Galatians

1611 King James Version (KJV)

 

Galatians
Chapter 4

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1 Now I say, that the heire, as long as hee is a child, differeth nothing from a seruant, though hee bee Lord of all,

2 But is vnder tutors and gouernours vntill the time appointed of the father.

3 Euen so we, when wee were children, were in bondage vnder the Elements of the world:

4 But when the fulnes of the time was come, God sent foorth his Sonne made of a woman, made vnder the Law,

5 To redeeme them that were vnder the Law, that we might receiue the adoption of sonnes.

6 And because yee are sonnes, God hath sent foorth the spirit of his Sonne into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.

7 Wherefore thou art no more a seruant, but a sonne; and if a sonne, then an heire of God through Christ.

8 Howbeit, then when ye knew not God, yee did seruice vnto them which by nature are no Gods.

9 But now after that yee haue knowen God, or rather are knowen of God, how turne ye againe to the weak and beggerly Elements, whereunto ye desire againe to be in bondage?

10 Yee obserue dayes, and moneths, and times, and yeeres.

11 I am afraide of you, lest I haue bestowed vpon you labour in vaine.

12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are, ye haue not iniured me at all.

13 Ye know how through infirmitie of the flesh, I preached the Gospel vnto you at the first.

14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor reiected, but receiued mee as an Angel of God, euen as Christ Iesus.

15 Where is then the blessednes you spake of? for I beare you record, that if it had bin possible, ye would haue plucked out your own eyes, and haue giuen them to me.

16 Am I therefore become your enemie, because I tell you the trueth?

17 They zelously affect you, but not well: yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them.

18 But it is good to bee zealously affected alwayes in a good thing, and not onely when I am present with you.

19 My litle children, of whom I trauaile in birth againe, vntill Christ bee formed in you:

20 I desire to bee present with you now, and to change my voyce, for I stand in doubt of you.

21 Tell me, ye that desire to be vnder the Law, doe ye not heare the Law?

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sonnes, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

23 But he who was of the bondwoman, was borne after the flesh: but hee of the freewoman, was by promise.

24 Which things are an Allegorie; for these are the two Couenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Ierusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

26 But Ierusalem which is aboue is free, which is the mother of vs all.

27 For it is written, Reioyce thou barren that bearest not, breake foorth and cry thou that traueilest not; for the desolate hath many moe children then she which hath an husband.

28 Now wee, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

29 But as then hee that was borne after the flesh, persecuted him that was borne after the Spirit, euen so it is now.

30 Neuerthelesse, what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her sonne: for the son of the bondwoman shall not bee heire with the son of the freewoman.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

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Commentary for Galatians 4

The folly of returning to legal observances for justification. (1-7) The happy change made in the Gentile believers. (8-11) The apostle reasons against following false teachers. (12-18) He expresses his earnest concern for them. (19,20) And then explains the difference between what is to be expected from the law, and from the gospel. (21-31)1-7 The apostle deals plainly with those who urged the law of Moses together with the gospel of Christ, and endeavoured to bring believers under its bondage. They could not fully understand the meaning of the law as given by Moses. And as that was a dispensation of darkness, so of bondage; they were tied to many burdensome rites and observances, by which they were taught and kept subject like a child under tutors and governors. We learn the happier state of Christians under the gospel dispensation. From these verses see the wonders of Divine love and mercy; particularly of God the Father, in sending his Son into the world to redeem and save us; of the Son of God, in submitting so low, and suffering so much for us; and of the Holy Spirit, in condescending to dwell in the hearts of believers, for such gracious purposes. Also, the advantages Christians enjoy under the gospel. Although by nature children of wrath and disobedience, they become by grace children of love, and partake of the nature of the children of God; for he will have all his children resemble him. Among men the eldest son is heir; but all God's children shall have the inheritance of eldest sons. May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God.

8-11 The happy change whereby the Galatians were turned from idols to the living God, and through Christ had received the adoption of sons, was the effect of his free and rich grace; they were laid under the greater obligation to keep to the liberty wherewith he had made them free. All our knowledge of God begins on his part; we know him because we are known of him. Though our religion forbids idolatry, yet many practise spiritual idolatry in their hearts. For what a man loves most, and cares most for, that is his god: some have their riches for their god, some their pleasures, and some their lusts. And many ignorantly worship a god of their own making; a god made all of mercy and no justice. For they persuade themselves that there is mercy for them with God, though they repent not, but go on in their sins. It is possible for those who have made great professions of religion, to be afterwards drawn aside from purity and simplicity. And the more mercy God has shown, in bringing any to know the gospel, and the liberties and privileges of it, the greater their sin and folly in suffering themselves to be deprived of them. Hence all who are members of the outward church should learn to fear and to suspect themselves. We must not be content because we have some good things in ourselves. Paul fears lest his labour is in vain, yet he still labours; and thus to do, whatever follows, is true wisdom and the fear of God. This every man must remember in his place and calling.

12-18 The apostle desires that they would be of one mind with him respecting the law of Moses, as well as united with him in love. In reproving others, we should take care to convince them that our reproofs are from sincere regard to the honour of God and religion and their welfare. The apostle reminds the Galatians of the difficulty under which he laboured when he first came among them. But he notices, that he was a welcome messenger to them. Yet how very uncertain are the favour and respect of men! Let us labour to be accepted of God. You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now reason to think otherwise? Christians must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others. The false teachers who drew the Galatians from the truth of the gospel were designing men. They pretended affection, but they were not sincere and upright. An excellent rule is given. It is good to be zealous always in a good thing; not for a time only, or now and then, but always. Happy would it be for the church of Christ, if this zeal was better maintained.

19,20 The Galatians were ready to account the apostle their enemy, but he assures them he was their friend; he had the feelings of a parent toward them. He was in doubt as to their state, and was anxious to know the result of their present delusions. Nothing is so sure a proof that a sinner has passed into a state of justification, as Christ being formed in him by the renewal of the Holy Spirit; but this cannot be hoped for, while men depend on the law for acceptance with God.

21-27 The difference between believers who rested in Christ only, and those who trusted in the law, is explained by the histories of Isaac and Ishmael. These things are an allegory, wherein, beside the literal and historical sense of the words, the Spirit of God points out something further. Hagar and Sarah were apt emblems of the two different dispensations of the covenant. The heavenly Jerusalem, the true church from above, represented by Sarah, is in a state of freedom, and is the mother of all believers, who are born of the Holy Spirit. They were by regeneration and true faith, made a part of the true seed of Abraham, according to the promise made to him.

28-31 The history thus explained is applied. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free. If the privileges of all believers were so great, according to the new covenant, how absurd for the Gentile converts to be under that law, which could not deliver the unbelieving Jews from bondage or condemnation! We should not have found out this allegory in the history of Sarah and Hagar, if it had not been shown to us, yet we cannot doubt it was intended by the Holy Spirit. It is an explanation of the subject, not an argument in proof of it. The two covenants of works and grace, and legal and evangelical professors, are shadowed forth. Works and fruits brought forth in a man's own strength, are legal. But if arising from faith in Christ, they are evangelical. The first covenant spirit is of bondage unto sin and death. The second covenant spirit is of liberty and freedom; not liberty to sin, but in and unto duty. The first is a spirit of persecution; the second is a spirit of love. Let those professors look to it, who have a violent, harsh, imposing spirit, towards the people of God. Yet as Abraham turned aside to Hagar, so it is possible a believer may turn aside in some things to the covenant of works, when through unbelief and neglect of the promise he acts according to the law, in his own strength; or in a way of violence, not of love, towards the brethren. Yet it is not his way, not his spirit to do so; hence he is never at rest, till he returns to his dependence on Christ again. Let us rest our souls on the Scriptures, and by a gospel hope and cheerful obedience, show that our conversation and treasure are indeed in heaven.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Galatians 4

  • Sarah, a very young Follower
    Galatians 4:16.. It is amazing how true this is. I just want to emphasize that one.
  • Steve morrow
    GALATIANS 4:16 am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth PSALM 139:20 for they speak against thee wickedly and thine enemies take thy name in vain --139:21-- do not I hate them O LORD that hate thee and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee --139:22-- I hate them with perfect hatred I count them my enemies
  • John
    Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
    4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
  • John
    3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  • Steve morrow
    GALATIANS 4:5 to redeem them that were under the law --- THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THAT ADOPTION OF SONS --4:6--and because you are sons GOD hath sent forth the spirit of HIS SON into your hearts crying ABBA FATHER EPHESIANS 1:5 HAVING PREDESTINATED US UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIMSELF *** ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL ***
  • Emmanuel1234
    As a christian we should always follow Christ our savior because we are free children of God. We should never follow the slave children path which means we should not follow the anti- Christ people, we should try and help them to be Christians so that they can receive the gift we are receiving as a child of God.

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