Hey! Randy

Galatians 2:4-5

Posted by heyrandy on August 17, 2010

4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

5To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Galatians 2:4-5 AV

Verse 4 is a puzzle. It starts with a conjunction but does not conjoin anything. The verse is an anacoluthon. There is no antecedent. Why did Paul suddenly interrupt his thought of verse three?

False brothers were the problem. Spies. One cannot readily imagine this kind of problem occurring in today’s churches. Who sneaks in to spy on us? Maybe the tax man if there is suspicion of misuse of tax exemption. (All the more reason to avoid the tax exempt status temptation.) But spies were a problem in Paul’s day. Here he calls them what they were: false brethren. They were not what they seemed to be. They were liars. They gave the appearance of being real. How did Paul know that they were fake?

The false ones were there to “bring us into bondage.” The rest of Galatians will tell us that the bondage in question is the yoke of the Mosaic law. It looks like the problem presented itself in the matter of circumcision but law keeping was also involved. We won’t know the exact details (the Holy Spirit didn’t inspire their recording), but we do not need to.

Liberty in Christ is very important. It frees us from the Mosaic law. This is something that we need. We cannot keep that law. Only Jesus could and did. Praise God for Him. This issue of the Christian and the Law is what Galatians is about.

Paul did not give ground to these fakes. Paul would not compromise the gospel. Notice that he says “the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” Paul resisted these impostors to protect the gospel but also to protect the Galatians.

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