1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:1-8 (KJV)
The big trend is of course to write one’s own translation and commentary on Galatians, soothing one’s own conscience. Why? Because every Torah advocating Messianic (I have to say it that way, because few adherents of this heresy ever really keep the Torah, but a few select commandments…) knows that Galatians is a big ugly mess in their heresy.
Few are aware that Romans, Hebrews and Colossians all address the same issues.
Here’s my major point, and i’m not deviating from it (it’s amazing to me that I’m writing this on the 10th, and absolutely NO Messianics have been willing to debate me! It just may be that those who’ve read all this are sitting and learning, willing honestly to address these issues – if so, I commend you!)
Paul takes the time to address the Torah issue in all four places, but especially here, a book written entirely about Torah Observance.
What do Messianics claim this book is about? Forcing Gentiles to convert in order to be saved. It seems a logical argument, as the book does deal a lot with circumcision but as you’ll see, it’s not just about that!
Verse 6 right off the bat gives us the clue… 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Galatians 1:6 (KJV)
Notice it says the “grace” of Christ. We’ve explored many times on this blog the contrastive thinking used in the Bible, always a good thing to look for. “law” and “grace” contrast. They are not the same.
“law” involves a consciious attempt to try to keep 613 various commandments. “grace” refers to the concept that salvation is the gift of God.
“Wages” and “gift” is a concept that Paul eplains in Romans.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:14-18 (KJV)
Now, watch these next verses carefully… the words are right there. I doubt I even need to point them out!
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:19-23 (KJV)
You were the servant of sin, but now are the servant of God. You were being paid in death, but now have life. Death was the wage of sin… but SALVATION IS A GIFT.
You earn wages… you do not earn gifts.
Gifts are given one time, once for all. If I give you a birthday present, I gave it to you on your birthday (or knowing my absentmimdedness, probably two days later). I did not BEGIN giving it to you on your birthday, but gave it to you.
I did not give it to you conditionally – something given conditionally is something you earn. It is not a gift. Beware of people who place demands on your friendship = they are not your friends.
Suppose I told you you had to do certain things for me every day in order to be given a free gift. Would you consider it a gift, or a wage? According to the dictionary, that’s a wage.
So, if salvation is a gift… you do not have to maintain it. Gifts are given once. You don’t earn them. You don’t need to keep up a prescribed series of actions to earn them – or they become a wage.
So Salvation is by faith through grace. Remember the time-honored saying, “Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Grace is a gift. Eternal Life is a gift.
Torah Observance insists it is a wage. Right away, we’ve got a huge conflict between the two.
I can’t help it if that ruins your doctrine. Your doctrine must stand or fall by the right dividing of the whole counsel of God. If it doesn’t, it was a false doctrine.
Galatians 1:7 calls the Torah Observance doctrine a “perversion”. The Galatians were being corrupted by false apostles, who were telling them they must convert to Judaism to be saved. Yes, as is so often the case with Messianics, they were part right!
While the conversion issue IS dealt with in Galatians, for the most part, Galatians deals not with the conversion issue, but mostly with the Torah issue. That’s the part the Messianics gloss over.
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:7-9 (KJV)
Be very aware here, that ANYONE who claims we MUST keep works, or teaches salvation by works, is accursed. I see the unmistakeable signs reading many, many Messianic websites and blogs! And it ASTOUNDS me how many men and women who claim to be Bible Believing Christians are getting subverted by it. If that was true, you’d be most definately rejecting any claim you must keep the Torah!
Should you want to keep the Torah? Now, that’s a different question indeed? sincere people want to do what is pleasing to God. That’s a fact. And it’s not too hard to read the Bible and think one should maby do these things to please God.
But that’s neglecting the purpose of the Law. The purpose of the Law was a schoolmaster, bringing one to Christ. You’re IN Christ now, and do not need to keep the law! So… should you decide to do so voluntarily, knowing you don’t have to?
I’m going to say again, no. Because the outward of doing these things is a snare to eventually thinking you MUST do these things! Want to prove this?
Offer a Messianic who thinks they’re just voluntarily observing Torah a ham sandwich. Will they eat it, or refuse it?
Well, i’m going to refuse it. Unless it has mustard. Just plain ham? Bleh. now, add some mustard to it… and I’m all about that! Mustard and jalapenos… yeah. Now we’re talking. Although for a while there my wife was making me ham sandwiches with bar-b-que sauce on them… can you tell I’m hungry right now?
Galatians says anyone who teaches Torah observance is accursed. It says it is a perversion of the Gospel.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. Galatians 1:10-11 (KJV)
Think about that. Are we trying to please men, or God?
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. Galatians 1:12-14 (KJV)
Here’s the point that Paul raises -he used to keep the Torah. And what could cause this pharisee of pharisees to abandon that Torah? Only God. Only the knowledge of Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is God. And an understanding of both the function and terms of the law.
While you are alive, you were under the demands to keep the law. but you were buried with Christ, raised to walk in the newness of life.
The Law does not apply to you any more! You DIED. Do you understand that? You DIED when you were born again. You cannot be a live, and be born, so to speak! You’ve already been physically born. But if you’re born again, it is a thing of the spirit. To have risen, you must have first died. The law bound you previously, while you were alive. You have been reborn, and thus the law does not hold you any longer.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24 And they glorified God in me. Galatians 1:15-24 (KJV)
Paul’s conversion is of God. So the message he brings – is of God. Bottom line. So when God tells you not to keep the Torah any longer, why will you disobey? THink about that for a while. Tomorrow is chapter 2.