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The Cross 5: Law (2: 15 - 4: 12) The Structure.
pp. 229, 230
We have now considered the double affirmation of the apostle, as found in
Gal. 1: - 2: 14. The first affirmation being the threefold use of "not . . . neither . . . but"
in Gal. 1:, whereby the apostle set forth his independent apostleship, gospel and
commission. The second affirmation is set out in Gal. 2: 1-14, where the apostle proves
by reference to Peter, James and John that this threefold independence was acknowledged
by the apostles at Jerusalem. The remainder of Gal. 2: 15-21 is a record of Paul's
personal affirmation regarding the truth of the Gospel.
On page six will be found the structure of the epistle as a whole, and Gal. 2: 15-4: 12
is set out under the title "CROSS 5: LAW", which finds a corresponding member in
Gal. 6: 11-16 "CROSS 5: WORLD".
The section, Gal. 2: 15 - 4: 12 is a lengthy one, and its teaching is condensed yet
full. To attempt a meticulous display of the structure would defeat our object both by its
length and its prolixity, for we have learned that a structure that exceeds one page of print
is too unwieldy for general use.
We have therefore indicated the great steps that the argument takes, and in one
instance, to avoid much sub-division, we have allowed a telescoping of parts in
chapter 3: 15-21, which however can be rectified when these parts are set out in fuller
detail later. The structure opens and closes with a threefold argument, using the words
"by nature" first of the Jews, and then of the so-called heathen gods. Peter's defection,
"building again the things which he destroyed", is seen to be the same in spirit as the
"turning back again to the weak and beggarly element" by the Galatians. The
problematical exhortation of Gal. 4: 12, "Be as I am; for I am as ye are", becomes
luminous in the light of the corresponding member "I am dead to the law". For the rest
of the structure the words put into prominence, indicate the trend of the argument.
Atheteo comes twice "I do not frustrate the grace of God" (Gal. 2: 21); and "no man
disannulleth" (Gal. 3: 15). In two passages the Scriptures are personified.
"The scripture, foreseeing . . . . . preached before" (3: 8) and "The scripture hath
concluded all under sin" (3: 22). Twice the apostle uses the word exagorazo "to
redeem", once for the redemption from under the curse of the law, that the blessing of
Abraham may be received, and the second time redemption from the servile position of
being "under" the law, "under" tutors and governors, "under" the elements of the world,
in order that the blessing of adoption might be realized (3: 13, 14; 4: 1-5).
The reader is asked to give something more than a cursory glance to this structure; it
is an attempt to exhibit the hidden handiwork of God, and its presence in such a personal
epistle, is surely evidence of the inspiration of God that turns Paul's personal witness into