to those who have crept in unawares
Christ quoted scripture when countering Satan's half-truths, so that's where we will go!
“To The Law And To The Testimony: If They Speak Not According To This Word, It Is Because There Is No Light In Them” (Isa 8:21).Adam Clarke's Commentary on Matt 5:17:
“It is worthy of observation, that the word gaamar (OT:1584), among the rabbis, signifies not only to fulfill, but also to teach; and, consequently, we may infer that our Lord intimated, that the law and the prophets were still to be taught or inculcated by him and his disciples; and this he and they have done in the most pointed manner.”
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Not to subvert, abrogate, or annul, but to establish the Law and the Prophets-to unfold them, to embody them in living form, and to enshrine them in the reverence, affection, and character of men, am I come.”
Matthew Henry's Commentary sums it up succinctly using Jesus’ own words: “He (Christ) protests against the thought of canceling and weakening the Old Testament; ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets’.”
#3. “The Law is a yoke that no one can keep. Trying to keep one of the commandments commits one to keeping all of the Law and severs one’s relationship with Christ. Keeping the Law is legalism and seeking salvation by works.”
How can anyone keep all of God’s commandments? Answer, One at a time through the POWER of God’s Holy Spirit.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:29-30).
You don’t keep the law to merit salvation, you keep the law because it’s in your heart to do so (Heb 10:16).
#4. “The law is weak and cannot save. Christians are not under the Law but under Grace. We are not saved by works of the Law, but by Grace through faith. Therefore, the weakness of the Law renders itself void.”
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Rom 3:31).
#5. “Circumcision is not required of any Christian; therefore, the Law is not required.”
“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Cor 7:18-19, NASU).
#6. “Jesus spoke against the Law and the temple altar system; He came to alter the customs of Moses. As a result of His resurrection He replaced His Sabbath with Sunday. Christians now meet on the first day of the week to celebrate His death, burial and resurrection.”
Can one find any scripture that says He replaced His Sabbath with Sunday, or that Christians should meet on the first day of the week to celebrate His death, burial and resurrection?
“They put forward false witnesses (against Stephen) who said, ‘This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us’" (Acts 6:13-14).
Notice, it was the false witnesses that made the accusation of speaking against the holy place, customs and law. Christ did not replace His Sabbath with Sunday.
Jesus’ resurrection had nothing to do with His Sabbath. Jesus’ custom was to keep the Sabbath (Luke 4:6). Paul’s manner was to keep the Sabbath (Acts 17:2). We are admonished to follow Paul as he followed Christ (I Cor. 11:1). Why not do so?
Christians can meet on any day they choose to celebrate His death, burial and resurrection, and often do, but that does not change the day God made Holy.
#7. “The Apostle Paul only kept the Law to win over some Jews to Christ.”
Paul was not called to be a hypocrite. If that were true Paul would have been attempting to have the end justify the means; that’s Satan’s way. Christ’s way is to have the means justify the end. Living a lie to lead one to the truth is defying truth.
Why would Christ call Paul, and then send him to a law keeper if he were to practice hypocrisy?
"A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing near said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight! …Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name'” (Acts 22:12-16 NASU).
Paul was falsely accused of breaking and teaching against the law of the Jews, causing sedition, profaning the temple and stirring up dissension. He replied:
“Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:13-14).
#8. “The New Testament clearly teaches that kosher laws are not to be observed. Christ has made all foods clean.”
Mark 7:14-23 “After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, ‘Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’" Do we have an ear to hear?
Vs. 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) (This was an unauthorized addition by man and placed in most modern translations).
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov 30:5-6).
And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man" (Mark 7:20 NASU).
Christ was not declaring all foods clean. This was a spiritual lesson still not understood today, He was illustrating that man could not become spiritually pure by physical means.
Peter’s vision of unclean things explained:
“Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate” (Acts 10:17).
“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28).
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). God used this vision to show that salvation is open to all men, verifying that the wall of partition has been removed (Eph. 2:14).
#9. “The New Testament has replaced the Old Testament. The Old Testament has no authority over a Christian, it only serves to provide a historical context leading to Christ.”
Was Paul referring to all scripture when he said- “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17 NASU)?
What was the only Scripture available when Paul made this statement? The Old Testament was all there was at that time.
A wise man once said: “The New is in the Old concealed, the old is in the New revealed.”
#10. “The purpose of the Law was to be a tutor and lead us to Christ. Now that we have Christ, the tutor is no longer necessary.”
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Gal 3:23-25).
Is no longer necessary the same as no longer under? If you had just graduated from flight school, you would no longer be under your flight instructor, but would the rules of flying you learned under your instructor be no longer necessary? Peter admonishes us to be on guard:
“…in all his (Paul’s) letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Peter 3:16-17 NASU).
Barnes' commentary on Galatians 3:25-26:
“We are not kept in restraint, and under bondage, and led along to another to receive instruction. We are directly under the great Teacher, the Instructor himself; and have a kind of freedom which we were not allowed before.
The idea here is, that they are no longer under tutors and governors; they are no longer subject to the direction and will of the "paedagogus"; they have arrived at age, and are admitted to the privileges of sons” (Gal 3:25-26).
Could Barnes be suggesting that we are now free from the iron walls of denominational dogmatism that so hinder God’s truths from reaching the laity?
Barnes seems to be agreeing with Hebrews 4:16 that we can now come directly to the throne of Grace, bypassing all forms of religious hierarchy and bigotry.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Gal 3:19-29:
“And though the law, considered as the law of nature, is always in force, and still continues to be of use to convince men of sin and to restrain them from it, yet we are now no longer under the bondage and terror of that legal covenant”.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not (charged) under the (penalty of) law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom 6:14-18).
THE NEW COVENANT AS STATED IN SCRIPTURE
There is a great deal of rhetoric about the New Covenant from the pulpit. Have you ever heard it quoted from scripture? It helps to understand contract law.
The three elements of a bilateral contract (covenant);
1. The offeror, the one who makes the offer - God
2. The offeree, the one who receives the offer - man
3. The offer, a binding agreement between the two, (bilateral).
Keep those three elements in mind. If either party does not perform as agreed then the contract is voidable at the election of the offended party.
The New covenant is plainly stated and explained in Jeremiah 31:31-33.
“31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Who did God say broke the covenant? What did God change in the New Covenant, the law or man? Man (the first Adam) failed; therefore, God had to become man (a second Adam) so that the offeree (man) could fulfill that element of the covenant. That is why Christ had to become a man!
So Christ, as a man, can fulfill man’s part of the bargain because He did not sin. Well, that’s fine for Him but what about the rest of mankind? Are we not still under the penalty of death? Yes we are; BUT, He took upon Himself the sins that were recorded against us (Col 2:16) and voluntarily died in our place, He was then raised to eternal life. Now, by accepting what He did for us, we stand before the Father innocent of sins, and will be raised to eternal life at His coming. Caution, this is not a license to sin, see James 2:17-18.
God’s laws are perfect. If you change perfection, is it still perfect? Did God lower His standard to match man, or did He raise man to God’s standard?
God became a son of man so that man could become a son of God. (See Heb 2:10; 1 John 3:1-2; 2 Cor 6:18).
“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Ps 37:30-32).
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Ps 40:8).
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings (Isa 51:7).
“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek 11:19-20).
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezek 36:26-27).
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Cor 3:3).
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Heb 8:10).
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Heb 10:16).
With God’s law in their mind and heart, the New Covenant Christian will understand God’s law, and the desire of their heart will be to obey God’s law.
So, who are these Ministers that have declared war on God’s law? Jude tells us. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
What does John say about those who teach or act against God’s commandments?
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). THEY DON’T KNOW HIM!
Del Leger, Pastor, Christian Church of God, Grand Junction, Co. © 5/7/05, (970) 249-6857, email@example.com .
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy:…”