Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians + Select Quotes

Recently, I finished reading Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians. I’m not a huge non-fiction reader, but this was so worth it! I wrote a review a bit ago, but to be honest, it wasn’t that exciting of a review, so I’m not going to post it here. Instead, I’m going to share a few excerpts from the book that really struck me.

I’ve been a Luther fan for a long time – the struggles he went through before he was saved gave him such a deep understanding of grace and assurance and faith. (If you don’t know much about Luther, he was a monk in the Roman Catholic church for several years as a young man, and he came to the harsh realization that he could not be as perfect as God required. He went through much despair and put himself through physical torture, trying to be holy through his own works. He came to a knowledge of grace through faith in Christ, and his stance against the Roman Catholic church—along with other faithful believers—sparked the Protestant Reformation. Very short distilling of many years right there. 😊)

I also love Luther’s writing – he was not afraid to be blunt, and this translation by Erasmus Middleton really brought Luther’s personality through. I guess you have to be kind of stubborn to stand up to Roman Catholic Church (but mostly have the Lord on your side.) Also, I should mention that I don’t claim all of Luther’s doctrine to be perfect – I believe he was wacky about baptism at some point, and I’m sure there are other points I might disagree with. However, much of what he said is spot-on and well-worth the read.

Anyway, here’s just a few select quotes that stood out to me – but there are so many, I can’t include them all in one blog post. You should just go read it. 🙂 I highly recommend anyone doing a study of Galatians with this book. Because, of course, our faith ought to be founded in God’s Word, not in Luther’s or Spurgeon’s or Bunyan’s word. Reading this along with a thorough study of Galatians will be a blessing to you!

(All quotes taken from Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther, trans. by Erasmus Middleton)

Yea, our righteousness is much more plentiful than our sin, because the holiness and righteousness of Christ our mediator doth far exceed the sin of the whole world: and the forgiveness of sins, which we have through Him, is so great, so infinite, that it easily swalloweth up all sins, so that we walk according to the spirit.  

p. 332, on Galatians 5:16

The gospel commandeth us to behold not our own good works, or our own perfection: but God the promiser, and Christ the mediator … And this is the reason that our doctrine is most sure and certain, because it carrieth us out of ourselves, that we should not lean upon our own strength, our own feeling, our own person, and our own works: but upon God, and upon His precious promises and truth, which cannot deceive us.

pp. 248-249, on Galatians 4:6

And although sin do still remain in our flesh, and we daily fall and offend, yet grace is more abundant and stronger than sin. The mercy and truth of the Lord reigneth over us for ever. Wherefore sin cannot terrify us, nor make us doubtful of the grace of God, which is in us. So long as Christ, the vanquisher of sin, is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us, we cannot doubt of the grace and favour of God towards us.

p. 242, on Galatians 4:6

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

Therefore, feeling thy terrors and threatenings, O law, I plunge my conscience in the wounds, blood, death, resurrection, and victory of my Saviour, Christ. Besides Him I will see nothing, hear nothing … For oftentimes it cometh into their minds that Christ will accuse them, and plead against them: that He will acquire an account of their former life, and that He will condemn them. And whereof cometh this? They have not yet fully put off the flesh, which rebelleth against the spirit, therefore the terror of the law, the fear of death, and such heaviness, do often return to hinder our faith, that it cannot apprehend the benefits of Christ (who hath redeemed us from the curse of the law) with such assurance as it should do.

p. 233, on Galatians 4:4

For to make righteous is the work of the Divine Majesty alone, and not of any creature either in heaven or on earth.

p. 148, on Galatians 3:10

There is comfort for us in the words, “ye did run well”; for the godly seem oftentimes to themselves to creep rather than run. But if they abide in sound doctrine, and walk in the spirit, let not this trouble them. God judgeth otherwise: for that which seemed very slow, runneth swiftly in God’s sight.

p. 315, on Galatians 5:7

If thou be praised, know that it is not thou that is praised, but Christ, to whom all praise is due. For in that thou teachest the word purely, and livest godly, these are not thine own gifts, but the gifts of God: therefore thou are not praised, but God in thee.

p. 356, on Galatians 5:26

For I do not only hear that this Almighty God, the creator and maker of all things, is good and merciful, but also that the same high sovereign Majesty was so careful for me, a damnable sinner, a child of wrath, that He spared not His own dear Son, but delivered Him up to a most shameful death, that He hanging between two thieves, might be made a curse, and bears sins for me a cursed sinner, that I might be made blessed, that is to say, the child and heir of God.

p. 177, on Galatians 3:14

And finally, I’ll leave you with a Scripture that really spoke to me as I was reading this book.

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree …” Galatians 3:13

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