Lesson Six - Galatians Ch. 2 Part 3
Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians
Dr. Rod Rosenbladt
Chapter 2 Part 3
1. Vs. 18 But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.
A. Paul: I have not preached in such a way that I would rebuild what has been destroyed.”
1. would then be doing what the false apostles are teaching (changing the Law & Moses into grace & Christ)
2. what I have preached: that conscience is liable to the Law, sin & death but Gospel preaches forgiveness of sins through Christ (who has abrogated the Law & destroyed sin & death).
3. “Thus by the preaching of the Gospel, I have destroyed the Law, lest it continue to rule in the conscience.” (AE 26: 152)
2. Vs. 19 For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God.
A. is amazing language, unheard of speech which human reason simply cannot understand
B. is indignant language on Paul’s part, spoken emphatically, with fervor
C. “Why do you din so much about the Law to me? But if there must be a Law, I have one of my own!”
1. calls grace itself “Law!” (as an expression of contempt for Law of Moses & for the false apostles)
2. Luther: “This is most delicious language.”
3. Paul opposing the Law to the Law, “. . . through the Law I died to the Law . . .”
D. as if Paul saying, “Law of Moses accuses & damns me; but against that Law I have another
Law (which is grace & freedom)”
1. Paul is here the most heretical of heretics (AE 26: 156-157)
2. “. . . having died to the Law, I live to God”
3. vs. false apostles, fanatics of Luther’s day: “Unless you live to the Law, to God you are dead.”
4. (Paul not speaking here of just the “Ceremonial Law,” but of the entire Law)
5. Let anyone who wants to be alive in the sight of God strive to be found outside the Law; let him come out of the grave with Christ. (AE 26: 157)
3. Vs. 20 That I might live to God.
A. that is, “that I might be alive in the sight of God”
B. 20 I have been crucified with Christ.
1. Paul: The Law is the devourer of the Law.
2. Christ, the Lord of the Law, has been crucified & has died to the Law.
3. Law has lost all its jurisdiction over me, as it lost it over Christ
C. Paul is not here speaking of “imitating the example of Christ” (1 Pet. 2:21?)
1. Paul speaking about that sublime crucifixion by which sin, the devil, and death are crucified in Christ – not in me. Here Christ does everything alone.
2. But I as a believer, am crucified with Christ through faith, so that all these things are dead to me as well.
D. 20 “Nevertheless I live.”
1. Paul here speaks of delivery from the law.
2. We live eternally.
3. Luther notes the comfort of this verse (that we live because of Christ’s crucifixion and His power over death).