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“BEWITCHED” – The Most Misunderstood Passage in the Bible RESOLVED [video]

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:1-3

This passage of divine truth should arrest our hearts afresh to stop and breathe in the faith of God, trusting Him fully, wholly… resting in Him. See also Romans 4:4-5.

When Paul writes that just “a LITTLE leaven leavens (ruins) the whole lump,” he’s speaking of mixing just a little bit of law-keeping, human effort with genuine faith empowered by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:9). Serious warning. One writer notes:

“Justification is not Christ plus law. It is Christ plus nothing. Faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone!”

Of this passage, William MacDonald writes:

“A. The Great Truth of the Gospel (3:1-9)
3:1 Their actions exhibited a lack of understanding and reason. To turn to law from grace is to be bewitched. It is to be lulled as by a magic spell and unwarily to accept falsehood for truth. When Paul asks: “Who has bewitched you?”, the who is singular (Greek, tis), not plural, perhaps suggesting that the devil was the author of this false teaching. Paul himself had preached Jesus Christ to the Galatians as crucified, emphasizing that the cross was to separate them forever from the curse and bondage of the law. How could they return to the law and thus disregard the cross? Had not the truth laid hold of them practically?” Believer’s Bible Commentary


Are saved-be-grace-through-faith in Jesus NEW Testament saints required to keep the law just because the law will never pass away?

The Holy Spirit through Paul warns us about being “bewitched” and the following 2 Bible verses have been used out of context to bewitch many! (Galatians 3:1-3) Beware.

Satan lays the trap, throws the net to get saved by grace through faith New Testament back under law-keeping futility.

This following passage is one of the ways modern judaizers cast the spell of witchcraft over believers to get them back under law-keeping.

Ever heard terms like “Torah keepers” or “Keep Torah”?

“What the judiazers miss is that Jesus Fulfilled the Law at the Cross….Jesus being the perfect sacrifice was the Fulfilment.” Byron Wilson

Law keeping for righteousness is the ultimate antichrist manifestation because it says “I can do this” instead of saying to the LORD in repentance and full reliance, “Without You Jesus, I can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Anti means “in place of” and those who are trying to “keep Torah” to be righteous have openly denied Christ and are “fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4) They have put sinful self in place of Christ which makes them antichrists.

“If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21

Some mistakenly read the following passage and believe it means that we have to keep the law and that it’s through the law that men are justified.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (expire). 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

Jesus said this (above) BEFORE He went to the cross.

Hebrew Roots, judaizing devils use this passage to attempt to heretically “prove” that born again, saved-by grace-through faith NEW Testament saints are still under the law of Moses, that they are accountable to keep the law in order to be saved.

The more I look at this passage, Matthew 5:17-18, the more it seems obvious that people are misled by judaizers to conclude that Jesus was saying we must keep the law to earn our way into God’s justification. If that were the case, why would He have ever bothered to come (Galatian 2:21). After all, we already had the law via Moses (John 1:17). Jesus simple said the law would not pass away. He didn’t say we have to try to keep it.

We cannot die for our own sins. Jesus alone did that. He lived a sinless life under the law – to keep it perfectly as no sinful man had or could ever do (Genesis 6:5, 12; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3; James 2:10, etc.). Christ then nailed the law to the cross and “took it out of the way,” removing us from under it – from under its impossible weight (Colossians 2:14-19, etc.). Memorize Romans 10:4 and James 2:10 and Galatians 2:16 brother.

Of this, one writer says:

“The law will never pass away because we need it for whoremongers, murderers and thieves (1 Timothy 1:7-11). The law however, does not apply to believers who have been raised to walk in newness of life in the new creation.  The believer actually lives in the overlap of the two realms. His body is still under law. If he speeds he gets a ticket.  But his soul and spirit is no longer under the law. He has died to the law. Romans 7. He is under grace (Romans 6:14; 10:4).”

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18 

If keeping the law justifies a man, why does the Bible then say man things like this?:

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:4

Just because the law will never pass away doesn’t mean one can be righteous via the law.

“Ye are NOT under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:14

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 

The perfect standard of God’s law, when it hits the conscience of sinful man, reveals just how sinful we are – “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Galatians 3:20)

All who in Christ are no long under the law – they are under saving grace (Romans 6:14). To those saved by grace by faith in Christ, God’s Word says “the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient.” (1 Timothy 1:9)

Speaking specifically of those who misapply the law under the New Covenant, Paul writes:

“The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” 1 Timothy 1:9-11 

Just because Jesus said the law will never pass away, in no way means He was commanding us to keep it, especially in our own power.

Think about that.

No one can keep the law without offense. The law is the perfect standard of perfection of divine holiness and justice that no man can perfectly keep it. Christ alone did keep it perfectly. Yet our LORD then “took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:14)

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:14-17

The law is the holy divine standard that magnifies just how sinful we are – in order to bring us to repentance and faith in Christ. One writer notes:

“The law arouses sin and causes sin to increase.  The strength of sin is the law.  The law kills the Christian life.  It does bring us to Christ in that God uses that death that the law causes in order to bring us to the end of self, self-effort and self-righteousness.  Rom 7:5; Rom 5:20; 1 Cor 15:56; Rom 7:10.  Out of the death caused by law comes resurrection life and power.  The law killed Jesus.  Jn 19:7.”

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:28-29

All who have rejected Christ’s perfect sacrifice for their sins for the futility of trying to keep the whole law perfectly, are “under the curse” – they are “accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9; 3:10)

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10

Now the ensuing verses are going to tell us that Christ came to redeem us from “the CURSE of the law.” NEW Testament saints, like the father of faith, Abraham, are justified by faith and are not under the law. Christ perfectly fulfilled the requirements of the law and then died to take it away – to redeem us from it! (Colossians 2:14-17)

The divine design of the law was “to bring us unto Christ.”

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:24-25

The law was only given and is in place to bring us to Christ so that we’re justified by faith just like Abraham was who was justified by faith over 400 before the law was given (Galatians 3:19-26).

One writer notes:

“The law come in so that sin might INCREASE!  Rom 5:20.  The increase of sin kills life instead of being life-giving.  In this way, the law brings us to the end of self.  ‘Sin revived and I died.  O wretched man that I am.  Who will deliver me?’  The law had done its job on Paul. Read Romans 7.”

Some people insist upon the futile attempt of keeping the law – in their flesh – instead of walking by faith with Christ (Galatians 3:1-3, etc.). But the law was never to be an end of itself. If God intended to finish with the law, why did He send His only begotten Son to “fulfil” and “end” it – to take it out of our way? (Matthew 5:17; Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:14-16).

“If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21

The law is the perfect divine standard spelled out to fallen, sinful mankind – to show him just how wicked, sinful he is and to bring him into the saving mercy of Christ! See Romans 3, 7 and Galatians 3:24.

Law or grace! Law is a cruel task master but it has it’s loving purpose – to bring us to Christ! (Galatians 3:24)

Jesus Christ is “the Almighty” and sits high and lifted up above all His creation – having “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” having single handedly “obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Revelation 1:5, 8; Hebrews 9:12)

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12

The perfect sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, is infinitely superior to the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant which were only instituted to point to and prefigure His perfect sacrifice which was to come and has come!

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished (paid in full): and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30

Until Christ came and died to take it out of our way, “we were kept under the law.” (Colossians 2:14-17)

Jesus Came to deliver us from being under the law and the bondage thereof….

“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed … Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 3:23; 4:3-7 

Until Christ came, fallen mankind was shut up under the law.

“But when the fulness of the time – Appointed by the Father, Gal 4:2. Was come, God sent forth – From his own bosom. His Son, miraculously made of the substance of a woman – A virgin, without the concurrence of a man. Made under the law – Both under the precept, and under the curse, of it.  To redeem those under the law – From the curse of it, and from that low, servile state. That we – Jews who believe. Might receive the adoption – All the privileges of adult sons. And because ye – Gentiles who believe, are also thus made his adult sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts likewise, crying, Abba, Father – Enabling you to call upon God both with the confidence, and the tempers, of dutiful children. The Hebrew and Greek word are joined together, to express the joint cry of the Jews and gentiles.” John Wesley

“When the fullness of the time was come – The time which God in his infinite wisdom counted best; in which all his counsels were filled up; and the time which his Spirit, by the prophets, had specified; and the time to which he intended the Mosaic institutions should extend, and beyond which they should be of no avail. God sent forth his Son – Him who came immediately from God himself, made of a woman, according to the promise, Gen_3:15; produced by the power of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary without any intervention of man; hence he was called the Son of God. See Luke, Luk_1:35, and the note there. Made under the law – In subjection to it, that in him all its designs might be fulfilled, and by his death the whole might be abolished; the law dying when the Son of God expired upon the cross. To redeem them – Εξαγορασῃ· To pay down a price for them, and thus buy them off from the necessity of observing circumcision, offering brute sacrifices, performing different ablutions, etc., etc. That we might receive the adoption of sons – Which adoption we could not obtain by the law; for it is the Gospel only that puts us among the children, and gives us a place in the heavenly family. On the nature of adoption see the notes on Rom_8:15.” Adam Clarke

“4:4 The fullness of the time refers to the time appointed by the Heavenly Father when the heirs would become of age (see v. 2). In this verse we have, in a few words, a marvelous statement as to the deity and humanity of the Savior. He is the eternal Son of God; yet He was born of a woman. If Jesus had been only a man, it would be gratuitous to say that He was born of a woman. How else could a mere man be born? The expression, in our Lord’s case, witnesses to His unique Person and the unique mode of His birth. Born into the world as an Israelite, He was therefore born under the law. As Son of God, the Lord Jesus would never have been under the law; He was the One who gave it. But, in condescending grace, He put Himself under the law that He had made, in order that He might magnify it in His life, and bear its curse in His death.” William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary

No more a law relationship but a grace relationship. “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

“When you flirt with Moses (the law) you are cheating on Jesus.”

Grace is the divine influence on our hearts and His operational power working in us to walk with Jesus and overcome sin – Romans 6:14.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

Walking with Jesus under the NEW Covenant He came and gave us does not require mixing law and grace or attempting to keep the law of Moses. New Testament saints are “justified by faith” and should never be deceived into thinking that any law-keeping is helping God out or assisting in meriting our own justification (Romans 5:1-2).

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4

Those who attempt to work for their justification instead of believe God for, are deceived at best.

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4-5

Who are the true Jews – the people of God – “the Israel of God”? (Galatians 6:16)

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29

My Testimony

Personally, coming from a catholic background…. which is 100% works-based…

Years ago, the LORD quickened me to seek His face, to study His Word veraciously concerning His saving grace and mercy and love in particular … Through which He began to establish my heart in His grace and continues. See Hebrews 13:9; 2 Peter 1:2; 3:18.

Memorizing passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5-7 have been divinely transforming

Also poring prayerfully over Ephesians, Colossians, Galatians, and Hebrews.

One disciple gets at the self-righteousness always fostered by law-keeping in contrast with the humility that possesses those who choose to walk in a grace by faith relationship:

“The Prodigal’s Father unconditionally both loved AND accepted both his sons at the party\feast. The licentious prodigal son was accepted unconditionally at the party.  The legalist elder brother would have been accepted unconditionally at the party but his legalism kept him away. He was angry, entitled and had in his mind earned his way to a special party for he and his friends. Never happened. He would not come to the grace party. There is no law party. God unconditionally accepts everyone at the party who wants to come. Some just don’t want to party. They want to work and earn.”


The Riches of His Grace

“It is Finished”!

The Gospel of Saving Grace in Christ vs the Law [podcast]

Are New Testament Believers Under the Old Testament Law? [podcast]

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