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Geneva Study Notes
Galatians Chapter 1

Galatians 1:1
1:1 Paul, {1} an apostle, (not {a} of men, neither by {b} man,
    but by {c} Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him
    from the dead;)

 (1) A salutation which puts in a few words the sum of the
     apostle's doctrine, and also immediately from the beginning
     shows the gravity appropriate for the authority of an
     apostle, which he had to maintain against the false
     apostles.
     (a) He shows who is the author of the ministry generally:
         for in this the whole ministry agrees, that whether
         they are apostles, or shepherds, or teachers, they are
         appointed by God.
     (b) He mentions that man is not the instrumental cause: for
         this is a special right of the apostles, to be called
         directly from Christ.
     (c) Christ no doubt is man, but he is also God, and head of
         the Church, and in this respect to be exempted out of
         the number of men.

Galatians 1:4
1:4 {2} Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us
    from this present evil {d} world, according to the will of
    God and our Father:

 (2) The sum of the true Gospel is this, that Christ by his
     offering alone saves us who are chosen out of the world, by
     the free decree of God the Father.
     (d) Out of that most corrupt state which is without Christ.

Galatians 1:6
1:6 {3} I marvel that ye are so soon {e} removed from him that
    called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

 (3) The first part of the epistle, in which he witnesses that
     he is an apostle, nothing inferior to those chief disciples
     of Christ, and wholly agreeing with them, whose names the
     false apostles abused.  And he begins with chiding,
     reproving them of unsteadiness, because they gave ear so
     easily to those who perverted them and drew them away to a
     new gospel.
     (e) He uses the passive voice to cast the fault upon the
         false apostles, and he uses the present voice to show
         them that it was not completely done, but in the
         process of being done.

Galatians 1:7
1:7 {4} Which is not another; but there be some that trouble
    you, and would {f} pervert the gospel of Christ.

 (4) He warns them in time to remember that there are not many
     Gospels; and therefore whatever these false apostles
     pretend who had the Law, Moses, and the fathers in their
     mouths, yet these ones had indeed corrupted the true
     Gospel.  And he himself, indeed, also the very angels
     themselves (and therefore much more these false apostles)
     ought to be held accursed, if they go about to change the
     least thing that may be in the Gospel that he delivered to
     them before.
     (f) For there is nothing more contrary to faith or free
         justification, than justification by the Law or by
         deeds.

Galatians 1:8
1:8 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 {g} accursed.

    (g) See Romans 9:3.

Galatians 1:10
1:10 {5} For do I now persuade {h} men, or God? or do I seek to
     please men?  for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the
     servant of Christ.

 (5) A confirmation taken both from the nature of the doctrine
     itself, and also from the manner which he used in
     teachings.  For neither, he says, did I teach those things
     which pleased men, as these men do who put part of
     salvation in external things, and works of the Law, neither
     went I about to procure any man's favour.  And therefore
     the matter itself shows that that doctrine which I
     delivered to you is heavenly.
     (h) He refers to the false apostles, who had nothing but
         flattery in their mouths for men, and he, though he
         would not detract from the apostles, preaches God, and
         not to please men.

Galatians 1:11
1:11 {6} But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was
     preached of me is not after man.

 (6) A second argument to prove that his doctrine is heavenly,
     because he had it from heaven, from Jesus Christ himself,
     without any man's help, in which he excels those whom
     Christ taught here on earth after the manner of men.

Galatians 1:12
1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught
     [it], but by the {i} revelation of Jesus Christ.

     (i) This passage is about an extraordinary revelation, for
         otherwise the Son revealed his Gospel only by his
         Spirit, even though by the ministry of men, which Paul
         excludes here.

Galatians 1:13
1:13 {7} 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:

 (7) He proves that he was extraordinarily taught by Christ
     himself, by this history of his former life, which the
     Galatians themselves knew well enough.  For, he says, it is
     well known in what school I was brought up, even from my
     childhood, that is, among the deadly enemies of the
     Gospel.  And no man may raise a frivolous objection and say
     that I was a scholar of the Pharisees in name only, and not
     in deed, for no man is ignorant of how I excelled in
     Pharisaism, and was suddenly changed from a Pharisee to an
     apostle of the Gentiles, so that I had no time to be
     instructed by men.

Galatians 1:14
1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in
     mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the {k}
     traditions of my fathers.

     (k) He calls them the traditions of his fathers, because he
         was not only a Pharisee himself, but also had a
         Pharisee for his father.

Galatians 1:15
1:15 But when it pleased God, who {l} separated me from my
     mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace,

     (l) He speaks of God's everlasting predestination, by which
         he appointed him to be an apostle, of which he makes
         three distinctions: the everlasting council of God, his
         appointing from his mother's womb, and his calling.
         And we see that there is no mention at all of foreseen
         works.

Galatians 1:16
1:16 To reveal his Son {m} in me, that I might preach him among
     the heathen; immediately {8} I conferred not with {n} flesh
     and blood:

     (m) To me, and this is a type of speech which the Hebrews
         use, by which it shows us that this gift comes from
         God.
 (8) He says this because it might be objected that he was
     indeed called by Christ in the way, but afterward was
     instructed by the apostles and others (whose names, as I
     said before, the false apostles abused to destroy his
     apostleship), as though he delivered another Gospel than
     they did, and as though he were not of their number, who
     are to be credited without exception.  Therefore, Paul
     answers that he began immediately after his calling to
     preach the Gospel at Damascus and in Arabia, and was not
     from that time in Jerusalem except for fifteen days, when
     he saw only Peter and James.  And afterwards, he began to
     teach in Syria and Cilicia, with the consent and approval
     of the churches of the Jews, who knew him only by name: so
     far off was it, that he was there instructed by men.
     (n) With any man in the world.

Galatians 1:20
1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, {o} before
     God, I lie not.

     (o) This is a type of an oath.

Galatians 1:23
1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in
     times past now preacheth the {p} faith which once he
     destroyed.

     (p) The doctrine of faith.



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