Let’s start with two verses in Chapter 2 that stood out to me which I feel are foundational to understanding this discussion. Remembering context is everything. This is Paul speaking and writing as a response, some say, to James saying that Salvation is seen by the fruit of what you do. Paul seems to have a bone to pick with John, Peter and James, who he deems as members of the Judaizers or Nazerenes as Josephus refers to them, as believers in Yeshua who kept their Jewish identity as what is called Jewish Christians who observed Torah and lived as Jews among Jews keeping with the traditions of our fathers. The first verse that stands out o me is where Paul says:
Vs 21 “I didn’t receive The Spirit by Law” – CJB.
It also good to know that even though the Law is a good tutor or teacher that the Law isn’t going to keep you from receiving the Spirit, the Ruach HaKoddesh does speak of the Words that the Word of G-d spoke in the Law. There is a relationship between Word of Truth and Spirit, both are needed for right worship. However there is Charis (Grace: Spiritual Enablement also related to the Hebrew Chen or “favor” that is unmerited) for us to move from Grace to Grace, Glory to Glory. In the Law we become dead to sin and through Grace we become alive in Him. Next he says:
Vs 19 “Letting the Law speak for itself I died to the Law” – CJB
Wow! There is power in the Law. The wages of sin is death, the Gift of G-d is eternal life. The Law does not have power to save. The law convicts of sin being able to come to Yeshua and receive His atoning blood sacrifice as a rightjust tzadik who redeems us from those sins is crucial. The Law has a purpose, to convict of sin, the laws mission is to bring about the deal of the flesh sot that the Spirit gives life to the Law, strict adherence to law destroys a right spiritual understanding of the usefulness of Law. At the center of Mosaic Law is the Ten Words (or Commands) that teach us how to love G-d, ourselves and others. Without that foundation I guess sin is open game. The Holy Spirit will not contradict G-ds already established good and righteous law. Let’s get into Galatians Chapter 3 and see what we can glean from it.
In Galatians 3 Verse 2 we find that we must be people who trust what we’ve heard and be found faithful. Hearing and doing are central to all G-ds Words to us. Shema means to Hear and Obey. La’Asot is another term that means to Hear and Do. The Brit Chaddasha says “be ye not just hearers but doers.” For if you hear and do not do you are an unbeliever in practicum, you believe in theory but not in practice. “Even the demons believe in tremble” but they do not honor or serve G-d in heaven. To say you know what’s right is sin. If you are an ineffectual Christian it maybe because of a disconnect between thought, emotion and action. In Hebrew thought there wasn’t any philosophical process to process G-ds word. G-d said it therefore we do it. In Western thought people say “If God said it” and then “I believe it” then when I accept it, it becomes “real.” That puts you in G-ds place to judge whether G-d is true. God said it that’s it. Faith without obedient works is dead, demons believe and tremble. Simple belief isn’t enough. We must act. Without action faith is not useful, faith is a motivational gift calling us to act.
In Verse 3 we find that we can not do it on our own. Coming to the end of yourself and realizing you need G-d to help you is crucial because G-d is faithful. In Verse 5 we see that G-d supplies the Power, the Spirit and Miracles. G-d is still a miracle-working G-d. He provides us with power over the enemy, the Holy Spirit to give us discernment and He does great and mighty deed and miracles toward us who believe. We need the power, and love that a sound mind gives, one strengthened by G-d and not overcome with fear. Signs and wonders should follow those who believe we shouldn’t hit from them or try to avoid them. They show G-ds love for us and how a life of active faith can activate great and mighty deeds.
In Verse 6 we see that Avraham trusted G-d and was faithful and it was accredited to His account a RightJustness (or righteousness). There are many accounts in the Torah of men of G-d having faith and it being accounted as rightjustness. Hebrews Chapter 11 shows us clearly those who believed in and received the promises of G-d through faith. Faith, trusting and being faithful are not new ideas. They are apart of the whole discourse of the bible and neither a Jew nor Gentile issue. It’s an issue for people of faith. I love the concept of a bank account and we get credit in our account by acts of faith when trusting in G-d it is like a paycheck in the bank, we get credit from HaShem when we have active-living faithulfness and obedience to His Torah.
In Verse 7 we see that those who live by trusting and being faithful, that whose are really the children of Avraham. It’s crucial to note all the blessings us believers get come through the promises to Avraham’s seed and to those of us who by birth or rebirth are brought into the family of G-d and receive promises from our forefather Avraham. This is central to covenant theology understanding the promises to Avraham and how they affect us. Verse 8 shows us how in the Tanak foresaw that G-d would consider Gentiles (Goyim) rightjust “when they” live by trusting and being faithful. A covenant is a promise or contract that is legally binding with conditions both parties must meet. Yeshua by in large did a lot more for us than will be required of us because He’s a good G-d and showed us He could, would and did do it, to let us know we can do it with and by abiding in Him. This requirement of gentiles to trust in Adonai and be faithful to HaShem is crucial to the context of this discussion, without walking with HaShem, without walking in relationship with the Ruach Ha’Kodesh there can be no purity or sanctification.
“In connection with you all the goyim (Gentile non-Jews) will be blessed.” -CJB
Being connected to Avraham through Yeshua means we are grafted in to the household of Avraham and as joint heirs to the promises we receive through Yeshua are to the generations who accept Avrahamic faith. In Yeshua Gentiles have redemption, by attaching themselves to the hem of the Mashiach’s garment; we become a part of the common wealth of Israel. Without Mashiach Gentiles are lost in the world without any promises or covenants. Only through Messiah Yeshua can gentiles receive any blessings from HaShem. Yeshua was calling the Jewish people back to Covenant faithfulness and offering salvation to those who were not under the Covenant. This is a crucial point of understanding.
Verse 9 shows us we must rely on trusting and being faithful. You can not say you trust if you’re not faithful. It’s just like Sara giving Avraham Hagar to bear a son because she didn’t trust and wasn’t faithful. Therefore Ishmael has been a thorn in Israel’s side to this day. One key to Islamic faith is that Ishmael was the true heir in their eyes and that Avraham went to sacrifice Ishmael not Isaac which of course isn’t true. It’s a distortion that comes from unbelief, distrust and the painful results of rejecting G-ds covenant. If Sara had trusted and Avraham hadn’t taken Hagar to himself there would be no Ishmael. The Ishmaelites and Edomites (sons of Esau) have been an affliction in Israel’s side. Though they are brothers, the Edomites and Ishmaelites have sided with the pagan invaders of Israel and cause much harm to Israel. So we must rely on trusting and being faithful. This is a picture of the Israelites rejection of the call of all Israel to be Prophets and their declaration that they wanted Moshe to speak with G-d for them and thus Adonai gave the Priesthood and Sacrifices to mediate a right relationship with them and in the end Yeshua came in the fullness of time and in himself completed the sacrificial system and became our high priest changing the priesthood and sacrificial system forever. Yeshua is our sacrifice and high priest. Understanding that this temple is a shadow of the heavenly reality, this is manifest in the body of Yeshua and through us the bride of Mashiach, and that the Temple service can no longer obtain us mercy, only the kaperah or atoning sacrifice of Yeshua can obtain us mercy. This is central to the Brit Chadasha.
Verse 10 shows us that if we depend on rightjustness from the law, that rightjustness will account as debt, to live by the letter of the law and not walk in the spirit that leads you to fulfill the law in Charis (Grace-chen) that it becomes death without the Holy Spirit and trusting faithfulness. If it depended only on the law we’d all be cursed in sin, law convicts of sin, without a savior law judges one a sinner. Without a savior, law only condemns, with a savior it forgives and cleanses, with the Holy Spirit it empowers and teaches you to do right. The Ruach Ha’Kodesh offers the “spiritual enablement” to do what our flesh can not do.
Verse 11 shows that no one comes to G-d through Legalism. Again the laws purpose is to convict of sin, so we can give our sins to Yeshua and let the Holy Spirit rule and lead our lives. Legalism will not bring you near to G-d or save you. It only shows your sinfulness. The purpose of law is to expose sin. Yeshua’s sacrifice covers sin. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live right and just. Last is there only to shut up all mouths and make G-d true and every man a liar. Only G-d be true, blessed be He.
Verse 12 shows that living by legalistic rules isn’t based on trusting G-d and being faithful. Its based in trusting your own works and believing they will save you. Instead you should admit your sin and trust Yeshua to save you. Many misuse this text:
“Cursed is everyone who does not keep doing everything written in the scrolls of torah.”
Again no one is declared rightjust through legalism. A “Person who is rightjust will attain life by trusting and being faithful.”
Sin is the result of the curse of disobedience, which is breaking torah, the wages of sin (disobeying torah) is death, the laws purpose is to convict of sin, not to save the soul. Under Levitical priesthood animal sacrifices where used to cover the burden of sin under Yeshua the blood of bulls and goats is no longer worthy for Yeshua died once for all sins. Yeshua removed the Levitical sacrificial system and replaced it with the Restored Order of Melchizedek becoming the Mediating Sacrifice (Our Sacrificial Passover Lamb), High Priest (Kohen HaGadol) and king, all in one.
Verse 13 shows us that Yeshua has redeemed us the curse that is inherit in the law namely the showing of our sinfulness. Yeshua removes the curse of legalism to the Law, yet this freedom from legalism doesn’t allow us to again put Yeshua on the cross and return to those sins that the Law condemns. We are no longer condemned if we walk according to Yeshua’s will and hide ourselves in Him. For He is faithful to cleanse us from sin. The blessing of the death on the stake is redemption from sins consequence. The Renewed Covenant doesn’t signify the removal of law but the removal of the laws effects of showing our sinfulness. In Yeshua the burden of sin, the curse of the fall is redeemed in Yeshua’s blood. We are not save by legalism to the law. We are condemned sinners by the law. Yeshua provides the grace so we don’t have to hid our faces or grab fig leaves.
Verse 14 shows us that in Union with Messiah gentiles (goyim) receive the blessings of Avraham by trusting and being faithful. This is how we receive the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit, the promise from on high. “Through a tongue of unknown lips He will speak to His people” is a prophecy of the Holy Spirit to come that fell on Shavuot (Pentecost) the promised Spirit baptism. Much like in the giving of the Torah when the Shofar blast the sound of the Torah to all peoples in their own tongues Adonai die a similar miracle at the giving of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh the promise seal to His bride.
Verse 15 shows when we make an oath that no one can add to it. Oaths are to be kept and can’t be altered later but non-covenant parties. People may want to change an oath however if you weren’t there with Yahveh and Avraham you can not change the promise, oath or covenant. Not amount of dogma or theology can change the oath or promise.
Verse 16 shows that the promise is to Avraham’s seed who is Yeshua, not seeds. Therefore all who are spiritual Israel are equally adopted into the household of Avraham as joint heirs with Yeshua and the sons by birth of Avraham and His seed. The promise is to us and as far off as the L-rd G-d should call. We can all receive the promises of Avraham and become part of His family. We must stay connected to the vine of Avraham as inheritant’s of His seed by faith. He is the root of David, He is the vine, we are the Branches, we have been grafted in as part of the commonwealth of Israel.
Verse 17 shows that legalism to the Torah as given to Moshe doesn’t supersede the Promise given to Avraham. The Law was given to Moshe (Moses) some 430 years later. The promise supersedes the law. As Avraham came under Melchizedek, so do we. Melchizedek was ruler of Salem which became Jeru-Salem (New Salem) of which Yeshua instituted the Renewed Covenant under the Melchizedek Order. We must understand this to understand the covenants of scripture; the unifying factor is Avraham and the Melchizedek Order through Yeshua. We must understand the promise to Avraham, our grafting in to the existing vine (household of Avraham) and the Order of Melchizedek.
Verse 18 shows the promise is by faith in the promise to Avraham. This passage and text show that the promise to Avraham supersedes the Torah as given to Moshe and the Levitical sacrificial system. The promise is before the Torah. The Levitical priesthood was temporary to point us towards Yeshua’s complete sacrifice. The laws coupled with the Levitical priestly order was temporary in nature to show the weakness (sinfulness) of man and the incompleteness of mans attempts to come to G-d is impossible without G-d first coming to us to make a way to redeem us from our sinful selves.
Verse 19 shows why the law was added. This sums up the laws purpose to show transgression, so that all maybe shown to err, fall short, miss the mark and sin. The law was handed through angels and a mediator, Yeshua. Yeshua is the law, the Torah filled up, corrected and made right. Yeshua is the author of Torah. Yet without Yeshua’s mediating sacrifice the law was incomplete. To show one their sinfulness and give them an imperfect sacrificial system needed to point to a greater more complete sacrifice, namely Yeshua’s perfect sacrifice.
Verse 20 show the unity of G-d as Echad, that a mediator (Yeshua) implies G-d is one (Echad). It’s interesting how Paul’s plea to the unity of G-d comes from Yeshua as the perfect mediating sacrifice. This statement that G-d is one, points back to the Shema “Hear O Israel, The L-rd our G-d, The L-rd is One (Echad).” Its intrinsic to understand the gospels and epistles are the implicitly and explicitly Jewish or Hebraic context to the entire bible. Many times all the authors of the gospels and epistles make pleads to the Torah and Hebraic thought to clearly express who G-d is. The G-d who spoke to the Hebrew people, in the context of Biblical-Hebrew Culture and recorded His revelations to us first in Hebrew wants us to understand Him and His word in this context. Paul was taught by Gamaliel once of the admitted last good Torah teachers post-exile. Many torah teachers and rabbi’s state that Gamaliel was one of the last good and correct torah teachers after this period torah teaching deteriorated. And the Recognitions of Clement say that Gamaliel was a believer in Yeshua who remained in the Sanhedrin. Paul had a solid foundation in Torah. As should all believers in Yeshua with the emergence of the Nazarene Sect of Judaism (Followers of Yeshua), the destruction of the temple, the persecution of Jews and Gentile Torah observant believers in Yeshua and the eradication of Torah Observant believers by the Roman Empire the church and Judaism was change by the Byzantine Orthodox Coup d’état of biblical faith turning “Christianity” into a Universal (Catholic) Sun Religion.
Verse 21 shows us that Law does not oppose promise. The law-torah-instructions can’t give life. The spirit gives life. We must worship in Spirit and Truth, in balance not to uplift one above another. In balance we are to seek peace with the
In Verse 22 we see that the Tanakh shuts up everything under sin so that the promise through trusting faithfulness in Yeshua might be given to us who continue trusting faithfully. Sin is the universal problem the law points this out, convicts men of sin, so that Yeshua may give them Grace. That is the good news that we present.
When you’re in sin you are imprisoned to and in subjection to the rule of a system that perverted the Torah into a form of ultra-legalism and an adherence to oral traditions equal to and at times superseding scripture. This is where we get many of the bad doctrines that denomination present that scripture doesn’t speak on. So in essence these “Pharisee’s” are making themselves better than G-ds word and saying they know better than G-d what’s right. That’s just sad. G-d know’s best forget all the rest. Selah. Legalism with out right Kevinah (Devotion) as simply adherence to oral tradition kills, relationship in the context of obedience to scripture gives life. G-d has told us how to approach Him we should not bring strange fire and claim that any road we make up leads to G-d. G-d has only one way that we are to approach Him. Scripture teaches us His ways, we must study His Word to know Him and His ways.
In Verse 24 we find out that Torah was a custodian (a keeper or caretaker) of G-ds words and ways. The torah is a faithful tutor, after you are done with your tutor and you have mastered the basics your move on past milk to the meat. The torah is a tutor who points to Messiah who came and fulfilled the need for sacrificial atonement removing the dividing wall, the partition in the Holy of Holies that only the High Priest could enter. Yeshua now being the High priest and sacrifice fulfilled the requirements for salvation for us and provided a better way than the sacrifice of bulls and goats, dying once for all sins. Forever removing the need to bring sacrifices to the temple for sin. I’m sure if you want to bring offerings to G-d he would honor that. However the blood of animals no longer atones for sins. Only Yeshua’s blood is our mediation between G-d and our fallen corruptible nature. Righteousness comes from putting our trusting faithfulness in Yeshua’s mediation on our behalf.
Verse 26 shows our union with Messiah. We must be One (Echad) with the Son as the Son is Echad (One) with His father along with the Hypostatic Union of the Holy Spirit who compose the G-dhead, just as a Husband and Wife are to learn to and seek to become Echad (One).
In Verse 27 we see that we must be immersed (baptized) and clothed in Messiah. It is important to understand the “doctrine of baptisms” and what we are clothed in. We are clothed in rightjustness, though are sins be as crimson we shall be white as snow. If we take on the robe of Yeshua’s righteousness and walk according to His will we are no longer condemned but covered under the cleft of the wing of the Almighty. We must be clothed in white, spotless garments, with our lamps trimmed ready for Yeshua’s soon return, maranatha! The doctrine of Baptisms refers to the Baptism of John (In water), the baptism into the Body (The seal of the Holy Spirit given at salvation), the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (as a sign and wonder in believers lives), and the Baptism of Fire (the process of sanctification in cooperation with the Holy Spirit), as well as Mikveh’s (Baptisms) toward ritual purity.
In Verse 28 we learn that there is no di-vision in Messiah, we are all One (Echad) Division comes from the word Di meaning two and vision, well you get the drift it means to have to visions. Without proper vision people perish due to lack of knowledge of the right vision. We must not be duplicit or double minded, as G-d is One we are to seek to be One with each other. This is the fellowship of the saints and part of the baptism into the Body of Yeshua. We are to be immersed in the relational experience of being parts of the many membered Body of Yeshua as joint heirs and adopted into the household of our forefather Avraham.
In Verse 29 we see that if you belong to Yeshua, if you have given up your life to Yeshua and became saved then you are a seed of Avraham and heirs according to the promise which supersedes the flawed and temporary sacrificial atonement system shown through the Levitical Order. It’s good to know we are grafted into the vine of Israel and adopted into the commonwealth of the family of Avraham and thus heirs to receive the promises Yahveh made to him and his seed. This is the good news and right understanding of the covenants and promises, these are the keys to understanding and operating in G-ds kingdom. Understanding the promise to Avraham and his seed, how Yeshua makes that available to us and how Yeshua changed the priestly Order from Levitical to Melchizedek. Many miss this crucial understanding central to knowing the truth about G-ds grace. G-ds grace teaches us to do what’s right and gives us G-ds ability to not sin. G-d in cooperation with our choice to walk in the Holy Spirit keeps us if we abide in Him He abides in us. Its conditional and a choice that G-d honors, He made the first choice, He first choose us while in sin and made a path so that in Mashiach we can be rightjust without works or legalism.
In summary the law shows us that we are dead in our sins and that trusting faithful obedience leads to life. The promises of Avraham are made available to those who have obedient faith and trusting that Yeshua gives them access to the Promise. If we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths we must go and sin no more and seek to know the good, perfect and acceptable will of G-d. Its a choice and many seek to understand. Learn to study G-d through His word, through prayer and through obedience. Get to know G-d and His ways, make them your way.