King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page




Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store

  • GALATIANS
    PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FB - TWITTER - GR VIDEOS - GR FORUMS - GR YOUTUBE    


    PROLOGUE Galatia bordered on Phrygia, Bithynia and Paphlagonia. The inhabitants were a mixture of Greeks and aborigines, called Galigreci. We have but three allusions to this country. Acts 16:6: Paul, Luke, Silas and Timothy traveled through here on their second evangelistic tour, in which they seem to have been very expeditious, as they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach longer in Asia at that time, because He wanted to send them to Europe. This was about A.D. 51. Again when Paul, having spent about three and a half years in Greece, returned to Asia about the summer of A.D. 54, having traveled to Palestine, up to Jerusalem, down to Antioch and on through to Syria and Phrygia, he is mentioned as passing through the Galatian region, but states nothing about his work there. Then we have one more: In 1 Corinthians 16:1, when Paul reminds the Corinthians of their contribution to the Jerusalem saints, he merely states he had notified the Galatians relative to the same interest. We have information in reference to the time when he was instrumental in their conversion. The E.V. postscript says this letter to the Galatians was written from Rome. But it is a wellknown fact that all of these postscripts are spurious, not a single one occurring in the Greek. We are utterly at sea with reference to the time and place. If it was written at Rome (of which we have no evidence), the time must have been A.D. 61-64. We find it stated in the epistle that Paul himself wrote, a very unusual thing, and would militate against the conclusion that Rome was the place, because Luke, his amanuensis, was there with him and wrote Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon for him. It is more plausible that he wrote it at Caesarea while Luke was away at Jerusalem gathering up materials for the Acts of the Apostles. The end for which Galatians was written is clear and obvious, i .e ., to correct certain serious and dangerous errors which had been propagated among them, much to their spiritual detriment. We find here the same class of Jewish Christian preachers giving trouble as at Corinth on other lines, and no mention of the circumcision which they preached with peculiar emphasis among the Galatians. That fact would argue an earlier date for the Galatian letter, as the Mosaic law was constantly growing weaker among the Jewish Christians till it went into total eclipse in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, A.D. 73. We see these preachers had dropped circumcision among the Gentiles before they preached at Corinth, as there they said nothing about it. Though we have no clue as to the time when Paul established these churches, there is at least a plausible probability that it took place during that indefinite period he spent at home in Tarsus, after they sent him away from Jerusalem to save his life, about A.D. 39. As his Lystra martyrdom was fourteen years before the writing of Second Corinthians, A.D. 57, which would give us A.D. 43, this also occurred near the close of his first evangelistic tour. He had spent a year or more at Antioch before they started on that tour. Hence, he stayed about two years at Tarsus before Barnabas went from Antioch and brought him into Syria. Of this indefinite period we have no record, as Luke, his celebrated, though modest, helper and amanuensis, had not yet fallen in with him. I trow that was the time when he became instrumental in the conversion of the Galatians, as that country is very convenient to Tarsus. This corroborates the above facts, which favor the conclusion of our early date. Still we have no definite clue as to the time or place when and where the letter was written. The entire epistle is a constant fire on those ritualistic heresies which had been propagated to their terrible detriment, and evidently, in many cases, utter ruin. Of course, these preachers claimed to be Christians, otherwise they would not have been received by these Gentile Christian churches. N. B. — While the Gentile converts did not receive circumcision at all, nor any of the Mosaic rites, the most of the Jewish Christians held on to them. When Paul arrived in Jerusalem on his last visit to the apostles, he said, “You see, brethren, how many myriads of Jews there are who believe and are all zealous of the law,” practicing circumcision, Nazaritic vows, bloody sacrifices and watery catharisms. They had practiced these rites and ceremonies fifteen hundred years. Hence they clung to them with the pertinacity of a drowning man, till the Romans destroyed the city, slew a million, sold another million into slavery, and dispersed the remnant to the end of the earth and prohibited them from returning on pain of death.

    CHAPTER - 1. “Paul an apostle, not from men .” Apostle is from apo , “from,” and stello , “send.” Hence it simply means one sent. Paul starts out by certifying that he is not sent from men nor by a man. These Galatians are about to be side-tracked by men. He is doing his best to divert their attention away from men to God. “Sent by Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised Him from the dead .” Paul does not propose to come in personal competition with those preachers who are playing sad havoc among the Galatians, as that would not be profitable; but he endeavors to bring them in contrast with God, who sent him to preach to them. “The man of God shall not strive.”

    Never argue with any one, but in every case bring your antagonist face to face with God’s Word, and leave him there. The Archangel Michael did not bring a railing accusation against the devil (Jude 9), but said: “The Lord rebuke thee.” 2. “And all the brethren who are along with me, to the churches of Galatia .” Paul, by way of Christian courtesy, always associated the brethren with him in his epistles. Your postscript in E.V., all of which are spurious, says he was at Rome. It is more probable he was at Caesarea, A.D. 58-60. 3. “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for sins .” While the Father gave His Son to die for us all ( John 3:16) yet it is equally true that the Son gave Himself. He said: “No man taketh my life from me, but I lay down my life for the sheep.” 4. “In order that he may redeem us from the present wicked age, according to the will of God the Father .” Satan’s wicked age of this world set in with the Fall and will continue till the Millennium, i .e ., till the Lord returns to the earth and sets up His Theocracy ( Acts 3:19-24 and 15:14-18, and Daniel 7:9-14). During this wicked age, Satan is “god of this age” ( Corinthians 4:4) ruling the world through his subordinates in human governments and fallen churches. 5. “To whom be glory unto ages of ages. Amen .” This phrase, translated in E.V. “forever and ever,” is strong and unanswerable in favor of endless duration. While constantly occurring denotative of the eternity appertaining to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Heaven and the saints in glory, it is also constantly used by all of the inspired writers to denote the endless duration of Hell arid the retributions of the wicked ( Revelation 14:11 and 19:3). Hence the Bible is clear and explicit that the fires of Hell and the torments of the damned will be co-eternal with the felicities of the righteous, the existence of saints and angels, and of God Himself. Hence the infidel sophistry of all efforts to explain away the existence of Hell and eternal punishment.

    THE GOSPEL IMMUTABLE We have the gospel clearly defined ( Romans 1:16), “The power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”

    Hence the power of God, like Himself and all of His attributes, is immutable. Therefore the gospel is the same in all ages, has never changed and never can. All these human imitations, presenting an endless diversity of gospel, are Satan’s counterfeits. Hence the truly genuine is precisely what it was in the apostolic age. The didactic phases of the gospel have undergone changes adapted to the progressive dispensations of bygone ages; e .g ., Antediluvian, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Apostolical. Yet in all these dispensations the power to save was the very same, and will never change during the Mediatorial kingdom which began with the first interventions of grace after the Fall, and will continue to the end of time.

    These carnal preachers had followed Paul, preaching a diluted ritualistic gospel different from that which he preached, which he notifies them is no gospel at all, but simply Satan’s counterfeit. Oh, how fearfully is the world this day inundated with the spurious gospels! coaxing and deluding multiplied millions. The very same power that came down at Pentecost must still come down from God out of Heaven, if the devil is defeated and a soul saved. 6. “I wonder that you are so quickly moved away from Him who called you in the grace of Christ into another gospel .” God, through the Holy Ghost in the grace of Christ, had called them to repent of their sins and flee the wrath to come. “Call” is in the aorist tense, indicating an instantaneous complete act of the Holy Ghost in their awakening, conviction and invitation to God, in contradistinction to the gradualism currently taught in popular churches. There is a moment in life when God by the Holy Spirit calls every soul to repentance. That is the auspicious epoch in his probation.

    If he yields, and proves true, he is eternally saved; if he rejects, forever undone. 7. “Which is not another, but there are some who trouble you, even wishing to pervert the gospel of Christ .” This perversion becomes Satan’s counterfeit, having the form without the power, which is the only essential element in the gospel. These preachers were giving them much more form and ceremony than Paul had given when he preached the true and genuine gospel. This is peculiar to all apostasies. Satan always makes up for the absence of the Spirit and power by form and ceremony. So fast as churches lose the genuine article, they multiply the counterfeit with great rapidity. 8. “But if indeed we, or an angel from Heaven, may preach unto you any other gospel than that we have preached, let them be accursed . 9. “As we have before said, and I now say again, If any one may preach unto you besides that which you received, let him be accursed .” Here you see that the withering curse of the Almighty rests upon the man or the angel who has the misfortune to become the devil’s instrument in preaching any other gospel than that which we have revealed in the New Testament. “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” Oh, how hard it is to keep preachers and people from devising human substitutes in the absence of God’s genuine! These preachers who gave Paul so much trouble, going around after him and sidetracking his converts, claimed to be true and genuine followers of the Savior. Among the Galatians they insisted on circumcision as well as other idols of the Mosaic law. The same class of men at Corinth said nothing about circumcision, illustrating the fact that they had dropped that idol as they were gradually getting away from the Mosaic institutions. This counterfeit gospel in all ages has been the uncompromising enemy of the genuine, and will so continue till Babylon falls. At the present day Christendom is flooded with effete ceremonies, rites and institutions, vain and futile substitutes for the Spirit and power. 10. “For whether must I obey men or God ?” That question has been repeatedly answered. We are to obey God alone, and heed not the commandments of men. “Whether do I seek to please men? If I yet please men, I were not the servant of Christ .” Before Christ appeared to him on his way to Damascus, he sought to please men. He was a popular preacher, a member of the Sanhedrin, standing at the front of the ministry, intensely loyal to the church and doing his utmost to please the high priest and all others who had the rule over him. From the time he became acquainted with God, his life was no longer manward, but purely Godward, just as yours and mine ought to be. Oh, how happy we would be if we would acquaint ourselves with God’s truth revealed in His blessed Word, and obey Him alone, blessedly free from all the commandments and the dictation of men!

    Do not forget that Paul said: “If I please men, I am not the servant of Christ.” Of course, he means carnal men, who are out of harmony with God, because when we please God we incidentally please His people, who are in perfect harmony with God. 11. “I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel preached unto you by me, that it was not according to a man .” How few people at the present day are free from humanisms, and are prepared to give a “Thus saith the Lord” for all they believe, preach and practice 12. “For I did not receive it from a man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ .” Christendom is flooded with humanized gospel.

    Talk to a man about his religion, and he will at once refer you to uninspired authorities, the founders of his church or the formulators of his creed. God uses human instrumentality to preach to us the Word and teach us, but we should remember that there is no authority in all the world but God and His Word. These Galatian churches were side-tracked, darkened, deflected from God and almost ruined by these ritualistic preachers who emphasized human ordinances instead of preaching Christ, the Holy Ghost and His infallible truth. 13. “For you heard of my life one time in Judaism, that I persecuted the Church of God exceedingly, and desolated it . 14. “And I profited in Judaism above many comrades in my race, being exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers .” He is illustrating the attitude of those preachers by his own history. He had for years been pertinaciously scrupulous in the advocacy and propagation of all those rites and ceremonies. We are not to conclude from this that these men did not profess to be the disciples of Christ, because in that case they would have been rejected outright, as these Gentiles had no disposition to become Jewish proselytes, because they were Christians and identified with the gospel dispensation. The trouble was that they were still practicing and celebrating the Mosaic law, which was very prevalent to Christian education in Palestine ( Acts 21:21), and was not prohibited by the apostles, because they knew that an attempt to eliminate the gospel ritual among the Jews who had been accustomed to it fifteen hundred years would produce serious friction and alienation, and probably send many souls to perdition.

    While this was true in Palestine, the very opposite was true among the Gentiles, who had never received the Jewish ordinances, and, on the contrary, were much prejudiced against them. Hence, in all the apostolic churches, Jews and Gentiles were mixed in the same organizations, the former retaining the ceremonies of the Mosaic law at will, and the latter perfectly exonerated from them by the apostolical decrees ( Acts 15).

    Galatia was a long way from Jerusalem, in the heart of the Gentile world, and Jewish influence almost unknown. Hence an attempt to burthen those Gentile converts with the defunct institutions of Judaism was seriously dangerous to their punctuality and calculated to eclipse the glorious doctrines of Christ which Paul and his comrades had preached among them, Hence Paul reminds them that they need not be surprised at the zeal of those Jewish preachers for those patristic institutions, for he had once been on the same line, and even more so. This letter is exceedingly valuable to Christendom as an outstanding protest and an eternal denunciation of human ritualism.

    PAUL’S SANCTIFICATION IN ARABIA 15, 16. “When He who separated me from the womb of my mother and called me, by His grace was pleased to reveal His Son in me, in order that I may preach Him among the Gentiles, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood .” While the conversion was simply normal and substantially identical with that of every other Christian, it was attended by the miraculous revelation of the personal glorified Savior to his soul, adumbratory of His second glorious coming into the world to reign in righteousness. This wonderful appearing of the Savior prostrated him three days and nights, crying before God till He sent Ananias to comfort him, when he was not only miraculously healed of blindness but filled with the Holy Ghost to the capacity of his spiritual infancy, though an intellectual giant. We are not surprised that a conversion so powerful, miraculous and extraordinary precipitated him out, preaching Jesus in the synagogues of Damascus like a messenger from Heaven. Very soon, however, a change comes over him, and he suddenly desists from preaching and goes away.

    That change was superinduced by the revelation of his inward need of another work of grace, i .e ., God wrought on him by His Spirit convicting him for something more, which is revealed in the manifestation of His Son in him in contradistinction to his revelation when on the road to Damascus.

    This Arabian experience is comprehended in a terse statement in Acts 9:22: “But Saul continued more and more to be filled up with dynamite.”

    That experience took place down in Arabia at the expiration of the three years which followed. “And he continued to confound the Jews who were dwelling in Damascus, proving that He is the Christ.” This took place after he had received his Arabian experience. Fortunately for Paul, when God convicted him for sanctification, that he “did not confer with flesh and blood,” i .e ., go after human counsel, which so many do terribly to their spiritual detriment. “Neither did I go up to Jerusalem to those who are apostles before me.” This would have been a great mistake in him to face the old apostles, with his experience, and present his own claims to the apostleship, when he only had one experience, however glorious that was, because all of the apostles had two, i .e ., their conversion under the ministry of Jesus, and their sanctification on the day of Pentecost. Hence Paul must have an experience homogeneous with theirs in order to meet them and sustain his testimony and apostolical claims. “But I went away into Arabia.”

    How fortunate it was for Paul, when God convicted him for a second work of grace while preaching in Damascus preparatory to the revelation of His Son in him, instead of beating on with the double conflict of inbred sin and the devil without, closing his ears to all human counsel he went away into Arabia that he might be alone with God in the dreary desert inhabited only by the wild beasts and savages. This desert was God’s theological school in which He educated His prophets. In that same Arabian desert He had taught Moses forty years and sanctified him at the burning bush preparatory to his wonderful work. Likewise in the wilderness of Judaea, the same kind of place, He had taught John the Baptist thirty years to get him ready for his glorious ministry, the happy precursor of our Savior. It is really important that Paul study for a time in God’s theological college, away from all the theologians of earth, where God can have His way with him and prepare him for his wonderful ministry. We have not an intimation that he preached during this time. He had more than enough to do to fight Adam the first, as we see so vividly portrayed in Romans 7. When you read that chapter again imagine that you see Paul, rolling around in the sands of Arabia, no company but the wild beasts and anon a passing caravan, while he fights the uncompromising battle with indwelling sin till God reveals His Son in him, when he raises the shout of victory. We can not identify this with his conversion when God revealed His Son to him on his way to Damascus, because the revelation gives this as a subsequent event in Arabia. Again, it is a simple matter of the infallible Word that in the Damascus experience Christ was revealed to him and not in him; however, He shone down on him, but neither is it stated, nor legitimately inferred, that He was revealed in him. Quite different was the Arabian experience, when He was revealed in him. Do you not know that, when you receive the Holy Ghost as an indwelling Sanctifier and Comforter, He comes not into your heart to reveal and glorify Himself, but Jesus? Hence, it is a significant and consolatory fact, that when we receive the Holy Ghost in sanctification, He actually enthrones Jesus in the heart, there to abide and reign forever. When Brother Carradine was conducting a wonderful revival in San Jose, Cal., and many seekers at the altar, Sister McClurkon, the wife of a Presbyterian preacher, was in a deep agony crying to God to sanctify her. Bro. C. said: “Sister, look within.” Soon her face became very bright and she began to shout aloud: “Oh! I see Jesus sitting on the throne of my heart.” N. B. — You may receive it as tenorable orthodoxy that in every case Jesus is revealed to the soul of the sinner in regeneration, and in the heart of the believer in sanctification. Such is the beauty and the charm of the glorified Savior that no human soul, however profligate and debauched, can resist when the Holy Ghost reveals Jesus. This is the grand culmination, when every sinner shouts out, “You may have all the world, but give me Jesus,” this becoming the salient epoch in every conversion. The same is true in every experience of sanctification. The Holy Ghost reveals Jesus in you sitting on the throne of your heart, ruling within and without for time and eternity. “And again I return to Damascus.” After his wonderful Arabian experience, he returned to Damascus, preaching so powerfully as utterly to dumbfound all the Jews in their synagogues, proving with overwhelming demonstration the Christhood of Jesus. Very soon, however, the saints find it necessary to steal him over the wall in a rope-basket to save his life. 18. “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter .” This was important, as Peter was the senior apostle, and now that Paul is going into the regular work, harmony, sympathy, a fraternal meeting and mutual understanding are necessary between these two great apostolical leaders, the one among the Jews and the other among the Gentiles. “And I abode with him fifteen days .” During this period the glorified Savior appeared to him in person while he was praying in the temple ( Acts 22:17), notifying him that the Jews would not receive his testimony, such had been his radical change with reference to them. But then and there He gives him his apostolical commission to the Gentiles. 19. “But other apostles saw I not, save James the Lord’s brother .” This James was not identical with either of those belonging to the original Twelve, i .e ., James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, and James the son of Alpheus; but he was the brother of our Lord, doubtless the son of Joseph by a former marriage, and brother of Jude, both of them becoming apostles immediately after the resurrection, and this James being honored with the pastorate of the mother church in Jerusalem, doubtless because of his confraternity to the Lord. Of course, the other apostles were out preaching at that time, and Paul not permitted to meet them in view of his short stay of only fifteen days, determined by the terrible opposition which sprang up against him in the Hellenistic synagogues, where he boldly stood in the track of Stephen, in whose martyrdom he had been so prominent; then and the boldly testifying to his conversion and sanctification, paralleling his experience to that of Stephen, at the same time preaching the same gospel for which Stephen had bled and died. The same bloody persecutors who four years previously had stoned Stephen had entered into a conspiracy in the same way. Consequently the brethren stole him away, escorted him to Caesarea, and sent him on to Tarsus to save his life. 21. “Then I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia .” This is the beginning of that period spent up in those northern countries, doubtless consisting of three or four years, till Barnabas went after him about A.D. 43, and brought him to Antioch to help them in that mighty work which at that early date was shaking the Assyrian metropolis. As his indefatigable amanuensis (Luke) had not yet become his traveling companion, we have no record of his work during these years, but have every reason to believe that this was the time when he did much evangelism in Cilicia and Phrygia and Galatia, founding the churches to which this epistle is addressed, corroborating the fact of the trouble on circumcision which was practiced on the Jewish converts generally; meanwhile the Jewish preachers, of whom there were very many at that date, in many instances making efforts to enforce it with other religious rites and ceremonies among the Jewish converts. 22. “But I was unknown to the faces of Judaea which were in Christ .”

    They had been under the necessity of taking him entirely out of Judaea to save his life. Consequently he remained unknown personally to the churches in Judaea during these years when he was evangelizing those northern countries. 23. “But only they were hearing that he who persecuted us one time now preaches the faith which he was formerly desolating; and they continue to glorify God in me .” You must remember that they had not mails at that time, and news moved slowly from lip to lip, yet, in the lapse of months and years, traveling very extensively Paul had been exceedingly known in Judaea as a great ecclesiastical leader and commander-in-chief among the bloody persecutors of the Nazarenes. Hence the saints had become accustomed, at the mention of his name, to identify it with blood and slaughter. Oh, what a happy change! — now that the news goes traveling throughout all the churches from Dan to Beersheba that Saul of Tarsus, the great leader of the persecutions, has not only been wonderfully converted, but that he is preaching with all his might the faith which he once destroyed.

    Of course, all who heard the good news shouted praises to God. The form of the Greek verb indicates they kept the shout roaring and rolling over the country far and near, giving glory to God, because their greatest enemy had not only been converted, but was preaching with all his might. This state of things went on when he was far away among the Gentiles.

    CHAPTER - CHRIST THE ONLY ESSENTIAL 1. “Then after fourteen years again I went up to Jerusalem along with Barnabas, taking Titus also .” Before this he had gone along with Barnabas to Jerusalem, sent by the elders to Antioch to carry alms to the poor saints.

    We do not identify this visit with any one mentioned elsewhere, the end in view being the illustration of the non-essentiality of circumcision in the case of Titus, who was a prominent preacher of the gospel, though uncircumcised. 2. “I went up according to revelation .” Jerusalem is the highest city in all that part of the world, situated away up on the great table-lands of Judah and Benjamin, occupying the summits of Zion, Moriah, Akra and Bazetha.

    Hence the statement always heard, “up to Jerusalem” and “down” to all other places. This situation also beautifully and pertinently symbolizes Heaven in its elevation. Here we find that God revealed to him where He wanted him to go. That is beautifully indicative of the Divine leadership, when God indicates to us when to go and when to stop. “And I expounded unto them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to the prominent ones, lest I run, or did run, in vain .” In this statement he confirms to the Galatians the authenticity of the gospel he had preached to them by the attestation of all the apostles. 3. “Neither was Titus, who was along with me, being a Greek, compelled to be circumcised .” This was a clear and unequivocal refutation of all the preaching which had been done among them in order to prove the essentiality of circumcision. Those very Galatians were Greeks, as that country had been colonized by Greek emigrants about two hundred years previously, who, mixing with the aborigines, were called Galigreci. So here Paul gives them a clear demonstrative case: Titus, a prominent gospel preacher recognized by all the apostles in Jerusalem, and well known to be a Greek, was not required to be circumcised, even at Jerusalem. That demonstrative case actually covered all the ground, proving most conclusively the nonessentiality of circumcision in their case. There is no presumption in favor of the conclusion that Paul objected to circumcision, as we see at Lystra he circumcised Timothy because his mother was a Jewess, though his father was a Greek. Among the Jews he not only winked at circumcision, but felt free to practice it when the absence of it would prove a stumbling-block to their faith; while, for the very same reason, he violently opposes it in the case of the Galatians, among the Gentiles. We here learn a most profitable lesson. As the ordinances are mere indices of grace, they must always be subordinated to the spiritual interest, and never in any way antagonistical to it, diverting the attention of people away from Christ. When the eye is steadfast on Jesus, then you can with impunity be all things to all men on ritualistic lines. But when there is a probability of diverting the attention away from Christ, and focalizing it on rites and ceremonies to the spiritual detriment, then we are to do like Paul, oppose them with all our might. These Gentiles had no predilection for the Jewish ordinances, consequently not only was their faith liable to be shaken, but utterly vitiated. 4. “But on account of false brethren who had crept in, who came in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus in order that they shall bring us into bondage . 5. “To whom I did not give place for an hour, in order that the truth of the gospel may abide with you .” Here we find that this same class of ritualists, who you must remember were avowed Christian preachers, attacked Titus in Jerusalem, demanding that he should be circumcised, whom Paul antagonized most indefatigably and uncompromisingly, and did not yield to them. So that Titus came and went, passing through all the authorities and magnates of the gospel metropolis without being circumcised, thus confirming to all the Gentile world its nonessentiality. What was the liberty in Christ Jesus which they so highly esteemed? It was the grand and glorious truth, and the sweet, inestimable privilege of adopting the creed, “Jesus only,” and thus utterly disencumbered of everything else. How few Christians in the world today enjoy this glorious freedom! Jesus, Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, glorious Lord, and coming King! Satan has so many devices to put yokes on people that very few escape and go free. Now, this freedom, with reference to rites and ceremonies, means to use them, or not use them, as we walk in the light. You see here Paul himself ( Acts 21:4), practiced Nazaritic vows and sacrifices, and in case of Timothy, circumcision, all of which were utterly effete and non-essential. But he did it lest the Jewish Christians might stumble in case of delinquency; while at the same time he uncompromisingly antagonized every effort on the part of the Christian Jews to enforce the Mosaic ordinances on the Gentile converts. 6. “But from those who seem to be something what they were at that time made no difference to me: God receives not the face of man: for those who to me were prominent amounted to nothing additional . 7. “But on the contrary, seeing that I have been entrusted with the gospel of uncircumcision, as Peter was of circumcision ; 8. “For He that wrought with Peter under the gospel of circumcision, also wrought with me unto the Gentiles ; 9. “And knowing the grace of God, which was given unto me, James and John, who seemed to be pillars, gave unto Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision . 10. “Only that we must remember the poor, which same thing I was truly zealous to do .” In all this transaction we see the absolute pre-eminence of the Holy Ghost and His inspired Word. Of course, the Holy Spirit had given to Peter, James and John, and also Paul and Barnabas, the prominence here mentioned. But you must recognize the fact that this prominence was of Divine election, and of pure spirituality, because he says that “those who seemed to me to be prominent amounted to nothing additional, i .e ., while the Holy Ghost had rendered them prominent as teachers and leaders, yet they had in consequence no extraordinary authority, i .e ., they were nothing but simple instruments in the hands of the Holy Ghost. In this conference we see a recognition of the apostleship of both Paul and Barnabas, and their commission of God to the Gentiles. We also see the absolute supremacy and leadership of the Holy Ghost, and their utter independence of all human authorities. This is patent from the fact that they laid on them but a solitary injunction, and that was purely prudential, i .e ., that they should give attention to the poor. This is noteworthy emphasis in the Lord’s appreciation of the poor. We have to look to them for resources to supply the citizenship of God’s kingdom, from the simple fact that the rich will not have it. How exceedingly seldom do you find the rich hail the gospel as a feast, surrendering all the world for its appreciation? No wonder we have this emphasis laid upon the evangelization of the poor, because it is certainly easier to convert ten of that class to one of the wealthy and proud, while souls are all on par in the Heavenly market. Why is not this the only injunction laid upon all the preachers in all ages when sent out by conferences and synods? We certainly have no right to enjoin any other, as our mission is purely in the soul-saving line. If we give thorough and faithful attention to the poor, the rich are certain to get enough to leave them without excuse at the Judgment Bar. Why did they not supply them with a creed? They did, and that creed was simply God’s Word, the Holy Ghost being their only leader, revelator, and exponent. We see from these Scriptures that God “receives the face of no man.” “Man looketh on the outside, but God looketh on the heart.”

    Hence all this personal distinction with which the world is bewildered with high-sounding epithets, honorary cognomens, and official ranks and titles, simply amount to nothing, as they will all evanesce before the great white throne, when pure spiritualities and intrinsical matter of fact will determine all human destiny. The great men on earth will not be great in eternity. Our Savior proposes to turn the column round, so “the first will be last, and the last will be first.” Lord, help us to get low down at the feet of Jesus, where we can see Him only, forever losing sight of all human greatness, and evanescent gewgaw, and phantasmagoria. Let us not forget the manner in which the appointments were made in this Jerusalem Conference; all personalities, creeds, rules, regulations and authorities ignored with the mere reminiscence in behalf of the poor, while they went out with no leader but the Holy Ghost, and no authority but His Word.

    PAUL CASTIGATES PETER. 11. “And when Peter came into Antioch, I withstood him to the face . 12. “For before certain ones came from James, he was in the habit of eating with the Gentiles, and when they came he stood aloof, and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcision . 13. “Truly the other Jews were also drawn into co-operation with him, so that even Barnabas was led away by their hypocrisy .” The Greek word here is hypocrisy, which may sound very strong. This word means an actor on the theatrical stage, who performs the part of a different person whom he represents; e .g ., an American may dress up like a Rocky Mountain savage and act the part of an Indian. Peter and the Jewish brethren were deporting themselves as if they were better than the Gentiles, which was not true, and they knew it, for God had revealed it to them at the house of Cornelius, Peter himself being the preacher, when God had surely shown him that He was no respecter of persons, and the Gentiles were as good by nature as the Jews, and the same wide-open door of free gospel grace was there thrown open to them. It was not only a wonder that Peter’s courage failed him under the circumstances, as he, along with Paul, had been sent especially to the Gentiles. We have no assurance of anything involving guilt in this whole transaction. It was mere infirmity, amid all illustrating the superior mentality on the part of Paul, who triumphantly survived the temptation and became the hero of the field. How frequently are sanctified people very bold on our Holiness campground, but found shrinking and reticent when the presiding elder and the official board are on hand! They do not necessarily commit sin in these cases of delinquency as they are soliloquizing in favor of prudence on the occasion, and utterly unwilling to even consider abnegation of their profession: it is merely with them a prudential intermission, or rather a cowardly retreat from responsibility. Of course, the trend of all such practical cowardice is to spiritual depreciation, in the end leading to forfeiture of experience and serious detriment. While Peter’s heart was right, he momentarily gave way to evil reasoning, lest he might damage the cause of Christ among the Jews. John Wesley says that sanctified people generally lose it several times, because of evil reasoning, before they get established in it. While, of course, this was a faltering in the direction of evil, we are satisfied it had not passed the pale of innocent infirmity until fortunately arrested by the stalwart Tarsian. Lord, give us the heroic stamina of Paul, who was willing to stand alone with the truth on his side. Certainly we all ought to be there, where we will no longer make the inquiry of this or that ecclesiastical magnate, but simply, What is the verdict of God’s infallible truth? Others who are in error need our correction. Paul did not cowardly speak to the detriment of the brethren, clandestinely around with others, testing and developing popular sentiment against them; but, knowing that he had the truth of God on his side, he boldly met them face to face, and castigated this public error in the presence of all.

    Fortunately, Peter enjoyed the sanctifying power in his heart, and was meek as a martyr and gentle as a lamb under this public exposition. 14. “But when I saw that they are not walking right according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter, in presence of all: If thou, being a Jew, livest like the Gentiles, and not like the Jews, how do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize ?” Peter had eve rendered himself notorious for his bold advocacy of the Gentile gospel free and untrammeled, while he stood before the apostolic college at Jerusalem. After this it becomes grossly inconsistent for him to compel the Gentiles to Judaize. God gave Paul in this important correction a glorious victory, which continued to brighten during the apostolic age. Peter perfectly acquiesced, receiving it all right, standing corrected by his brother, to whom he ever afterward referred as a precious, loving friend in the gospel. In 2 Peter 3:15, he refers to him as “our beloved Paul, according to the wisdom which was given unto him, wrote on to us.”

    In this transaction we see the method of settling all difficulties among the Lord’s people. Let the Word be the only umpire in every case. If they are truly sanctified, they will all acquiesce without a murmur. If they do not acquiesce in the Word of the Lord as the umpire in every case, they are to be ignored from the membership of the gospel church ( 1 Corinthians 14:38). If the Roman armies in the Providence of God had not destroyed Jerusalem, thus bringing an end to the Mosaic ritual, the trouble along that line would have been an awful vexation for ages. They not only expatriated the Jews, but prohibited any of them from returning, even on the pain of death. In the early centuries of the Christian era if a Jew was found in another country traveling with his face toward Jerusalem he was arrested and executed. The Emperor Adrian, in the second century, who was an inveterate hater both of the Jewish and Christian religions, and an enthusiastic worshiper of the old Roman gods, dropped the name Jerusalem, founded a Roman colony on the site, calling the place Elia Capitolina, which name was retained two hundred years, thus endeavoring to obliterate the very memory of Jerusalem from the very face of the earth.

    This continued till the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, A.D. 325, who went to Jerusalem, hunted up the sacred places, and restored the name, and proceeded to rebuild it. While all this was the wicked work of Satan’s rulers, yet God overruled it as a powerful and valuable auxiliary in the elimination of the effete rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law from the gospel church. Without these awful and providential interventions the old dead Levitical ritual would have clung to the gospel church with the pertinacity of a drowning man. For many centuries Judaizing teachers continued to trouble the churches exceedingly. The Seventh-day Adventists are at present the only survivors of the old fulfilled and, consequently, defunct Mosaic institutions. As in the apostolic age, the true procedure is simply to guard that one point, i .e ., that they do not ruin the people by diverting their attention from Christ. When they want to Judaize by keeping the Mosaic Sabbath, do not reprove them, but remind them that they must keep the Christian Sabbath too, or fall under condemnation for violating the conscience of Christendom ( 1 Corinthians 8:12). When we have Christ all right, we may observe non-essential ceremonies with impunity, if we do not permit them to intrench upon our faith. We must, in everything, keep Christ before the people the only essential.

    CHRIST ALONE ESSENTIAL 15. “We Jews by nature, and not sinners from the Gentiles , 16. “Knowing that a man is not justified by works of law, but through faith of Christ Jesus .” Millions of modern ritualists this day preach the essentiality of works precisely as those who gave Paul so much trouble.

    They frankly admit the non-essentiality of the works of the Mosaic law, which they say these Scriptures all refer to, while they pertinaciously and avowedly preach water baptism, and many other legalisms, as essential to salvation. The Holy Ghost seeing that acute evasion of revealed truth, left out the Greek article from both of these nouns, so that it reads, “no man is justified by works of law,” i .e ., any works of any law, excluding New Testament law just as much as Old Testament law. Such is the plausibility of legalism that it has hung on the church in all ages like lightning from the skirts of the clouds, withering and blighting the spiritual life in every dispensation. The Jewish Church in the time of Christ had vastly more rites and ceremonies than Moses ever established, and at the same time so awfully dead that, instead of seeing and hailing their own Christ, they laid violent hands on Him and took His life. They had gone deep into hollow hypocrisy, dead formality and ritualistic idolatry, even at that time more zealous to keep every ramification of the law than in the former days of spiritual life. We see all the churches this day on the same downward trend, multiplying institutions with an alarming rapidity as substitutes for forfeited spiritual life. This Scripture is perfectly unequivocal in the non-essentiality of any works of any law to save a soul. When the people have Christ all right, they will lose their interest in legal works. When they do not have Christ, Satan always tempts them into legal substitutes. “And we believed into Christ Jesus.” Here you see plainly revealed how we get into Christ, i .e ., how we get saved. It is by faith alone. The enemy is always ready to attack the truth, and hence the importance of ample fortification. There are four justifications: (a) In infancy by the work of Christ, without faith or works; (b) in the case of the sinner, by faith alone without works, because it takes salvation to bring him into the kingdom of God, hitherto being in Satan’s kingdom, where all the work he possibly can do belongs to him; (c) the Christian is justified by faith and works, or, rather, is kept justified, as he must prove his faith by an obedient life; (d) finally, the soul before the Judgment Bar is justified by works alone ( Revelation 22).

    Repentance is absolutely necessary to bring the sinner on believing ground where he can be justified by faith alone; while entire consecration is requisite to bring the Christian on believing ground where he can be sanctified by faith only. The justifying faith of a sinner and the sanctifying faith of a Christian are not dead, but replete with the life of the Holy Ghost, which makes them really aggressive and efficient in the work of the Lord.

    The Greek tense of this verb, “we believed into Christ Jesus ,” is the aorist, revealing an act instantaneous and complete, confirmatory of the conclusion that we enter Christ suddenly and actually by faith alone, other graces being harmonious and reciprocal. “In order that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by works of law, because by works of law shall no flesh be justified .” The Holy Ghost, through his servant Paul, is here so clear and explicit, even unto substantial repetition, that no honest, intelligent person can possibly be mistaken. Hence the doctrines of baptismal regeneration, sacramental justification, salvation by church loyalty, are literally and eternally obliterated. Well are we assured that the way is so plain that wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein ( Isaiah 35), yet not only in Paul’s day, but in all ages, have counterfeit preachers flooded the world with legalistic religion, side-tracking young converts as these Galatians, leading astray thousands of simple-minded people who have once known the Lord, and catching with their ritualistic lasso millions who have never known the Lord and dragging them blindfolded into Hell, hoaxed with the delusion that they are not only real Christians, but even inflated with spiritual pride because they are so legalistic and enterprising in what they call church work that they think they will have a prominent seat in Heaven, when they are living and dying without hope and without God.

    Such is the plausibility of legalism because it assumes the attitude of good works, which in themselves are right and commendable, but as futile to save as any other form of idolatry, that it has always been the most difficult line of Satanic delusion to reveal and correct. 17. “And if seeking to be justified in Christ we also be found sinners, then is Christ the minister of sin? It could not be so .” This sweeps away the possibility of that sinning religion with which Satan’s legalistic preachers have filled the world. From the inevitable fact that these legalisms have no power to take away sin, and consequently must leave the conscience guilty and condemnatory, therefore its votaries are laid under necessity of satisfying these guilty consciences in some way. Consequently they boldly and defiantly stand up in their pulpits and preach a sinning religion, thus making Christ the minister of sin, which Paul here says is impossible, illustrating the fact that Christ has nothing to do with that kind of religion, but it is Satan’s job from beginning to end. 18. “For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I constitute myself a transgressor .” I .e ., if, after I have gotten rid of my sins in justification, I go on and sin again, I simply reckon myself a transgressor, falling right back where I was before I started, as this legalism, such as water-baptism, sacraments, ceremonies, church-work and conservatism of a lot of human institutions, and add to this all the commendable traits of Christian morality, philanthropy and churchisms indiscriminately, are utterly impotent to take away a solitary sin, and literally powerless to save. Since all this pomp and pageantry of good works and churchisms leave their votaries in their sins, it becomes encumbent on their preachers to comfort them some way, and thus they are bound by a constant effort to convince them that the poor sinning religion that they have is all there is for them. Alas for the wholesale delusions of Satan through legalistic preachers and worldly churches! 19. “For through law I died to law, in order that I may live unto God .”

    Since the law of God says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die ,” my only hope is to meet the penalty. This I did in Christ, the Holy Ghost nailing old Adam in my heart to the cross where he bled and died. Consequently through the vicarious substitution of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost crucifying the man of sin in me, the penalty of the violated law is satisfied, and I have passed from death to life. Law, in the first place in this short verse, means Divine law, pursuant to which we must all die to sin, or sink into Hell. Law, occurring here the second time, has a general and broad signification, taking in all human law. When Adam the first is dead the law is satisfied, so I am dead to it, i .e ., free from it, so that I have nothing to do but live unto God, no longer under the law but under grace ( Romans 6:14). Here comes in this perfect and glorious freedom of which all legalists are utterly ignorant. It is freedom from all law, human and Divine. I am free from all human law from the simple fact that I do not belong to any human being, but to God only. I am free from the law because everything in me having a disposition to violate it is dead and gone.

    Hence I am in no practical sense under the law. I am now in the State of New Hampshire, of whose laws I am ignorant, yet I am just as free as if there were no laws, because I have no disposition whatever to violate any law, human or Divine. Consequently I have nothing to do but to live unto God as free from the law as a man lying in his grave. 20. “I have been crucified along with Christ .” In these Scriptures we must constantly discriminate between the carnal “I,” Adam the first, and the spiritual “I,” Adam the Second, i .e ., the Christ-nature in the heart. This is a clear and unequivocal profession of entire sanctification, which simply means the death of sin, regeneration meaning the life of grace. How strange that preachers would confound the two and identify them, when they are as antipodal as midnight and noonday. The crucifixion of old Adam is the negative side of sanctification, sin going out to make room for grace, the glorious infilling of the Holy Ghost following on and flooding the soul. “I live no longer, but Christ liveth in me ,” yet you see there is no possibility of committing sin without taking back the carnal mind, because a dead man can not put forth vital acts. Christ is the only one living in the sanctified man, hence He must evacuate the heart and the old man of sin get back before actual sinning can take place. “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me .” Faith is the umbilical cord connecting the heart of the believer with Christ, and through which spiritual life is continually transmitted and perpetuated. Hence we live by faith alone, enjoy that faith because on believing ground, and glorify God by a life of good works, the normal fruit of justifying, sanctifying, and keeping faith. It is our precious privilege thus not only to live by faith spiritually, but also temporally, trusting God to feed and clothe us, like He feeds the birds on the finest of the wheat, and clothes them with a plummage more gaudy and resplendent than the regalia of the proudest Oriental potentate that ever encumbered the throne of a world-wide empire. What an unutterable privilege thus to be felicitously relieved of all care, spiritual and temporal ( Philippians 4:6). Rely upon it, God is as faithful in temporal as in spiritual things, so dismiss every care of this life, and that which is to come, and let Jesus live your life for you. If He loved you enough to come from Heaven and die for you, you certainly can trust Him to live your life for you.

    LEGALISM, THE BLACKEST INSULT TO GOD 21. “I do not nullify the grace of God: for if righteousness were through law, then Christ died gratuitously .” Well can Paul say that he does not nullify, or make empty, the grace of God. On the contrary, he gives the most superlative appreciation to that grace, from the simple fact that Christ Himself is the sum and substance, essence and quintessence of that grace.

    Now, the simple fact that Paul makes Christ everything, and nothing else anything, in the plan of salvation, confirms forever his superlative appreciation of redeeming grace. It is an indisputable fact that just so far as you magnify other things, just so far you necessarily minify Christ, thus fooling the people by wholesale, having them lay hold of this and that poor, fleeting temporality, which has no more power to save than the Chinaman’s wooden idol, while at the same time it gets between him and Christ, blinding his eyes till fleeting mortality ebbs away and Satan dumps him into Hell. The reason why legalism, in all its forms and phases — and I mean by that, all sorts of human work, whether by yourself or your preacher — as a condition of salvation, is the blackest insult to God, is from the simple fact that it treats with contempt the gift of His Son, His vicarious atonement and dying love. Why is that? The above Scripture explains itself: “If justification were by law, then Christ died gratuitously,” i .e ., for nothing, unnecessarily; and why? Did not we have the law here four thousand years before He came? Did we not have as much water with which to baptize people as we do now? In fact, all facilities for legal obedience that we have now were here from the beginning. We could do just as good work, and as much of it, before lie came as since. If all of these things could effect a part of our salvation, they could perfect it. Hence the legalistic theology that haunted Paul with its Hell-hounds in all his ministerial work literally girdles the globe to-day. If you will be truly obedient to ecclesiastical laws, ceremonies and institutions, you can not only be an acceptable member of a popular church, either Papal or Protestant, but you can be an honored office-bearer, and even a metropolitan pastor, and have no more experimental salvation in your heart than the horse you drive. No wonder God in every land is calling out the true people, separating them to Himself that they may witness for Christ and preach Him to the world. If Christ is not omnipotent, He is a failure and can not save. If He is omnipotent, He needs no help, whether in the form of an interceding priest, water baptism, sacraments or good works. These are all right in their place, but never did have anything to do with salvation. Hence Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” ( 1 Corinthians 1:16), illustrating the fact that neither baptism nor any other human work is any part of the gospel, but only incidental to it. I doubt whether the darkest Hell-dens beneath the skies are guilty of a sin more abominable in the sight of God than throwing contempt on the gift of His Son, His dying agonies and redeeming love. The reason why He had to come down from heaven, and bleed and die, was because all the bleeding birds and beasts on Jewish altars slain through the flight of forty centuries, all the water catharisms administered by thousands of Aaronic priests, all the baptismal waters of the Jordan, limpid lakes and cerulean oceans, all the sacraments administered by Papistical priests and Protestant clergy, all the good works of the multitudinous eleemosynary institutions in all the churches of Christendom, all the paragon morality inculcated in all the creeds and confessions of the globe, and all the Christian charities that have ever girdled the world with disinterested philanthropy, never could take away a solitary sin, nor commend a soul to the pardoning mercy of God. While all these things are commendable in their place, when offered to God as an oblation for sin, they are but filthy rags in His sight, from whose polluting stench He turns away with irreconcilable disgust. Even these good works are all polluted with sin, unless wrought in Christ. This is impossible unless we first get into Christ, which is by simple faith (ver. 16), i .e ., by taking God at His word. If we have not such confidence in the simple word of God that we will take it without human auxiliary or confirmation, we will never do to be trusted for admission into Heaven, where through all eternity we must be perfectly trustworthy, so that God can perfectly rely on us when He wants to send us ten thousand millions of miles on an important errand, to preach the gospel of His glorious kingdom to millions of inhabitants of new-born worlds. Hence faith is the great and indispensable condition, solving the problem of Divine loyalty and opening the way to our bona fide citizenship in the kingdom of God. True religion is all the work of God, while false religion is the work of men deluded and manipulated by Satan on the line of legalism, which is of all other diabolical devices the most plausible, because as a rule it is good within itself. Satan leads the unbelieving world to Hell by the allurements of positive evil. In this capacity he is the roaring lion. Meanwhile he is equally indefatigable in enterprises for the damnation of religious people, whom he captures as an angel of light, by getting them to depend on things which in their nature are good and commendable, such as water baptism, sacraments, church rites, ecclesiastical loyalty, philanthropy, morality, charity, liberality and good works generally. These things are so commendable in their intrinsical character as at once to command the endorsement and appreciation of all enlightened, well-disposed nominal Christians, and at the same time utterly incompetent to stand the test of God’s righteous judgments against sin.

    When depended on for justification, they become filthy rags in His sight, and a positive insult to His majesty, not only utterly futile as a means of grace, but abominable idols and rivals of His Son, who has already satisfied the Divine law for us, paid our debt and redeemed us by His expiatory blood on the cross. Hence the presentation of anything but the work of Christ is a reflection on the validity of that work and an impudent insult to God, who can not recognize any other propitiation for sin. All this Satan knows, as he was a great archangel before he fell, his wonderful intellectual power surviving his spiritual collapse, just as the apostasy of a man leaves his mental ability unimpaired. Therefore Satan, the god of this world ( 2 Corinthians 4:4), has literally girdled the globe with counterfeit religion, and all on the line of good works. The Paganistic, Moslem, and Papistical churches, with aggregate membership of twelve hundred millions, are utterly engulfed in priestcraft without a surviving scintillation of experimental gospel truth; while the Protestant churches are following them at race-horse speed, with fearful rapidity becoming more and more legalistic, thus losing sight of the work of Christ in their magnification and dependence on the work of the preachers, the church and themselves, all of which is a fatal plunge into idolatry, actually making the death of Christ a gratuity, because we had the law four thousand years, and could have been as obedient, and had as much water to baptize with, before He came and died as since. Hence the entire effect of all this legalism is to obscure the work of Christ, and exalt the human. Good Lord, bring us back to the creed of “Jesus only.” If you have Him enthroned in your heart, you will obey God on earth like the angels in Heaven, and at the same time be pure as angels. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty,” while this legalism puts on you a galling yoke of bondage, causing you to groan beneath your burdens and murmur like Israel in the wilderness. All this is loathing in the sight of Him whose service is a delight to His true worshipers. “His commandments are not heavy.” “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” ( Matthew 11:30).

    Carnality always mounts a human prop to lean on, while spirituality knocks them all away that you may lean on Jesus only, everything else proving but a delusion to let you drop into Hell. This legalism, i.e., salvation by obedience, i .e ., good works, is Satan’s slickest plank to Hell, from the simple fact of its plausibility, and hence its liability to deceive sincere people, whom the devil can not successfully tempt by positive evil; but he must present something plausible. Yet the most plausible substitute for Christ is nothing but an idol. You would as well worship a heathen god as a water god, a day god, a sect god, a creed god, or a money god. The Almighty can never take anything but the work of Christ, which we can only receive and appropriate by faith, without works. This justifying and sanctifying faith is never inactive, but the most working thing in all the world. It is the grand enginery of all true obedience, yet, losing sight of all its good works, seeking Jesus only.

    CHAPTER - PERFECTION NOT BY WORKS 1. “O foolish Galatians, who was bewitching you ?” The verb in the imperfect tense indicates a continuous progress of that fatal bewitching work which had gone on among them so seriously to their spiritual detriment. Why does Paul certify that those legalistic preachers had bewitched them? It is certainly an awful caricature and a withering denunciation of all legalistic preaching, i .e ., all efforts to prevail on people to do good works as a condition of justification, reconciliation, and sanctification. According to this castigation of Paul the world is today literally begirdled by Satan’s wizards, bewitching the people into the occult delusion and the baleful intrigue of Satan to seek salvation by legal obedience, thus caught in the most fatal lasso ever thrown by an incarnate devil. “Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was hitherto set forth crucified .”

    The Pauline gospel all focalized in the one simple truth of Jesus crucified.

    This was his constant and only theme. Jesus, the only Redeemer and Expiator of a guilty world, crucified on Calvary as the great atoning substitute for the millions of all ages sinking hopelessly into Hell. This was the constant, vociferous, important, and indefatigable proclamation of Paul and his comrades whithersoever they traversed the world, whether among Jew or Gentiles. Paul knew that these Galatians had forsaken their sins and cast themselves on the mercy Of God in Christ, being gloriously converted by trusting Jesus only. Such is the diabolical preposterosity of preaching and believing any other doctrine as a condition of justification, that Paul witheringly lampoon these legalistic preachers who have come among them proclaiming the essentiality of legal obedience in order to God’s pardoning mercy, and he not only denounces the preachers as wizards, necromancers, and hypnotists, but he mercilessly blisters all their followers with the scathing denunciation of being bewitched. Lord, help us to be true and preach the Pauline gospel to the ends of the earth, doing our utmost to convince the deluded millions of the fallen churches, who are this day seeking justification and sanctification by their good works, that they are actually and really bewitched by the devil through the instrumentality of the popular preachers who from metropolitan pulpits are this day crying out church loyalty and legal obedience as a sine qua non of their justification. 2. “This only do I wish to learn of you, did you receive the Spirit through works of law or by the hearing of faith ?” The absence of the Greek article in the phrase, “works of law ,” is clearly and demonstratively exclusive of all works of any law as a condition of pardoning mercy and regenerating grace. Here we see positively that these Galatians received the Holy Ghost as a convictor and regenerator simply by hearing the Word and believing it, before they had rendered a solitary act of obedience, which properly appertains to the domain of Christian duty necessarily incident to all acceptable Christian life and peculiar only to a citizen of God’s kingdom; as all obedience antecedent to your admission into the kingdom of God would necessarily take place in the kingdom of Satan, where it would legally belong to him, and he would receive the benefit of the same. Hence we see clearly and demonstratively from the inspired testimony of Paul that those Galatians were gloriously converted by faith alone, under the faithful preaching of the living Word; deeds of law, i .e ., legal obedience, good works, having nothing whatever to do with it, but simply following on as the normal fruit of saving faith. 3. “Are you so foolish ?” Oh, what a withering denunciation! — how awfully plain and rough the Pauline style of preaching! Let a preacher try it nowadays; stand up in his pulpit and denounce his congregation as a set of blockheads, ignoramuses and consummate fools, what would become of his salary? How long would he carry his pastoral head on his shoulders?

    God forbid that we should be too modest to preach the gospel. Why did Paul denounce these church-members so awfully scathingly? The reason is here given. God help you to receive it appreciatively. “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh ?” Here is a case unmistakably pertinent and positively applicable to millions this day in the orthodox churches of Christendom. While Pagans, Mohammedans, Papists, and many heretical Protestant denominations, have utterly lost sight of the regeneration which the Holy Ghost alone must work in the heart of the sinner, to save him from sin, death and Hell, yet it is a consolatory fact that even amid these ages of general apostasy, because it is a time of wholesale stumbling over sanctification and consequent fatal retrogression back into the fogs and condemnation of spiritual Babylon, still we recognize the consolatory faith that there are many preachers in the popular pulpits who are even now saying, like Jesus to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.”

    For this we commend them, and love them much for their work’s sake, and invoke a thousand blessings on their labors of love. It is a glorious consolation to have even the smallest part of God’s truth faithfully preached. When John Bunyan, standing on the streets of Eaton, his native town, and blaspheming like a demon, received an awful rebuke by a harlot looking out of her window and telling him that he was the most wicked man in town, and that he was leading all the youths into sin, he stopped and soliloquized: “Is it possible that I am so awfully wicked as to deserve such a rebuke from such a character? Certainly my case is desperate in the extreme.” From that moment an awful conviction settled down on him in which he saw Hell open and the devils dragging him in. The person instrumental in his conviction was an awful sinner, the church being dead and nobody to help the heart-broken penitent into the light. Such was the Hell-horror flooding his soul that he went to preaching on the streets with all his might, telling the sinners of their awful doom and warning them to repent, God signally blessing his labors two whole years while he roared in the ears of the wicked rabble the awful thunders of Sinai, and then converting his soul. I give this as an illustration that God will bless and use any part of His truth when faithfully preached. Hence I deeply sympathize with my brethren in the popular churches who are preaching the true regeneration of God, wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart, and do so much regret that they are not preaching entire sanctification equally lucidly, intelligently and scripturally; and especially do I so much deprecate the fact that such men are involved in the fatal heresy of those preachers who gave Paul so much trouble in Galatia, Corinth, and other places by preaching perfection through legal obedience, i .e ., good works. That is bad enough for dead Romanists, but really distressing in a Protestant pulpit. The conclusion is irresistible. The plain truth enunciated by Paul in these Scriptures is that we are sanctified instantaneously by faith alone wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit. Wesley says: “Precisely as you were justified by faith so are you sanctified by faith.” Our Savior clearly reveals faith as the measuring line of our salvation. We all have just what we have faith for, and no more, in the spiritual realm. It is a significant, undeniable, and deplorable fact that the popular pulpits of this day are roaring with the very heresy here so witheringly denounced by Paul as actual witchcraft. Well, what is this witchcraft? It is none other than preaching sanctification by good works, or growth, which is the same thing. Reader, will you not help me to wake up all the preachers to the apprehension of this momentous reality, that if they preach justification or sanctification by carnal ordinances, church rites, good works, ecclesiastical loyalty, or in any way conceivable or inconceivable, except by the direct personal Holy Spirit working in the heart through meek and humble faith on the part of the recipients, in that case they are simply hypnotizing the people with abominable Satanic witchcraft? Good Lord, deliver us. 4. “Did you suffer so many things in vain ?” If, indeed, in vain. While Paul lashes them with the scorpions of God’s awful castigatory truth, he does all this actuated with inspiring hope of their reclamation. In that day to become the follower of the despised Nazarene, who was crucified on Calvary, meant nothing less than martyrdom, hence these Galatians had already suffered awful persecutions for Christ’s sake. After all this noble heroism and patient suffering, what a pity for them to be side-tracked by designing ecclesiastical demagogues, and make their bed in Hell. No wonder the spirit of Paul was profoundly stirred within him. 5. “Wherefore did the one administering to you the Spirit, and working dynamites in you, do it by works of law or by the hearing of faith ?” They would not dare to gainsay the testimony of Paul at this point, because he was the identical party here alluded to, administering to them the Spirit, and working dynamites among them. The Holy Ghost uses human instrumentality. Therefore it is pertinently said that Paul did administer to them. “Mirades” (E. V.) is “dynamites” in the Greek, the plural of the same word used by Paul in Romans 1:16, where he defines the gospel as the “dynamite of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” The objection to “miracles” (E. V.) is that it deflects the mind too far from the nucleus of the gospel theme, i .e ., the personal work of the Holy Spirit in the heart, and focalizes the mind on the physical miracles which actually did accompany the spiritual; e .g . bodily healing, etc. These “dynamites” are powers, and are manifested in all the work of the Spirit in the heart; e .g ., conviction, regeneration, and sanctification, which had been so prominent under Paul’s ministry in those churches. This verse is pre-eminently confirmatory of the pure spirituality of Paul’s ministry among those people, and shows that it was exclusively through the personal work of the Holy Spirit through the heart, performing miracles of conviction, regeneration, and sanctification, all through faith alone on the part of the recipients. It is utterly impossible to conclude that anything else took place in the conversion of these people except the simple preaching of the Word accompanied by the ordinary auxiliaries of prayer, exhortation, appeal, testimony, and song, the simple human media through which the Holy Ghost wrought His mighty works.

    THE PLAN OF SALVATION EVOLVED OUT OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT 6. “As Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for justification .” Of course those Jewish Christian preachers were powerful on the Abrahamic covenant, justly regarded by every loyal Israelite as the Magna Charta of the redemption scheme. This they had especially emphasized in their preaching to these Galatians, assuring them that circumcision was necessary to bring them into the Abrahamic covenant and make them bona fide members of the Christian Church. You must not imbibe the idea that these preachers were laboring to convert them to Judaism, which is utterly out of the question, but only to prevail on them as Christians to adopt circumcision, and, perhaps, some other Jewish rites and ceremonies. In view of this fact, it becomes pertinent on the part of Paul to take up the Abrahamic covenant and show them that they become members of it by faith alone, simultaneously also becoming bona fide Christians, from the simple fact that the Abrahamic covenant was confirmed in Christ, the sole center, essence, and quintessence of that great and notable transaction which God Almighty made with that celebrated patriarch. The record in this verse, giving Abraham’s justification through faith alone, which took place when he was seventy-five years old ( Genesis 15), actually preceded his circumcision by twenty-four years, giving a gap between them so long that no intelligent person could ever identify the two transactions. As circumcision was God’s work on His ancient people, so is baptism at the present day. When I was a boy it was customary to mark sheep by cutting their ears, an operation painful and bloody. Now they simply mark them with paint. In a similar manner, amid the bold and impressive symbolism of the old dispensation, God marked His people by a bloody sign. Nowadays by a simple and painless ceremony with water. 7. “Know then that those who are of faith the same are the sons of Abraham .” As the covenant with Abraham was confirmed in Christ, therefore all the people who are in Christ are members of that covenant.

    Consequently, the simple fact that through faith alone we are justified and born of the Spirit, it follows as an irresistible logical sequence that all who enjoy true faith in Christ are truly the children of Abraham. Hence Paul sweeps from the field the argument of his adversaries who were deluding those people with the idea that they needed circumcision to bring them into the covenant of redemption. Though the dogma of circumcision was soon dropped out of the pulpit; e .g ., even before the same class of preachers troubled the church at Corinth, where they said nothing about it, yet the same trouble, like a specter from the bottomless pit, has followed the churches from that day to this, haranguing the children of God on the essentiality of water-baptism and other ritual ceremonies. 8. “But the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham that in thy seed shall all the Gentiles be blessed .” Whereas the legalists are troubling them about circumcision, that they may partake the benefits of the Abrahamic covenant, Paul proves clearly the non-essentiality of their proselytism to Judaism, because all of the Gentiles were specified in the covenant when God made it with Abraham. Consequently they are bona fide participants of the covenant independently of the Jews, because Christ died for the Gentiles as much as the Jews. In fact, the very Pauline gospel, identical, God had preached to Abraham, including Jews and Gentiles alike in the paternity of faith in Christ. 9. “So that those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham .” As Adam represented all the human race, so Abraham represented the whole race of faith, i .e ., all the people in all ages and nations looking to God for salvation through faith in Christ. “God out of Christ is a consuming fire” ( Hebrews 12:18).

    Since He has redeemed all in the world through Christ, He is anxious to save all. Therefore just as faithful Abraham was blessed and saved, so God delights to save all who put their trust in Christ. As He is the only Expiator of the violated law, there is no alternative but to leave every soul under condemnation who does not fly to God through Him. 10. “For so many as are of works of law, are under the curse, for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them .” The law can never know any mercy. For a sinner such mercy in the law is like the criminal employing a lawyer to examine the statute book to find his pardon. From Alpha to Omega he will find nothing but his condemnation. To pardon is not to punish. When the penalty is ignored, all law is at an end. The murderer before the judge and jury weeps, begs and promises never to kill another man. That has nothing to do with the case. He must be hung for the murder already committed.

    The law can do nothing but inflict the penalty. The only hope is through a third party coming to his rescue, satisfying the law and becoming his substitute. The angels need no mediator, because they never violated the law. Legalistic salvation is the proudest trick of the devil, who in that way has been filling up Hell the last six thousand years. To unilluminated minds it is exceedingly plausible, especially when cunningly manipulated by pulpit demagogues. 11. “That no one is justified by law is evident, because, The just shall live by faith .” These propositions can not both be true, because contradictory, notwithstanding Satan’s preachers labor so hard to reconcile them. Faith means the abandonment of all personal effort and leaning upon another, while legal justification means that you are justified by obedience to law.

    Hence they are diametrically contradictory and irreconcilable either with other, the one representing God’s religion, and the other Satan’s. The devil is always passing himself not only as the partner of God. but God Himself. “The just shall live by faith ” is a quotation from Habakkuk, constituting God’s law of pardon and sanctification in all dispensations. During the first three centuries martyr fires kept the Church humble and pure. When the conversion of the Emperor Constantine suddenly elevated the Church from the lion’s mouth to Caesar’s palace, the world got the victory, hence the fatal plunge into the awful apostasy, resulting in the paganization and inundation with ignorance, darkness, superstition, and idolatry, culminating in priestcraft, prelacy and popery, again kindling the fires of persecution and deluging Christendom in blood. Meanwhile all the cardinal truths in the popular church went into eclipse. When Martin Luther, a most devout Augustine monk, having nearly starved himself to death to get rid of his sins, finally went to Rome to receive the Pope’s blessing and other means of grace available at the world’s spiritual metropolis, pursuant to the leadership of the priests, on his bare and bleeding knees climbing up and down the stone stair of Pilate, where Jesus stood when under prosecution (which they claimed to have been transported from Jerusalem during the crusades), suddenly these words rang in his ears, as he always believed, by a voice from Heaven: “The just shall live by faith.” Immediately desisting and returning to Germany, he stirred the whole country, preaching justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith, utterly independently of priestly absolution, thus repudiating all the arrogant claims of the hierarchy, stirring all the Hell-hounds of persecution against him, till the Pope sent his bull of excommunication, which meant Luther’s burning, like that of John Huss, of Bohemia, but he publicly burnt the bull. This was followed by the thunder of the Vatican, the rage of the hierarchy, and the anathema of the Pope, summoning him to face his august majesty with his grave cardinals at the City of Worms; where, proving more than a match for them, an attempt to arrest him superinducing a great uproar in which Luther was carried away as he thought by his enemies, but they turned out his friends, fortuitously securing him in the rush and hurrying away to save his life, incarcerating him in a deep, dark dungeon far off in an old ruined castle on the summit of a lonely mountain, there keeping him a whole year, thinking he was in the hands of his enemies, as his custodians thought it best to remain incognito, lest he would get away and his enemies kill him. Meanwhile he translated the New Testament out of the Greek into the German. At the expiration of a year the seed he had sown produced a glorious crop, inspiring the princes of Germany to meet at Augsburg and enter a general protest against the usurpation of the Pope, thus laying the foundation of the Protestant Church and pouring a flood of light on the world. Thus God used Luther to restore to the Church the longlost gospel of justification from all our transgressions by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith alone “without deeds of law.” At a later date he used George Fox and John Wesley to restore the glorious doctrine of entire sanctification instantaneously received by simple faith for that wonderful grace. He is blessedly using the present Holiness movement (now girdling the globe) in the restoration of the inspiring truth of the Lord’s glorious return to the earth and the wonderful triumphs of the Millennial theocracy. He is also using this glorious movement to restore Divine healing for the body, also woman’s ministry and other great truths patent in the New Testament, but, with everything else, covered deep in the rubbish of priestcraft and popular superstition. Glory to God! we are about to get our Bible back! Then the human creeds which domineered the conscience of Christendom for ages, must all go into eclipse amid the glorious light of the Sun of Righteousness. 12. “The law is not of faith, but he who doth those things shall live in them .” This applies to all the angels and glorified saints, but to no person on the earth. It applied to Adam and Eve while they kept their first estate in Eden. 13. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, because it has been written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree ” ( Deuteronomy 21:23). Christ literally and actually became our substitute, dying in our room and stead and satisfying the violated law for us, making the expiation so complete as to preclude the necessity for the damnation of a solitary soul in all the world. So complete and satisfactory is the work of Christ for every human being, that the damnation of a sinner becomes a sheer gratuity in no way necessary. Hence the soul who makes his bed in Hell dies as the fool dies, without a solitary apology to palliate the horrors of Hell through all eternity.

    RECEPTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 14. “In order that the blessing of Abraham may be in Christ Jesus .” Hence the silly nonsense of all their arguments in favor of circumcision as a prerequisite to the benefits of the Abrahamic covenant, because Christ is the soul and essence of that covenant, hence if you have Him, you enjoy the full benefits of the covenant, which was none other than the covenant of redemption through Christ which God reiterated with Abraham. “In order that we may receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” When man emanated from the creative fiat, the Holy Spirit filled him, continuing to abide in his heart till the Fall, when, pursuant to his unhappy verdict in favor of the enemy, He retreated away, leaving the fallen wreck in woeful and dismal ruin. Under this gracious economy the Holy Spirit is the Executive of the Trinity, whose province it is to restore this fallen world to its Heavenly beauty, purity and glory. From this glorious and stupendous enterprise He is inhibited by the violated law, which dooms this reprobate earth and all its inhabitants to the awful retributions of eternity. Christ, having volunteered and espoused the lost cause, vacated the throne of His Heavenly glory and condescended to assume our humanity, sin excepted, suffer and die, the just for the unjust, making a complete, radical and satisfactory atonement for every son and daughter of Adam’s race, thus eternally precluding the remotest necessity for the damnation of a solitary soul. Having triumphantly satisfied the violated law and cleared every difficulty out of the way, He becomes the glorious precursor of the Holy Ghost, the commissioned Heavenly Executive of the new creation appertaining to the human soul, mind and body, also this material world, which is to be sanctified by the crematory fires ( 2 Peter 2:10), wrapping it in purgatorial flames, simultaneously with the progress of the final judgment ( Revelation 20:11-15), then re-creating it after the similitude of the unfallen Heavenly worlds, and restoring it back to its former place in the celestial empire, whence Satan wrested it in the Fall in view of adding it to Hell, in order to enlarge the narrow limits of the pandemonium. It may, in an admissible sense, be said that the day of Pentecost commemorates the birth of the Holy Ghost. This conception is simply homogeneous to the birth of the Son in the manger of Bethlehem, both the Son and Spirit having eternally pre-existed, and simply at these notable epochs in the history of redemption become incarnate. Before the Pentecostal experience, the Holy Ghost evidently operated on humanity extrinsically, i .e ., from without, coming on the old prophet “while the minstrel played,” and on Samson when he “got up and shook himself.” During the wonderful Pentecostal experience He not only descended on them but entered into them, and “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” ( Acts 2:4), thus becoming incarnate in the disciples. The above quotation reveals the fact that “we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith ,” hence we not only receive the justifying mercy of God through faith but in the same way the personal Holy Spirit. In this passage especial emphasis is laid on the word “promise,” which is salient throughout this argument, and so frequently repeated. It is the grand promise central in the Abrahamic covenant, not only including Christ the Redeemer, but the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier, confirming clearly and indisputably the two great works of grace in the plan of salvation, represented by the Son and Spirit, our blessed Redeemer and glorious Sanctifier. These great truths constitute the sum and substance of the Abrahamic covenant, and are included in the promise which God made to Abraham, guaranteeing to all of his spiritual children a free justification through the Son and entire sanctification through the Spirit, purifying, filling and incarnating in the faithful children of God. 15. “Brethren, I speak according to a man. No one disannulleth or addeth to the covenant of a man having been already confirmed .” This verse assures us as to the immutability of the Abrahamic covenant, illustrated by the indefragability even of a human covenant which has been confirmed; e .g ., a transaction of legal estate in human affairs. As Abraham passed away, having never met and conferred with God any more in reference to that matter, it was therefore forever unchangeable. Consequently all human beings may rest in perfect assurance forever as to the immutable and eternal validity of the Abrahamic covenant, which clearly and unequivocally guarantees to every believing soul a free justification in Christ and entire sanctification in the Spirit; thus eternally consummating the entire plan of salvation, entire sanctification, involving the glorification of soul, mind and body, for the infallible provision of the great covenant of redemption was transacted in Heaven simultaneously with the first movings of grace toward fallen humanity, and was stipulated and ratified with Abraham. 16. “To Abraham and his seed the promises were made. He says not, indeed unto seeds as of many, but as unto one; even to thy seed, who is Christ .” This verse clearly assures us as to the identity of the Abrahamic covenant and that which the Father made with the Son in Heaven when He espoused the lost cause, embarking in the arduous enterprise of human redemption, involving His incarnation and personal expiation of all human guilt on the rugged cross. As this covenant was made originally with Christ in person, the Second Adam, representative of the whole human race, as the first Adam “Whereas in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” ( 2 Corinthians 15:22) thus exhibiting Adam and Christ on parallel and illimitable lines representing the entire human race, the one in the fall and the other in the redemption. This covenant of redemption, which the Father had made with the Son before He descended and preached the first gospel sermon to the fallen twain in Eden in signal and condescending mercy, He reiterated and established with Abraham, rendering him universally conspicuous in the fatherhood of God’s children upon the earth in all ages, complimenting him with the paternity of faith. Paul assures us, “All who believe are blessed with faithful Abraham,” thus partakers of redeeming mercy in the Son, and sanctifying power in the Spirit, both alike indispensable to qualification for Heaven. 17. “I say this, the law, which is four hundred and thirty years later, does not disannul the covenant previously having been confirmed of God so as to vitiate the promise .” As circumcision and the ordinances of the Levitical ritual were enforced by the law which God gave to Moses on Sinai four hundred and thirty years after the stipulation of the covenant with Abraham, by which he and all his faithful posterity are justified fully by the grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith alone without works, hence the preposterous impertinency of saddling carnal ordinances on the Abrahamic covenant, which was made four hundred and thirty years before the Mosaic ritual was inaugurated. Hence the glaring inconsistency of making an ex post facto law requiring material ordinances as a condition of justification. 18. “For if the inheritance were from law, it is not at all by the promise: but God gave it to Abraham through the promise .” Here Paul affirms the irreconcilability of the two plans of salvation, i .e ., good works, and the other through simple faith in the promise of God to justify and save us freely for Christ’s sake. You see at once the irreconcilable incompatibility of these two methods, the one being a pure gratuity from God through Christ, and the other the reward of life-long labor on our part. The apostle adduces irrefutable arguments against those legalistic preachers who, like rapacious wolves, were devouring the flocks of Christ, His beloved spiritual children.

    These unanswerable Pauline arguments actually sweep all controversy from the field, eternally annihilating all possible claims to legalistic salvation, nullifying forever the slightest possible allegation in favor of the essentiality of carnal ordinances, church rites, and ecclesiastical ceremonies to the salvation of a soul. 19. “Then what is it? It was added on account of transgressions, until the seed may come to whom the promise was made, being ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator .” Law, in its original sense, is the very radiation of the Divine purity and glory flashing out from the effulgent throne and illuminating the created intelligences of all worlds. In this case, however, law is used in a specific sense, referring to the proclamation from Sinai, when the lightnings flashed, thunders roared, and earthquakes heaved, inspiring the panic-stricken multitude with unutterable dismay. The end for which this Mosaic law was inaugurated was the conviction of the people, law having no power to enforce its own penalty, being simply the light which reveals the criminal and the crime, superinducing guilt and defining the penalty. All this is a simple preparatory for the appreciation of omnipotent relief. The angels were very conspicuous in the old dispensation, in the beginning taking a thrilling interest in creation, filling the universe with uproarious shouts responsive to the stars which sang together at creation’s birth. When Daniel got on his knees to pray, God commanded Gabriel to fly and answer his prayer, putting his hand on his shoulder before he arose from his knees. On that memorable night when the vast Assyrian army under Sennacherib encamped at Lachish, five miles from over the mountain, fully anticipating the capture of the city the following morning, sanctified Hezekiah spent the night weeping aloud, and all Jerusalem resounding with sorrowful wails, Isaiah being the only person in all the city hopeful, cheerful, tranquil, and victorious through the spiritual gift of faith he had received from God for the protection of the city, which was dreadfully anticipating the morrow’s awful doom. They tremble at daydawn, looking out for the Assyrian banner waving in the air, but they look in vain. There is no sign of an enemy. They wait till the sun is fast climbing the Oriental skies, flooding the green hills of Palestine with his effulgent glow; still no enemy is in sight. They pass beyond the mountain brow and see the vast encampment all still as if it were midnight. They venture nigh, enter a tent, find it full of dead men; then another, and another. Behold, not a living soul is found in all the vast Assyrian army! The angel of the Lord had come down at midnight and slain 185, 000 Assyrian soldiers, thus delivering the city, responsive to Isaiah’s prayer and Hezekiah’s tears. 20. “A mediator is not of one, but God is one .” This short sentence irrefutably confirms the human side of the Abrahamic covenant. The word “covenant” here used is diatheekee , which always means covenant with God and man, suntheekee designating the covenant man makes with man.

    Hence the very fact of our Lord’s mediatorship within itself confirms eternally the human side of the redemptive covenant. 21. “Therefore, is the law against the promises? It were impossible .” This conclusion follows as the logical sequence from the Divine veracity, which disqualifies God to contradict Himself. While all the promises connected with the covenant of redemption, involving justification through the atonement and sanctification by the Spirit, are in the simple condition of faith without works of law; yet this fact does not argue an antagonism between the promises of free grace and the law proclaimed from Sinai, each having its respective and appropriate utility in the Divine economy. “For if a law were given Competent to create life, truly righteousness were by law .”

    The word “quicken,” frequently occurring in the New Testament, is zoopoieor , which means “create life.” God said to Adam: “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” He did not say his body should die, but Adam himself, who, like every other human being, was an immortal spirit. Hence Adam died, i .e ., lost spiritual life, the very moment be sinned.

    We are not the children of living, but dead Adam, as he had no posterity before he sinned. Therefore we are all born dead, but have a chance to be born again and born alive. If the dead soul could have been raised by legal obedience, Christ might have saved His life. Hence all human devices are forever swept from the field, utterly incompetent to the momentous emergency of raising dead humanity into life. 22. “But the Scripture shut up all things under sin, in order that the promise from faith of Jesus Christ may be given to them that believe .” We have here the Greek neuter plural referring to seminal humanity in Adam indiscriminately, including all under sin, as all sinned in Adam, not personally, but seminally. “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” ( Psalm 1:5) This is from the fact that we are all conceived in Adam the first. While the human race, having fallen in Adam, is corrupt from the fountain, Christ has gloriously redeemed all, faith being the Divine condition of our mutual participation of the vicarious atonement. Hence the whole race stand on the same grand level of condemnation and probationary opportunity. These arguments triumphantly sweep away all the ritualistic pretensions of His adversaries. 23. “And before faith came, we were kept, having been shut up to the faith which was about to be revealed .” Judaism was the rudimentary department of God’s Church preparatory for Christianity. As infants are shut up in the nursery, so were the people of God kept in the symbolic school till the time appointed for faith to supersede symbols, and all the types to recede before the Great Antitype. 24. “So the law was our schoolmaster unto Christ, in order that we may be justified by faith .” The word here is not didaskalos , “teacher,” which frequently occurs, but paidagoogos , a compound from pais , “child,” and agoo , “lead,” hence means a leader of the children, i .e ., the old-style pedagogue who carried a long rod and flogged the school children terribly.

    I was reared under this old pedagogue dispensation. When six years old was sent to a regular old-style pedagogue, I suppose about sixty years old, with long beard all over his face, and really scary in those times, and, as I thought, the ugliest man I ever saw. The very sight of him threw me into a paroxysm of affright. Having visited the shop of an old hatter near by, and, to my unutterable astonishment, seen him tearing the fur off the skins of wild animals with astounding rapidity by a whirling string moved by his foot and a treadle — when I chanced to whisper to a large boy by my side, he ordered me to stand before him and give an account of myself, affrighting me almost into spasms as he lifted up a hickory switch about ten feet long and slashed the floor like a clap of thunder, roaring out, “If you misbehave again I will take this hickory and make the fur fly faster than old Yates can make it into hats,” then ordering me to take my seat. Scared almost to death, I trembled and quaked till the noon recess, when, going out in the bushes with Cousin John, who received a flogging a few days before I entered the school, we held the gravest consultation of my life. He told me about his whipping: that no tongue could tell his awful suffering, and he believed if he had struck him another lick he would have died on the spot; meanwhile, I assured him that I never could survive the awful doom that awaited me. I had seen old Yates tear the fur off those fox skins, and I knew I would die under a similar operation. Thus, both of us, fully recognizing the fact that our lives were in anger, he observing, “Well, Cousin Will, I would patiently bear all the suffering if I could just know that he would let me live, but I do believe if he were to give me such another thrashing I would die under the operation,” I responding: “Well, Cousin John, I am satisfied I never can live through what he is going to give me, but if he makes the fur fly faster than old Yates can make it into hats, I will be dead before he is half done.” That conversation was as serious as the Judgment, as we were too young to know anything about joking. What was the result of that awful scare? I went to school twenty years, finally graduating at twenty-six, and never afterward received a castigation, but was publicly commended by every teacher as a paragon of order and application, constantly standing at the front on every line of duty and responsibility. Hence, to me, the infinite value of that awful beginning.

    The same was true in my religious experience. When a child I heard my father and others preach on Hell and damnation, putting on such an awful Hell-scare, that my unconverted life was externally irreproachable, as it is often this day, thus gloriously saved from the pestilential influence of all the vulgar vices and follies which drown the youth like Hellish harpies. In this simple way I have illustrated the normal effect of the law dispensation in my own experience, consequently I was penitent from the cradle, not only indisposed to go into vice, but terrified at its very mention, as I saw Hell open and the devil after me, so that frequently when a little boy I have gone to bed from sheer conviction, thinking was sick. It was soul-sickness. The greatest delinquency at the present day is in this department. The Sinai gospel is not preached. Hence, unrestrained by the fear of God, the youth rush into the vulgar vices, become hardened, and then go on into infidelity, all because Divine retribution is not kept prominent before their eyes in the appalling horrors of an open Hell. Such is the awful power of original fire when aroused by all the potent allurements to sensual indulgences, now concocted by Satan and his myrmidons. What is competent to antagonize it, but the Gorgon horrors of a bottomless Hell kept yawning before the eyes of the wicked night and day? For this reason infidelity as to future punishment is fearfully on the increase, so that the preaching of Hell and damnation ‘is fast going out of the popular pulpits. For the same reason the old-style power in conversion and sanctification is fast evanescing. If the old pedagogue does not thrash them up, they are not coming. “The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ ,” as true today as ever. Hence you must get the old pedagogue with his long castigatory rod after the sinners, if you want them to come to Christ. Such is the power of sin over the carnal mind that nothing but the stern arbitrament of the inflexible law can ever successfully antagonize it. 25. “Faith having come, we are no longer under the pedagogue .” Faith is the transition grace out of the law dispensation into the victorious kingdom of the omnipotent Christ, who conquers all our enemies, puts them all on the outside of the heart, baptizes us with the Holy Ghost, filling us with Heavenly prelibations, thus gloriously delivering us from all the condemnation of the violated law, whether on the line of guilt or depravity, so that we are no longer under the law but under grace ( Romans 6:14), from the simple fact that everything in us amenable to the legal penalty has been exterminated, so that the law has no more quarrel with us. Therefore we no longer tremble at the sight of policemen, but hail them as our friends and protectors, neither do we want the hanging law abolished, as we no longer fear the rope. Consequently, while perfectly obedient to all law, human and Divine, yet we are as free as if there was no law in the universe, from the simple fact that we have no disposition whatever to violate the law. 26. “For ye are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus .” We see in this verse clear and unmistakable the indisputable fact that regeneration is not by human works, cleric nor personal, but by faith alone, thus sweeping away the papistical dogma of baptismal regeneration. When the fugitive from that ugly, infuriated old pedagogue, cracking his whip of castigatory judgments around his head, has once reached the omnipotent Christ, he is all right in every respect, because this wonderful Deliverer has already conquered sin, death and Hell, and “brought life and immortality to light,” hence he has nothing to do but turn over the vexed problem of his longsought deliverance into His hands and raise the shout of victory, to ring on through life, death, and vast eternity. 27. “For so many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ .”

    While the material rite utilizing the limpid rill beautifully symbolizes the wonderful expurgatory baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire administered by the Savior, responsive to the humble faith of the fully consecrated devotee, it is preposterous to identify the baptism in this passage with the symbolic ordinance, which is impotent to wrest a soul from the kingdom of darkness and transfer him into Christ. There is a symbolic putting on of Christ by the public profession celebrated in water-baptism, while the intrinsical transaction, which is a pure spirituality, can only take place in the substantial baptism with the Holy Spirit administered by the omnipotent Savior ( Matthew 3:11), which is beautifully harmonical with the preceding verse certifying regeneration by faith alone.

    ALL DISTINCTIONS OBLITERATED IN CHRIST 28. “In Him there is neither Jew nor Greek .” At the very time of this writing the Jewish converts to Christianity were utterly unrestricted in their practicing the diversified rites of the Moasic ritual in the track of their fathers 1,500 years; e .g ., circumcision, animal sacrifices, watery catharisms, and Nazaritic vows, while the Gentiles, by the apostolical decree, were fully exonerated from all these observances. Yet in all the churches they were indiscriminately mixed up, living in the most perfect harmony and Christian fellowship, illustrating the significant fact that trine immersing, foot-washing Tunkers, and nonritualistic Quakers at the present day ought to worship together, all alike bona fide members of the same church organization, in perfect harmony, sympathy, and Christian affection. All we need to bring about this state of glorious unification in the Church of God is the baptism by the one Spirit into the body ( Corinthians 12:13), which is the only essential bond of Christian union, the largest liberty being recognized on all other nonessentials. “In Him there is neither bond nor free .” In Christ the slave is God’s freeman, coming up to the equality and confraternity of his Master; meanwhile the freeman in Christ is the Lord’s love-slave, condescending to the lowest humiliation of the bond servant, thus perfect equality, sympathy, and brotherhood obtaining in the body of Christ. “In Him there is neither male nor female .”

    This brief and terse statement of the Holy Ghost forever sweeps from the field all the world-wide controversy relative to woman’s gospel rights, by simply annihilating sex-hood in the kingdom of grace and glory. You enter Christ in regeneration, are established in Him in sanctification, and eternally identified with Him in glorification. This affirmation establishes the conclusion irrefutable that sexual distinction is unknown in the kingdom of grace and glory, consequently all controversy as to woman’s gospel rights is simply futile and impertinent, as the problem is here solved positively, unequivocally, and irrefutably by the infallible ipse dixit of the Holy Ghost. “For you are all one in Christ Jesus .” This affirmation certifies the absolute unity of God’s people. O, what deplorable havoc has Satan wrought in Christendom since the great Constantinian apostasy! hitherto the blood and fire of martyrdom having perpetuated the orthodoxy and unity of the Lord’s people. When people get away from God they always magnify and idolize nonessentials; e .g ., water baptism, sacraments, creed, sect, ritual, et cetera , losing sight of the great vital truth, i .e ., the work of the Holy Ghost wrought in the heart, who is the omnipotent Unifier of the Lord’s people. It is utterly impossible for all the theologians in Christendom to find a solitary legitimate bond of union in the Church of Christ except the baptism of the one Spirit into one body ( 1 Corinthians 12:13). When we really have the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, and live in the enjoyment of the same, the normal effect is to render us oblivious to non-essential differences and at the same time flood us with brotherly kindness and sympathy for the Lord’s dear ones who do not see as we do in every little non-essential of Biblical exegesis. Do not forget that the diversity in the apostolic churches between Jews and Gentiles on ordinances was actually greater than it is today between sanctified trine immersionists and nonritualistic Friends. What a deplorable pity that the people of God permit Satan to send them into antagonistical warring sects over these nonessentials!

    Why can we not all recognize our unity in the one baptism into one body, administered by the one omnipotent and infallible Savior, at the same time extending larger liberty, Christian sympathy, and confraternity in nonessentials. As the Holiness movement today girdles the globe an infinite diversity of ecclesiastical and ritualistic elements are all united in one body by one Spirit, under the leadership of the one omnipotent Savior and Sanctifier marching on to the conquest of the world. Satan is stirring earth and Hell to break up the Holiness movement into petty warring sects, as in preceding ages. God help us all by prayer and heroic labor to antagonize these diabolical encroachments upon our Zion. 29. “If you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed heirs according to the promise .” In Judaism as in Christianity Abraham is the representative of universal spiritual paternity through faith. These Jewish preachers were stickleristic on the Abrahamic covenant, teaching them that it was entered by circumcision, at the same time emphasizing the essentiality of a place in the covenant in order to their salvation. This is true, that there is only salvation in the Abrahamic covenant, from the simple fact that that was a mere renewal of the redemption covenant made with Christ to save all the world through faith. The error of these preachers was not in the importance they attached to the covenant, but the hypothesis of admission into it through circumcision, i .e ., baptism instead of faith, which the Scriptures everywhere set forth as the door of admission, and the condition of inheritance, lucidly illustrated by the case of Abraham in person, who was justified by faith twenty-four years before he received the rite of circumcision, which simply outwardly symbolized the spirituality of faith.

    Here Paul clearly assures them that there is no such a thing as identification with Christ and alienation from the Abrahamic covenant, as they are but the respective parties to the same transaction, Abraham representing the visible church, and Christ the head of the invisible spiritual body.

    CHAPTER - SPIRITUAL INFANCY AND ADULTAGE These Scriptures uniformly recognize the prominent, salient characters in the spiritual life, i .e ., the neepios , the “bate,” and the telios , the” adult,” regeneration developing the former and sanctification the latter, perfectly harmonious with the progressive periods preceding each epoch. While the birth is not the beginning of existence, it is an instantaneous event. Equally truly do we reach majority in a moment, though having long approximated it. 1. “But I say, so long as the heir is an infant, he differs as to nothing from a slave, being lord of all .” Judaism was normal to spiritual infancy as Christianity is to adultage. The patriarchs and prophets reached spiritual majority though living in the minor dispensation, vividly contrastive with the great majority of the Christians of the present day, who are utterly out of harmony with the gospel dispensation, because they are living in that of Moses, 3,000 years behind the age, their preachers holding them back in the ages of darkness and symbolism, instead of leading them forward beyond the types and shadow, and introducing them to the glorious Antitype waiting to rend away the carnal vail and flood them with the unutterable effulgence of entire sanctification. 2. “But is under nurses and guardians until the time appointed by the Father .” The reason why the pastors fight sanctification is because they are afraid they will lose their job of nursing, watching, and managing their members. If they could only once taste the delicious freedom from all such chafing and grievous responsibility they would leap and shout at the very thought of felicitous liberation from all these onerous burdens. Babies need constant attention to keep them from eating dirt, bugs, and worms, and other filth, as it seems hereditary with them to put everything they get hold of into the mouth, while grown-up people need no such attention, but can take care of themselves. No wonder the church has the ineffaceable disgrace of spending nineteen hundred years in a deplorable failure to preach the gospel throughout the whole world, which she could have done, if true to the Pentecostal experience and power, in one century, thus bringing back her glorious Lord. All this failure is the fruit of going back into spiritual infancy and, infinitely worse, into dwarf-hood, the inevitable fruit of infancy unduly perpetuated. We need an army of giants to whip the devil and regain the world for Christ. Babies and dwarfs will never achieve this conquest. 3. “Thus truly we, when we were infants, were enslaved under the elements of the world .” Worldly elements here mentioned are none other than the great, operose and burdensome ritual of Moses, which was really a heavy yoke of bondage on them during the rudimentary dispensation. Do you not see the same phenomena characterizing the rank and file of Christendom ever since the fatal apostasy of the fourth century? The Roman Catholics this day have ceremonies and institutions about as numerous, extensive, costly and burdensome as did the Jews under the Levitical ritual, while the Protestant denominations, with alarming rapidity, are multiplying materialistic institutions, requiring their people to raise several times the amount of money needed to support the gospel in their midst, thus laying heavy, corroding and galling yokes on their members — burdens grievous to be borne. No wonder they fight sanctification, because they know this glorious freedom would knock up all this temporal servitude and liberate the people from the “elements of the world .” 4. “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his own Son, having been born of a woman, having been born under the law , 5. “In order that He may redeem those who are under the law, in order that we may receive sonship .” Spiritual infancy is encumbered with the burdens superinduced by the elements of the world, i .e ., these temporal institutions and regulations enforced by nurses and guardians in the attitude of the old dispensation, under the heavy yoke of the Mosaic law, vastly augmented by the accession of rabbinical institutions. Just as the coming of Christ brought in the new era liberating the Jews from the worldly institutions of the former dispensation, so entire sanctification, now leading us out of spiritual infancy and liberating us from the servitude of minority, induces us into the glorious realm of full spiritual liberty, blessedly delivered from all the elements of the world, where it is our privilege to live a bright, happy, victorious spiritual life, exultant in the sweet realization of perfect and glorious freedom.

    SERVANT AND SON The distinction between these two states of grace made by the old theologians is too wide, recognizing all the loyal church-members as servants before they receive the witness of adoption. We find the problem solved here, and in Romans 8:14-17. These Scriptures clearly set forth the identity of servant and son, the difference simply consisting in the attitude to the Divine during minority and majority, the period of servitude extending from birth to majority, and that of sonship indefinitely after majority. N. B. — The child is really a son from its birth, and after majority doubtless more serviceable to the parents through love than in minority through fear. The simple solution of the problem is, during minority the servile character predominates over the filial; meanwhile, during majority, the filial predominates over the servile, yet both co-exist throughout life.

    God never yokes up the devil’s cattle to pull the salvation wagon. He works His own oxen. Hence the dogma that all of these unregenerated, loyal church-members are the servants of God is utterly untrue. You can not serve God unless you are in His kingdom, which you can only enter by the spiritual birth. Satan is perfectly willing for you to be good churchmembers if you will not get saved, because all he wants is to get you into Hell. Hence he has made vast provisions for his people to live and die good and loyal church-members like Dives ( Luke 16), just so they wake up in Hell. Rest assured none but the children of God are the servants of God.

    All others are servants of Satan, and on their way to Hell, though traveling through the churches and even through the pulpit.

    WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT 6. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth His Spirit into your hearts, crying, Father, Father .” Aba is the Hebrew for father. We have the same ( Romans 8:16): “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. “ 7. “So you are no longer a servant, but a son; and if a son, indeed, an heir through God .” Yet this is the same identical individual in whom the servile character predominates during minority, and the filial after majority. You observe this clear and constant witness to adoption does not obtain till majority, i .e ., entire sanctification, as you are bound to locate regeneration at the birth into the family. Wesley says the witness of the Spirit is not constant with the regenerate, going into eclipse in time of temptation. Inbred sin in the heart is an old bog out of which clouds are want to rise and obscure the Sun of Righteousness from our spiritual vision, till we cry out: O Lord , if indeed I am thine , If thou art my sun and my song . Oh , why do I languish and pine , And why are my winters so long ? Oh , drive these dark clouds from my sky . Thy soul-cheering presence restore , Or take me to Thee up on high , Where winter and clouds are no more . The glorious second work of grace, entire sanctification, takes this old bog out by the roots, so it sends up no more clouds. In Egypt rain never falls, and clouds are never seen, but the sun always shines with a splendor unknown in the Western Hemisphere. I do not wonder that the children of earth made it their first abode. The truly sanctified live night and day beneath cloudless skies, the glorious Sun of Righteousness eternally shining with undimmed splendor, hence this clear and cloudless witness of the Spirit ( Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:16) really appertains to the sanctified experience. 8. “But at one time, indeed, not knowing God, you served those which by nature are no gods .” Galatia had been colonized by Greek immigrants about two hundred years B.C., who worshipped the Greek gods, i .e ., Jupiter, Apollo, Venus, Minerva, and many others, and taught the aborigines the Greek religions. 9. “But know, knowing God ,” by the hearing of His Word, which Paul preached, and by the influence and revelations of His Spirit. “And still more being known of God,” i .e ., while you know Him, He knows you infinitely better. “How were you turning again to the weak and beggarly elements, which you wish to serve again as formerly ?” We have “elements of the world,” in ver. 3, denoting the temporal institutions of the Mosaic ritual during Israel’s minority, hence “elements” here means a worldly religion in contradistinction to the pure spirituality of the gospel dispensation. Jesus gave the keynote to the gospel dispensation ( John 4:23): “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”

    Hence the whole earth is God’s temple, and we need nothing but His Word and Spirit to render unto Him the true and acceptable worship, temporal institutions having nothing to do with it. These ritualistic preachers had well-nigh ruined the Galatians by preaching the necessity of carnal ordinances, and in that way detracting their attention from Christ, who alone had any power to save them. 10. “You keep days, months, seasons and years .” The Jewish preachers had insisted on their keeping the holy days, festal seasons and year of jubilee along with the Mosaic institutions, seriously to their spiritual damage, as those things are utterly powerless to save, and the trend was back toward the polytheism out of which they had been converted. God requires holy people instead of holy days. If you are holy, then all of your days are holy. If you are unholy, you can not be saved by keeping holy days. The truth of the matter is, the simple fact that all those days and seasons were symbolic and fulfilled in Christ, passover symbolizing the atonement; Pentecost, sanctification; tabernacles, glorification; the Sabbath, perfect soul rest in Jesus, and jubilee, the Millennium. Sabbath is a Hebrew word whose meaning is “rest.” The penalty of violating it was death. In sanctification all of our enemies are slain, and we enter into perfect rest in Jesus. Then, rigidly enforce the Sabbatic rule; i .e ., slay every Sabbathbreaker, i .e ., every sin that would come to the heart or life, and thus break the Sabbath of the soul. When you are holy, all your days are holy days, i .e ., Sabbaths. For ages the churches were disturbed by Judaizing teachers, of whom we have no succession at present except the Seventh-day Adventists, who would have us Judaize the Sabbath. All of these Jewish institutions passed away, being fulfilled in Christ. Hence, if you have Jesus reigning in your heart and life without a rival, you are constantly in Him, keeping all of these symbolic institutions. Instead of one holy day in the week, you have seven, as Sabbath simply means rest, and you have perfect rest in Jesus. Hence you have an everlasting Sabbath in your soul, sweetly and thrillingly adumbratory of Heaven. Are we not to keep the Sabbath day? You must keep the Christian Sabbath, i .e ., Sunday, responsive to the conscience of Christendom ( 1 Corinthians 8:12). If you feel it your duty to keep the seventh day, you must do it responsive to your conscience, and keep the first day for the conscience of your neighbor, so then you would have two. You must conform to Christian expediency, seeing that your own conscience is satisfied and that you do not put a stumbling-block in the way of your neighbor. 11. “I fear lest, perhaps, I have labored in your behalf in vain .” The case was really distressing. He had toiled hard to get them saved from sin and idolatry. Now these legalists (and the world is full of them this day) have come among them, professing to be the true preachers of the gospel, and persuaded them that they can not be saved unless they receive carnal ordinances, in this way distracting their attention from Christ, who alone could save and keep them saved. The trend was to drag them back into another form of idolatry and ruin them world without end. We have innumerable parallel cases; e .g ., you got a lot of people gloriously converted, and some one came along and preached that they could not be saved without water baptism in a certain way. By the time they are all well watered, the fire of the Holy Ghost is extinguished and the Heavenly Dove has retreated away, leaving them idolaters at the shrine of the water god.

    Equally true if anything but Jesus is preached as essential to salvation. He is a jealous Lover and will not tolerate rivals. The ordinances will not hurt you, and may even strengthen your faith if you do not drift into the idea of their essentiality, in which case they become idols and rivals of Christ, fraught with terrible peril to spirituality.

    OCULAR FEEBLENESS 12-15. He here very touchingly refers to his work among them when God converted them through his humble instrumentality; refers, also, to his ocular feebleness, such that they would gladly have spared him an eye if possible. Hence we are perfectly assured of his great infirmity in this respect, confirming the hypothesis that this was the thorn in the flesh ( <471201> Corinthians 12). He there identifies it with his infirmities. Hence we are assured that it was not sin, as all sin is odious, and not to be gloried in.

    Having studied through the Greek colleges of Tarsus, and the Hebrew schools of Jerusalem, he had worn out his eyes, there being no optical arts at that time to assist him in the way of spectacles. God, instead of restoring his ocular power, made it a glorious means of grace ( 2 Corinthians 12:9).

    Instead of letting him read, He put him to thinking, amid the wonderful illuminations of the Holy Ghost. Homer, the greatest poet of the world, was blind. So was Milton, the prince of Anglican bards. The mind can only do so much. How wonderfully did the Holy Ghost send Paul down into the deep things of God to bring up floods of light and truth, to light and edify the world to the latest generation! God gave him inward light a thousandfold in compensation for the dimness of the outward. 16-18. Here he assured them of the sinister motives peculiar to the demagogues who were so fatally leading them away from the pure spirituality in Christ by the simple power and presence of the Holy Ghost These men are after temporal patronage, support and aggrandizement; i .e ., they are after the fleece instead of the flock.

    FATAL COLLAPSE OF THE GALATIANS 19. “My children, for whom I again travail in pain, until Christ may be formed in you .” The apostle seems quite bewildered over their case and preponderating to the conclusion of an actual apostasy, even the forfeiture of the Christ-life out of their hearts, such had been the fearful side-tracking agencies superinduced by those designing demagogues who had played sad havoc among them. This was but a faint adumbration of the ritualistic army who have down to the present day encompassed all Christendom, night and day maneuvering most adroitly to lead away proselytes conservatively to their sectarian enterprises. Of course Paul far away was incompetent to discriminate infallibly in reference to their actual condition, but we see in this verse that he strongly leaned to the conclusion of such actual forfeiture of the Divine life and fatal apostasy as to necessitate the renewal of their first work. This statement is also confirmatory of the conclusion that a real apostasy brings the soul right back into the regions of spiritual death, where regenerating grace first found it, thus identifying what is frequently called “reclamation” with a de novo conversion. 20. “But I would that I were present with you now and change my voice, because I am at a loss with reference to you .” He had found them poor heathens, deep down in the quags of Satan’s dark slumdom. God wonderfully accompanied his simple gospel message with the convicting and regenerating power of the Holy Ghost. Amid these glorious revival scenes and copious outpourings of the Spirit inundating them with the ineffable sweetness of first love, and doubtless some at least reaching the deeper depths of perfect love, a blessed fellowship of sweet, mutual Christian affection normally supervened under the auspicious leadership of the Holy Ghost, so that Paul doubtless characterized himself pre-eminently among them by the suaviter in modo , “sweetness in manner,” whereas now could he go back and find them awfully side-tracked from first principles, their happy experiences evanesced, and the Dove of peace retreated away, presumptively, he would feel it his duty to change his manner and speech from the suaviter in modo to the fortiter in re , i .e ., the thunderbolts and earthquakes of the old Sinai gospel, to shake them over a backslider’s Hell, and reveal to them the Gorgon horrors of the awful doom to which they haste, since they were so fatally side-tracked by the ritualistic idolatry inculcated by the oily-tongued demagogues who had preyed on them like Satan’s wolves.

    THE GRACIOUS ECONOMY SYMBOLIZED BY THE HOUSE OF ABRAHAM The entire Old Testament symbolizes the New Testament experiences wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost. In this beautiful allegory of inspired Paul, Abraham’s family symbolizes the human heart: himself, the pastor of the visible church; Sarai, the bride of Christ and the mother of God’s children, re resents the invisible spiritual church of the First-born, while Hagar typifies the fallen church, Ishmael natural generation and the ritualized membership of the worldly church, Isaac symbolizing the true spiritual membership of the orthodox church, the birth of Isaac regeneration and the expulsion of Ishmael entire sanctification. 21. “Tell me, ye who wish to be under the law, do you not hear the law ? 22. “For it has been written, Abraham had two sons, one by a bondmaid and one by the free woman . 23. “But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh ;” i .e ., Ishmael, who was born by natural generation, like fallen humanity indiscriminately. “But he who was of the free woman was born through the promise .” It is a significant fact that Isaac, most vivid type of Christ, was not born by natural generation, both of his parents having passed the age of fertility, but by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Ghost reinvigorating the bodies of both Abraham and Sarai; thus beautifully symbolizing the birth of God’s children, which is supernatural and Heavenly, wrought in the heart by the extraordinary influence of the Holy Spirit. 24. “Which things are allegorized: for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai, bringing forth children into bondage, which is Hagar .”

    He is here notifying them of the sad fact that these legalistic demagogues have actually dragged them back into the bondage of the law dispensation, which passed away when the great Antitype fulfilled all the typical and ceremonial institutions of Moses, the mediator of the Sinai covenant. 25. “For Mount Sinai is in Arabia, and corresponds with Jerusalem at the present time, for she is in bondage with her children .” Jerusalem was all right and normal in her dispensation till Christ came, verifying all the types, symbols and institutions of the old covenant, and, amid the evanescence of all this carnal symbolism, inaugurated the gospel dispensation in its glorious liberty and pure spirituality. It was the precious privilege of Jerusalem, with her prophetic sons and faithful daughters, to hail with joyous welcome her own Christ, proclaim Him to the world, and thus enjoy the benediction of all nations. This glorious privilege a few of them, e .g ., Joseph and Mary, Zacharias and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna, did hail with enthusiasm and participate with rhapsody, old Simeon actually dying of joy with the infant Savior in his arms. Meanwhile the rank and the of the Jerusalem church, clerical and laic, stumbled over their own blessed incarnate Christ, for whom they had watched and waited four thousand years, thus plunging headlong into the awful vortex of dead ritualism, final apostasy, deistic infidelity and atheism. 26. “But Jerusalem above is free, who is our mother .” Jerusalem at that time, and vastly more so now, had a grand representation above the stars, millions of patriarchs, prophets, martyrs, saints and witnesses having gathered home in the city of God, where the sun never sets; this membership constituting the Church of the First-born and the bride of Christ, the mother of God’s children. 27. “For it has been written, Rejoice, thou barren who bringeth not forth children; break forth into shouts and cry aloud, thou that travailest not: because many more are the children of the barren than of her who hath a husband .” This is a bold allusion to the whole Gentile world, including the people to whom this letter is addressed, and at that time saluted with the universal gospel call to come right into the pales of the church, vacated by the fatal apostasy of the Jews, her former custodian and patron. The prophetic eye of Isaiah, six centuries antedating that notable event, peered down all coming ages and contemplated the grand march of the Gentile millions into the kingdom of God, responsive to the vociferous invitations rung out by grand armies of evangelists girdling the globe till the Lord’s triumphant return. 28. “But you, brethren, are the children of the promise, as Isaac was .”

    How clear and pertinent this illustrative exegesis of the universal plan of salvation. While Ishmael, who was born of natural generation, represents all the carnal members of the fallen churches encompassing the earth, having been brought in simply by the ritual ceremonies, e .g ., water baptism and perpetuated by the Eucharist, the children of God, constituting the members of the true spiritual, invisible Church of the Most High, are all brought into this membership by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Ghost in regeneration, conferring on them bona fide membership, qualifying them for official duty and responsibility, and perpetuating their fellowship with all saints and the holy Trinity forever. Paul turns these powerful truths with irresistible logic on those Galatians who had been so unfortunately side-tracked into legal ritualism. 29. “But as he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now .” Before Isaac was born, Ishmael was fondled and caressed, the only heir of the patriarchal estate. A robust, wellgrown lad, he looked upon the excessive rejoicings in the patriarchal home over the birth of Isaac with suspicion and mortification on the occasion of the great festival which Abraham made to celebrate the weaning of Isaac at the age of two years. When Ishmael was fifteen he ill-brooked all that grand ado, oration and demonstration over Isaac, while little or no attention was given to himself. Already Isaac had become the object of his inveterate hatred, so that he was constantly on the alert for opportunities to tease, torment and afflict him. In all ages we have seen the same rivalry and uncompromising antagonism between carnality and spirituality. Here is a church with a large membership red by the carnal element. Oh, how they fight with desperation any encroachments of spirituality upon their domain, ready to persecute, as the martyr ages well corroborate, even unto death.

    Hence, you may rely upon it, the conflict is irrepressible, so that Ishmael and Isaac can not both long live in the same house. If the former had not been taken away, in all probability he would have slain the latter in less than a week, as he was only on the lookout for an opportunity. 30. “But what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free ” ( Genesis 21:10). The weaning of Isaac at the age of two years beautifully emblematizes sanctification following regeneration at an early date. The birth of Isaac thirteen years after that of Ishmael emblematizes the normal attitude of the Gospel Church in which people are converted by the age of thirteen, and sanctified in a short period subsequently. Here Ishmael emblematizes depravity which is born with the body, while Isaac represents regeneration at a subsequent date, hence you see sin gets the start of grace, growing on ahead of it and becoming stalwart by the time grace is born in the heart, consequently the irreconcilable conflict between grace and sin is unequal, the latter having the preponderance, superinducing the absolute necessity of a Divine intervention of a second work of grace to give the final victory over sin by its utter ejectment; otherwise sin, murdering grace, superinduces apostasy and damnation. We have this transaction repeated in millions of cases girdling the globe; e .g . the pastor is brought face to face with the responsibility of handling inbred sin without gloves, and courageously casting it out of his church, otherwise it will kill out all the children of grace and turn the whole congregation over to the devil. This is a conclusive argument in favor of sanctified pastors, as none others will have the grit and grace adequate to the emergency involved. Abraham was a truly honest Christian hero, consequently, while he ardently sympathized with Hagar, who represents the fallen church, and Ishmael, who symbolizes the carnal membership, fortunately he had the courage to turn the problem over to God, who unhesitatingly responded, “Abraham, your wife is right. Do as she said, Cast out the bondwoman and her son.”

    Though this to Abraham was a severe test, yet that very day he proceeded courageously to take Hagar and Ishmael far away, never to return. This beautifully illustrates the inalienable duty of every pastor to expurgate his church of carnality, which can only be done in entire sanctification by a second work of grace. How silly to confound regeneration and sanctification, identifying both with one work of grace! Here you see how radically and irreconcilably distinct the two transactions, i .e ., the birth of Isaac, which is regeneration, and the ejectment of Ishmael, which is sanctification, the one being an addition and the other a subtraction. 31. “Therefore, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free .” Dead ritualism in all ages has been but another name for legal bondage, while pure spirituality is the very quintessence of that glorious freedom which constitutes the bliss of Heaven. The new life which comes down from God out of Heaven is glorious and ineffable spiritual freedom from the beginning, but more or less antagonized by indwelling depravity till expurgated in entire sanctification.

    CHAPTER - SPIRITUAL LIBERTY 1. “Christ liberated us with liberty .” It is the delight of our glorious omnipotent Savior to break every chain and snap every fetter, making us free as angels. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace they were encumbered with chains from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet. They had none when they came out, but were perfectly free, the fire being so intense as to melt all their chains instantaneously, so that they dropped off like water. If you are not perfectly free, you need a fiery baptism to melt the chains and consume the fetters which Satan has put on you. “Stand fast, therefore, and be not again entangled in the yoke of bondage .” Here is the great salient point of Satan’s most plausible and adroit assault. When the omnipotent Christ has actually broken every yoke from our necks, some oily-tongued preacher, as in the case of the Galatians, comes round us glibly and eloquently persuading us to take ordinances, rites, ceremonies and institutions, that, in their cunning parlance, we may augment our faith and enhance our usefulness. Beware! before you know it they will tie a chain about you, or slip a rope around you, or put a yoke on your neck. If you do not watch and pray, keep full of the Spirit and on shouting ground, you will make a yoke for yourself, and put it on your own neck, and go into bondage before you are aware. If you do not watch and pray, the Holiness people will put a yoke on you. We can not afford to compromise this sweet and glorious freedom to gratify our nearest and dearest friends. We do not belong to the good Holiness people nor anything else beneath the skies; we belong to God only, who wants to make us free as angels, i .e ., confer on us His own wonderful and glorious freedom, which is perfect liberty to do everything good and nothing bad. In the enjoyment of this perfect spiritual freedom the beggar on a strawrick is infinitely happier than the monarch on his throne. Oh, how few people enjoy this freedom! Yet, glory to God! there are some who do; and, hallelujah! I am one of them! I am a member of a Methodist church, but belong to nothing but God. 2. “Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you may be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing .” Circumcision ranked among the blood rites and ceremonies adumbratory of the bleeding Antitype on the cross, all of which evanesced like the gossamer before the rising sun. 3. “I testify again to every man who is circumcised that he is debtor to do the whole law ,” i .e ., the ritual law of Moses, involving bloody sacrifices typifying the work of Christ and watery catharisms, symbolizing the work of the Holy Ghost, holy days, festivals and Nazaritic vows. As all these things were fulfilled in the work of Christ they had vanished away, forfeiting their significance and utility. Of course they were still innocent when they did not antagonize the spiritual experience, as Paul had actually practiced circumcision in case of Timothy, not for his spiritual good, but to augment his usefulness among the Jews, on the principle that he would be “all things to all men that he might save some.” This is true of ordinances indiscriminately. Where they are auxiliaries to the work of grace they are commendable; at the same time if lugged in with the gracious economy as essential to salvation they prove a snare, conduce to idolatry, apostasy and damnation. 4. “You have been divorced from Christ whosoever are justified by law .”

    This Scripture settles indisputably the incompatibility of all legalistic justification with the plan of salvation. Since Christ is omnipotent and needs no help to save you, it is a downright insult to His majesty to poke in waterbaptism, sacraments and ceremonies of any kind as necessary helps to the salvation of the soul. In that case you insult Him with an idol, therefore lie turns away in disgust, giving the water-god or any other god you lug into the work, uninterfered with. “Ye have fallen from grace .” Let God be true and every man a liar. Will you deny the possibility of falling from grace, and thus assume the responsibility of flatly contradicting the Holy Ghost?

    Be sure you never do that again. Hell was made for none but backsliders.

    Satan to begin with, once the bright archangel Lucifer in heaven, till he fell from grace ( Isaiah 14:12); all devils in hell, once having been angels in heaven till they apostatized ( Jude 6), and every human being in the pit having enjoyed the saving grace of God in their innocent infancy, but growing up, sinning, and forfeiting their infantile justification, living wicked lives and making their bed in Hell. God never created a devil nor a sinner nor any other wicked creature, as evil could never emanate from good. Hence, “falling from grace” is an awful reality, fearfully conspicuous throughout the Bible and a constant warning to us to watch and pray. “Let him that thinketh he stands take heed lest he fall” ( 1 Corinthians 10:12). 5. “For we through the Spirit await the hope of righteousness by faith .”

    Saving faith is the fruit of the Spirit, and utterly impossible without His personal intervention. All our inspiring hope of future bliss and glory is simply through faith in the precious promises of God.

    THE GLOBE OF SALVATION 6. “For in Christ Jesus neither does circumcision avail anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith, working in us through Divine love .” We see here that neither baptism nor unbaptism, nor any other human rite, ordinance, ceremony or institution, has anything to do with the plan of salvation, or ever did have, but is merely symbolic of the work wrought by Christ and the Holy Ghost. The plan of salvation has the two hemispheres, i .e ., the human and the Divine. Love is the agapee which is the Divine nature ( John 4), constituting the latter and faith the former. A radical repentance puts the sinner on believing ground for justification, to be received by faith alone, while a thorough consecration puts the Christian on believing ground where he has nothing to do but to receive entire sanctification by faith alone.

    Hence the exceeding simplicity of the gracious economy, having but the two essential elements, love on the Divine side, poured out into the heart by the Holy Ghost ( Romans 5:5), and faith on the human hand, inspired by the Holy Ghost to receive salvation as the free gift of God in Christ. Hence we are saved by faith working in us through love. When you get away from the simplicity of God’s order, you invariably run into the infinite complicities of idolatry. 7. “You did run well: who did hinder you from obeying the truth ?” So long as they abode in the simple truth of God, keeping their eye on Jesus only, He kept His almighty hand on them, giving them constant victory, till they began to give heed to those ecclesiastical demagogues who taught them the essentiality of ordinances, distracting their attention from Christ, eclipsing their faith by legal obedience, and soon getting them awfully bewildered amid the fogs of doubt, fear, pride and self-will. 8. “The persuasion is not of Him that calleth you , i .e ., not of God, who called you by His Spirit and Word, but of those carnal preachers who have told them that they could not be saved without legal obedience, and thus upset their faith. I have seen so much of this-people joyfully converted and running well till some unconverted preacher came along and persuaded them to take water baptism for remission of sins, chilling out all of their fire and leaving them cold as an iceberg and dead as a mackerel. 9. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump .” Throughout the Bible “leaven” means corruption, i .e ., inbred sin; so it does here. Some have thought the woman in the parable of the kingdom an exception, but this is a mistake. She is Mother Eve, who put the leaven in all the meal of the whole world, consisting of three measures, i .e ., Ham, the black man, who settled Africa; Shem, the red man, who settled Asia, and Japheth, the white man, who settled Europe and America. These sons of Noah, representing the trinity of humanity, all receiving the leaven from the fallen woman, represent the fallen church throughout the Bible. Thus the leaven is working, disseminating its corruption through the entire human race, till all become corrupt and Jesus takes away His Bride, leaving the fallen world to its doom. Amid all this, the kingdom of God exists in mystery as ever. In the text the idea is that the leaven of heresy, dropped among these Galatians by those counterfeit preachers, beginning with a few, would continue to spread till all are infected and ruined, as is so frequently the case. 10. “I have confided in the Lord in your behalf, that you shall not be otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his own condemnation, whosoever he may be .” Paul was a most powerful logician; showing up the dark side in most terrible horrors, he now turns to the hopeful side, indulging the sanguine enthusiasm that they will be corrected by his kindly warning, repent and disentangle themselves from the awful dilemma, wheel again into line, and bend their march onward and upward, rising superior to all difficulties, turning all responsibility back on the heads of these side-tracking preachers who have caused all the trouble. I hope it did turn out that way, as in the case of the Corinthians, where the same thing occurred, and we have the record that Paul’s letters proved a glorious success, reforming the backsliders and renewing the Church. Why not so turn out in case of the Galatians? We hope it did, though we have no record giving us the results of this letter. 11. “But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision why am I persecuted ?”

    Circumcision was the popular religion, i .e ., old Judaism, then dead and defunct, because they had rejected Christ. “Thus is the offense of the cross done away.” The cross in that day was what the hangman’s rope is today for popular odium. Every possible effort had been made to cover the very memory of Jesus with ineffaceable disgrace. These Judaizing preachers were compromisers for the sake of popularity, like myriads this day. The cross not only means redemption by Christ, but it means crucifixion of sin in every heart. Now it means entire sanctification. 13. “For ye were called unto liberty, brethren ,” i .e ., glorious spiritual freedom, such as God Himself enjoys: not only freedom from all sin within and without, but perfect freedom to do everything good and nothing bad. “Only not liberty for occasion to the flesh, but through Divine love seeks one another .” This wonderful liberty which full salvation gives, has no carnal prerogative whatever, because it excludes carnality and is utterly incompatible with it. It is the liberty of perfect love, having its scope in doing good to all. 14. “For the law has been fulfilled in one word; in this, i.e., thou shalt love thy neighbor with Divine love as thyself .” God alone can give the agapee , which is His own nature. Hence, if you love your neighbor with Divine love as yourself it is prima facie evidence you love the Lord with all your heart. Perfect love fulfills the law because it confers the disposition to keep the law perfect, and God looks at the heart, taking the will for the deed. Perfect love gives us the disposition of Christ, who has satisfied the law for us. Hence, Christian perfection is perfect love and not perfect worth. 15. “If ye bite and devour one another, see that ye are not consumed one of another .” Mutual recrimination, criticism and fault-finding will soon undermine and destroy all of your religion. Who families and churches perish this way, and become backsliders. Hence the importance of perfect love in every member of the family or church. In that case, instead of this mutual recrimination and fault-finding which will reciprocally devour each other, there will be seen a disposition on the part of every member to bear the infirmities of the brothers and sisters, mutually to sympathize and compete with each other for all of the hard, unpleasant duties, thus turning home into a little Heaven.

    THE IRREPRESSIBLE CONFLICT 16. “I say unto you, Walk in the Spirit, and do not perfect the lust of the flesh .” In all this probation there is a constant conflict between the Spirit and depravity till the latter is exterminated in sanctification or the former grieved away. In the latter case you become a brutalized demon, living like a hog, the indwelling demon using the animal body to degrade jour human spirit and ripen it for Hell. 17. “For the flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: for these are contrary the one to the other; so you may not do the things that ye may wish .” The E.V. is incorrect: “can not” would make you irresponsible for delinquency. The unsanctified Christian can, by the grace of God, which is always freely given, do his whole duty; but the strong probability is his courage will fail, and he will fall under condemnation for neglect of duty. He wants to do the whole will of God, but anon is intimidated and defeated by the indwelling enemy in the form of pride, cowardice or self-will. Hence, to his own discouragement and condemnation, he fails. This civil war between the flesh and Spirit can only end with the extermination of the former or the retreat of the latter. This word “flesh,” in about nineteen cases out of twenty in the Bible, means depravity, i .e ., inbred sin, though sometimes meaning the body. If you were to speak of Bro. Godbey, you would almost invariably refer to his spiritual or mental character, and very rarely to his physique. Hence this word sarx nearly always means the carnal mind, i .e ., the mind which has been subordinated to the animal body, thus brutalized, while the human spirit of the same person is demonized.

    ATTRIBUTES OF THE CARNAL MIND 18. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law .” The Holy Spirit is the Author of al law, hence, when He has His way with you, He sanctifies out of you everything antagonistical to the law of God, so you become a party with the Law-giver and the law, hence you are not under it but in harmony with it. When you get rid of everything that kicks against the law, so that nothing in you has any disposition to violate the law, you are just as free as if there was no law. You shout with the law in perfect harmony with it, so you are truly the “blessed man whose delight is in the law of the Lord” ( Psalm 1). 19. “The works of depravity are manifest, which are these, Fornication .”

    This sin, so awfully prevalent, among heathens especially, as well as all nations, is the irreconcilable enemy of the matrimonial covenant which God instituted for the sanctification and protection of the home, the nucleus of both State and Church, the patriarchal dispensation identifying the latter with the family circle. “Uncleanness.” While this word is frequently synonymous with the latter, including all the dark vices of adultery, here it represents impurity in a general sense, being a generic word in contradistinction to the preceding, which was specific. “Lasciviousness,” especially here, has the signification of intemperance indiscriminately. 20. “Idolatry .” The trend of fallen humanity toward idolatry has been phenomenally potent in all ages, first idolizing the sun, moon and stars, in the patriarchal ages. The Greeks worshipped gods in the likeness of men, and the Egyptians in the form of animals, birds, and reptiles. All adoration directed to finite beings is idolatry. The trend of the church is constantly to idolize the ordinances, creed, pedigree, a beautiful and costly edifice, a cultured ministry, and all the pomp and pageantry of a fascinating ritual. “Sorcery .” This is the supernatural in Satanic manifestation; e .g ., the Egyptian magicians, such as Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses, counterfeiting his miracles, also the witchcraft so prevalent in the middle ages, as well as the Spiritualism, Christian Science, Mesmerism and Hypnotism of the present day. The plausibility of these so-called arts and sciences arises from the superhuman power of Satan, by which he is enabled to do a multiplicity of works so far above human comprehension as in our estimation to appear miraculous, and rank as such, while they re infinitely inferior to God’s miracles, as illustrated in the case when the serpent, transformed out of Moses’ rod, devoured those which came from the rods thrown down by Jannes and Jambres, thus recognizing Satan’s power to work miracles, but the infinite superiority of the Divine power.

    Satan is denominated the prince of the power of the air, recognizing innumerable armies of demons thronging the atmosphere, ready at every door to communicate with men and women with reference to the unseen world. “Enmities .” This is the very essence of serpentine venom, and the very narcotic virus, which, characterizes Satan himself, thus transforming its possessor into an incarnate demon, and filling him up with the black turpitude of the bottomless pit. “Strife .” This vice is hereditary in every son and daughter of Adam’s fallen race, constituting the essence of selfishness, always ready to manifest a contentious and retaliatory spirit. “Zeelos ” means “envy, jealousy, and prejudice,” the unholy trinity of dark and implacable vices, than which the bottomless pit I trow never produced a blacker trio nor more prolific of human woe and misery. “Animosities,” i .e ., implacable old grudges, deep-seated revenge, thirsting for blood and retaliation. “Self-seekings .” Oh, how dark the history of the empires, kingdoms and republics which have figured in by-gone ages contending at the point of the bayonet for the lion’s portion of the world’s filthy lucre, bogus honors, and carnal aggrandizement! “The wretch concentred all in self , Living , shall forfeit fair renown , And , doubly dying , shall go down To the vile dust from which he sprung , Unwept , unhonored , and unsung . Oh, how this vice has deluged the world with blood ever since the fatal hour when the fratricidal Cain brutally slew his righteous brother! “Divisions ,” “heresies .” The original meaning of “heresy” is to separate from God and His truth, the only authority and nucleus around which do gather our hopes of Heaven. Satan, the great counterfeiter, robed as an angel of light, has always been fond of palming off himself on the people as God, and hallucinating the popular mind into adoration of his majesty, consequently usurping the organization and manipulating it himself, while through his human subordinates he has always been fond of charging the Lord’s true people with heresy and division, from the simple fact that in order to follow the Lord they are forced to separate from him and his fallen counterfeit churches. Therefore, two hundreds of millions of martyrs have sealed their faith with their blood, put to death under charge of heresy and division from the Church of God, when really they were the true and bona fide members of God’s churches, and necessitated to separate from the fallen popular churches in order to verify their fidelity to the heavenly Father, be true to the Holy Ghost and His inspired Word and walk in the footprints of Jesus. “Envyings.” Oh, how prominent has this vice cropped out all along the annals of the world. Joseph’s brethren envied him because he was better than they and honored of his father, and God gave him revelations from Heaven in dreams and visions which aroused their vile and implacable envy, so that they sold him to the Ishmaelites, who carried him away to Egypt. Actuated by this same hellish malignity, the high priest and the Sanhedrin condemned our Savior. “Drunkenness.” What a wonderful history has this vice in all ages and nations,. inundating the world with tears, clothing millions with rags, filling jails, penitentiaries, alms-houses, drunkards’ graves and an awful Hell. “Revelings.” This word includes popular dances, fandangoes, circuses, theaters, et cetera . While the world rushes precipitately to ruin through these vices, oh, how hard it is to keep them out of the church, the members frequently denying that there is anything in the Bible condemnatory of these amusements. Let all such people but read this passage, “And things like unto these which I tell you beforehand as I previously said to you that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here we have a catalogue of fifteen different classes of dark, bloody, atrocious vices, and Paul subjoins the statement “things like unto these,” hence, the prohibition along the line of carnal indulgence is exceedingly comprehensive as you read over this dark concatenation and remember that not a solitary participant of these vices, indulgences and amusements nor anything else on that line shall ever inherit the kingdom of God. Shall we not cry out, “Who then shall be saved?” The answer to this question is found in the following verse. 22. “The fruit of the Spirit is Divine love .” The Greek word is agapee , which the Holy Ghost affirms twice over ( 1 John 4) to be the essence of the Divine nature, consequently always exotic in the human heart, poured out therein by the Holy Ghost ( Romans 5:5). We receive first love in regeneration, and the same is perfected in sanctification. There are two words in the Greek Testament translated “love ” in the E.V. — agapee , which means Divine love, and philia , which means human love. The latter is indigenous in fallen humanity, and destitute of saving grace, hence it does not occur in this catalogue of spiritual graces. “Joy .” This is an indispensable grace, from the fact that the “joy of the Lord” is our strength to panoply us against the world, the flesh and the devil. We have sweet and transporting joy in conversion, but intermittent with sorrow. In sanctification we receive the fullness of joy, which abides forever, bearing us triumphantly over every tide of sorrow. “Peace .” In justification we receive peace with God and all men. In sanctification we receive the peace of God, i .e ., perfect and imperturbable peace such as our Savior enjoyed while on earth. “Kindness .” This beautiful and amiable grace appertains to everybody and everything that hath life and feeling. In the rudimentary experience this lovely grace is much interrupted by the malevolent affections, whose extirpation in sanctification permits your kindness to inundate everything about you like a mighty rolling sea. “Long-suffering .”

    This grace pre-eminently adapts you to endure all the insults, rebuffs, disappointments and persecutions incident to probationary life. When perfected by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, it shines with undimmed luster triumphing amid martyr fires. “Goodness” is a very strong word, since the word “God” is but a contraction of “good ” and means the very essence of good. Goodness includes experimental holiness, but is a more comprehensive word. “Meekness .” This is, perhaps, the sweetest of all the graces, setting you down meek and lowly, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, all the world abandoned cheerfully for His sake. This was the climacteric grace in the character of Moses, especially prominent when he got sanctified at the burning bush and told God that he had a slow tongue, thus declining the highest honor in all the world, i .e ., the commission to preach the gospel to the greatest monarch on the earth. Doubtless Moses was at that time the greatest man on the earth intellectually and educationally, being cultured in all the learning of the Egyptians. No other man would have voted that Moses had a slow tongue. It was an expression of deepest humility. John Fletcher was wonderful for his meekness. When John Wesley preached his funeral, he said: “There lies in that coffin the most saintly man I ever saw, and I never expect to see another such till I go to glory.” Sanctified humility puts you down on the Lord’s bottom, from which you never can fall unless you imbibe some pride from Satan and go to climbing. Then you can fall and break your neck. “Faith ” is also in this glorious catalogue of spiritual graces. Hence you see it is not simply the act of the creature, but the gift of God. If the Holy Ghost does not give you faith, you will never have any, but rest in carnal security, satisfied with the devil’s counterfeit, which is vain presumption. In justification your faith is more or less antagonized at times with distressing doubts, all of which are swept away and consumed by the sanctifying fires of the Holy Ghost. “Temperance .” This word is egkratia , from ego , “I,” and kratas , “government.” Hence it means selfgovernment, in harmony with the law of God, i .e ., practical holiness — abstaining from all wrong and doing all possible good. We have here the above nine spiritual graces: “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, meekness, faith, temperance .” They are the fruits of the Spirit.

    We receive them all in regeneration in an incipient form, ever and anon more or less antagonized by their antithetical malevolent affections, which are utterly destroyed in sanctification, giving these nine graces the unrestricted dominion of the heart and life. These nine graces are beautifully homogeneous to the nine gifts of the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-10), the former indispensable to our own salvation, and the latter to qualify us to save others, a glorious and magnificent outfit for usefulness here and Heaven hereafter. “Against such there is no law .” Blessed assurance! that these graces of the Spirit perfectly and eternally fortify us against all the claims of the violated law, fully verifying and establishing it in Christ, so that “we are no longer under the law, but under grace” ( Romans 6:14). 24. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh along with the passions and lusts .” When Christ was crucified on the cross all the people in all ages being truly His, were legally and essentially crucified with Him, exterminating the evil affections of Adam the first. The legal phase of their crucifixion taking place along with Christ on the cross, the experimental counterpart follows as a legitimate sequence. The verb here is not the perfect as E.V., but the aorist, which does not denote time, but instantaneity and completion, setting forth the fact that all the elect of Christ were legally crucified with Him, which is in due time verified by grace being summarily executed and completed in a moment. 25. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit .” The Christian life is purely spiritual, wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart, hence our entire deportment should be on the same line, instead of running off after carnal legalisms, as those people had done pursuant to those ritualistic preachers, much to their spiritual detriment. 26. “Let us not be vainly glorious; provoking one another, and enjoying one another .” The preaching and administrations of carnal proselytes always develops divisions, rivalries, alienations, jealousies, mutual controversies, vilifications, recriminations, and other obnoxious works of the flesh, literally murderous to spirituality. Such is always the case when designing demagogues are permitted to prey on the flock of Christ. This has been the bane to Christianity in all ages, incarnate devils thus gobbling up the lambs for filthy lucre.

    CHAPTER - 1. “Brethren, if a man may indeed be overtaken in some transgression, you who are spiritual, perfect such an one in the spirit of meekness, looking to yourself, lest you also be tempted .” Babies stumble and fall very frequently; adults, but seldom. This man has stumbled because of spiritual infancy.

    Not only lift him up, but lead him out of infancy into manhood, so he will have strength, activity and vigilance, and fall no more. The Greek word, here translated “restore” in E.V., literally means “perfect,” i .e ., make perfect in love, i .e ., a perfect Christian, i .e ., having the work of grace perfected in his heart by the utter elimination of the sin principle which caused him to stumble. We should be exceedingly sympathetic, because we ourselves are still on probation, tempted and liable to fall, therefore we should always reach out a helping hand to raise up the fallen, remembering not simply to get them reclaimed and leave them in the same aptitude to fall, but we are commanded to lead them into perfection and establish them against falling. 2. “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ .” This beautiful admonition follows as a logical sequence from the preceding commandment to lift up and perfect the fallen. Christ is our great Burdenbearer and our infallible Exemplar, hence we should be always striving to do like Him. 3. “If any seems to be something, being nothing, he deceives himself .”

    The tendency of ritualistic religion is to inflate people with spiritual pride and puff them up with egotism. 4. “Let each one prove his own work, and then he shall have glory to himself above and not to another .” Every tub is to stand on its own bottom.

    Those carnal preachers were proselyting them off into parties and carnal ordinances, that they might patronize and glorify them, while they will be found bankrupt at the judgment bar. In the true salvation every one looks to Christ above and has his own experience and is not depending on an ordinance administered to him by a preacher. No parties are known as concerned but he and Jesus. 5. “For each one shall bear his own responsibility ,” not burden as E.V., making it flatly contradict ver. 2, as if both words were the same. Though the E.V. uses the same word, “burden,” in both of these verses, the Greek does not; but has baree in ver. 2 and phortion in ver. 5, entirely different words with different meanings. Instead of depending on preachers, as in case of human ordinances, you are to depend on Christ above to save you.

    Neither the preacher nor any other person can bear your responsibility, but you must bear it yourself.

    MINISTERIAL SUPPORT 6. “But let him who is taught the Word, communicate to him who teaches in all good things .” This verse is too plain and explicit on ministerial support to need comment. “Good things ” here has a temporal signification. “Those who preach the gospel shall live of the gospel .” These plain Scriptures are no argument for salaries, which are utterly out of harmony with God’s plan, actually running into a system of hireling ministry, which Jesus positively condemns and denounces as utterly unreasonable, as the hireling flieth in the time of danger.

    REAPING AND SOWING 7. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap .” If you sow whisky, you reap drunkards. If you sow tobacco, you reap filth and a multitude of diseases. If you sow cards, you reap gamblers. If you sow dances, you reap libertines and harlots. If you sow idleness, you reap bankruptcy. If you sow sin, you reap Hell. 8. “Because he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption .”

    Corruption is from the Latin con , “together,” and rumpere , “to break.”

    Hence it means a general smash-up, i .e ., destruction. This follows as a logical sequence from the transiency of this mortal tenement. How silly to live for the body, when you know you are liable to leave it at any moment I Still, that is the trend of earth’s millions — blind to what does not glisten and deaf to what does not jingle, as if they could take it with them. Fallen churches likewise run off after temporalities, e .g ., fine houses, big salaries and the pomp of the world generally — a sure sign the black hand of Satan is on them with the grip of awful apostasy and swift damnation. “But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life eternal.” In the Divine economy the Holy Spirit occupies and rules the human spirit directly, and through spirit the mind, and through mind the body, and through the body this life generally. The human spirit is drawn up to God, the mind is drawn up to the spirit, while the body is drawn up to the mind. In that case the entire being is subordinated to and dominated by the Holy Spirit, so that you really live a spiritual life, wearing the body as a loose garment, ready to drop it off at a moment’s warning and sweep away in triumph to the spiritual world and abide with God forever. How few are really living spiritual lives! 9. “Let us not be weary doing good .” We should be indefatigable in all of our enterprises for the glory of God, from the simple fact that the reality and reward are eternal. “For in due time we shall reap, fainting not .” As the spiritual life is eternal, we are sure to reap our reward if we persevere. So long as we are here on probation, we are liable to be sidetracked by the enemy and make shipwreck. 10. “Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith .” It is a glorious work to save a sinner, but more glorious to take care of those already saved and keep them from wreckage. Wesley says: “It is more to retain the grace of God than to receive it.” It is better to take care of your wheat in the granary than to sow a new crop which will probably never be harvested. “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.” The best way to save the world is to take care of the church, for in that case she will save the lost. It is well to clear up new fields, but better to enrich and cultivate what you have. 11. “See with how large letters I have written unto you with my own hand .” Paul very seldom did his own writing, on account of ocular feebleness. This was an urgent case, as he had heard about the sad havoc being wrought by Satan’s preachers among them, because they were ignorant of spiritual experiences, as is always the case. They preached salvation by works, upsetting many of those young converts. Hence, in the absence of an amanuensis, he perhaps a prisoner at Cesarea, and Luke off at Jerusalem enjoying the ministry of the apostles and gathering materials to write the Book of Acts, he ventures to write this loving though awfully castigatory epistle, using large letters, the natural result of feeble eyes. 12. “So many as wish to make a fair show in the flesh, compel you to get circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution on account of the cross of Christ .” Popular superficial religion, i .e ., Satan’s counterfeit, has always made much of ordinances, circumcision, baptism, eucharist, church joining, counting the converts, sociables, festivals, et cetera . This arises from the fact that all interest utterly fails unless they have something.

    Hence, when they are without the work of God in their hearts, which always satisfies and gives a glorious interest, they must supply the deficiency by substituting carnal ordinances and human institutions. In this case, the preacher glorified. In the genuine work of the Spirit in the heart God is glorified.

    THE CROSS EVERYTHING IN RELIGION 13. “Those who are circumcised do not keep the law, but they wish you to be circumcised in order that they may glory in your flesh .” While superficial revivals, run by manipulations and human devices, glorify the evangelist, they kill religion deader than anything else, actually destroying the popular appetite for spiritual things. At the same time the rites and ceremonies so conspicuous in these superficial revivals actually symbolize the genuine work of the Spirit; e .g ., water baptism, that of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament, the very body of Christ, on which the saints subsist by faith.

    The fact that the unsaved preachers, who stir the multitude by their carnal gospel, and perform these ceremonies, and administer the ordinances of whose spiritual, experimental meaning they are ignorant, of course are incompetent to verify the Christian character they symbolize, hence they and their deluded followers are all false witnesses before God. 14. “It were impossible for me to glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ ,” and this for a double reason: (a) The cross redeemed him from sin, death and Hell, when on it Jesus laid down His life a vicarious sacrifice for a guilty world; (b) every true disciple must follow Jesus to Calvary and die on the cross, in this way exterminating the man of sin in the heart, the irreconcilable enemy of God ( Romans 8:7), and confirming the Heavenly title received in justification.

    Hence, the cross is both the historic and the experimental hemispheres of religion. Therefore it is all of it. No wonder the Romish Church, always stickleristic on forms, gives such wonderful prominence to the cross; like all dead religions, she magnifies the symbols, utterly oblivious of the experimental reality. “By which,” not “whom,” as the E.V., referring the pronoun to Christ, whereas it refers to “cross.” “The world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Ignorant people ask, “Where does Paul profess sanctification?” Among the innumerable instances this is one unanswerable. Here he makes a double profession: (a) “The world has been crucified to me .” Consequently he is fully divorced and has perfect spiritual freedom, and is sanctified wholly. (b) “And I to the world .” Hence we see he doubles his testimony, certifying to a double crucifixion, each one respectively effecting a complete, total and eternal separation from the world. Consequently we here have a clear and unequivocal profession of a double sanctification.

    If you can eclipse Paul’s testimony to entire sanctification, I would like to hear from you.

    THE NEW CREATION ALL IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION 15. “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature .” This brief, clear and unmistakable declaration of God’s Word sweeps all controversy from the field relative to the essentiality of ordinances, or anything else except the regeneration wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart. With this declaration before us, it is pusillanimously sophistical and impudently contradictory of God’s plain truth to lug in water baptism, or any other human rite, ceremony, ordinance or work, as essential to salvation; since this new creation is all. Of course, the new creation, in this broad and general sense, involves sanctification as the necessary elimination of antagonisms irreconcilable to the new creation. In the Fall everything was ruined, since nothing but the new creation can enter Heaven. Regeneration is the new creation, so far as the human spirit is concerned, sanctification eliminating away the old debris and thus removing all antagonisms to the new creation. The same new creation reaches the mind in glorification and the body in the resurrection, unless fortunate enough to be living on the earth when the Lord comes for His Bride, in which case you will be translated, soul, mind and body all glorified simultaneously. This new creation will reach the earth itself in the final cremation ( 2 Peter 3:10) renovation, glorification and celestialization ( Revelation 21 and 22). 16. “So many as shall walk by this rule, peace and mercy upon them, and upon the Israel of God .” Paul here boldly pronounces his blessings on all who amen and verify the above affirmation, that nothing has anything to do with salvation except the new creation. You get truly born of the Spirit from above and so abide, and you are all right forever. If you run off after humanisms, Satan will get you in the end. Christ is the only Savior. If you do not take Him alone, by simple faith, He will turn you over to the water god, or any other human device you see proper to idolize. I am saying nothing against ordinances, if you first come to Jesus alone for an uttermost salvation. Stay low down at His feet till you get it and know it better than you know you are alive. Then, if you want to glorify God in the ordinances, all right; you can have anything you want from the limpid sprinkle to the trine immersion, foot-washing or anything else. “Israel” is a Hebrew word, and means one that prevails with God.” hence, if you know God, and have prevailing grace with Him, peace and mercy will abide on you forever, as you flourish amid the beauties of the new creation through time and all eternity. 17. “Finally, let no one give me troubles: for I bear the marks of Jesus in my body .” Paul was beaten, stoned, and variously persecuted by Jews and Gentiles in all lands whither he traveled in his worldwide peregrinations, hence the scars were conspicuous. He calls them the marks of Jesus, because he received them for His sake. 18. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren.

    Amen .” This benediction is so commendable for its brevity, comprehensibility and force, I certainly recommend it to all as eminently suitable in the dismission of a congregation, as we, like the apostles, should use a variety, and thus avoid the monotony of constantly using Corinthians 13:13, as repetition too frequently does not edify.

    GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - NT COMMENTARY INDEX & SEARCH

    God Rules.NET
    Search 80+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.