For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

Mosaic Law

Blazing red cups without any snowflakes


Surfing the web, this writer came across an article written by Matt Walsh that was pos015e1f791ed22715d7f2b9c12dde118ated in The Blaze at http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/no-serious-christians-arent-worried-about-the-stupid-starbucks-cups/ about the supposed Starbucks Christmas cup controversy.  Seriously?  It is hard to believe that any Christian(s) would be upset about such a thing.  Then there is the backlash happening on the web as well as the major news outlets picking up the story, and so this guy, Joshua Feuerstein, has been making the rounds on Facebook trying to stir up a controversy.  If Christians should get upset about anything that Starbucks puts on their cups, it would be their iconic twin-tailed mermaid siren or Norse goddess.  According to Starbucks:

Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for…http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren

Then this writer 2015-11-11_20-30-00_755found this blurb:

One of Astarte’s symbols was actually a star within a circle, which was used to symbolize the planet Venus. Interestingly, two stars are found within the green circle surrounding the logo character of the former Starbucks logo, which was used to separate ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Coffee.’ Artistic depictions of the goddess often show her naked, so why was such a figure with a steamy background chosen to represent the popular coffee chain?  Astarte was a goddess that was worshiped2015-11-11_20-32-21_514 in the Eastern Mediterranean countries dating back to the bronze age and into classical times, according to http://www.unexplainable.net

As some commentators have responded: Go feed the hungry, etc. etc. which is a reference to:

Matthew 25:34-40

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

So what should shock Christians the more?  No snowflakes on the red cups or the fact that Starbucks has chosen a snake-like goddess that has been represented as a twin-tailed Norse goddess, and which has also represented Astarte, a pagan goddess?

For Christians, the first of the Ten Commandments states very clearly:

Exodus 20:1-4

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

 

Coffee anyone?

2015-11-11_20-34-40_68

 

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The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 16


Since we have been looking closely at the various Scriptures that pertain to the laws of God and as we are finally going to wrap this series up, let us look at Galatians, which is a book that is consistently cited in that total grace-ites state that this book definitively declares that the laws of God have ended.  Really?  Did they?  Let’s see.  First of all, before we go into the book of Galatians, let’s establish our ground work first; of course, these articles have already covered these Scriptures, but we will list them again.

Matthew 5:17

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Now the diehard grace-ite will be the first to argue and say that this was written to Israel and not to the church.  Really?  Using that same logic, then Jesus Christ himself said that He had come to the lost sheep of Israel.  Oh-Oh!  Houston…we have a problem!  That doesn’t include the Gentiles if one has to be fair at this  point.  Now what?  Okay, one more Scripture so that we can all know that everyone can get a ticket and get on board the GodShip Gospel Line.

Romans 11:17-18

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Paul writes that the Gentiles have been grafted into the root stock of Israel.  Why?  So that we can receive all of the promises and requirements and that they are made available to us as well.  This writer finds it very interesting that those who deny that we have to obey God’s commandments are more than willing to claim the goodness of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants as well as the new covenant written with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, but those same people want nothing to do with the laws of God.  We offer our condolences to you at this point…simply because you cannot have your cake and eat it too, my friends.  You either take the whole Word of God or please don’t take any of it; we are not allowed to pick and choose which Scriptures we would like to have and throw out the ones that make us squirm.  But unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened.  Many pastors and teachers have taught the populace that the Scriptures should be viewed as something akin to a Smorgasbord or items on an À la carte menu.  All of the Scriptures make up a whole body of evidence and you simply cannot dissect the Word of God, no matter how badly you may wish to do so.

Let us now define some terms that often cause confusion.  These terms were not clear to this writer either growing spiritually mature in the church; this writer simply didn’t know what they meant.  If the question was asked of those who were supposed to be more learned, the answer generally given was doing the laws of God.  Exactly, what does that mean?  Who knew…probably no one understood it, nor could define it when asked to do so.  This is why this writer walked around in a fog for most of the years waiting to grow up.

What are they and what do they mean?

There are two terms that are the same thing, but they use two different words and they are:

works of the law…and…deeds of the law

simply pertain to the sacrificial portion of the law.  Every Israelite male was to continually offer up the Passover sacrifice; the Yom Kippur sacrifice; they were to make peace offerings, heave offerings, free-will offerings, etc. etc.  By doing so they  would attain to righteousness and have their sins, transgressions and iniquities covered up by the blood of the animal offered.  But too many people have been taught that this pertains to the entire Law of God and not to just one portion, thereby ‘ending’ the Law of God because we are told that we cannot be justified by the ‘deeds or the works of the Law.”  This is true if applied to the sacrificial portion of the Law.  These works or deeds were Israel “working out their own salvation” if you will in an attempt to make themselves righteous, even though it was available to be made righteous through faith, but they couldn’t receive it and so they focused on the works and therefore they were never justified.  Christians however, accept the “atoning works of the Lord Jesus Christ” and we accept by faith that His perfect blood has made us righteous through Him and therefore we are made justified.

This is going to shock a lot of people….but oh, well.  But hold on, this writer will explain.  The sacrificial portion of the law didn’t end either.  WHAT?  No, it did not.  It TRANSFERRED from the tribe of Levi to the Tribe of Judah, and the Ha Mashiach, Yeshua Adonai (or Christ Jesus) on the appointed Passover, at the time of sacrifice, did not offer up an animal but offered up Himself, and His own perfect blood seeing that He also became our High Priest.  He is also our eternal High Priest because the Scriptures plainly state Yeshua was after the priestly order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 3:1, 5:1, 5:6

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Now that that particular truth is established…here is one more for those that may not know these things: there were three parts of God’s laws.  First, there was the Ten Commandments (or the moral laws); Second, there were the food laws, which were established to teach Israel on how to choose between the holy and the unholy, or the clean and the unclean, plus, it was also in place to keep Israel healthy in their physical bodies; and the Third, there was the sacrificial laws pertaining to the forgiveness of the sins of Israel.  The Ten Commandments have never ended; the food laws have been modified, at least for the Gentiles coming into the church, but still having to keep some of them for the sake of their Jewish brothers and sisters, which we find in Acts 15.  The third portion did not end but merely transferred to Yeshua Adonai who became the High Priest and the sacrifice that year.  His office of High Priest has still not ended even to this day, for He acts on our behalf and when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, He goes before the Heavenly Father and presents His perfect blood on the altar so that we may obtain forgiveness.

There is still so much more to cover and we did not even get to the book of Galatians as hoped for and therefore this will have to be continued in Part 17.  God Bless.

 

 

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The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 15


Torah - FacebookWe were last studying in the books of Galatians and the Gospel of John to define the issue of what happened to the Laws of God once the Lord Jesus Christ became the final and perfect sacrifice; who took our place and received unto Himself the total judgment and wrath of God Almighty for us, subsequently dying in our place. As we saw in Part 14 and more importantly in the Scriptures, that the Laws of God did not actually end, as some have erroneously taught, but rather that they migrated from an external place to a permanent internal place, that is, within our born again spirits. Let us read in

Jeremiah 31:31-33

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

So we read in the foregoing Scriptures that even in the days of Jeremiah, that God had prophesied through His prophet that one day He would institute a new covenant. He would not make it like the old one, namely, that His people would have to sacrifice daily to atone for the sins of Israel in whole and individuals would have to come to a priest to make atonement and peace offerings continually, but that He would send His only begotten Son who would become the final sacrifice for all eternity. So the Lord Jesus Christ became for us our High Priest, not to make continual sacrifices as we read in the book of Hebrews, but just the one, final sacrifice. Why? The animals that they slaughtered for sacrificial purposes, though they might be without spot or blemish on the outside, their blood lines were still corruptible and so rotted. This is why the priests had to apply fresh blood upon the horns of the altar each and every day. However, the blood of the true Lamb of God, His blood is and was incorruptible, and it is still fresh upon the mercy seat in Heaven; which is why the Christian “pleads the blood of Jesus Christ,” when we are asking for forgiveness for our transgressions against our Holy Father in Heaven.

The passage in Jeremiah 31 goes on to say that Israel could not keep these laws; they couldn’t keep them because they were based upon THEIR works. However, when you accept the WORKS of the Lord Jesus Christ and accept the pure blood of the True Lamb of God to be your atonement, it is no longer centered upon your works, but HIS WORKS. Furthermore, God was going to WRITE HIS LAW in our inward parts, i.e. our spirits. Therefore, how can God’s law be ended or over? If we say that God’s law ended with the arrival of the New Covenant, we stand in complete opposition to what His Scriptures declare and basically, you are spitting in God’s face and calling Him a liar. Are you sure you wish to do that?

Now some will say (trying to get out of this requirement, or so they think) that I follow the Apostle Paul or I really like the Apostle John and what he had to say, etc. Really? Then someone please explain why the Apostle John cogently stated in 1 John that God’s commandments were not grievous, but rather were rather easy to keep? Then why did the Apostle Paul teach the church in Ephesus nine of the Ten Commandments? The only one that he did not cite was the first commandment; which is really a no-brainer, since you have chosen to follow Christ; it really is quite axiomatic that you must already have a love for God and His only begotten Son. Therefore, the Christians in Ephesus must not have needed to be reminded to keep the first commandment. They must already have mastered that particular commandment.

Stay tuned for the next part. See you there.


The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 14


My chains are gone - chris tomlin 2013 FBWe were last reading in the book of Galatians, chapter 3 and it should now be established in your hearts that God’s Laws are not a curse. The curse was simply this: if you sinned….you died! This is the curse in a nutshell. However, this is the total grace from God, that He sent His Son to take that curse upon Himself; He stood in our place and was put to death for our sins, not His own. This is GRACE! Undeserved merit and favor from a Supreme God who should rightly have executed every single one of us for the transgressions we have committed against His holiness. Now does this put an end to the Laws of God? Absolutely not! Here is the deal: Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior allows God the Father to place within you His Holy Spirit and He looks upon you and sees the righteousness and holiness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. From this vantage point, we now have the ability to keep God’s Laws and to remain in obedience to the One True God. When our flesh does fail, we have an advocate with the Holy Father to restore us to righteousness.

So what serves the Laws of God? It was placed there because of transgressions.

Galatians 3:19

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.

If I do not know that something offends a Holy God, how can I avoid doing it? I cannot. Therefore, God established His Holy Laws so that His people would know what to do and what not to do. It set up parameters for the people of God to be able to judge between:

HOLY and UNHOLY

RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS

CLEAN and UNCLEAN

GOOD and EVIL

BEST and GOOD

The book of Galatians goes on to explain that the promise of a mediator, the one and only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was coming. Furthermore, the law would not end the promise, but the promise would bring to fulfillment all the laws of God. Even in the Garden of Eden, there was at least one Law, which was, “Thou shalt obey me.”

Galatians 3:21-26

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. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The law is not against the promises of God because the promise was given to Abraham before the Law was put into place. Furthermore, as the Scripture so plainly states that if righteousness could have come by the Law, then God would have made it available. However, God wanted righteousness to be made available not through our works, but through faith in His Son’s accomplishments for us at the Cross of Calvary. That it would no longer be centered upon us, but on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we would never be able to lose our righteousness ever again. As we can see from the Scriptures, righteousness was centered upon the works of Adam and Eve. They subsequently lost that righteousness because of their works also. This is why God wanted to establish our righteousness not in our works but in His Son who would never lose His righteousness ever. In this way, we would never be condemned to death ever again.

But before faith came we were kept under the law and the law was our schoolmaster or our tutor. It defined for us that which was Holy and Unholy, Clean and Unclean, etc. It taught us how to choose between these differences. NOW… We are no longer under that tutor, but as children of God, we have received the Holy Spirit…He has taken over that role and the law is no longer external, but internal in our born again spirits, filled with Holy Spirit that guides us and reproves us when we are starting to move towards sinful activity.

John 16:13-16

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now shall the Holy Spirit indeed negate the laws of God and tell you to do things that break those laws? Absolutely not! You will find that when the Holy Spirit commands you to do certain things that it establishes the Word of God in you.

We will continue in Part 15…so stay tuned.

*****

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The Ten Commandments: are they still relevant? – Part 14


My chains are gone - chris tomlin 2013 FBWe were last reading in the book of Galatians, chapter 3 and it should now be established in your hearts that God’s Laws are not a curse. The curse was simply this: if you sinned….you died! This is the curse in a nutshell. However, this is the total grace from God, that He sent His Son to take that curse upon Himself; He stood in our place and was put to death for our sins, not His own. This is GRACE! Undeserved merit and favor from a Supreme God who should rightly have executed every single one of us for the transgressions we have committed against His holiness. Now does this put an end to the Laws of God? Absolutely not! Here is the deal: Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior allows God the Father to place within you His Holy Spirit and He looks upon you and sees the righteousness and holiness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. From this vantage point, we now have the ability to keep God’s Laws and to remain in obedience to the One True God. When our flesh does fail, we have an advocate with the Holy Father to restore us to righteousness.

So what serves the Laws of God? It was placed there because of transgressions.

Galatians 3:19

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.

If I do not know that something offends a Holy God, how can I avoid doing it? I cannot. Therefore, God established His Holy Laws so that His people would know what to do and what not to do. It set up parameters for the people of God to be able to judge between:

HOLY and UNHOLY

RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS

CLEAN and UNCLEAN

GOOD and EVIL

BEST and GOOD

The book of Galatians goes on to explain that the promise of a mediator, the one and only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was coming. Furthermore, the law would not end the promise, but the promise would bring to fulfillment all the laws of God. Even in the Garden of Eden, there was at least one Law, which was, “Thou shalt obey me.”

Galatians 3:21-26

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. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The law is not against the promises of God because the promise was given to Abraham before the Law was put into place. Furthermore, as the Scripture so plainly states that if righteousness could have come by the Law, then God would have made it available. However, God wanted righteousness to be made available not through our works, but through faith in His Son’s accomplishments for us at the Cross of Calvary. That it would no longer be centered upon us, but on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we would never be able to lose our righteousness ever again. As we can see from the Scriptures, righteousness was centered upon the works of Adam and Eve. They subsequently lost that righteousness because of their works also. This is why God wanted to establish our righteousness not in our works but in His Son who would never lose His righteousness ever. In this way, we would never be condemned to death ever again.

But before faith came we were kept under the law and the law was our schoolmaster or our tutor. It defined for us that which was Holy and Unholy, Clean and Unclean, etc. It taught us how to choose between these differences. NOW… We are no longer under that tutor, but as children of God, we have received the Holy Spirit…He has taken over that role and the law is no longer external, but internal in our born again spirits, filled with Holy Spirit that guides us and reproves us when we are starting to move towards sinful activity.

John 16:13-16

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now shall the Holy Spirit indeed negate the laws of God and tell you to do things that break those laws? Absolutely not! You will find that when the Holy Spirit commands you to do certain things that it establishes the Word of God in you.

We will continue in Part 15…so stay tuned.

 

 

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The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 13


thCAUI6O1XSince we have been studying in the book of Galatians, we have learned that the works of the Law should not be equated with the Ten Commandments; but rather the Mosaic Law, which was the outworking or the edicts that came down from the judgment seat of Moses, as he heard legal cases and then rendered his verdicts.  So let us start in Galatians chapter 3:

Galatians 3:1-3

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?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are ye so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

The people of Galatia had come into Christianity believing that the Lord Jesus Christ had purchased their righteousness with His death and resurrection, but because of those Jews who were seeking to turn the new Christians into Jewish proselytes first, the Apostle Paul vehemently asks them, “who has bewitched you…?”  Paul then wanted to know why these Galatians had obviously believed that they had received the Holy Spirit, but were now trying to make themselves righteous through the keeping of the Mosaic laws.

Galatians 3:6-9

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  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.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Paul was telling them that they were already in the family of God…through faithful Abraham who had received his righteousness because he chose to believe what God had told him regarding the promise of a son being born to him and Sarah even when they were too old to have any children.  Yet he believed and so received righteousness.

The Galatians had believed what the Apostle Paul had taught them and so had believed that the Lord Jesus Christ had purchased their salvation through His holy blood, which He shed at the cross at Calvary, and they too like all other new converts to Christianity are given the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  But they had been led astray to believe that they had to establish their own righteousness through the keeping of the Mosaic laws.

Galatians 3:10-14

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.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.   And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  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: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

This author has heard many interpretations of this next passage: blatant misinterpretations; deliberate eisegetical attempts and then there are those who have been taught that because of this passage, we are no longer under ANY laws (cough, cough).  Okay…readers are you ready?

1)       Being under God’s law is a curse!

2)      The laws of God ARE a curse!

3)      Jesus Christ redeemed us from that cursed law.

4)      Jesus tried to keep them and He became cursed.

But are these last four views really true?  No.  The problem lies in the fact that a lot of people skim read and they do not reflect on that which they have just read, thereby making the text totally open to their own personal interpretation.  Or, they try to pigeon-hole what they just read with other teachings that they have heard and then arrive at a totally new mixture.

Here is a brief correction to the four views listed above:

1)      Being under God’s laws is a blessing

2)      The laws of God are HOLY

3)      Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, not the cursed law.

4)      Jesus didn’t TRY to keep God’s laws; He KEPT all of them, yet still chose to bear our curse, thus becoming a cursed one for us by bearing our punishment and being put to death in our place.

In a nutshell, the curse of the Law was that if you broke these laws, you were worthy to be put to death; it was that serious.  But God’s laws are Holy.  So what is the problem?  If you choose to reject God’s Holy One, the Lord Jesus Christ, you end up trying to establish your OWN righteousness rather than receiving the free gift which is ‘the righteousness of Christ.’  From this starting point, we are now able to keep God’s laws, His Ten Commandments, when and as we submit to the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Stay Tuned for Part 14!


The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 12b


ten_commandmentsThe New Testament is literally replete with references to God’s Ten Commandments and as this writer stated from the very first article in this series that the Lord Jesus had succinctly stated in

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

So, with all of these references to God’s laws in the New Testament and that we are required to be in obedience to our heavenly Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, how did Christians ever arrive at the false conclusion that we are no longer required to keep God’s laws?  It can be stated with one word….namely, ‘Rebellion!’

How does this relate to rebellion?  Again, what did the Lord Jesus Christ command?  Did not the Lord Jesus say, “If ye love me, KEEP my COMMANDMENTS?”  Yes, He did.  With this in mind, when we choose to not keep the Lord’s commandments, we place ourselves into a state of rebellion.

So as this series has progressed through the various Scriptures that have been used incorrectly in an attempt to establish the idea that Christians do not have to obey the laws of God, we now will look at some of the Scriptures in the book of Galatians.  The book of Galatians has been used more than the other Scriptures to establish this very point.

Galatians 2:4

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus that they might bring us into bondage.

So what is this ‘bondage’ that Paul speaks about?  Again, let’s not just assign our own meanings to God’s Word; rather let us look in the wider context to gain our equilibrium.  In verse 3 we read that Paul is referring to circumcision and that Titus was not required to submit himself to circumcision.  However, there were some Jewish people who apparently were pretending to be Christian, whom Paul labels as ‘false brethren’ who were asserting that before unbelievers could become Christian, they had to be circumcised according to Mosaic Law.  Paul sets them straight on this issue and states emphatically that they went along with this idea….NO! They did not give place to this idea…not even for one hour.

As Chapter 2 progresses, we read that the Apostle Peter had been sent to those who were of the circumcision i.e., the Jews; but that the Apostle Paul had been sent to those who were of the Gentiles. The next scene we read is when Peter came to Antioch; Paul had to withstand him face to face because Peter was living as the Gentiles did.  However, when certain notable, high-ranking Jews came to Antioch, then Peter withdrew himself and returned to Jewish ideals regarding the following of Mosaic Laws.  Thus, Paul called him on the carpet for this and called Peter a hypocrite.  Why?  Because apparently, Peter was compelling the Gentiles to live as the Jews lived even while he was living as the Gentiles lived.  In verse 16 we read

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.

The ‘works of the law’ should not be equated with the Ten Commandments of God.  The works of the law pertains to keeping the Mosaic laws.  Keeping these laws eventually produced a works-righteousness mentality which feeds pride and caused the ‘doer’ to think that s/he could stand in the presence of the Lord God Almighty and say: “Oh, what a good boy/girl am I!”  This is what the Apostle Paul is renouncing, preferring to say that believing in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, and HIS WORKS, is what brings about our salvation.  Attempting to keep the Mosaic Laws…Paul stated in verse 16b ff

…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.

There is not anyone who can through their own power, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and make themselves appear to be righteous before God.  Please keep in mind that these works of the law have nothing to do with the works of righteousness that we are required to do AFTER we are born again. More to come…so stay tuned!