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1: Paul, an apostle - Here it was necessary for St.
Paul to assert his authority; otherwise he is very modest in
the use of this title. He seldom mentions it when he mentions
others in the salutations with himself, as in the Epistles to
the Philippians and Thessalonians; or when he writes about
secular affairs, as in that to Philemon; nor yet in writing to
the Hebrews because he was not properly their apostle. Not
of men - Not commissioned from them, but from God the Father.
Neither by man - Neither by any man as an instrument, but by
Jesus Christ. Who raised him from the dead - Of which it was
the peculiar business of an apostle to bear witness.
2: And all the brethren - Who agree with me in what I now write.
4: That he might deliver us from the present evil world
- From the guilt, wickedness, and misery wherein it is involved,
and from its vain and foolish customs and pleasures. According
to the will of God - Without any merit of ours. St. Paul begins
most of his epistles with thanksgiving; but, writing to the
Galatians, he alters his style, and first sets down his main
proposition, That by the merits of Christ alone, giving himself
for our sins, we are justified: neither does he term them, as he
does others, either saints," elect," or churches of God."
5: To whom be glory - For this his gracious will.
6: I marvel that ye are removed so soon - After my leaving
you. From him who called you by the grace of Christ - His
gracious gospel, and his gracious power.
7: Which, indeed, is not properly another gospel.
For what ye have now received is no gospel at all; it is not glad,
but heavy, tidings, as setting your acceptance with God upon terms
impossible to be performed. But there are some that trouble you
- The same word occurs, (Ac 15:24).
And would - If they were able. Subvert or overthrow the gospel
of Christ - The better to effect which, they suggest, that the other
apostles, yea, and I myself, insist upon the observance of the law.
8: But if we - I and all the apostles. Or an angel from
heaven - If it were possible. Preach another gospel, let him
be accursed - Cut off from Christ and God.
9: As - He speaks upon mature deliberation; after
pausing, it seems, between the two verses. We - I and the
brethren who are with me. Have said before - Many times, in
effect, if not in terms. So I say - All those brethren knew
the truth of the gospel. St. Paul knew the Galatians had
received the true gospel.
10: For - He adds the reason why he speaks so
confidently. Do I now satisfy men - Is this what I aim at in
preaching or writing? If I still - Since I was an apostle.
Pleased men - Studied to please them; if this were my motive
of action; nay, if I did in fact please the men who know not God.
I should not be the servant of Christ - Hear this, all ye who
vainly hope to keep in favour both with God and with the world!
11: But I certify you, brethren - He does not till
now give them even this appellation. That the gospel which
was preached by me among you is not according to man
- Not from man, not by man, not suited to the taste of man.
12: For neither did I receive it - At once. Nor was
I taught it - Slowly and gradually, by any man. But by the
revelation of Jesus Christ - Our Lord revealed to him at first,
his resurrection, ascension, and the calling of the gentiles,
and his own apostleship; and told him then, there were other
things for which he would appear to him.
13: I Persecuted the church of God - That is, the
believers in Christ.
14: Being zealous of the unwritten traditions - Over
and above those written in the law.
15: But when it pleased God - He ascribes nothing to
his own merits, endeavours, or sincerity. Who separated me
from my mother's womb - Set me apart for an apostle, as he
did Jeremiah for a prophet. (Jer 1:5). Such an unconditional
predestination as this may consist, both with God's justice and
mercy. And called me by his grace - By his free and almighty
love, to be both a Christian and an apostle.
16: To reveal his Son in me - By the powerful operation of his Spirit,(2Co 4:6); as well as to me, by the heavenly vision.
That I might preach him to others - Which I should have been ill qualified
to do, had I not first known him myself. I did not confer with flesh and
blood - Being fully satisfied of the divine will, and determined to obey, I
took no counsel with any man, neither with my own reason or inclinations,
which might have raised numberless objections.
17: Neither did I go up to Jerusalem - The residence of
the apostles. But I immediately went again into Arabia, and
returned again to Damascus - He presupposes the journey to
Damascus, in which he was converted, as being known to them all.
18: Then after three years - Wherein I had given full
proof of my apostleship. I went to visit Peter - To converse
19: But other of the apostles I saw none, save James
the brother (that is, the kinsman) of the Lord - Therefore when
Barnabas is said to have "brought him into the apostles,"(Ac 9:27), only St. Peter and St James are meant.
24: In me - That is, on my account.