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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

Galatians 1

Verses 1-2

He was not chosen or selected by men. He was appointed to this office by Jesus Christ.

Verse 3

This is the only letter addressed to a territory. "Grace and peace" is a normal greeting.

Verses 4-5

"This evil world" refers to the world of men and the evil practices and principles. Jesus came to free us from the wicked practices of evil men.

This is all part of God's plan for us. It is according to His will.

Verses 4-7

4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

For 1,500 years, Israel was in kindergarten, getting ready for Christ to come.

FULLNESS OF TIME:

Why was THIS the right time for Christ? World Peace - "Pax Romana" - This was a period of 120 years with no major war.

1. Postal system

2. Highway system of roads and signs

3. Open travel over the empire

4. Common language (Greek)

5. One stable government

Made of woman - Gen_3:15

5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Jesus was under the law so that we could "stand as adults."

The CHILD: Enters the family, Needs guardians

The SON: Enjoys the family, has liberty, an heir of God.

PURPOSE: To redeem - "buy back"

PURPOSE: To adopt - stand as a son

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

Advantages of being a son:

a. The Spirit of Christ dwells in you

b. God is your "Abba (papa) Father"

7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

You are not just a servant, you are a son.

Verse 6

Men can depart from truth very quickly. It does not take a long time. A sudden departure is still a shock. How can they go so far away so quickly?

Verse 7

"Another" is not a totally different gospel. This is a false message of bondage, not salvation.

Verse 8

"Accursed" or "Anathema" refer to being cut off from the fellowship, excommunication, and public punishment.

Verse 9

WARNING: NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE DIVINE MESSAGE!

Verse 10

What is the preacher's task? Is he to please men or God? Whom should he fear most, men or God? Men-pleasing is wrong. (See Eph_6:6 ; Col_3:22 )

Verses 11-12

"I certify" means this is an iron-clad guarentee.

Five guarentees:

1. Not "Paul's Gospel".

2. Not desinged to please men.

3. Not learned from men.

4. Paul was not taught it.

5. Came by revelation.

Verses 13-14

"Conversation" means lifestyle or manner of life. All were familiar with the dramatic change in Paul.

YOU KNOW PAUL:

1.Persecuted (wasted) the church

2.Personal profit from activity

3.Far above many Paul's age

4.Zeal in Jewish religion

5.Held to traditions of fathers

Verse 15

BUT GOD:

1.Separated Paul before birth

2.Called (chose) him

3.Saved him by God's grace

4.Revealed Jesus to him

5.Ordered him to preach

NOTE: These verses suggest an identity and personhood exist before birth. This would make abortion wrong.

Verses 16-18

He did not seek advice from the apostles. He went into Arabia. Like Moses and Jesus, there is a period of quietness and meditation before the work begins. Three years later, he went to Jerusalem. Most of the brethren, including the apostles, shunned him. Only Barnabas accepted Paul.

Verse 19

Where were the other apostles?

They travelled, taught, and established churches.

Who is this James? Two views:

[A] The Lord's brother. Was he an apostle?

[B] This was James the son of Alpheus.

Verses 20-22

Paul went where he was not personally known. Fame is not needed to preach the Gospel.

Verses 23-24

When they heard that he was now preaching the faith, they rejoiced.

NOTE: "The faith" refers to the entire system of belief, including all things believed by the early Christians.

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Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Galatians 1". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/galatians-1.html. 2021.