World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
4. Who gave himself for our sins. He begins with commending the grace of Christ, in order to recall and fix on Him the attention of the Galatians; for, if they had justly appreciated this benefit of redemption, they would never have fallen into opposite views of religion. He who knows Christ in a proper manner beholds him earnestly, embraces him with the warmest affection, is absorbed in the contemplation of him, and desires no other object. The best remedy for purifying our minds from any kind of errors or superstitions, is to keep in remembrance our relation to Christ, and the benefits which he has conferred upon us.
These words, who gave himself for our sins, were intended to convey to the Galatians a doctrine of vast importance; that no other satisfactions can lawfully be brought into comparison with that sacrifice of himself which Christ offered to the Father; that in Christ, therefore, and in him alone, atonement for sin, and perfect righteousness, must be sought; and that the manner in which we are redeemed by him ought to excite our highest admiration. What Paul here ascribes to Christ is, with equal propriety, ascribed in other parts of Scripture to God the Father; for, on the one hand, the Father, by an eternal purpose, decreed this atonement, and gave this proof of his love to us, that he “spared not his only-begotten Son, (Romans 8:32,) but delivered him up for us all;” and Christ, on the other hand, offered himself a sacrifice in order to reconcile us to God. Hence it follows, that his death is the satisfaction for sins. 1515 “Pour nos pechez.” “For our sins.”
That he might deliver us. He likewise declares the design of our redemption to be, that Christ, by his death, might purchase us to be his own property. This takes place when we are separated from the world; for so long as we are of the world, we do not belong to Christ. The word αιών, (age,) is here put for the corruption which is in the world; in the same manner as in the first Epistle of John, (1 John 5:19) where it is said that “the whole world lieth in the wicked one,” and in his Gospel, (John 17:15,) where the Savior says,
“I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world,
but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil;”
for there it signifies the present life.
What then is meant by the word “World” in this passage? Men separated from the kingdom of God and the grace of Christ. So long as a man lives to himself, he is altogether condemned. The World is, therefore, contrasted with regeneration, as nature with grace, or the flesh with the spirit. Those who are born of the world have nothing but sin and wickedness, not by creation, but by corruption. 1616 “Non pas que cela viene de la creation, mais de leur corruption.” “Not that this comes from creation, but from their corruption.” Christ, therefore, died for our sins, in order to redeem or separate us from the world.
From the present wicked age. By adding the epithet “wicked”, he intended to shew that he is speaking of the corruption or depravity which proceeds from sin, and not of God’s creatures, or of the bodily life. And yet by this single word, as by a thunderbolt, he lays low all human pride; for he declares, that, apart from that renewal of the nature which is bestowed by the grace of Christ, there is nothing in us but unmixed wickedness. We are of the world; and, till Christ take us out of it, the world reigns in us, and we live to the world. Whatever delight men may take in their fancied excellence, they are worthless and depraved; not indeed in their own opinion, but in the judgment of our Lord, which is here pronounced by the mouth of Paul, and which ought to satisfy our minds.
According to the will. He points out the original fountain of grace, namely, the purpose of God;
“for God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16.)
But it deserves notice, that Paul is accustomed to represent the decree of God as setting aside all compensation or merit on the part of men, and so Will denotes here what is commonly called “good pleasure.” 1717 Οὐκ εἶπε κατ ᾿ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ Πατρὸς ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ θέλημα, τουτέστι τὴν εὐδοκίαν “He did not say, according to the command, but according to the will, that is, according to the good pleasure, of the Father.” — Theophylact. The meaning is, that Christ suffered for us, not because we were worthy, or because anything done by us moved him to the act, but because such was the purpose of God. Of God and our Father is of the same import as if he had said, “Of God who is our Father.” 1818 “An English reader would readily suppose that ‘God and our Father’ are two different persons. The original text suggests no such idea. The meaning is, ‘our God and Father’. — The particle καὶ (and) is here hermeneutic. As Crellius says, it is equivalent to ‘that is’ or ‘who is;’ or rather, it does not connect different persons, but different descriptions of the same person: 1 Corinthians 2:2; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Peter 1:2 ̔Ημῶν belongs equally to both nouns, Θεοῦ and Πατρός — Brown.