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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Galatians 2

Verse 1

Fourteen years after ; after his conversion, or after his journey to Jerusalem. Chap Galatians 1:18 .

Verse 2

By revelation ; by direction of God.

Run in vain ; he stated what he had preached and done among the Gentiles to certain leading individuals, and not to the whole church, lest he should fail of the object he had in view. Acts 15:2 . Ministers of the gospel, while they should preach Christ and him crucified as the only foundation of hope, should use all proper means to prevent misapprehensions, remove prejudices, and counteract influences which tend to hinder the success of their labors.

Verse 3

Neither Titus-was compelled ; or required to be circumcised. This showed, in direct opposition to the false teachers among the Galatians, that they did not consider circumcision needful.

Verse 4

And that because of false brethren ; as much as to say, This exemption of Titus from circumcision was because of false brethren. It was a protest against their false teachings.

Unawares brought in ; artfully introduced.

Came in ; to their meetings.

To spy out our liberty ; their liberty to dispense with Jewish rites.

Into bondage ; to the ceremonial law, which Paul contended was not binding under the gospel.

Verse 5

No , not for an hour ; they did not yield at all to the false brethren.

Verse 6

Of those ; the leading men referred to, verse Galatians 2:2 .

Maketh no matter ; their reputation did not affect his standing as an apostle, or the correctness of his preaching and conduct.

God accepteth no man’s person ; he does not approve of men because of their talents, reputation, rank, or condition.

Added nothing ; to his authority as an apostle, or his doctrines as a minister of Christ. Men are prone, even in religion, to be governed by human opinions rather than by the word of God-to regard some man as master and head of the church, rather than Jesus Christ. But the great question should be, not what does this or that man think, but what do the Scriptures teach.

Verse 7

Gospel of the uncircumcision ; that he was commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, as Peter was to the Jews.

Verse 9

Pillars ; men of eminence among the apostles, and chief instruments in supporting the cause of Christ.

The grace ; the favor bestowed on Paul in preparing him for the work to which he was called.

The right hands of fellowship ; by this they acknowledged them as ministers of Christ.

Verse 10

The poor ; the needy Christians in Judea; obtain contributions from the Gentiles for them.

Verse 11

Withstood him ; rebuked, and reproved him.

Was to be blamed ; for his timidity, and time-serving spirit.

Verse 12

From James ; from Jerusalem, where James resided.

Did eat with the Gentiles ; in disregard of the ceremonial law.

Of the circumcision ; the Jews from Judea.

Verse 13

Dissembled ; disguised their sentiments. They knew that the Jewish ceremonial was done away by the gospel, and had practically acknowledged it by eating with the Gentiles. But now they were afraid to avow their true convictions.

Verse 14

Livest after the manner of Gentiles ; without observing the Jewish ceremonies. This was what Peter had been in the habit of doing.

Compellest thou ; setting an example, which, if they follow it, will lead them astray.

Live as do the Jews ; observe the ceremonial law. God foreknowing that some would be disposed to claim for Peter and his pretended successors peculiar prerogatives and honors, suffered him repeatedly to fall into great sins, and had them recorded in the Scriptures, that all might have infallible evidence that Peter was not a whit above the rest of the apostles.

Verse 15

Jews by nature ; born Jews.

Sinners of the Gentiles ; sunk in the idolatry and vices of the Gentiles.

Verse 16

By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified ; Paul and Peter, though Jews, believed this. Why then should Peter act as if it were necessary for the Gentiles to observe the ceremonial law? This was inconsistent, and adapted to make an erroneous impression on others.

Verse 17

If , while we seek-are found sinners ; if, in seeking justification and salvation from Christ, not from the works of the law, we ourselves also ; we who are Jews by nature as well as the Gentiles, are found sinners ; found, after all our seeking, to be still in a state of guilt and condemnation: is therefore Christ the minister of sin? has he introduced a gospel which leaves those who trust in it still sinners under the condemnation of the law, so that they must turn again from Christ to the law for justification? Paul states the conclusion which must inevitably follow, if men are obliged to go back to the Jewish ceremonial for salvation, and then indignantly denies it in the words, God forbid ; let it not be. Christ is not the minister of sin; but in turning away from him, I make myself a sinner, as he proceeds to show.

Verse 18

The things which I destroyed ; the system of Jewish ceremonies, which, upon believing in Christ, I had destroyed, that is, given up as worthless.

I make myself a transgressor ; in going back from faith in Christ to the law.

Verse 19

For I through the law am dead to the law ; instead of thus going back to the law for justification, I have learned through the law itself to renounce the law as the means of my salvation. A true knowledge of God’s holy and spiritual law has taught me, that to a sinner, like me, it works death. Galatians 3:24 ; Romans 3:20 ; Romans 4:15 ; Romans 7:10 .

Might live unto God ; in and through Christ.

Verse 20

Crucified with Christ ; through his death Paul had become dead to all expectation of salvation in any way except through faith in Christ; yet he was more active than ever, and from better motives.

I live ; a heavenly and divine life.

Not I ; not by my own power or goodness.

Christ liveth in me ; by his Spirit; and he is the cause of every thing right and good in me. The author and sustainer of divine life in the soul is Christ; and the means of rendering it vigorous is faith in him-forming between the soul and him a union, by virtue of which it receives of his fulness, grows in conformity to his image, and shows forth his glory.

Verse 21

Do not frustrate the grace of God ; set it aside as of no efficacy, as do the false teachers, by going back to the law for justification.

If righteousness come by the law ; if there is any other way of being justified and saved, except through Christ, his death was needless. Any system of salvation which dispenses with the atoning sacrifice of Christ, is a renunciation of the gospel, and a virtual proclamation that his death was in vain.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 2". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.