Martin Lutherís Commentary on
the Epistle to the Galatians
ARGUMENT OF THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS
an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the
father, who raised him from the dead).
CERTAINTY OF CALLING
apostle, not of men, etc.
God the father, who raised him from the dead
the brethren with me
the churches of Galatia
be with you and peace from God the father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ
IS GOD BY NATURE
gave himself for our sins
might deliver us from this present evil world
to the will of God and our father
and our father
be glory for ever and ever. Amen
him that hath called you in the grace of Christ
not another Gospel, but that there be some which trouble you
intend to pervert the Gospel of Christ
though that we, or an angel from heaven, preach unto you otherwise than that we
have preached unto you, let him be accursed
said before, so say we now again, if any man preach unto you otherwise than
that you have received, let him be accursed
preach I manís doctrine, or Godís?
Or go I
about to please men?
I should yet please men, I were not the servant of Christ
certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me, was not after
man. For neither received I it of man, neither was I taught it but by the
revelation of Jesus Christ.
have heard of my conversation in times past in Jewish religion, how that I
persecuted the church of God extremely and wasted it: and profited in the
Jewish religion, above many of my companions of mine own nation
much more zealous of the traditions of my fathers
when it had pleased God (which had separated me from my motherís womb, and
called me by his grace) to reveal his son in me, that I should preach him among
the gentiles, immediately I communicated not with flesh and blood. Neither came
I again to Jerusalem, to them which were apostles before me, but I went into
arabia, and turned again unto Damascus
had separated me from my motherís womb
called me by his grace
his son in me
should preach him among the gentiles
I communicated not with flesh and blood
came I to Jerusalem, to them that were apostles before me, but went into
Arabia, and turned again unto Damascus
after three years I came again to Jerusalem, to visit Peter, and abode with him
fifteen days. And none other of the apostles saw I, save James, the lordís
the things which I write unto you, behold I witness before God I lie not
that, I went into the coasts of Syria and Cilicia
was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ. But they
heard only some say, he which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the
faith which before he destroyed. And they glorified God in me
fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem
Barnabas, and took with me titus
went up by revelation
communicated with them touching the Gospel
preach among the gentiles
particularly with them that were the chiefest
any means I should run, or had run in vain
neither yet titus which was with me, though he were a Grecian, was compelled to
of the false brethren that crept in, who came in privily to espy out our
liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.
To whom we gave not place by subjection for an hour, that the truth of the
gospel might continue with you
But of them
which seemed to be somewhat (what they were in times past) it is no matter. To
accepteth no manís person
they that seemed to be the chief, did communicate nothing with me
contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed
unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter (for he that was
mighty by Peter in the apostleship of the circumcision, was also mighty by me
towards the gentiles), &c.
that was mighty by Peter etc.
when they knew of the grace that was given unto me, James and cephas and John
(which were counted to be pillars) gave to me and to barnabas the right hands
of fellowship, that we should preach unto the gentiles, and they unto the
right hands of fellowship
only that we should remember. The poor, which thing also I was diligent to do.
when Peter was come to Antiochia, I withstood him to his face: for he was to be
before that certain came from James, he did eat with the gentiles
when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were
of the circumcision
other jews dissembled likewise with him insomuch that barnabas was brought into
their dissimulation also
when I saw that they went not the right way to the truth of the gospel
unto Peter openly: if thou, being a jew livest as the gentiles and not as the
jews, why constrainest thou the gentiles to do like the jews?
which are jews by nature, and not sinners of the gentiles
that a man is not justified by the works of the laws but by the faith of Jesus
TRUE WAY TO CHRISTIANITY
DIVINITY OF THE SCHOOLMEN
TRUE RULE OF CHRISTIANITY
we, I say, have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified etc.
might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law
by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified
while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found sinners, is
Christ therefore the minister of sin? God forbid
Christ therefore the minister of sin?
I build again the things that I have destroyed, I make myself a trespasser.
FORM OF A MONKISH ABSOLUTION
through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God
might live unto God
I am crucified
I live, yet not I now, but Christ liveth in me
that which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God
loved me, and gave himself for me
what in him lieth.í
I do not
abrogate or reject the grace of God
righteousness come by the law, then Christ died in vain
hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?
BODILY AND SPIRITUAL WITCHCRAFT
hath bewitched you?
should not obey the truth
whose eyes Jesus Christ was evidentlyset forth
only would I learn of you: received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or
by the hearing of faith?
ARGUMENT OF THE BOOK CONTAINING THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
COMMENDATION OF THE BOOK CONTAINING THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
CORNELIUS IN THE TENTH OF ACTS
GENTILES JUSTIFIED WITHOUT THE LAW, EVEN WHEN THE LAW AND POLICY OF MOSES WAS
YET IN FORCE
so foolish, that after ye have begun in the Spirit, ye would now end in the
suffered so many things in vain?
notwithstanding it be in vain
therefore that ministereth to you the spirit, and worketh miracles among you,
doth he it through the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.
righteousness consisteth in faith of the heart, and Godís imputation.
therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Araham.
scripture foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles through faith
the Gospel before unto Abraham, saying: in thee shall all the gentiles be
they which are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham
many as are of the works of the law, are accursed
is written: cursed is every man that continueth not in all things which are
written in the book of the law, to do them (Deuteronomy 27:26).
ANSWER TO THOSE ARGUMENTS WHICH THE ADVERSARIES ALLEGE AGAINST THE DOCTRINE AND
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH
that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: Ēfor
the just shall live by faithĒ (Habakkuk 1:4).
law is not of faith
man that shall do these things, shall live in them
redeemed us from the curse of the law, having been made a curse for us (for it
is written; Ďcursed is everyone that hangeth on a treeí) etc. (Deuteronomy
the blessng of Abraham might come upon the gentiles through Christ Jesus
might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
I speak according to man : though it be but a manís covenant, when it is
confirmed, yet no man doth abrogate it, or addeth anything thereto
Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not: and to the seeds, as
speaking of many: but, and to thy seed, as of one, which is Christ
this I say, that the law which was 430 years after, cannot disannul the
covenant that was confirmed before of God in respect of Christ, that it should
make the promise of none effect.
the inhertance be of the law, it is no more by the promise, etc.
gave it unto Abraham by promise
then serveth the law?
added because of transgressions
DOUBLE USE OF THE LAW
was added because of transgressions
the seed came, unto the which the promise was made
was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator
mediator is not a mediator of one
law then against the promises of God?
there had been a law given which could make alive, verily righteousness should
have been by the law, etc.
Scripture hath concluded all under sin
the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe
before faith came
before faith came, we were kept in ward under the laws shut up unto the faith
which should afterward be revealed
shutteth men under sin two ways, civilly and spiritually.
shut up unto the faith which should after be revealed
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ
may be made righteous by faith
after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster
are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus
ye that are baptized, have put on Christ
is neither jew nor grecian, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither
male nor female
are all one in Christ Jesus
ye be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise
say, that the heir as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant,
though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, until the
appointed of the father.
we, as long as we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the
the elements or rudiments of this world, etc.
after the fulness of time was come, God sent his son, made or born of a woman,
and made under the law, that he might redeem them which were under the law
might receive the adoption of sons
because you are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his son into your
thou art no more a servant, but a son
thou be a son, thou art also the heir of God through Christ
even then when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no
gods, but now seeing ye know God, yea rather are known of God, how turn you
again to impotent and beggarly rudiments, whereunto, as from the beginning, ye
will be in bondage again?
seeing ye know God
rather are known of God, etc.
ye will be in bondage again
observe days and months, times and years
I am in
fear of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain
as I am, for I am as ye are.
as I am, for I am as ye are.
I beseech you: ye have not hurt me at all
not hurt me at all
know how through the infirmity of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto you at
the first. And the trial of me which was in my flesh, ye despised not, neither
abhorred, but ye received me as an angel of God, yea as Christ Jesus.
was then your felicity?
For I bear
you record, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own
eyes, and have given them to me
therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
are jealous over you amiss
would exclude you, that you should altogether love them
is a good thing to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only
when I am present with you
little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in
would I were with you now, that I might change my voice, etc.
am troubled for you
me, ye that will be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a servant, and one by a free
woman. But he which was of the servant, was born after the flesh: and he which
was of the free woman, was born after the promise
which things are spoken by allegories
these mothers are the two testaments: the one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth
unto bondage, which is Agar. (for in Arabia Mount Sinai is called Agar) etc.
to Jerusalem which now is, and she is in bondage with her children
Jerusalem which is above, is free; which is the mother of us all
is written: rejoice thou barren that bearest no children; break forth and cry
thou that travailest not, for the desolate hath many more children than she
that hath an husband (Isaiah 54: 1)
brethren, after the manner of Isaac are children of the promise
then he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the
spirit, even so it is now
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-woman
brethren we are not children of the servant but of the freewoman
therefore in that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free
not entangled again with the yoke of bondage
I paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing
testify again unto every man which is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do
the whole law
abolished (or separated) from Christ, whosoever are justified by the law, and
ye are fallen from grace
fallen from grace
through the spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness
DIFFERENCE THERE IS BETWEEN FAITH AND HOPE
Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, neither uncircumcision,
but faith which worketh by love
run well: who did let you that ye did not obey the truth?
let you that you did not obey the truth?
not the persuasion of him that calleth you
little leaven doth leaven the whole lump
trust in you through the lord
will be none otherwise minded
that troubleth you shall bear his condemnation, whosoever he be
brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then
is the slander of the cross abolished
to God they were cut off that do disquiet you
DOCTRINE OF GOOD WORKS
brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not your liberty as an
occasion unto the flesh, but by love serve one another
whole law is fulfilled in one word, which is this: thou shalt love thy neighbor
the law is fulfilled in one word
bite and devour one another, take heed lest ye be consumed one of another
say, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh
CONFUTATION OF THE ARGUMENT OF THE SCHOOLMEN: LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE
LAW; THEREFORE THE LAW JUSTIFIETH
And ye shall
not fulfil the lust of the flesh
flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh
these are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye
be led by the spirit ye are not under the law
the works of the flesh be manifest, which are, etc.
RIGHTLY CALLED SAINTS, AND BE SO INDEED
of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, etc.
I tell you, as I have also told you before, that they which do such things,
shall not inherit the kingdom of God
fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, sweetness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness [or meekness], temperance
such there is no law
they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts
live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit
not be desirous of vainglory
one another, and envying one another
if a man be overtaken in any fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one
with the spirit of meekness.
thyself, lest thou also be tempted
one anotherís burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ
any man think himself to be somewhat, when indeed he is nothing, he deceiveth
every man try his own work, and then he shall have rejoicing in himself only,
and not in another
every man shall bear his own burden
that is taught in the word, make him that teacheth him partaker of all his
deceived, for God is not mocked
whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall reap
that soweth in the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that
soweth in the spirit, shall of the spirit reap everlasting life
us not be weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap without weariness
while we have time, let us do good unto all men, but specially to those that be
of the household of faith
what a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand
as desire to please in the flesh, compel you to be circumcised, only because
they would not suffer the persecution of the cross of Christ
they themselves that are circumcised, do not keep the law; but they would have
you circumcised, that they might glory in your flesh
forbid that I should glory but in the cross of our lord Jesus Christ
the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world
For in Christ
jesu neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new
as many as walk according to this rule, peace be upon them and mercy
upon the Israel of God
henceforth let no man put me to business
bear in my body the marks of the lord Jesus
the grace of our lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen
Cand.theol Finn B. Andersen