Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 3 * BOOK 33
We’ll start this lesson in Galatians chapter 3 verse 11. We’re stressing that we’re not under Law, we’re under Grace. And remember that the whole reason for this letter is that those Churches up in Galatia were being submarined where false teaching was coming in and was literally torpedoing then with, “But you can’t be saved with faith + nothing, you also have to keep the Law of Moses.” Now let’s go back to Acts chapter 15. We covered this in book 32, but look at verse 1. This was written by Luke, and is indeed the problem.
“And certain men which came down from Judaea (to Antioch) taught the brethren, (they somehow wiggled their way in to get in position to teach. Remember they were believing Jews.) and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses ye cannot be saved.
Now, in verse 5 it’s repeated again and we find some Pharisees who had become believers. Now when I say they had become believers I’m not talking about with Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4. They had become believers of the Gospel of the Kingdom, or the Gospel of the Circumcision that Peter preached. (Gal. 2:7-9) And that Gospel for salvation was believing who Christ said He was plus repentance and water baptism. Now verse 5.
“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying. That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
This is what Paul was constantly up against. Everywhere he had begun a little congregation of primarily Gentile believers these Judaisers would come in and torpedo Paul’s message with this kind of teaching. They would say, “You can’t be saved by faith alone.” I’m sure there are people out there who say, “Don’t listen to Les Feldick, because you can’t be saved by faith alone.” Well, it isn’t Les Feldick that is saying that, but rather it’s this Book that says it. Now come back to Galatians 3:11. Here we find Paul confronting this false teaching that was leading these people astray, do you remember what he said in chapter 1? You are falling for a perverted Gospel.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” So if you add or take away from Paul’s Gospel you are in trouble. Well here in verse 11 Paul is still dealing on that same premise.
“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, (Maybe you can fool people that you’re a Christian by Law keeping, but you will never fool God) it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” There is nothing else added to that verse. So it’s faith + nothing. Verse 12.
“And the law (works religion) is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them (these works) shall live in them.”
In other words if you’re going to try to keep the Law or add works for salvation then you need to keep the whole Law. It’s like a dear brother in the Lord that lives near me who was talking to a neighbor, and this neighbor thought he needed to keep the Law for salvation. He told his neighbor, “Now wait a minute if you’re going to keep the Law then you need a temple. You had better find a priest, and you’d better go buy a flock of sheep, because if you’re going to keep the Law, you’ve got to keep it all if my Bible means what it says.” And I couldn’t have told his neighbor any better, because this is where most people are. If they want to keep the Law for salvation, then they had better keep it to the last iota. Remember there was only one way they could keep the Law and that was to have the Temple, priesthood, and the sacrifice, and even then they couldn’t accomplish it because it’s impossible
So here’s where we’ve got to get people to stop and think, “Am I trying to obtain salvation by some kind of a works religion?” And when you add anything to faith then it becomes a religion. Religion is man attempting to somehow merit favor with God where Christianity is God reaching down in Grace and saving sinful men. Oh what a difference. There’s no comparison between the two. Religion will always demand works, religion will always tell people what they have to do and what they can’t do. But true Gospel Christianity says, “you do nothing because God had done it all.” Now verse 13.
“Christ hath (past tensed) redeemed us (He has bought us, He has paid a price for us, and redeemed us) from the curse of the law, (remember what we read in Deuteronomy? If you do not keep every jot and tittle of the Law to perfection then you’re under the curse. Now that sounds like harsh language, but that’s what the Book said. `cursed is every man that does not do them if you’re going to do the Law.’) being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” Now look at Deuteronomy 21:18. Now this is back in Israel’s history under the Law.
“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: (in other words he is a total rebel) 19. Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; (in other words to the authorities) 20. And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.”
Does that ring a bell? Oh yeah it does. You have all heard of families that have one. Remember the book “Tough Love”? What was advocated? With this kind of an individual, you have to take steps and exercise some tough love. You can’t just keep feeding him and helping him out of his tight places, but rather you’ve got to deal with him. Well Israel did, only far worse than what that book ever suggested. Look what their remedy was.
“And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear,”
See this is what the sociologists have totally removed from our judicial system. Our kids have no fear of the Law, and that’s our problem. They can do whatever they want to do and they know they’re going to get a slap on the wrist at most and then they’ll be back on the streets. Hey if we would practice some of this it wouldn’t take long for our judicial system to right itself. I remember a friend of mine who was in the service in Japan in the occupational forces after W.W.II. When he came home he said, “Boy there’s nobody in jail in Japan, the courts don’t have much to do because the police deal with the problem on the sidewalks. They practically beat somebody to death if they caught them stealing or snatching a purse. So there wasn’t a problem at that time, but I’m sure it’s changed some by now, but there wasn’t much crime at that time because they dealt with it. Well that’s exactly what Israel was instructed to do. If you have that kind of no good rebellious drunkard son then turn him over to the authorities, and the authorities were to literally stone that young man to death. And remember stoning was not a very pretty picture, it was awful. Now reading on in verse 22.
“And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: (now the hanging on the tree didn’t kill him, the stoning did. So what was the purpose of hanging them on a tree? A public spectacle! To let the public know that this is the way Israel deals with this kind of an individual. Now people will read this and say, “Well that’s barbaric.” Maybe so but they didn’t have the crime problem that we’ve got.) 23. His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God; …” Now does all that ring a bell? Who hung on a tree? Christ did, and as soon as Israel saw the sun begin to set what did they scramble for? Get Him off that tree because we can’t have him on there after sundown. See this is all ringing a bell with their Old Testament.
“His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (and here is the reason) (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)…”
We say this is awful, but look what is this all a preview of? Of what Christ accomplished on our behalf. Let’s go to II Corinthians. Here again, when I can stand up here and teach a total salvation based on the finished work of the Cross + nothing, this is why I can do it. And at the same time keep that picture on your mind for what it was for that rebel who was a sinner to be sure and he had been stoned to death, and then hanged on a tree for the public to see. All right it was all a preview of the One that was to come.
II Corinthians 5:21a
“For he (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us,…”
All sins, even the worst, and they were all laid on Him. He took the place of that rebel, sinful, son of Israel. And He took the place so that God could put the curse of the Law on Christ. Now listen that’s strong language I know it is. That’s not the kind of language most people like to hear. But listen this is what the Word declares. Christ became the curse under God. He fulfilled all the curse of the Law so that God in turn could now say, “I have forgiven every human being that’s ever lived. I have reconciled them, I have pardoned them. It’s there for anyone and every one who will simply believe it.” And oh they refuse to believe it. Now let’s look at Romans chapter 3. Where this whole plan of salvation from the pen of the apostle Paul really has it’s beginning. Again it’s that same concept that by the keeping of the Law there is no justification. I always like to use those two verses together as I’ll never forget one time I was using them and a young pastor happened to be in my class at the time. I hadn’t commented on them, only read them and his mouth just dropped opened. You know the first thing that came to mind? He’s never seen this before. He had never seen this before but the Spirit just blew his mind and look what it says.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: (who was under the Law? Jew. But it didn’t stop at the borders of Israel because the ramifications of the Law went to the whole human race.) that every mouth may be stopped and all the world (may have a way to heaven. That’s not what your Bible says is it? Your Bible says that all the world ) may become guilty before God. (and all the Law could do was pronounce guilt upon every human being.) 20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified (and oh why can’t works religion people see this? They must evidently just closing their eyes to it and say, `No, my Church, my religion will be good enough.” However my Bible says, “No it won’t!” I don’t care what Church it is. If the Church you belong to holds you to something that you have to do to earn salvation then my Bible says, `Then there is no justification in that, but rather condemnation.’) in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The Ten Commandments, as beautiful as they are, perfect as they are, yet by those commandments is nothing more than the understanding on sin. Sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments. Oh but now look at verse 21 for the flip side.
“But now (something totally different has taken over) the righteousness of God without the law (leave out the Law, it has no part in your salvation.) is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;”
What does that mean? It isn’t like the people of Corinth when they accused the apostle Paul that he was coming in like an impostor with some kind of false religion and something that he had concocted on his own. But what did Paul say? “I’m not coming with something that’s a watered downed product. I am coming with the truth of the Gospel.” And the world has hated it from day one. And even today the world’s main goal is to work for their salvation. I want to do something so I can take pride in what I’ve accomplished. God hates pride like nothing else. So here we have without the Law even though it was witnessed by all the Old Testament before it. Remember what I said in the last lesson? Everything builds on that which was before. So we had the Law, and the prophets, and the life of Christ, and it all brings us to His death, burial and resurrection. And then we have the apostle Paul who comes out and declares it to the Gentile world, not just to Israel.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith (or the faithfulness) of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (and then verse 23 the all inclusive verse of condemnation where I always say you have to start.) 23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Why? Because we’ve all broken God’s Law, everyone of us.) 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
You all know what redemption involves. It means paying a price for something that was once yours and you lost it. And that’s exactly what happened to the human race. It was God’s in the person of Adam and Eve, but what happened? God lost it when they sinned, and the moment he lost it what did God immediately kick into gear? A plan of redemption through the Seed of the woman. Now it took centuries before it became a reality but nevertheless it all began right after Adam and Even sinned. God put in motion the plan of buying back the whole human race. That of course is what Paul is teaching here in Romans chapter 3. Now verse 25.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…” It’s the blood that is the price of redemption. Peter tells us that in his little epistle:
I Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold received by tradition from your fathers; 19. but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot:” You are not bought with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.. It’s the price of redemption all through Scripture. That’s the reason that Hebrews says –
“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.” It has to be paid for with atoning blood. Now come on down to Romans 3:26.
“To declare, I say, at this time his (Christ) righteousness that he (Christ) might be just, (absolutely fair) and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” See how simple it is? It’s so very simple. All right in the short time we have left let’s return to Galatians, and we were in verse 13.
“Christ hath redeemed us (He has paid the price of redemption with His blood) from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; (Christ fulfilled that, He became that curse that was hung on a tree.) for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”
Now I suppose that a lot of people have wondered down through the ages, well why did God choose death by crucifixion. The normal death for people in Israel was stoning. Well you see He had to be lifted up, He had to be placed on a tree to fulfill this whole concept of, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” He couldn’t have died any other death, it would have never fulfilled the total picture and that why I ways tell you that all of Scripture fits. It’s just like a jig saw puzzle, everything fits, and that’s why it’s so dangerous to lift a verse out of context, because we have to use every bit of it.