Galatians 2:17
New International Version
"But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn't that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!

New Living Translation
But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!

English Standard Version
But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!

Berean Study Bible
But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, does that make Christ a minister of sin? Absolutely not!

Berean Literal Bible
But if seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also have been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? Never may it be!

New American Standard Bible
"But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!

King James Bible
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Christian Standard Bible
But if we ourselves are also found to be "sinners" while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not!

Contemporary English Version
When we Jews started looking for a way to please God, we discovered that we are sinners too. Does this mean that Christ is the one who makes us sinners? No, it doesn't!

Good News Translation
If, then, as we try to be put right with God by our union with Christ, we are found to be sinners, as much as the Gentiles are--does this mean that Christ is serving the cause of sin? By no means!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if we ourselves are also found to be "sinners" while seeking to be justified by Christ, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not!

International Standard Version
Now if we, while trying to be justified by the Messiah, have been found to be sinners, does that mean that the Messiah is serving the interests of sin? Of course not!

NET Bible
But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages sin? Absolutely not!

New Heart English Bible
But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if when we seek to be made right by The Messiah, we are found to be sinners, is then Yeshua the Minister of sin? God forbid!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If we, the same people who are searching for God's approval in Christ, are still sinners, does that mean that Christ encourages us to sin? That's unthinkable!

New American Standard 1977
“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of our sin? No, in no wise.

King James 2000 Bible
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

American King James Version
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

American Standard Version
But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a minister of sin? God forbid.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners; is Christ then the minister of sin? God forbid.

Darby Bible Translation
Now if in seeking to be justified in Christ we also have been found sinners, then [is] Christ minister of sin? Far be the thought.

English Revised Version
But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a minister of sin? God forbid.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? By no means.

Weymouth New Testament
But if while we are seeking in Christ acquittal from guilt we ourselves are convicted of sin, Christ then encourages us to sin! No, indeed.

World English Bible
But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a servant of sin? Certainly not!

Young's Literal Translation
And if, seeking to be declared righteous in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is then Christ a ministrant of sin? let it not be!
Study Bible
Paul Confronts Cephas
16know that a man is not justified by works of the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law, because by works of the Law no one will be justified. 17But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, does that make Christ a minister of sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I have already torn down, I prove myself to be a lawbreaker.…
Cross References
Luke 20:16
He will come and kill those tenants, and will give the vineyard to others." And when the people heard this, they said, "May such a thing never happen!"

Galatians 2:15
We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile 'sinners'

Galatians 3:21
Is the Law, then, opposed to the promises of God? Not at all! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come from the Law.

Galatians 6:14
But as for me, may I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Treasury of Scripture

But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

while.

Romans 9:30-33
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith…

Romans 11:7
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

are found.

Galatians 2:11
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Romans 6:1,2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? …

1 John 3:8-10
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil…

is.

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Romans 15:8
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

2 Corinthians 3:7-9
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: …

God.

Romans 3:4,6
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged…







Lexicon
But
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

if,
Εἰ (Ei)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

while we seek
ζητοῦντες (zētountes)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 2212: To seek, search for, desire, require, demand. Of uncertain affinity; to seek; specially, to worship, or to plot.

to be justified
δικαιωθῆναι (dikaiōthēnai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Passive
Strong's Greek 1344: From dikaios; to render just or innocent.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

Christ,
Χριστῷ (Christō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

we ourselves
αὐτοὶ (autoi)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

are found to be
εὑρέθημεν (heurethēmen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 1st Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2147: A prolonged form of a primary heuro, which heureo is used for it in all the tenses except the present and imperfect to find.

sinners,
ἁμαρτωλοί (hamartōloi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 268: Sinning, sinful, depraved, detestable. From hamartano; sinful, i.e. A sinner.

does that make
ἆρα (ara)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 686: Then, therefore, since. Probably from airo; a particle denoting an inference more or less decisive.

Christ
Χριστὸς (Christos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

a minister
διάκονος (diakonos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1249: Probably from an obsolete diako; an attendant, i.e. a waiter; specially, a Christian teacher and pastor.

of sin?
ἁμαρτίας (hamartias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 266: From hamartano; a sin.

Absolutely not!
γένοιτο (genoito)
Verb - Aorist Optative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.
(17) We sought justification in Christ. But if, with all our seeking, something more was needed: viz., a rigid performance of the Law--that Law which we had abandoned--then there was still something wanting to our justification. We were sinners on a par with the Gentiles, and all that Christianity seemed to have done for us was to lead us deeper into sin. A profane thought!

By Christ.--Strictly, in Christ--i.e., by the relation into which we are brought with Him. The reference is here, however, not exactly to the mystical union with Christ, which is regarded by the Apostle rather in connection with sanctification (the actual growth in holiness) than with justification (the judicial absolution from guilt). In the present instance the Apostle is speaking of justification; and when he says that "we are justified in Christ," he means practically through faith in Him, or through that circle of forces within which we are brought by faith.

We ourselves also.--We who were by our birth Jews, as well as the Gentiles.

Are found.--Strictly, were found--i.e., at a time subsequent to our embracing Christianity, if the only result of our Christianity was that we were still sinners.

Sinners.--Sinners actually, through our positive transgressions, and sinners theoretically or judicially (in the eyes of God), through the fact that we have lost the old Jewish justification through the fulfilment of the Law; while, according to this Judaising theory which St. Paul is combating, our new Christian justification is insufficient.

Is therefore Christ the minister of sin?--Our English version is probably right in making this a question. It is put ironically, and as a sort of reductio ad absurdum of the Judaising position. The Judaisers maintained the necessity of a strict fulfilment of the Mosaic law. They, however, still called themselves Christians; and here St. Paul had a hold upon them. "You call yourselves Christians," he says, "and yet you insist upon the Mosaic law. You say that a man cannot be justified without it: it follows that we, who have exchanged the service of the Law for the service of Christ, are not justified. In other words, our relation to Christ has made us, not better, but worse--a thought which no Christian can entertain."

No doubt St. Paul used some such argument as this in his controversy with St. Peter at Antioch, but it would probably be stated in a simpler and less speculative form: "If you still fall back upon the separatist Jewish observances, what is the good of being a Christian?" Here, in writing to the Galatians, the Apostle paraphrases what he had said in language more suited to a theological treatise and to the natural speculative bias of his own mind.

God forbid.--The Judaising theory was quite sufficiently condemned by showing the consequences to which it would lead. It makes Christ Himself a minister of sin--a suggestion which the Apostle puts away with pious horror.

Verse 17. - But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ (εἰ δὲ ζητοῦντες δικαιωθῆναι ἐν Ξριστῷ); but if while seeking to be justified in Christ. The present participle, "while seeking," that is," while we sought," is referred back to the time indicated in the words, "we believed," of the preceding verse - the time, that is, when, made aware that works of the Law could not justify, they, Cephas and Paul, severally set themselves to find righteousness in Christ. At that time they in heart utterly renounced the notion that "works of the Law" had any effect upon a man's standing before God; they saw that his doing them could not make him righteous, as well as that his not doing them would not make him a sinner (see Matthew 15:10-20). This was an essential feature of their state of mind in seeking righteousness in Christ. They distinguished Levitical purity and pollution from spiritual and real. And the principle was not only embraced in their hearts, but, in course of time, it embodied itself also, as occasion served, in outward deed. They, both Paul and Cephas himself, were bold to "live after the manner of Gentiles" (ver. 14), and with Gentiles to freely associate. If this was wrong, it was most heinously wrong; for it would be nothing short of a presumptuous setting at nought of God's own Law by which they flagrantly proved themselves to be, in a fatal and damning sense, sinners. But it was by the gospel that they had been led to think thus and to act thus; in other words, by Christ himself. Would it not, then, follow that Christ was a minister to them, not of righteousness, but of sin, of damning guilt? The participle "seeking" does not merely mark the time at which they were found to be sinners, but also and indeed much more, the course of conduct by which they proved themselves such. The words, "in Christ," are not equivalent to "through Christ," though the former idea includes the latter; the preposition is used in the same sense as in the sentences, "In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1:1); "Of him are ye in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 1:30); "Sanctified in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 1:2). It denotes a state of intimate association, union, with Christ, involving justification by necessary consequence. Comp. Philippians 3:9, "That I may be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ." We ourselves also are found sinners (εὑρέθημεν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἁμάρτωλοι); we ourselves also were found sinners. The word "found" hints a certain measure of surprise (comp. Matthew 1:18; Acts 8:40; Romans 7:21; 2 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 12:20). Cephas was behaving now as if to his painful surprise he had found himself to have been previously acting m a most guilty manner. The word "sinners" appears to denote more than the state of ceremonial uncleanness incurred by violating the prescriptions of Levitical purity; indeed, it meant more even as used by thorough-going ceremonialists (as in ver. 15); it points to the gross outrage which would in the case supposed have been put upon the majesty of God's Law. In the next verse "transgressor" is used as a convertible term. "Ourselves also" - as truly as any Gentile of them all. There is a touch of sarcasm in the clause, having a covert reference to St. Peter having turned his back upon his Gentile brethren as unfit for him to associate with; he thereby was treating them as "sinners." Is therefore Christ the minister of sin? (α΅ρα Ξριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος;); is Christ a minister of sin? Αρα is found in the New Testament besides only in Luke 18:8 and Acts 8:30, in both which passages it simply propounds a question, without indicating whether the answer is expected to be negative or affirmative. So Soph., ' (Ed. T.,' α΅ρ ἔφυν κακός; α΅ρ οὐχὶ πᾶς ἄναγνος; The inference here is so shocking that the apostle is unwilling to put it forward except as a question that might fairly be asked upon such premisses. This gives the sentence a less repulsive tone than the reading, which without an interrogative puts it thus: Ἄρα Ξριστὸς ἁμαρτίας διάκονος. God forbid (μὴ γένοιτο). "Abhorred be the thought!" we both say; but (the apostle means his interlocutor to understand) since it cannot without horrid impiety be said that Christ was a minister to us of sin and not of righteousness, it follows of necessity that we did not sin against God when we set the works of the Law aside and sought righteousness in Christ alone without any respect had to them. The Greek phrase is one of several renderings which the Septuagint gives to the Hebrew word chali'lah, ad profana, which is frequently used interjectionally to relegate some thought to the category of what is utterly abhorrent and polluted. The Hebrew word is discussed fully in Gesenius's 'Thesaurus,' in verb. St. Paul uses the Greek phrase twice again in this Epistle (once absolutely, Galatians 3:21, and once inweaved in a sentence, Galatians 6:14); ten times absolutely in his Epistle to the Romans (3, 4, 6, etc.). It occurs also Luke 20:16. It is impossible to mend the vigorous rendering of our Authorized Version. 2:15-19 Paul, having thus shown he was not inferior to any apostle, not to Peter himself, speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the gospel. For what did we believe in Christ? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral law, as respects justification. To give the greater weight to this, it is added, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? This would be very dishonourable to Christ, and also very hurtful to them. By considering the law itself, he saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us. He did not hope or fear any thing from it; any more than a dead man from enemies. But the effect was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary, that he might live to God, and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. It is no new prejudice, though a most unjust one, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, tends to encourage people in sin. Not so, for to take occasion from free grace, or the doctrine of it, to live in sin, is to try to make Christ the minister of sin, at any thought of which all Christian hearts would shudder.
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Alphabetical: a Absolutely also are be becomes been But Christ does evident found have If in is it justified May mean minister never not of ourselves promotes seek seeking sin sinners that then to we while

NT Letters: Galatians 2:17 But if while we sought to be (Gal. Ga) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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