Verses 2-6 were comparing the people who had listened to the teaching of circumcision with people who did not accept the legalistic teaching. The pronouns were “you” and “we.”
Verses 7-15 address not those who listened but compares the false teachers with true teachers. The pronoun “I” (Paul) contrasted with “the one who is throwing you into confusion.”
Verse 7 The athletic analogy often used by Paul:
2 Tim. 4:7
The Galatians were running a good race.
A good race involves two dimensions:
1) A sincere heart that has been changed to God (notice word “obey”)
2) An intelligent mind concerning the truth (notice word “truth”)
“Cut in” is the word “evekophen” and means “to cut in, to hinder.” It is the image of the runner who has been blocked, or has ran off the track. It was a military term used to describe the blocking of a road or the destruction of the road. It involves the idea of cheating someone in a race by taking a position that is not right.
The false teachers had done this very thing.
1) They had blocked the Galatians progress
2) They had presented the Galatians with a new running lane which was not part of the race.
3) They had destroyed the road of truth
4) They had cheated the Galatians out of their rightful place in grace in order to manipulate the Galatians for the advantage of the false, cheating teachers.
Verse 8 This false teaching does not come from God.
It originates in the sinful nature of man.
It originates from demons. (1 Tim. 4:1-3)
But, it is used by God to test people’s hearts (Deut. 13:3)
Verse 9 False teaching spreads. It becomes the source of “light” used to interpret the next doctrinal issue or the next moral choice. In the “light” of a lie nothing can be evaluated correctly.
Jesus warned the disciples of the yeast of the Pharisees in Mt. 16:5
Paul also in 1 Cor. 5:6 in reference to immorality
Verse 10 “Confident. . .you will take no other view.” Paul knows their heart. The good heart will eventually reject the false teaching. It may take time. They may get caught up in a moment of bad doctrine, but the true believers will grow and eventually come around.
“throwing you into confusion” is from the word “ tarasson” which means to shake back and forth, to disturb, to trouble.
“No other view” refers to what?
a) the true gospel
b) Paul’s original teaching
c) The statement Paul just made
d) That the legalist are dangerous
Judgment of false teachers:
2 Peter 2:1-22
“If I am still preaching circumcision. . . ?”
a) may refer to his days in Judaism
b) may refer to a brief period of confusion in his own doctrine (Paul had Timothy circumcised in Acts 16:3
c) It may just be an accusation and a lie made about Paul
“offense of the cross” refers to the hideousness of sin in man before God. The terrible death, humiliation of the cross shows us what we truly are. How can circumcision of any act be more affective than the actual payment for sin.
Point: If circumcision is the answer then there is no need for the cross.
The reason man is not offended by sin is he is lacking in his knowledge of God’s character. Meaning man will always compare himself with what he can see such as other men’s actions or the way other men appreciate him. It requires doctrine, faith and the revelation of who God is to realize how bad off we are.
“emasculate” is castration. It is another attempt by Paul to show how ridiculous legalism is. If a little bit is good, lets make it really good. If a little bit of legalism is good then lets go as far as we can with legalistic rules.
Pagan priest in the area of the Galatians would practice castration.
Paul once again puts the practice of Judiasm during the church age one the same level as pagan rituals.
“agitators” is from a word that means to upset or disturb someone’s mind.