertaken by Him over and above His becoming man. These effects are elements of the world. Paul visited the region againin A… God the Father determined when the time was right for His Son to come to earth, as man and God. Good word studies and various illustrations. I have spent much time on this verse in order to combat the cruel teaching of the Roman church, that a person ought to be kept in a state of uncertainty concerning his status with God. Holy works, you know. Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.Sarah's demand that the bondwoman and her son be cast out of the house was undoubtedly a blow to Abraham. Our opponents blame our doctrine for the present turmoil. What claim can men who are subservient to sin, subject to the curse of the Law, and worthy of everlasting death, have on God and eternal life? I answer: By nature all men know that there is a God, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto them. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. In Christ we perceive that God is not a cruel judge, but a most loving and merciful Father who to bless and to save us "spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all." Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage. The Roman theologians teach that no man can know for a certainty whether he stands in the favor of God or not. But because life cannot go on without some ordinances, the Gospel permits regulations to be made in the Church in regard to special days, times, places, etc., in order that the people may know upon what day, at what hour, and in what place to assemble for the Word of God. It is different with the spoken word. The devil accused him: "These people will all perish, for they cannot escape. His need of angelic comfort, His tremulous prayer in the garden, His lamentation on the Cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The servant is not greater than his lord. (Exodus 14:11, 12.) A true friend will admonish his erring brother, and if the erring brother has any sense at all he will thank his friend. They may even teach that men are delivered from their sins by the death of Christ. They all imagine, if we do this or that work, God will have mercy on us; if not, God will be angry. But if he could be with them in person he could change his voice as the occasion demanded. His bloody sweat. In fact, according to the promise of Christ, the apostles performed greater miracles than Christ Himself. They are slaves to the Law, sin and death. Suddenly certain false brethren began to hate us. Bibliography InformationLuther, Martin. There is no satisfaction in the Law. (John 15:19.) We are no better than the apostles who had to witness the subversion of the churches which they had planted with their own hands. But once inside the monastery the recruits are told to doubt the promises of God. The Law of Moses deals with mundane matters. (Acts 24:5.) It is one and the same thing whether a person reverts to the Law or to the worship of idols. That does not mean that we are exempt from obedience to the civil laws under which we live. But when it is a matter of justification before God, Paul had to speak disparagingly of the Law, because the Law has nothing to do with justification. Galatians 4. People are not sufficiently exercised in their faith by afflictions. What do they know? He maintains that their zeal is mere pretense to deceive the Galatians. We shall understand why a Christian observes laws: For the peace of the world, out of gratitude to God, and for a good example that others may be attracted to the Gospel. This heavenly Jerusalem is the Church, that is to say the number of all believers throughout the world, having one and the same Gospel, one and the same faith in Christ, one and the same Holy Ghost, and the same sacraments. That was greatly to their honor. They knew that they "ought to obey God rather than men," and that it was better for the world to be upset than to be ignorant of Christ. I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice.A common saying has it that a letter is a dead messenger. I chide you not because I wish you ill. "I do not know how to take you. Sin sticks in our flesh, and the flesh gets us into sin even after we have been imbued by the Holy Ghost. For the "we" in Galatians 4:5 plainly refers … Galatians 4:1-7 Sons and Heirs. (John 8:36.). Galatians 3. The false apostles had torn the form of Christ out of the hearts of the Galatians and substituted their own form. Indeed he does. Those who seek to be justified by the Law grow weaker and more destitute right along. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) /. If they want to condemn Christ for being our Savior and Redeemer, that is their lookout. The Apostle calls it an earnest beseeching. In the last analysis such restraint is simple hypocrisy. The Law brought all its fright to bear upon Christ until He experienced anguish and terror such as nobody else ever experienced. (Philippians 3:9.). Not as if the conscience is now insensitive to the terrors of the Law, but the Law cannot drive the conscience to despair. If I would keep silent, all would be well, and the Pope would no more persecute me. The heart does not feel His helpful presence. of
Yet for salvation they grasp at the straw of the Law. To seek to be justified by the Law amounts to the same thing as if a person who is already weak and feeble should try to find strength in weakness, or as if a person with the dropsy should seek a cure by exposing himself to the pestilence, or as if a leper should go to a leper, and a beggar to a beggar to find health and wealth. But when the fulness of the time — Appointed by the Father, Galatians 4:2. But when it came to dying he did not trust in his chaste life for salvation. They are blind. This happy innovation is not a derivative of reason or personal development, but solely the gift and operation of the Holy Ghost. And this little cry of the Spirit transcends the hullabaloo of the Law, sin, death, and the devil, and finds a hearing with God. If we could be fully persuaded that we are in the good grace of God, that our sins are forgiven, that we have the Spirit of Christ, that we are the beloved children of God, we would be ever so happy and grateful to God. Although He was the Lord of the Law, He voluntarily placed Himself under the Law and permitted it to exercise dominion over Him, indeed to accuse and to condemn Him. All men have the general and instinctive recognition that there is a God who created heaven and earth, who is just and holy, and who punishes the wicked. Galatians 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary is filled with great exegesis and written by the best British Bible scholars of the time. As such times we are to believe in Christ as if there were no Law or sin anywhere, but only Christ. The birth of a child is an occasion that evokes family, religious, and social traditions. He will now move to his request for a change of direction. "I told you the truth because I love you. It seems we must choose between Christ and the Pope. Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage.The Apostle pointedly asks the Galatians whether they desire to be in bondage again to the Law. People blame us and the Gospel for everything, for the disobedience of subjects to their rulers, for wars, plagues, and famines, for revolutions, and every other evil that can be imagined. In all these difficulties we have only one support, the Gospel of Christ. The Law can only aggravate their weakness and poverty. Hence the Law had no jurisdiction over Him. "He was made under the law." If he saw that they were stubborn he could speak to them more earnestly. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Zondervan. The allegory which Paul is about to bring is taken from the Book of Genesis which he calls the Law. It is worth being called blessed. But they deceive themselves and become "vain in their imaginations," as Paul says, Romans 1:21. But the Holy Ghost was in Moses and made intercession for him with unutterable groanings, sighings unto the Lord: "O Lord, at Thy commandment have I led forth this people. Small as this word is, it says ever so much. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. Such homely, everyday performances are not much admired. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen." Paul calls it "by good words and fair speeches to deceive the hearts of the simple." It is a matter of birth, not of exertion. When the article of justification is lost, nothing remains except error, hypocrisy, godlessness, and idolatry. You think about it, you don’t really feel this. "For we are by nature the children of wrath, even as others." He was accused of being "a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world." We need His prayers. Moses did not know what to say. (Psalm 109:4.). HENRY ALFORD The Greek New Testament Galatians Commentary. 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