This is the page for all my resources and documents for the book of Galatians. The first section contains documents that survey the entire book. The next section is broken down by each passage. Click the label of any passage to expand for access to documents and information about each individual passage. In each section, you can also click to see a detailed, annotated outline of that section. Feel free to use and distribute any information you find helpful as long as you give credit where appropriate.
General Documents
Individual Passages
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1:1-9 Introduction and Theme Statement
  • 1:1-5 Intro: Paul defends himself and his Gospel
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-2 Author(s):
    Paul an Apostle
    He has authority
    Not from man and not through man -
    source/ultimate cause and means/efficient cause
    Paul's calling is not directly or even indirectly through humans
    Why is this important?
    The Gospel is not dependent on man
    He is answering detractors who would say that Paul is not qualified by human credentials
    The Gospel is not dependent on the messenger, the messenger is dependent on the Gospel
    From Jesus the Messiah [Jewish fulfillment] and God the Father
    The Father is described as "the One Who raised Him from the dead"
    Why is He described as raised from the dead?
    The resurrection places them in the eschatological place in salvation history - justification is finished
    And all the brothers with me
    Why does Paul say this?
    Paul is not alone in his position
    There are those on his side (the apostles and others!)
    2 Recipients:
    To the Churches of the Galatians
    Plural - "churches" - cf. South-Galatian theory
    The problem is in the churches
    Genuine believers are the target of the enemy
    False teaching is aimed at the saints
    The devil does not spend his time tempting people in brothels and bars, but in churches
    "Scripture witnesses that antichrist does not sit in a stable of fiends or in a pigsty or in a company of unbelievers, but in the highest and holiest place of all, namely in God's temple." - Luther p. 32
    The problem is not primarily Hollywood or Wall street or Washington DC - These are just symptoms
    Understand historically that the sad state of these institutions is the indirect result of the failure of the churches
    And false problems sown in churches that grew to into the universities, that infiltrated elsewhere - but started in churches
    The solution, likewise is in the churches doing well
    And all culture is then gradually impacted
    3-4 Greeting:
    Grace and peace
    Standard greeting, but with a profound Christian twist to the standard wording
    Paul changed "chairein" (greeing) to "charis" (grace) - for Christians, all is grace
    "peace" takes on the full meaning of the Hebrew "shalom" - the fullness of peace and prosperity
    To you
    From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
    God our Father
    not everyone's Father
    only of adopted believers
    Lord Jesus Christ
    Jesus is Lord, Master - assumed, never thoroughly explained
    In their culture, then understood hierarchy
    They were someone's servant
    In our culture, it needs to be reminded constantly and embraced
    You gotta serve somebody
    The One Who gave Himself on behalf of our sins
    On behalf of, for the sake of, in someone else's interest
    Gracious giving - we should respond with deep gratitude
    Why did Paul include this here?
    Against the New Perspective:
    This is about sins that keep us from God, unrighteousness
    It is NOT about boundary markers
    NOT primarily about Jew/Gentile relations
    But about a broken relationship with God
    Sin = rebellion, de-goding God, idolatry of self, opposite of faith and love
    Breaking the first commandment before breaking any others
    In order that He may deliver us from this present evil age
    Purpose:
    To rescue, deliver, set free
    From the present, evil age
    Present - now as opposed to the future age
    Evil - worthless, vicious, degenerate
    It is not all completely bad, but partly, completely bad - connected with sin
    According to the will of Our God and Father
    God's giving of Christ was all according to plan and purpose
    He is God and Father
    5 Doxology
    To Him be the glory forever and ever
    Paul meant it - so should we
    Not Giving glory (He already has it all)
    But recognizing the fittingness/appropriateness of ascribing glory to Him
    Delighting in the fact that He is of the highest reputation
    But also wishing and working toward all people that they recognize His desert of all glory
    Forever and ever
  • 1:6-9 Warning against false gospels
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    Paul in this section is defending and promoting the only true Gospel
    Here he is doing so by warning against and attacking false gospels
    In general, the best tool against false gospels is to promote the true Gospel
    But in some cases, like this one, people also need to be defended against false gospels
    This is what Paul does in this section - almost a theme for the whole book
    6 I am shocked!
    There is no thanksgiving - which is what was expected here in a typical epistle
    But an expression of shock - Paul is upset and wants the Galatians to clearly know
    "a uniquely occurring anathema" - Silva, quoted in Beale p. 785
    6a I am astonished/disturbed
    6b Reason: You have turned so quickly
    You have turned so quickly from the One Who called you by the grace of Christ
    So quickly
    possibly within weeks or months of Paul's evangelizing them
    Turned away
    Changed allegiance, deserted
    Completely abandoned - not slightly off course, but U-turn abandonment
    ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS - more important than life or death
    Eternal life or Eternal death
    From the One Who called you
    -cf. 1:15
    Called you by the grace of Christ
    [You have turned] toward a different 'gospel'
    "What the Galatians were doing was not adding some interesting new insights into the meaning of Christianity but denying the essential Christian message. They were substituting Jewish teaching for the truth of the gospel." CMM p. 298
    7-9 Disclaimer: It is not really a Gospel, but rather an evil lie
    7a It's not [actually] another [gospel]
    There are two different words for "another" in Greek
    The Galatians are turning to a 'gospel' that is not another of the same kind,
    But to another of a different kind, which makes it to not truly be good news
    7b-9 It's only certain people trying to turn you away from the real Gospel
    7b-c The real situation
    7b Certain people are troubling you
    Disturbing you/throwing you into confusion
    -cf. Eph. 4:14 "tossed about like waves by every false wind of teaching"
    "the cruelty of heresy" - false teaching really does ruin lives
    BTW - there are some people with great theology and ruined lives because their lifestyle and passion does not match their theology
    We need both/and - theology and obedience
    7c Specifically: They are wanting to change/alter/pervert the Gospel of Christ
    To change it into something it is not, like the sun turning to darkness (Acts 2:20)
    What they are doing is not adding to it, teasing out its inferences, debating on non-essential matters (we can debate and disagree on non-essentials)
    But they are rejecting the Gospel and offering a substitute
    Some things we can disagree on in brotherly love
    Some things are fighting matters, which we would be unfaithful not to resist
    It takes wisdom and maturity to know the difference
    Even in fighting matters, we do not wage war like the world
    But we should fight in love and truth, and by giving our bodies to be crucified
    8-9 How you should respond
    Any other gospel from any other source is to be cursed
    8 First Round
    8a If even we or an angel from heaven preaches a gospel to you which is not in accordance with or contrary to the Gospel which we proclaimed to you
    We
    Paul puts himself in this category
    Paul is subservient to the message, the messenger is not important
    It is not true Gospel because Paul said it
    If Paul says different, Paul is false
    Or even an angel from heaven
    No matter what class the messenger, the message is the key
    Even supernatural messages need to be tested by their conformity with the Gospel and God's prior revelation
    A primary strategy of the enemy is to disguise as an angel of light and spread deceitful lies as if they were the truth
    If something does not conform, it is to be rejected, no matter how impressive the source
    -cf. 1 Thes. 5:19-22
    BTW, this is why we can hold human teachers in esteem, even high esteem,
    But we can never believe anything JUST because they said it
    Respect human teachers, and use their track record to discern their trustworthiness
    But never COMPLETELY rely on human teachers or human wisdom
    Evangelizes to you
    The Greek word is a verbal form of "Gospel," there is not an English equivalent
    If anyone preaches good news to you
    People proclaim things all the time touted as good news (every advertisement)
    That which is contrary to/which does not correspond to that which we preached to you
    Compare the content with the original - preached by Paul
    These people believed that Jesus was the Messiah
    They believed the same as Paul in many, many areas
    But Paul says some things are so important that there can be no compromise on these issues
    Our unity is around the Gospel
    Beware of false unity that forces you to compromise in order to be unified
    Beware of false unity around an organization or personal relationships without regard for the Gospel
    In these cases, the others are the ones breaking unity by not being orthodox
    You are keeping unity by being orthodox, even if it means separating from organizations and relationships which are unorthodox
    It is not the delivery or deliverer that is important, but the content is what matters
    Not the packaging, but the goods
    Beware of propaganda and bright lights
    Don't look at the outside, but the inside
    Don't worry as much about your ability to package stuff as having good stuff in the package
    That which they were to compare was not good JUST because Paul preached it
    Remember that if Paul now say different, they should reject it
    8b Then let him be anathema/cursed/destroyed
    Cursed/accursed - from the OT idea of being given totally to destruction, like Jericho
    Paul is not playing around - Speaks in the strongest terms because the very Gospel is at stake
    Don't play with, buddy up with, have unity with people who pervert the Gospel or you will share in their deception and punishment - cf. 2 John 10-11
    Unity is desirable, but has limits
    Athanasius against the world
    Luther - "Here I stand"
    Peter - "Should we obey you or God?"
    Paul - "Let them be cursed"
    9 Second Round
    So important, he says it again
    9a-b I'm saying the same thing again for emphasis
    9a Just as I said earlier
    9b I am now saying it again
    9c-d What I'm saying again
    9c If anyone preaches a gospel to you which is not in accordance with or contrary to that which you received
    There are two differences here from the first time that Paul said this (above)
    "Anyone"
    The scope is widened to include any and every possibility (including the Galatian false teachers)
    "what you received"
    Again the emphasis is on the content
    But now from the readers' point of view
    It is not true because they received/accepted it
    But what they did receive is the truth by which to compare and judge all others
    9d Let them be anathema/cursed/destroyed
    Same result
    Paul draws a line in the concrete, no compromise here
    Paul is absolutely serious, because it is absolutely important
    It is a matter of eternal life and death
    Some things can be compromised, some cannot
    Some things can be amicably disagreed upon, others cannot
    Even then, we must love and respect those others with whom we disagree
    While honestly telling them to their face that they are wrong
    And trying to win them to the truth
    Much wisdom, grace, fear and trembling is needed
    It is not "my truth" vs. "your truth"
    But it is God's truth over against all error
    And if anyone deviates from God's revealed truth, they do so at their own risk
    This is a VERY strong warning to the Galatians
1:10-5:12 The Gospel Defended
1:10-2:21 The Gospel Defended by Paul's Narrative
  • 1:10-12 Theme Statements
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    In this section, Paul is defending the Gospel, partly by defending his apostleship
    Apparently Paul was called into question (by the Judaizers) because he was not 'officially' from Jerusalem
    And therefore he was accused of changing the Gospel from the 'official' Jewish Gospel
    This is a tricky situation for Paul to navigate
    He cannot say "Yes, I am from Jerusalem"
    He cannot acknowledge he is not from Jerusalem in a way that would lessen his own status and authority
    He cannot stress his independence from Jerusalem in a way that downplays or criticizes Jerusalem or the other apostles
    He cannot equate himself with them, but he cannot put himself over against them
    How will he navigate this difficult situation?
    10 Paul was not a man pleaser
    Paul is defending his credentials and his right to be heard in correcting their doctrine
    Two Questions:
    Am I seeking the approval of men or of God?
    Implied answer: "God"
    Am I seeking to please men?
    Implied answer: No, I'm trying to please God
    Answering Principle:
    Condition: If I were trying to please men
    Result: I would not be a servant of Christ
    These two are mutually exclusive (in this case)
    Not in all cases, but sometimes we must make a choice
    Why does he say this?
    Probably he was accused or waffling - being a man pleaser to win converts, making it too easy to believe
    11-12Evidence that Paul was serving/pleasing God
    All of 1:11-2:21 is evidence that Paul was following/serving/pleasing God in what he was doing as opposed to pleasing man
    By extension, Paul's Gospel is the true Gospel that pleases God
    Paul's Gospel is not from man, but from God
    11 I am making known/reminding you of the Gospel brothers
    -cf. 1 Cor. 15:1
    I am reminding you of the Gospel which I gospelled to you
    -cf. 1 Cor 15:3
    Specifically: that/because it is not according to man, in conformity with man
    -cf. 1 Cor 15:1-3
    Either "that" - what was made known about the Gospel
    Or "because" - the reason why it was made known
    It is not according to man
    It is not a human invention, not according to human standards
    Paul will harp on this in 1 Corinthians
    The Gospel is not just another religion or philosophy
    It is the revelation of God
    12 Reason: It is from God, not man
    Neg: Not from man
    I did not receive it from man
    cf. v. 9, 1 Cor 15:1
    He has already made this point in 1:1
    Neither was I taught it [by man]
    Like in v. 1, man is neither the source nor the means/agent of the Gospel
    It is from God
    Pos: from Christ
    But [I received it] by revelation of Jesus Christ
    -cf. 2:2, 1 Cor 15:3
    Paul's revelation is directly from Christ
    Paul's point
    Why is Paul saying this?
    To prove that his Gospel is pure because he got it from the source
    He did not need the approval of Jerusalem
    He had the revelation of Christ
    Christ is not limited to the Jerusalem church
    But He can reveal and call independently of them
    Paul is referring to his Damascus road experience
    He had seen the risen Christ
    This is the mark of an apostle, all the qualification he needed
    BTW, in God's providence, Paul was educated and had human preparation for his ministry
    The point here is not that being independent of all authority is a virtue
    In many cases (in the modern church), that kind of lone-wolf attitude is a worrying sign
    The point here is that independence form Jerusalem is not a vice/hindrance to his Gospel
  • 1:13-17 Paul's early life and conversion
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    13a You have heard of my lifestyle when in Judaism
    Paul's former lifestyle, and his life change were public knowledge
    Therefore, they could serve as verifiable evidence for the truth of the Gospel he is proclaiming
    13b-17Specifics about his lifestyle
    13b-14 Before:
    13b-c Against Christians
    13b That I persecuted the church of God to an extraordinary degree
    Just like the Galatians were being persecuted, Paul WAS a persecutor
    Notice how Paul specifies that the Christian church is the assembly of God as opposed to non-Christian Judaism
    13c And I tried to destroy it
    Literally, this reads, and I was destroying it. but because Paul was working against God, he was unsuccessful. Though he tried to destroy the church, he failed.
    14 For the Jewish traditions/law
    And I made progress in Judaism beyond many contemporaries in my generation/race
    by excessively being a zealot for the tradition of my ancestors
    Paul WAS a keener for Judaism and the law
    Paul WAS a Judaiser
    Paul cannot be accuse of being anti-Jewish or light on the law, or a law hater. His history proves against it
    Paul cannot be accused of compromising the law because he wanted it easy. His history proves against it
    15-17 After:
    15-16b God's preceding activity
    15-16a God revealed His Son in me
    15 When God determined
    15a God determined
    "highlights God's Sovereign disposition and initiative" Silva p. 786
    15b-c More specific description of God
    15b The One selecting and appointing me from my mother's womb
    Selecting
    -cf. Acts 13:2, Rom. 1:1, 2 Cor 6:17, Gal. 2:2
    From my mother's womb
    Reference to Jer. 1:5, Isa. 44:2, 24, 49:1-6 (in context of the Gospel going to the gentiles)
    Paul is a prophet, similar call to OT prophets
    Paul is continuing the mission of the "servant" taking the good news/being a light to the gentiles
    15c The One calling me through His grace
    16a To reveal His Son in me
    Reference to his Damascus Road vision
    16b Purpose: so that I might proclaim the good news of Him among the gentiles
    From the start, Paul was called to be an apostle specifically to the gentiles
    Therefore, he knew the law-free Gospel to the gentiles as the true Gospel - separate from law
    All this is God's idea and God's doing
    -cf. Peter in Acts ch. 10
    16c-17 Paul's response
    16c-17a Paul did not:
    16c I did not consult with flesh and blood [humans]
    That would be unnecessary
    What could anyone add to a call from God?
    17a Nor did I go up into Jerusalem toward those who were apostles before me
    That would be unnecessary
    What authority would the Jerusalem apostles' approval add to a call from God Himself?
    17b-c Paul did:
    17b But I went up into Arabia
    17c And I returned again into Damascus
    Why is he making this point?
    He was criticized by the Judaizers that he did not have credentials
    His point is that he did not need credentials
    And in this case, it is better that he does not have them from Jerusalem
    Because he has them from God
    Only God could make the kind of change that Paul experienced
    It must be from God, Paul could not have and would not have made this change if he were doing it on his own
  • 1:18-24 Paul's first interaction with Jerusalem
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    18-20 Paul visited Peter in Jerusalem
    18-19 Paul visited Peter, but no others except James
    18 I went up to see Peter and stayed with him
    After three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Cephas
    And I remained with him for 15 days
    19 I did not see anyone else except James
    I did not see another of the apostles
    Except I saw James the brother of the Lord
    20 Oath Formula
    Concerning that which I'm writing to you
    The Oath
    Behold! [I am swearing] before God
    that I am not lying
    Why is Paul saying this?
    Possibly he was defending himself because the Judaizers were accusing him on this issue
    But he is also making an important point
    This is not so much disconnecting Paul from the Apostles as it is disconnecting the Gospel from Jerusalem
    The Gospel does not depend on the church, the church depends on the Gospel
    The church did not create the Gospel, the Gospel created the church
    Apostolic succession does not matter, Gospel faithfulness matters
    Jesus said the Jews should not depend on descent from Abraham, which will not help if they are unfaithful to God
    Neither should we depend on organizational descent from Rome or Luther or any human leader
    All of these human leaders can be good and helpful, but they are not the most important
    21-24 Paul left Jerusalem and remained unknown to them
    21 Next I went into the region of Syria and Cilicia
    Paul's hometown
    Where Barnabas found him and brought him into ministry in Antioch (Acts 11:25-26)
    22-24 I was unknown to the churches in Judea
    22 I was not known by face by the churches of Judea that are in Christ
    23-24 But they heard about my conversion and praised God
    23 They heard about my conversion
    They were only hearing
    That the one who once was persecuting us is now Gospel preaching the faith which he once [tried to] destroy
    24 And they glorified God in me
    Jerusalem's response to Paul is worship of God
    Jerusalem did not give Paul an official letter of commendation
    But it gave him a better recommendation
    If people love Jesus more because of being in contact with you, you are doing well
    Notice that Paul is stressing that he is not dependent on Jerusalem (Like the false teachers were claiming for themselves)
    But Paul's independence from Jerusalem is a good thing
    Paul turns their negative into a positive without in any way discounting or putting down the Jerusalem apostles
  • 2:1-10 Paul's second interaction with Jerusalem
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    In this section, Paul is dealing with the accusation that he had changed, perverted the Jerusalem Gospel
    Here he stresses their agreement on the Gospel
    He did not need their approval, but they approved of him
    The false teachers likely accused Paul of being separate from the apostles and changing the Gospel
    He responded that he was independent of them (he did not need them) but in agreement with them
    1-2 I went to Jerusalem and presented my Gospel
    1-2a I went to Jerusalem with Titus who was uncircumcised
    1 I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus
    1a Then, after 14 years, I went up into Jerusalem again with Barnabas
    1b Taking along Titus
    2a I went up according to a revelation
    -cf. Acts 11:27-30
    The trip was not in order to get approval, but in response to the prophetic call to give famine aid - cf. v. 11
    2b-d And I presented my Gospel before the leaders of Jerusalem
    2b I told the leaders my Gospel
    And I laid the Gospel which I preached among the Gentiles before them privately
    To those who were recognized as being important
    2c-d To safeguard that I was not exerting myself in vain
    2c Lest I was exerting myself in vain
    2d Or I exerted myself [in vain]
    From a truth standpoint, Paul does not need their approval
    But their disapproval would be disastrous to his perceived respectability from a practical standpoint
    PR and public reputation is not important, but necessary in a certain respect
    PR and public reputation is not important, but lack of it, or bad press can be harmful
    3-10 The Jerusalem leaders agreed with me that Titus did not need to be circumcised
    3-5 We defended Titus from being circumcised in order to protect the truth of the Gospel
    3 But Titus was not compelling to be circumcised
    3a Even though he was Greek
    Note that Timothy, who was Jewish, is a different case
    3b Neither was Titus, who was with me, compelled to be circumcised
    Was Titus only urged? i.e. not strongly pushed?
    No, this scenario does not fit with the mention of the attitude and action of the false-brothers, which is fairly aggressive
    Was Titus forced? i.e. Titus was not physically compelled, but did it voluntarily because he gave in to social pressure
    No, this scenario does not fit with the main purpose of Galatians - to keep them from submitting, no matter the pressure
    They tried to force him [urging with social and religious pressure] but failed
    Most likely Paul and Titus did not give in (with the approval of the Jerusalem apostles) because the truth of the Gospel was at stake
    4-5 Specifically: Even though some tried to enslave us, we would not yield
    4 Some false-brothers snuck in to observe our freedom and enslave us
    The reason this was an issue is the actions of 'false-brothers'
    Paul's evaluation of them is clear
    Paul is inspired, therefore, they were not true Christians
    4a Because of the false-brothers who sneaked in under false pretense
    They are described as infiltrating, sneaking in, weaseling in
    The devil never shows up in red long-johns holding a pitch fork
    False teachers never announce that they are false teachers
    Paul will make this point strongly later in Galatians
    4b-c They weaseled in to spy out our freedom and enslave us
    4b They snuck in to secretly observe our freedom, which we have in Christ Jesus
    They slipped in for the purpose of spying out (lying in wait/ambushing) our freedom which we have in Christ
    They are looking for it and looking for an opportunity
    4c In order to enslave us
    So that they can enslave us/subject us to slavery
    So that they can bring us to their side and take pride in us
    And so that they can avoid persecution for Christ
    -cf. 6:12
    5 We did not give in to subjection so that the truth of the Gospel would remain
    5a We did not give in to submission to them for a moment
    Some things need compromise and dialog and unity
    Some things need Here I Stand uncompromising attitude
    It takes wisdom and grace to know the difference
    BTW, what won the Roman empire to Christ was ordinary Christians willingly joyously going to the lions or the flames instead of compromising
    There were Christian parents who took their children with them to the Coliseum because they knew it was better for them to die as Christians than to be raised as Pagans
    This was the most loving thing to do
    We need that kind of fortitude
    5b So that the truth of the Gospel would remain toward you
    Paul's action in Jerusalem had implications for the Galatians
    6-10 And the Jerusalem leaders validated my ministry and Gospel
    6-9 Those who were leaders validated us so that we would preach to the Gentiles
    6 Those who were recognized as leaders did not contribute anything extra to me
    6a From those who were recognized to be something
    Paul describes them in a roundabout way
    He acknowledges that they had status and authority
    Yet he does not do so in a way that implied he depended on their status or authority
    Neither did he discount their status or authority
    As he will elaborate below
    6b-d Even though their status was not the important issue
    6b-c their status or standing is irrelevant
    6b What sort of men they were made no difference to me
    6c Reason: God shows no partiality to people
    Paul describes this carefully
    God does not look at the status of people, does not show favoritism
    God is not deceived by propaganda or status or title or reputation
    Neither is He impressed by our accomplishments
    Paul is not putting down the Apostles at all
    But he is careful to not give them more importance than they deserve
    Do not put human leaders on a pedestal
    Don't call anyone teacher, you have one teacher - Christ
    Human status is not, never will be, cannot ever be the determining factor for truth
    It is not true because a certain human leader or office or authority said it
    Although we can recognize and celebrate true things when they say it
    And we can recognize that some people have demonstrated a track record of saying true helpful things more often than others
    We can never fully trust any human, including ourselves, as the final arbiter of truth
    And Paul makes it very clear that the apostles (as human organizational leaders) are not the standards and arbiters of the truth of the Gospel
    That role belongs to God alone
    6d Reason: Those who were recognized added nothing to me
    7-9 But the recognized leaders recognized and endorsed Paul's Gospel
    7-8 they saw that I was just as much entrusted with the Gospel as they were
    7a But on the ohter hand, seeing/noticing [and thereby knowing]
    7b-8 What they noticed
    7b-c I was entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised
    7b I was entrusted with the Gospel like they were
    7c Just as Peter was entrusted with the Gospel to the circumcised
    This is shorthand for Jew and Gentile
    This was the typical way of describing both because this was a blatant difference and boundary marker
    But it entailed so much more - it really was shorthand for all the Jewish Law system and beliefs
    i.e. Jewish females were also part of the 'circumcision' even though they did not participate in that particular rite
    Because this call did not come from Jerusalem to either Peter or Paul, both received it from God
    God is the One working in Peter for apostleship to the circumcision
    The same God is working in Paul to the Gentiles
    8 Reason: God is working in both Peter and Paul
    The One working in Peter into apostleship to the circumcised
    He was also working in me [into apostleship] to the Gentiles
    9 The Result: They recognized and endorsed us to our ministry
    9a-b The pillars of the Jerusalem church recognized and endorsed us
    9a Knowing the grace that was given to me
    9b The leaders agreed with us
    James, Peter and John - those recognized to be pillars -
    They gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship
    i.e. sign of agreement/fellowhip
    9c-d The Purpose: That each of us would fulfill our scope of ministry
    9c So that we would go to the Gentiles
    9d And they [would go] to the circumcised
    10 They only insisted that we remember the poor
    10a-b Only they insisted that we remember the poor
    10a Only [they insisted/mentioned]
    10b That we would remember the poor
    10c And we were zealous/took pains to do this very thing
    They didn't even need to add this, because Paul was already passionate to do the very thing
    Paul is independent from Jerusalem, but in agreement with Jerusalem
    There is agreement on the Gospel
    There is agreement of heart on the need for charity
    Therefore, there is no need for agreement based on personality or credentials or organization
  • 2:11-14 Paul's rebuke of Peter
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    11 I opposed Peter to his face because he was wrong
    In this section Paul demonstrates that it is not people that matter as much as the truth
    When the most famous leader Peter fails, the truth judges Peter, Peter does not judge the truth of the Gospel
    No human leader is above question and correction
    It is not Peter vs. Paul, but the truth in authority over both Peter and Paul
    11a-b I opposed Peter
    11a When Cephas [Peter] came into Antioch
    11b I opposed him to his face
    Paul dealt personally with Peter
    Paul was direct and clear about his position and Peter seemed to receive it without denying the truth of what Paul said
    11c Because he was wrong
    i.e. liable to be appropriately convicted of being in the wrong
    12-14 Elaboration/Explanation of what happened
    12-13 Peter pulled back from the Gentiles
    12a-b What Peter used to do
    12a Before certain people came from James
    Most likely Jewish believers
    James was the leader of the Jerusalem church
    Likely with a message from James
    12b He ate with the Gentiles
    In that culture, to eat with someone is the epitome of acceptance and fellowship
    Jews did not eat with Gentiles, because it was against the scruples of Torah purity
    Jewish Christians who evangelized into Gentile areas would often break down this cultural taboo
    cf. Acts chs. 10-11
    12c-13 What Peter did
    12c-f The cause: Peter distanced himself from the Gentiles
    12c When they [the people] came [from James]
    12d-f Peter feared the circumcision group and pulled back from the Gentiles
    12d-e Peter pulled back and separated himself [from the Gentiles]
    12d He [Peter] withdrew/pulled back
    12e And he separated/excluded himself
    12f The Reason: fearing those from the circumcision
    The 'circumcision' group is not necessarily the same as those from James (probably not)
    Peter probably withdrew and separated to minimize the chance of persecution from the circumcision group
    A plausible scenario is that the James group asked Peter not to eat with Gentiles, so that word does not get back to Jerusalem and give ammo to Jews who were persecuting Christians claiming they compromised on the Law
    Peter then would acquiesce in an attempt to keep persecution from increasing
    13 The effect: Others followed in Peter's hypicrisy
    13a The remaining Jews joined with him in his hypocrisy
    Peter was an acknowledged leader
    And when he led, others followed his example
    13b So that also Barnabas was led astray into their hypocrisy
    Barnabas was a veteran missionary to Gentiles
    He knew the truth of the Law-free Gospel
    If Barnabas went against what he clearly knew, the social pressure must have been significant
    And for Paul to stand against it was equally significant
    14 But I publicly rebuked him
    14a-c I spoke to Peter in front of everyone
    14a-b When I saw that Peter was not doing right
    14a When I saw that:
    14b Peter was not doing in conformity with the truth of the Gospel
    i.e. not acting rightly, not in conformity
    Like a sobriety test of walking a straight line
    To walk where appropriate to a standard
    To live according to the standard of what is appropriate/fitting for the Gospel
    Peter deviated from the Gospel to another standard
    The standard of the Gospel is acceptance by the grace of Christ through faith - not because of keeping the Law
    Peter's actions implied that acceptance is based on keeping the Law
    14c I spoke to Cephas [Peter] in front of everyone
    Private sins call for private rebuke
    Public sin that deceives and stumbles others deserves public rebuke and public apology/retraction so that others are not led astray
    There is a problem with sweeping public things under the carpet
    It it is publicly known, it will not go away by denial
    Rather, bring them into the light and deal with them openly
    14d-f What I said: "How can you tell the Gentiles to do something you do not do?"
    14d-e Condition: If you (a Jew) live like a Gentile and not a Jew
    14d Even though you are a Jew
    14e You live like a Gentile and not like a Jew
    Paul reminds Peter that he is not a slave to OT Law
    And Paul is right and Peter knows it
    14f Then how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
    Peter was not living what he believed
    His example gave the wrong message, and caused stumbling
    Watch that our lives conform to the Gospel!
    In many cases Paul was all for adapting cultural practices
    In this case where cultures clashed, what to do?
    In this case where culture practices confront the Gospel - reject culture and remain faithful to the Gospel!
    Be careful to be sensitive to culture
    Be willing to adapt to culture
    To minimize unnecessary distance to the Gospel
    Be careful to be sensitive to culture
    Be willing to be counter-cultural
    To challenge culture with the Gospel when necessary
  • 2:15-21 Paul's theological rationale for his rebuke
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    15-20 Jews and Gentiles are justified in the same way
    15-17b Jews and Gentiles are all sinners
    15 Even though Peter and Paul are Jews and not Gentile "sinners"
    Notice the contrast is NOT between Jews and Gentiles
    But rather between Jews by nature and Sinners from the Gentiles
    15a We are Jews by nature
    -cf. v. 14 'not living like Jews!'
    because they know that it is not necessary for Jews to live according to the Law in order to be justified
    Why then should Gentiles live like Jews (according to the Law) in order to be justified?!
    15b We are not sinners from the Gentiles
    "sinners" is not tongue in cheek
    Paul says it seriously
    Gentiles were considered sinners by Jews not only because they did not do the Law
    But primarily because they did not have the Law to follow
    Paul will turn that around to say that Jews who have the Law and try to follow it become sinners because of the Law
    Paul does not deny that Gentiles are sinners
    This is not offensive to Gentiles
    Because Paul says Jews are just as much sinners
    16-17b They are still "sinners"
    16 We believe in Jesus to be justified
    Paul uses the word "justified" almost exclusively of God's judgment
    Affirmative verdict in Rom. 2:13
    Mostly "be acquitted," be pronounced and treated as righteous, and thereby righteous
    Receiving the divine gift of righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus and apart from law
    16a-b Since we know righteousness is by faith, not Law
    16a We know that a man is not justified by works of the Law
    16b But he is justified through faith in Jesus Christ
    "if not" same construction in 1 Cor. 7:17 = "only"
    Schriener p. 163 says = "but"
    16c-f We believe in Jesus to be justified because Law is ineffective
    16c-e We believe in Jesus Christ to be justified
    16c We believe in Jesus Christ
    16d-e Purpose: to be justified
    16d so that we will be justified by faith in Christ
    16e Not by works of the Law
    16f Reason: All flesh (everyone) is NOT justified by works of the Law
    Quoting Psa. 143
    -cf. the context of the Psalm:
    "in your mercy, faithfulness and righteousness...do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before You"
    Asks for God's mercy because no one can demand anything from God because they are deserving
    17a-b Seeking to be justified in Jesus proves we are sinners
    17a If we are seeking to be justified in Christ
    To seek to be justified, admits and assumes there is a need to be justified. To seek to be justified in Christ admits and assumes that one cannot justify himself, and needs Christ to justify him. to seek justification in Christ is proof, both of our need, and of our inability.
    17b We also are found/proven to be sinners
    "sinners" cf. 15b - same as Gentiles
    Proved, be shown to be - often used in judicial contexts
    -cf. "found guilty"
    17c-20 Those in Christ are in a new eschatological reality
    17c Rhetorical question: Is Christ therefore a servant of sin?
    i.e. by justifying sinners freely, does God condone, even promote sin?
    This is the same kind of argument Paul addresses in Rom. 3:5-8, 6:1ff., 6:15ff.
    17d-20 Answer and reason
    17d Absolutely NOT!
    18-20 Reason: Christians are in the new age and cannot go back
    18 Those who go back are the real transgressors
    18a If I build again that which I destroyed
    In context (vv.19-20) "that which I destroyed" is self-righteousness, self-life, self-sufficiency, life without Christ, life without faith
    It is destroyed by our being included in Christ's death
    -cf. the following verses
    18b I demonstrate that I am a transgressor
    "demonstrate" - cf. Rom 3:5, 5:8, 2 Cor. 6:4, 7:11
    Paul turns the tables
    The real "sinners" are not Gentiles
    Everyone is "sinners" in that sense
    The real sinners are those who reject Christ's righteousness by attempting self-righteousness by returning to the Law
    19-20 Proof/Reason: There is a new eschatological reality
    19a For I died to the Law through the Law
    -cf. Rom. ch. 7
    19c-20 So that I may live to God
    19b So that I may live to God
    19c-20 Explanation of what that means
    19c-20a Negatively: I have died
    19c I have been crucified with Christ
    - cf. Rom 6:2-8, Col. 2:20, 3:3
    20a I am no longer living
    No need to give CPR to self-righteousness
    Pull the plug, let it died, kill it, it is not doing any good
    20b-d Positively: I am living a new life through Christ
    20b Christ is living in respect to/with reference to me
    20c-d I live by faith
    20c The life which I live in the flesh
    20d I live by faith in the Son of God
    The One Who loved me
    The One Who gave Himself on behalf of me
    21 Therefore, I will not attempt righteousness via the Law
    21a I will/do not set aside/declare invalid/nullify the grace of God
    21b-c Reason: Righteousness through Christ and righteousness through the Law are mutually exclusive
    21b If righteousness could happen through the Law
    21c The Christ died for no reason/unnecessarily
3:1-6 The Gospel Defended by the Galatians' Experience
  • 3:1-6 The Gospel defended by the Galatians' experience
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-5 The Galatians are foolish to try to live by works
    1a O Foolish Galatians!
    The Galatians are foolish
    Because their misunderstanding of the Gospel betrays their own experience
    i.e. realize your own experience and change your grasp and application of the Gospel!
    On the relationship between theology and experience:
    Be careful!
    Experience does not define theology
    Trust God's revelation in Scripture more than your experience!
    But if real life does not and cannot match your theology (e.g. prosperity gospel)
    Then you should reexamine your theology in light of Scripture/the Gospel
    1b-5 Specific reasons why they are foolish
    1b-4 Four challenging questions and assertions
    Rhetorical questions reminding them of their experience
    1b-c Who has deceived you?
    1b Who has bewitched/deceived you?
    i.e. someone has deceived/bewitched you
    "deceived" - figurative use of religious/magical word "bewitched"
    1c Even though Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed befroe you as crucified
    Their being deceived goes contrary to expectation for the following reason:
    Christ was publicly displayed
    Publicly displayed as crucified
    Displayed before your eyes - i.e. displayed by Paul's preaching
    "it is as if a spell has been uttered over the Galatians because they no longer see the significance of the cross of Christ...the significance of Christ's cross was vividly communicated when the gospel was announced...Jesus Christ was proclaimed as the crucified one. Once again the cross takes center stage in Galatians, and Paul hopes that the bewitchment will come to an end, that the Galatians will see again the significance of Christ crucified" Schreiner p. 181-2
    2 Did you receive the Spirit from works or faith?
    i.e. you received the Spirit not by works or Law but by hearing with faith
    2a Rhetorical intro: I want to learn this alone from you
    2b-c What I want to learn: How did you receive the Spirit?
    New Testament Churches were charismatic as the norm
    2b Did you receive the Spirit from works of the Law?
    Implied answer: no
    2c Or [did you receive the Spirit] from the hearing/report of faith?
    Implied answer: Yes!
    -cf. Rom. 10:16-17, Isa 53:1
    3 Are you so foolish?
    You are foolish in beginning with the Spirit and trying to finish with the flesh
    3a Are you so foolish?
    i.e. you are foolish if you change from Spirit back to flesh
    3b-c Specific reason you are foolish
    3b Even though having begun by the Spirit
    3c Are you now [attempting to] finish by the flesh?
    Don't change horses in midstream
    If you are winning the first half of the race with a supercharged motor, don't try to finish the race by pushing the car!
    i.e. going back to Law is the same level of stupidity
    Both justification and sanctification are by faith
    They are the work of God received by faith, not by works
    "The opposition between the Spirit and flesh represents the eschatological contrast between this age and the age to come...with the flesh representing the old age and the Spirit the age to come." - Schriener p. 184
    4 Have you experienced these things in vain?
    i.e. if you go back to Law, everything you have experienced is in vain
    4a Have you experienced so much to no avail?
    "experience" - the Greek word is usually translated 'suffered,' but in this case, it is almost certainly the neutral meaning 'experienced'
    "to no avail/in vain" - without result or effect
    4b If indeed it was to no avail
    5 Summarizing question
    i.e. Do God's blessings of the Spirit and miracles come via faith or because of works of the Law?
    5a-b The benefits
    5a The One providing the Spirit to you
    5b And working powers/miracles among you
    5c-d The Reason:
    -cf. v. 2
    5c Neg: [Did He do these things] because of works of the Law?
    Implied answer: no!
    5d Pos: Or because of the hearing of faith?
    Implied answer: Yes!
    Both their objective relationship with God (2:15-21) and their subjective experience of salvation has come by grace through faith, not by works of the Law
    6 The Reason: Comparison to the Biblical precedent that justification is by faith
    (quoting Gen. 15:6)
    6a Abraham believed God
    6b Result: It was reckoned to him into a state of righteousness
    If you want righteousness, go the way of trusting God
    No other path will get there!
    Follow Abraham's example
    -cf. Heb. ch. 11 for many other examples
3:6-5:12 The Gospel Defended by Scripture and True Theology
  • 3:6-14 Law curse vs. Faith blessing (proved by Scripture)
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    6-12 Abraham's blessing through faith, not Law
    6-9 Trust in Christ as the means of Abraham's blessing
    6-7 Those who trust Christ are following Abraham's pattern
    6 Just as Abraham's example of believing God into righteousness
    quoting Gen. 15:6
    6a Just as Abraham believed God
    6b And it was credited to him to be righteousness
    7 Those who trust Christ follow the same pattern
    7a You know that:
    7b These ones from the faith group are sons of Abraham
    The subset of people who are characterized by faith
    i.e. they have the characteristic quality of Abraham (faith), and can therefore expect the same result (righteousness/blessing) that Abraham received
    This includes the implied imputation of righteousness that came by faith in Abraham's case
    The same is true for us who believe
    8-9 All who trust Christ will experience Abraham's blessing
    8 God's promise is that all who have Abraham's faith would share his blessing
    8a-b God promised to justify the nations who respond by faith
    8a The Scriptures saw beforehand
    i.e. God foresaw/planned and make known through the Scriptures
    8b That God justifies the nations/Gentiles through faith
    8c-d Scripture announced that all nations would be blessed through Abraham
    8c It announced the good news in advance to Abraham
    8d That all the nations will be blessed in you
    Quoting Gen. 12:3
    9 Result: The ones from the faith group are blessed along with the faith of Abraham
    This is a salvation historical argument
    The true heirs of Abraham's promises and partakers in God's plan
    Are not heirs by circumcision or following the Law
    Even though Abraham did these things, (but not in this order cf. Rom. ch. 4)
    Abraham's obedience was in response to righteousness, not the cause
    The same should hold true for the Galatians
    But they are heirs by believing God - having faith like Abraham
    10-12 The Law does not bring righteousness, only curse
    10 Whoever tries to live by works of the Law is cursed
    10a-b Those who live by works of the Law are under a curse
    10a Whoever is from the works of the Law group
    The subset of people who are characterized by works of the Law
    Contrast "from faith" above
    10b They are under a curse/condemnation
    10c-f Reason: Scripture curses everyone who does not do what the Law requires
    10c It is Written:
    10d-f Everyone is cursed who does not continually do all the Law
    Quoting Deut. 27:26
    10d All these are cursed/condemned
    10e-f Those who do not perfectly keep the Law
    10e Those who do not continue in everything written in the Book of the Law
    10f Purpose: in order to (actually) do them
    If you take on this burden, realize that it is a huge burden
    God does not grade on a curve
    It is 100% or nothing, pass or fail
    The desire to keep the Law is not bad
    But if the Law is your means of righteousness, failure to keep the Law completely is disastrous
    Therefore, the desire to keep the Law in order to be in right standing with God is stupid and bad
    Desire to keep the Law in order to be in right standing with God, even when God has graciously provided a better way, is blasphemous
    11 No one is justified by the Law because righteousness is by faith
    11a Clearly no one is justified in the viewpoint of God by the Law
    This is clear/evident/blatantly true
    11b Reason: because the righteous will live because of faith
    Quoting Hab. 2:4
    Notice again the contrast between works of Law and faith
    12 The Law is different/separate from the way of faith
    12a Neg: The Law is not by faith
    Separating Law from believing God - to be elaborated later
    12b Pos: But the one doing them will live by them
    Quoting Lev. 18:5
    Contrast with faith
    Notice this is about "doing," not "believing"
    Notice also, those who do them will live-
    Those who don't do them (which no one perfectly will) will NOT live
    13-14 With Christ: No curse, but blessing!
    13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by experiencing our curse
    13a-b Christ redeemed us by becoming a curse/experiencing condemnation
    13a Christ redeemed/delivered/liberated us from the curse/condemnation of the Law
    13b Means: by becoming a curse/experiencing condemnation on our behalf
    13c-d Reason: Scripture teaches that everyone hung on a tree is cursed
    13c It is written:
    13d Everyone hung/crucified upon a tree is curse/condemned
    Quoting Deut. 21:23
    Spoken of a man guilty of a capital offense and his body being hung on a tree as a warning to all
    "tree" and "cross" are the same Greek word in the New Testament
    Christ took on the death penalty of our capital offense and the shame of our public punishment
    The curse is gone because He took it upon Himself and disposed of it in the grave
    14 Purpose: So that the nations may receive the blessing of the Spirit
    14a So that the blessing of Abraham may be to the nations in Christ Jesus
    Salvation historical turning of the ages
    The atonement opened up God's planned blessing
    Which could not be justly given without atonement
    But which always came as a gift, received by faith
    14b And so that we may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
  • 3:15-18 The Law was temporary and interim
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    15 Just as a human will/covenant is not invalidated by later additions
    15a I am speaking according to human [standards/customs]
    15b-d Even a human will cannot be invalidated after the fact
    15b Even so, when a human will has been validated
    15c-d No one can change it
    15c No one invalidates it
    15d Or modifies it [without proper legal recourse]
    16-18 God's promise of Christ, through Abraham, is not set aside by the Law
    16 God made a promise to Abraham, which was really about Christ
    16a The promise was said to Abraham and to his descendant
    16b-e The promise was always about Christ
    16b-c Neg: It does not say "to his descendants" as to many
    16b It does not say "to his descendants"
    Literally "seed," with the common meaning of "descendant"
    16c As if spoken to many
    i.e. not to all Jewish physical descendants of Abraham
    16d-e Pos: But it says "to your descendant" - which is Christ
    16d But as spoken to one
    16e It says "to your descendant" - which is Christ
    i.e. to Jesus - the true heir of Abraham
    Jesus is the true seed - the totally faithful One
    17-18 the Law does not set aside the Covenant of Promise, which has priority
    17 I'm stressing that the Law does not take priority over the Promise
    17a I am saying this
    disclosure formula, often for emphasis
    17b-c The Law does not take priority over the Promise
    17b The Law does not invalidate the covenant Promise
    The Law came into existence after 430 years
    The covenant was validated by God Himself
    17c Result: So that it invalidates the promise
    i.e. the promise to Abraham is still in force/powerful
    It is not invalidated by the Law
    18 Reason: Promise, not Law is God's manner of salvation
    18a-b Neg: Law and promise are mutually exclusive
    18a If the inheritance comes from Law
    18b Then it is no longer from promise
    Implied conclusion: It is from promise, so that it cannot be from Law
    18c Pos: But God granted graciously to Abraham through promise
    "granted graciously" is cognate to the Greek word for grace
  • 3:19-24 The Law leads to sin or to Christ, never to justification
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    19-20 The Law was a temporary restraint of transgressions until Christ
    19a Q: What then is the Law? (Why does the Law exist?)
    19b-20 A: It was added through a mediator because of transgression until Christ
    Temporary, inferior stopgap because of transgressions
    19b-c It was added because of transgressions until Christ comes
    It does not supplement or replace the promise, but it is added on
    It is inferior because it was "added on" cf. v. 15
    This does not invalidate or change a validated covenant
    19b It was added because of transgressions
    The standard interpretation is that the Law protects people from murder, stealing, adultery, etc. getting as bad as they could be/would be without the Law
    19c Time frame: until the 'seed' comes to whom it is promised
    The Law was temporary - it was only until the seed comes
    When the Messiah Jesus comes, then the Law will no longer be valid
    Jesus is the One Who was promised
    19d-20 The manner by which the Law was added: God communicated it through a mediator
    19d Being ordered through angels by the hand of a mediator
    20 Explanation:
    20a The mediator is not one
    It was added through mediators and angels
    It was not direct - though God is One
    20b But God is One
    It was a two-sided covenant, depending both on God and on us
    The obvious problem with this is us and our inability
    The Promise was one-sided, depending on God alone
    21-24 The Law serves a small part of the overall fulfillment of the Promise
    21a Q: Is the Law against/contrary to the Promise of God?
    21b-24 A: The Law prepares for the fulfillment of the Promise
    21b Certainly not!
    21c-24 Reason: the Law fulfilled its purpose
    21c-22 The Law was never intended to bring righteousness
    21c-d Neg: Righteousness cannot be from the Law because the Law cannot give life
    21c Condition: If a law which is able to give life was given
    Which it isn't - the Law was never able to give life
    21d Effect: then righteousness would have been from Law
    Obvious implication: the Law could not give life
    Therefore it was never meant to bring righteousness
    Never, not even in Old Testament times
    The Law was given AFTER the Passover, redemption/rescue from Egypt and making of the Covenant
    It was never a means of salvation, but a temporary response to an already accomplished salvation
    22 Pos: Everyone is under sin so that the Promise is by faith in Christ
    22a The Scripture confined/enclosed everything under sin
    -cf. Rom. ch. 7 - the Law shows sin to be sin
    The Law proves that we are lawbreakers
    We cannot save ourselves, we never could
    We desperately need a Savior
    22b Purpose: So that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ may be given to those who believe
    So that the promise from faith in Jesus Christ may be given to those who believe
    God tears down self-sufficiency with the Law, so that we will seek our sufficiency elsewhere
    The Reformers spoke of the "accusing use of the Law"
    This is still true today
    The Law is useful for this purpose
    When we are confronted with God's requirements in the Law, we realize that we cannot please God
    The Law is a revelation of God, so it can be used for this purpose
    Obedience to the Law can never make us a Christian
    But the Law is a decent (with caution) standard of what a person who loves God and wants to please Him should do (when rightly understood)
    One who loves God will not murder, steal, worship idols, etc.
    23-24 The Law was a restraint, keeping us until the way of faith was revealed
    23-24a The Law kept us constrained/restrained until faith in Christ
    23 The Law constrained us until faith
    23a Before faith came
    23b-c We were restrained/constrained under the Law until faith is revealed
    23b We were held under guard by the Law
    This can have a positive connotation, i.e. protected
    cf. I Pet. 1:5, etc.
    23c that is, we were locked up for the faith about to be revealed
    Locked up, confined, cf. v. 22
    Confined under sin
    Confined for a purpose - God's gracious discipline
    24a So that the Law became a guardian/babysitter to us toward Christ
    "Paidagogue" - guardian, teacher, leader to the teacher, constrainer toward teacher
    The Law pushes us to Christ by cutting off all other routes to righteousness
    24b Purpose: So that we may be justified by faith
  • 3:25-29 We are heirs of the promise through faith
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    25-28 Christ has brought about the fulfillment of Salvation history
    25 Salvation history has changed our relation to the Law
    25a Faith has come
    Faith HAS come!
    The Salvation historical border has been crossed!
    The fulfillment of all that Abraham was promised has come to pass in history in Christ
    25b Therefore: We are no longer under a guardian
    Just as a child is no longer under a guardian when come of age
    26-28 Faith changes our relationship to the Lord
    26 For you are all sons of God because of faith in Christ Jesus
    27-28 All who come to Christ by faith have the same access to Christ
    27 Whoever is baptized into Christ is clothed with Christ
    27a Whoever of you was baptized into Christ
    27b You have clothed yourself with Christ
    Figurative - you have taken on the characteristics of Christ
    That is - taken on the privileges of our federal head - corporate solidarity
    28 All people have the same access to salvation in Christ
    Specific application - emphasizing that "whoever" means "whoever" without distinction of ethnicity or social position or gender or anything else
    Salvation in Christ is equally available to all kinds of people
    Especially emphasizing Jew vs. Gentile contrast in the context of Galatians
    28a-e All types of people have the same access to salvation
    There is no distinction for justification
    [Note that the translation of this section below is wooden literal to try to bring out the organization and grammar that Paul used]
    28a-b There is neither Jew nor Greek
    28a There is not a Jew
    28b Neither a Greek
    28c-d There is neither slave nor free
    28c There is not a slave
    28d Neither a free person
    28e There is not male and female
    28f Reason: You are all one in Christ Jesus
    Note that in this context, this is not necessarily erasing all distinction in every issue
    But it is emphasizing that these distinctions don't matter for justification
    29 Therefore: If you are in Christ, you are heirs - the seed of Abraham
    29a Condition: If you are of Christ
    i.e. connected with Christ, clothed with Christ
    via faith in Christ
    29b Effect: Therefore, you are seed of Abraham, heirs according to promise
    i.e. connected with Abraham's promises - which are all fulfilled in Christ
    via faith like Abraham's - directed more specifically to Christ
  • 4:1-7 Argument from Salvation history
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-3 Neg: Like an underage heir, we were under authority [of the Law]
    1-2 I'm making a comparison to an heir not having his inheritance until coming of age
    1a I am saying:
    1b-2 What I am saying:
    1b In the time in which the heir is a child
    1c-2 The child doesn't live like an heir, but under authority
    1c-d Neg: He doesn't yet experience the privilege that is rightfully his
    1c He differs in no way from a slave
    1d Even though he is master of all
    2 Pos: But he is under authority until his coming of age
    2a He is under guardians and servants
    2b Until the appointed time from his father
    3 In the same way, we were likewise under authority for a time
    Applying the illustration to the Christian
    3a When we were children
    'minors' in salvation history
    3b We were experiencing slavery to the elementary principles of the world
    stoicheia - elementary principles, basic elements, elementary concepts
    Possibly 'demonic powers' - not probable here
    Possibly 'basic elementary principles of life' - possible, but not the most likely
    Most plausibly 'elements of the world' - i.e. Old Creation as contrasted with New Reality in Christ
    4-7 Pos: But now Jesus has brought the change of age and our full inheritance [without Law]
    4-5 Jesus has changed our status into full sonship
    4 At the right time, Jesus came to fulfill the Law
    4a When the fullness of time had come
    At just the right time
    4b God sent His Son
    Born from woman
    -cf. Gen. 3:15 'seed'
    Born under Law
    Jesus conquered the curse of the Law
    By perfectly fulfilling the obedience to the Law
    By doing what we could not do
    5 Purpose: So that He may purchase our freedom and adoption
    5a So that He may pay the release of those under Law
    -cf. 3:13 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law"
    5b Purpose: so that we may receive the adoption
    -cf. v. 6
    6-7 Result: You are experiencing the fullness of your inheritance
    6 You are sons, experiencing the full benefits of sonship
    6a Because you are sons
    6b God sent the Spirit of His Son into our heart crying our "Abba, Father"
    The Spirit is crying out "Abba, Father"
    And we take up that cry as the Spirit exercises influence in our hearts
    7 Result: You have moved into the full possession of your inheritance
    7a Neg: You are no longer a slave
    7b-d Pos: You are a son and an heir through God
    7b You are a son
    7c-d And because you are a son, you are an heir through God
    7c If: you are a son
    7d Then: you are also an heir through God
  • 4:8-18 Application - Galatians, do not go back!
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    8-12 Don't give in to the false teachers and go back to the slavery of legalism
    8-11 I'm concerned for you because you are in danger of turning back to slavery
    8-10 Even though you should know better, you are going back to slavery
    You have changed, how can you go back?!?
    8 Pos: You have experienced slavery
    8a Reason: Then, not knowing God
    8b You were slaves to those who were by nature not gods
    9-10 Neg: You are turning away from God back to slavery!
    9 How can you turn back to nothingness after you have come to God?
    9a-b But now, even though being known by God
    9a Now, knowing God
    9b Better said, being known by God
    9c How are you turning back again to the weak and poor elementary principles to which you wish to be enslaved all over again?
    You have a strong and life-giving God!
    Why go back to weak and miserable elementary things?
    10 That is - you are scrupulously keeping days and months and times and years
    You are worried about rules
    You are worried about the details of Old Testament Israel's culture and calendar
    Thinking that by doing so, you will gain standing with God
    11 Therefore: I'm concerned that you are turning back
    11a I am afraid for you
    11b That somehow I have toiled among you in vain
    I don't want to see my efforts wasted
    12 Therefore: Come back to my way of thinking
    Follow through with your former friendship and zeal
    12a-d Follow my example
    12a-b You should become like me
    12a You should be/become
    12b like I am
    As you used to do
    12c-d Reason: Because I became like you
    12c I also became
    12d Like you were, brothers
    i.e. Paul took on a Gentile lifestyle to win Gentiles
    Why would they need to take on a Jewish lifestyle?
    They should see that these things are irrelevant, as he does
    12e-f Don't treat me unjustly
    12e I am begging you
    12f Let no one treat me unjustly
    To reject Paul and his Gospel, even though he is the one who evangelized them, would be a tremendous betrayal
    In the next section, Paul contrasts the way they used to receive and treat him with the way they are behaving toward him as a result of the false teachers
    13-18 Reason: The false teachers are influencing you in the wrong direction
    13-16 Your attitude toward me is not the same as it was a first
    13-14 At first you zealously welcomed me
    13a You know:
    13b-14 What you know: You welcomed me at first
    13b I first preached the Gospel to you because of a weakness of the flesh
    Some conjecture that Paul had eye problems based on v. 15
    It could have been the injuries from his beatings and stonings in Acts chs. 13-14
    14 You did not reject me, but zealously welcomed me
    14a-b You did not reject me
    14a You did not reject your trial by my flesh
    14b Neither did you disdain [it]
    14c-e But rather you received me as from God
    14c-d You received me as an angel of God
    14c As [you would receive] a messenger/angel of God
    14d You received me
    14e [You received me] as Christ Jesus
    15-16 But you have dramatically changed your attitude toward me
    15 What happened to your overwhelmingly receptive attitude toward me?
    I once was so very special to you
    Am I now your enemy by telling you the truth?
    15a Where then is your blessing?
    "i.e. the frame of mind in which you blessed yourself" - BDAG
    15b-e Explanation: I testify that you would have given me your eyes
    15b I testify to you:
    15c-e You would have given me your eyes
    15c If it were possible
    15d-e You would give me your own eyes
    15d Tearing out your eyes
    15e You would give [them] to me
    16 Result: Did I become your enemy by speaking the truth to you?
    16a Did I become your enemy?
    16b By speaking the truth to you
    17-18 Good zeal is not the same as self-serving zeal
    17 Neg: they are paying attention to you only to use you and take from you
    17a Pos: They are not being zealous for you in a good way
    They are zealous - but not for good
    Not in a good way
    17b-c Neg: But they are separating you out to be their followers
    17b They want to separate you [for themselves, from us]
    But to separate you, excluding you for themselves
    17c Purpose: so that you would be zealous for them
    So that you are zealous for them
    They are zealous against Paul
    Don't follow the wrong kind of zealousness - human leader against another human leader
    Luther said, "Don't read my books, I hope they disappear. Read the Bible instead"
    18 Pos: To always be zealous for good, not only in my presence is good
    18a To always be zealous for the good is good
    Be zealous for the right things - Gospel things
    18b And not only when I am present with you
    Implied - also when I am absent, and false teachers come among you
    Remain faithful to me and the true Gospel, even when I am not present
  • 4:19-31 Illustration from the slave woman and free woman
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    19-20 I want you to return to Christ's way of salvation and away from the Judaizer's teaching
    19-20b I want your faith and our relationship to be fixed
    19 I am in agony until you change
    19a My children, I am again in labor pains
    "I am worried" is a drastic understatement of what Paul actually said
    "I am perplexed that you could do this!"
    Why does Paul use the illustration of birth pangs?
    Strong expression of the emotional pain he was feeling
    But also introducing the metaphor to be elaborated in the following illustration
    It all depends on the kind of birth
    Paul is in labor to bring forth something that fits the nature of the Gospel he preached
    Paul proves himself to be on the right side with Scripture illustration
    Paul proves himself to be on the right side with Scripture quotation
    Paul applies this to himself and the Galatian believers
    19b Purpose: Until Christ is formed in you
    20a-b I want to help so that I can change how I relate to you
    20a I want to be present with you
    20b Purpose: until I can also change my voice
    i.e. until I can speak to you differently
    Until I can change from discipline/argument to encouragement/fellowship
    I want you to repent and agree with me so that I can be agreeable to you
    20c Reason: Because I am confused/uncertain about you
    21-31 Reject the way of the Law and follow the way of promise/faith
    21 You don't really understand the Law if you want to be under it
    21a-b Challenge to those who want to be under it
    21a Tell me...
    21b Condition: If you want to be under the Law
    21c Do you not hear the Law?
    i.e. "Are you even listening to the Law"?
    Notice the similarity of Paul's and Jesus' method
    Correcting them by using the Scriptures they revered (for good reason) and claimed to obey
    When people misunderstood or misapplied the Scripture, Paul and Jesus did not throw out the Scripture
    But they showed them how to correctly understand and apply the Scripture
    22-31 Reason: The Law leads to slavery, the promise leads to life and blessing
    22-27 The way of faith in the promise is better than the way of slavery to the Law
    22-23 There are two ways, the way of promise/faith, and the way of Law/slavery
    22 Scripture differentiates between Abraham's two sons
    22a For it is written:
    22b Abraham had two sons: one from the slave woman and one from the free
    23 Specifics: One born according to flesh and one through God's promise
    23a Neg: the one from the slave woman was born according to the flesh
    23b Pos: and the one from the free woman through promise
    Born through promise - supernatural
    What Abraham could not do on his own
    God does not need our 'help'
    24-27 The way fo the promise is blessed, the other way is slavery
    24-26 The Principle is that God's blessing is with the promise, not the Law
    24a This is an analogy:
    24b-26 Explanation: they are corresponding to two covenants
    24b These are two covenants
    24c-26 Specifically: One leads to slavery, one to freedom
    24c-25 Neg: Hagar, like the Sinai covenant gives birth to slavery
    24c-25a Illustration: The Sinai covenant brings slavery
    24c-d One woman gives birth to slavery
    24c One from Mount Sinai, bearing children into slavery
    24d This is Hagar
    25a Hagar corresponds to Mount Sinai in Arabia
    25b-c Explanation: This is Judaism under the Law
    25b This corresponds to the present Jerusalem
    25c Reason: For she is a slave with her children
    26 Pos: Sarah, like the promise covenant gives birth to freedom
    26a The Jerusalem above is free
    26b This corresponds to our mother
    27 Reason: Scripture confirms that God's blessing is with the promise, not the Law
    27a It is written:
    Quoting Isaiah 54:1
    Coming right after the 4th Servant Song
    -cf. 53:8 where it looked like he would not have descendants
    This would make him a complete loser by the worldly standards of that time
    v. 10 - but God had other plans
    v. 11 - He will justify many
    v. 12 - He will have a portion among the great
    God is doing more than Israel even expected, using completely unexpected means
    -cf. later in Isaiah ch. 54
    27b-e The roles will be reversed: the barren woman will have children
    27b-c The barren woman will rejoice and celebrate
    27b Rejoice, barren woman, who has never born children
    27c Let loose and cry out, you who have never had labor pains
    27d-e Reason: The barren woman has more children in the end
    27d Because the children of the desolate woman are many
    27e More than the children of the one who has a husband
    This is contrary to expectation - impossible!
    Bur miraculous and wonderful
    The Gospel is true, even though it is too good to be true
    28-31 Therefore: We should live by the promise of grace and reject the slavery of the Law
    28-30 We live by God's promise, and should reject the slavery of the Law
    28-29 We share in Isaac's experience of blessing and persecution
    28 Brothers, you are children of promise, according to Isaac
    29 And just like Isaac, we will be persecuted by the sons of slavery
    29a Just as the one born according to flesh then persecuted the one [born] according to Spirit
    29b So also now
    Just like Ishmael persecuted Isaac
    So now the outsiders and persecuting the Galatians (and Paul)
    Those living by the old covenant/flesh are persecuting you who are living in the new freedom/Spirit
    30 Therefore: Scripture says to reject the sons of the slave woman
    30a Q: But what does the Scripture say?
    BTW, this is a great question!
    It is the question we should constantly ask about all sorts of issues
    It is the first question we should ask about every issue
    Scripture should be our primary functional authority in everything
    Beware of trusting any other authority more than God's Word
    30b-c A: The Children of the slave woman are not part of Abraham's blessing
    30b Throw out the slave woman and her son!
    i.e. don't go along with the Judaizers
    Don't go along with their understanding of the Law and salvation
    Don't adopt their philosophy and practice
    But get rid of them
    Rejoice with the barren woman in birth pangs (like Paul [cf. v. 19]), who will be vindicated
    30c Reason: The son of the slave woman will certainly not inherit with the son of the free woman
    This is not selfish - Isaac is not keeping Ishmael's share
    But reality - Ishmael does not have a share and never will
    Inheritance does not exist down that road, don't go that way
    31 Therefore: We are of the new freedom, not the old Law
    31a Neg: We are not children of the slave woman
    Don't think and act that way
    You don't have to earn God's favor by works of the Law
    31b Pos: But [we are children] of the free woman
    Think and act in this way
    Trust in God's grace through Christ
    We are on the right side
    We will be vindicated
    Even though it does not always look good or respectable in the legalist's eyes
    The false gospel is a gospel of slavery that leads to slavery
    the True Gospel is a Gospel of freedom that leads to freedom!
    The slave gospel hates and fights against the Free Gospel
    Get used to this fight
    But never make peace with it
  • 5:1-12 Encouragement to freedom by rejecting false gospels
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-6 Stand firm in Christ's freedom by refusing to submit to circumcision
    1 Christ has freed us, therefore, don't submit to slavery again
    1a Christ has freed us for freedom
    1b-c Therefore: Stand firm and don't submit to slavery
    1b Stand firm, retain conviction
    1c And never again be subjected to the yoke of slavery
    In 4:8-9, Paul has reminded them that they were in slavery to things that are not God
    And he challenged them to not let themselves be enslaved again
    Here Paul is reiterating this challenge
    Going back to works of the Law is slavery
    Giving in to teachers that insist on the Law is slavery
    2-6 Reason: Submitting to circumcision is submitting to slavery to the Law
    2-5 Circumcision will not bring justification, but will remove you from Christ
    2-3 You either seek justification by Christ or by keeping the Law
    2 I'm telling you that it's either circumcision or Christ
    2a Behold, I, Paul am saying to you
    Statement of gravity & emphasis
    Drawing attention to what follows
    2b-c Christ and circumcision are not BOTH the way of salvation
    2b If You are circumcised
    2c Then Christ profits/benefits you nothing
    Emphasizes the mutual incompatibility
    You can only choose one road to God
    If you choose circumcision/works of the Law, you have not chosen Christ
    There is no 'Christ plan A' and 'Christ plan B'
    There is only 'Christ plan A' and a counterfeit plan which has nothing to do with Christ
    3 Reason: Everyone who is circumcised is obligated to keep the entire Law
    3a Again I testify to every man being circumcised
    3b That he is obligated to do the entire Law
    If a man wants to be circumcised (as a way to God's favor),
    That road requires doing the entire Law (which no one can)
    And this is the road to slavery, as already proved
    4-5 Therefore: Seeking justification by the Law is betrayal of Christ
    4a-b Whoever seeks to be justified by the Law has nothing to do with Christ
    4a You are released from/have nothing more to do with Christ
    4b Condition: Whoever [of you] is justified by the Law
    4c-5 Elaboration: He has abandoned the grace of Christ
    4c You have abandoned grace
    You have changed your standing from grace to slavery
    You have changed teams - mutually incompatible
    5 Reason: Because we have received the hope of righteousness by the Spirit through faith
    You CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
    Abandon trying to please God on your own merit and works!
    6 Reason: It is not the status of circumcision, but rather faith which matters
    6a-b Neg: Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything
    Circumcision doesn't matter
    Therefore, there is no reason to submit
    6a Neither circumcision has the ability to accomplish anything in Christ Jesus
    Circumcision is nothing
    It has no validity, force or power
    6b Nor does uncircumcision
    uncircumcision is nothing
    6c Pos: Faith, working through love [accomplishes something]
    Faith, working through love matters everything
    You must trust Christ - God's plan A [only plan]
    Faith does work, does do good works
    Faith has love, does the requirements of the Law
    But faith does it effectively and for the right reasons
    Because it is justified, not in order to be justified
    7-12 Therefore: Don't give in to the false teachers!
    The crossroad/decision - comparing the Galatians, Paul and the false teachers
    7-9 The Judaizers are trying to subvert the Galatians away from the true Gospel
    7 What has reversed your progress in the Gospel truth!
    7a You were advancing well
    7b Who hindered you so that you were not persuaded by the truth?
    You were doing well, what happened?
    Who kept you from obeying the truth and made you follow lies?
    -cf. 3:1 "Who has bewitched you?"
    8-9 Summary: The Judaizers' opposition to the Gospel is false and destructive
    8 This persuasion is not from the One Who called you
    This persuasion is not from God
    Therefore, the false teachers and the false gospel are not from God
    9 A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough
    This persuasion is in danger of infecting everything
    Therefore, reject the false teachers and come back to God
    10-12 The Galatians should not give in
    10 I trust that you will remain faithful to the Gospel, but the opponents will pay
    10a-b Pos: I trust that you will remain faithful
    10a I am confident in you in the Lord
    I am confident you will see the truth
    10b That you will hold no different view
    I am confident you will embrace the truth and not leave room for lies
    BTW, the best cure for lies is always the truth - the real deal
    10c-d Neg: the opposition will be punished
    10c The one who is throwing you into confusion will endure the penalty
    The false teacher(s) will be judged
    False teaching is always eventually judged
    10d Whoever he is
    11-12 I am being faithful to the Gospel, but hte opponents are not
    11 Neg: I am not preaching circumcision, thereby denying the Gospel
    11a If, brothers, I am still preaching circumcision
    11b-c Then: The cross and my ministry are without offense
    11b Why am I still being persecuted?
    I am not preaching circumcision, therefore I am persecuted
    This is typical, you should expect some level of persecution for remaining faithful to the True Gospel
    11c Therefore: The scandal of the cross is nullified
    If I were preaching circumcision, the cross would be emptied
    It is unthinkable to compromise an inch on the cross
    Therefore, I will stand firm and take whatever persecution may come
    We should do the same, because the cross is the only road to the empty tomb and new life
    12 Pos: They should live up to their preaching of circumcision
    12a I wish that:
    12b Those troubling you would cut it all off
    Ironic rejection of the agitators
    They already have punishment hanging over their heads, if they don't repent
    They make such a big deal about elective surgery
    Why not combine judgment and elective surgery by cutting it all off
    Their false gospel is hurting them and the people around them even more than literally cutting it off would hurt
5:13-6:10 The Gospel Applied
  • 5:13-15 Living in Freedom
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    13a You have been called into freedom
    -cf. 5:1
    Freedom is contrasted with slavery in both places
    In v. 1, slavery was a bad thing - yoke of slavery
    Here (13c-14) it is a good thing - slavery of service to one another
    13b-15 Therefore: Use your freedom for mutual good, not mutual destruction
    13b-14 Pos: Serve one another because of love
    13b Neg: Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh
    Implication that flesh = selfishness and sin
    "opportunity" = base of operation, starting point, foothold
    -cf. Eph. 4:27 - "Do not give the devil a foothold (favorable opportunity)"
    13c-14 Pos: but serve one another through the love that fulfills the whole law
    13c Serve one another through love
    14 Reason: The whole Law is fulfilled in one word - love your neighbor as yourself
    Notice that Paul stressed fulfilling the Law
    This addresses the issue of the entire epistle
    But Law is fulfilled because of justification, not vice versa
    Caution: beware of making love the new law
    We can't fulfill the law of love by works any more than we can fulfill the Law of Moses by works
    15 Neg: Do not destroy one another
    15a-b If: You bit and devour one another
    15a If you bite one another
    "bite" is figurative for "harm"
    15b And devour [one another]
    i.e. engage in spiteful partisan strife
    15c Then: Watch out that you aren't consumed by one another
    If you serve one another, everyone gets served, everyone gets what they want
    If you are selfish and bite one another, everyone gets bitten, no one gets what they want
    Our society tells to 'look our for #1', Jesus says 'look out for one another'
    Our society has a warped view of freedom, be careful you don't accept it
    Focus on the purpose and limits of freedom, or your freedom will become bondage
  • 5:16-26 Living by the Spirit (not the flesh)
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    16-25 Live by the Spirit
    16-17 Walk by the Spirit
    16 Commandment to walk by the Spirit
    16a I am saying:
    Rhetorical marker to highlight what is said
    Twofold command
    16b-c
    Walk by the Spirit, not the flesh
    16b Walk/live by the Spirit
    Walk = Lifestyle
    By means of, by the empowerment of the Spirit
    This is a supernatural work
    Not dependent on us
    And therefore not subject to our weakness
    But we participate in it by faith
    16c Result: And you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh
    Sinful desires opposed to Christ
    The Spirit is opposed to Law and to flesh
    17 Reason: Walking by the Spirit automatically means you won't walk by the flesh
    17a-b The Spirit and the flesh have opposite desires
    17a Neg: The flesh desires against the Spirit
    17b Pos: The Spirit [desires] against the flesh
    In context (v. 16) this refers to God's Spirit, not the human spirit
    17c-e Reason: The Spirit and the flesh are in opposition
    17c For these things oppose each other
    17d-e Purpose: so that you don't do what you want
    17d Whatever you will/desire
    17e You do not do these things
    To keep you from doing it
    i.e. the flesh purposes to keep you from doing right
    The Spirit keeps you from doing wrong
    18-24 Be led by the Spirit
    18 Be led by the Spirit
    18a If you are led by the Spirit
    18b Then: You are not under the Law
    Not under control of, under obligation to the Law
    The answer to how to behave without Law is to live by/be led by the Spirit
    Then you will then fulfill the Law
    We will want to do what is right, not have to do it
    19-24 What being led by the Spirit looks like
    19-21 Neg: The Works of the flesh
    19-21a These are the manifest works of the flesh
    19a The works of the flesh are plainly to be seen
    Works of the flesh - the things that the flesh does
    Flesh - the part of our sinful nature characterized by weakness
    And therefore sinfulness as opposed to God
    Manifest - evident, known, obvious
    19b-21a Specifically: They are:
    Sexual immorality
    Any sex outside of God's sanctioned purpose of marriage
    Impurity
    Spiritual uncleanness, vileness, impurity, immorality
    Lack of moral restraint
    Debauchery, complete lack of self-restraint which leads to wicked behavior
    Idolatry
    Worship of images/false gods
    Sorcery
    Sorcery/magic, often using drugs
    Enmity
    Hostility, hatred
    Rivalry
    Discord, contention, strife, quarreling
    Envy
    Jealousy, spiteful feeling/hatred toward the success of others
    Rage
    Anger, wrath, fury, outbursts of rage
    Selfish Ambition
    Strife, resentment, petty bitterness
    Discord
    Division, dissension, putting people against one another/separating people into camps
    Factions
    Dissension, division, religious faction with the connotation of false teaching
    Jealousy
    Envy, ill will toward others
    Drunkenness
    Intoxication
    Carousing
    Orgies, drunken parties usually involving sexual immorality
    And things of a similar nature as these
    21b-d Result: These things disqualify for the Kingdom of God
    21b-c I told you in advance
    21b I am saying these things to you ahead of time
    21c Just as I said earlier
    21d That those practicing these things will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God
    22-24 Pos: The Fruit of the Spirit
    22-23 The Fruit of the Spirit is not opposed to the Law
    22-23a The Fruit of the Spirit is:
    Product of the Spirit of God
    Singular "Fruit" with a number of facets specifically elaborated
    Love
    Concern for others
    Joy
    Gladness, happiness
    Peace
    Harmony in personal relationships, lack of anxiety/turmoil
    Longsuffering
    Patience, forbearance, ability to calmly persevere under adverse situations
    Kindness
    Benevolence, goodness, helpfulness, generosity
    Goodness
    Generosity, interest in the welfare of others
    Faith
    Trust, reliance, faithfulness, trustworthiness, reliability, commitment, loyalty
    Meekness
    Gentleness, not being overly impressed by a sense of one's self-importance, humility, courtesy, considerateness, meekness
    Self-Control
    Restraint, mastery of desires and impulses
    23b There is not a law against things like these
    The Law is not against these things
    24 Result: Those of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and desires
    Inordinate desires - desires out of place, out of control, out of balance
    25 Conform to the Spirit
    25a If we live by the Spirit
    25b We will live in conformity with the Spirit
    Live according to the standard of the Spirit
    26 Therefore: Let us not become arrogant toward one another
    26a Let us not become conceited/proud without reason
    wrapping up from v. 15
    26b-c By provoking and being jealous of one another
    26b Provoking one another
    Challenging one another
    26c Being envious of one another
  • 6:1-10 Living toward one another
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    1-9 Do good to one another
    1-2 Look out for and pick up one another when you fall
    1 Restore the sinner with humility
    1a If a man is caught in any transgression
    Generic term
    Not limited to big sins or small sins
    1b-d Then restore him while guarding yourselves
    1b You, who are spiritual, restore this one in a spirit of meekness
    Spiritual -
    Mature, walking in the Spirit (fruit, character, etc.)
    Mend/restore -
    Like setting a bone, a process, not a one-time thing
    Pastoral care with the goal of full restoration
    But not done quickly or hastily
    In a spirit of meekness -
    Not lording it over them
    Without taking smug pride in his downfall
    1c-d Guarding yourself against temptation
    1c Watching yourself
    Keeping a close watch over yourself
    1d Purpose: so that you will not also be enticed
    i.e. caught in a similar trap (like spiritual pride)
    2 Bear one another's burdens
    2a Carry the burdens of one another
    Oppressive hardship, burden, something too heavy to carry alone
    Like our transgressions - see above
    2b And in this way fulfill the law of Christ
    Carry out the obligations of the law of Christ
    Not a new Law that we cannot do (like the first Law)
    But the model of a Christian lifestyle of love
    Displaying the character of Christ
    3-5 Live in a way in which you can rightly take pride
    3-4 Don't be proud, but judge yourself rightly
    3 Neg: don't think too highly of yourself
    How not to evaluate yourself - by our own opinions of ourselves
    (in other passages, Paul mentions that comparing yourself to others is another incorrect way)
    3a-b If someone wrongly thinks highly of themselves
    3a If someone believes themselves to be something
    If they think much of themselves
    An inaccurate judgment which we all make
    3b Even though they are nothing
    3c Then they are deceiving themselves
    Stop deceiving yourself - don't think too highly of yourself
    You are a sinner, in need of grace
    Our significance comes from Christ and His identity given to us
    Not that we were or ever will be worthy of His love
    This is another form of self-deceit
    4 Pos: Think rightly of yourself
    How to evaluate yourself - by tested results
    4a Let each one examine his own work
    4b-c And let him only have pride in what is true of himself
    4b Then he will have his source of boast only in himself
    Contrast the false teachers who were boasting in the Galatians
    4c And not in the other
    5 Reason: Because each one will carry his own load
    That is, in the eschatological judgment
    i.e. taking pride in others will do you no good on that day
    6-8 Share good things with the one teaching you
    6 Let the one being taught the Word share all good things with the one teaching
    This is one example of bearing one another's burdens
    7-8 Therefore: Share generously so that you will receive generously
    7a-b You can't get around God's law of generosity/harvest
    A principle that is true universally
    But is here applied to giving
    7a Do not be deceived/deceive yourself
    7b God is not treated with contempt/ridiculed
    God cannot be outwitted
    And God will not allow Himself to be mocked
    7c-8 God's law of the harvest
    7c-d You will harvest what you plant
    7c Whatever a man plants
    7d He will also harvest this
    Agricultural metaphor with obvious significance and application
    A farmer would be insane to expect a crop of tomatoes if he plants wheat seeds
    How can we expect a harvest of eternal life if we plant seeds of hell
    Yet far too many people are shocked/surprised when they get exactly what they deserve
    People are blinded and foolish whenever they think they can cheat the odds
    Because they are not trying to cheat the odds, but they are trying to outwit God, Who is NEVER mocked
    8 Reason: Flesh bears corruption, Spirit bears life
    8a Neg: The one planting into his own flesh harvests corruption from the flesh
    Reminder - 'the flesh' is the corrupt, incapable part of humanity
    8b Pos: The one planting into the Spirit harvests eternal life from the Spirit
    God's Spirit is the One who gives eternal life
    Implied application:
    Invest in things that will teach you spiritual things - things of God
    Don't invest in things that feed your flesh - pointless, sinful things
    -cf. 5:22-23 invest in those things the fruit of the Spirit - you'll be glad you did
    -cf. 5:19-21 do not invest in those things that produce the works of the flesh
    The inheritance of these things is NOT the Kingdom of God
    9 Do good without discouragement
    9a-b Don't be discouraged in doing good
    9a Do good
    9b Do not become discouraged
    Do not lose motivation, lose enthusiasm, lose heart, become discouraged
    9c-d Reason: We will eventually reap the harvest
    9c For we will harvest in the proper time
    A good farmer knows that it takes time for a crop to grow
    Don't lose patience (have faith) in God's perfect timing
    The foolishness of an instant society is impatience
    Good things take time
    Don't get in a rush
    9d If we do not become weary and give out
    We don't harvest just because we persevere
    The life is in the seed, not in our perseverance
    But you will never win if you don't finish the race
    10 Therefore: Let us do good as we can
    10a As we have time/opportunity
    NOT "as much as it is convenient for our schedule"
    But "as long as we are still in this age," or "as much as we have opportunity"
    10b-c Let us do good to all, especially to believers
    10b Let us work the good toward all
    10c Especially toward the house of faith
    Priority should be given toward the family of God
    Not excluding others, but priority to God's people
6:11-18 Conclusion
  • 6:11-15 Personal autograph and final rejection of the false teachers
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    11 Notice with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand
    Up to this point, Paul has been dictating to a secretary, who has been doing the actual writing
    Now Paul adds his own personal message in his own handwriting
    This was a demonstration of the authenticity of the letter as written from him
    -cf. 2 Thes. 3:17
    12-15 Don't boast in outward, fleshly things, but in the cross and new creation
    12-13 Neg: The Judaizers are focusing on outward things for worldly reasons
    12 They are compelling you to be circumcised for outward show
    12a-b They are compelling you to be circumcised for outward show
    12a As many as want to make a good show with outward appearances
    Showy hypocrisy
    Outward appearance, not necessarily reality
    Beware of concentrating mostly on spin, publicity and image
    12b These are compelling you to be circumcised
    "compel" has a range of meanings from "encourage," to "compel," to "force"
    There is no way to be certain how hard they compelled
    The different possibilities do not significantly change the meaning of this passage
    This term is used three times in this letter
    2:3 - false brothers who would compel Titus to be circumcised
    2:13 - Peter would compel gentiles to live like Jews
    And This passage
    This was motivated by their desire for publicity, not their care for your spiritual health
    So that they look good, not caring so much about you
    Beware this self-centered model of ministry
    12c Purpose: Only so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ
    Better to be persecuted than to give up the cross
    -cf. the possible good (in their minds) motives of Peter and the false teachers
    But they did not recognize what they were giving up
    Self-protection is good, but it is not the highest virtue - cf. 1 Pet. 2:11-12
    -cf. those who want to be thought well of by the world
    Some with good evangelistic motive - as an inroad to reach people
    Some because of cowardice - to avoid scorn from the world
    Some for love of the world and love of comfort
    13 Reason: They want to hypocritically boast in outward matters
    13a Neg: They who are circumcised are not keeping the Law
    They are not able to keep the Law
    Just like Paul earlier said that no one can keep the Law
    Therefore, they are under the curse, and in need of Christ
    They, like Peter (cf. 2:14-16), are not keeping the Law,
    But unlike Peter (except in the incident of ch. 2), they made a big deal of the Law as a necessary means of justification
    13b-c Pos: But they want you to be circumcised so they can boast
    13b They want you to be circumcised
    13c Purpose: So that they can boast in your flesh
    They pay more attention to the outward, without dealing with the inward reality
    -cf. Matt. 23:25
    This concentration on the outward, while neglecting the inward, will never work for true life change
    Because the flesh is weak and sinful and we need the Spirit of God - the power of God, justification and regeneration - for true life change
    14-15 Pos: The cross and new creation are what really matters
    14 I refuse to boast in anything but the cross of Christ
    14a May it never be for me to boast
    14b-d Except in Christ's cross, which severed me from the world
    14b Except [I boast] in the cross of Christ
    Notice the centrality of the cross
    It is the answer to all problems
    Go to the cross first
    Meditate on the cross
    Boast in the cross
    14c-d I and the world are dead to each other through Christ
    Elaboration on the function and significance of the cross
    Telling why it is boast-worthy
    14c Through Whom the world is crucified to me
    14d And I to the world
    The cross and resurrection is the beginning of the new age
    Therefore, it is the end of the old age
    We are no longer destined only for this world
    We are no longer captive only to this age
    The new world/new age has been opened to us
    This new age is characterized by freedom, the experience and power of the Spirit, and the presence of God
    -cf. 1:4 Christ is the One Who rescues us from this present evil age
    Paul bookends Galatians with the new creation
    15 Reason: New creation matters, not circumcision
    15a-b Neg: Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything
    This is the 2nd time that Paul has said that circumcision is neither here nor there
    Neither option is bad in itself, neither option is good in itself
    Paul does not mind for Jews to be circumcised
    15a Neither circumcision is anything
    15b Nor is uncircumcision anything
    15c Pos: but the new creation [is what really matters]
    Not just our subjective experience of the new creation
    But primarily the eschatological reality
    Because we are experiencing the new age, the old age does not matter
    Christ has come, the Law does not have a hold on us
  • 6:16-18 Postscript blessing and warning
    Detailed Outline Expand All + All Collapse All X All
    16-17 Conditional Blessing: Peace wish or warning
    16 Pos: Peace and mercy to all who agree with Paul on this issue
    16a If: As many as hold to this standard
    "hold to" - cf. 5:25 same verb "keep in step with"
    "Those who keep in step with the Spirit also keep in step with the new creation" Schriener p. 380
    16b Then: Peace and mercy be to them and to the Israel of God
    i.e. the true people of God (defined earlier as Abraham's spiritual descendants through Abraham's faith)
    17 Neg: Final warning to all who disagree with Paul on this issue
    17a Finally, let no one cause me distress
    17b Reason: For I bear the marks of Jesus on my body
    Not some spiritual/miraculous marks
    But physical wounds as a result of suffering persecution for the cross
    Because Paul did not deny the cross to avoid persecution like the opponents
    Just as Paul continues Jesus' servant work (cf. 1:15),
    He also continues Jesus' suffering (cf. Col. 1, Phil. 1, 2 Cor. etc.)
    18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers, amen
    Typical grace wish at the end of epistles