It took a great deal of prayer and thought to open my mind and free me from the enslavement of interpretation. God has finally been able to reveal to me the truth about what the scripture says about “the law”. Having been a lifelong Christian, growing up in the church and being taught the doctrines of the modern church, and of modern Christian culture, which are corrupted by false interpretations of Scripture, it is difficult for one to break free of doctrines and interpretations because they define an ideology and corrupt the reading of what is so obviously put on paper in the words of the book of the Bible.
Today upon studying the book of Galatians, I worked to understand how on the one hand, Paul so clearly said we are “not under the law”, yet the Bible so clearly denotes that we are required to be holy and not do unrighteousness, such as adultery, fornication, and the like, or we would not inherit the kingdom of God.
Perhaps one of the greatest problems with modern interpretation of the Bible is the failure to read more than a handful of verses; rather, one should consider a larger context of many chapters and many books. This failure of modern Christianity, to use too small a portion of the Bible to create doctrine, has led to a misunderstanding of what the Bible really says.
So then, are we to follow the Law, or is it faith alone by which we are saved? Unfortunately for modern Christianity, this is the wrong question. It is not a dichotomy. Those who believe this is the question have failed to read the whole of Galatians with understanding free from the lens of doctrine.
Let me show you what God has revealed plainly. Galatians is quite clear, but only if you look clearly, after removing your clouded glasses, clouded from the doctrines of the modern church.
The doctrine of the modern church equates “works”, “behaving righteously”, and “following the Law” to be the same thing. It is not! When Paul describes the “Law” being void – and this could be a shock for some Christians – Paul is not referring to works – that is, Paul is not referring to the requirement to do good and be holy. Paul is talking about meaningless Jewish religion and tradition, which is meaningless because Christ has superseded the Law.
Here is the right question: “what is the Law” that Paul is referring to? The Law is not what Christians think. Adultery for example is NOT part of the “Law” that Paul said was void. Paul described two things: circumcision (Galatians 2:3, Galatians 2:7), and keeping Jewish holy days and times (Galatians 4:10) (he is not referring to the Sabbath which is the 4th Commandment in Exodus 20 and still valid); and I believe he implied the whole of the ritualistic and traditional Jewish Law that have passed away, including the sacrificial system (animal sacrifices) (Hebrews 13:11-13), the Jewish diet (e.g. no pork) (Peter’s dream given by God in Acts 10:12-15), and other Jewish religious rituals that most Christians have never heard of, which are no longer necessary to follow.
We are not to enslave ourselves to old expired Jewish Laws and customs – this is the message Paul spoke to the Galatians.
However, Paul is NOT saying that you can live however you like to receive salvation. He elaborated greatly in Galatians 5. He describes the “works of the flesh”, which those who live by the sinful flesh will not receive the inheritance of the kingdom of God. This means you will not be saved if you do these things. See Galatians 5:19-21.
But we are not under the Law? We are not under the Jewish Law! But we are required to follow the laws of God – not to do evil. We no longer have to get circumcised, or follow the Jewish holy days (the Sabbath is God’s holy day (Genesis 2:3), not a Jewish day – and is still required), or abstain from pork, or make animal sacrifices. But we do have to abstain from adultery, idolatry, fornication, witchcraft, hatred, strife, drunkenness, and more, (Galatians 5:19-21), or we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Be warned, sinners! God will not tolerate evil (Habakkuk 1:13). Christ does not give us a free pass to live an evil life (Romans 6:1-2. Salvation is by faith, and faith without works is dead (James 2:26). We are not under the Jewish Law, but we are commanded to obey God, as a matter of salvation. We cannot earn salvation, but we can lose it.
We cannot earn salvation by doing “enough good”, because it is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that we are saved from our past sins. Yet, “if you continue to go on sinning”, believing you can live however you want because the modern church taught you false doctrines of the devil, then you are destined for hell. For those who “intentionally go on sinning, there is no salvation left” (Hebrews 10:26). They “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:21)
Will you? Do you obey God by living a holy and righteous live with the things you do and think, or do you live recklessly full of sin and evil? If so, repent now, and turn from your wicked sins, turn from mistreatment of others and unforgiveness, turn from sexual sin, turn from drunkenness and malice, turn from all the evil ways of the flesh. Turn and repent, and do not turn back to your former ways of wickedness.
“Run the race as if to win”, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24. Do you win a race without any work? Of course not. Race to win and attain the salvation offered to you by the blood of Jesus Christ. Win the race by ignoring the flesh (“crucifying the flesh” (Galatians 5:24) every day until the last day. Win by living a holy and righteous life. Do not treat Jesus’ sacrifice with disdain by being disobedient. Do not lose your salvation and be cast into hell. You have a choice. Choose holiness. You cannot say that you have faith when you have no good works. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
What was done away with was the Temple law, because we became the temple, and the Spirit of Elohim dwells in us when we become followers of the Lord and His Word. Also, of course, all the “fences” the Jewish leaders kept coming up with that were not in Elohim’s instructions. Christ pointed those types of things out, like when he said, “You lay burdens on men but won’t lift a finger to help them”.
Christ kept the Sabbath, but he showed we are allowed to do good if it is necessary, not ignore people’s needs as the leaders insisted. We are supposed to eat “kosher”. The animals Elohim forbid us to eat are not only unhealthy for us, they are scavenger creatures. They are meant for keeping the earth clean. For instance, a lot of ocean pollution is due to all the oysters, shrimp, lobsters, etc. that are pulled out for people to eat, leaving the water without enough creatures to eat up the mess.
We are supposed to keep the Sabbath, it was established at the creation of the earth before there was a single Jew, before the Exodus, and it is Elohim’s gift to us; an invitation to rest one day a week with Him. All the instructions He gave Himself apply today, except for Temple laws, sacrifices, etc. As Christ said, “I have not come to abolish the law”, and “not one jot or tittle will pass until heaven and earth pass away.” Peace.
I agree with what you wrote, except for eating “kosher”. This is what “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23), means. Paul is talking only about food (it does not mean anything else but food). We are now allowed to eat everything, but we should not eat many things, because they are harmful for us. You are right that shrimp and other scavenger creatures may not be healthy for us, and therefore, you may want to avoid it. We are meant to keep our bodies healthy, because our bodies are the temple of God.