| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 38 - Page 96 of 249 Index | Zoom | |
There are many indications that the epistle to the Galatians was a "covering letter"
sent together with the epistle to the Hebrews. The omission of any reference to
circumcision in Hebrews is inexplicable taken by itself, but with the matter so thoroughly
disposed of, as it is in Galatians, it is understandable. Here are all the references to
emmeno in the N.T. (omitting a reading in the Alexandrian MSS of Rev. 20: 3), and the
fact that the epistles to the Galatians and Hebrews use this word in connexion with one
subject, the inability of man to continue in the observance of the law, is one of many
incidental links between the two epistles. Most, if not all, fail to pass this intense test.
But suppose for argument's sake some could, let us note what is said further.
ALL things. Just as every one without exception is intended in the opening of the argument,
and all the time without reprieve is demanded in the next step, so every commandment
without exception must be thus "continued in" or the curse must fall.
Most men, except the utterly depraved, discover that they have their strong points as
well as their weak ones. Where one man would be proof against the sin of adultery, he
may be an easy victim to covetousness. Where one would scorn to bear false witness, he
may be slack in the honouring of his parents, and if we bring the subject forward and
understand the law to be the love of God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and
the neighbour as oneself, then it is evident that not one can hope to continue in all things
which are written in the law. Further, both O.T. and N.T. point out that ignorance is no
excuse. "Though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity" (Lev. 5: 17),
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also Do not kill" (James 2: 10, 11).
Finally, the last test is simple but complete: "`To DO them." Volumes have been
written in praise of the Mosaic code. Praise has been bestowed upon the sanity and the
salutary nature of its precepts. Comparison with such as the Code of Khammurabi
reveals the exalted nature of the law of Sinai, yet God never asked man to pass his
opinion upon the law, to extend his patronage to the law, to render lip service to the law,
he was simply under the obligation to DO the works of the law, or to come under the
curse. Alford sadly misses the argument and misrepresents God, when he says, from
Gal. 3: 11 "not even could a man keep the law, would he be justified, the condition of
justification, as revealed in Scripture, being by faith". It is untrue to teach that God
would repudiate perfect obedience; He would not, the argument is directed to another
thought namely, justification, which, if ever it is to be received, will have to be by faith as
a free gift, because no one would ever be able to produce the obedience required by the
law to merit it.
God shuts no man out. Man shuts himself out by his own failure. To every man God
says as he said to Cain:
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, the sin
offering coucheth at the door" (Gen. 4: 7).