Galatians

Galatians

The Epistles of Paul have been attacked and twisted from the very days of Paul himself.  Today they are twisted and perverted so as to appear to mean the exact opposite of what they do mean, turning Paul’s teachings to keep God’s Word with passionate zeal into an excuse to minimize and compromise with the law and the Word of God.      

While Alexander spread Hellenism with his conquests, Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander and the author of Hellenism; which is merely Aristotelian logic; and modern Transformative Education is merely the logic of Aristotle; which is the foundation of modern Rabbinic Judaism and Catholic based professing Christianity. 

This logic starts off with a reasonable appearing but false premise and then uses often beautiful logic to come to an erroneous conclusion.  

To begin, a careful study through the scriptures and especially the Epistles of Paul is essential to ground the brethren in the sound doctrine of Holy Scripture and protect them from the attempts of wicked men to lead them astray. 

Watch that PREMISE! If the opening assumption [the premise] is wrong; then good logic will reach a wrong conclusion.  Always watch that premise! 

In Galatians Chapter 1 Paul introduces his subject.

To understand the various epistles, it is necessary to understand who they are written to and to understand a little something about the subject and the times.

The book of Galatians was written to the people of the Greek province of Galatia. Among these people were Gentiles who knew nothing about the things of God until they were converted and certain Jews also lived among these Gentiles. And these Jews wanted the Galatians to be circumcised in order to be integrated into the Mosaic Covenant, not fully understanding the spiritual circumcision of the New Covenant.

Paul was writing on the subject of circumcision, to point out the meaning of circumcision, and to point out the spiritual New Covenant meaning of the subject of circumcision.

Galatians 1

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, not called of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him, [raised Christ] from the dead.

Paul says that he was not appointed to serve [was not ordained] by any man, but was called directly by God the Father and by Jesus Christ. He was not ordained by any man.

Those who idolize ordination by men, should listen to Paul here. He says, he was not ordained or called or chosen by any man, but was called directly by God the Father and Jesus Christ. 

Nearly all men who were ordained of men have proved out to be ungodly men, because they were not ordained according to the scriptures, but ordained for loyalty to men.

Now of course, if God should COMMAND a man to ordain a specific person for a specific responsibility or as their successor; God should be obeyed.

A major question is who should be ordained and the answer is that no man should be ordained until and unless God makes it very clear that the person is God’s choice; at that point the ordaining is only an acceptance of what God has already decided.

People should only be ordained according to God’s criteria.

No one should be ordained because of a college or seminary education, no person should be ordained who does not meet the scriptural requirements for ordination; being of full age and well experienced in life and in the faith; having been married and raised up children, BEFORE any ordination.

1:2 And all the brethren which are with me unto the churches of Galatia: 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 1:4 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, [that is, the will of the one who is God the Father]. 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul was astonished that they had quickly turned away from the spiritual New Covenant.

1:6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.

Paul is amazed that they [and we also] are turning from the gospel of Christ; turning away from the true gospel of sincere repentance and zeal to become and live as Christ lived and lives; being perverted into a false gospel of a tolerant of sin Jesus.

1:7 But this is not another [There is only one true gospel which is the whole Word of God, therefore the deceivers are teaching a false so called gospel]; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 1:8 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. 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again; if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.

Paul is pronouncing a curse on anyone who is changing the doctrines that were originally preached by Christ and later by Paul. Paul says, I told you the truth [God’s Word is truth] . Therefore, let anyone who is perverting that truth be accursed. 

This curse is on all those who follow the LIE that we are to follow whatever men say and not be zealous to live by every Word God, or who teach the LIE that Jesus Christ is tolerant of sin.

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Galatians 1:10 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.

Paul says, I am not trying to please either the Jews or the Gentiles. I am pleasing God. I am a servant of Christ. And what I am telling you is the truth of Christ and is not for the benefit of a particular group, either Jew or Gentile. It is the truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel, which was preached of me is not after man. 1:12 But I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul is clearly saying that these things were revealed directly to him from Jesus Christ. Through inspiration or direct teaching, one can argue that, but the point is he was not taught these things by Peter or James or John or any of the other apostles or disciples. He understood these things through the direct inspiration and teaching of Jesus Christ.

Those who accept the Primacy of Peter heresy, the false doctrine that Peter was the chief apostle, and that God only works through one man, should ask themselves why Christ did not do this with Paul.

Why did God directly call teach and inspire Paul, and taught Paul these things, and why did Jesus not reveal these things through Peter? I think that is a valid question for those who stand by the Primacy of Peter teaching.

1:13: For you have heard of my conversation or conduct in past time in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 1:15 but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

Paul is appealing to the Jews and telling them how very zealous he was for the Mosaic Covenant and for the religion of his people, the religion of the Mosaic  Pharisees. He was saying, I was very zealous for these things. I know them, I understand them; and I know where you guys are coming from. But when I was struck down in the flesh, I immediately conferred, not with flesh and blood, but with the spiritual Jesus Christ.

Jesus was changed to a spirit at his resurrection, he became a spirit and he appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. So, Paul was not then conversing with flesh and blood, with human beings; but with the real spirit Jesus Christ.

He did not receive this inspiration or this understanding or this knowledge, from Peter or any of the other apostles. He received it directly from Jesus Christ.

1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem unto those, which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Paul was struck down, as we know in the book of Acts, he went to Damascus where he received his sight back in part. And after a time, he went to Arabia and then he returned to Damascus.  This does NOT say that Paul was in Arabia for three years as some have wrongly taught.

Paul writes that went up to Jerusalem three years after he returned to Damascus from Arabia, which means that Paul was in Damascus for three years after returning from Arabia.

1:18 And then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and abode with him 15 days.

Paul stayed in Damascus for three years AFTER he returned there from Arabia, the time in Arabia is not stated.

Paul says, that he did not even speak to Peter until more than three years after he saw Christ. And he did not speak to the other apostles during that time either.

1:19 But others of the apostles saw I none, except James the Lord’s brother. 1:20 Now, the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I do not lie. 1:21 afterwords I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ.

After three years in Damascus after returning from Arabia, Paul went to Jerusalem and spent 15 days with Peter and visited with James and then left Judea and went to Syria and Cilicia. He was still unknown in personal appearance or by his face to the people of the Ekklesia in Judea which were in Christ.

Paul is emphasizing to the Jews and to the Gentiles in Galatia, that he was taught by Christ, that he was inspired and taught by Christ directly, and was not taught through Peter, or James, or John, or anybody else.

That says a lot about this idea that Peter was the chief apostle, and that God only works through one man. Which is simply not true. It is a lie; God works through whomever God wants, whenever God wants, wherever God wants and in whatever way God wants.

1:23 But they that had heard only, That he which persecuted us in past times now preaches the faith which once he attacked and destroyed. 1:24 And they glorified God in me.

More than 3 years after seeing Christ on the road to Damascus, and then 15 days in Jerusalem, and then after another 14 years, Paul goes back to Jerusalem a second time. 

Paul was called directly by God and was NOT ordained by any man, and God used this unordained by man person to write a very large part of the New Testament. 

 

Galatians 2

Paul goes into a short history of his calling and ministry to establish that he learned the Word directly from Christ, and that he did not learn the New Covenant doctrine from other men, nor was he ordained by men, but was called and ordained of God.

Then Paul immediately goes into the Doctrine of Salvation by Jesus Christ; which doctrine is being rejected by today’s Ekklesia; who are perverting the sacrifice of Christ into a license and excuse to compromise with the commandments and Word of God. 

Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

2:2  And I went up by revelation [to Jerusalem], and communicated unto the people there the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Paul reveals that he spent some time in Damascus, then more time in the wilderness of Arabia, followed by three years in Damascus and only then spends just 15 days in Jerusalem; and then after that it was another 14 years before he went back to Jerusalem.

When he returned to Jerusalem Paul sought out and communicated in private with the leaders of the brethren.  The second trip to Jerusalem being to see whether they were still on the same page and whether they were teaching the same things, so, that he could determine whether he had run or taught things in vain.

Paul certainly does not mean to imply that he went to them for any permissions or corrections from them; rather this was an exchange of information about what he was doing and what these men were doing in Jerusalem, as well as a discussion of spiritual matters in an “iron sharpens iron” discussion, as any group of believers should have occasionally.

These men in Jerusalem still needed to learn a few things, even after living with Christ through his ministry, and many would have benefited from communicating with each other.

That does NOT mean or imply any kind of subordinate role by anyone. In fact everyone would mutually benefit from such an exchange of information.

2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised,

Then, some sought to compel Titus to be circumcised and Paul rejected their demands.

2:4 And that, because of false brethren unawares brought in, who secretly came in to privily or secretly spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour. 

Paul did not submit to these people.  Paul was very strong to bow only to God and not to any man, as we all should do; following men ONLY as they follow Christ!

2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me, it means nothing to me for God does not accept any man’s person. . .

The brethren should remember that God accepts no man’s person and that each of us must prove all things by every Word of God.

What really matters is not what people say, what matters is whether what they say is consistent with the Word of God.

Paul said, it makes no matter to him who a person is or what title he claims, for God accepts no man’s person above another.

If a man is wrong God will correct him no matter WHO he thinks he is. We are ALL held to the same standard; the Word and Law of God. 

If you stand before Christ at your judgment and he asks you why you called His Sabbath holy and still polluted it?  and if you answer that you followed the teachings of some man; Jesus Christ will say that the sin of idolatry has been added to your list of wickedness! and Jesus Christ will cast you away! 

Matthew 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Galatians 2:6  . . .  For they that seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision [meaning  the Gentiles of Europe and Asia Minor]  was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision [meaning the Jews in Judea] was committed to Peter; 2:8 For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision or of the Jews, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles.

This is not quite so simple as Jews and Gentiles; for Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit was doing a great work in Peter and others, in both the Jews and Gentiles in Palestine; and the same Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ was doing a mighty work in Paul toward the Jews [most of whom rejected the way] but more to the Gentiles in Europe and Asia Minor.

Christ also did a work in India by Thomas and in other places through other men. Each man had his assignment and although they tried to communicate to make sure that they were on the same page spiritually and had not drifted; each was answerable to Jesus Christ who was the Chief Apostle. The Chief Apostle of our salvation is Jesus Christ and NOT any man!

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him [faithful to God the Father]

Galatians 2:9  And when James, and Cephas, [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [commission] that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Notice here that Peter and James and John were not jealous of Paul. And they didn’t say, oh no God only works through us. They said, it looks like God is doing something in you and we are giving you the hands of friendship and we are saying that we support you and will help you and cooperate with you and let’s work together. We are not jealous, and we are not egocentric. God does not work through just us. God is obviously working through you also; and they rejoiced to see the wonderful things that Christ was doing in also sending salvation to the Gentiles.

2:10 Only that they wanted that we should remember the poor; the same thing which I also was forward to do. 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, there I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed and to be resisted. 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come from James, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision or of the Jews.

Did you get that? Did you hear that? You people who are into the Primacy of Peter, you people who think God works through one man only, and that some man has the right to do whatever he wants; Paul resisted God’s apostle Peter; because he was wrong!

Paul withstood him to his face! Paul said, you are wrong sir, and what you are doing is wrong.

No Peter was not the chief apostle. They were all working together and they were all inspired by God. God is building a tremendous building, a temple which is his Ekklesia, his people. Jesus Christ is the Master Builder, not any man.

And he has many tools, and the various true apostles, and true prophets, and true evangelists, and so on; are only tools in the hands of God. They need to acknowledge that, and to acknowledge God’s authority over them, and to acknowledge that Almighty God can use whatever tool he wants to; in whatever way God wants.

Yes, Paul withstood Peter because certain disciples came to Antioch; and immediately Peter said, well, I better be more careful here about what I do with these Gentiles, because I might offend these Jews. And Paul withstood him for that kind of duplicity.

Let’s understand what was actually going on here. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Jews would not have anything to do with the Gentiles, because the Gentiles might render them unclean in some way, being uncircumcised.

In Judea at this time, Gentiles were not invited into a Jewish home. A Jew did not go into a Gentile’s home. They did not generally associate with one another.

The only way that there could be an association, is if a Gentile was circumcised and committed himself to the Mosaic Covenant. In that case, this Gentile was grafted into Israel. He became a Jew, and no longer was considered a Gentile. He was grafted into Israel.

We can find this commandment in the book of

Exodus 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

The fact is, the Jews did not associate with physically uncircumcised Gentiles. And yet Peter was associating with fleshly uncircumcised Gentiles called out into the New Covenant UNTIL some Jewish visitors came and Peter thought that he had better not associate with these Gentiles anymore, because I might offend the Jewish brethren. 

Peter was respecting one race above another; which is contrary to the New Covenant in which all races are called into a spiritual organism and there is no race, except the race of Godliness.  Paul continues this through Galatians 3.

2:13 And the other Jews which were among us dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas himself was carried away with their dissimulation.

And they all got upset about associating with uncircumcised Gentiles who had been called into the New Covenant and were circumcised in the heart and they begin to separate themselves from the Gentile converts, because they had not been circumcised in the flesh according to the Mosaic Covenant.

2:14 But when I, [that is Paul]; saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles.

That is; these men were not so concerned with all of these Jewish traditions like fasting on certain days of the week and so on, which were traditions of the Pharisees. And if you are not concerned about the traditions of the Pharisees anymore, and you live similarly to the Gentiles and you do not live as do the Jews or the Pharisees, according to the traditions,

. . . why compellest you the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Now Paul goes into the need to keep the law of God in the New Covenant and that it is wrong to reject other brethren in the New Covenant now circumcised in heart. 

2:15 We who are Jews by nature [being physical Israel converted into New Covenant spiritual Israel], and not sinners of the Gentiles, 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, [that is; the deeds and traditions of men, or any future law keeping; does not atone for PAST sins] but is justified 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.

No flesh, no person; can be justified before God for their past deeds of sin by any future law keeping. That is because ALL have sinned at some point and even if we keep the law perfectly after that, we must still pay for that PAST sin and NO amount of future law abiding can atone for past sin.

For example if you murder someone and then live perfectly for many years; you are still a murderer.

We can keep all kinds of traditions and fast three days week and avoid associating with physically uncircumcised yet converted Gentiles, which is the subject here. And that is not going to justify anyone.

People can only be justified by sincere repentance, a genuine baptismal commitment to go and sin no more, and faith in the application of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, by accepting Christ’s sacrifice for their sins; which is circumcision of the heart!

No matter how perfectly the law is kept, it still does not atone for PAST sin.

We can wake up today, and say we are going to be perfect from here on out forever. But that doesn’t pay for previous sins!

To have those PAST sins paid for, to have an atonement and reconciliation made between us and God, comes only through repentance and faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Paul is saying, you can’t be justified, you can’t be made right with God, by your own deeds. You can only be made right with God by having the sacrifice of Jesus Christ applied to you; and then going forward to diligently do the DEEDS of God; living by every Word of God in future!

The sacrifice of Christ is only APPLIED to the REPENTANT; who STOP sinning!  and it is sincere repentance to stop sinning and the application of the atonement of Christ for our past sins; which justifies and purifies us.

After that, we are to go forward; avoiding sin and living by every Word of God. But keeping the commandments does not justify anyone from PAST sins. It is sacrifice of Christ which justifies us and makes us right with God and atones for past sins.

2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [that is, if we continue in sin,] is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Once we are justified by sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to go and sin no more and faith in the sacrifice of Christ, we are NOT to continue in sin as Paul said, God forbid that we should continue in sin!

2:18 For if I build again the things, which I destroyed, [that is, my sinful nature] I make myself a transgressor.

If I have destroyed my sinful nature in sincere repentance and baptism, rising up from the grave of baptism a NEW being in Christ, and then being justified by my faith in the sacrifice of Christ; I go out and continue in sin, I have returned to my sins and I am still a transgressor.

2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;  yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

Christ was crucified for our sins, if that sacrifice is applied to us, our old sinful self is also dead because Christ died and the crucifixion and sacrifice of Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for PAST sincerely repented sin.  Therefore we must live by every Word of God through the indwelling power of Christ; from henceforth and forever more!

Our repentance, our baptismal commitment and faith in Christ and his sacrifice, atones for PAST sin. And the sinful man, our sinful nature is dead and gone, and we rise up new persons in Christ.

Jesus Christ can then dwell in us through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, and when he [Christ] is dwelling in us, Christ will do the things he has always done, now within us, that is, he will live by every Word of God and we will live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal as we are led by the Spirit of Christ.

This is the New Covenant circumcision of the heart: 

Colossians 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

God’s Spirit is not divided against God. God’s Spirit is the Spirit and nature of God. God is not divided against himself. He keeps his own Word.

Christ says, “I have kept my Father’s commandments” and the Holy Spirit of God will empower us and lead us to also keep God’s commandments; to turn away from sin.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ death is in vain.

If we have sinned, and we could stop sinning today and be perfect from this point onward: What about past sins?

Keeping the law from this point forward does not atone for our PAST law breaking. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can atone for past law breaking. And then, the Holy Spirit is given to us, and empowers us to go forward, putting away all sin and living by every Word of God in the future. 

To summarize:  We must sincerely repent of all PAST sin and STOP sinning; then to really get that point across we must make a formal baptismal commitment to stop sinning and destroy our PAST sinful self; going down into the grave of water and destroying the old person of sin, and then rising up out of the water a NEW person in Christ and Christ-like zeal to Live by Every Word of GOD. 

Then the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ the true Lamb of God, will be applied to us and we must go forward in Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God through the strength of the ultimate overcomer dwelling in us, henceforth and forever! 

Physical circumcision is only a symbolic removal of a piece of flesh and avails nothing unless God is obeyed [except that physical circumcision is a prophecy of spiritual circumcision]; but the spiritual circumcision of the New Covenant removes our sins which have separated us from God!

The true doctrine of Salvation through Jesus Christ, is that we must become spiritually circumcised, removing all of the sin which separates us from God the Father.

Anyone who teaches the false doctrine that we need not be passionately faithful and obedient to the whole Word of God, as Jesus Christ was and is; teaching that we can tolerate compromise with the Word of God; is teaching that we need not be spiritually circumcised and is an antichrist and is under a curse from God!

 

Galatians 3

Paul condemns racism in the Ekklesia and teaches the difference between physical and spiritual circumcision.

Galatians 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit, [Did the Holy Spirit come] by the works of the law, [Does keeping the commandments in future, atone for PAST sin?] or by the hearing of faith?

Did you receive the Holy Spirit, by now starting to keep the commandments; or did the penalty for sin have to be paid first, so that you could be reconciled to God?

It is our repentance and faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice, which reconciles us to God the Father, which then brings us into a relationship with God the Father, so that he may then give us his Spirit.

3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the acts of the flesh? 3:4 Have you suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. 3:5 He, theretofore, [or he, therefore,] that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and [obeyed God] it was accounted to him for righteousness. 3:7 Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

The subject of the book of Galatians was the problem that some Jewish converts had with associating with some Gentile converts who had been circumcised in spirit having sincerely repented of sin; but had not been circumcised in the flesh, which was the sign of the Mosaic Covenant, and were not following certain Pharisaic traditions.

That is the subject, and Paul starts talking about being saved by faith, and being forgiven through the atoning sacrifice of Christ and living by faith in Christ, and then keeping the commandments through the indwelling of Christ, to show the difference between physical circumcision and circumcision of the heart.

In fact Paul is explaining the difference between keeping God’s Word in future and the need for an atonement for PAST sin.

People who do what Abraham did, being full of faith and marrying that faith to the actions of obedience to the whole Word of God; are Abraham’s children. Galatians 3:7 Know you not therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”

Paul is teaching us that it is not just physical Israel who are the children of Abraham, but it is everyone who has sincerely repented and had the atoning sacrifice of Christ applied to them.

Everyone who commits to obey God the Father in all things and who is then filled with God’s Spirit, everyone who is filled with faith in God, all of them, both Jew and Gentile including ALL races, are people of faith and are therefore the children of Abraham.

It is not those who are the physical descendants of Abraham; but those who do what Christ teaches and what Abraham did as our example; those who are like Abraham in faith, words and deeds;  are truly Abraham’s children. Physical descent means nothing in the New Covenant:  Believing and living by every Word of God is all in all!

In Hebrews 12:8 Paul explains that those who will not endure correction are not truly son’s at all but bastards. Why does any father correct his children? Why, to mold their behavior into what HE wants it to be; to cause the child to act as the father would have him act.

Therefore if we will not do what Abraham did for our example, he is not truly our father in a spiritual sense; and if we do not obey our Father in heaven; then he is NOT our Father in the spiritual sense; and if we will not keep the whole Word of God our Father in heaven; then we are rebellious children in need of severe correction.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

If we become the children of God our Father in heaven and are reconciled to him in faith; and turn away from all sin to live by every Word of God; we also become reconciled to Abraham and become heirs of the promises made to him.

Paul is trying to heal the rift between certain Jews and certain Gentiles in saying that; if we have faith in God and in Christ and keep all of God’s Word as Abraham did; then we are circumcised in heart: Regardless of race we are grafted into a spiritual Israel of the New Covenant and we ARE the children of Abraham.

Circumcision of the flesh has a fault, which is that those circumcised in the flesh still could not obey their father Abraham nor their Father in heaven; therefore circumcision of the flesh was replaced by a much better circumcision: A circumcision of the heart through the sacrifice of Christ which atoned for sin, removing the barrier of sin [foreskin of our heart] which comes between us and God the Father.

The foreskin of our hearts [which is our sins] that must be removed!

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

As it is written:  

Deuteronomy 10:16  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked [stubborn and self-willed].

Those sins are removed by our sincere repentance and our baptismal commitment to go and sin no more; through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God; which then reconciles us to God the Father and makes us the seed of Abraham in a spiritual sense.

It is the circumcision of the heart [the removal of sin by the application of the sacrifice of Christ] which makes us Abraham’s seed,: not the circumcision of the flesh; which does not remove sin, nor does it make us truly spiritual sons of Abraham, or sons of God our Father in heaven.

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. 3:9 So, then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Those who repent and turn away from rebellion against God the Father; who STOP sinning: Will then have the sacrifice of the Lamb of God applied to them!

Our faith in Christ; which must be a living faith of sincere repentance from evil works, to become obedient to the whole Word of God the Father, as Christ was obedient to God the Father: will result in the application of Christ’s atoning sacrifice to us. And being justified by that sacrifice we will be reconciled to God the Father in heaven.

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

We are only justified by the application of Christ’s sacrifice! The unrepentant sinner will NOT have the sacrifice of Christ applied to him or her and will NOT be justified before God!

The true circumcision of the New Covenant is spiritual, of the heart and spirit, and not of the flesh.

Circumcision of the flesh profits nothing spiritually, even baptism and ordination, or attending some corporate church organization profits nothing at all; UNLESS we are circumcised of the heart; through sincere repentance from all sin and compromising with any part of the whole Word of God  followed by a commitment to diligently believe and live by every Word of God; and the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

If we are baptized, ordained, or attend corporate church services, or are physically circumcised:  It means absolutely NOTHING unless we do the deeds of Abraham and have his faith to trust and obey Almighty God!

Circumcision of the flesh was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant and when that Covenant passed away because of its weakness: It was replaced with a New and better Covenant, a spiritual Covenant.

The sign of the New Covenant is the circumcision of the heart: Which is repentance from rebellion and sin, a commitment to obey God the Father and the application of the atoning sacrifice of Christ! This circumcises our hearts by removing all PAST sins and reconciles us to God the Father by removing that barrier of sin hat existed between us and God the Father; which barrier is our rebellion and sin!

This message about circumcision is an explanation of the process of salvation!

Yes, the truly converted Gentiles are grafted into a spiritual Israel, being filled with faith in God. They are obedient in faith and are the seed of Abraham, for Abraham believed God and coupled that belief with obedience!

Abraham believed God. Abraham acted on that belief and obeyed God showing forth the works of his faith. That is faith.

Faith is not just belief, it is action based on belief. We can believe all we want to and if we do nothing about it, it has done us absolutely no good. We must believe God, and we must act on that belief by doing what God says.

If we believe in the sacrifice of Christ, then we must act to stop sinning so that his sacrifice may then be applied to us! This is called “SINCERE REPENTANCE”!

3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

If we do not have faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, his perfect sinless life and resurrection, and if we justify breaking the law in even the smallest point, we are cursed [facing death]  and we must pay the penalty for having broken the Word of God.

There is no remission of PAST sin without sincere repentance from all past sin, a commitment to sin no more in future and the application of the sacrifice of Christ!

The penalty for transgressing the law or any part of the Word of God is death;  Adam died for his rebellion against God! And the only way to be saved from being forced to pay the penalty we have earned; is to sincerely repent of all PAST sins, resolve to STOP sinning in future, be baptized, and have faith in the promises and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith. 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, the man that does them shall live in them. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, [If we sincerely repent and STOP sinning, Christ will redeem us from the penalty for having broken the law,] being made a curse for us, having died for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

The law itself is not a curse. It is a great blessing. But there is a curse of the law, and the curse of the law is the penalty that must be paid when the law is broken. And when the law is broken, the penalty to be exacted is death.

We can only be saved from that penalty through sincere repentance for not obeying God and then to dedicate ourselves to live by every Word of God from henceforth and forever more.

Then the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ will be applied to us; at which point we will be given God’s Spirit; and the Spirit of Christ and of God the Father will dwell in us, empowering us to live by every Word of God the Father and of Jesus Christ.

And if we should slip now and then, or here and there unintentionally; we have faith that Christ’s sacrifice will atone for us if we sincerely repent. That does not justify continuing in sin. It does not justify habitual sin. But it is there to save us, when and if we do unintentionally slip.

3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come also on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Spirit of God, which empowers us to keep God’s Word, which imparts us with the very nature of God; that Holy Spirit is given through the promise of the Spirit on sincere repentance and faith. It is given because of our repentance and faith in the sacrifice of Christ and our willingness to obey Christ and God the Father, to turn from our sins and to diligently live by every Word of God the Father in future (Mat 4:4).

3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s agreement or covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuls, or adds to it.

When you have a firm covenant or a contract with somebody, nobody can break it, or disannul it, or change it; without a penalty. It is there, a commitment made between two people.

3:16 Now, to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

The promise of God to Abraham was that through your seed Isaac, who was a type of  Jesus Christ, God shall bless all people; which includes ALL races.

3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot disannul that covenant or that promise that God made to Abraham, that it should make the promise of no effect.

That is, Jesus Christ was God before he was made flesh, and he promised Abraham in Ur: “in your seed shall all flesh be blessed.” And the law coming 430 years [after the promise was made in Ur] later at Sinai cannot disannul the promise that God made to Abraham.  See the Chronology here.

As a slight aside here, that is why the descendants of Abraham, that is, the tribes of Israel and Judah are being blessed in this latter day; to fulfill all the promises made by God to the ancients. The Mosaic Covenant ended with the death of the Husband Jesus Christ. However, God’s promises have not ended. And he is keeping the promises he made to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph and  to Moses, that he would bless their descendants. And God is keeping his promise and Abraham’s descendants are being blessed at this time.

Because of the overspreading of our abominations, the blessing [Christ’s application of the Daily Sacrifice in heaven, representing the nation under God’s blessings and protection , which restrains the false abomination of iniquity] will be stopped and we will be corrected.

Until our correction we are now receiving the latter day blessings that were promised to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to Joseph.

Back to Galatians and Paul who is writing about the blessing of the coming of Christ, of the coming of Messiah and of his atoning sacrifice; for not just Jews but for all people of faith.

The New Covenant of spiritual Israel is for all who would respond to God the Father’s call, all who would believe and sincerely repent and turn from sin, dedicating themselves to diligently keep and live by the whole Word of God.

This promise made to Abraham, that all flesh shall be blessed through his seed; one of his descendant’s; is firm and cannot be altered or changed by subsequent covenants or laws.

Therefore, the Mosaic Covenant cannot alter the promise of the spiritual New Covenant, that God made to Abraham concerning the blessing of atonement through his seed; Jesus Christ.

3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of a promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

God’s promise to Abraham was a promise; and had nothing to do with the Mosaic Covenant and the various laws. It was a personal promise of God to Abraham.

3:19 Wherefore, then, serveth the law? The law was added because of transgressions [or wickedness,] till the seed, [that is, the one seed] should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 3:20 Now, a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

That is, a mediator mediates between two parties. A mediator does not deal with just one party. And there is one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. He came as our mediator, and our deliverer, and our sacrifice. And he mediates between us and God the Father. 

No, Mary is not a mediatrix and the saints do not mediate for people, here is no other mediator between God and man, than Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? . . .

Are God’s commandments and the Covenants, somehow contrary to or against the promises of God? Of course not.

As Paul says, . . . God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness should have been by the law.

But the law cannot provide payment for past sin. What provides atonement and forgiveness is our repentance coupled with the application of the actual sacrifice of the Creator.

3:22 But the scripture hath concluded that all are under sin, that the promise of faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them who believe. 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under [the penalty of having broken the law] law and shut up [faith in Christ was hidden] unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Paul says, until faith came in, and until the sacrifice of Jesus Christ came into the picture, until Christ actually fulfilled his mission; we were all under the curse [that the penalty of breaking the law must be paid] of the law. We all face the penalty for having broken the law. We were all facing death for having broken the commandments until Christ’s sacrifice and faith entered.

Christ’s sacrifice was made and he was resurrected to spirit, and we can have faith in that sacrifice and resurrection; faith that Christ lived a sinless life and his sacrifice atoned for our sincerely repented sin and that we, if Christ lives in us keeping the whole Word of God in us, can also be resurrected to spirit as he was. Faith then enters into the picture and the concept of having to die for our PAST sin fades away, as we are justified by our sincere repentance and faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, that he paid the penalty in our place.

3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 3:25 For after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

We needed to learn not to sin and therefore we faced a penalty for our sin, to teach us not to sin.

When we learn not to sin any more and to REPENT of our PAST sin; then FAITH in the atoning sacrifice of Christ enters the picture and delivers the REPENTANT from the need to pay the penalty for PAST sin. This DOES NOT JUSTIFY continuing in sin!

3:26 For you are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

If we have been called by God and have sincerely repented of all past sins, then Jesus Christ will dwell in us through the power of God’s Spirit; empowering us to live as Christ lived, living by every Word of God (Mat 4:4).

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

Paul comes back to the issue of Jew / Gentle, conversion  and circumcision here.

The converted of the New Covenant spiritual Israel are not Jews and they are not Gentiles, they are all heirs together of the promise of God.  Those who are faithful, are all the children of Abraham and the children of God, because they are sincerely repentant and filled with Abraham’s faith and obedience to live by every Word of God in future.

The sign of the New Covenant is not circumcision in the flesh, it is circumcision of the heart [which is heartfelt REPENTANCE from sin and going forward to faithfully live by every Word of God as Christ did!].

The sign of the New Covenant is REPENTANCE, FAITH and the diligent keeping of every Word of God!  It is FAITH in Christ, married to the works of REPENTANT OBEDIENCE that saves!  Faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God the Father, faith in the sacrifice that was applied to blot out our REPENTED sins.

Faith that the Spirit of God is given to us and dwells in us and empowers us to live by every Word of God, and empowers us to please God; and fills us with the love of God, which is to live by every Word of God.

We must now live by faith; because before, we were dead in sin having broken the law and under the penalty of death; and sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).

Sin is the transgression of the law. We have all broken the law at some point in our lives. Therefore, we are all under the penalty of having broken the law which is death.

It is a stopping of sinning [REPENTANCE] and faith in Jesus Christ and the application of his sacrifice to atone for our past sins; that brings into a proper relationship with God and circumcises our hearts; removing the BARRIER of sin which separates us from Almighty God.

And it is through sincere repentance, faith and the application of the sacrifice of Christ reconciling us to God; that the Holy Spirit can be given to us; and that Spirit then empowers us to live by every Word of God in the future.

Once a penalty for breaking a law has been paid, that does not in any way justify continuing to break the law.

If you have a habit of going through red lights, and you go and pay a fine, and the next time you are caught, you tell the judge, “Well, I paid the fine last time, I have a right to do it from now on.” He is going to laugh at you, and probably take away your license, and maybe give you a few days to cool off in a cell.

The fact is, when we pay a fine, it only pays for PAST law breaking. It does not pay for any future law breaking. And that is true with God as well. The sacrifice of Christ applied to us, only atones for sincerely repented PAST law breaking. It does not permit us to indulge ourselves in future law breaking.

If we inadvertently break the law in future, we must repent, and have the sacrifice applied again, or we will face the penalty for that particular act of law breaking.

And there will come a time, if we willfully break the law and justify ourselves in doing so; that Christ is going to run out of patience with us. 

We are not sincere; We are not honest; We don’t really want to live by God’s Word; We are not really trying to please God.  God’s patience will end with serious correction. His sacrifice is not going to be applied to us anymore; until we straighten up, and wake up, and start really genuinely repenting, and start really genuinely trying to please God.

Sincere repentance, faith and the works of faith to STOP sinning, save us from the penalty of sin, which is death. It is faith and the sacrifice of Christ which saves us.

That faith does not entitle us to then go out and incur the penalty a second time, and a third, and a fourth, and on and on, and on.

No, Faith in the sacrifice, must be married to the works of faith, married to sincere repentance and a dedicated commitment to STOP sinning brings atonement for PAST sin, PAST law breaking; and allows us to be reconciled with God the Father.

Which atonement for sin places us into a proper relationship with God; and through faith, we are given God’s Holy Spirit which will then empower us to live by every Word of God from then on.

Paul continues with his guidance and instruction to the people, trying to reconcile the Jews and the Gentile converts with each other, and to make them realize that they are all part of the same body, and through faith, they are all the children of Abraham. 

1 Corinthians 7:19  Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. [is everything]

Physical circumcision, baptism and even ordination are absolutely NOTHING if we are not zealous to live by every Word of God! 

Spiritual circumcision is the removal of the sin that separates us from God and the writing of the whole Word of God on our hearts and in our minds through the Holy Spirit enabling us to live by every Word of God. 

Jeremiah 31:33   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. 

Those who compromise or reject any part of the Word of God, as is commonly done in the Ekklesia today, will have no part in the New Covenant resurrection to spirit.

 

Galatians 4

Galatians 4:1  Now, I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he is the lord of all.

If someone inherits a huge estate but is still a child, they need to mature and learn how to handle that responsibility before that responsibility can be given to them.

4:2 And the child is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

We were placed in this physical world so that we might learn obedience to God,  and that we might experience its evils and learn to trust in God.

4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 4:5 to redeem them which were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Christ became flesh, under the potential  penalty of the law for any possible sin. Mary herself having at some point in her life committed some sin for sure, as we all have; and she was worthy to die as we all are.

Jesus Christ died for her as much as for anybody else. For we are all facing the penalty for breaking the law; until we sincerely repent and STOP sinning and the atoning sacrifice of Christ is applied to us.

It is when we have sincerely repented, and committed and dedicated ourselves to go and sin no more; that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can be applied to us; and we may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by which we may overcome all sin so that we might receive the adoption of God as His  sons.

4:6 And because you are [adopted] sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

The Spirit of the son, the Spirit of Jesus Christ; is the Holy Spirit of God.  And Jesus Christ said, “I can do nothing of myself, all things I have done by the Father” (John 5:30); And again, he said: “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10).

And that same Spirit will be given to us and we will be able to cry, Father, Father, with true genuine love and have a real, true, genuine relationship, a father-son relationship with God the Father through the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us.

We with the Spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us; will love God the Father, will obey God the Father and we will please God the Father in Christ-like zeal: And we will have the same kind of relationship with God the Father that Jesus Christ had. 

If we do not love and keep the whole Word of God with dedicated zeal; then we do not have the Holy Spirit of God; we are of another spirit.

4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

That is, when we have that kind of relationship with God the Father and we become the sons of the Father, we are also heirs and will receive an inheritance from the Father of eternal life with Him even as Christ did.

We will be part of God’s kingdom. Christ will be King of kings over all the earth; and we will have a part, receiving a portion of that inheritance working with Christ as younger brothers and fellow heirs.

4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are not gods. 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather you are known of God, how is it, how can you turn again to the weaker and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire to be in bondage?

I ask as Paul did: If we have been justified by repentance and faith. You who are circumcised in heart with the circumcision of Christ into a New and better Covenant; why do you want to remain in the sin you were delivered from?

Why do you compromise with the Word of God and call the Sabbath holy and then openly pollute it? or by becoming lax in any zeal to keep God’s Word?

Why would you want to go back into the bondage of sin, again facing the death penalty for sin and law breaking, when you have been liberated from bondage to sin and delivered from that death sentence for our sins, through repentance and faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ?

4:10 For you observe days, and months, and times, and years.

This is about various Jewish traditions; fasting two or three times a week and doing special things on certain days, and today men using prayer shawls and wearing skull caps . Paul is talking about traditions of men  here; he is not talking about God’s commanded Sabbath or God’s commanded Holy Days, or the Word of God. He is talking about the traditions of men, as he says.  It is also about the nonscriptural traditions of men today.

Paul is explaining about coming again into the weak and beggarly elements [worldly man devised religious traditions] of this world, instead of living by every Word of God.

The things of God are not weak and beggarly. They are holy and right and just and good as Paul says in another place, the law of God is holy.

Why then do you seek to turn away from the things of God to go back to these beggarly, weak things? To go back to observing all of these vain traditions and teachings of men, including the tradition of not eating with the Gentiles.

There was a tradition that it is wrong to associate with converted New Covenant circumcised in heart Gentiles; who were living by every Word of God.  They ARE spiritually clean and will be physically clean as well because they have repented and now keep the commandments!

4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you my labors in vain. 4:12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are or as you should be: you have not injured me at all. 4:13 You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 4:14  And my temptation, which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Jesus Christ. 4:15 Where is then the blessedness you spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

Paul fears for the Galatians that they have been deceived into following the false traditions of men when they should be exalting the whole Word of God.

Brethren,  We have also been diverted from following our Deliverer, into following idols of men and many false traditions of men: Following men away from any zeal to keep the whole Word of God; from Doctrine to Prophecy, from Calendar to Sabbath and High Days, we follow the false traditions of men and not the Word of God.

4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Paul is trying to emphasize to these people that what he is telling them is the truth and for their good, that they should remember that both Jews and Gentiles are the heirs of Abraham.

If we are faithful to follow God as Abraham did: Then we are the children of Abraham, the children of faith and the children of God. And we should not look down on each other or refuse to associate with each other because of race.

4:17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them. 4:18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 4:20 I desire to be present with you now and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. 4:21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law [bound to the traditions of men and subject to the penalty of having broken the law], do you not hear the law?

4:22 Do you not hear the law itself? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 4:23 But he, who was of the bondwoman, was born after the flesh.

This is an allegory. The one who was born of the bondwoman, the servant, was born after the flesh, is a likeness of bondage to the ways of this world. But he who was born of the freewoman was by promise. For God had promised Abraham that his wife Sarah his free will wife would have a son.

4:25 And these things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Agar. 4:26 For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem [physical Israel] which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 4:27 But Jerusalem which is above [The Spiritual Israel of the New Covenant] is free [from bondage to sin], which is the mother of us all.

Physical Jerusalem is a type of the Mosaic Covenant made at Sinai. And there is no salvation promised there and there is no spiritual atonement or forgiveness for sin there. There is no promise of eternal life. There is no promise of the Holy Spirit. There is no promise of any these things.

The Mosaic Covenant promises that God will bless the people, and that they will be great and wealthy nations; if, and that’s a big if, they are faithful to the Mosaic Covenant and obedient to their Husband. The whole book of Deuteronomy is a warning from Moses telling the people that they must obey God to receive the blessings of the Mosaic Covenant. And if they will not obey God, they will eventually have those blessings withdrawn and removed.

The Mosaic Covenant ended because it failed to bring eternal salvation (Jeremiah 31:31). The New Covenant is pictured by the New Jerusalem. The New Covenant is a heavenly thing, a divine thing in which the Creator God himself gives his life for his creation.

And those who are called and respond and sincerely repent; who in faith have that sacrifice applied to them, can go forward in faith, justified before God to live by every Word of God and to have a relationship as a true son of God the Father and as a person of faith, a true child of Abraham.

Paul says over and over and over again; that all those who repent and faithfully keep the Word of God, and have the sacrifice of Christ applied to them, are the true spiritually circumcised children of Abraham.

And those who are of the Mosaic Covenant, circumcised in the flesh and not in the spirit, are under the penalty of sin because they lack faith and do not accept the sacrifice of the spiritual New Covenant of Jer 31:31, that could save them.

There was no effective atonement for spiritual sin in the Mosaic Covenant; because the death of lambs, goats, doves and cattle could only keep one in good standing in the Mosaic Covenant, and could not truly atone for sin on the spiritual level of the New Covenant with its promise of eternal life; being of much less value than any person.

Those called out to the New Covenant during that dispensation [Able, Elijah, Moses, David, Noah etc], were called in faith looking forward to the promise of the sacrifice of Messiah for their sins. In due time the Mosaic Covenant ended with the death of the Husband, so there is no covenant anymore of the Mosaic type.

Atonement for sin is all about REPENTANCE and FAITH in God’s promise that the death of Messiah would truly atone for all sincerely repented sin.

Today there is only the New Covenant, and those who lack faith, regardless of whether they call themselves Jews, Christians, the Church of God, Hindus or whatever, if they lack faith in Christ to sincerely repent of PAST sins and to sin no more, going on to live as Christ lived; then the atonement of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of Christ cannot be applied to them. Therefore, their law breaking cannot be atoned for until they sincerely repent.

4:28 For it is written, rejoice, thou barren that bears not; break forth and cry, thou that travails not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now, we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh.  And he who was born, [that is, Ishmael] after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit or after the promise,

As Ishmael persecuted Isaac, even so it is now.  Ishmael born of a slave after the carnal manner – Abraham consorting with a slave – which was a matter of men trying to solve their own problems by their own means [ways] and NOT trusting God to keep his own promises; in this case instigated by Sarah.

Ishmael was by man’s efforts, man trying to attain God’s promises by his own ways; while Isaac was by faith in God’s power and will to keep God’s promises.

4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? [It says,] cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the freewoman. 4:31 So, then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Ishmael and Isaac are here used to demonstrate the difference between works without faith [the Mosaic Covenant]; and works by faith [the New Covenant].

Abraham should have demonstrated his faith by believing God and waiting patiently [the works of FAITH] for God to keep his promise concerning a son.  Yet, this was allowed as an allegory for our instruction today.

We are heirs together with Jesus Christ by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ: Faith in the power of God’s Spirit and faith in the power of God the Father to resurrect his children to eternal life as He resurrected Jesus Christ to spirit and eternal life.

We will only have a good relationship with God and will only be filled with his Spirit, if we are living by every Word of God; and then we can call God our Father and he will call us his sons, and we shall receive a reward and an inheritance if we live by God’s Word; for the law commands that we obey our fathers!

 

Galatians 5

Galatians 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, [yes his sacrifice has made us free from bondage to sin and free from having to pay the penalty of death] and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, [bondage to sin]

Once we are liberated from the penalty of sin, from the penalty for breaking the Word of God; through our repentance and our faith in Christ and his sacrifice; we should not come again into bondage to sin. We should not continue in sin. We should rather turn our backs on sin and start living by every Word of God.

5:2 Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised [in the flesh only and not in the spirit, having a cutting in the flesh while continuing in sin], Christ shall profit you nothing.

If you insist on circumcision in the flesh instead of circumcision of the spirit [heart],  you can have no part in the New Covenant: which is a circumcision of the heart,  a sincere repentance and a passionate dedication to “Go and sin no more,” coupled with faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

We are to be part of a New and better Covenant as promised in Jeremiah 31!

Jeremiah 31:31 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:

31:32 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:

31:33 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.

31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Paul said, circumcision in the flesh is nothing if we are not circumcised in heart to live by every Word of God.  It is not this physical circumcision without the keeping of the Word which brings eternal life.

It is sincere repentance from sin, continually overcoming and faith in the sacrifice of Christ to atone for repented PAST sins, and then to go forward living by every Word of God which saves us.

Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is [becomes] circumcised [in the flesh as an adult convert and is not circumcised in the spirit], that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

The convert who is circumcised in the flesh, is joining the Mosaic Covenant and not the spiritual New Covenant of circumcision of the heart.

A convert must have his PAST sins removed by a circumcision of the heart through sincere repentance and faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice; which alone can reconcile him to God.

We can ONLY enter the New Covenant and be reconciled to God by a circumcision of the heart – through the removal of the sins that separate us from God – by sincere repentance from sin, and by faith and acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ with a whole hearted commitment to live by every Word of God in future.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you who try to justify yourselves by the law; because FUTURE law keeping cannot atone for PAST sins.

There is the key. You cannot be justified for PAST sins by future law keeping.

We are justified through grace which is the pardon that God gives to us because of our sincere repentance, after which the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is applied to us paying the penalty of death for us

Therefore when we STOP sinning, God the Father pardons us: He reaches out and gives us grace or pardon. And in so doing, we are justified  by the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

We cannot be justified by perfectly keeping a law [in future] which we have already broken in the PAST: To be justified requires the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God for all past sins, which must be followed by a diligent commitment to “go and sin no more” in future.

5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whoever of you [think you] are justified by the law; you have fallen from grace. 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision [in the flesh] ; but faith which works by love [Godly love is the keeping of God’s Word for God’s Word is love].

5:7 You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? 5:8 This persuasion comes not of him that called you.

They were not persuaded by God, or by Christ that circumcision of adult converts was required. They were persuaded of this by men who wanted to force them to submit to their own ideas.

No, we need to be circumcised in heart, in the spirit; and have that covering, that veil of sin which comes between us and God: Removed.

Physical circumcision is the removal of a piece of skin, which acts a veil or a covering.

In the New Covenant spiritual circumcision is the removal of the veil of sin which separates us from God, and which is removed by sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to sin no more and the application of the sacrifice of Christ. That is spiritual New Covenant circumcision, the removal of the sin.

Spiritual circumcision is the removal of that veil or barrier of sin that comes between us and God. And that can only be done through sincere repentance, a dedicated commitment to sin no more, and faith in the sacrifice of Christ. We cannot be justified from PAST sin by cutting off a piece of skin from off our bodies. We must have the sin removed; and sin is the transgression of the law. Therefore, when Christ’s sacrifice is applied to us and that barrier, that veil of sin is removed, we must make sure it STAYS REMOVED by stopping our sinning.

The fleshly piece of skin is a symbol of sin, and removing it is a symbol of removing sin: The application of the sacrifice of Christ is the TRUE circumcision of the New Covenant; which is the REALITY that removes the sin that comes between us and God.

We must not sin anymore, because if we sin again, that wall, that veil, that covering; goes right back up again, and separates us from God again.

We need to make sure that that veil, that wall of sin that separates us from God; which is removed upon sincere repentance due to the application of the sacrifice of Christ and is demolished through our faith in God; is NOT built up again, once again separating us from God, by our continuing in sin.

5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Meaning, as it says in another place, that when you break the law in one point, you have broken the whole law. The whole point here is that a little bit of something which is wrong, or a false teaching; pollutes the whole person. Even a small sin pollutes us and separates us from God.

We must NEVER compromise with God’s Word and we must always be quick to repent when we learn that we are in error; in that way, we shall grow into the very children of the Most High! We shall become like HIM!

5:10 I have, confidence in you through the Eternal, that you will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubled you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he is. 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased. 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

Paul points out that he does not preach a need for physical circumcision of adult converts who have already been spiritually circumcised in the heart; which is why he is persecuted by those who do demand physical circumcision of adult converts who have already been circumcised in heart.  

Paul then says that these others are making this demand because they want to avoid persecution from the larger Jewish community themselves.  They are making this demand out of fear of other men.

5:13 For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty [From the bondage of sin and release from the penalty for breaking the law, which is sin]; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh or an occasion to sin [Because you have been freed from the penalty for PAST sins, do not use that deliverance to continue in sin.], but by love serve one another. 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one thing; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed of one another.

If you are continually competing for the preeminence with one another, that’s wrong. There is no love in that. Take heed lest you destroy one another or consume one another.

5:16 This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

If you walk in the Spirit of God, you are not going to be divided against God. You are not going to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. You are not going to continue in sin.

5:17 For the flesh lust against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.

The spiritual things of God are contrary to the things of the flesh and the things of this world.

5:18 But if you are led of the Spirit [you will sincerely repent of all PAST sin], you are not under the [death penalty of] law [you are no longer facing the penalty for having broken the law in the PAST, because being led of God’s Spirit, the Spirit will lead you to keep God’s Word on Future.]

5:19 Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 5:20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 5:21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Consider, all these things also have their spiritual equivalent as well as the physical actions, and those who do such things ether physically or spiritually; shall not be in the first fruits, shall not be in the resurrection to spirit, shall not receive eternal life, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Go back over these, and read these things, and do some meditation about envying, and emulation [of wicked men], and wrath, and strife, and heresies, sedition, and idolatry, and witchcraft. Think about these things. Look them up, define them and make that a good personal Bible Study, because these are the things [in either the physical or the spiritual context] that will keep you out of God’s kingdom.

These things are the heart and core of the lusts of the flesh which leads to law breaking.  Breaking any part of the whole Word of God  is sin, but sin always starts with a thought, an idea, a concept, a lust. And those are the things Paul is talking about here.

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 5:23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof.

5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit [We will conduct our behavior, conduct ourselves in spiritual manner; if we are a spiritual people.] 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory provoking one another envying one another.

 

Galatians 6

Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual or spiritually minded, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

This work is about warning our dearly beloved brethren to turn back to a passionate zeal to live by EVERY WORD of GOD as Paul did, and as Paul and Jesus commanded us to warn our brethren to do.  This work of warning is increasing as these organizations steadfastly reject the warnings to turn back to God’s Word, and insist on cleaving to the false traditions of their idols of men.

6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself. 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

Many have falsely claimed that they are apostles or prophets or some such thing. The claims of every man will be revealed in their fruits (Matthew 7), whether they are true or not, by the Word of God; and the deeds of every man will be judged by every Word of God.

6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches [the other teachers] in all good things. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap. 6:8 For he that sows to his flesh, [that is physical things and the lust of the flesh and breaks the commandment of God] shall of the flesh reap corruption [and correction from God]; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. 

It is doing good to warn our brethren that they have been misled and fallen away, even though they might resent the warnings for a short time, warning them in the hope that they might be saved.

6:11 You see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised [require adult converts be circumcised in the flesh]; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law.

Paul is getting down to the meat  of why some were forcing the Gentiles to be circumcised in the flesh to be considered converted. It was because they were afraid of the Mosaic Jews. They were afraid that if they consorted with Gentiles then the whole Mosaic community would reject them.  They wanted to make a show of physical things; so that they could have the pretense of doing things in the Christian, Christ like way; but still be accepted by the Pharisees!

Just like most of today’s Ekklesia they wanted to be as inoffensive to this world as possible while still having a pretense of conversion; To appear as much like the mainstream as possible to avoid offending them and to be respected in the mainstream religious community.

These folks were hypocrites, being themselves circumcised on the eighth day, but not keeping the law themselves. 

The Pharisees did all kinds of sins. You can read that in the Gospels in the words of Christ. They did a lot of things that were not right. But they were circumcised and they were proud of that circumcision, and they were zealous for their own traditions and had no zeal for the Word of God, just like today’s Ekklesia. 

Matthew  15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

It is the same today as people say: “We are a part of GOD’S CHURCH” as they then seek to be as worldly as possible! as they compromise with God’s commandments and follow their own traditions instead of living by God’s Word!

Galatians 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

That is, these people don’t keep God’s Words themselves but they are trying to force you to be circumcised in the flesh so they can claim, “oh look at the converts I made and look at how righteous I am because I got these people to agree with me and MY traditions.” 

This is just like today’s Ekklesia who seek followers after themselves and their own traditions, rather than working to call all to a genuine zeal to live by every Word of God.

6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, [that is, in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ] by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither [physical] circumcision avails anything, nor [physical] uncircumcision, but a new person [spiritually circumcised in heart]. 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule [According to the New Covenant and its spiritual circumcision of the heart, to sincerely repent and have all PAST sin removed by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and then to go and live by every Word of God from the heart in future.], peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

The whole subject of Galatians is about certain Pharisees infiltrating the faithful, who wanted to make a show in the flesh that they would not associate with Gentiles unless those Gentiles were circumcised in the flesh; to gain a following after themselves.

Paul says over, and over, and over again; that people are justified from PAST sins by sincere repentance and FAITH in the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

Sin is atoned for through sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to sin no more and faith in the sacrifice of Christ. And we are to go forward from there, living in a spiritual manner by keeping the whole Word of God in Christ-like zeal through the indwelling of God’s Spirit!

We must stop sinning, and sincerely repent, turning away from sin. But the only atonement that exists for PAST sin, is the sacrifice of Christ and our faith in that sacrifice.

All people of faith who have sincerely repented and resolved to sin no more, and had their sins atoned for through the application of the sacrifice of Christ; are the spiritual children of Abraham and the children of God; circumcised in heart!

Those who are sincerely repentant and follow God in faith, need to put God first and then associate with like minded brethren.

We should never look down our noses on somebody in the faith because they are of a different race or because they have minor non scriptural differences.

This idea that some group of people doesn’t want to associate with another part of the brotherhood because of race, culture or non scriptural issues is wrong. It is not godly love, it is not loyalty to the household of faith and it is not consistent with the Word of God. Therefore, it is sin.

All those who have repented of sin and been reconciled to God the Father, who work just as hard as they can with the help of God’s indwelling Spirit to live by every Word of God our Father with deep passionate love and zeal: Are sons of the SAME FATHER and spiritual brethren!

That is what the book of Galatians is about. It is about faith, about justification from sin through the sacrifice of Christ, about turning AWAY from commandment breaking and about refusing to build again the sinful conduct of the past: and it is about brotherly love, and loyalty, and not being afraid of persecutions.

Galatians is about the difference between the Mosaic Covenant of the purely temporary physical; and the spiritual and permanent New Covenant of justification through sincere repentance, commitment to sin no more and faith in the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Galatians is about the New Covenant which circumcises the heart and reconciles to God for all Eternity; as long as we work diligently to root all sin out of our lives.

Let us not turn our backs on God the Father and Jesus Christ to exalt any man or corporate religion as our ultimate moral authority; rather let us exalt God the Eternal Father as Christ did.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The Book of Galatians is about LOVE FOR ALMIGHTY GOD AND THE BRETHREN: A LOVE BORN OF FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD!!!

NOTE:  It is not necessary for those already circumcised in heart to be circumcised in the flesh; however our sons are not born circumcised in heart and we must obey God’s command to circumcise our sons in the flesh  on the eighth day.  This is a matter of our obedience to God and is a prophetic symbol of their future circumcision of heart. 

 

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