Category Archives: Circumcision

WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?

The receipt of the Spirit while in an uncircumcised state is irrefutable proof that Gentile Christians are accepted by God AS GENTILESGalatians 3:1-4.

In Galatians, Paul addressed a growing danger. Certain “men from Jerusalem” claimed that Gentiles must keep the deeds of the Mosaic Law to “complete” their faith, or at least, some of them. They were “compelling Gentiles to Judaize” by adopting circumcision, calendrical observances, and possibly, the dietary restrictions from Leviticus.

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CONTROVERSY AT GALATIA

SYNOPSIS – The key dispute at Galatia was whether Gentile converts must be circumcised and keep some, at least, of the required deeds of the Torah

The Letter to the Galatians is often read as a broadside by the Apostle Paul against “legalism,” the belief that right standing with God is “earned” through good works and human effort.  This reading stems from the influence of Reformation theology, which tends to see Divine grace and human obedience in constant tension, if not inherently incompatible with each other.

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REDEEMED AND ADOPTED

The Law was an interim stage with a termination point. Christian believers are no longer “under the Law,” instead, they are “in Christ”Galatians 4:1-7.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul points out that if Christians adopt the rite of circumcision, they will regress to that which is rudimentary, and to an earlier stage in Salvation History. The adoption of a Torah-compliant lifestyle means a return to a minority status and the reintroduction of social divisions.

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PAUL’S MAIN DISPUTE AT GALATIA

SYNOPSIS – Paul presents the points of agreement and disagreement with his opponents at Galatia – Galatians 2:15-21.

In the first two chapters of his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul explains how he received his gospel for the Gentiles by divine revelation, a commission confirmed by the leaders of the Jerusalem church. He also details how certain “false brethren had slinked in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus” in an earlier but similar controversy at the church in Antioch of Syria – (Galatians2:1-5).

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WHY, THEN, THE LAW?

OVERVIEW – If a man is not justified from the works of the Law, what was the purpose of the Torah given through Moses at Mount Sinai? – Galatians 3:19

In his Letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul declared that we are set right with God from the “faith of Jesus Christ,” and not “from the works of the Law.” But if keeping the “works of the Law” does not justify us before God, logically, this raises the question:  Why, then, the Law? What was the purpose of the Torah? Paul answered this question in the third chapter of his letter.

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DOING THE WHOLE LAW

OVERVIEW – Anyone who is under the Law of Moses is obligated to keep all its required deeds and rituals – Galatians 3:10

In his Letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul responded to teachings from certain Jewish Christians that were disrupting the churches of Galatia. A key point of contention was the claim that male Gentiles must be circumcised to “complete” their faith. Additionally, they may have pressured believers to keep the calendrical observances of the Mosaic legislation and conform to Jewish dietary regulations.

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