What an amazing statement to make! here we have the Apostle actually desiring that those who were the "source" of "this trouble" and this false doctrine ... to be actually cut off! (gal 2:12)
Sounds harsh? bit much there Paul
Tone it down (Paul): would have been the CRY and response from some - no doubt.
Steady-up there Paul ~ your getting a bit too heavy handed !!
The man is surely"carried away" by his office of Apostleship! and his authority has gone to his head! ( some might have thought )
Let's back up and rewind to (Gal 2:10) "I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be noneotherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgement"
Another passage declaring that those who were the source of this confusion and strife, and the bringing of (this subversion) to the Galation believers - would bear their judgement!
YOU SEE Paul had laboured much - both in the word and IN prayer: And by much preaching he was able to get these galatian Chris(ians) to a place of Authentic salavation in Christ through FAITH ... NOT BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW ~~ BUT BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST ( WE CONCLUDE THAT A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW, OR WITHOUT WORKS, AND THUS THIS ELIMINATES MAN ... FROM BOASTING OF any SPIRITUAL ENDEAVOR) ROMANS 3:27
Paul told them however that false brethren unawares had crept in among THEM, and had brought them into BONDAGE. O FOOLISH Gala(ians) who hath BEWITCHED YOU? having begun in the spirit ... are you now perfected through the flesh?
paul declares that these ones had slipped through the net ( so to speak ) - and had came in to "spy out" their new found liberty ... in Christ.
Doing what though? compelling people BACK to circumcision. taking people back to law, back to Moses, back to the levitical priesthood, back to the ordinances contained in the law! And declaring that in the (doing so) and inthe observing of SUCH is then a man SAVED!!
Then Christ died in vain - if that's the case!
And it is no longer by promise (or) by the law of faith ... but through perfection in our flesh!
CHRIST HAS BECOME OF NO EFFECT - to them that taught being justifiCATION by law, and ye are all fallen from grace!
paul gets them to thinking things through by asking a series of questions: Have you suffered so many things in vain? did you recieve the Spirit by the hearing of faith or by the deeds of the law? You began by building (in the spirit) but are you now perfected by the flesh? He that worked MIRACLES among you ... did he do it by the hearing of faith (or) by the works of law?
In other words: " this is a no brainer " even reason would SAY that evereything they saw and learned, came to them as a result of the hearing of FAITH.
THEREFORE to go back to Law ~~ meant by necessity that you also were obliged to keep every aspect of it, every jot of it and every tittle of IT ( WITHOUT EXCEPTION ) YOU SEE if you went back under law ... then if you did not "continue" in all aspects of it - you then fell under it's curse! As it is written " cursed is everyone of you that continues not in ( all things ) written in the book of the law. The law itself wasn't "cursed" "sinful" or "evil" - as some teach today -- the curse was in the failure to abide by, and keep every ordinance contained in LAW ~~ and thus failure to do so ~~ resulted in a curse ... coming upon the children of Israel!
There are no contradictions in the Word - Paul said in Romans prior to this book - that the the law was HOLY and the commandment to it JUST AND GOOD. Is the law against the promises of God?
God forbid is the reply! What shall we declare then? is the law (itself evil-or sin)? once again the sharp reply comes in ~~ saying God forbid!
Nay we conclude the "curse" of the law was "in" the oversight, the neglect, and in the failure to maintain all aspects of it and in the failure TO continue in all things ( when under it ) ... and failure to do so, meant a curse then awaited you!
NO IF YOU GO UNDER LAW AGAIN -- THEN YOU GO UNDER IT'S YOKE AND IT'S RIGID OBLIGATION TO KEEP EVERY SINGLE MORSEL - AND COMPLY WITH EVERY SINGLE ORDINANCE (CONTAINED THEREIN) (ACTS 15:10) Why tempt ye God, to put a "yoke" upon the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Now then does it seem clearer what these who had slipped in as (false brethren) were attemting to do - to these newly born galation believers?
Do paul words seem quite as harsh now? in wanting them CUT OFF and declaring they WILL bear their own judgement - for creating such confusion and deception? And "bewitching" the GALATION souls in the process!
Paul told them they ZEALOUSLY AFFECT YOU: but not well ~~ they provoke zeal in you, but it is not good zeal, nor is it zeal THAT is based AND FOUNDED on TRUTH.
They wanted to exclude these new converts unto themselves ( so that they might affect them) In other words you give them an audience, and you give them a listening ear ... and they will then feed (of) this -- they will gain momentum and motivation from having an attentive listening audience. And this is why we see today ... church growth at any cost - as they feed of size and of numbers! They would exclude you -- that ye might affect them. Anything almost to gain an audience or to hold a microphone in their hand. Preaching does come with a lot of honour. But many will walk all over people and disrupt established worksand congregations - in order to get their own way and their own disciples unto themselves.
But in closing let us now hark back to Galations 3:3 "Are you now made perfect by the flesh" Today we here so much about "SACRIFICE" get busy and work for God -- failure today to volunteer in some way and to hand out the emblems, or the greeting pamphlets at the door, or to serve on some table once a month - seems to earn you both frowns and reproach. And make you feel guilty of non contributing as such. And As i said to a good friend of mine recently - you are not allowed to just "BE" a christian anymore - you have to be DOING something ... or else you are made to feel guilty.
AND ESPECIALLY IS THIS TRUE IN THE LARGER AND MORE MEGA-SIZE CHURCHES !!
Scripture has a lot to say about sacrifice: but it is not ALL good however - For instance Jesus told the pharisee's i will have mercy and not scarifice - and had you understood what this meaneth, then you would not have condemned the guiltless. To obey is better than sacrifice Samuel told Saul. Both Micah 6:6 and Hosea 6:6 tells us God requires mercy and to do justly over sacrifice. And in Isaiah 1:11 God speaking through the prophet says " to what purpose is the multitude of all your SACRIFICES unto me? i am FULL of burnt offerings and i delight NOT in the blood of bullocks "
Hebrews 10:8 saying much the same: God had no PLEASURE IN burnt offering and SACRIFICES for sin.
SOME SITE JAMES CHAPTER TWO - to consolidate their position of God wanting works and more and more sacrifice from GOD'S PEOPLE, however James isn't asking for turn-over (for turnover sakes) -- HOWEVER a life that reveals true conversion will result in works manifesting THEMSELF - which will vindicate genuine FAITH is present in the heart, and that you do indeed possess the GENUINE article! ( AND not JUST turnover FOR the SAKE of works ) OR quantity for the sake of quantity ( forget that ) you see true faith residing in the heart cannot -but help- come out in good works as was the case with rahab the harlot. And then the two "combined" work in tandem and in perfect unison to complete and perfect our FAITH. VERIFYING TRUE CONVERSION HAS OCCURED AND DOES EXIST ... IN ONES HEART!!
Finally to support my views today cross back and rewind to these words in romans " NOW TO HIM THAT WORKETH -- IS THE REWARD NOT RECKONED OF GRACE, BUT OF DEBT. ( YOU THINK YOUR PAYING GOD BACK AND WORKING OFF SOME SIN DEBT ) ETC (wrong so wrong)
BUT INSTEAD: YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE !!!!