"Messianic Judaism" and Paul's letter to the believers at Galatia concerning the law of Moses and the faith of Abraham.
by Dean Gotcher
"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." Galatians 3:281
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:16-21
Faith came by the way of Abraham2 while the law came by the way of Moses3. "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." Galatians 3:6, 7 All nations, Jews and Gentiles are blessed by God through the faith which is in Abraham. "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. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Galatians 3:8, 9 Four hundred and thirty years after Abraham the law came by the way of Moses "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." Galatians 3:17
The promise of salvation to all nations came by the way of the faith which was found in Abraham and not by the way of the law which was presented through Moses. "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." Galatians 3:16 The law was added to retain the people whereby the savior would come. But when Christ died for the sins of all and rose from the grave and ascended into heaven for the hope of those who believe, the law had served its purpose 1) to retain a nation under God's name, to convict men of sin (which does continue, but now by the Spirit4), and 2) to testify of Christ, for only in perfection, regarding the law, could the messiah be known, for no one but the savior could fulfill the law, all else being condemned by it. "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." Galatians 3:19
Moses, the mediator, was chosen by God to bring the law between himself and the nation of Israel. It served the purpose of 1) revealing the righteousness of God and 2) exposing the wickedness of man. While it served as a mediator between God and man, it did not serve the purpose of mediation between Christ and God, since they are one. The righteousness of Christ, his being one with the Father, would have the witness of the law to show that he was one with the father and the mediator between man and God. "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." Galatians 3:20 Therefore, Christ did not negate the law but fulfilled it. For it continues to serve its purpose as a tutor, that of bringing man unto conversion, exposing his sinfulness. By revealing God's standard for righteousness (I would not have know sin but for the law), which no man can fulfill (there is none righteous), it forever reminds us we are not God, nor equal with Him. The law of God could not overcome the law of the flesh no matter how much we love it and desire to serve it, the law of God that is (Romans 7:7-8:96). We therefore are not to seek justification by our works of the law (claiming we are God or at least one with him), but rather find justification by our faith in Christ Jesus, who reconciled the division between us and our Heavenly Father. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians3:24 The law can not make us righteous, nor was it ever intended to be a means to attain righteousness. While the law is to be preached in all generations, so that all might come to know sin and God's ensuing judgment upon man, the law's purpose is to turn us to Christ for salvation. "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" Galatians 3:22 Therefore in our faith in Christ we are set free from being under the law, the schoolmaster. "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:25-27 To return to the law as a way of righteousness is to deceive ourselves and others into falling from the liberty and grace which has come to us from God the Father, who gave us the law through Moses, and forgiveness, mercy, and grace through faith in Christ Jesus. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Galatians 5:4 Although the Apostle Paul refers to the practice of circumcision as an outward show of obedience while under the law, he is stating that righteousness is not by way of the law but by the way of faith in Christ Jesus. "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6
To return to the law (and thus follow after men who have put themselves in Moses seat), and regard it as the way to righteousness, is to be lead by accursed men who beguile you into following after another 'gospel.' "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-8 Those in the "Messianic Judaic" movement have become stiff-necked in their determination to return to the rituals of the law, claiming that it is the way of righteousness along with Christ Jesus. While giving lip serve to Galatians they do not understand, or refuse to understand, Paul's letter to the Galatians. "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16 Cutting and pasting the gospel, which is by faith, to fit it to the law, which is by works, and then calling it Christianity is to practice "dissimulation" (hypocrisy). To interject other teachings of tradition, treating them as equal and as essential in "understanding" the gospel is heresy. To return to two camps, those who are of the law, i.e. those who are in the 'kingdom of God,' and those who are of grace, those who must come under the traditions of those who remain under the law, is to practice that for which Paul reproved Peter, compelling the Gentiles (of faith) to live as the Jews (of the law and tribal religious traditions), separating himself from the Gentiles when in the presence of the Jews having men's person in mind. "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" Galatians 2:11-14
The Apostle Paul considered those who carried such practices into the Church as "false brethren" (those claiming to be Christians but who are instead destitute of the knowledge of the gospel, lacking humility). "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." Galatians 2:3, 5 By the witness of God's work (and not the works or wisdom of men, even though they "seemed to be somewhat in conference"), the Church was built upon the gospel as preached by the Apostles, including Paul, to both Jews and Gentiles alike. "But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no manís person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." Galatians 2:6-9 Those of the circumcision would not have received the gospel from the uncircumcised, thus the reason for those of the circumcised believers (those who came to receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior, the promised Lamb of God) going to those of the circumcision (still under the law). This did not mean the gospel, that which comes "by the hearing of faith" (God "ministering ... by the Spirit"), became subject again to the "works of the law." While the law speaks of the flesh, the weakness of man exposed by the law, Christ Jesus speaks of the Spirit, the power of God which is given to those of faith.
"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? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 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?" Galatians 3:1-6 The practice of Gnosticism (the dialectical process) is to synchronize the wisdom of men (the works of men even though the appear religious) into the Word of God (the works of God), that man may receive the Glory which is only due God. We are to die to the works of men, understanding our wickedness as exposed by the law, and be "crucified with Christ," letting him live in us, living in the flesh "by the faith of the Son of God." "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21, 22
I know that hate will come from some toward me, disguising their contempt for the truth by their correcting me in "brotherly love." Because of their love of the law, they can not understand the love of God and the liberty He has given us through the gospel, and therefore seek to draw believers back under the law with them. While Paul loved the law with his mind, he knew it only served as a means, given by God, to bring us under conviction, bringing us to conversion, when we hear the gospel. That only in Christ could the law be fulfilled and only because of the law, its condemnation of us, could we come to know our need for Christ Jesus as our savior. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1 To go back to the law is to become a "transgressor," for we are, "through the law" "dead to the law," and alive in Christ Jesus. "For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." Galatians 2:18, 19
In this way, the faith of Abraham lead to the law of Moses, that a people, one nation, would be the chosen, from whom the Son of God was born, so that in his death, living righteous under the law, the law would be fulfilled, that through faith in Him, all nations would be blessed, all according to God's promise to Abraham. "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 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. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." "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." "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise." "And if ye be Christís, then are ye AbrahamĎs seed, and heirs according to the promise." "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise." "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." Galatians 3:6-9, 14, 16, 18, 29, 4:21-23, 28-5:1, 4, 18-25, 6:12-14, 15
I encourage you to read the whole chapter of Galatians and seek to understand the liberty which comes with the gospel and the bondage which comes by returning to the law even though it appear to be in partnership with the gospel, of faith in Christ Jesus.
1 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their motherís womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heavenís sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Matthew 19:3-12
While there are male and female, distinct in flesh, for the purpose of procreation (subject to the purpose of nature) and the family, the male to rule and the female to be subject to her husband (a patriarchal paradigm), they are neither male nor female in spirit. Therefore, their dissimilarity is found in the earthly realm, their similarity is found in the heavenly realm, being subject to God in both realms. Those who put their trust in the flesh resist this order set by God. To justify their fleshly desires they seek after the "wisdom" of that spirit which rules over the kingdoms of this world, the prince of the power of the air. For their "purpose" of enjoying the carnal pleasures of this earthly realm they either seek unity outside the husband-wife order (adultery, fornication) or seek unity (equality) between male and female (lesbianism, homosexuality, or beyond, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.), therefore they think and act in hostility to God's will. This is not God's will for man and the woman.
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan." 1 Timothy 2:9-15, 3:11, 5:14, 15
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorrupt ness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." Titus 2:1-8
Concerning the distinction of husband-wife in heaven, Jesus makes it clear that there will be none. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Matthew 22:29-30
Therefore, in Christ Jesus, we are one, redeemed from God's judgment upon fallen man and place in the heavenly realms while still on earth. While we continue to abide in this realm, subject to its man-woman, husband-wife order, we are one in spirit.
2 "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Saraís womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adamís transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification." Romans 4:8-5:16
3 Carrying on the faith of Abraham, Moses sought after God, desirous to fulfill God's will, and not his own, here on the earth.
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaohís daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them." Hebrews 11:24-28
In this way God kept the promise to send a savior (His only begotten son) who would come to earth to be the true and lasting Passover Lamb, shedding his own blood for the remission of our sins, something which the blood of animals could not do.
"For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you."
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrews 9:19, 20, 23-26
4 Christ Jesus fulfilled the law. It does have a convicting effect upon man still but the letter of the law was replaced with the spirit of the law5 as described by Jesus. Salvation through Christ Jesus fulfills the law, his righteousness exceeding that of all men, including the "most" religious. Heaven is therefore attainable not by the works of the law but through faith in Christ Jesus.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-20
5 Christ Jesus exposes the heart of man, i.e. his hearts intent, and not just the surface appearance. The sins of man were covered over through the works of the law till the fulfillment of Christ Jesus. As Moses came down from the mount with the law of God, external to man (on stone tablets), Jesus came down from the mount with the spiritual of the law, internal to man, in mans heart. Man's heart is changed through His work and the work of the Holy Spirit. While man looks on the outward, God looks on the inward. To pluck out an eye (the act done to cut off, or to cut out in this case, the desire of adultery or pornography, would not be necessary because the person is dead in Christ and alive in the Spirit, fleeing from, or removing, the temptation from ones sight (site) if necessary, it is not the eye but the heart that is the problem), to be righteous before God through human effort, to seek salvation through works of the flesh, i.e. the external removal of the flesh and not the change of the heart (the heart changed by faith in Christ Jesus), would only be a futile exercise. The message being, this is how much you need Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit in your life. For only in Him all things are possible, for he will not allow you to be tempted above that which you can withstand. If ministers and their "followers" would practice this teaching, regarding divorce and remarriage to another (adultery), or the temptation which brings the marriage to that point, there would be a lot of half blind or blind and one armed or no armed members in the Church today, including the ministers (this is not a light matter as Hell is involved here, and in the end, as Jesus preached and taught, it would be better to be maimed and enter Heaven rather than to be whole and go into Hell). It would be better if ministers would preach the Word of God uncorrupted with human desires, refusing to remarry the divorced, except back to their spouse (which would not be necessary as forgiveness before God and to one another would be the right act). The external behavior is that which took place as the result of the internal change of the heart by faith in Christ Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. While the world, and the religious, look upon the external to pressure man into change, by perception (and deceit, which is of the heart), as from social pressure to fulfill laws (environmental appeasement is all that is required by human effort), God changes the internal, the heart, which is then manifested in the external (the heart, changed by Christ Jesus, is now in agreement with God and His Word and not the flesh and the world). By faith in Christ Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit man is changed, his "fruit" is no longer in obeying laws for religious and social (cultural, global) approval, but now, walking in the Spirit, he brings forth fruit from the Spirit of God (living by the faith of Abraham), bearing witness of God's goodness, i.e. knowing His love, His mercy, and His grace, living in His Kingdom (and not the kingdoms of this world), walking in His power (and not the power of the flesh and man's "wisdom"), and proclaiming His glory (and not glorying in the works of man, even when it is done in Jesus name).
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is Godís throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?" Matthew 5:21-5:47
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [I enter the following scripture to compare this prayer with the one Jesus shares with his disciples as recorded in Matthew 6:9-15 "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."]
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brotherís eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brotherís eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him." Matthew 6:1-8:1
6 The law exposes the law of the flesh but could not overcome it. Only through Jesus Christ our Lord is there now no condemnation to those who walk in the Spirit, "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:4 In this way God brought both those who were under the law of circumcision and the uncircumcised together as one (Ephesians 2:1-227). Because they refuse to fear God and receive the gospel the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem for judgment but not for salvation. Since the law could save no one, only being a witness to those who feared God, no nation, Jew or Gentile serves as a nation of salvation. It is only in the Son of God born in Israel, according to God's will, that all, both Jew and Gentile, who believe upon him can be saved. It is not a race issue, it is a sin issue. To return to the race issue (make it a social issue between men and nature, the creation) is to negate the sin issue (a personal issue between you and God, your creator). See my article on Civil Disobedience for more on this subject.
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 7:7-8:9
7 By the blood of Christ all people in all nations are reconciled unto God. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Ephesians 2:1-22
.© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2009