F.B. Hole

Galatians 4

The opening verses of chapter 4 gather up the thoughts that have occupied the latter part of chapter 3, and summarize them in very crisp fashion. The custom that prevailed in the houses of the nobility-and that still in measure prevail is such circles-are used as an illustration. The heir to the estate, so long as he is in infancy, is placed under restraint, just as the servants are. Tutors and governors hold him in what appears to him to be bondage. He just has to do as he is told, and...

Galatians 3

The apostle calls them "foolish" or senseless, for they had not themselves had the spiritual sense to see whither these false teachers had been leading them. They had been like men bewitched, and under a spell of evil, and they had been led to the brink of the awful conclusion that Christ had died for nothing-that His death had been in fact a huge mistake! On the edge of this precipice they were standing, and the Apostle's pungent reasoning had come as a flash of light amidst their dark...

Galatians 2

Our chapter falls quite simply into two parts. First, verses 1 to 10, in which the Apostle recounts what happened on the occasion of his second visit to Jerusalem after his conversion. Second, verses 11 to 21, in which he tells of an incident that happened at Antioch not long after his second visit to Jerusalem, and which had a very definite bearing upon the point at issue with the Galatians. The first visit was about three years after his conversion (Gal. 1: 18), so the second, be...

Galatians 1

In opening his letter Paul not only announced his apostleship but emphasized the fact that he held this place directly from God. It had reached him from no man, not even the twelve who were chosen before him. Men were not the source of it, nor had he received it by means of them as channels. God was the source of it, and it had reached him by Jesus Christ. Hence he had a fulness of authority not possessed by the Judaising teachers who were troubling them, for they at best could only ...

Introduction to Galatians

In his epistle to the Galatians the Apostle Paul is not so much concerned with expounding his Gospel as with defending it. The mischief-makers were evidently certain Jews who professed conversion to Christianity, and yet were more zealous of the law than they were of Christ; men of the same stamp as those we have mentioned in Acts 15: 1 and 5. We find allusions to their mischievous activities in some of the other epistles. They had gained a certain measure of success amongst the C...

Galatians 6

A contrast seems to be implied between verse 21 of chapter 5 and the first verse of chapter 6. The former contemplates those who are characterized by doing certain evil things. The latter speaks of a man being overtaken in an offence. Those who are characterized by evil will never enter the kingdom of God, whereas the man overtaken in evil is to be restored. It is taken for granted that he is a true believer. The appeal to restore such an one is addressed to "ye which are spiritual....

Introduction to Ephesians

At the close of the Epistle to the Romans we noticed that the Apostle Paul earnestly desired the establishment of the saints in a two-fold way; first, "according to my Gospel," and second, "according to the revelation of the mystery." Romans gives us a full unfolding of the former, while Ephesians more fully than any other epistle reveals to us the latter. Romans moreover, while instructing us in the fulness of the grace of God, presents it to us as meeting in all particulars our ne...

Ephesians 6

We pass from the relationship of husband and wife to those of children and fathers, servants and masters, as we open chapter 6. Obedience is to mark the child, and careful nurture and admonition the father. But all is to be as under the Lord, as indicated in verses 1 and 4. This sets everything on a very high level. So also it is with the servant and the master. Their relations are to be regulated as before the Lord, as verses 7, 8 and 9 show. All these exhortations are very importa...

Ephesians 5

The closing words of chapter 4 enforce upon us the obligation to kindness and forgiveness which rests upon all saints, inasmuch as we have been forgiven of God for Christ's sake. The opening words of chapter 5 carry this thought a step further and a step higher. Not only have we been forgiven but we have been introduced into the Divine family. We are children of God and beloved by Him. Hence as dear children we are to be followers, or imitators, of God. The imitation enjoined is no...

Ephesians 4

As we open chapter 4 we pick up the thread which Paul dropped at the end of the first verse of chapter 3. In comparatively few words we have had brought before us the Christian calling in its height and fulness according to the thoughts and purposes of God. Moreover that calling has been unfolded to us, not only as it relates to us each individually, but also as it concerns us all together in our corporate or church capacity. Now comes the exhortation of a general character, and it cove...
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