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Galatians 1:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I marvel that ye are so soon removed - It was a matter of wonder to the apostle that a people, so soundly converted to God, should have so soon made shipwreck of their faith. But mutability itself has not a more apt subject to work upon than the human heart; the alternate workings of different passions are continually either changing the character, or giving it a different colouring. Reason, not passion, the word of God, not the sayings of men, should alone be consulted in the concerns of our salvation.

From him that called you - The apostle seems here to mean himself. He called them into the grace of Christ; and they not only abandoned that grace, but their hearts became greatly estranged from him; so that, though at first they would have plucked out their eyes for him, they at last counted him their enemy, Galatians 4:14-16.

Another gospel - It is certain that in the very earliest ages of the Christian Church there were several spurious gospels in circulation, and it was the multitude of these false or inaccurate relations that induced St. Luke to write his own. See Luke 1:1. We have the names of more than seventy of these spurious narratives still on record, and in ancient writers many fragments of them remain; these have been collected and published by Fabricius, in his account of the apocryphal books of the New Testament, 3 vols. 8vo. In some of these gospels, the necessity of circumcision, and subjection to the Mosaic law in unity with the Gospel, were strongly inculcated. And to one of these the apostle seems to refer.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I marvel - I wonder. It is remarked by Luther (his commentary at the place) that Paul uses as mild a word as possible here. He does not employ the language of severe reproof, but he expresses his astonishment that the thing should have occurred. He was deeply affected and amazed, that such a thing could have happened. They had cordially embraced the gospel; they had manifested the tenderest attachment for him; they had given themselves to God, and yet in a very short time they had been led wholly astray, and had embraced opinions which tended wholly to pervert and destroy the gospel. They had shown an instability and inconstancy of character, which was to him perfectly surprising.

That ye are so soon - This proves that the Epistle was written not long after the gospel was first preached to them. According to the general supposition, it could not have been more than from two to five years. Had it been a long and gradual decline; had they been destitute for years of the privileges of the gospel; or had they had time to forget him who had first preached to them, it would not have been a matter of surprise. But when it occurred in a few months; when their once ardent love for Paul, and their confidence in him had so soon vanished, or their affections become alienated, and when they had so soon embraced opinions tending to, set the whole gospel aside, it could not but excite Paul‘s wonder. Learn hence, that men, professedly pious, and apparently ardently attached to the gospel, may become soon perverted in their views, and alienated from those who had called them into the gospel, and whom they professed tenderly to love. The ardor of the affections becomes cool, and some artful, and zealous, and plausible teachers of error seduce the mind, corrupt the heart, and alienate the affections. Where there is the ardor of the first love to God, there is also an effort soon made by the adversary, to turn away the heart from him; and young converts are commonly soon attacked in some plausible manner, and by art and arguments adapted to turn away their minds from the truth, and to alienate the affections from God.

So soon removed - Luther remarks that this is also a mild and gentle term. It implies that foreign influence had been used to turn away their minds from the truth. The word used here ( μετατίθεσθε metatithesthe) means, “to transpose; to put in another place;” and then, “to go over from one party to another.” Their affections had become transferred to other doctrines than those which they had at first embraced, and they had moved off from the only true foundation, to one which would give them no support.

From him that called you - There has been great difference of opinion in regard to the sense of this passage. Some have supposed, that it refers to God; others to Christ; others to Paul himself. Either supposition makes good sense, and conveys an idea not contrary to the Scriptures in other places. Doddridge, Chandler, Clarke, Macknight, Locke, and some others refer it to Paul; Rosenmuller, Koppe, and others, suppose it refers to God; and others refer it to the Redeemer. The Syriac renders it thus: “I marvel that ye are so soon turned away from that Messiah (Christ) who has called you.” etc. It is not possible, perhaps, to determine the true sense. It does not seem to me to refer to Paul, as the main object of the Epistle is, not to show that they had removed from “him,” but from the “gospel” - a far more grievous offence; and it seems to me that it is to he referred to God. The reasons are:

(1)That he who had called them, is said to have called them “into the grace of Christ,” which would be hardly said of Christ himself; and,

(2)That the work of calling people is usually in the Scriptures attributed to God; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:9.

Into the grace of Christ - Locke renders this, “into the covenant of grace which is by Christ.” Doddridge understands it of the method of salvation which is by or through the grace of Christ. There is no doubt that it refers to the plan of salvation which is by Christ, or in Christ; and the main idea is, that the scheme of salvation which they had embraced under his instruction, was one which contemplated salvation only by the grace or favor of Christ; and that from that they had been removed to another scheme, essentially different, where the grace of Christ was made useless and void. It is Paul‘s object to show that the true plan makes Christ the great and prominent object; and that the plan which they had embraced was in this respect wholly different.

Unto another gospel - A gospel which destroys the grace of Christ; which proclaims salvation on other terms than simple dependence on the merits of the Lord Jesus; and which has introduced the Jewish rites and ceremonies as essential, in order to obtain salvation. The apostle calls that scheme the “gospel,” because it pretended to be; it was preached by those who claimed to be preachers of the gospel; who alleged that they had come direct from the apostles at Jerusalem, and who pretended to declare the method of salvation. It claimed to be the gospel, and yet it was essentially unlike the plan which he had preached as constituting the gospel. That which he preached, inculcated the entire dependence of the sinner on the merits and grace of Christ; that system had introduced dependence on the observance of the rites of the Mosaic system, as necessary to salvation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those who would establish any other way to heaven than what the gospel of Christ reveals, will find themselves wretchedly mistaken. The apostle presses upon the Galatians a due sense of their guilt in forsaking the gospel way of justification; yet he reproves with tenderness, and represents them as drawn into it by the arts of some that troubled them. In reproving others, we should be faithful, and yet endeavour to restore them in the spirit of meekness. Some would set up the works of the law in the place of Christ's righteousness, and thus they corrupted Christianity. The apostle solemnly denounces, as accursed, every one who attempts to lay so false a foundation. All other gospels than that of the grace of Christ, whether more flattering to self-righteous pride, or more favourable to worldly lusts, are devices of Satan. And while we declare that to reject the moral law as a rule of life, tends to dishonour Christ, and destroy true religion, we must also declare, that all dependence for justification on good works, whether real or supposed, is as fatal to those who persist in it. While we are zealous for good works, let us be careful not to put them in the place of Christ's righteousness, and not to advance any thing which may betray others into so dreadful a delusion.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 76.1

I can never doubt my mission, for I am a participant in the privileges and am nourished and vivified, knowing that I am called unto the grace of Christ. Every time I set forth the truth to the people, and call their attention to eternal life which Christ has made possible for us to obtain, I am as much benefited as they with most gracious discoveries of the grace and love and the power of God in behalf of His people, in justification and reconciliation with God.—Manuscript 174, 1903. 3SM 76.1

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 383-4

This chapter is based on the Epistle to the Galatians.

While tarrying at Corinth, Paul had cause for serious apprehension concerning some of the churches already established. Through the influence of false teachers who had arisen among the believers in Jerusalem, division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. These false teachers were mingling Jewish traditions with the truths of the gospel. Ignoring the decision of the general council at Jerusalem, they urged upon the Gentile converts the observance of the ceremonial law. AA 383.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1108

6, 7. Trouble in Galatia—In almost every church there were some members who were Jews by birth. To these converts the Jewish teachers found ready access, and through them gained a foothold in the churches. It was impossible, by scriptural arguments, to overthrow the doctrines taught by Paul; hence they resorted to the most unscrupulous measures to counteract his influence and weaken his authority. They declared that he had not been a disciple of Jesus, and had received no commission from Him; yet he had presumed to teach doctrines directly opposed to those held by Peter, James, and the other apostles. Thus the emissaries of Judaism succeeded in alienating many of the Christian converts from their teacher in the gospel. Having gained this point, they induced them to return to the observance of the ceremonial law as essential to salvation. Faith in Christ, and obedience to the law of ten commandments, were regarded as of minor importance. Division, heresy, and sensualism were rapidly gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. 6BC 1108.1

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