Freedom of the Children of God | Part 3

Out with the Old and in With the New

Once the Jewish Christians separated from the synagogues, it became necessary to clarify the distinction between the old way under the Law and the new way under Christ.  Paul explained that through faith in Jesus, the Jews were sons of God and no longer slaves to the Law.  And they were to worship alongside others, even gentiles, who joined the faith:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
– Galatians 3:26-29

To those who believed that they could combine the old Law with the new, Paul wrote:

“Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”
– Galatians 3:23-25

These two codes are not to be practiced simultaneously.  They were to view them as applying consecutively – one after the other.  First, they had the Law, then they had the Christ.  Consequently, all those who chose the Law – the old tutor – were automatically rejecting the new teacher, Jesus Christ.  And conversely, all who chose the Christ, were automatically rejecting the law, as Jesus said:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
– Matthew 6:24

For those sticking with the Christ, the old system of things was dead to them.

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.”
– Galatians 2:19

Yet, in spite of Paul’s repeated efforts to help them realize their newfound freedom, many of the Jewish Christians began to turn back to the Law.  In fact, the majority of the Christian Scriptures are devoted to moving the Jewish Christians forward in their faith, and leaving behind the written Law of works and rituals in favor of the law of the spirit. Paul wrote:

“But now that you know God—or rather are known by God— how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!”
– Galatians 4:9-10

He attempted to put matters into prospective.  The Jewish system of things consisted of weak and beggarly things compared to the inestimable glory of sonship in the Kingdom.  Yet many were looking back longingly, electing the mundane earthly works under the Jewish system rather than the unknown realities of the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Based on the constant reminders that they were no longer under Law, it appears that this issue continued to be a struggle for the Jewish Christians.


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