Messianic Judaism Answered 19 Galatians 3


15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Galatians 3:15-18 (KJV)

We see the argument resume here of the “wage vs. gift” argument. Paul is almost relentless in his attack on Torah Observance.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Galatians 3:19-20 (KJV)

Are you a transgressor? The law is for transgressors. If you’re saved, you’re redeemed, and the law has no hold on you any more. It’s not intended for you any more.

I’m not meaning to beat a dead horse here, but its obvious from what Paul is saying, he’s trying to make sure everyone understands this point. And he’s got two more chapters to explain this point, as well as the other nine or so arguments against keeping the Law.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:21-22 (KJV)

The promise is contrasted with Law again. If I promise you something, and you have to earn it, it’s a wage, not the answered expectation of a promise. In other words, a promise is a gift. If I say I’ll give you something you earn, that’s not a promise, but an agreement or a contract.

The greek word used here is ἐπαγγελία, meaning a message, promise, assurance. I don’t need to assure you that you’re working for something. You’re working for your wages, and you know what they are!

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Galatians 3:16-18 (KJV)

The covenant was given to Christ to fulfill… not us. THat’s a distinction that all the Torah Teachers seem to overlook. We were shut up in sin, without a way to overcome it, when God came in human Flesh to fulfill the law, complete it properly, and then even went so far as to die for us, and raise from the dead.

The problem here is that all of the Torah Teachers do not understand the Gospel. And if you don’t understand the Gospel, how can you have answered it? How can you believe it if you don’t really know what it is?

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:19-22 (KJV)

If you have the promise, if you believe, you do not require the shadow of the Law any longer.

Now, in the interests of honesty, I’m going to say that several verses later, the book of Galatians IS talking about contrasting salvation by works and salvation by faith. And this apparently was the message of the Judaizers. “He’s the Messiah of the Jews, so unless you convert and begin keeping the commandments, you can’t be saved!”

It makes sense on a very basic level. However, it’s an argument of logic, not Scripture. Scripture says otherwise. And that’s our issue.

Everything the Torah Teachers say makes sense, logically. But unfortunately, it contradicts wayyy too many scriptures… and says something that is contrary to the Gospel. The Gospel is about freedom. THe Law is about bondage. Again, remember, you cannot pick and choose what of the law you keep. I’m aware of what the Reform Messianics and Conservative Messianics say, that one may choose to keep what commandment one wants to – but Galatians 3 says something different.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:23-27 (KJV)

The schoolmaster argument is unveiled. Having kept the law as a sinner, it would have revealed to you completely your need for Christ. My travel from non-observant, assimilated Jew (How Messianics love that word assimilated!) to Torah Observant Chassid showed me right away my need for a saviour.

Yes, I know the Counter Missionary argument that nobody who was frum from birth has ever converted. Sadly, I think we’ve seen a couple of cases of just that lately, totally exploding their theory.

Was I one of them? Heck no. My family didn’t keep Torah. I made that choice as an adult man, and discovered how quickly it weighed me down. And I know I’m not the only one. I could see it in the eyes of Yeshiva Bokherim when they visited the shul. It’s in the eyes of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the knowledge of the crushing weight of the law.

If you are baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ. I can’t repeat this enough: YOU DO NOT NEED THE LAW ANY MORE!

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28-29 (KJV)

Now, this verse, in conjunction with a discussion of baptism, shows that this is a discussion of the local church. Stern agrees (surprisingly) in his commentary that, yes, there’s still male and female… so there’s still Jews and Gentiles. But if baptism is the door to the church (I’m still divided on this issue, but let’s explore it here) then we are talking about one local church body – the church of Galatia. And in that respect, it’s one body, not Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles do not need to try to become Jews.

Adam Clarke agrees with this:

Under the Gospel all distinctions are done away, as either helping or hindering; all are equally welcome to Christ, and all have an equal need of him; all persons of all sects, and conditions, and sexes, who believe in him, become one family through him; they are one body, of which he is the head. Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary, (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1826), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Galatians”.

There you go. Tomorrow we talk about… Galatians 4!

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Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???