by Rev. Darren Brunne
The dangers of going back into the ‘Letter of the Law’ when one has received the true purpose of the Law which is the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling within the believer and the Good Fruits and Truths that come from a living relationship with The Lord.
The book of Galatians was written by Paul to the church in Galatia which he visited during his missionary journeys throughout Asia Minor. Paul’s use of the word Law in this epistle in not in reference to the Ten Commandments but to the greater Jewish observances and ordinances such as circumcision. Paul most likely visited this church twice and then wrote this letter to them as they had been visited by ‘Judaizers’ who where insisting that the believers of Galatia could not be true Christians unless they had been circumcised. The Galatian church received these ‘Judaic’ teachings enthusiastically as they had received Paul’s teachings and now Paul needed to refute this ‘Judaic’ teaching which was saying that the work of Christ in one’s life was not sufficient for salvation without circumcision and other Jewish observances. As a result Paul also needed to defend his apostolic calling as he was not one of the original twelve apostles. Paul achieved this by showing that he did not learn doctrine second hand from the other Apostles but from The Lord through direct revelation (Gal 1:11-19). Paul even needed to rebuke the Apostle Peter around the teachings of Jewish observances of Mosaic Law (Gal 2:11-14). Paul then goes on to show that a believer is justified before God by placing his faith and trust in the Lord’s redeeming work in transforming the heart as apposed to having faith in one’s outward observance of Jewish law (Gal 2:15 – 4:15). Paul finally goes on to show that the redeeming work of Christ is to bring the believer to the point of ‘being led by the Spirit and not led by the flesh’ (Gal 5:16 – 6:10). Paul’s point is that observing Jewish Law and customs cannot put to death the ‘flesh’ and its lusts while being followers of Jesus and being led of His Spirit gives one victory over evils and lusts and therefore a believer is able to fulfill the Ten Commandments through His Love.
There are six chapters to the book of Galatians. Here are key verses and concepts from each chapter:-
Verse 6:”I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.”
Verse 16:”[we…] know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
Verse 6:”He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Verse 11:”I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.”
Verse 7:”You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”
Second Key Verse
Verse 16:”So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
Verse 7:”Do not be deceived:God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”