Wednesday, 2 February 2016
…to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:5
This doxology, which is affixed to his greeting and blessing, is unique to Paul’s epistles and it shows us what is on his mind. He is affixing it here for a specific reason. It is a continued rebuke to the Galatians for their having departed from the truth of the gospel. In Romans 1, he uses a similar line of thought in connection with the negative comments on those who pervert the natural order of things from the truth of God’s revelation –
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:24, 25
The words which precede this thought were, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” This is the revelation of God to us in all spiritual matters; that Jesus Christ came to give Himself for our sins. Because of this, Paul says, “…to whom be glory.”
There is an article in the Greek before “glory.” Therefore, some scholars say it should read, “…to whom be the glory.” However, the Pulpit Commentary takes it a step further and says, “When the article is added it marks the noun as expressing its notion viewed absolutely, in its entirety or universality: q.d. ‘Whatever glory is to be ascribed anywhere, be it ascribed to him.’ Thus ἡ δόξα is equivalent to ‘all glory.'”
This then is a refutation of the Judaizers who have come in and attempted to reintroduce the law as a requirement for salvation. If this is so, then Christ’s fulfilling of the law on our behalf was insufficient to save. Thus, He is not to be ascribed “all glory.” Instead, some of the glory belongs to us because we must participate in our salvation. This is refuted by Paul. To God, and to Him alone, belongs the glory.
David understood this when he wrote these words –
“Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
And You are exalted as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:10, 11
And this glory, which belongs to God alone, is forever and ever. The Greek is literally, “unto the ages of ages.” It is a Hebraism which denotes an infinite amount of time and which is indefinitely multiplied. There is no end to the glory of God. To solidify this, he ends with “Amen,” or “so be it.” Paul is adamant that there is no participation by us in our salvation. It is a work of God alone and we can only ascribe to Him that glory… forever.
Life application: If you believe that you must adhere to any point in the law in order to be saved, or to keep being saved, you have been misled. If you teach this point to another, you become a heretic. Don’t be a heretic. Teach the truth of God in Christ. He is the fulfillment of the law and only through His work can we be saved.
Lord God, You have shown in Your word that it is heresy to believe that the work of Jesus Christ is somehow deficient and that we must adhere to works of the law, annulled by Christ, in order to be saved. Help us to understand and then apply to our lives the truth that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. In Him, it is finished. Amen.