1 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? Galatians 3:1 (KJV)
Okay, let’s examine what this verse is teaching…
First of all, the Galatians have been keeping the Law. Being Torah Observant.
Paul is calling them foolish. Asking who bewitched them. He’s likening anyone teaching the Torah to witchcraft. He’s also saying, “I preached the Gospel to you! Why aren’t you obeying it?”
He’s questioning their salvation.
That’s profound, and has some broad implications. I suggest most Messianics stop and think about that a little.
This isn’t some evangelist questioning your salvation! This is the Apostle Paul! He wrote MORE on the subject of salvation and the Gospel than any other writer in the Bible!
That kind of makes him the resident expert. If an expert in medicine tries to tell me i’m ill, I’m going to believe him. If an expert in car repair tells me my car needs a hydraucilator, i’m going to give up the cash, because apparently mine is gone bad.
If the Apostle Paul patted me on the shoulder and said, “Philip, are you sure you’re saved?” I’d be IMMEDIATELY concerned.
Kind of a big deal, really.
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:2 (KJV)
What say ye, Israel? Hmmmm???
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. Galatians 3:3-4 (KJV)
The good news there is the line, “if it yet be in vain…” If you weren’t saved, you STILL can be saved!
5 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? Galatians 3:5 (KJV)
The obvious answer then to this question is, “By the hearing of faith.” So WHY are Messianics so CRAZY about the Torah, then? Because so many people are attracted to the Judaism side. But it’s a “slack Judaism”. The same Messianics who ridicule Conservative Judaism for not being Torah Observant are at about the very same level of Torah Observance themselves! “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Galatians 3:6 (KJV)
Abraham believed because of… the Law? Or Faith?
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 (KJV)
Paul answered the question in Hebrews, that he asks in Galatians.
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3:6-7 (KJV)
It is entirely possible that Galatians and Hebrews may have been written at the same time! Where’s my proof? None. I just conjecture it from reading this above. That’s about it. Am I going to fight for it if anyone tells me I’m wrong? Nope.
Anyway, resuming with Galatians 3…
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:8-9 (KJV)
Paul begins to differentiate and contrast (here we go, contrastive thinking again…) between the Law and Faith. The Bible makes a distinction between the two, as if they are opposites! Prove me wrong, I dare you.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Galatians 3:10 (KJV)
The Law set in motion the very mechanism that saves us. Because Christ was able to keep the Law perfectly, we are not required to. Having fulfilled the Law, it no longer applies if you’re saved.
“Well, I disagree! I am still under the law!”
If you’re still under the law, then you are not saved.
If you’re under the law, you’re under the requirement to do the ENTIRE law.
Are you offering sin offerings at the Temple? No? If you put yourself under the obligation of the Law, you are required to keep all of it. You can’t pick and choose.
“But I can’t keep all of the Law!”
think about that! Good and carefully, think about that.
If you cannot keep the Law completely, and the Bible says in Galatians 3:10 you are cursed if you do not continue in ALL things which are WRITTEN in the book of the Law….
Then WHY are you voluntarily choosing to be under the law????
SERIOUSLY! I’d like an answer. And I already have seen Messianics are reading this… and there’s been nothing but silence. Which means I’m reaching you. Because I know Messianics are ready and willing to exchange barbs about their beloved Torah and “frumspeak”.
Here’s a partial list of everything you’re not keeping in the law. Partial, I say.
- Tefillin (precious few Messianics wear them)
- Peace Offerings
- Freewill offerings
- sin offerings
- assemble three times a year in Jerusalem
- attend the Beis miqdash (that’s the Temple in Jerusalem)
- Worry about Shatnes (mixing of fibers)
- stoning of offenders of certain laws
- burning alive of offenders of certain laws
- electing a king over Israel
- paying for the writing of a Torah Scroll
- ritual cleanliness laws
- keeping the Sabbath (not going to work on Saturdays is not just keeping Sabbath – there’s a lot more to that!)
- fencing or a wall around your rooftop
- keep from travelling more than a Sabbath day’s Journey.
Failure to keep a part is the same as failling to keep the whole. Do you do mezuzah? Sure, a lot of Messianics do that. Tallis? Sure, same thing. Few do the full sized Tallis, but prefer the cheaper Conservative Judaism Tallisim. Do you do Tefillin? Uh, no… then you’re under a curse. You failed to CONTINUE to keep the law.
seriously. You read the verse, right? You can’t pick and choose which laws you get to keep! All of them or none of them!
Am I advocating you execute the capital punishment laws of ancient Israel? No. That requires a Sanhedrin, and even Orthodox Judaism does not really have a Sanhedrin. Nor is it the law of the lands.
My point is you CANNOT keep the laws. Shouldn’t the fact that God made it impossible to keep the law TELL YOU SOMETHING???? It’s like a big heavenly hint… “Uh…. you don’t have to do this stuff anymore!”
Think about it.