The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Galatians 4

Gal 4:2


Gal 4:4

BORN UNDER LAW: Cp 2Co 5:19-21; Rom 8:3.

Gal 4:5

REDEEM: Gr "exagorazo" = to buy out of the agora, or marketplace. See Lesson, Redemption.

THOSE UNDER LAW: In addition to being redeemed from sin and wickedness and the world and men (see refs, Lesson, Redemption) man was also redeemed from the Law of Moses, and from the "curse" of that Law. But the Law itself was not evil (it was holy and just and good: Rom 7:12-14); however, the Law brought into focus and highlighted man's sin; thus it came to stand -- by metonymy -- for his sin.

THE FULL RIGHTS OF SONS: We are "sons of God" by adoption. If we belong to Christ, ie, if we are his "offspring" (ie, Isa 53:10; Psa 22:30,31), then we likewise belong to God, as His dear children (Rom 8:16-23). Think of it in terms of the genealogies of Jesus: According to Mat 1, Jesus is the 42nd generation from Abraham, and that would make each of us the 43rd generation! According to Luke 3, Jesus is the 77th generation from Adam, and that makes us, by the same kind of reckoning, the 78th generation! And Adam was "born of God", although plainly in a different way than was Jesus... so there's a relationship to God through Adam too, although perhaps not so lovely! Remember, Adam was created "in the image and likeness" of God (Gen 1:26; 5:1), but by the time he sinned, his son was born in Adam's (fallen) image (Gen 5:3), which was something different, sadly. But then... best of all: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (Joh 1:12-14). Because Jesus was (and is) Son of God [the Word made flesh: Joh 1:14!], we are "sons (and daughters!) of God" too [because His "Word", planted in our minds and hearts of flesh, caused us to be "born from above"]! Jesus is -- on his father's side -- the FIRST generation from God! And we are... only... the 2nd generation! Think of it as being heir to a vast fortune. On one side of our family, each of us is the 43rd lineal descendant, and heir of the world promised to Abraham (Rom 4:13). But... on the other side of the family, we are -- each one of us -- a specially beloved grandson or granddaughter of Almighty God. Between the two, I'd say we've got it made!

Gal 4:6

ABBA: Aram "father". Esp a name by which God was addressed in prayer. Only 3 times in NT text: Mar 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6. But this Aram term may lie behind numerous refs to God as Father where only the Gr "Pater" is given in the NT.

See Article, Abba, Father.

Gal 4:8

SLAVES TO THOSE WHO BY NATURE ARE NOT GODS: "A hard ceremonial idolatry" -- described in CGal 102.

Gal 4:9

WEAK AND MISERABLE PRINCIPLES: Both idolatry and observance of Law of Moses were slavery to systems of salvation by works.

Gal 4:12

I BECAME LIKE YOU: That is, I was in bondage to Law also.

Gal 4:13

AN ILLNESS: Ramsay suggests an intermittent malaria that forced Paul to interrupt his trip and seek the higher ground of the interior (CGal 106).

Gal 4:16

YOUR ENEMY: Prob his opponents' description.

Gal 4:17

ZEALOUS TO WIN YOU OVER: Paul's opponents taught that the Galatians were excluded from salvation unless they kept the Law (cp Mat 23:15).

WHAT THEY WANT IS TO ALIENATE YOU FROM US: 'We would dearly love to have association with you, but you will need to be rid of the pestilential fellow Paul first!' 'Agree with us, or else!'

Gal 4:21

THE LAW: Ref first 5 books of Bible, including Genesis!

Gal 4:25

PRESENT CITY OF JERUSALEM: The Jerusalem which still followed the Law received at Sinai.

Gal 4:26

SHE IS OUR MOTHER: Cp "Eve", figurative bride of Christ: the "mother" of all living (Gen 3:20n), as regards Christ the seed of Gen 3:15. Cp idea, Rom 16:13 (his mother, and mine); Isa 66:7,8,13; Psa 87:2-6.
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