Fred R. Coulter—February 13, 2010

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I got an email from a staunch KJV Southern Baptist minister who berated me for the translation and was appalled at the cost. There will be some people like that. Let me show you how the King James Version people did it. First of all, William Tyndale was the first one to translate the whole Bible, first one to translate it from the original Greek, the New Testament, into English. Not only did he translate it, he published it. He was the very first one to translate from the Hebrew into English. He said the Hebrew goes into English much better than the Greek. So that was quite a surprise.

He was thrown into prison after being betrayed by Phillips and he was in Vilvorde for eighteen months. By the time he got thrown in there he had only finished one half of the Old Testament. So his helper, John Rogers, brought his lexicon to him in jail, and the jailer gave him grace and favor. It was even said that the jailer and his daughter were converted because of what William Tyndale was doing. He wrote a letter to John Rogers saying, it was in the wintertime, and says, 'It's very cold. Could you bring my knickers,' or those leg wraps for his legs, 'and a cap for my head.' All he had was whatever paper that he was able to get, John Rogers brought in, and a candle and he had his Hebrew lexicon and he finished translating the Old Testament.

Now this was published shortly after his death. It was called the Henry Matthew Bible. I've got a duplicate of the Henry Matthew Bible. Right at the end of Malachi, right between where the Old Testament ended—because they used the order out of the Latin Vulgate—the next book is the book of Matthew. And on that last page it had WT. Everyone knew that was from William Tyndale. Thomas Matthew is an acronym for Tyndale, William. You could look at it two ways: the T is the beginning of Thomas. W is the last word in Matthew. So you just switch them and you have William Tyndale. Or you could take the M is an upside down W. Either way, you still come out with William Tyndale.

So he was very aghast that I would be so presumptuous to believe that there were problems within the King James Version of the Bible. Anyone who changed it belonged to those of Westcott and Hort.

Now let's take a look at several of the problems that they had, because they divided the Bible down into different committees. They had, I think it was, 65 men or 66 men who were supposed to be the scholars. Now what they did, they compared all the English translations, which was translation by, it was a Thomas Matthew Bible. Then you had the Coverdale Bible. Then you had the King's Bible. Then you had the Geneva Bible. And so they really didn't do much translating at all. David Daniell, who is the biographer and historian of William Tyndale said that they take—let's go to page 8 in the Bible. That's where we have the picture of William Tyndale and let's see what Daniell wrote concerning William Tyndale.

I think because we say there are 49 books in the Bible, I think he totally misunderstood, because he's thinking, '49 books? What books did you throw away?' Now here's what it says concerning William Tyndale.

William Tyndale (1494-1536) was the first person to translate the Bible into English from its original Greek and Hebrew and the first to print the Bible in English, which he did in exile. Giving the laity access to the Word of God outraged the clerical establishment in England: he was condemned, hunted, and eventually murdered.... [burned at the stake] ...However, his masterly translation formed the basis of all English Bibles—including the King James Bible, many of whose finest passages were taken unchanged, though unacknowledged, from Tyndale's work.

Now they still had the Latinists and they still had the Catholics on the committees. Now let's see something here. Come to the Epistle of 1-John—we will get to the KJV here in a little bit. Let's come to 1-John 4 and then I want to show you an obvious Latinist translation. Because William Tyndale translated the noun for love 'agape' as love.

1-John 4:7: "Beloved, we should love one another... [Now the verb is 'agapo'; the noun is 'agape.'] (v 9, that God has manifested toward us): ...that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love..." (vs 7, 9-10). Now another thing that is important in the Greek is this: When there is a definite article for the noun, it should be translated the love. When there is not a definite article, you have to make a decision whether you need to put a the there, because of the importance of it in the context. But if you do, you have to put it in italics.

Or like we've seen with works of law, which we've covered before. Thework of thelaw, Paul says was 'written in the hearts of the Gentiles.' This is where the Protestants and the evangelicals have everything confused. I'm finding that as I examine their doctrines and what they believe—you know what? Almost every difficult wrongly translated Scripture from the King James Version of the Bible is what they use to justify their doctrines.

So here he uses love all the way through. You can read the whole chapter. Let's come to. And before I began to learn Greek, study it, I couldn't figure this out. I'm going to read to you from the King James Version. 1-Corinthians 13:1: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity...". The Greek word here is 'agape'—meaning love. Why was this translated charity, when even in the King James Version of 1-John 'agape' is translated love? Why? Well, charity is what? The Latin word for love. So you had the secret Latinists who may have even been Catholics on the translating committee. So to say they translated without error, and the King James Version is to be revered as an uninhibited idol to bow down to is not correct.

So all the way through here it says charity. Verse 4 (KJV): "Charity suffers long..." When I first read that I had in mind charity. Now what does charity mean today? It means you give something to someone or it can be listed as an organization that gives to people that are in need—right? It took me a long time to figure out that this really meant love.

Let's look at another one to justify their Latinists and Church of England bias. 1-Corinthians 10:16 (KJV): "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" What do they call their partaking of the bread and grape juice? They call it communion. Guess what? This word back in 1-John 1—hold your place here, we'll come back. We will see even in the King James it is translated correctly. So they were (how shall we say) fudging?

1-John 1:3 (KJV): "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship..." You couldn't put communion there, because did they have communion with each other? Fellowship! Now the Greek word here also means partnership. Isn't that interesting? Because when we have the Spirit of God in us God has taken us into His confidence in a partnership relationship so that we have God's Spirit and we're fellowshipping with Him. So communion has nothing to do with the meaning of the Greek.

So let's come back here and read it again. 1-Corinthians 10:16 (KJV): "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" If you read it fellowship, which is how I translated it and how others who understand the Greek have translated it, you could also say, based upon the covenant, it is the partnership or the sharing or the fellowship of the blood of Christ. 'And the bread which we break is it not the fellowship of the body of Christ?' So, there are two.

Where they really fall down is Gal. 2 & 3, because of putting the definite article before the word law. We've already gone through Gal. 2, so let's look at Gal. 3, and then we will see how these things are clarified.

What I want to do is ask the question: What does New Testament Christianity have to do with Abraham, because that's really the topic here? So we'll see it. Now we know this: works of law, and that is the proper translation, has to do, as we saw in Gal. 2, with the works of traditional law of Judaism, which Jesus said what? Rejected the commandments of God. And so, when we come to Gal. 3, this is where we find that the Protestants say if you keep the law you are under a curse. They actually believe that! They actually believe that the law is a curse. That's why we have Appendix Z, which explains no, it's not a curse.

So let's begin Galatians 3:1: "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you... [We could say today hypnotized you, or brainwashed you.] ...into not obeying the Truth..." Now we can stop there. What do we know is the Truth?

  • The laws
  • the commandments
  • the statutes
  • the judgments
  • the Word of God.
  • The Gospel
  • Christ

I AM what? The way, the Truth, and the life. "...before whose eyes Jesus Christ, crucified, was set forth in a written public proclamation?"

Now what does that mean? What is the written proclamation? The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This is also evident in the fact that they wrote the Gospels early. If you don't have time to read the commentary about it, go to the back to the chronologies and look at the chronology of the New Testament, and you will see how early they were really writing.

Let me just give you an example here to show you how early they were writing. So hold your place, and let's come back here to Acts 6. Let me just draw your attention to something that you can see when you read Matt. 5, 6, & 7. These words, you can tell by the way they were written, were actually notes that Matthew was taking early on. Matthew, you remember, was a tax collector as well as a Levite. So knowing how important this was, he was taking notes. Just like a lot of you are here who are studying along with it. You're writing down some notes. That's how we get these direct quotes.

Do you suppose, that as many insist, that the New Testament was not written until about the middle of the 2nd century, that they could recall the exact words that Jesus said in His ministry in 27A.D. if it were not for Matthew writing it down?

Acts 6:1: "Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a complaint by the Greeks against the Hebrews... [a little racial tension there] ...because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. And after calling the multitude of disciples to them, the twelve said, 'It is not proper for us to leave the Word of God in order to wait on tables…. [Now this was within the first year; very important to keep in mind.] …Therefore, brethren, search out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word'" (vs 1-4).

Now what do you suppose the ministry of the Word would be? Writing down the Gospel accounts. Just stop and think for minute: if they didn't write them until much later, what did they have to have written before the next Passover after the year that Jesus was crucified, died, and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven? What would they have to have for the next Passover? Because remember, only the apostles kept the Passover that changed from the Old Testament Passover to the New Testament Passover. So they had to have all that written down so that everyone could keep the New Testament Passover—right?—or the New Covenant Passover. So the ministry of the Word has got to relate to writing these things down.

Now likewise when you read in the book of Acts, especially in the latter chapters there about Paul's trial before Festus and Agrippa, Luke was there taking notes. He took down what they said, because we have verbatim conversation of what was going on. Remember Luke was Paul's secretary. So all of these things are hidden in the New Testament to show, no, they weren't dummies. They didn't run along and have oral tradition. The only reason that the Catholics say, 'Well, it was oral tradition,' so they could bring in their own traditions later and the so-called traditions of the early fathers.

So come back here to Galatians 3:1: "...Jesus Christ, crucified, was set forth in a written public proclamation?" That was what they wrote and that was the book of Matthew, and that's what went out first of all to all the churches everywhere. As I show in the commentary, when you read the Epistle of James, you find 67 distinct parallels with the writings of Matthew. Now James is very interesting, because in his epistle there is no mention of the Gentiles. It was sent to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora. So that tells you they knew where they were. You wouldn't send a letter to the twelve tribes unless you knew where they were—right? Could you write a letter to grandma and say, 'Dear Grandma, Here's a letter for you.' Give it to the postman and he says, 'You only have the name on here.' Well, I don't know where she is, but you figure out the address for me.' Wouldn't happen. So they knew where they were. So this means, since there is no mention of Gentiles, what does this mean? It means it was well before the problem in Acts 15 relating to circumcision—correct? Otherwise, he would have mentioned it—right? He did not even mention the decision.

This tells you then, by deduction, since there's nothing there, talking about the Gentiles, and the conference in Acts 15 happened in 49A.D. at the latest, maybe 47. Therefore, he had to write it sometime before that time, before there were hardly any Gentiles in the church. Just to show you one thing concerning James on that.

James 2:1: "My brethren, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. Now then, if a man comes into your synagogue..." (vs 1-2). And that's what it is in the Greek, 'sunagoge'—meaning synagogue. How does the King James translate? Into your assembly, because they didn't understand when it was written. So they knew the difference of synagogue, because all through the Gospels Jesus went into the synagogue, 'sunagoge.' Why didn't they translate it here? Because they didn't understand it was written very early on. So thinking that this was written way out there, how could this be synagogue? So we'll translate it assembly, but the Greek word for assembly is 'ecclesia'—which is the church. So they couldn't translate the church, because it was 'sunagoge'; so they translated it assembly. These are just some of the fudges in the King James that you don't even know are there. And you don't know until you study the whole thing.

Galatians 3:2: "This only I desire to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit of God by works of law... [That is the literal translation from the Greek. And Paul everywhere refers to these relating to the traditions of the Jews, such as chapter 2 had separating themselves from the Gentiles when they ate, and other things. How does the Holy Spirit come?] ...or by the hearing of faith?" So you

  • hear the Word of God
  • you must believe
  • you must repent
  • you must be baptized

—as we covered on the last one there, Bible Answers to the Evangelicals #7. Whereas. you recall I went through and showed that every place where they believed and it doesn't mention baptism, does not mean that baptism was not required, because you have to put all the Scriptures together. So right here, just the hearing of faith, which leads to what? Repentance and baptism.] ...Have you suffered so many things in vain, if indeed it has been in vain? Therefore consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you, and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith?" (vs 4-5).

What is a work of law? A work of law is something you do. The Jews had it with washing, they had it with walking into a room. They even had it that when you saw deformed people, you had to ask a blessing and thank God that you weren't made like that. That's a work of law. On the Sabbath, if you're walking along, provided you don't go too far, if there's a little stream of water, you can jump over it if it's not too broad. If it's too broad, you can walk through it, but you can't take off your shoes. That's a work of law. Same way with apples that are spilled. If they're spilled all around, you knock over a basket of apples and they scatter all over the foyer, or whatever it is, or out in your porch, you can't pick them up because that's working on the Sabbath. However, you can eat them one at a time. But if they are all close together, you can put them back, because that's not working. Same way if there's a fire. You can't put a fire out on the Sabbath. However, you can wear three sets of your valuable clothes, run outside the house, and take them off and then you can run in and get some more, but you can't carry out your bed. That's work of law.

Religiously they had in the morning, you would wash the hands. You would take a pitcher of water and you would pour water over your right hand, and then over your left hand, and you would wash them and you would do this three times. You know why? Because at night when you sleep, the demons come and are in your fingertips and this gets rid of the demons. Then Dolores saw one on television, which is in the Code of Jewish Law, that on the Day of Atonement they would take a chicken and they would whirl it over their heads. That would bring them atonement. That is a work of law.

So he's saying: How did it come? By faith, you believed! Verse 6: "It is exactly as it is written: 'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.'" Because the thing is, if you believe God, you'll do what He says. If He gives you a promise, like He did to Abraham, which is almost incomprehensible, that at 85 you're told you're going to have a son from your own loins, and your descendants are going to be like the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven. And He took you outside and showed the stars of heaven. He says, 'Okay, count the stars if you can.' Well, you can't do that. He said, 'So shall your seed be.' So he believed.

Verse 7: "Because of this you should understand that those who are of the faith are the true sons of Abraham….. [That ties exactly in with baptism and the New Covenant, and also the day on which it took place.] …Now in the Scriptures, God, seeing in advance that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed'" (vs 7-8).

Now that's Gen. 12. And he wasn't circumcised until how old was he? 99! So he's the father of the uncircumcised as well as the circumcised. So that was a prophetic example of what God was going to do with the Gentiles. Verse 10 for the evangelicals becomes a hard one to understand, especially if you're reading the KJV.

Let me read it first in the KJV. When I first read Galatians, I couldn't understand it. I thought this is so much double talk. What is Paul saying? "For as many as are of the works of the law..." (v 10). Now when you see the law, what do you think of? The Ten Commandments—right? And we are told that we're not to be under the law. As we saw previously, that means we're not under law, that is the law of traditional Judaism. So I read that and I said, 'As many as are under the works of the law are under the curse.' So someone might say, 'What am I doing keeping the Sabbath? Am I under a curse? Are the Protestants correct? They twist and turn it even more and they attribute the law to be a curse.

Now notice what it says, "...for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone that continues not in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them'" (v 10, KJV). And the book of the law is what? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—is it not? What are you going to do with that? You have to pull a Colombo on that, and slap your forehead to try and figure this thing out.

Let's read the translation that is literal from the Greek and I added one word in italics. The key thing is this: Whenever you add a word, it must be in italics to alert the reader it has been inserted for clarification. The key is this: There is no definite article before the, for works or the for law. The Greek is works of law. Now then it will make sense, rather than seeming contradictory as it is in the King James. So when you really study out the doctrines of the evangelicals, you find that every one of their erroneous doctrines are based upon a bad translation in the KJV and they're all confused.

Let's read it, v 10: "For as many as are relying on works of law... [Which then over here Gal. 2 is defined as a work of Judaism, separating eating from the Gentiles and other things. Now then, they're under a curse.] ...are under a curse, because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the book of the law to do them.'" Now you can understand it.

The sum of the matter is this: If you are doing any work of law, aside from the true commandments of God, you are under a curse because you're not keeping the commandments of God. Does that now make sense? Yes! So instead of being contradictory, voila, you understand. Did not Jesus say of the Jews of their traditions, 'Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your traditions'? And did He not say, 'In vain do you worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men and their works'? Works of law have to do with human religious works. Now the only exception to that would be the offering of sacrifices at the temple. Those in Galatia were kind of far removed from the temple—were they not? Probably six or seven hundred miles from the temple, so they couldn't do those. But if they went to Jerusalem and were a Jew and wanted to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, while the temple stood, that would be okay. But it didn't make them spiritually more acceptable to God. That's the whole key. How are you spiritually acceptable to God? That's what we're talking about.

Verse 11 (KJV): "But that no man is justified by the law... [In the Greek the is not there.] the sight of God, it is evident, for the just shall live by faith." So 'if you believe in Jesus, that's all you need.' So you want to rely on King James for your doctrine, if you're an evangelical and you're unwilling to look at the original Greek or you think that any other translation is desecrating the Word of God? Granted, many are, but this one, not.

Now let's read v 11 in the Original Order Bible: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God by means of law..." How does justification come? We already saw it—right? Through repentance, belief in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His shed blood for the remission of sins, and you are justified and put in right standing with God, irrespective of any law. Even the Ten Commandments cannot justify you, because law was never given to justify, only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But commandment-keeping is necessary so you don't live in sin.

Hold your place here and come back to Romans 2 and let me read you a verse which will help clarify this for you. Let's see the operation that is there.

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Romans 2:1—He's basically talking to the Jews, partly to the Gentiles, but mostly the Jews who were judging the Gentiles for what they were doing. "Therefore you are without excuse, O man... [So this can apply to anyone, but instead of saying, O Jew, he saves that for later.] ...O man, everyone who judges another, for in that in which you judge the other, you are condemning your own self; for you who judge another are doing the same things... [Sounds like Congress—doesn't it? Or the religionists today—isn't that true? Yes!] ...But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth upon those who commit such things" (vs 1-2)—all listed in chapter one.

"Now do you think yourself, O man, whoever is judging those who commit such things, and you are practicing them yourself, that you shall escape the judgment of God?.... [The evangelicals better listen, because they condemn people for keeping the Sabbath, and yet they break the law by keeping Sunday. They condemn people who baptize for the remission of sins, yet they retain their sins on what they call 'leading someone to Christ,' as I explained in the previous message. No, they won't escape the judgment of God.] ...Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" (vs 3-4).

The goodness, the graciousness, the mercy, the love of God, leads you to repentance. When you come to think, here's the great righteous God, Who created the heavens and the earth, and everything that there is, and then all of sudden you see your life in relationship to the greatness and goodness of God, and realize you need to repent. God has led you to that point. Anyone who really truly repents unto repentance to the forgiveness of sins has been led there by God. That's an act of grace from God.

"But you... [he's getting toward the Jews.] ...according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart, are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment, Who will render to each one according to his own works" (vs 5-6). Now, if God is going to judge us by our works, why do people say you don't have to have works? Because the fact is, if you don't have works, that is your work—isn't it? Very simple! If you decide to stay home and don't go to work, your action is not going to work. You've made the choice.

This is why in James 2 I got chastised a couple times for translating this correctly. I think I probably had about a dozen letters concerning this. 'Oh, don't you think that you made a mistake?' Because the King James reads it differently. James 2:18: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works... [whatever they may be] ...and I will prove my faith to you through my works." And that is an exact translation from the Greek.

I remember when I first understood it, I called Dr. Dorothy and I says, 'Hey, this is not like the KJV.' And he says, 'No, it's not. The KJV is not right.' The KJV reads: "Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works... [The word without is not there.] ...and I will show you my faith by my works." Where did that first come from? Probably from Luther. He hated the book of James, really thought it shouldn't be in there because he believed in no works at all.

Back to Romans 2:7. God is going to render to every man according to his works. Here is how; notice the comparison. "On the one hand, to those who with patient endurance in good works are seeking glory and honor and immortality—eternal life... [Are good works necessary for eternal life? Yes, indeed! Those are the good works that God foreordained that we should walk in—correct?] ...On the other hand, to those who are contentious and who disobey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish—upon every soul of man who works out evil, both of the Jew first... [So don't be bragging that you are a Jew, if you are a Jew.] ...and of the Greek; but glory and honor and peace to everyone who works good, both to the Jew first... [because that's who the Gospel went to first, because of the promise to the fathers.] ...and to the Greek, Because there is no respect of persons with God" (vs 7-11).

That's hard for those who are discriminatory to take. And to this day, Judaism says they're above all people. Now let's read the next few verses carefully here. "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law... [They're just going to live their lives and die, without the knowledge of law. They didn't know what sin was, but sin is still sin, even if you don't what sin is. If you don't know that the law says, 'You shall not steal,' and you're a thief, you're still sinning. Take any of the commandments, but you're going to perish without law.] ...and as many as have sinned within the law shall be judged by the law." And that's what the Jews did. They sinned within the law. Now notice I have it in italics here, because that could apply to all law or the law, 'shall be judged by the law.'

The reason I did that is because v 13. Let's read that. Here's the one that I couldn't understand when I was trying to sort out the difference between law and faith and works. "(Because the hearers of the law are not just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

Where does this leave us? The answer is simple. You're a sinner, you're convicted of sinning, the graciousness of God leads you to repentance. What do you determine in your mind when you repent to God that you're going to do? Quit sinning, which means you're going to start keeping the laws of God—right? You cannot receive justification from God until you repent and stop sinning. Then you shall be justified. Because you can't come before God and say, 'Forgive me for my sins,' and continue living in your sins and expect the blood of Jesus Christ to constantly forgive you every day if you're living a life practicing sin. When I first read that, I couldn't understand that, but now I understand it.

Now notice v 14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the law... [Now notice the italic the before Gentiles and before law. I put it there, the Gentiles, so it would be understood, different from the Jew. And I put the law, because in the next sentence it says the law. So this interprets that it's necessary to put the italicized the before law here.] ...For when the Gentiles which do not have the law, practice by nature the things contained in the law... [That's referring to the laws of God—right?] ...these who do not have the law are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law..." (vs 14-15).

Now I want to emphasize this is the only place in the New Testament where the definite article occurs before work and the definite article occurs before law in that phrase. Everywhere else it is works of law, as differentiated from the work of the law—where? "...written in their own hearts... [So this is not a Jewish tradition or a traditional law, but the law of God.] ...these who do not have the law are a law unto themselves; Who show the work of the law written in their own hearts..." (v 15).

So, you see, works of law are not the same as the work of the law. And what did we read back in Gal. 3? 'Cursed is everyone who continues not in the things written in the book of the law.' That agrees. "...their reasonings also, as they accuse or defend one another)" (v 15).

Come back here to Galatians 3. We're making progress, believe it or not. Good comment was made: Who would be practicing the laws of Judaism by nature, would any Gentile ever do that with their hatred toward the Jews? Never! Excellent comment. It's not natural.

Galatians 3:11; here also is where the writings of Paul are difficult to understand, to discern when he says, 'the law,' is it a singular 'a law,' the Ten Commandments? Or the covenant that God gave to Israel? Because he uses the word law or 'nomos' in the Greek for all of those. That's why Peter said that Paul wrote some things difficult and hard to understand.

Galatians 3:11: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God by means of law... [You have to repent first. Justification comes through Christ and His shed blood.] ...because it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'.... [Believing in that.] ...Now then, the law is not based on faith; but, 'The man who practices these things shall live in them'" (vs 11-12). You have good upstanding citizens in the world who know very little about God and they practice them. Even in spite of that, 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' is that not correct? Yes!

Verse 13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law... [And the curse of the law is lawbreaking. The Protestants read this to mean Christ has redeemed us from the law, which is a curse. This is why every died-in-the-wool evangelical, hard-shell Baptist will tell you that if you keep the law you're under a curse. The curse comes from not keeping the law.] ...having become a curse for us... [Why? Because He took upon Himself our sins.] ...(for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')." That's evident, and Christ was hung on a tree. The way they crucified, they took a tree, stripped off all of its branches, and put on there, as I mentioned before, two iron clogs that would hold a crossbar. Because they crucified so many people, the death penalty was just Bang! Bang! Bang! And Josephus records that when the Romans came in to conquer Jerusalem, they had so many crosses that were wanting for bodies and bodies wanting for crosses. They just slaughtered them and crucified them one after the other. So that's why it's called a tree.

Here's why Christ died and it goes back to Abraham. "In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (v 14). Now that goes clear back to Gen. 15.

Verse 15: "Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective)... [Now he is changing the subject to draw an illustration to get back to it clear down in v 29.] ...even when a man's covenant has been ratified... [Next time we'll get into what does it mean to ratify a covenant.] one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it." Now let me just explain about a covenant. A covenant is a pledge of your death. Before the covenant is ratified, you must pledge your death. That's what Christ did in Gen. 15.

They would take a calf, cut it down the middle, put the two parts, the back parts facing each other, and a path, and those who pledged the covenant would walk through the parts of those animals to signify that if 'I do not perform what I have pledged to do, I in covenant tell you that I will become like this sacrifice that I'm walking in between.' And it's a very bloody mess when you do an animal that way. When it's ratified, you can't annul it. You must fulfill it. You can't add to it, because once it's ratified, you can't add any more.

Now v 16: "Now to Abraham and to his Seed... [That's Christ] ...were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ." Now here's the difficult one that is hard to understand from the KJV. Let me go to Galatians 3 and read it out of the King James Version, so we can understand what it says. And this one here, also, is very difficult in the King James.

Verse 19 (KJV): "Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made..." Now wait a minute. Didn't we just read you can't add to it? So notice how bad the translation is. What are we talking about? Even in the King James, v 15, it says: " man disannuls, or adds to it." So what are we doing saying v 19, "Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made..." What a contradiction. Let's read it, because it doesn't mean added.

Verse 19: "Why then the law?... [In relation to what? In relationship to what? The promises given to Abraham—right?] ...It was placed alongside..." Not added to. Let's look at it this way: you have a contract to purchase something, which is a contract and a covenant. Once you sign it, you pledge you're going to pay thus and such. Since it is a covenant, you can't add to it or take away from it. Likewise, with the promise given to Abraham. You can't add to it, you can't take away from it. But you could place something alongside it that is related to it.

Because God promised to Abraham the physical seed through Isaac, which then came to Jacob and then the twelve sons of Jacob—correct? Then after God brought them out of Egypt, He brought them to Mount Sinai and He gave them the Ten Commandments and all of His laws and statutes and judgments. It wasn't added to the covenant that God made with Abraham, it was placed alongside; because you can make a covenant with Abraham. You can make a separate covenant with Israel, based upon the promises given to Abraham. But it doesn't add to the promises given to Abraham, it's placed alongside.

Now notice: "It was placed alongside the promises... [So I inserted in italics the promises, so you know what we're talking about.] ...for the purpose of defining transgressions... [Without the law there is no sin, and by the law is the knowledge of sin. So it was there to define transgressions.] ...until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made... [Till Christ would come to bring what? The grace and the proper understanding of how to keep the laws and commandments of God in the spirit.] (So the covenant that was ratified, v 17): ...that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (vs 19, 17).

So you see how it had to be placed alongside. You could also say placed alongside because of the promises. Verse 18: "For if the inheritance is by law, it is no longer by promise. But God granted it to Abraham by promise. Why then the law?.... [Now it all makes sense.] ...It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made, having been ordained through the angels in the hand of a mediator" (vs 18-19). And the mediator was Moses.

"Now then, a mediator does not act on behalf of one; but God is one" (v 20). Now let me read that in the King James, because that is also confusing. Galatians 3:20 (KJV): "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." I couldn't understand that until I understood that a mediator does not act on behalf of one. You don't need a mediator. God is one and a mediator acts in behalf between God and the people. That's who Moses was. When Christ comes, Christ is now the Mediator between the individual and God the Father.

Verse 21: "Is the law... [That's the whole covenant of law given to Israel.] ...then contrary to the promises of God?... [That is, given to Abraham. God will not contradict Himself, otherwise He becomes a liar, as was mentioned earlier.] ...MAY IT NEVER BE! For if a law had been given that had the power to give life, then righteousness would indeed have been by law." You read law, even in the Bible. You read the law. Does that give you life? To give life? That means eternal life. No! No law can do that, only God can do that. But if it was possible, then it would have been by law.

Verse 22, but here's another one. "But the Scriptures have shut up all things under sin... [All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.] that by the faith of Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe." The promise of what? Eternal life:

  • through repentance and baptism
  • the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Savior
  • the payment of your sins by His sacrifice and shed blood.

What did they do before Christ came?

Verse 23: "Now before faith came, we were guarded under law..." Very interesting, isn't it. Let me read it in the KJV; v 22: "But the Scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.... [That's pretty good.] ...But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed" (vs 22-23). It's almost the same here, 'having been shut up unto the faith that was yet to be revealed.' That's why back there in Deut. 5 it says, 'O that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep My commandments always.'

Faith for salvation could not come until Christ finished what He had to do by becoming the perfect sacrifice. Now notice, v 24 (KJV): "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster... [That sounds bad, doesn't it?] bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." The Greek means, in this way the law was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. It's the same thing with learning a language. You don't, at three years old, start reading off Shakespeare by nature; you learn the alphabet, you learn the words.

Now let me ask you a question: have you forsaken what you have learned even in kindergarten? Or do you still follow those basics now much more complex in the way of thinking as an adult? Is the alphabet still the same today as when you started reading, 'This is spot. My dog is Spot. See Spot run. Run Tom run. Run Jane run.' Right? Now we're reading very sophisticated things in English, but it's the same. The tutor works.

Hold your place and come to 2-Timothy 3. Let's see how Paul explained this. This agrees exactly with what he just wrote back here, but it's a little complicated to understand back in Gal. 3, because that's pretty heavy-duty writing. Here it's much simpler, but it says the same thing. 2-Timothy 3:15. "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings [the law] ...which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus" So you take the faith and Spirit of God and you go back and read the law and guess what? Voila! You understand the spiritual principles in there—right? But before that it was a tutor to lead them to Christ, with all the prophecies about it, etc. So it's exactly the same thing. That's what he is saying here.

Galatians 3:24: "In this way, the law was our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But since faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (vs 24-25). 'Oh, hoorah! we're out from underneath the schoolmaster.' Why are we not under the schoolmaster? Because God is doing what with His laws and commandments? Writing them in our minds and in our hearts—right? Yes! Because now when you read the Word of God, it makes a spiritual impression in your mind and in your heart and convicts you to do from the heart what the law wants in the spirit and not in the letter. Isn't that greater?

That's why Jesus said, "You've heard that it was said in ancient times, 'You shall not commit adultery.'" All right, the carnal mind would say, 'Okay, how close can I get in whatever sex act that I might have come into my mind, and yet not physically commit the actual act of adultery?' Then you could say, 'I did not commit adultery.' Likewise, with murder. 'How far could I get in coming at a person and not murder him.' Might have a knife, might have a gun, might threaten him. But what did Jesus say? 'If you hate your brother, you are guilty of murder.' Which is better? The faith and Spirit of Christ to lead and direct you or the law as a tutor that you ignore or you twist and make loopholes, as all religions do with their traditions, to get around the law? It doesn't mean that you forsake keeping the laws and commandments of God, it means you keep them with the faith of Jesus in the spirit.

And he verifies it, v 26: "Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." Hold your place here and come back to 1-John 3. Let's see how this agrees exactly with what John wrote, which also verifies that the Gospel is no different given to the Gentiles, than what God gave to the Jews. The so-called Jewish apostles did not bring a Gospel any different than what Paul did, otherwise then God would be a liar.

Notice how closely this agrees with Gal. 3. 1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2).

Paul wrote this, Galatians 3:26: "Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…. [John explained it just with a few more words, a little more detail. But it's the same principle.] …For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (vs 27-29).

How does baptism fit in with the promises given to Abraham? Why does it go from Abraham to the followers of Christ? How was that done? Where it says, v 28: "...neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female... [You look in a congregation and what do we have? Male and female—right? So this is not talking about our physical status, because Jews are still Jews, Greeks are still Greeks, barbarians are still barbarian. We have slaves of a different kind. You could change this today: the indebted and the one who has no debts, because the one who is in debt is a slave to the lender—correct? So you're still in bondage. If you don't have debts, you're not in bondage to the debtor.] ...for you are all one in Christ Jesus." That is for the opportunity of salvation. That's what it's for.

Next time we will connect what God did with Abraham to baptism, and why then we are Abraham's seed. He's talking to Gentiles, not to physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now I hope this clears up a very difficult two chapters: Gal. 2 (which we did earlier) and 3.

Scriptural References:

  1. 1-John 4:7, 9-10
  2. 1-Corinthians 13:1, 4
  3. 1-Corinthians 10:16
  4. 1-John 1:3
  5. 1-Corinthians 10:16
  6. Galatians 3:1
  7. Acts 6:1-4
  8. Galatians 3:1
  9. James 2:1-2
  10. Galatians 3:2, 4-11
  11. Romans 2:1-6
  12. James 2:18
  13. Romans 2:7-15
  14. Galatians 3:11-24
  15. 2-Timothy 3:15
  16. Galatians 3:24-26
  17. 1-John 3:1-2
  18. Galatians 3:26-29

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Galatians 2
  • Matthew 5, 6, 7
  • Acts 15
  • Genesis 12, 15
  • Deuteronomy 5

Also referenced:


  • Henry Matthew Bible by Wm. Tyndale
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin
  • Josephus

Sermons: Biblical Answers to Evangelicals #7Biblical Answers to Evangelicals #7