This is the first in a series of several studies that I will be posting over the next several weeks. It will be a systematic and verse by verse study of this wonderful and forceful epistle to do away with law keeping as a believer’s rule of life. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, delivered this letter as the called Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our lives in Christ should be forcefully impacted by this wonderful message regarding grace, law, and our liberty in Christ. Continue reading “Galatians 1: “Not, Neither, But””
A Study of Galatians 1:1-5
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To Whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen. [Gal 1:1-5]
A Study of Galatians 1:6-9
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. [Gal 1:6-9]
A Study of Galatians 1:10-12
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. [Gal 1:10-12]
Paul lets the readers know that he is not going to “pull any punches” to make everyone feel good. He is the servant of Christ and stands and falls to his own master. He does not stand and fall to them-or to us.
A Study of Galatians 1:13-14
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. [Gal 1:13-14]
A few things to note about this time-past conversation in the Jews’ religion:
A Study of Galatians 1:15-19
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called [me] by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. [Gal 1:15-19]
Now in this passage, we have a little more of history. In Acts, the Holy Spirit gave to Luke certain details to record. Here Paul gives other details. Both are consistent with the purpose that God had for their particular work.
A Study of Galatians 1:20-24
Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; and was unknown by face unto the churches of Judæa which were in Christ: But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me. [Gal 1:20-24]
Galatians chapter 2 could be titled “A Tale of Two Apostles”, or even the same name as the Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. As for the story of two Apostles, the myths created by “scholars” of rival factions and a Petrine party vs. a Pauline party with Paul’s party winning out and settling Christian doctrine may make good novels and movies, but is totally unscriptural. All that the BIBLE STUDENT would need to is read this chapter along with the Acts 10-15 to find out what really happened. As for “Pauline” doctrine winning out, all one would have to do is look at what the historic church of Christendom has taught and see that save for a few bright lights along the way, Paul’s gospel has not won the day in man’s religion. But we are not talking about man’s religion. We are studying the written Word of God.
A Study of Galatians 2:1-5
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with [me] also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. [Gal 2:1-5]
During the fourteen years mentioned in verse 1, alot of things have happened. Paul passes them over in a few quick words. The fourteen years covered here I believe correspond to the events in Acts 9:30-15:1. Here is a quick overview of this time:
A Study of Galatians 2:6-10
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. [Gal 2:6-10]
The Pharisees that believed likely had a well-respected position in the Jerusalem assembly. The Lord said of the Pharisees that did not believe: