“I marvel that you are so soon REMOVED FROM Him that called you into the GRACE of Christ.” - Gal. 1:6 The word “removed” translates the Greek word “metatihemi.” It has the idea of departing from something to something else. The question is whether it is to be understood in the passive or middle voice. Either is grammatically possible. The passive voice might indicate that the Galatians were being deceived, bewitched by false teachers. On the other hand, Lenski and many other Greek scholars, are convinced that the middle voice is to be understood here. “The middle is regularly used to express what the Germans call uebertreten, to change from political party or from one philosophic school to another and thus from one religious conviction to another” - R.C.H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles, to the Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians. p. 34 Either way, this term demonstrates that the Galatians are in the process of changing from one theological position (grace) to another (works). Whether it is emphasizing the deception of the false teachers (passive voice) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (Gal 3:1) or the inward change of mind (middle voice) due to such false teaching the end result is the same – they were in the process of being mentally removed from one theological position to another position. The theological position they were in the process of departing from is clearly identified in this passage as well as throughout the entire epistle. Christ had called them to the truth of grace through the preaching of the gospel of Christ but they were now considering “circumcision” and other works of the law as necessary for justification before God. In other words they had begun by the “hearing of faith” but now they are being convinced that they must be “made perfect by the flesh” (Gal. 3:3). Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:3) How do we know that they are in the process of being removed from grace as a theological position unto works rather than being removed from the state of grace (position) or the experience of grace (power) unto a lost condition? Those who deny eternal security argue that the Galatians are in danger of losing their state or experience of grace and thus in the process of becoming lost. First, we know this because the words “ANOTHER gospel” are placed in direct contrast to the words “the grace of Christ” (v. 7). This infers that the phrase “the grace of Christ” is definitive of the true gospel because it is in contrast to the words “another gospel.” Why choose this particular phrase “the grace of Christ” to represent the true gospel? He is defining the true gospel by its primary theological truth – “grace.” It should be obvious that the words “another gospel” do not refer to a state or an experience but rather to the primary expression of theological error. That error is the addition of “justification by works” to the gospel of Christ. Therefore the phrase “the grace of Christ” is intended to express the primary theological truth of the gospel and thus later Paul repeatedly refers to it as “the truth” of the gospel. To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. (Gal 2:5) But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (Gal 2:14) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (Gal 3:1) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Gal 5:7) Second, we know this because in the Greek text, the word translated “grace” is found in what grammarians call the anarthous construct. This simply means that it is without the definite article (what we know in English as the word “the”). Dana and Mantey make this comment upon such a construction in the Greek Grammar: “Sometimes with a noun which the context proves to be definite the article is not used. This places stress upon the qualitative aspect of the noun rather than its mere identity.” - A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 149 Paul’s grammatical intent is to emphasize the THEOLOGICAL truth of grace as the chief characteristic of His gospel. Throughout this epistle it is this “truth” of the gospel that is being contrasted to the chief characteristic of the false gospel – works. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Gal. 2:16) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Gal 3:2) He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Gal 3:5) Third, we know this because when Paul identifies the very point of their departure he chooses these words - “ye have fallen FROM GRACE.” One cannot fall from “undeserved favor” as that is an oxymoron (grace can never be deserved and to fall would only qualify you for “grace”). Fourth, we know this because when Paul considers the very error that some were persuading them to add to the gospel, he says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God” (Gal. 1:21). It was their theological error of justification by works that frustrated the truth of justification by grace. Fifth, another reason that we know this was a theological issue rather than experiential is because Paul pinpoints the exact means responsible for their fall or departure from grace. It was in the area of verbal communication that promoted their fall from grace: “....PREACH any other gospel...than that which we have PREACHED...If any man PREACH....than that ye have RECEIVED.....the gospel which was PREACHED of me...For I neither RECEIVED it....neither was I TAUGHT it....that I might PREACH...” - Gal. 1:8,9,11,12,16 “This PERSUASION cometh not of him that calleth you” (Gal. 5:8). “Who hath bewitched you.....” - Gal. 3:1 These verses identify the realm in which the fall occurred as the area of the mind rather than the state or salvation experience of the Galatians. The departure was due to “persuasion” and “teaching” and “preaching” of a false gospel. They had been “bewitched” by false teaching and they had fallen from grace as their theological position and belief. Now there is a vast difference between the truth of justification and the experiential entrance into the state of justification. The first is THEOLOGICAL while the latter is POSITIONAL. The first is the CAUSE while the second is the CONSEQUENCE. Paul’s choice of terms (preach, teach, receive, truth of the gospel, persuasion, bewitched, hearing) make it clear that what he has in mind is a departure from grace as a theological truth (revealed as justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) rather then a departure from the state or experience of justification. Paul is concerned with a doctrinal change going on in the churches of Galatia. -“This PERSUASION cometh not of him that calleth you” (Gal. 5:8). This point is essential in order to grasp the real issue among the Galatians and is essential to properly interpret the following words.