Galatians 3:26
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Children of God.—The translation “children” here is unfortunate, as the point to be brought out is that the Christian is no longer in the condition of “children,” but in that of grown-up “sons.” The pre-Messianic period bears to the Messianic period the same relation that a childhood or minority bears to full age. The Christian, as such, has the privileges of an adult son in his Father’s house. He is released from pupilage, and has received his freedom.

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.For ye are all the children of God ... - All who bear the Christian name - the converts from among the Jews and Gentiles alike; see the note at John 1:12. The idea here is, that they are no longer under tutors and governors; they are no longer subject to the direction and will of the "paedagogus"; they are arrived at age, and are admitted to the privileges of sons; see the note at Galatians 4:1. The language here is derived from the fact, that until the son arrived at age, he was in many respects not different from a servant. He was under laws and restraints; and subject to the will of another. When of age, he entered on the privileges of heirship, and was free to act for himself. Thus, under the Law, people were under restraints, and subject to heavy exactions. Under the gospel, they are free, and admitted to the privileges of the sons of God. 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.

All you that believe, whether native Jews or Gentiles, are the children of God by adoption, through faith in Jesus Christ, John 1:12: so that you need not run back to the law to look for help and salvation from that; but only look unto Christ, to whom the law was but a schoolmaster to lead you; who being fully and clearly revealed, you may have immediate recourse to, by faith; and need not to make use of the Jewish schoolmaster, as hoping for justification from the observances of the law.

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.

{27} For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

(27) Because age does not change the condition of servants, he adds that we are free by condition, and therefore, seeing we are out of our childhood, we have no more need of a keeper and schoolmaster.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Galatians 3:26. The argumentative emphasis is laid first on πάντες, and then, not on υἱοί,—which expositors have been wont to understand in the pregnant sense: sons of full age, free, in contrast to the παισί implied in παιδαγωγός (see, against this view, Wieseler and Matthias),—but on υἱοὶ Θεοῦ, because in this Θεοῦ the υἱοί actually has its express and full definition, and therefore to supply the defining idea is quite unwarrantable. All of you are sons of God by means of faith;[169] but where all without exception and without distinction are sons of God, and are so through faith, none can be, like Israel before the appearance of faith, under the dominion of the law, because the new state of life, that of faith, is something altogether different,—namely, fellowship with the υἱότης of Christ (Galatians 3:27). To be a son of God through faith, and to be under the old tutorial training, are contradictory relations, one of which excludes the other. The higher, and in fact perfect relation,[170] excludes the lower.

ΠΆΝΤΕς] Paul now speaks in the second person, because what is said in Galatians 3:26 f. held good, not of the Jewish Christians alone (of whom he previously spoke in the first person), but of all Christians in general as such, consequently of all his readers whom he now singles out for address; whether they may have previously been Jews or Gentiles, now they are sons of God. Hofmann supposes that Paul meant by the second person his Gentile-Christian readers, and wished to employ what he says of them in proof of his assertion respecting those who had been previously subject to the law. In this case he must, in order to be intelligible, have used some such words as καὶ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἔθνη πάντες κ.τ.λ. According to the expression in the second person used without any limitation, the Galatian Christians must have considered themselves addressed as a whole without distinction,—a view clearly confirmed to them by the ὅσοι (Galatians 3:27), and the ἸΟΥΔΑῖΟς ΟὐΔῈ ἝΛΛΗΝ comp. with ΠΆΝΤΕς ὙΜΕῖς (Galatians 3:28). Where, on the other hand, Paul is thinking of the Galatians as Gentile Christians (so far as the majority of them actually were so), this may be simply gathered from the context (Galatians 4:8).

ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ] belongs to ΠΊΣΤΕΩς. According to the construction ΠΙΣΤΕΎΕΙΝ ἜΝ ΤΙΝΙ (see Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:13; LXX. Ps. 77:22, Jeremiah 12:6; Clem. 1 Cor. 22: Ἡ ἘΝ ΧΡΙΣΤῷ ΠΊΣΤΙς, Ignat. ad Philad. 8: ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ οὐ πιστεύω), Ἡ ΠΊΣΤΙς ἘΝ ΧΡΙΣΤῷ is fides in Christo reposita, the faith resting in Christ; the words being correctly, in point of grammar, combined so as to form one idea. See Winer, p. 128 [E. T. 169]; Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 63, ad Rom. I. p. 195 f. Comp. Ephesians 1:1; Ephesians 1:15; Colossians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:13. But Usteri, Schott, Hofmann, Wieseler, Ewald, Matthias, Reithmayr (Estius also pronouncing it allowable), join ἐν Χρ. . with ΥἹΟῚ ΘΕΟῦ ἘΣΤΕ, of which it is alleged to be the modal definition; specially explaining the sense, either as “utpote Christo prorsus addicti” (Schott), or of the “inclusion in Christ” (Hofmann), or as assigning the objective ground of the sonship, which has its subjective ground in διὰ τ. πίστ. (Wieseler; comp. Hofmann and Buhl). But all these elements are already obviously involved in ΔΙᾺ Τ. ΠΊΣΤ. itself, so that ἘΝ Χ. ., as parallel to ΔΙᾺ Τ. Π., would be simply superfluous and awkward; whereas, connected with ΔΙᾺ Τ. Π., it expresses the emphatic and indeed solemn completeness of this idea (comp. Galatians 3:22), in accordance with the great thought of the sentence, coming in all the more forcibly at the end, as previously in the case of ἐλθεῖν (Galatians 3:23) and ἘΛΘΟΎΣΗς (Galatians 3:25) the ΠΊΣΤΙς was mentioned without its object, and the latter was left to be understood as a matter of course.

[169] διὰ τ. πίστ. stands third in the order of emphasis, but has not the main stress laid upon it in contradistinction to the πάντες (Hofmann), as if it stood immediately after πάντες γάρ.

[170] Theodoret aptly remarks: ἔδειξε τῶν πεπιστευκότων τὸ τέλειον· τί γὰρ τελειότερον τῶν υἱῶν χρηματιζόντων Θεοῦ;

26. Ye are] The change from the first person ‘we are’ Galatians 3:25 to the second ‘ye are’ marks a transition from an argument to an appeal. The converse is found 2 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

all] Both Jews and Gentiles—an indirect confirmation of the statement that the law is not against the promises of God.

the children] Better, sons. Comp. John 1:12 ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on His name.’

26–29. The selection of the metaphor of Galatians 3:24-25 is by no means accidental. It suggests and leads up to the grand revelation of Gospel blessedness contained in the peroration to this chapter. The very fact that we were under tutelage proves that our true relation to God is that of sons, a relationship into which we all, both Jews and Gentiles, entered by believing in Jesus Christ. Of this relationship our Baptism was the sign and pledge and instrument. We therein became clothed with Christ. Our nakedness was covered with the robe of His perfect righteousness. He became the circumambient, enveloping element in which our new life is lived and sustained. And here the external distinctions, of Jew and Gentile, bond and free, nay, even that which has so long separated the sexes, disappears. In Christ all are united who by faith are united to Him. And if we belong to Christ, if we are part of Him, who is the promised Seed, then we are the seed of Abraham, we are heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26. Υἱοὶ) Sons, emancipated, the keeper being removed.

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. Galatians 3:26For ye are all the children of God (πάντες γὰρ υἱοὶ θεοῦ ἐστὲ)

Better, ye are all sons of God. Note 1. The change of person, ye are. Comp. we, our, us, Galatians 3:23, Galatians 3:24, Galatians 3:25. He now addresses the Galatians, who were mostly Gentiles, and includes all Christians, Jewish and Gentile. 2. The emphasis is on sons of God rather than on all; for his object is to show that, after the coming of faith, they are no more under the care of a guardian. Ὑιοὶ signifies sons of full age (comp. Galatians 4:1) who have outgrown the surveillance of the guardian; so that sons is emphasized as against children. Paul describes Christians both as τέκνα θεοῦ children of God (Romans 8:16, Romans 8:21; Romans 9:8; Philippians 2:15), and υἱοὶ θεοῦ sons of God (Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19; Romans 9:26). Both τέκνον and υἱός signify a relation based on parentage. The common distinction between τέκνον as emphasizing natural relationship, and υἱός as marking legal or ethical status, should not be pressed. In lxx both words are applied ethically to Israel as God's beloved people. See Isaiah 30:1; Wisd. 16:21; Joel 2:23; Zechariah 9:13; and Isaiah 63:6; Deuteronomy 14:1; Wisd. 9:7; 12:19. John never uses υἱός to describe the relation of Christians to God; but he attaches both the ethical relation and that of conferred privilege, as well as that of birth, to τέκνον. See John 1:12; 1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:10; John 1:13; John 3:3, John 3:7; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 4:7; 1 John 5:1, 1 John 5:4, 1 John 5:18. Paul often regards the Christian relation from a legal point of view as υἱοθεσία adoption, a word used only by him. See Romans 8:14, Romans 8:17, we have both υἱοὶ and τέκνα, and both in the ethical sense. In Romans 9:8; Ephesians 5:1, the ethical sense. 3. In Christ Jesus. Const. with faith. The article before πίστεως faith may point back to the faith previously mentioned, or may have, as so often, a possessive force, your faith.

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