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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Monday, June 03, 2013

The essay on the law in Galatians

This email was in response to an article I wrote for http://www.the-tencommandments.com/

I appreciate letting me express my loyalty to God’s Law on your website, and I’m glad to know your website is exalting God’s Law.
I was reading it over again because today I received an email from a certain A_____ V___ who saw a billboard on the Ten Commandments and must have got on the internet to learn more and found your website.
What I wrote in my article that you are using was not meant to confuse, but to balance Law and grace, and to help understand the apparently confusing words of Paul. It all makes sense when explained the way I presented it.
In this article a paragraph was changed. I understand you have the right to make any changes you deem necessary. That I don’t dispute.
But, I would like to clear up any misunderstanding that you might have regarding what I wrote.
Your change reads, “Many sincere, well-meaning Bible students have concluded that Paul speaks of the Ten Commandments when writing to the churches of Galatia. But, this is incorrect. The context indicates that he was only speaking of the ceremonial laws. As much as the moral laws, God’s ceremonial law also dealt with righteousness’... sin’ and justification by faith’....”
But, Ellen White makes it clear that Paul was referring to the moral law, even more so than the ceremonial law. If you have an Ellen White study Bible, look at her comment on the page of Galatians 3:24.
But, that sounds like a real quandary when it comes to Paul’s statement that after faith we have no more need of a schoolmaster. I understand that seeming departure from our Adventist background. But, this really is no departure from the immutability of the Law of God.
The answer to that is what I continued to write, that the Lord, through 600 years of 4 empires maintaining law and order, and of the law in Israel, though packed with humanism, God had saved the world from the onslaught of lawless spiritualism, until Christ could come and re-establish God’s Law in the context of grace and mercy.
There is no problem or danger of license to say that the Law in Galatians was the moral law (as EGW agrees) because the faith of Jesus, which is His gift to every surrendered soul in Galatia and today, contains the Law of God, a millions times better and stronger than the law without His gift.
This was the issue Paul was striving against so bluntly to the Galatian Christians. This is true Righteousness by faith, the phrase which is so kicked around in our circles, and which originated from the epistles to the Galatians.
This is the new concept that Jones and Waggoner understood, which the hard-liner, old regime couldn’t fathom, just like you have difficulty today. But, Ellen White was all behind it in 1888.
But, I will also say, that her understanding of Righteousness by faith defined faith as full of obedience. I think Jones and Waggoner were quite light on that aspect of faith, which showed when they couldn’t bear her correction.
Therefore, the 1888 movement of today, which places so much emphasis on Jones and Waggoner, have their hopes misplaced in two faulty humans who must be examined more closely in relation to Ellen White, the prophet.
Nevertheless, what Paul was saying is that when we are sealed through the Latter Rain, we will have the Law so embedded in our thinking and in  our hearts (that is, for those who survive the onslaught of temptations today in this civilization’s strong delusion) and through the “special work of purification” so that “not even by a thought” will we cave to temptation like our Savior exemplified for us, that we will have the freedom to focus on faith and love instead of on the details of the testimonies for the church. This will be so because we will have already studied the testimonies and “through the blood of sprinkling” will have found the testimonies our greatest joy. We will appropriate them and inculcate them. Through the grace of Christ, we will live the testimonies for the church. God will have “the seed that should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19). God will have a generation who have perfectly reproduced the character of Christ.
This was what I was trying to communicate. To leave this out is to deny the gospel, and also to alienate many Sunday Christians who are trying to make heads or tails of Paul’s formula. I’m not trying to lower the standard. But the true standard will make of twain one new man. A false standard, however it looks like it is protecting God’s Law, will never do His last gospel work. And I firmly believe Ellen White would agree with this.
“...But is under tutors and governmors until the time appointed of the father.” Gal. 4:2. Here Paul is reaffirming his premise that “the [moral] Law was our schoolmaster.... But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:24-26).
The prince of the kingdom is no longer under tutors and governors when the time appointed by the king is decided. Then the prince, who has proved himself trained and capable of governing, ascends to the throne and rules alongside his father king. Eventually, he stands alone, as we will in Jacob’s troubles. At that time any weakness toward God’s Law will prove eternally fatal; nevertheless, we must be proven perfectly flawless without a mediator.
I hope I’ve clarified my original stance before you changed my words to suit the going perception that the schoolmaster in Galatians was only the ceremonial law. I don’t remember now what exactly I had written, but it wasn’t what is there now.
Lastly, I remind you that there are two ditches on the narrow road to life. Lawlessness is only one of them. The other ditch is legalism, and to deny the schoolmaster as the moral law sends us right into legalism.
Only Righteousness by faith produces the obedience that God accepts, “the righteousness of faith.” (Rom. 4:13). “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
And that “righteousness of faith” will only come through the surrender to God’s Law.

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