Upon reading Galatians this weekend, I was reminded how I never cease to be amazed at how different my Bible is when I read it on my own as opposed to reading it without Herbert Armstrong telling me what to think.
I would like to write what I've found in my own words.
Things that do not come by the law:
Justification (GAL. 2: 16)
Righteousness (GAL. 2: 21)
The Spirit (GAL. 3: 2)
Perfection (GAL. 3: 3)
Miracles (GAL. 3: 4)
Inheritance (GAL. 3: 18)
Life (GAL. 3: 21)
Grace (GAL. 5: 4)
Quick Scan Overview:
(GAL. 1: 6) Some TROUBLE the Galatians. Anyone who preaches this 'other gospel' is accursed.
**Who? "Trouble" is key to identifying them. See also GAL. 5: 10 & 12.
(GAL. 2: 4) False brethren were bringing in bondage ..they failed to compel Titus to be circumcised (v. 3).
(GAL. 2: 14) Why compel Gentiles to live as Jews? This is not straightforward to the truth of the gospel (v. 13)! Even the converts who were natural born Jews that keep the law believe that justification is in Christ and not the law (v. 15-16).
Verses 11-13 show something about 'the circumcision' was troubling things between Jew and Gentile. Peter, Barnabas, and the Jewish converts were influenced by men of the circumcision, influencing them to be divided.
**What is 'the circumcision' to Paul?
(GAL. 2: 16) No one is justified by keeping the law [three times this is said].
(GAL. 2: 21) Righteousness is not of the law - if so, Christ died for no reason.
**If someone says 'you avoid sin and I avoid sin, but I keep the Commandments, therefor I am better' they do not understand grace. By faith in Christ we are justified and not by the law at all. Keeping the Sabbath does not justify. If it did, Christ died in vain.
(GAL. 3: 2-4) The Spirit does not come by keeping the law. Perfection does not come by the flesh. It is foolish to think so. Miracles do not come by the law.
(GAL. 3: 10-12) If you start to keep the law, you must keep the WHOLE law - every last bit of it - or you are cursed! Only if you do the law can you benefit. Therefore it isn't faith in God, but our own effort.
**See my other posts on Cherry-Picking the law for more info on how the COGs do not keep the whole law.
(GAL. 3: 15) No man can change the law!
(GAL. 3: 16-18) We receive the gift by a promise by God to Abraham and his Seed, Christ. That comes to us through oneness with Christ (also see v. 26-29 and GAL. 4: 1-7). The law cannot enhance nor annul that promise. (also see v. 21).
(GAL. 3: 19-25) What is the point of the law? to curb our carnal nature until Christ comes, bringing faith with Him. But once Christ and faith came, we no longer need the law.
**We grow up individually, and the world grows up in God's eyes as well.
(GAL. 4: 8-9) The Gentiles were once pagans, then came to Christ, now again they turn to bondage to weak and beggarly elements [the law].
**We know this "weak and beggarly elements" refers to the law since this is the subject of this and the previous chapters, as well as the following. The key is the word "bondage". What/who is bondage? The Old Covenant (GAL. 4: 21-31)!
(GAL. 4: 11) Paul is so worried about the Galatians turning to the law; he doubts their conversion (see also v. 20).
(GAL. 4: 16) Is Paul an enemy because he tells the truth?
(GAL. 4: 17) Those of the law zealously court the freed Gentiles, but for no good purpose.
**Bringing someone under the law is not a good purpose.
(GAL. 4: 24-25) The Old Covenant gives birth to bondage! The Old Covenant is that which was given at Sinai.
**What was given at Sinai? The 10 Commandments!! (see also EXO. 34: 28 and DEU. 4: 13).
(GAL. 4: 28) We are not children of bondage [the law], but of promise (also see v. 31).
(GAL. 4: 30) Cast out the Old Covenant.
(GAL. 5: 1) Stand fast in the liberty of the New Covenant! Do not be entangled again in bondage [through the law - the 'yoke of bondage']!
(GAL. 5: 2) If you submit to the Old Covenant (even in part) Christ profits you NOTHING!
(GAL. 5: 3) If you submit to one part of the law you are bound to keep the whole thing - ALL of it.
(GAL. 5: 4) The law removes us from Christ's grace.
(GAL. 5: 8) The persuasion to keep the law does not come from Christ.
(GAL. 5: 10) Paul is confident the Galatians will reject this false gospel of the keeping of the law, and the one who teaches such will face God's judgment.
(GAL. 5: 11) Paul did not still preach circumcision [keeping of the law]. If so, then what Christ did on the cross has ceased.
(GAL. 5: 12) Paul wishes those who teach the necessity for circumcision [and thus, the law] would emasculate themselves.
(GAL. 5: 13) We have been called to liberty [not law], but that liberty is no excuse to continue in carnality.
(GAL. 5: 18) If we are under the Spirit, we are not under the law.
**Remember, the Spirit does not come by the law!
**If there is no law, how do we know what to avoid? (GAL. 5: 19-25) answers this.
(GAL. 5: 12-13) Those who promote circumcision [the keeping of the law] don't keep the law anyhow. They just wish to boast in meaningless flesh.
**And if you start out to keep the law but don't keep the whole law, you fall under the curse of the law.
Galatians deals with a controversy of mixing the law of Moses with faith. The claims of these false teachers were not that keeping the law earns justification, but in order to achieve justification one must also be keeping the Old Covenant law. This is identical to Armstrong's teaching. In other words, Paul absolutely contradicts Herbert W. Armstrong in the strongest terms.
A gospel based on keeping the Old Covenant law is a false gospel. The Old Covenant is the 10 Commandments. The law was never meant to continue past Christ; but to keep man's carnal nature in check until Christ [among other things]. Those false brethren who preach this 'other gospel' are accursed because they teach the keeping of the law, yet they do not themselves keep the whole law. If you start to keep the law, you are bound to keep the whole thing - ALL of it! No exemptions. Some may attempt to "change the law out of necessity" - but no man can change the law. The false gospel of blending faith with law nullifies all Christ did for us.
Dearly loved of God, is this what you want? As you attend a COG to get close to God, is this really what you want? Do you want to keep a tradition that Paul comes out so strongly against? Do you want a partial keeping of the law? Do you want to nullify what Christ has done for you? Is that honestly what you intend?? The nullification of the cross? I doubt that deeply. I know that you want justification, righteousness, the Spirit, perfection, miracles, inheritance, life, and grace - in other words, salvation. Believe what you read in your Bible; those things will never come from the law. The law cannot be a requirement to receive what can never come from it. Accept that it comes by grace through faith - as a promise made 4,000 years ago that the law cannot nullify. Step into the New Covenant!