Keith Hunt - The Book of Galatians - Page Three   Restitution of All Things

  Home Previous Page Next Page

The Book of Galatians

Introduction #3


                             by

                         Keith Hunt



The following is a transcript of Mr.Keith Hunt's sermon given on
January 17th 1985.
 
Continued from part two

Let's notice some of the Scriptures in Galatians which I think
will show you the over-all emphasis and teaching of why the book
of Galatians was written. 

Galatians 1:11. - "But I certify to you brethren that the gospel
which was preached of me is not after man. For neither received
it I of man neither was I taught it. But by the revelation of
Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my conduct in times past in
the Jews' religion." Yes Judaism, the Old Covenant of Judaism,
"How that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God and
wasted it and profited in the Jews' religion above many of my
equals in my home nation being more exceedingly zealous of
the traditions of my fathers. When it please God who separated me
from my mother's womb and called me to His grace to reveal His
Son in me that I might preach Him among the heathen. Immediately
I conferred not with flesh and blood." 

Notice chapter 2 beginning in verse l. "Then fourteen years after
I went up unto Jerusalem with Barnabas and took Titus with me
also. And I went up by revelation and communicated unto them that
the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles but privately to
them which were of reputation. Lest by any means I should run or
had run in vain. 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 had in Christ Jesus that they might bring us
into bondage." 

Now, what was the bondage being talked about here in the whole
context? Was it the bondage of keeping those terrible Ten
Commandments? No, that was not the question. The question was to
do with circumcision. And Paul says Titus who was with him was
not compelled by the apostles in Jerusalem to be circumcised. He
said it was because other people had come in and they were
teaching that it was necessary to be circumcised in order to be
saved. And Paul says that it was not so. And these people wanted
to bring them into this bondage again. Verse 5 - "To whom we gave
place by subjection no not for an hour but that the truth of the
gospel might continue with you." Verse 11 and 12 - "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. And when they were come", these people
from Jerusalem, James, "he withdrew and separated himself fearing
them which were of the circumcision." Here again was this party
that Paul says were of the circumcision, individuals who believed
and taught that it was necessary to be circumcised in order to be
saved. And when they came down, even Peter started to side in
with them. Notice Verse 16 - Paul says, "Knowing this that a man
is not justified by the works of the law." You are not forgiven
your sins by performing some ritual or any works of the law, but
by the faith of Jesus Christ. "Even we have believed in Jesus
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." No flesh will have their sins forgiven because they
go out and perform any kind of a law. That should be fairly plain
to us. If you run through a stop sign with your car and the
police stop you and fine you for doing so. You can stop at every
single traffic light and stop sign from now through the rest of
your life and that does not forgive you for the one mistake that
you made. You still have to pay that penalty for that one
mistake. And no matter how many things that you do that are good
after that mistake they cannot erase and forgive you for the
mistake you made. You cannot be declared righteous, justified by
going out and performing something. And that was what Paul was
stating here. 
But these other people were stating, yes you can be. Yes you can
do these certain things and that can earn your justification and
forgiveness. And one of those things was circumcision. 

Paul said no you can't, the Old Covenant obedience is not the way
to justification and salvation.

Chapter 3, Verse 2 - "This only would I learn of you, received
you the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of
faith. Are you so foolish?" Paul said to these Galatians, "Having
begun in the spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?" 
We begin to see the whole context. The flesh, circumcision, a
certain piece of your flesh, and are you now going to obtain
salvation by cutting your flesh physically like these other
preachers want to lead you to believe is the correct way, is what
Paul is stating to them. Chapter 4, Verse 21 - "Tell me, you that
desire to be under the law, do you not hear what the law says."
And now Paul quotes from the first five books of the Bible. He is
saying, You that desire to be under the Old Covenant, you that
desire to believe that you can be justified by observing all of
the requirements under the Old Covenant, and that somehow you can
earn your justification that way. You that desire to do that, do
you not hear what the actual law itself says? "For it is written
that Abraham had two sons. The one by a bond maid, the other by a
free women. But he who was of the bond woman was born after the
flesh. And he of the free woman by the promise. Which things are
an analogy. For these are the TWO COVENANTS. The one from Mount
Sinai which genders to bondage which is Agar." That's the woman
that Abraham had Ishmeil by, through the works of the flesh.
Through their own deeds they produced Ishmeil and not relying on
the promise or the faith of God. That's the Old Covenant Paul
says, in analogy, that's the Mount Sinai, and that is bondage.
"For this Agar," verse 25 "is Mount Sinai in Arabia and answers
to Jerusalem, which now is..." Yes, to these people, the false
teachers, that's still teaching you that you can be justified and
obtain salvation by being under the Old Covenant and continuing
in the religion of Judaism. "For this Agar is Mount Sinai in
Arabia and answers to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage
with her children. But Jerusalem which is above," the heavenly
Jerusalem "is free, which is the mother of us all." 

Do you see why I said that really the book of Galatians is a book
about TWO Covenants, and what people were preaching, and what
Paul was preaching and what other people were preaching about
still being under the Old Covenant and all of its ramifications.

Verse 28 - "Now, we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of
the promise." You see we are under a New Covenant. We're under
the covenant of FAITH. The covenant that was gone into with
Abraham, where God said, "You are going to have a son Abraham."
And it was through faith that Abraham had to exercise faith to
have that promise from God. Verse 29 - "But as then, he that was
born after the flesh," by doing it your way, "persecuted him that
was born after the spirit. Even so", Paul says, "it is now." Yes
he says, we're receiving persecution, we're preaching Jesus
Christ, we're preaching the New Covenant, we're preaching
justification, salvation through faith and through Jesus Christ
and we are being persecuted by those who are still preaching the
Old Covenant, and that you can obtain salvation by performing
rites or anything that Old Covenant proclaims and that you can
earn your salvation that way.

Chapter 5 - "Stand fast therefore, in the liberty wherein Christ
has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of
bondage." We will see now as we read on, what was specifically
the primary "yoke of bondage" that Paul was destroying. Let's
read on, verse 2 - "Behold I Paul say unto you that if you be
circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again
to every man that is circumcised that he is indebted to do the
whole law."  If you believe, Paul was saying, that circumcision
is necessary for salvation, you can't have salvation unless you
are physically circumcised, then you're indebted to do the whole
Old Covenant, if you are going to obtain salvation by laws,
rites, and whatever. And that Paul would contend was indeed a
"joke of bondage" - trying to obtain justification, and salvation
through works of the Old Covenant.

Verse 4 - "Christ has become of no affect unto you, who so ever
of you are justified by the law." If you think that you can earn
your justification, salvation, by performing the Old Covenant,
then Christ is absolutely useless to you. And then he goes on to
say, "You have fallen from grace." You are fallen from the New
Covenant and from grace. 

Verse 6 - "For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision avails
anything nor uncircumcision, but, faith which works by love."

Chapter 6, verse 12 and 15 - "And 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." He says Yes, we are suffering persecution because we
preach Jesus Christ as Saviour and that through Him is the
forgiveness of sins. These others preach the way of the flesh,
the way of performing physical rites, and all the laws of Moses
to effect salvation, lest they should be persecuted like we are,
Paul is telling them.

Verse 13 - "For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep
the law." He says, let me tell you something else. These
preachers that come along that tell you that you must be
circumcised and keep the Old Covenant and that this is the way to
salvation. Let me tell you something, they don't even themselves,
keep the law, they are hypocrites. But they want you to do it. He
says, "but desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in
your flesh." I guess there probably would be some kind of vanity.
If you could actually go out and persuade an adult, to get
circumcised, because of religion, you would probably feel some
kind of vanity. That he would be willing to go through what would
be rather a painful ordeal. They were popping their chest out
getting those people to be circumcised and those Gentiles to be
circumcised. It gave them a lot of vanity and proudness, that
people would actually go out and perform some kind of physical
painful rite because of their instruction. 

Verse 14 - "But God forbid that I should glory saving in the
cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified
unto me and I am unto the world. For in Christ, neither
circumcision avails anything or uncircumcision, but a new
creature."

Can we see now the overall emphasis of the back of Galatians? I
hope that we're able to see it in a much clearer light today than
we may have in the past. 
The contention was not whether the Ten Commandments of God should
continue to be obeyed by Christians. That was not the real
contention. 

The real contention was the way to justification, the way to
salvation. Was it through Jesus Christ, as Paul preached, or was
it by your own means. Was it by performing the Old Covenant laws,
rituals, sacrifices, and circumcision, and so earning your
justification and salvation, or was it by grace through faith in
Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, and His death and shed blood
on the cross?

As we proceed in this study we shall see that some of the old
(not the more modern fundamentalists, though some may) Bible
commentators, such as the one I shall quote from, the famous
Bible Commentary by Albert Barnes, understood the true teaching
of the book of Galatians, and it had NOTHING to do with trying to
abolish the Ten Commandments.

                                ...........

TO BE CONTINUED


  Home Previous Page Top of Page Next Page

 
Navigation List:
 

 
Word Search:

PicoSearch
  Help