“Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.

“Paul an apostle,”
Literally:  “Paul, apostle” 
(Paulos apostolos)–Paul is simply stating that he is an apostle.             

The word apostle is used in a two-fold sense:|
1.     One of the twelve (Acts 1:21-26)
2.     One sent

       This is the wider sense as used in Acts 11:22.

         The designation of “apostle” is here appropriated by Paul in explanation of his right to authoritatively address those to whom he was writing.  Most likely Paul took the place of Judas.  Matthias was chosen by the disciples to fill the place of Judas, but nothing more is given about him.  Matthias is never mentioned again.  If the Holy Spirit had chosen him, certainly somewhere along the way He would have set His seal upon this man.  Paul, however, proved he was an apostle, and Matthias did not.  The election of Matthias as an apostle was held before Pentecost, which was before the Holy Spirit came into the church.  Paul is the man whom the Holy Spirit of God chose to take the place of Judas.
        The Judaizers questioned Paul authority as an apostle and his teaching that simple faith was adequate for salvation.  Paul defends his apostleship and demonstrates the sufficiency of the gospel of grace to save.  These Judaizers sought to undermine Paul’s doctrine by denying or minimizing his apostleship.  They limited the term, “apostle” exclusively to the twelve, and were thus enable to assert:
1.      That he was not an apostle in the highest sense, as he was not a person al disciple of Jesus Christ, and therefore could not claim the inspiration of those on whom he breathed the Holy Ghost (John 20:22);
2.      That he at lest stood in subordination to the twelve and therefore was not to be followed where he diverged from their teaching;
3.      That the proceedings of Antioch (Acts 13:1-2) implied that he received his commission and his gospel from man

“not of men”
Literally:  “not from men”

Paul says that his apostleship is not “from men” The original Greek conveys the meaning of “not from men,” that is, it is not legalistic.

 He is not an apostle by appointment or commission after having attended a school or of having taken a prescribed course. Not commissioned by any assembly or council of the apostles. The false teachers might have suggested that the proceedings of Antioch implied a human commission, but he had been called to the apostleship long before his designation at Antioch to a special missionary work (Acts 26:16-20).

“neither by man”
Nor by any one of the apostles; neither by
James, who seems to have been president of the apostolic council at Jerusalem; nor by Peter, to whom, in a particular manner, the keys of the kingdom were entrusted.

Paul also declares that his apostleship is not by man.”.  The preposition dia indicates that it was not through man; that is, not ritualistic by means of laying on of hands, as by a bishop or church council.  Paul did not have the other apostles lay their hands on his head and say, “hocus pocus, you are an apostle.”
         Not from men, neither through menThe bluntness of Paul's denial is due to the charge made by the Judaizers that he was not a genuine apostle because he was not one of the twelve.

“but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father”
Literally:  “but through Jesus Christ and God {the} Father.”–Paul was an apostle.  But      how?  He was an apostle by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the  dead Jesus Himself laid His hand upon Paul, called him, and set him apart for the office (see Acts 9:15-16). His commission was entirely Divine: 

         1.     It was by Jesus Christ, for his commission dated from the day of his conversion on the road to Damascus.  He was directly and immediately called by Christ.
         2.     It was by God the Father, acting through and in Christ.

“who raised Him from the dead.”
Literally:  “having raised Him from the dead”–By adding this qualifying phrase, Paul is emphasizing the fact that whereas the other apostles were commission by the Lord Jesus while He was in His humiliation, he himself was given his commissioned b y the resurrected glorified Christ.

“And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.”

“and all the brethren which are with me”
Literally:  “And the brothers with me.”The same phrase in Phil. 4:21 in distinction from the saints in verse Phil. 4:22. Probably the small company of travelling companions.Who were these brethren?

1.     They were not the Christian people among whom he resided.
2.     It was Paul’s habit to distinguish between “the brethren” and “the saints” (Phil. 4:21-22).
        a.      They were his colleagues in gospel work and gospel travel.
These probably included probably Timothy and Titus who had accompanied him in his first visit to Galatia and had joined him there (Acts 18:5) and perhaps Erastus,    Trophimus, and other.
        b.      They were very numerous.

         It is very likely that this refers to those who were his assistants in preaching the Gospel, and not to any private members of the Church.  It was usual for Paul to associate with him the ministers of the gospel, or other Christians who were with him, in expressing friendly salutations to the churches to which he wrote, or as uniting with him, and concurring in the sentiments which he expressed. Though Paul claimed to be inspired, yet it would do much to conciliate favor for what he advanced, if others also concurred with what he said, and especially if they were known, to the churches to which the epistles were written. Sometimes the names of others were associated with his in the epistle. As we do not know where this epistle was written, of course we are ignorant who the "brethren" were who are here referred to. They may have been ministers with Paul.
“I am not alone in my doctrine; all my colleagues in the Gospel work, travelling with me: Gaius and Aristarchus at Ephesus, (Acts 19:29); Sopater, Secundus, Timotheus, Tychicus, Trophimus, (Acts 20:4),  some, or all of these, join with me.” Not that these were joint authors with Paul of the Epistle: but joined him in the sentiments and salutations. The phrase, “all the brethren,” accords with a date when he had many travelling companions, he and they having to bear jointly the collection to Jerusalem.         

         If this Epistle was written during Paul’s three months visit to Corinth, about the close of  A.D. 57, he was not accompanied by a larger number of brethren than at almost any other time.   It is likely that this refers to those who were his assistants in preaching the Gospel, and not to any private members of the Church in Galatia.

“unto the churches of Galatia”
Literally:  “to the churches of Galatia”–
Galatia was a region or province of Asia Minor; there was neither city nor town of this name. Probably in the towns of Ancyra, Pessinus and Tavium. The name Galatia really means, Gaul-atia;   or place of the Gauls.  In this province, Paul had planted several Churches, he directs the epistle to the whole of them; for it seems they were all pretty nearly in the same state, and needed the same instructions.

         It is interesting that in the N.T. we do not have a single name of a place or person connected with Paul’s preaching in Galatia.  These Galatians, as their name signifies, to the Celtic race and differed in character and habits from all the other nations to whom Paul wrote Epistles.  In that Greco-Roman world, the Galatians were noted for their instability of character.  Paul is not writing just to one church.  He is writing to several churches.  The word church is used in two ways in the NT.
1.      To refer to the entire body of believer, of all different groups, who have trusted Christ as Savior.This would be the Body of Christ, also known as the Universal Church.
2.      To refer to Local Assemblies, which is how Paul uses the word here.There were many churches, or local assemblies, in many parts of Galatia.
There was a church in Antioch of Pisidia, in Derbe, in Lystra, and in other places he had visited.Paul was writing a round-robin letter too all these church.In the
Epistle to the Ephisians we look at the corporate body of believers (the Universal Church).
         Paul’s greeting is brief, formal and terse.  He greets no one by name. The primary purpose in writing the epistle was to deal with primary problem of the
Galatian Christian; that they were prone to all sorts of ritualistic observances.  Although the Galatian churches were in error, they were still true Churches of Christ.  The fact that this Epistle was addressed to Churches over so extensive a tract of country would imply the wide prevalence of the Judaistic heresy.

         How many churches there were in Galatian is unknown. There were several cities in Gaul-atia: as Ancyria (which is now the capital of Turkey), Tavia, Pessinus, etc.  It is not improbable that a church had been established in each of the cities, and as they were not far distant from each other, and the people had the same general character and habits, it is not improbable that they had fallen into the same errors. Hence the epistle is directed to them in common.

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Grace be to you”
Literally:  “grace to you.”–This is Paul’s formal greeting that he uses in most of his   epistles.  The
Greek word for grace (charis) in this verse was the gentile form of greeting in that day. This is the usual apostolic salutation, imploring for them the blessing of God.  “Grace be to you” (Grk.–charis humin) was the Greek greeting.

“and peace”“Peace”(Grk.-eriênê) or (Heb.–shalom), is the normal greeting between Jews.  The grace of God must be experienced before the peace that is from God the Father can be         experienced.  Peace is not just peace with God (Rom. 5:1), but the peace that springs from it.  Grace is the root of peace; peace is the inner comfort that springs from grace.

“from God the Father and (from) our Lord Jesus Christ”
Literally:  “from God {the} Father and our Lord Jesus Christ”–Omit this second “from.” The Greek text joins God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ in close union, by there being only the one preposition.


“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:”

“Who gave Himself for our sins”–Who became a sin-offering to God in behalf of mankind, that they might be saved from their sins.

This is another one of those Bible verses that there is nothing that can be added to it.  It says it all.  Jesus Christ, “gave Himself for our sins.”  There is nothing that we can add to the value of His sacrifice.  NOTHING!   Can any of us add anything to His sacrifice?  Of course not!  He gave Himself!  When you give yourself, you have given everything—who you are, what you have, your time, your talent—everything.  He gave Himself!  He couldn’t give any more.

                 FOR:  (Grk.–huper)–Could also be rendered as “in place of;” speaks of substitution, which was its usual meaning in the secular of Paul’s day.

         Here in verses 4 & 5 Paul declares the true ground of acceptance with God which the Galatians were ignoring by their system of legalism.  Christ gave Himself–this is the germ of Paul’s whole argument.  Paul is bringing to the attention of the Galatian believers, who were ignoring the substitutionary character of the atoning death of the Lord Jesus.  He is reminding them of the true grounds for acceptance with God (see 2:21; 5:4).  Paul seems to be purposely adding this because the Galatians were falling back on to works as the ground of acceptance with God.
         The reason why Paul so soon introduces this important doctrine, and makes it here so prominent, probably is, that this was the cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith, the great truth which was ever to be kept before the mind, and because this truth had been in fact lost sight of by them. They had embraced doctrines which tended to obscure it, or to make it void. They had been led into error by the Judaizing teachers, who held that it was necessary to be circumcised, and to conform to the whole Jewish ritual.
         Paul, therefore, wished to make this prominent-the very starting point in their religion; a truth never to be forgotten, that Christ gave himself for their sins, that he might deliver them from all the bad influences of this world, and from all the false systems of religion engendered in this world.
         WHO GAVE:  (Grk.–tou dontos)–This expression is one that often occurs in relation to the work of the Redeemer, where it is represented as a gift, either on the part of God, or on the part of Christ Himself (John 3:16, Comp. John 4:10, Rom. 4:25, II Cor.  9:15, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 5:25, Titus 2:14). This passage proves,
1.     That it was wholly voluntary on the part of the Lord Jesus. No one compelled Him to come; no one could compel Him. It is not too much to say, that God could not, and would not, COMPEL any innocent and holy Being to undertake the great work of the atonement, and endure the bitter sorrows which were necessary to redeem man. God will compel the guilty to suffer, but He never will compel the innocent to endure sorrows, even in behalf of others. The whole work of redemption must be voluntary, or it could not be performed.
2.      That it displayed great benevolence on the part of the Redeemer.
          a.      He did not come to take upon Himself unknown and unsurveyed woes.
          b.     He did not go to work in the dark.
          c.      He knew what was to be done.
          d.     He knew just what sorrows were to be endured-how long, how keen, how awful. And yet, knowing this,
          e.      He came resolved and prepared to endure all those woes, and to drink the bitter cup to the dregs.
3.       If there had not been this benevolence in His bosom, man must have perished for ever.
Man could not have saved himself; and he had no power or right to compel another to suffer in his behalf; and even God would not lay this mighty burden on any other, unless he was entirely willing to endure it.  How much, then, do we owe to the Lord Jesus; and how entirely should we devote our lives to him who loved us, and gave himself for us!

         The phrase, “for our sins,” means the same as “on account of;” meaning, that the cause or reason why He gave Himself to death was our sins; that is, He died because we are sinners, and because we could be saved only by His giving Himself up to death.
         The sense is, that the Lord Jesus became a vicarious offering, and died in the stead of sinners. It is not possible to express this idea more distinctly and unambiguously than Paul has done in this passage. Sin was the procuring cause of his death; to make expiation for sin was the design of his coming; and sin is pardoned and removed only by his substituted suffering.  

“that He might deliver us from this present evil world.”
Literally:  “that He might delivers us out of the present evil age”–Paul says that Christ delivers us from this “presentevil age.  There is a present value of the Gospel which proves its power and genuineness.

         The Gospel has delivered countless numbers of people from alcohol, drugs and sex sins.  Christ gave Himself for our sins.  He wants to deliver.  He can deliver.  He will deliver.  These words cannot mean created nature, or the earth and its productions, nor even wicked men.  Therefore, Paul must mean the Jews, and their system of carnal ordinances; statutes which were not good, and judgments by which they could not live; Ezekiel 20:25; and the whole of their ecclesiastical economy, which was a burden neither they nor their fathers were able to bear, Acts 15:10.
         Paul takes occasion, in the very commencement of the epistle, to inform the Galatians that it was according to the will and counsel of God that circumcision should cease, and all the other ritual parts of the Mosaic economy; and that it was for this express purpose that Jesus Christ gave Himself a sacrifice for our sins, because the law could not make the comers thereunto perfect. It had pointed out the sinfulness of sin, in its various ordinances, washings, etc.; and it had showed forth the guilt of sin in its numerous sacrifices; but the common sense, even of its own votaries, told them that it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. A higher atonement was necessary; and when God provided that, all its shadows and representations necessarily ceased.         

          DELIVERED: (Grk.–exelêtai)–drawn from the Greek verb  exaireô,  which literally means, “to pluck out; to take out for one’s self; to rescue.”  The word here denotes, not a removal from, but rather a rescue from the entrapment of this present age.

        EVIL:  (Grk.–poneros)—“evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil.”  The English word that would best translate this is “pernicious.”Schoettgen contends that the word poneros should be translated laborious or oppressive, as it comes from   (ponos)–“labor, trouble,” etc.

        WORLD:  (Grk.–aionos)–Literally in the Greek: “age;” system or course of the world, regarded from a religious point of view. The present age opposes the “glory” (v. 5) of God, and is under the authority of the Evil One. The “ages of ages” (Greek, v. :5) are opposed to “the present evil age.”

“according to the will of God and our Father.”–Without merit of ours. His sovereignty as GOD, and our filial relation to Him as “OUR FATHER,” ought to keep us from blending our own legal notions (as the Galatians were doing) with His will and plan. This paves the way for his argument.

         Notice that Christ’s deliverance is according to the will of the Father.  It is God’s will that all be delivered—“The Lord…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
1.      The Lord Jesus Christ can delivers us.
2.      He wants to delivers us.
3.      He will delivers us, and,
4.      He will do it according to the will of God, but not according to anything that we can do or demand. 

         a.      Is from  God the Father, 
         b.     Is through Christ, God the Son, and,

         c.      Is given free, gratis, as a gift.
Not by the will of man, or by his wisdom, but in accordance with the will of God. It was His purpose that the Lord Jesus should thus give Himself; and his doing it was in accordance with His will, and was pleasing in His sight. The whole plan originated in the Divine purpose, and has been executed in accordance with the Divine will. If in accordance with his will, it is good, and is worthy of universal acceptation.

“To Whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen”

“To whom be the glory”
Literally:  “to whom the glory.” –There is no verb “be” in the Greek text.  Let Him have the glory to whom alone it is due, for having delivered us from the present evil world, and from all bondage to Mosaic rites and ceremonies.


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