"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The G.E.P.C Study – GALATIANS 3 Part TWO:

Going Through Paul’s epistles to Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossi

INTRODUCTION: Now with the conclusion of Ch. 2, the apostle has completed his defense in regards to his apostleship, and while he has touched on the issue of faith vs. the Law up until this point, here in Ch. 3 and beyond, Paul begins to methodically examine, dissect, and properly divide Scripture to prove his points, namely that salvation is apart from the Law, that there is no way we can be justified through self-effort (“the flesh”), and that there needn’t be any division between Jews and Gentiles who are “in Christ”.

Justification is entirely by faith, apart from the Law (GAL 3:1-24) and the rule of the believer’s life is gracious, not legal (GAL 3:25-5:1).

His arguments extend beyond Ch. 3 of course but in the following chapters, the apostle is dealing with issues surrounding the characteristics displayed in the life of a Christian who is justified by faith alone (GAL 5:2-26) as well as the outworking of the new life in Christ Jesus (GAL 6:1-16).

15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ
(See GEN 12:3,7; 17:7).

Albert Barnes comments:
“’Though it be but a man's covenant’. A compact or agreement between man and man. Even in such a case no one can add to it or take from it. The argument here is, that such a covenant or agreement must be much less important than a promise made by God. But even that could not be annulled.

“How much less, therefore, could a covenant made by God be treated as if it were vain (HEB 9:15-17; 23-28). The word covenant here diayhken is, in the margin, rendered "testament;" i.e., will. So Tindal renders it. Its proper classical signification is will or testament, though in the Septuagint and in the New Testament it is the word which is used to denote a covenant or compact (ACTS 3:25). Here it is used in the proper sense of the word covenant, or compact; a mutual agreement between man and man.

“The idea is, that where such a covenant exists, where the faith of a man is solemnly pledged in this manner, no change can be made in the agreement. It is ratified, and firm, and final. If it be confirmed. By a seal or otherwise.

“’No man disannuls’, etc. It must stand. No one can change it. No new conditions can be annexed; nor can there be any drawing back from its terms. It binds the parties to a faithful fulfillment of all the conditions. This is well understood among men; and the apostle says that the same thing must take place in regard to God.”
Adam and Eve were promised “the seed of the woman” which would crush the very same serpent that seduced our First Parents from their appointed and blessed position, and rendered them as condemned, if not for the grace of the LORD GOD Who promised them redemption.

Noah was likewise granted the promise from the LORD GOD that He would never again destroy the world by flood (and in the fine print, it states that the next time around, it will be by fire instead; 2 PET 3:10-12)!

Here we have Abraham, who likewise was given promise by the LORD GOD which is “the Seed”, that is Christ Jesus. Because Abraham expressed a genuine faith by “believing GOD” that act of faith later turned to active obedience – in his willing offering of his son Isaac (which the LORD didn’t allow in the end), but because of this, Abraham declared “Jehovah Jireh” – “in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen/provided”.

Abraham was given a vision of the Messiah, the Son of the Living GOD Who as His heavenly Father, did that which father Abraham was disallowed: He sacrificed His only begotten Son; JOHN 3:16 (Himself being a willing sacrifice; JOHN 10:17-18).

17 And this I say that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later (EXOD 12:40-41), cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

The Law of GOD written on tablets of stone makes way to the same Law being written on the people of Israel’s hearts (2 COR 3:3) which become regenerated by the Holy Spirit at the appointed time (EZEK 36:26; JOHN 3:3; ROM 11:25-27; note vs. 25: “blindness in part has happened to Israel until…” What is the Fullness of the Gentiles?):
JEREMIAH 31:31-34
31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah- 32 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

ROMANS 4:13-16
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
If we as the human race could ever make an unbroken promise to never break the Law – and make good on that promise in all and every way, faithfully meeting every condition, consistently, then the LORD would never have had a need to make any unconditional promises to Abraham, to David, and to all who will agree by covenant the New Testament in Christ’s blood (ROM 4:13-14).

But we are flawed, frail people, who fail in keeping the Law. So salvation must be based on grace and maintained by grace; but if we ever hope to keep saved by keeping the Law, then our salvation will be as temporary as a lit match!

GOD has promised us who are “in Christ” that what He began in us, He will complete once Christ returns (having accomplished in us justification upon the point of confession by faith; in process of sanctification throughout our lives as His disciples, and then completes the process in glorification at His return to take His bride away (ROM 8:23):
…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
The “inheritance” that Israel is looking forward to is the kingdom of Israel that the apostles asked the LORD about ‘post-resurrection’ in ACTS 1:6-7. This is in the Father’s keeping and will be realized in due time. Virtually every Old Testament prophet, especially the post-exile prophets (near the end of their writings) amidst all of the pronouncements, reminds Israel that she has a destiny that the LORD GOD hasn’t forgotten!

And we of the church, look forward to the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven manifest on this Earth, where we as the bride of Christ will reign alongside our Bridegroom (PSALM 2:9; REV 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one
. (EXOD 20:19,21-22; DEUT 5:5,22-23,27,31)

The Law accentuates and underscores the reprehensible rebellious nature of humanity that strives against the holiness of GOD. When exposed to the Law of GOD, that which man did in ignorance, he proceeds then in full knowledge of his rebellion to further and deeper transgressions.

In representing the holiness of GOD, the Law demonstrates how thoroughly rebellious the fallen nature of man is and leaves no hope whatsoever in our ability to redeem ourselves by good conduct and or behavior. Considering how GOD sees our sins, let’s also think about how GOD sees all of our various degrees of ‘righteousness’. Note that in this verse the word “righteousnesses” (plural form) is used; we all have our own standards and do that “which is right in our own eyes” (DEUT 12:8; JUDGES 17:6; PROV 12:15).
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
The Law is an intermediary that reveals the righteousness of GOD, our inability to keep it, and provides the only satisfactory righteousness in His holy eyes – that of the LORD Jesus Christ, the promised seed that fulfills the promise made to Abraham entirely.

The Law of GOD, “appointed through angels” who were present on Mt. Sinai during the theophany of the LORD, and the people of Israel found the experiencing so terrifying, that they made Moses promise to never again let them hear the Voice of GOD, but that he would hear GOD’s words and convey them to the people (EXOD 20:19).
2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
We understand that the mediator of GOD’s choosing, an able representative for both Himself and humanity is the Word made flesh, GOD The Son Incarnate, and He it is who is not only the fulfillment of the promises and covenants made to Abraham and David, but also the mediator between GOD and men, Christ Jesus.

GOD indeed “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 TIM 2:4-6; see also HEB 8:3-9; 9:13-15,23-28).

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

We have seen previously that if righteousness could be provided by the Law, then “Christ died in vain” (GAL 2:21). The Law condemns us all equally for all of us have sinned against the Holy Law of GOD (ROM 3:9,19,23).
ROMANS 4:11-12,16
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
Just as we have all sinned against GOD, thanks to the LORD Jesus Christ, we may all be saved on an equal basis if we express faith just as Abram the Gentile did before he was circumcised as the First Jew (JOHN 6:37; ROM 11:31-32; GAL 3:7-8).

It’s vitally important to understand that since we are incapable of fulfilling the Law perfectly (and the Law will educate us on this truth as we understand how utterly we fail to keep it!) – even as born again Christians (ACTS 13:39) – Christ did so on our behalf (MATT 5:17-18), and died vicariously on our behalf, taking our sin upon Himself while transferring His flawless righteousness to all who place their faith in Him!

THANK YOU GOD!! For this liberation!
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Law keepers who disparage the atonement of Christ as the only viable means by which we can be saved (today we have Hebrew Roots Movement which gravitates towards or even is wrongly substantiated by this perspective) commit the same error as the Jewish nation, thinking justification can come by the Law – “reading the Torah and good works” (ROM 9:31).
ROMANS 10:1-3
1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
See also GAL 2:16; HEB 9:8-12.
We understand that it’s not until one is born of the Spirit, that one is capable by means of the new nature, created in Christ Jesus through the new birth that one is even capable of “the righteous requirement of the Law” (See ROM 3:21; 8:4)
HEBREWS 10:16-22
16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," 17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Baptism is seen in three ways: there is water baptism that’s associated with conversion and is a command given not to obtain salvation, but to declare salvation received by faith (JOHN 1:12). Then there is baptism into Christ: this is the spiritual aspect in compliment to the physical aspect of water baptism (ROM 6:1-5). As a new born member of the church (ecclesia – a called out assembly) we are sanctified, set apart from the world and brought into union with the body of Christ (His church). We become members of the universal body of Christ (which differs from a local body of people in any given church assembly which may comprise of saints, sinners and seekers). Then there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit wherein the Spirit of GOD “comes upon” us as in Pentecost (ACTS 2) where previously or coincidental to salvation the Spirit inhabits one who expresses faith in Christ (JOHN 20:22).

Having “put on Christ” initially and then daily (ROM 13:13-14) there should be a growing recognition of the character of Christ displayed (not in perfection, but in similarity to) in His holiness and righteousness. Those who claim to have faith in Christ but exhibit none of His nature and bears no fruit should be in question of their actual conversion.


Also: LORDSHIP SALVATION: What Is True Faith (Parts 1-3)?
ROMANS 8:14-16
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (See GAL 4:5; 1 JOHN 3:1-2)

1 JOHN 2:5-6
5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

There is a gross misapplication of this verse that allows for women pastors, saying that in Christ “there is neither male nor female”. But when taken in context, we understand that this is simply stating that by faith, we all have equal standing in Christ and His righteousness granted by grace.

In biblical times, Jews considered themselves superior to Gentiles (“Greeks”) - and unfortunately today many in the church consider themselves to be superior to the Jew; men believed themselves to be superior to women, and obviously the free man in their own mind was superior to the slave – not so in Christ! It’s because of the spiritual rebirth, despite our social or cultural standing, we are all sons and daughters of GOD, equally loved, with equal access to the Throne of GOD! As the body of Christ we have unity in faith by the Spirit!

See: JOHN 10:16; 17:20-21; ROM 10:12; 1 COR 12:13; GAL 5:6; COL 3:10-11
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
We will pick up in this study of GALATIANS with Chapter Four next!

No comments: