Tag Archives: Galatians

Justified by Faith

Ga0216In Galatians 2 Paul recalls a confrontation with Peter-—and the crucial issue is justification by faith in Christ.

“Even in Galatians, Paul’s teaching on justification has its stark urgency, not simply because church unity is at stake. His rebuke of of Peter’s conduct is so unsparing, not just because unity between Jew and Gentile is being jeopardized, but because of what that broken unity is symptomatic, because he sees that such conduct strikes at ‘the truth of the gospel’ (2:14). Moreover, it conflicts with that gospel truth because the gospel, as he expresses it programmatically elsewhere, is not the reflex, post facto, of having been saved. Rather, it is ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16), or even more tersely, ‘the gospel of your salvation’ (Eph. 1:13).” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., By Faith, Not By Sight, p. 51).

“A man who tries to earn his salvation, or to do anything towards earning it, has, according to Paul, done despite to the free grace of God.” (J. Gresham Machen, Machen’s Notes on Galatians, p. 143).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

Freedom!

gal29“Law, as law, has no expiatory provision; it exercises no forgiving grace; and it has no power of enablement to the fulfillment of its own demand. It knows no clemency for the remission of guilt; it provides no righteousness to meet our iniquity; it exercises no constraining power to reclaim our waywardness; it knows no mercy to melt our hearts in penitence and new obedience…. The word ‘grace’ sums up everything that by way of contrast with law is embraced in the provisions of redemption…. Believers died with Christ and lived again with him in his resurrection (cf. Romans 6:8). They have, therefore, come under all the resources of redeeming and renewing grace which find their epitome in the death and resurrection of Christ and find their permanent embodiment in him who was dead and is alive again.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, pp. 185–186).

“Now as always true liberty is to be obtained only when a man depends for his salvation unreservedly upon the grace of God.” (J. Gresham Machen, Machen’s Notes on Galatians, p. 107).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

The God Who Called You

“The emphasis falls on the sovereignty of the divine grace manifested to Paul. At the same time, however, the apostle stresses the fact that God had much earlier — from his mother’s womb, as a matter of fact — appointed him for apostleship.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia, pp. 62–63).

lily_16673ac“There is no preaching that is worthy of the name unless Christ is set forth in all the glory of his Person and all the fullness of his saving power.” (Geoffrey B. Wilson, Galatians: A Digest of Reformed Comment, p. 27).

 

Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

No Other Gospel!

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“[T]hat which the Apostles teach is. . . the inspired Word of God before all other things. No theologian would dare say of his work what Paul said to the Galatians; ‘But though we or an angel from heaven preach any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema’ (1:8).” (Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation, p. 21).

“As God is the author of the gospel, so gospel authority is never inherent but always derived. It is only as the messenger remains faithful to the divine message that he speaks with divine authority.” (Geoffrey B. Wilson, Galatians: A Digest of Reformed Comment, p. 21).

“And not only is the truth more than the highest ranking minister of God, but as the gospel — which constitutes the norm of the divine redemption in the world — it is so holy that anyone who independently modifies it brings the curse of God down upon his head.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia, p. 50).

“We must trust Christ for nothing or for all; to trust Him only for part is the essence of unbelief. There are two ways of being saved, according to the Apostle Paul. One way is to keep the law of God perfectly. That way is closed because of sin. The other way is to accept the gift of salvation which Christ offers us freely by His cross.” (J. Gresham Machen, Machen’s Notes on Galatians, p. 53).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

Christ Gave Himself for You

C16year27ecPaul’s terse greetings to the churches of Galatia have a reason.

“May God send us men who are not deceived, men who will respond to the forces of unbelief and compromise…. The Epistle to the Galatians is a polemic, a fighting Epistle from beginning to end. What a fire it kindled at the time of the Reformation! May it kindle another fire in our day—not a fire that will destroy any fine or noble or Christian thing, but a fire of Christian love in hearts grown cold!” (J. Gresham Machen, Machen’s Notes on Galatians, p. 8).

“[T]he new creation is that of Christ’s resurrection. For this reason the death of Christ is a turning point in the mode of existence of the old aeon. . . . Not only does Christ’s life in the flesh come to an end, but an all-important and all-embracing Transition takes place, namely, from the existence of the old to that of the new, from the old aeon to the new creation. By dying Christ has snatched his people away from the present aeon (Gal. 1:4).” (Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, p. 66).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.