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who had slipped in, to spy out our liberty which we have through Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into
5 bondage: To whom we did not yield by submission, no, not an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue
6 with you.) And they who undoubtedly were something, Cbut whatsoever they were, it is no difference to me; God accepteth no man's person,) they who undoubtedly were
7 something, added nothing to me. But on the contrary, when they saw that I was intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, as Peter with that of the circumcision:
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought likewise effectually in
9 me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, and Cephas, and John, who undoubtedly were pillars, knew the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabas, that we should go to the Gen
10 tiles, and they to the circumcision: Only they desired that we would be mindful of the poor, which very thing I also
unawares—Into some of these private conferences at Jerusalem, who had slipped in, to spy out our liberty—From the ceremonial law, that they might—If possible, bring us into that bondage again.
V. s. To whom ire did not yield by submission—Although in love he would have yielded to any. With such wonderful prudence did the apostle use his Christian liberty: circumcising Timothy (Acts xvi. 3) because of weak brethren, but not Titus, because of false brethren; that the truth of the gospel— That is, the true, genuine gospel, might continue with you—With you Gentiles. So we defend, for your sakes, the privilege which you would give up.
V. 6. And they who undoubtedly were something—Above all others: (What they were—How eminent soever, it is no difference to me—So that I should alter either my doctrine or my practice: God accepteth no man's person—For any eminence in gifts or outward prerogatives) in that conference added nothing to me—Neither as to doctrine nor mission.
V. 7. But when they saw—By the effects which I laid before them, (ver. 8. Acts xv. 12,) that I was intrusted with the gospelof theuncircumsision—That is, with the charge of preaching it to the uncircumcised heathens.
V. 8. For he that wrought effectually in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcision—To qualify him for, and support him in, the discharge of that office to the Jews, wrought likewise effectually in and by me, for and in the discharge of my office toward the Gentiles.
V. Q. And when James— Probably named first, because he was bishop of the church in Jerusalem; and Cephas—Speaking of him at Jerusalem, he calls him by his Hebrew name, and John—Hence it appears, that he also was at the council, though he is not particularly named in the Acts: Who undoubtedly were pillars—The principal supporters and defenders of the gospel; knew—< After they had heard the account I gave them, the grace—Of apostleship, which was given to me, they—In the name of all; gave to me and Barnabas —My fellow-labourer, the right hands of fellowship—They gave us their hands, in token of receiving us as their fellow-labourers, mutually agreeing,.that ae— —I and those in union with me, should go to the Gentiles—Chiefly, an i thee, With those that were in union with them, chiefly to the circumcision—The Jews.
V. 10. Of the poor—The poor Christians in Judea, who had lost an they had for Christ's snlcp
J1 Was forward to do. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I
12 withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before some came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated
IS himself, fearing those of the circumcision. And the other Jews also dissembled with him, so that even Barnabas
14 was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw, that they did not walk uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not of the Jews, why compellest thou the Gen
15 tiles to judaize? We who are Jews by nature, and not
16 sinners of the Gentiles, Even we (knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ) have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; because by the works of the law no
V. 11. But—The argument here comes to the height. Paul reproves Peter himself. So far was he from receivinghis doctrine from man, or from being inferior to the chief of the apostles, when Peter—Afterwards, came to Antioch —Then the chief of all the Gentile churches, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed—For fear of man, ver. 12; for dissimulation, ver.
13; and for not walking uprightly, ver. 14.
V. 13. And the other believing Jews—Who were at Antioch, dissembled with him; so that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation—Was borne away as with a torrent, into the same ill practice.
V. 14. I said to Cephas before them all—See Paul siugle against Peter and all the Jews! If thou, being a Jew, yet lives in thy ordinary conversation, after the manner of the Gentiles—Not observing the ceremonial law, which thou knowest to be now abolished, why compellest thou the Gentiles—By withdrawing thyself, and all the ministers from them; either to jndaize, to keep the ceremonial law, or to be excluded from church-communion?
V. is. We—St. Paul, to spare St. Peter, drops the first person singular, and speaks in the plural number. Ver. I8, he speaks in the first person singular again by a figure, and without a figure, ver. 19, &c. who are Jews by nature—' By birth, not proselytes only, and not sinners of the Gentiles—That is, not sinful Gentiles; not such gross, enormous, abandoned siuners, as the heathen* generally were.
V. 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law-—Not even of the moral, much less the ceremonial law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ— That is, by faith in him. The name Jesus was first known by the Gentiles; the name Christ by the Jews. And they are not always placed promiscuously, but generally in a more solemn way of speaking, the apostle says Christ Jesus, in a more familiar, Jesus Christ, even we—And how much more must the Gentiles, who have still less pretence to depend on their own works? Have believed—Knowing there is no other way. Because —Considering the demands of the law, and the state of human nature, it is evident, that by the works of the law—By such an obedience as it requires, shall no flesh living—No human creature, Jew or Gentile, be justified—Hitherto St. Paul had been considering that single question, " Are Christians obliged to observe the ceremonial law V But he here insensibly goes farther, and by citing this scripture, shews, that what he spoke directly of the ceremonial, included also the moral law. For David undoubtedly did so, when he said, (PsaJ. cxliii. 2, the place here refer
17 flesh shall be justified. But if while we seek to be jus» tified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners,
18 is Christ therefore the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make my
19 self a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to SO the law, that I may live to God. I am crucified with
Christ, and I live no longer, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered up himself for 21 me. I do not make void the grace of God; for if righteousness is by the law, then Christ died in vain.
CHAP. III. 1. O thoughtless Galatians, who hath bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been
fed to,) In thy sight shall no man living be justified: which the apostle likewise explains, Rom. iii. 19, 2«, in such ll mauner, as can agree to none but the moral law.
V. 17. But if while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves are still found siuners—If we continue in sin, will it therefore follow, that Christ is the minister or countenance1' of sin?
V. 18. By no means! For if I build again—By my sinful practice, the things which I destroyed—By my preaching, I only make myself—Or shew myself, not Christ, to be a transgressor; the whole blame lies on me, not on him or his gospel. As if he had said, The objection were just, if the gospel promised justification to men continuing in sin. But it does not. Therefore if any who profess the gospel, do not live according to it, they are sinners, it is certain; but-not justified, and so the gospel is clear.
V. 19. For I through the law—Applied by the Spirit to my heart, and deeply convincing me of my utter sinfulness and helplessness, am dead to the law— To all hope of justification from it, that I may live to God—Not continue in sin. For this very end am I (in this sense) freed from the law, that I may be freed from sin.
V. 20. The apostle goes on to describe, how he is freed from sin; how far he is from continuing therein. I am crucified with Christ— Made conformable to his death; the body of sin is destroyed, (Rom. vi. 6,) and I—As to my cor, rupt nature, live no longer—Being dead to sin: But Christ liveth in me—Is a fountain of life in my inmost soul, from which all my tempers, words, and actions flow. And the life that I now live in the fiesh—Even in this mortal body, I live by faith in the Son of God—I derive every moment from that supernatural principle; from a divine evidence and conviction, that he loved me, and delivered up himself for me.
V. 21. Meantime I do not make void— In seeking to be justified by my own works; the grace of God—The free love of God in Christ Jesus. But they do, who seek justification by the law. For if righteousness is by the law—If men might be justified by their obedience to the law, moral or ceremonial, then Christ died in vain—Without any necessity for it, since men might have been saved without his death; might by their own obedience have been both discharged from condemnation, and entitled to eternal life.
CHAP. III. Ver. 1. O thoughtless Galatians—He breaks in upon them with a beautiful abruptness, who hath bewitched you—Thus to contradict both your own reason and experience, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been as evidently get forth—By our preaching, as if he had been crucified among yew.
2 evidently set forth, crucified among yout This only would I learn of you, Did ye receive the Spirit, by the
3 works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so thoughtless? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now
4 made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many
5 things in vain? If it be yet in vain? Doth he that ministreth the Spirit to you, and worketh miracles among you, do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of
6 faith? As Abraham * believed God, and it was imputed
7 to him for righteousness. Know then, that they who are
8 of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. And the scrip-. ture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared before the glad tidings to Abraham, t Iqi
9 thee shall all the nations be blessed. So then they who 10 are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as
* Gen. xv. 6, t Gen. xii. 3.
V. s. This only would I learn of you—That is, this one argument might convince you. Did ye receive the witness and the fruit of the Spirit) by perform? ing the works of the law, or by hearing of and receiving faith?
V. 3. Are ye so thoughtless—As not to consider what you have yourselves experienced? Having begun in the Spirt'^Havipg set out under the light and power of the Spirit by faith; do ye now, when ye ought to be more spiritual, and more acquainted with the power of faith, expect to be made perfect by the flesh? Do you think to complete either four justification or sanctification, by giving up that faith, and depending onjjfellaw, which is gross and carnal thing when opposed to the gospel?
V. 4. Have ye suffered—Both from the zealous Jews and from the Heathens, so many things—For adhering to the gospel, in vain—i-So as to, lose all the blessings which ye might have obtained, by enduring to the end, if it be yet in vain—As if he had said, I hope better things, even that ye will, endure to, the end.
V. 5. And at the present time, Doth he that ministereth the gift of the Spirit to you, and worketh miracles among you, do it by the works of the law—That is, in confirmation of his preaching justification by works? Or of his preaching justification by faith?
V. 6. Doubtless in confirmation of that grand doctrine, that we are justified by faith, even as Abraham was. The apostle both in this and in the epistle to the Romans, makes great use of the instance of Abraham: the rather, because from Abraham the Jews drew their great argument (as they do this day) both for their own continuance in Judaism, and for denying the Gentiles to be the church of God.
V. 7. Know then, that they who are partakers of his faith, these, and these only, are the sons of Abraham; and therefore heirs of the promises made to him.
V. 8. And the scripture—That is, the Holy Spirit, who gave the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles also by faith, declared before—So great is the excellency and fulness of the Scripture, that all the things which can ever be controverted, are therein both foreseen and determined, In or through thee—As the Father of the Messiah, shall all the nations be blessed.
V. 9. So then all they, and they only, who are of faith—Who truly believe, are blessed with faithful Abraham—Receive the blessing as he did, namely, by faith.
V. 10. They only receive it; for as many as are of the works of the law—As many as are of the works of the law, are under a curse; for it is written, * Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law,
11 to do them. But that none is justified by the law in the sight of God, is evident; for t the just shall live by faith.
12 Now the law is not of faith, but % he that doeth then,
13 shall live by them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: (for it is written, § Cursed is every one that haageth on a tree :)
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise
15 of the Spirit through faith. I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be
13 confirmed, none disanaulled or addeth thereto. Now the promises were made to Abraham and his seed, He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, || And
* Dent. xxvii. 26. t Hab. ii. 4. % Lev. xviii. 5. § Dent. xxi. 23.
God deals with on that footing, only on the terms the law proposes, are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the law—who continueth not, in all the things—So it require* what no man can perform; namely, perfect, uninterrupted, and perpetual obedience.
V. 11. But that none is justified by his obedience to the law in the, sight of God—Whatever may be done in the sight of man, is farther evident from the words of Habakkuk, The just shall live by faith—-That is, the man who is accounted just or righteous before God, shall continue in a state of acceptance, life, and salvation, by faith. This is the way God hath chosen.
V. 12. Now the law is not of faith—But quite opposite to it. It does not My, Believe, but Do.
V. 13. Christ—Christ alone. The abruptness of the sentence shews a holjf indignation at those who reject so great a blessing, hath redeemed us—Whether Jews or Gentiles, at a high price, from the curse of the law—The curse of God, which the law denounces against all transgressors of it, being made a curse for us—Taking the curse upon himself, that we might be delivered.from it, willingly submitting to that death, which the law pronounces peculiarly accursed.
V. 14. That the blessing of Abraham—The blessing promised to him, might come on the Gentiles—Also, that we, who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, might receive the promise of the Spirit—Which includes all the other promises, through faith—Not by works; for faith looks wholly to tha promise.
V. 15. I speak after the manner of men—I illustrate this by a familiar instance, taken from the practice of men. Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be once legally confirmed, none—No, not the Covenanter himself, (ur*. less something unforeseen occur, which cannot be the case with God,) disannulleth or addeth thereto, —Any new conditions.
V. 16. Now the promises were made to Abraham and his ieeaV-Sevcral promises were made to Abraham. But the chief of all, and which was several times repeated, was that of the blessing through Christ. He—That is, God, saith not, to seeds, as of many—As if the promise were made to several kinds of seed; but as of one, —That is, one kind of seed, one posterity, one kind of sons. And to all these the blessing belonged by promise, whiph if Christ—Including all that believe in him.