'Law of Moses' in the Bible
[My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses].
still we know that a person is not justified [i.e., made right with God] by [perfect obedience to] the law of Moses, but rather through faith in [the person and work of] Christ. [Knowing this] we have trusted in Christ Jesus [to save us], so that we might be made right with God by trusting in Him and not by [our compliance with] the requirements of the law of Moses. Because by such law-compliance no one can be made right with God.
For if I [or any others who have taught that the observance of the Law of Moses is not essential to being justified by God should now by word or practice teach or intimate that it is essential to] build up again what I tore down, I prove myself a transgressor.
[In doing this] I am not trying to disregard God's unearned favor, for if a person could become right with God by [perfect obedience to the requirements of] the law of Moses, then Christ died for nothing.
The only thing I would like to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Holy Spirit [into your lives] by [meeting the requirements of] the law of Moses or by hearing [and obeying the message] of faith [in Christ]?
Therefore, as God has provided you with the Holy Spirit and has produced miracles among you, [do you think He has done all this] as a result of your obeying the requirements of the law of Moses or as a result of hearing [and responding to the message of] the faith?
For all who seek to be right with God by trying to meet all the requirements of the law of Moses are under a curse [from God], because it is written [Deut. 27:26], "Every person is cursed [i.e., cut off from God] who does not continue to obey all of the requirements written in the law of Moses."
Now it is evident that no person can be made right with God by [obeying all the requirements of] the law of Moses for [Hab. 2:4 says], "The righteous person will obtain life by [his] faith [in God]."
Now the law of Moses is not based on one's faith, for [Lev. 18:5 says], "The person who obeys the requirements of the law of Moses will obtain life by doing so."
Christ bought us back from the curse [caused by our not obeying all the requirements] of the law of Moses; He became a curse for us [by dying on the cross], for it is written [Deut. 21:23], "Every one who hangs on a tree [i.e., a cross] is cursed [i.e., cut off from God]."
Here is what I am saying: The Agreement originally made by God [with Abraham], with its attending promises, was not canceled when the law of Moses was given some four hundred and thirty years later.
For if the inheritance [of never ending life] can be obtained by [obeying the requirements of] the law of Moses, it would not come from the promise [of God]; but God provided [this inheritance] for Abraham according to [His] promise.
What then is [the benefit of] the law of Moses? It was introduced [as part of God's revelation] in order to define what sin was, until the seed [i.e., Jesus] would come, to whom the promise [of never ending life] was made. The law of Moses was ordained through [the medium of] angels and [delivered] through the hand of an intermediary [i.e., Moses].
Is the law of Moses contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could provide [never ending] life, then a person could be considered right with God by [obeying the requirements of such] a law.
But before faith [in Christ] became available, we [Jews] were kept in bondage under [condemnation for not obeying perfectly] the law of Moses. [This condition existed] until the faith [i.e., the Gospel message] was made known [to people].
So, the law of Moses became like our "transportation to school," bringing us to [the school of] Christ where we [learn how to be] made right with God by faith [in Christ].
So also, when we [Jews] were like children, we were under bondage to the basic worldly rules [of the law of Moses].
so that He could buy back [from Satan] those who were [still] under [obligation to] the law of Moses, and that we could become adopted children.
But now that you have come to know God [as your Father], or rather, to be known by Him [as His children], how can you turn back again to the weak, cheap, elementary teachings [of the law of Moses], to which you [seem to] desire to become enslaved?
Tell me, those of you who desire to be under [obligation to the requirements of] the law of Moses: Are you really paying attention to what the law of Moses says?
This set of circumstances contains an illustration; for these two women [Hagar and Sarah] represent the two Agreements [between God and mankind]. The one [Agreement], given at Mount Sinai, represents Hagar, whose children became [the Israelites], enslaved under bondage [to the requirements of the law of Moses].
Now this woman, Hagar, is similar to Mount Sinai, in Arabia, and represents the present [earthly] Jerusalem [i.e., Israel], consisting of children in bondage [to the law of Moses].
But, just as it was then --- the son born in the ordinary way [i.e., Ishmael] persecuting the one born according to the Holy Spirit's [leading, i.e., Isaac] --- so it is now [i.e., Jews urging compliance with the requirements of the law of Moses persecuting those who refuse to return to dependance on that law for salvation. See 3:1-3].
Christ set us free [from condemnation under the law of Moses], so we could stay free! Remain where you are then, and do not get tangled up again in the enslaving harness [of the law of Moses].
Look, I Paul am telling you that, if you revert to [the practice of] circumcision [i.e., the Jewish rite of identity, signifying the responsibility to observe the law of Moses], then Christ's [sacrifice] will be of no value to you.
I once more protest to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to obey the whole Law of Moses.
Those of you who seek to be right with God by observing the requirements of the law of Moses have severed yourselves from [your relationship with] Christ; you have fallen away from God's unearned favor.
For the whole law of Moses can be fulfilled by [obeying this] one requirement [Lev. 19:18]: "You should love your neighbor the way you love yourself."
But, if you are led by [what] the Holy Spirit [wants you to do], you are not under [obligation to meet the requirements of] the law of Moses.
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