Showing posts with the label Gentiles

Justified From Faith

According to Paul, what identifies God’s people and determines membership in the covenant community is Jesus, especially the Messiah revealed on the cross, and nothing else! That does NOT mean the Mosaic Law serves no purpose, but it is not the basis for determining who is and who is not a redeemed son of God. Right standing before God is based on the “ faith OF Jesus Christ ,” not the “ works of the Law .”

Rebuilding Social Barriers

For the church to insist on a Torah-observant lifestyle means the restoration of the old social barriers between Jews and Gentiles .  The final paragraph of the third chapter of  Galatians  is pivotal to the argument. It stresses the oneness of God’s people. In the church, the old social divisions are inappropriate since the promised “ seed of Abraham ”  has arrived.

Message of the Gospel

The Good News proclaimed by Jesus is  NOT  about reforming society, fixing governments, or the surrounding immoral culture.  HIS  Gospel calls all men to repent and join an entirely new and vastly different social order and political reality, namely, the Kingdom of God. If anything,  HIS  message subverts the political ideologies of this present “ evil age .” Responding positively to his invitation is vital considering the rapidly approaching end of the age when the existing world order will disappear from the Earth.

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.