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by L.M. Grant
The abrupt style with which Paul opens this epistle is an index of all that follows. There is all through a firmness of purpose in maintaining a single object, a tenacity that will not allow the subject at hand to be lost sight of. If on occasion he turns aside to enlarge on a point that arises, it is only to add to the strength of his argument, so that at the end a subject heart is left without question -- is subdued by the overwhelming force of solid truth. Indeed, Paul is attacking the in-subjection of heart, the unbrokenness of spirit, the self-assurance of pride that is so evident in legal-minded people.
The assemblies of Galatia had been turned aside by some who taught the withering doctrine that Christians are to maintain their salvation by keeping the law of Moses. Law-keeping flatters one's self-importance, as though he is able to do what only the grace of God can do for anyone. It robs from the Lord Jesus Christ the credit that must be absolutely and only His for accomplishing the eternal blessing of believing sinners by means of His unique and perfect sacrifice. It is no wonder that Paul speaks so earnestly and decisively in denouncing this teaching that so dishonors Christ and flatters mere humans.
The New King James Version is used in this commentary, except in a few instances, where an alternative translation may be used, mainly the accurate translation of J.N.Darby which will be indicated by the initials (JND)
the Fifth Week after Easter