Showing posts with the label Gentiles

Rebuilding Walls

The final paragraph of Chapter 3 in his Letter to the Galatians is pivotal to Paul’s argument. It stresses the oneness of God’s people. In the covenant community, the old social divisions that existed under the Mosaic legislation are inappropriate since the promised “ Seed of Abraham ” has arrived, namely, Jesus of Nazareth. In the covenant community, “ there can be neither Jew nor Greek .”

Justified From Faith

What identifies God’s people and determines membership in His covenant community is Jesus, especially the Messiah as revealed on the cross,  and nothing else!  This does  NOT  mean that the Law given at Sinai served no purpose, but it is not the basis for determining who is and who is not acquitted of sin by God. Right standing before Him is obtained “ through the faith OF Jesus Christ ,” and not “ from the works of the Law .”

Heirs in Jesus

In his  Letter to the Galatians , the Apostle Paul portrays the Mosaic Law as the “ pedagogue ” that supervised Israel “ until the seed came ,” and that “ seed ” is Jesus. In Greco-Roman society, the “ pedagogue ” was the slave with custodial and disciplinary authority over an underage child until he reached maturity, even though the custodian was often himself a slave. The child’s minority status and the custodian’s authority were temporary.

Circumcision - Cutting Issue

With the new era inaugurated by Jesus, circumcision is no longer a sign of membership in the covenant community .  Circumcision is an obstacle to claims that disciples must keep the Mosaic Law. In Genesis , it is the entrance rite of the Abrahamic covenant and the identifying sign of the covenant. And it is mandatory under the law given through Moses at Mount Sinai.