“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel – not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6, 7, NET).
Judaizers were the Jewish Christians who were not willing to abandon the Temple Judaism and fully commit themselves to the “Way”, the Christianity. Some Judaizers were attempting to convince the Gentile Galatian believers that it is not enough to believe in Jesus Christ for ones’ salvation. They insisted that obedience to the law of Moses, including the ten commandments, was essential, and perhaps, the only way to salvation. They maintained that, as a minimum, the Christians should add the good works of the law to the gospel of Jesus Christ as a proof of their faith and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Another group of Judaizers worked tirelessly to minimize the significance of the Cross of Christ. They insisted that the salvation which Christ accomplished on the cross at Golgotha for the humankind, was not complete, but is a continuous process. Accordingly, they contended that completion of the salvation Jesus Christ began on the cross at Golgotha, must include the conformity to the temple law and rituals. Unfortunately, today also some Christians believe that our “sanctification” is a life-long process of obedience leading to righteousness and a hope of salvation.
Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, proves false the claim by the Galatian Judaizers. He emphases that the earthly temple with its law and rituals could not save anyone because, they could not cleanse the conscience of the sinners. Hebrews 9:9, 10. The physical temple with its mandate and rituals was only a shadow pointing to the reality – Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:1. The idea that to experience full benefit of the Cross of Christ one must add to it the works of the law is the Satan’s effort to divert the eyes of the believers from Christ to their self. However, our old person and Christ cannot coexist. For our salvation, we must die to self so that Christ can live in us. There is no other way! Mathew 16:24.
Will continue in the next blog.