Reverting back to the law of Moses brings a curse.
During the early days of the Christian church, the Galatian believers (both Jews and Gentiles) were in danger of falling from grace. Certain false teachers labeled as “Judaisers” had secretly infiltrated the church and were convincing the naïve new Christians that they needed to be circumcised and follow the Mosaic laws to be saved. When the apostle Paul heard about it, he was extremely alarmed. He pronounced a curse on these Judaisers and anyone who preached anything but the Gospel of Grace.
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:8
Although the apostle Paul was a believing Jew himself, he was appalled that other Jews had come into the Galatian church and were preaching “another gospel”, confusing the young believers, and causing many to revert back to the Mosaic system that had become obsolete after Jesus the Messiah came and instituted the New Covenant. Tragically, I see this same problem occurring in many Christian churches today – particularly in Hebraic and Messianic congregations who want to become so Jewish in their worship of God that they go completely overboard and become immersed in the Old Testament Mosaic system. As a result, they end up extremely “Hebraic” in their style and practice of Christianity and they “turn off” most Gentile and Jewish prospects alike. The Christian church should be a melding of people of all races – both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus the Messiah. Whether you prefer to call Him Jesus, or Yeshua, the bottom line is, Jesus died to save people of all races, languages, and nationalities, and combine them into “one new man”, the universal Body of Christ.
Beware of falling from Grace.
Almost the entire Book of Galatians was written with the intent of exposing the false teachings of the Judaisers and prevent Christians from falling from the Gospel of Grace by reverting back to the Old Testament Mosaic system. The apostle Paul had strong words for the Judaisers and called them “accursed” of God. He also labeled those Galatian Christians who were following the false teachers “foolish”, and declared they had become “bewitched” by the Judaisers. He rebuked them, saying:
“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law of Moses, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish that having begun your [Christian life] in the Spirit [by faith], are you now being made perfect by the flesh [the law of Moses]?” – Galatians 3:1-3.
He also asked that if salvation could be achieved by the keeping of the Old Testament Torah (Law), then what was the purpose of Jesus’ sacrificial death?
Did Jesus die in vain?
The apostle Paul went on to argue that we are NOT justified (cleared of our sin guilt) by keeping the Torah or the Mosaic ordinances, but by faith in Jesus Christ, the anointed Son of God — by the vicarious, atoning sacrifice He made on our behalf. He added:
“that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by keeping the Mosaic law; for by the works of the law no flesh (no one) shall be saved.”
“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if salvation and righteous standing before God comes through the Mosaic law, then Jesus Christ died in vain.”
– Galatians 2:16-21
Salvation by grace through faith – not Torah-keeping.
God’s free gift of salvation comes by way of faith, and faith alone in what Jesus did for us, not what we can do for ourselves through the keeping of the Old Testament laws.
Only by faith, do we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we progressively become perfected. The moment we revert back to the keeping of the Mosaic laws for our justification, we are grieving the Holy Spirit, and place ourselves in danger of falling from our foundational position of salvation and justification by grace.
Was Abraham justified by faith? Or, by the keeping of the law?
I ask those of you who want to become so Jewish in your talk and practice of your Christian faith: Do you remember the example of Abraham – the father of the Jewish race? What do the Scriptures say about his justification before God? It calls Abraham “the father of faith”. “Abraham believed God,” and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galatians 3:6). Therefore, salvation, justification, and righteousness – both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, have always been by faith. The prophet Habakkuk declared (while still under the Old Covenant), “For the just (justified) shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4). The apostle Paul also quoted this same verse in Galatians 3:11.
Come out from among them.
Beloved, I pray that you will heed the voice of the Holy Spirit and come out from among any church or group that is deceiving you –that is preaching “another gospel and another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). The true Gospel of of Jesus Christ is a gospel of salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ’s redemptive work for us on the cross. Do not listen to the modern-day Judaisers who claim they have a new or better revelation from God, or who teach that you must revert back to the Mosaic system – touch not, eat not, keep Torah, and so on. Salvation has always been by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and not of works, lest anyone should boast in their own righteousness, and nullify the work of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-10).
For further study of this subject, we encourage you to order our free booklet, “Christian Are Not Under the Law of Moses” by Luis Josephus. Order additional copies to give to your friends and loved ones who are caught up in the deceptive teachings of Judaizers and legalistic churches.
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