It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. ii. The Law was given “because of transgressions:” i.e., it had its object in transgressions. The Galatian Christians had believed in Jesus and began enjoying their freedom in Christ. They may be retained, provided that the metaphor is not pressed to the extent of supposing that Christ represents the schoolmaster proper to whom the child is led by the pedagogue slave. ‘Sons’ (not ‘children,’ E. V.), implies here the idea of age and freedom, as distinct from the state of childhood and pupilage under the training of the pædagogue. Horace notes as a peculiar advantage of his own that his father himself had taken the place of pedagogue to him (Sat. This was the position of the Judaising party, against which St. Paul is arguing. It depended upon the fallible action of man, and not only upon the infallible word of God. But it is not said that the actual load of human guilt was laid upon Him. The promise, therefore, being annexed to faith, contained the death-blow of all those exclusive privileges which the Judaising party in Galatia claimed for themselves, and of all those burdensome regulations which they were for imposing upon the Galatian Christians. The Authorised version, however, hardly involves an anachronism, as the promise is regarded as anticipating the gospel, inasmuch as it already contained the doctrine of justification by faith, in which the essence of the gospel consisted. Gave it.—In the original a strong word: God hath freely given it. This wasabout 61 years after the birth of Christ. ‘All,’ Jews and Gentiles alike (comp. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. The Apostle refers it to Christ and the “spiritual Israel” (i.e., the Church, of which He is the Head), on the same principle on which, throughout the New Testament, the history of the chosen people under the old covenant is taken as a type of the Christian dispensation. What is true of one is true of all. Used by Permission. (27) For.—This introduces the reason why the Christian stands to God in the relation of an adult son. We are no longer like children, but adult members of the divine family—sons of God. Mere formal obedience to a written law had no such efficacy. Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-21.) 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Faith was the cause, blessing the consequence, which extends to all the spiritual descendants of Abraham. Its real result was rather to place all men in a state of sin. 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23, “Ye are (were) bought with a price;” 2 Peter 2:1, “The Lord that bought them;” Revelation 5:9, “Thou wast slain and hast redeemed (bought) us to God by thy blood;” Revelation 14:4, “These were redeemed (bought) from among men.” The word used in these passages, as well as in that before us, is the general word for “buying.” But that the “buying” intended is that more definitely conveyed by the idea of “ransom” appears from the use of the special word for ransom in Matthew 20:28 ( = Mark 10:45), “The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many;” 1 Timothy 2:6, “Who gave Himself a ransom for all.” The word commonly translated “redemption” (Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15) also contains the same special idea of “a ransoming.”. 1 He calls them foolish [3:1,3] The Greek word is anoetoi, and refers to a lack of understanding, a mindlessness, a being driven by the emotions rather than by the mind, a moral defect that caused them to allow themselves to be blindly and thoughtlessly carried away. Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? Know ye.—The verb here may either be in the indicative or in the imperative: “know ye,” or “ye know.” Perhaps, on the whole, the imperative, as in the Authorised version, is best. (15) I speak after the manner of men.—The figure that I am going to use is one taken from the ordinary civil relations between man and man, and therefore, it is left to be inferred, supplies an à fortiori argument in things relating to God, for men may change and break the most solemn engagements; God is absolutely faithful and unchangeable. (See Introduction.). What is meant is “all mankind.”. Galatians 3:6. having begun in the Spirit; that is, either in the Spirit of God, whom they had received through the preaching of the Gospel. Be blessed.—With the bliss of the Messianic kingdom. For to be baptised into Christ is to enter into the closest possible relation to Him. For it is not dependent upon the Law, or upon the Law and the promise combined (the Law modifying the promise), but upon the promise alone. (19, 20) If such was not the function of the Law—if it had no power to modify the promise—what was its true function? The questions cut like a knife... View the entire commentary. It might be thought to add certain new and limiting conditions, without compliance with which the blessings of the promise could not be obtained. If the promise had been fulfilled before the giving of the Law, and if the Messianic dispensation to which the Apostle and his readers belonged was not a fulfilment of the promise, then the Law might have had something to do with it: the restrictions of the Law might have come in to limit and contract the promise: the Gentiles might have been saddled with the obligations of the Jews.  We find our place in history, because we are part of God’s plan of the ages, related spiritually to Abraham by our faith in Jesus. ... Galatians 3:18. You can also change some of your preferences. The faith of the Galatians is likened to that of Abraham, in that it found the same acceptance with God. (14) The abolition of the Law, consummated upon the cross, involved the doing away of all the old restrictions which confined the Messianic inheritance to the Jews. The object of this parenthesis is to prove a point which the Judaising opponents of the Apostle would not contest—viz., that the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham was reserved for that Messianic dispensation to which they themselves belonged. Preached before the gospel.—For this translation we might substitute, announced the glad tidings beforehand. The Law had a mediator, therefore the Law involves two parties. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 3:1-5 Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. To bring us unto Christ.—The words “to bring us,” it will be seen, are supplied. The same word is used in 2 Corinthians 9:10; Colossians 2:19; 2 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:11. The expression “because of transgressions” leaves it ambiguous which of these points is meant, or rather, it includes them all. (1) It dealt with sins, not with holiness; (2) it was temporary and transitory; (3) it was given, not directly, but indirectly, through the double mediation of the angels and of Moses; (4) it was conditional, and not like the promise, unconditional. The Hebrew text is, “Cursed be he that confirmeth not the words of this law to do them.” The word “all” is inserted in the Authorised version, probably from this passage. The expression seems wide enough to cover both ideas. The first thing that Christianity does is to undo this result of the Law by deliverance from the curse. Bible > Commentaries > Galatians 3:18 ... Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (18) The fulfilment of the promise is unaffected by the Law. And to seeds, as of many; but as of one.—The argument of the Apostle turns upon the use, both in the Hebrew and in the LXX., of a singular instead of a plural noun. (26) Children of God.—The translation “children” here is unfortunate, as the point to be brought out is that the Christian is no longer in the condition of “children,” but in that of grown-up “sons.” The pre-Messianic period bears to the Messianic period the same relation that a childhood or minority bears to full age. In Christ I come home.” (Stott), ©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission. The preposition which means “instead” is found in Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. 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