July 3, 2017

False teachers had slipped in, in order to BRING US BACK INTO BONDAGE [under the Law of Moses]


When Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 7, “The unbelieving husband is sanctified [or made holy] by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else your children would be unclean, but now they are holy,” he was not referring to either the doctrine of ‘sanctification,’ or baby sprinkling.  Sadly, baby ‘baptizing’ denominations grabbed this declaration as Scriptural ‘proof’ that the babies of Christians should be baptized.  Paul was not speaking about baptism; he took the time to explain the difficulties that arise from marriages between born again believers and unbelievers.  (This passage does not mean that believers may marry unbelievers.  It pertains to a situation where only one spouse comes to salvation in Christ after marriage, while the other remains an unbeliever, 1 Cor. 7:14.)  Here, Paul merely stated that God creates a holy environment for the sincerely believing spouse in an ‘unequally yoked,’ previously unholy marriage!  The believer must not divorce the unbelieving spouse if the unbeliever is willing to live with the believer, not the other way around.  Should the believer agree to submit to the sin of the unbeliever, the home would be in chaos and the believer’s salvation would be in danger.   
God’s supernatural holiness for unbelieving spouses and the little, young, or teenage children of sincere believers has nothing to do with sacramental (or atoning) ‘church rites’ – just as this ‘sanctification’ has nothing to do with the personal salvation of the unbelieving husband or wife, or their children.  The holy position of truly born again spouses, which so favorably affects their unsaved spouses and children, only covers their children under God’s holiness until the children are able to leave home and make a life for themselves.  Salvation is always a personal matter between the person and God, (Jn. 1:12-13.)  Nevertheless, unbelieving children must also submit to the truth and holiness of Christ, which must govern the believing spouse and parent.  Nevertheless, if unbelieving but holy children of this ‘mixed’ marriage could be ‘baptized,’ then the holy but unbelieving spouse can also be ‘baptized!’  However, no one can ‘stand in the gap’ for another person, not even their own children, (Deut 24:16; Ezk. 18:4, 18-20.)  “The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”  That is why one may only baptize self-confessed believers in Christ.  This passage does not mean that the ‘holy’ spouse or children of believers should be ‘sprinkle-baptized’ - or even baptized by immersion if they do not personally accept and follow Jesus!
~Renette Vermeulen

Acts 21:18-21
Amplified Bible (AMP):
On the next day Paul went with us to [see] James, and all the elders of the church were present. After greeting them, Paul began to give a detailed account of the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they began glorifying and praising God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all enthusiastic supporters of the Law [of Moses]. Now they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are living among the Gentiles to ➡➡ turn away from [the Law of] Moses, advising them NOT TO CIRCUMCISE THEIR CHILDREN OR TO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE [MOSAIC] CUSTOMS...⬅⬅

Galatians 5:3-4
Amplified Bible (AMP):
Once more I solemnly affirm to every man WHO RECEIVES CIRCUMCISION [as a supposed requirement of salvation], that he is UNDER OBLIGATION AND REQUIRED TO KEEP the WHOLE LAW. You have been SEVERED FROM CHRIST, if you seek to be justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] through the Law; you have FALLEN FROM GRACE [for you have lost your grasp on God’s unmerited favor and blessing].

Galatians 2:3-4
Amplified Bible (AMP):
But [all went well, for] NOT even Titus, who was with me, was compelled [as some had anticipated] to be CIRCUMCISED, despite the fact that he was a Greek. My concern was because of the FALSE brothers [those people masquerading as Christians] who had been secretly smuggled in [to the community of believers]. They had slipped in to spy on the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to BRING US BACK INTO BONDAGE [under the Law of Moses]

■》Acts 21:18 "And the [day] following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present."
“James”: The brother of Jesus and head of the Jerusalem church (see note on 12:17), not James, the brother of John, who had been executed by Herod (12:2).
“All the elders”: The mention of elders indicates that the apostle, often away on evangelistic work, had turned over rule of the Jerusalem church to them.
Some have speculated that there were 70 elders, paralleling the Sanhedrin. Given the large size of the Jerusalem church, there probably were at least that many. God had decreed that after the apostles were gone, the church was to be ruled by elders (14:23; 20:17; 1 Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; 1 Pet. 5:1, 5).
We also see the great position that James (the half-brother of Jesus), had in the church at Jerusalem. If there ever was a doubt that James is the head of that church, this Scripture settles it. Paul shows great respect to James here.
Acts 21:19 "And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry."
“He declared particularly”: Paul’s official report of his missionary work did not involve meaningless generalities; he related specific incidents from his journeys (11:4). As always (14:27; 15:4, 12), Paul gave all credit and glory for his accomplishments to God.
Saluted means greeted them with respect. This was as if he were reporting to James and the elders, the accomplishments the Lord had made through him in all the churches he had established.
Acts 21:20 "And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:"
“Zealous of the law”: Some Jewish believers continued to observe the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law. Unlike the Judaizers (see note on 15:10), they did not view the law as a means of salvation.
We see here, a group of people claiming to believe that Jesus is Messiah, but they undoubtedly did not accept his crucifixion as being total payment for all sins for everyone. If they are still keeping the Law of Moses and still sacrificing, then they did not understand Jesus was the perfect Lamb sacrifice of God.
They are hanging on to Judaism with one hand and claiming to be Christians on the other hand. They cannot have both. Those zealous of the law are under the law and not grace, because that is where they have placed their trust. This problem could be due to not enough extensive teaching of the Truth.
Acts 21:21 "And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise [their] children, neither to walk after the customs."
“To forsake Moses”: The Judaizers were spreading false reports that Paul was teaching Jewish believers to forsake their heritage. That Paul had not abandoned Jewish customs is evident from his circumcision of Timothy (16:1-3), and his own taking of a Nazirite vow (18:18).
We see that they are accusing Paul of teaching not to circumcise the men and not to keep the Law of Moses. This truly is what he has been teaching and what he should have been teaching. The circumcision of a believer is in his heart. The Mosaic laws and customs are not for believers either. For the believer, God has written His law on their heart.
These two schools of thought prevailed then and now as well. There was the group who believed in grace and there was the group looking to the law. They are like oil and water, they don't mix. These Jewish converts to Christianity are not willing to give up their old customs. They are angry with Paul for telling the truth.
In Matthew 5:17, we see that the law was not done away with, but fulfilled by Jesus.

■》Galatians 5:3 "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law."
“He is a debtor to do the whole law”: God’s standard is perfect righteousness, thus a failure to keep only one part of the law falls short of the standard (see note on 3:10).
Circumcising is a recognition of the law. To recognize the law in this manner would be to deny the power of grace in Jesus Christ. If you go back to the law to make you perfect in the sight of the law, then you are under the covenant of the law, and not under the covenant of grace.
Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
“Christ is become no effect … fallen from grace”: The Greek word for “severed” (no effect), means “to be separated”, or “to be estranged.” The word for “fallen” means “to lose one’s grasp on something.” Paul’s clear meaning is that any attempt to be justified by the law is to reject salvation by grace alone through faith alone.
Those once exposed to the gracious truth of the gospel, who then turn their backs on Christ (Heb. 6:4-6) and seek to be justified by the law are separated from Christ and lose all prospects of God’s gracious salvation. Their desertion of Christ and the gospel only proves that their faith was never genuine (Luke 8:13-14; 1 John 2:19).
“Justified” (see notes on 2:16; Rom. 3:24).
This verse could be translated: “You will be severed from Christ, if you try to be justified by law; you will forfeit the favor in God’s eyes which Christ won for you.” This does not teach the loss of salvation which one earlier possessed.
Rather it means that if the readers truly renounce grace through faith alone as the way of salvation, if they depend on legalism to secure divine favor, then they show that they never really knew God’s grace in the first place.
You have decided to look for salvation in another, if you go back to the law. Grace is a freeing of yourself, but a freeing from the law, as well. Wherever you put your trust, is what you are depending on to save you. This would be turning away from Christ as your Justifier, and looking to the law for justification.

■》Galatians Verses 3-9: These verses reveal the outcome of Paul’s submission of his gospel to the apostles for their opinion. That they acknowledged his gospel to be genuine and to be the same gospel they preached is seen in three ways;
(1) Circumcision was not required of the uncircumcised Titus (verse 3). Had Paul’s gospel been lacking in this respect, Titus would have been circumcised.
(2) The Jerusalem apostles (“they who seemed to be somewhat in conference”) “added nothing to me” (verse 6), that is, they found nothing lacking in his gospel so as to require the addition of something (e.g., circumcision).
(3) The apostles “gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship: (verse 9). In antiquity the giving of the right hand was a sign of agreement made between peers. The Jerusalem apostles viewed Paul and Barnabas as partners in the gospel ministry. The apostles would never had done this had they looked upon Paul’s gospel as erroneous.
Galatians 2:3 "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:"
“Greek” (see note on Romans 1:14).
“Compelled to be circumcised”: At the core of the Judaizers’ works system was the Mosaic prescription of circumcision (see notes on Gen. 17:9-14; Rom. 4:9-12). They were teaching that there could be no salvation without circumcision (Acts 15:1, 5, 24). Paul and the apostles denied that and it was settled at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:1-22).
See (notes on 5:2-12; 6:15; Rom. 4:10-12; 1 Cor. 7:19). As a true believer, Titus was living proof that circumcision and the Mosaic regulations were not prerequisites or necessary components of salvation. The apostles’ refusal to require Titus’ circumcision verified the church’s rejection of the Judaizers’ doctrine (Acts 16:1-3).
The doctrine of circumcision and of sacrificing has sprung up in the church. The Judaizers have insisted that the Christians go back to keeping the Jewish law. These people had forced Titus to be circumcised before they would accept him, because he was a Greek.
In fact, not many years after this very happening is when the temple was destroyed. Either Jesus did it all on the cross for us, or we worship Him in vain. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all time for everyone. To sacrifice after this would be to say that Jesus was not the perfect Lamb of God. Paul wants to get this question settled.
Galatians 2:4 "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
“False brethren”: The Judaizers, who pretended to be true Christians. Yet, their doctrine, because it claimed allegiance to Christ, was opposed to traditional Judaism, and because it demanded circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic Law as prerequisites for salvation, was opposed to Christianity.
“To spy out”: This Greek word pictures spies or traitors entering by stealth into an enemy’s camp. The Judaizers were Satan’s undercover agents sent into the midst of the church to sabotage the true gospel.
“Liberty”: Christians are free from the law as a means of salvation, from its external ceremonial regulations as a way of living, and from its curse for disobedience to the law, a curse that Christ bore for all believers (3:13). This freedom is not, however, a license to sin (5:13; Rom. 6:18; 1 Pet. 2:16).
“Bondage”: Conveys the idea of absolute slavery to an impossible system of works righteousness.
“Unawares brought in” means “smuggled in.” these “false brethren” tried to get Titus circumcised (verse 3). These unbelievers “came in privily” (sneaked in), or infiltrated Christian churches. Their purpose was to “spy out” and carefully examine the believers’ “liberty”, or freedom from the Mosaic Law.
The ultimate aim of this spying was to “bring” the Christians “into bondage” by tying them up with all the rules and regulations of Judaism.
Notice in this verse, that Paul says these people were pretending to be believers in Christ. They were really troublemakers to try to break up the Christian movement. Many Jews were converted to Christianity, so it was hard to determine sometimes who was really converted, and who was there to try to put them back under the law.



Those who are outside the covenant of God.

Circumcision marked the covenant people of God

God’s covenant with Abraham Ge 17:10-12,14 See also Jos 5:6-7
Uncircumcised aliens participating in Jewish religious practices had first to be circumcised Ex 12:48Eze 44:6-7,9Ac 11:3Ac 21:21

The term “uncircumcised”

Used to describe Gentiles Jdg 14:3Jdg 15:182Sa 1:20Eze 28:10Eze 31:18Eze 32:19,21,24-32
As a term of derision Isa 52:1 See also Ge 34:141Sa 14:61Sa 17:26,361Sa 31:4 pp 1Ch 10:4

Uncircumcision represents a wrong inner spiritual attitude

Jer 9:25-26 The tribes mentioned also practised male circumcision. See also Ac 7:51Ro 2:25-27Ro 3:29-301Co 7:18-19Gal 5:6Gal 6:15Col 2:13

In Christ the barrier between the circumcised and uncircumcised is overcome

See also

1348covenant with Abraham

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