Lesson Three - Galatians Ch. 1 Part 2
Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians
Dr. Rod Rosenbladt
Chapter 1 Part 2
1. 1:7-12 “. . . which is not another Gospel, but there be some that trouble you.”
A. Reason Paul set himself so sharply against the false teachers at Galatia, called them “troublers” (AE 26: 52-53)
1. They taught that in addition to faith in Christ, circumcision & the observation of the law were necessary to justification before God/salvation. [cf. fifth chapter and Acts 15]
2. False apostles made a great point of these things (in order to bring Paul into disrepute) (AE 26: 53)
3. Result: Paul was forced to, with all his strength, oppose the false apostles.
11. 1: 11-12 “For I would that you know, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not man’s Gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but by through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
A. This is the central proposition of this chapter
B. “My Gospel did not come from man. I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1. Paul confirms his claim with an oath.
2. Does not mean his Gospel was somehow not “human”; means that he did not receive it from man, men; he received it by direct revelation of Jesus Christ.
C. Story of Paul on road to Damascus, later meeting with Ananias
1. Point here: Christ revealed Himself to Paul; Paul did not learn the Gospel from Ananias
2. Paul recites this to refute the slander of the false apostles
111. 1:13-14 “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people.
A. Paul argues that he had defended Phariseeism and Judaism more vigorously and steadfastly than had the Galatians and/or all their false teachers.
1. If the “righteousness of the law” had been worth anything, Paul would have remained a Pharisee.
B. Paul: “I was extremely zealous for the traditions of the fathers.”
1. “the traditions of the fathers”
2. “For these,” says Paul, “I was very zealous . . .”
C. Luther: I was as zealous for the papistic law and traditions of the fathers as ever any were, maintaining and defending them as not only holy, but as necessary to salvation.
1v. 1:18-24 "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained there with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother."
A. Luther: “All of Paul’s words are put in such a way as to prove that his Gospel was not from men.” (AE 26: 76)
B. Paul granted that he was in Jerusalem, after three years in Damascus & Arabia.
1. Paul granted as well that he had lived after the manner of the Jews – but yet only among the Jews.
2. went to Jerusalem of his own accord, but only to see Peter (Acts 9:26 ff.) – not to learn from him or the other apostlesC. Discursus by Luther: Why does Paul repeat so often that he did not learn his Gospel from men, or even from the apostles? (AE 26: 76-77)
v. 1: 22-24 "I was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judea; they only heard it said: He who once persecuted us is not preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. And they glorified God because of me."
A. Paul adds this to complete the story
B. after meeting Peter, Paul went to preach in Syria & Cilicia; ended up winning the approval of all the churches in Judea
C. Paul makes an appeal to the testimony of all the churches – not only to those in Damascus, Arabia, Syria & Cilicia, but also to the church in Judea.
D. “. . . and they glorified God because of me.”
1. Not that Paul had taught that circumcision and the law of Moses ought to be kept
2. But for his preaching of faith [sola as justifying before God], as well as for the edifying of the churches by his ministry in the Gospel