Thursday, September 19, 2013

Learning on Sabbath

Gal 2:3 But not even Titus who was with me, though a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
Gal 2:4 But as for the false brothers, sneakingly brought in, who sneaked in to spy out our freedom which we have in Messiah יהושע in order to enslave us,
Gal 2:5 to these we did not yield in subjection, not even for an hour, so that the truth of the Good News remains with you.
After the Gentile converts abandon the ways of other dieties, specifically that of sun god worship they would attend the local synagogue to be taught the Yahweh's instructions for His set apart people, the Law of Moses. 
Act 15:21 "For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.

The way in which James made it easy for new converts is very similar to what we do today.  We preach and teach of the good news of salvation through faith by grace.  We commit and trust in the Word of Elohim  as all that is necessary for our salvation.  Applying the Word to our lives through obedience to that Word.  In this way a new believer is able to seek out the way of Elohim and begin to walk in it.  The way in which we walk is one that has already been established and with meeting together in Assembly there is encouragement for growth and bearing fruit.
Mat 23:1 Then יהושע spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones,
Mat 23:2 saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Mosheh.
Mat 23:3 "Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do.
There are many who teach Acts 15 speaks against the Law of Elohim.  They teach James as only speaking to appease the Jews.  These teachers fail to take into account the entire context and skip over verse 21 (given above) and also 16: where Paul actually circumcises Timothy.
Act 16:1 And he came to Derbe and Lustra. And see, a certain taught one was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Yehuḏite woman who believed – but his father was Greek –
Act 16:2 who was well spoken of by the brothers who were at Lustra and Ikonion.
Act 16:3 Sha’ul wished to have this one go with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Yehuḏim who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
Act 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the regulations to keep, which were decided by the emissaries and elders at Yerushalayim. Act 16:5 Then, indeed, the assemblies were strengthened in the belief, and increased in number every day.
 
If the Law was done away with why would Timothy then be circumcised?  It would have been extremely awkward to have Timothy with them and express the teaching from James concerning the Gentiles learning the Law of Moses in their local assemblies but still not practicing the Law himself.  Timothy must have believed he was ready to submit outwardly to what he was already believing inwardly in his circumcised heart.  What we need to find out in our study of Galatians is why Timothy was circumcised but Titus was not.  Why is there this difference?  The difference lies in what was being taught.  Remember, at the beginning of our study a false gospel was entering into the assembly.  What was offered to Titus was not the physical offered through faith representing what had already happened in the heart but a false circumcision into a false teaching of requiring circumcision for salvation.  Even the patriarch Abraham was 99 years old before he became circumcised.  We could use baptism or immersion as an example.  Most of us would understand immersion as an important requirement for believers but not as a means for salvation.  It is an outward testimony of what has already taken place inwardly of the death of self.  The same can be said of circumcision.  The difficulty Paul is addressing is others were saying it had to be done as a means of salvation.  If Titus had been compelled to be circumcised by this group of false teachers He would have been agreeing to the false teaching of works to obtain salvation.  Our actions should be the result of what has taken place within our hearts.  This group of false teachers and their teachings are spelled out in the dead sea scrolls.

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