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Summary of points 1 through 4 (from last week): Paul writes to the Galatian churches for the purpose of steering them away from the damning gospel of the “circumcision party” (2:12) who were preaching observance of the OC cleans laws (otherwise known as the “works of the law” or “law”) as necessary to salvation (justification). Gaining justification (a spiritually clean/right standing w/God) under the NC, is secured by faith in Jesus Christ for Jew and Gentile alike apart from any observance of the prior covenant’s clean laws. As such, what Paul is not condemning in this letter is observance of God’s OC moral commands, though how we understand them must be according to their new application in Christ (the “law of Christ”).

 

5. Why Paul took such a condemning position against the OC clean laws for NC salvation: to preserve God’s previous:

5.1. command (Deu 12:32 w/2:21-3:1 and 5:1-4 = The Law is a closed system)

5.2. promise (of Gentiles remaining Gentiles and yet being grafted into/adopted into Abraham’s family – Act 15:14-19/Amo 9:11-12) (3:27-29; 4:17, 6:12-13) = As stated last week, circumcision was a Jewish identity marker. The Judaizers did not want people in the NC who did first become “Jews” (i.e., take on Jewish identity through circumcision).

 

6. What the plan of salvation (or “gospel”) looked like for Paul under the NC: functionally, it was the same as the OC: you gain it by faith (which includes observing the prescribed NC signs/clean laws associated with such faith – e.g., baptism) and you maintain it through faithfulness ([gain] 3:26-28 [faith = baptism], 5:1-5, [maintain] 5:6, 13-14, 24-26).

 

7. The broad strokes of Paul’s argument (How Paul lays out his letter to the Galatians):

7.1. Perversion to the mechanics of salvation means preaching a different (or damning) gospel:

7.1.1. Gain perversion: To gain justification (be spiritually clean), a person still needs to observe the OC clean laws – including circumcision (1:6-9 w/2:1-5 w/11-16) = OC clean laws (“works of the law”; e.g., circumcision, separation from those not circumcised) were never able to truly justify. They offered temporary pass-over but never propitiation/real cleansing from sin (Rom 3:25), hence the reason everyone (including Jews) are required to put faith in Christ as the way to receive justification. Key point not to miss: the gospel problem is mechanical (what must a person do to be saved?) not historical (what did Christ do to save us? e.g., 1Co 15:1-4 w/12-17). In addition, by requiring observance of the OC clean laws for gaining justification, you are nullifying the need for Christ’s cross-work (since once more), the Law is a closed system (2:21-3:1, 5:1-4, also 5:18).

7.1.2. Maintain perversion: BC we have been justified by faith in Christ (versus through observance of the OC clean laws), we no longer have to maintain that justification through observance of the moral commands (2:17-20) = In the same way a person had to submit to God’s moral commands (“For through the Law I died unto the Law”) in order to live for Him under the OC (i.e., to maintain their saving covenant relationship), so also under the NC, a person must submit to Christ (“I have been crucified unto Christ…the life I now live…I live in faithfulness to [Grk. en pistei…tey {dative}] the Son of God”) and His new application of God’s moral commands – i.e., the “law of Christ” (6:2; 1Co 9:21). IOW: faith in Christ ≠ antinomianism (Act 21:21 [“forsake” = Grk. apostasia] -24 [“keeping the Law” = maintaining what you gained]).

7.2. The superior nature of justification gained by faith versus through observance of the OC clean laws is proven by:

7.2.1. the indwelling Spirit (miracles) (3:2-5)

7.2.2. the precedent set with Abraham and the promised blessings (3:6-9, 14)

7.2.3. the incongruency of the Law in general w/the Abrahamic covenant and blessings which were not gained by human effort (3:10-12, 15-18)

7.2.4. Christ’s removal of the curse associated with being Gentiles so that we could be included in Abraham (3:13-14).

7.3. The nation of Israel (one of the promises made to Abraham with regard to his natural descendants) received the OC clean laws as a temporary help (a “tutor”) for dealing with sin (becoming spiritually clean/being justified –again, acts of pass-over) until the time of the promised “seed” (Christ) who would be the permanent, propitiatory solution for gaining justification and “impart(ing) (eternal) life” (3:19-29).

7.4. To be a child of Abrahamic requires casting off the enslavement of the OC clean laws (4:1-31; do not be: [9] enslaved to “elemental things”, [31] “children of the bondwoman” [allegorical rep. of OC Israel as Ishmael]).

7.5. Freedom from observance of the OC clean laws:

7.5.1. is necessary to receiving justification through faith in Christ (5:1-[5] “we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness”) = We are gaining our righteousness by faith; (18 “if you are led by the Spirit [justified by faith], you [cannot be] under the Law”) = Seeking justification thru the OC clean laws; (6:14-16; [15] “a new creation” = Justification by faith, [16] “those who will walk by this rule peace and mercy” = Those who are justified by faith]; IOW: being justified by faith requires not seeking such justification thru the OC clean laws.

7.5.2. does not affect our obligation to keep the moral commands (law of Christ) as also necessary to getting to heaven (5:6 “faith working [maintained] through love” w/13-14; See also 16-26 [21] “will not inherit the kingdom of God” = Our salvation is dependent on our obedience; (6:1-10) [3] = Thinks he is something simply bc he possesses faith; [4] = Our confidence as Christians/those who have gained salvation by faith must reside in our performance {2Pe 1:5-11}; [5] = Each person is responsible for maintaining what he has gained; [6] = They must demonstrate through practice what they have learned; [10] = Faith working through love {5:6 w/13-14}]).