The world knows what Jews are like, an easy summary of them is the riddle I have posted before: “What is the objective of Jewish Football?” Get the quarter back.
The Jews despised Jesus because of two reasons:
1) He is greater then them and
2) They can’t spend or trade Him.
They are the only nationality that has been here since their beginnings, maybe that’s why they are so good at being disgusting?
The Jews have always worshiped nonsense, so tomorrow we’ll look at…
Receiving the Spirit by Faith
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
“Foolish” – they weren’t mentally deficient but simply failed to use their power of perception.
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
“The Spirit” – from this point on in Galatians Paul refers to the Holy Ghost 16 times.
3 Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
“Begun in the Spirit…made perfect” – both salvation and sanctification are the work of the Holy Ghost.
“By the flesh” – a reference to human nature in its unregenerate weakness. Trying to achieve righteousness by works, including circumcision, was a part of life in the “flesh.”
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain.
Paul hopes that those who have been misled will return to the true gospel.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
“Children of Abraham” – Abraham was the physical father of the Jewish race, and the spiritual father to all that believe in Jesus Christ, no matter what race they are.
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.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
“Are of the works of the law” – the reference is to legalists – those who refuse God’s offer of grace and insist on pursuing righteousness through works.
“Under the curse” – because no one under the law ever perfectly kept the law. God’s blessing has never been earned, but has always been freely given.
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.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” – see 4:5; Rom 8:3.
“Tree” – used in classical Greek of stocks and poles on which bodies were impaled hereof the cross.
Have any Jewish friends? Wondering what to buy them for Christmas? How about a tree?
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
“Man’s covenant” – the Greek word normally indicates a last will or testament, which is probably the legal instrument Paul is referring to here.
But in the Septuagint it had been widely used for God’s covenant with His people.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
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 after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
“Was added” – from the time of Abraham, the promise covenanted to him had stood at the center of God’s relationship with His people.
After exodus the law contained in the Sinatic covenant (Ex 19-24) became an additional element in the relationship – what Jeremiah by implication called the “old covenant’ when he brought God’s promise of a “new covenant.”
“Till the seed should come” – after God promised through Abraham’s seed (Jesus Christ) to regenerate the nations, He added the Mosaic law to reveal and restrain sin until Christ should come and provide righteousness to all who believe (Jn 3:16; Rom 10:4).
The purpose of the law has been fulfilled within those who have obtained righteousness and sonship in Christ.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
The Mosaic covenant was a formal arrangement of mutual commitments between God and Israel, with Moses as the mediator. But since the promise God covenanted with Abraham involved commitment only from God’s side (and God is one), no mediator was involved.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
The reason the law is not opposed to the promise is that, although in itself it cannot save, it serves to reveal sin, which alienates God from man, and to show the need for the salvation that the promise offers.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
“Faith” – in Christ.
“Kept under the law” – to be a prisoner of sin and a prisoner of law amounts to much the same, because law reveals and stimulates sin.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
“Was our schoolmaster” – the expression translates the Greek paidagogs (from which “Pedagogue” is derived).
It refers to the personal slave-attendant who accompanied a freeborn boy wherever he went and exercised a certain amount of discipline over him. His function was as much that of a baby-sitter as a teacher.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
By adoption, the justified believer is a full adult and heir in God’s family with all the attendant rights and privileges.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
“Baptized in Christ” – see Rom 6:3-11; 1 Cor 12:13.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Unity in Christ transcends ethnic, social and gender distinctions. These earthly distinctions and roles remain, but all who are “in Christ” are positioned as full and equal sons and heirs of God.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Christians are Abraham’s true, spiritual descendants.
Paul’s Jewish Opponents
Throughout his Christian ministry Paul was dogged by Jewish opponents who sought to undermine his message.
Some of these challengers were Jews who (ejected the Messianic claims of Jesus and sought to halt the growth of the church by open persecution, just as Paul himself had once done.
On other occasions, however, Paul seems to have been opposed by Jews who were perhaps offended not so much by the fact that Paul preached Christ but that he did not require Gentiles to become proselytes (i.e., to embrace the ways of Judaism, such as circumcision, observance of the Sabbath and avoidance of non-kosher foods).
It appears that the Christians in Galatia had been persuaded not to turn away from Christ but to become proselytes. For Paul this was an alarming development because it undercut the core message of the gospel; if salvation could not be attained without embracing Judaism, then the death of Christ was insufficient.
Scholars have become vitally interested in understanding Paul’s Jewish adversaries, because this issue is key to understanding Paul.
The traditional Protestant view is that Paul’s Jewish opponents were “legalists” who believed that salvation is not received by grace through faith but must be earned by “good works” (which in this case meant adherence to the ritual laws of Judaism).
Against this, some have recently argued that first-century Judaism was not really “legalistic” at all but that it held to the belief that forgiveness was obtained purely by the mercy of God.
These scholars charge that Protestants have judged ancient Jews out of the context of the Protestant Reformation, when Luther faced the legalism of Roman Catholic masses and indulgences, rather than truly listening to the 1st century Jews themselves.
To the contrary, such critics insist, faithful Jews believed that God had chosen them purely on the basis of his grace and that he required only that they regulate their lives according to the terms of his covenant.
The “rules” of Judaism, according to this perspective, helped Jews to preserve their identity and faithfulness but were not a means for acquiring God’s favor.
This viewpoint on Judaism has led to an altered perspective on Paul. If the early Jews were not in fact legalistic, then our interpretation of some of Paul’s words needs significant revision.
On the other hand, many believe that it is valid to claim that many 1st century Jews did embrace an excessively moralistic and institutionalized view of religion and that Paul was reacting against this code.
Scholars are currently involved in research to try to determine exactly what these early Jews believed about how God’s favor was to be obtained.
Even so, it is probably unnecessary to prove that 1st century Judaism was formally and theologically legalistic in order to demonstrate that many of Paul’s opponents were legalistic in their approach to their religion.
When Jesus opposed the Jewish leadership, he was concerned not so much with debating the Pharisees over hypothetical elements of theology as with their lack of repentance.
When religious people are unrepentant, they often become harsh and judgmental, adhering to a letter-of-the-law code of moral and ethical standards.
Their ability to perform religious rites and duties becomes a substitute for an authentic and personal knowledge of God.
This is true in Christian communities as well, notwithstanding the fact that no one in these communities disputes that Christianity holds to salvation “by grace and not by works” as one of its core teachings.
Thus, even though many of Paul’s opponents may have formally accepted that forgiveness depends entirely upon the mercy of God, in their practical religious lives they may well have been legalistic.
…the Gods of the Greeks and Romans.