|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:26-29 Real Christians enjoy great privileges under the gospel; and are no longer accounted servants, but sons; not now kept at such a distance, and under such restraints as the Jews were. Having accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and relying on him alone for justification and salvation, they become the sons of God. But no outward forms or profession can secure these blessings; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we should die unto sin, and walk in newness and holiness of life. The putting on of Christ according to the gospel, consists not in outward imitation, but in a new birth, an entire change. He who makes believers to be heirs, will provide for them. Therefore our care must be to do the duties that belong to us, and all other cares we must cast upon God. And our special care must be for heaven; the things of this life are but trifles. The city of God in heaven, is the portion or child's part. Seek to be sure of that above all things.
Verse 26. - For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (πάντες γὰρ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ ἐστὲ διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ) for sons of God are ye all through faith in Christ Jesus. "For;" that is, what is just affirmed (ver. 25) is true, because ye are "sons" and no longer "children." "Ye are;" in ver. 25 it is "we are." The whole course of the argument, however, shows that the persons recited by each of the personal pronouns are in effect the same, namely, the people of God; otherwise this verse would not furnish proof, as by the "for" it professes to do, of the statement of ver. 25. The change from "we" to "ye" has by some been explained as due to the writer's wish to preclude the supposition that the "we' in ver. 25 applied to Jewish believers only. A more satisfactory explanation is that he wishes to give the statement in vers. 22-25, which is general, a more trenchant force as applying to those whose spiritual difficulties he is now dealing with. In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, "Ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness," we have the converse transition. There likewise the persons recited are in effect the same; and the change of person in the pronoun, making the discourse, from exhortation addressed to others, pass into a form of cohortation applying to all Christians alike, including the writer himself, is dictated by the apostle's sympathetic kindness for especially his Thessalonian converts. "Ye are." The fact that faith is the sole and sufficient ground of qualification eliminates all those distinctions by which the Law has heretofore fenced off Gentiles, pronouncing them "separated as aliens," "strangers to the covenants," and "without God" (cf. Ephesians 2:12). In the sequel (ver. 28) the apostle passes on from the thought of this particular outward distinction of Jew and Gentile to the thought of all other purely external distinctions. "In Christ Jesus." It is debated whether this clause should be connected with "faith," as if it were πίστεως τῆς ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, the article being omitted, as in Colossians 1:4; Ephesians 1:15, and often; or with the words, "ye are sons of God," with a comma following the word "faith." Both modes of construing find in the sentence at last the same contents of thought; for each of the two propositions thus severally formed contains by implication the other. It probably suits the connection best to take the apostle as at once affirming that it is in Christ Jesus that we are God's sons through faith, rather than as leaving this to be inferred from the fact of our being sons through faith in Christ. "In Christ" is, with St. Paul, a very favourite form of indicating the channel through which the great blessings of the gospel are realized (cf. Ephesians 1:3, 6, 7, 11; Ephesians 2:6, 7, 10, 13, 21, 22; Ephesians 3:12, etc.). "Sons of God." It is quite clear that the term "sons" (υἱοὶ) denotes those who have come into the full enjoyment, so far as the present life is concerned, of the position Which their birth had entitled them to; and that it stands in contrast with their earlier position when children in years under a paedagogus. The noun υἱός, son, itself, however, while it is never used as synonymous with νήπιος to describe one as a child in years, yet, like τέκνον, child, does not ordinarily betoken more than simple relationship as the correlative with "father;" for which reason υἱός (as well as τέκνον) is used in such phrases as "children of disobedience," "of Israel," of light," "of the day," "of the devil," "of perdition." In Hebrews 12:6-8 υἱὸς is applied in the case of one who is as yet under the discipline of the rod; but even there υἱὸς of itself immediately designates his filial relation only. St. Paul never uses the word παῖς at all, though he has παιδία in 1 Corinthians 14:20 for children in years, in place of the word νήπιος which he ordinarily employs (Romans 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:14; Hebrews 5:13), and which we find presently after in vers. I and 3 of the next chapter. The particular modification of meaning in which the apostle here uses the term is justified by the consideration which he presently puts forward, that a son of even an opulent or high-born parent, while a mere child, possesses no more freedom than if he were the child of any other person; his heirship or distinction of birth is for so long more or less veiled; it is not until he passes out of his nonage that he appears in his proper character.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For ye are all the children of God,.... Not by nature, as Christ is the Son of God, for he is the only begotten of the Father, and in such sense as neither angels nor men are the sons of God; nor by creation, as Adam and all mankind, and the angels are; but by divine adoption by an act of God's rich and sovereign grace, putting them among the children in saying this the apostle directs himself to the Gentiles for their comfort, and says this of them all in a judgment of charity, they being under a profession of faith; lest they should think, because they were not Abraham's seed according to the flesh, nor were ever trained up under the law as a schoolmaster, that they were not the children of God: whereas they were such not by the law, as none indeed are,
but by faith in Christ Jesus; not that faith makes any the children of God, or puts them into such a relation; no, that is God's own act and deed; of his free rich grace and goodness, God the Father has predestinated his chosen ones to the adoption of children, and has secured and laid up this blessing for them in the covenant of grace; Christ by redemption has made way for their reception and enjoyment of it; the Spirit of God, in consequence of their sonship, as a spirit of adoption bears strong reason and argument, proving that they are not under the law as a schoolmaster, in which light it is here set by the apostle; since they are sons and not servants, and so free from the bondage of the law; they are sons grown up into the faith of Christ, and are led and taught by the Spirit of God, as they are that are the children of God by faith; and as is promised to the saints under the Gospel, that they shall be "all taught of God"; and therefore stood in no need of the law as a schoolmaster, which only was concerned with the Jews, whilst they were children under age; and has nothing to do with such, whether Jews or Gentiles, who believe in Christ, and are growing up into him their head, till they come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. children—Greek, "sons."
by—Greek, "through faith." "Ye all" (Jews and Gentiles alike) are no longer "children" requiring a tutor, but SONS emancipated and walking at liberty.
Galatians 3:26 Parallel Commentaries
Galatians 3:26 NIV
Galatians 3:26 NLT
Galatians 3:26 ESV
Galatians 3:26 NASB
Galatians 3:26 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible