Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:4

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

Christ is become of no effect unto you - It is vain for you to attempt to unite the two systems. You must have the law and no Christ, or Christ and no law, for your justification.

Ye are fallen from grace - From the Gospel. They had been brought into the grace of the Gospel; and now, by readopting the Mosaic ordinances, they had apostatized from the Gospel as a system of religion, and had lost the grace communicated to their souls, by which they were preserved in a state of salvation. The peace and love of God, received by Jesus Christ, could not remain in the hearts of those who had rejected Christ. They had, therefore, in every sense of the word, fallen from grace; and whether some of them ever rose again is more than we can tell.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Christ is become of no effect unto you - You will derive no advantage from Christ. His work in regard to you is needless and vain. If you can be justified in any other way than by him, then of course you do not need him, and your adoption of the other mode is in fact a renunciation of him. Tyndale renders this: “Ye are gone quite from Christ.” The word here used ( καταργέω katargeō), means properly, to render inactive, idle, useless; to do away, to put an end to; and here it means that they had withdrawn from Christ, if they attempted to be justified by the Law. They would not need him if they could be thus justified; and they could derive no benefit from him. A man who can be justified by his own obedience, does not need the aid or the merit of another; and if it was true, as they seemed to suppose, that they could be justified by the Law, it followed that the work of Christ was in vain so far as they were concerned.

Whosoever of you are justified by the law - On the supposition that any of you are justified by the Law; or if, as you seem to suppose, any are justified by the Law. The apostle does not say that this had in fact ever occurred; but he merely makes a supposition. If such a thing should or could occur, it would follow that you had fallen from grace.

Ye are fallen from grace - That is, this would amount to apostasy from the religion of the Redeemer, and would be in fact a rejection of the grace of the gospel. That this had ever in fact occurred among true Christians the apostle does not affirm unless he affirmed that people can in fact be justified by the Law, since he makes the falling from grace a consequence of that. But did Paul mean to teach that? Did he mean to affirm that any man in fact had been, or could be justified by his own obedience to the Law? Let his own writings answer; see, especially, Romans 3:20. But unless he held that, then this passage does not prove that anyone who has ever been a true Christian has fallen away. The fair interpretation of the passage does not demand that. Its simple and obvious meaning is, that if a man who has been a professed Christian should be justified by his own conformity to the Law, and adopt that mode of justification, then that would amount to a rejection of the mode of salvation by Christ, and would be a renouncing of the plan of justification by grace. The two systems cannot be united. The adoption of the one is, in fact, a rejection of the other. Christ will be “a whole Saviour,” or none. This passage, therefore. cannot be adduced to prove that any true Christian has in fact fallen away from grace, unless it proves also that man may be justified by the deeds of the Law, contrary to the repeated declarations of Paul himself. The word “grace” here, does not mean grace in the sense of personal religion, it means the “system” of salvation by grace, in contradistinction from that by merit or by works - the system of the gospel.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:4

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are Justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Is Christ preached “of no effect”

I think, the sum and substance of my text amounts simply to this: that the attempt to add anything to Christ’s perfect work in the salvation of a ruined sinner, is an entire rejection of Christ, and makes the man an infidel.

I. First of all, let us look a little to the effect. Now what effect has been produced upon your hearts by the preaching of the gospel? I will tell you three effects produced upon the hearts of many. In the first place, the preaching of Christ has produced the effect of pardon sealed upon the conscience--but not where justification is looked for from the law; in the second place, where Christ is preached and embraced by faith, reconciliation to all God’s method of saving sinners, and to all God’s dispensations, is wrought in the heart; and thirdly, the effect--and the prime effect--included in the covenant of grace, and registered in heaven to be carried into execution, is a vital oneness of soul with Jesus.

II. A few words now respecting the apostasy. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are” seeking to be “justified by the law.” I pray you, mark what an awful extent of apostasy this one short sentence proves: that all those, who are cherishing vain hopes of justification before God, in whole or in part, from anything that the creature does, or anything proposed to the creature, have “no effect” from Christ; they are rejecting Christ. I would have you think seriously upon this. You know, we do not now dwell upon the term,, circumcision,” nor yet the keeping of the ceremonial law: only we insist, that these are phrases, which set forth the folly and rebellion of attempting to put anything of the creature along with the perfect work of Christ. One single condition, if it be but an act of obedience, if it be but a word, “if it be but a thought--one single condition or contingency left with man, seals his damnation for ever. If the preaching of the Word of God does not give man a salvation without a contingency, it gives him none at all.

III. A word or two now, relative to the apostle’s testimony against this apostasy. Ah! I fear there are many such professors in these days; who receive the doctrines of grace as a whole in theory, but by and by abandon them for the first theory that seems more pleasing to their fleshly natures. “Fallen from grace” marks, then, a rejection of the doctrine once embraced or received--the doctrine once admitted to be correct. I think there is another class that might be included in this; and that is, the great class who hold the doctrines of grace while living in habits of sin. (J. Irons, D. D.)

Although the law cannot justify, it has a value

Money doth not justify, is it therefore unprofitable? The eyes do not justify, must they therefore be plucked out? The hands make not a man righteous, must they therefore be cut off? We must attribute to everything its proper effect and use. If the law doth not justify we have no right to condemn or destroy it; it is good, as St. Paul tells us, if a man do rightly use it; that is to say, if he use the law as law. (Luther.)

Falling from grace

If Satan cannot hinder the birth of graces, then he labours to be the death of graces. This is too ordinary, to see a Christian lose his first love, and to fall from his first works. This love that was formerly an ascending flame, always sparkling up to heaven, is now, like a little spark, almost suffocated with the earth. The godly sorrow that was once a swelling torrent, like Jordan overflowing his banks, is now like Job’s summer brook, which makes the traveller ashamed. His proceedings against sin, once furious, like the march of Jehu against Ahab; but now, like Samson, he can sleep in Delilah’s lap while she steals away his strength. Before, he could not give rest to his eyes till God had given rest to his soul; but now he can lie down with sin in his bosom, and wounds in his conscience. At first, his zeal did eat him up; but now his decayings have omen up his zeal. (Foster.)

Falling away

As leaves fall from the trees, so the grace of God decay, and drop away, in the wicked, one after another, as if there was a consumption. (Cawdray.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:4". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Ye are severed from Christ, ye that would be justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Howard observed that "This, in capsule form, is his contention throughout the entire argument. All the other points climax in this."[3] Of course, this is true; and the allegation that Paul was, in these chapters, displaying a brand new conception of being saved "by faith only" is absolutely foreign to the entire Galatian letter, and the whole New Testament.

The present tense in this verse must be read as indicating that some of the Galatians had actually defected from Christianity in the manner indicated, with the result that they had "fallen from grace." Apparently, Paul was no Calvinist.

ENDNOTE:

[3] R. E. Howard, op. cit., p. 83.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/galatians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Christ is become of no effect unto you,.... Or "ye are abolished from Christ"; or as others by an "hypallage" read the words, "Christ is abolished unto you"; for by their seeking for justification by their own works, it was all one to them as if there was no Christ, and no righteousness in him, and no salvation by him; they had nothing to do with him, nor he with them:

whosoever of you are justified by the law; that is, who sought to be justified by their obedience to the law, or who thought they were, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous; for otherwise, by the deeds of the law, no flesh living can be justified:

ye are fallen from grace; that is, either from that grace which they professed to have; for there might be some in these churches, as in others, who were only nominal Christians, and formal professors; who had declared they saw themselves lost and undone sinners, destitute of a righteousness, and professed to believe in Christ alone for righteousness and strength, but now trusted in themselves, and in the works of the law: or from the scheme of grace in the whole of man's salvation, which will admit of no mixture of works; either it is one or the other, it cannot be both; wherefore by their taking on the side of works, they showed that they had entirely dropped the scheme of grace: or else from the Gospel of the grace of God, from whence they were removed, through the influence of false teachers; particularly the doctrine of free justification by the grace of God, through the righteousness of Christ; which was entirely set aside by their seeking to be instilled by the works of the law; and from this they might be said to be fallen, who were on such a bottom.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Christ is b become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are c justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

(b) That is, as he himself expounds it afterward, "ye are fallen from grace."

(c) That is, seek to be justified by the Law, for indeed no man is justified by the Law.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Literally, “Ye have become void from Christ,” that is, your connection with Christ has become void (Galatians 5:2). Romans 7:2, “Loosed from the law,” where the same Greek occurs as here.

whosoever of you are justified — “are being justified,” that is, are endeavoring to be justified.

by the lawGreek, “IN the law,” as the element in which justification is to take place.

fallen from grace — Ye no longer “stand” in grace (Romans 5:2). Grace and legal righteousness cannot co-exist (Romans 4:4, Romans 4:5; Romans 11:6). Christ, by circumcision (Luke 2:21), undertook to obey all the law, and fulfil all righteousness for us: any, therefore, that now seeks to fulfil the law for himself in any degree for justifying righteousness, severs himself from the grace which flows from Christ‘s fulfillment of it, and becomes “a debtor to do the whole law” (Galatians 5:3). The decree of the Jerusalem council had said nothing so strong as this; it had merely decided that Gentile Christians were not bound to legal observances. But the Galatians, while not pretending to be so bound, imagined there was an efficacy in them to merit a higher degree of perfection (Galatians 3:3). This accounts for Paul not referring to the decree at all. He took much higher ground. See Paley‘s Horae Paulinae. The natural mind loves outward fetters, and is apt to forge them for itself, to stand in lieu of holiness of heart.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Paul in this verse discloses that he is not speaking so much of circumcision as the trust which men repose in the outward act. We can hear him say: "I do not condemn the Law in itself; what I condemn is that men seek to be justified by the Law, as if Christ were still to come, or as if He alone were unable to justify sinners. It is this that I condemn, because it makes Christ of no effect. It makes you void of Christ so that Christ is not in you, nor can you be partakers of the knowledge, the spirit, the fellowship, the liberty, the life, or the achievements of Christ. You are completely separated from Him, so much so that He has nothing to do with you any more, or for that matter you with Him." Can anything worse be said against the Law? If you think Christ and the Law can dwell together in your heart, you may be sure that Christ dwells not in your heart. For if Christ is in your heart He neither condemns you, nor does He ever bid you to trust in your own good works. If you know Christ at all, you know that good works do not serve unto righteousness, nor evil works unto condemnation. I do not want to withhold from good works their due praise, nor do I wish to encourage evil works. But when it comes to justification, I say, we must concentrate upon Christ alone, or else we make Him non-effective. You must choose between Christ and the righteousness of the Law. If you choose Christ you are righteous before God. If you stick to the Law, Christ is of no use to you.

Ye are fallen from grace.
That means you are no longer in the kingdom or condition of grace. When a person on board ship falls into the sea and is drowned it makes no difference from which end or side of the ship he falls into the water. Those who fall from grace perish no matter how they go about it. Those who seek to be justified by the Law are fallen from grace and are in grave danger of eternal death. If this holds true in the case of those who seek to be justified by the moral Law, what will become of those, I should like to know, who endeavor to be justified by their own regulations and vows? They will fall to the very bottom of hell. "Oh, no," they say, "we will fly straight into heaven. If you live according to the rules of Saint Francis, Saint Dominick, Saint Benedict, you will obtain the peace and mercy of God. If you perform the vows of chastity, obedience, etc., you will be rewarded with everlasting life." Let these playthings of the devil go to the place where they came from and listen to what Paul has to say in this verse in accordance with Christ's own teaching: "He that believeth in the Son of God, hath everlasting life; but he that believeth not in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth in him."

The words, "Ye are fallen from grace," must not be taken lightly. They are important. To fall from grace means to lose the atonement, the forgiveness of sins, the righteousness, liberty, and life which Jesus has merited for us by His death and resurrection. To lose the grace of God means to gain the wrath and judgment of God, death, the bondage of the devil, and everlasting condemnation.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website
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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/galatians-5.html. Zondervan. Gand Rapids, MI. 1939.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Ye are severed from Christ (κατηργητητε απο Χριστουkatērgēthēte apo Christou). First aorist passive of καταργεωkatargeō to make null and void as in Romans 7:2, Romans 7:6.

Who would be justified by the law (οιτινες εν νομωι δικαιουστεhoitines en nomōi dikaiousthe). Present passive conative indicative, “ye who are trying to be justified in the law.”

Ye are fallen away from grace (της χαριτος εχεπεσατεtēs charitos exepesate). Second aorist active indicative of εκπιπτωekpiptō (with αa variable vowel of the first aorist) and followed by the ablative case. “Ye did fall out of grace,” “ye left the sphere of grace in Christ and took your stand in the sphere of law” as your hope of salvation. Paul does not mince words and carries the logic to the end of the course. He is not, of course, speaking of occasional sins, but he has in mind a far more serious matter, that of substituting law for Christ as the agent in salvation.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/galatians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Christ is become of no effect unto you ( κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ Χριστοῦ )

Incorrect. Lit. ye were brought to nought from Christ. Comp. Romans 7:2, Romans 7:6. Your union with Christ is dissolved. The statement is compressed and requires to be filled out. “Ye were brought to nought and so separated from Christ.” For similar instances see Romans 9:3; Romans 11:3. The ἀπὸ fromproperly belongs to the supplied verb of separation. For the verb καταργεῖν see on Romans 3:3.

Ye are fallen from grace ( τῆς χἁριτος ἐξεπέσατε )

For a similar phrase see 2 Peter 3:17. Having put yourselves under the economy of salvation by law, you have fallen out of the economy of salvation by the grace of Christ. Paul's declarations are aimed at the Judaisers, who taught that the Christian economy was to be joined with the legal. His point is that the two are mutually exclusive. Comp. Romans 4:4, Romans 4:5, Romans 4:14, Romans 4:16. The verb ἐκπίπτειν tofall out, in the literal sense, Acts 12:7; James 1:11. In Class. of seamen thrown ashore, banishment, deprivation of an office, degeneration, of actors being hissed off the stage.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/galatians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Therefore Christ is become of no effect to you - Who seek to be justified by the law. Ye are fallen from grace - Ye renounce the new covenant. Ye disclaim the benefit of this gracious dispensation.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/galatians-5.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Ye are fallen from grace; you give up all right to expect or hope for favor or mercy.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/galatians-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Остались без Христа. Смысл таков: если вы ищете часть праведности в делах закона, Христос для вас – ничто, и вы отчуждены от Его благодати. Ведь галаты не настолько оглупели, чтобы думать, будто оправдываются они одним только соблюдением закона. Они лишь смешивали Христа с законом. Иначе напрасно бы Павел пугал их своими угрозами. Что вы делаете? Вы сделали Христа полностью бесполезным, вы в ничто ставите Его благодать. Итак, мы видим, что даже малую часть праведности нельзя искать в законе без того, чтобы одновременно не отречься от Христа и Его благодати.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

no effect

grace

no effect i.e. of no experimental effect: the sense of liberty is lost. Galatians 2:21; Colossians 1:23.

grace Grace (in salvation). Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24. (See Scofield "Galatians 1:6"), See Scofield "John 1:17".

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Galatians 5:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/galatians-5.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Ver. 4. Christ is become of none effect] Woe then to popish merit mongers. William Wickham, founder of New College, though he did many good works, yet he professed he trusted to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. So did Charles V, emperor of Germany. So did many of our forefathers in times of Popery. (Parei Hist. Profan. medul. Dr Ussher on Ephesians 4:13)

Ye are fallen from grace] It cannot hence be concluded that the apostle speaks conditionally, and it may be understood of the true doctrine of God’s free grace.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here another argument is used, to show that believers are dead to the ceremonial law, and are by no means to expect justification by it: Whosoever of you says the apostle is justified by the law, that is, whosoever seeks and endeavours to be so justified, (for in reality none can in that manner be justified,) Christ is become of no effect unto such persons; that is, they renounce Christ, and disdain benefit by his death. And they are fallen from grace; that is, fallen from Christianity, and the covenant of grace; they have forfeited the grace of the gospel, by cleaving to the ceremonial law, they are fallen from the doctrine of grace delivered in the gospel, and Christ is become of no effect unto them.

Learn from hence, That such persons as do believe that faith in Christ alone is not sufficient to justification and acceptance with God, without the observation of the abrogated law, do in effect disown their relation to Christ, and disclaim all benefit by his death: Christ is become of none effect, &c.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

4.] Explains and establishes still further the assertion of Galatians 5:2.

Ye were annihilated from Christ (literally: the construction is a pregnant one, ‘ye were cut off from Christ, and thus made void:’ see ref. 2 Cor. ‘were,’ viz. at the time when you began your course of ἐν νόμῳ δικ.), ye who are being justified (‘endeavouring to be justified,’ ‘seeking justification:’ such is the force of the subjective present. So Thl. ὡς ὑπολαμβάνετε) in (not ‘by:’ it is the element in which, as in the expression ἐν κυρίῳ) the law,—ye fell from (reff.: see 1 Corinthians 13:8, note. Wetst. quotes from Plut., Agis and Cleom. p. 796, τῶν πλείστων ἐξέπεσεν ἡ σπάρτη καλῶν: Gracch. p. 834, ἐκπεσεῖν κ. στέρεσθαι τῆς πρὸς τὸν δῆμον εὐνοίας. ‘So Plato, Rep. vi. 496, ἐκπεσεῖν φιλοσοφίας: Polyb. xii. 14. 7, ἐκπίπτειν τοῦ καθήκοντος,’ Ellic.) grace.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/galatians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:4. But whosoever is justified through the law—a way of justification which necessarily follows from the already mentioned obligation—is separated from Christ, etc. A complete explanation is thus given as to the χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει. Asyndetic (without δέ), and reverting to the second person, the language of Paul is the more emphatic and vivid.

κατηργήθητε] In the first clause the stress is laid upon the dread separation which has befallen them, in the second on the benefit thereby lost,—a striking alternation of emphasis. The pregnant expression, καταργεῖσθαι ἀπό τινος (comp. Romans 9:3; 2 Corinthians 11:3; see generally, Fritzsche ad Rom. II. p. 250), is to be resolved into καταργεῖσθαι καὶ χωρίζεσθαι ἀπό τινος, that is, to come to nothing in regard to the relation hitherto subsisting with any one, so that we are parted from him. Just the same in Romans 7:2; Romans 7:6. Hence the sense is: your connection with Christ is annulled, cancelled; ἀπεκόπητε, Oecumenius. Justification by the law and justification for Christ’s sake are in truth opposita (works—faith), so that the one excludes the other.

οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε] ye who are being justified through the law. The directly assertive and present δικαιοῦσθε is said from the mental standpoint of the subjects concerned, in whose view of the matter the way of salvation is this: “through the law, with which our conduct agrees (comp. Galatians 3:11), we become just before God.” Hence the concrete statement is not to be weakened either by taking δικαιοῦσθαι in the sense of ζητεῖν δικαιοῦσθαι, Galatians 2:17 (Rückert, Baumgarten-Crusius, and earlier expositors), or by attributing a hypothetical sense to οἵτινες (Hofmann, who erroneously compares Thuc. v. 16. 1). Whomsoever Paul hits with his οἵτινες κ. τ. λ., he also means.

τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε] that is, ye have forfeited the relation of being objects of divine grace. The opposite: ὑπὸ χάριν εἶναι (Romans 6:14), to which divine grace faith has led (Romans 5:2). On the figurative ἐκπίπτειν, comp. 2 Peter 3:17; Plut. Gracch. 21: ἐκπεσεῖν καὶ στερεσθαι τῆς πρὸς τὸν δῆμον εὐνοίας, Polyb. xii. 14. 7; Lucian, Cont. 14; Sirach 31:4. Whoever becomes righteous by obedience to the law, becomes se no longer by the grace of God ( δωρεάν, Romans 3:24), but by works according to desert (Romans 4:11; Romans 4:16; Romans 11:6); so that thus his relation of grace towards God (which is capable of being lost) has ceased.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:4. κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ [Engl. Vers. Christ is become of no effect]) Your connection with Christ is made void: so the Vulgate.(45) One might be inclined to say in German, ohne werden, “to become without.” Comp. Galatians 5:2; Romans 7:2; Romans 7:6.— δικαιοῦσθε, are justified) Seek righteousness. In the middle voice.— τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε, ye have fallen from grace) Comp. Galatians 5:3. You have fallen from the New Testament, in all the wide comprehension of that expression. It is we that are and stand in grace, rather than grace is in us; comp. Romans 5:2.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/galatians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

The word here translated become of no effect, is used Romans 3:3. By those who

are justified by the law, are to be understood such as seek or desire to be justified by the law, for actually none is so justified. The sense is: Whoever seeketh to be justified by the works of the law, he disclaimeth the righteousness of Christ; to him Christ’s death signifieth nothing, nor is of any virtue at all. For he had told us before, Galatians 2:21: If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain: and Romans 8:3,4: What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, & c. The very end of Christ’s coming and dying was to supply us with a righteousness, which (apprehended by faith) should be reckoned to us as ours, wherein we might stand before God. Which end of Christ’s death had been frustrated, if, through our flesh, there had not been such a weakness or impotency in the law as to justification. So as if any still looked for justification by performance of the law, as such made the death of Christ in vain, because if such a thing could have been done that way there had been no need of Christ’s dying; so they also made it, which was not in vain in itself, yet in vain and of no effect to their souls, because Christ would not be a partial cause in the justification of a soul.

Ye are fallen from grace; and they, by this, renounced the grace of God exhibited in the gospel, and fell from the grace of it. For by grace here is not to be understood a state of grace, (from which none can fall totally and finally), but the grace of the gospel; by which is signified the free love of God in it exhibited, offering Christ to sinners for righteousness.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/galatians-5.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

оправдывающие себя См. пояснения к 2:16; Рим. 3:24.

остались без Христа, отпали от благодати Слово, переведенное с греч. как «остались», означает «отделились», а переведенное как «отпали» означает «потеряли то, за что держались руками». Павел ясно говорит о том, что любая попытка оправдаться законом является отвержением спасения только по благодати и только через веру. Те, кто однажды познали благословенную истину Евангелия, а затем отвернулись от Христа (Евр. 6:4-6) и ищут оправдания законом, отделяются от Христа и теряют всякую перспективу на спасение Божьей благодатью. Их уход от Христа и Евангелия лишь подтверждает, что их вера не была истинной (ср. Лк. 8:13, 14; 1Ин. 2:19).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Justified by the law; are depending upon the law for justification.

Fallen from grace; have renounced God’s gracious mode of justification through faith in Christ.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/galatians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Galatians 5:4. κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ, οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε—“Ye were done away from Christ, whoever of you are being justified by law.” The article τοῦ is doubtful. It is omitted in B, C, D1, F, א, and by Lachmann; but it is found in A, D3, K, L, and almost all MSS., and it is inserted by Tischendorf. The first verb denotes the dissolution of all connection between them and Christ. It is not common in classic Greek, or even in the Septuagint where it occurs only four times; but it is one of the compound verbs often used by the apostle, and is here followed by ἀπό. Romans 7:2; Romans 7:6. Fritzsche suggests that it is a structura praegnans- καταργεῖσθαι καὶ χωρίζεσθαι ἀπό, Ad Romans 7:2, vol. ii. pp. 8, 9; Winer, § 66, 2; Poppo's Thucydides, 1.1, 292. The tense of the verb points to a previous time, the time when they began their course of defection-then they were done away from Christ. The sentence is an asyndeton, or without any connecting particle, and the syntax is changed to the second person-a sudden and striking application of the previous verse-as if reverting to the ὑμῖν and ὑμᾶς of the second verse. He had said, Christ shall profit you nothing; and he explains the reason: Ye were done away from Christ, for He profits only those who are in union with Him. The branch cut off from the living trunk soon withers and dies. The emphasis is on the verb beginning the sentence (OEcumenius), on the perilous state described by it; and, that there may be no mistake, he adds with special point-

οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε—“whoever of you are justified by the law,” or “as being persons who.” The compound οἵτινες points them out as a class-quippe qui. The ἐν is not distinctly instrumental, but as usual indicates the sphere, though it may be what Donaldson calls instrumental adjunct, § 476. The law is regarded as that within which the supposed justification takes place, or, in another aspect, it is supposed to be the means of it. The present δικαιοῦσθε is what is called the subjective present-justified in their own feeling or opinion, ὡς ὑπολαμβάνετε (Theophylact). Schmalfeld, p. 91. De Wette and Windischmann give it the sense of justified in your idea and intention; “who seek to be justified,” Rückert and Baumgarten; and Bagge puts it still more remotely, “who think that ye are to be, and so seek to be justified.” But it is not the seeking of justification, but the dream of having it, that the apostle describes. When in their heart they thought themselves justified in the sphere of law, they became nullified from Christ; yea, he adds, τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε—“from grace ye fell away.” ᾿εξεπέσατε is the Alexandrian mode of spelling for ἐξεπέσετε. Lobeck, Phryn. p. 724; Winer, 13, 1. With the genitive it signifies tropically “to fall off” or “away from.” 2 Peter 3:17; Sirach 34:7; Ast, Lexicon Platon. sub voce. χάρις is not here the subjective influence of grace, but is in opposition to ἐν νόμῳ. The contrast is implied in Romans 5:2. Compare 2 Peter 3:17. Law and grace are in direct antagonism. Justification by the one is of debt, by the other is of favour. The justified person works out his acceptance in the one case; he simply receives it in the other. If a man then imagines that he is justified by law, he has renounced grace as the principle of justification. He who is circumcised comes under pledge to obey the whole law; but obedience to law is wholly different in nature and operation from faith in Christ, so that he who looks to law renounces connection with Christ. Christ's method of justification is wholly of grace, and those who rely on law and merit are in opposition to grace-are fallen out of it. The clause has really no bearing on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, or on their possible apostasy. See, however, Wesselius in loc.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:4. Ye are out off from Christ all ye who are being (or, would be) justified by (the) law; ye are fallen away from grace. ‘Ye are cut off from Christ,’ completely separated from Him. The Greek verb means to be annulled, to be done away with. Your union with Christ was dissolved and came to nothing in the moment when you sought your justification in the law. ‘Ye are fallen away from grace,’ not totally and finally (in which case the warning; would be useless), but for the time being. Looking to God’s promise and faithfulness, our salvation is sure; looking to our weakness and temptations, all is doubtful, unless we watch and pray without ceasing.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/galatians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Galatians 5:4. . This verb is applied with comprehensive force to any destruction of growth and life, physical or spiritual, beneficial or deleterious. Joined with it denotes the loss of some essential element of life by the severance of previous intimate relations, e.g., annulment by death of a wife’s obligations to her husband (Romans 7:2), and emancipation from the control of the Law by spiritual death (Romans 7:6). Here, in like manner, it denotes the paralysis of spiritual life by severance of union with Christ. This paralysis produces a deadening effect on the whole spiritual nature, and results in the continuous craving for legal justification which is expressed by .— . As the quasi-passive verb corresponds to the active verb , this aorist corresponds to in Galatians 4:30; so that the combination of with contains a special allusion to the doom of Ishmael, who suffered the loss of his inheritance at the same time that he was cast out from his father’s house. Disloyal children of God, who prefer bondage to filial freedom, have by their own act forfeited the birthright of sons, and been cast out from His favour and blessing.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

you think that justice cannot be obtained but under the law, you make a renunciation of the justice of Christ: his mediation becomes of no avail to you. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/galatians-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Christ is, &c. Literally Ye were severed (Greek. katargeo See Ltke Galatians 13:7) from (Greek. apo) Christ (Galatians 5:1).

justified. Greek. dikaioo. App-191.

by = in. Greek. en. App-104.

the = Omit.

fallen = fallen off.

grace. Greek. charis, App-184.,

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/galatians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

[ Kateergeetheete (Greek #2673) apo (Greek #575)] (a word frequent in Paul's letters: only in his companion's gospel (Luke 13:7) besides in the New Testament. Its presence, Hebrews 2:14, supports Paul's authorship). 'Ye became void from Christ' - i:e., your connection with Christ became void (Galatians 5:2). Romans 7:2, the same Greek.

Whosoever of you are justified - `are being justified;' i:e., are thinking to be justified.

By the law - Greek, 'IN the law,' as the element in which justification takes place.

Fallen (Aorist, ye fell, the moment ye sought justification by legalism) from grace - ye no longer 'stood' in it (Romans 5:2). Grace and legal righteousness cannot co exist (Romans 4:4-5; Romans 11:6). Christ, by circumcision (Luke 2:21), undertook to obey all the law, and fulfill all righteousness for us; any, therefore, that now seeks to fulfill it for himself in any degree for justifying righteousness, severs himself from the grace which flows from Christ's fulfillment, and becomes "a debtor to do the whole law" (Galatians 5:3). The decree of the Jerusalem council said nothing so strong as this: it merely decided that Gentile Christians were not bound to legal observances. But the Galatians, while not pretending to be so bound, imagined there was an efficacy in them to merit a higher degree of perfection (Galatians 3:3). This accounts for Paul not referring to the decree. He took higher ground. The natural mind loves outward fetters, and is apt to forge them for itself, to stand in lieu of holiness of heart.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Christ is become of no effect unto you.—Literally, Ye were (or, more idiomatically, are) abolished, made nothing, from Christ; a condensed form of expression for, Ye are made nothing (unchristianised), and cut off from Christ. Your relations to Christ are cancelled, and you are Christians no longer.

Are justified.—Strictly, seek to be justified.

Ye are fallen from grace.—The Christian is justified by an act of grace, or free, unearned favour, on the part of God. He who seeks for justification in any other way loses this grace. Grace is not here a state or disposition in the believer, but a divine act or relation.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
is
2; 2:21; Romans 9:31,32; 10:3-5
justified
Romans 3:20; 4:4,5
ye
1:6-9; Romans 11:6; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:38,39; 12:15; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 3:17,18; Revelation 2:5
Reciprocal: Acts 13:43 - the grace;  Acts 15:24 - that certain;  Romans 2:13 - justified;  Romans 4:14 - For if;  Romans 5:1 - being;  2 Corinthians 3:9 - the ministration of righteousness;  Galatians 2:16 - that;  Galatians 3:3 - having;  Galatians 3:17 - none;  1 Timothy 1:7 - to;  1 Timothy 1:19 - concerning;  2 Timothy 1:10 - abolished

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Now, here we have a serious statement of fact from Paul, not that the person is lost, but that they have chosen to follow one of two paths toward salvation. One is the law which cannot save and the other is grace which will definitely save. If they have chosen to follow the law, they have chosen not to follow grace where they once stood. They have turned from or fallen from grace to follow the law.

Christ and grace cannot assist them in their desire to be justified by following the law. This is contrasted in the next verse with those believers that follow grace toward eternal salvation.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Christ’ of no effect—Literal Greek, Ye are abolished from Christ; a very energetic phrase. It states in very strong language the fact, that, however true their previous Christian faith and character, the act of circumcision, as required by the Judaists, involved a complete apostasy, and loss of both justification and regeneration.

Fallen from grace—There is no grace from Christ for you, and you are under the law and complete condemnation.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

4. Have cut yourselves off from Christ. “By trying to be put right with God through The Law, you have in fact RENOUNCED Christ!!! Therefore you are outside God’s GRACE and cannot expect to receive the PROMISE which comes through Christ-on-the-cross!!!”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4.Christ has become of no effect unto you. “If ye seek any part of righteousness in the works of the law, Christ has no concern with you, and ye are fallen from grace. ” They were not so grossly mistaken as to believe that by the observance of the law alone they were justified, but attempted to mix Christ with the law. In any other point of view, Paul’s threatenings would have utterly failed to produce alarm. “What are you doing? You deprive yourselves of every advantage from Christ, and treat his grace as if it were of no value whatever.” We see then that the smallest part of justification cannot be attributed to the law without renouncing Christ and his grace.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.