Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
back
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History


Tim wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How could Galatians apply to contemporary Christians if they have never been concerned with whether there is any need to observe the customs and laws of the Jewish religion?
  • Also, how could Paul's teachings about freedom relate to contemporary beliefs?

Thank you,

Tim

  { How could Galatians apply to contemporary Christians and Paul's teachings relate to freedom? }

John replied:

Hi, Tim —

There are principles that apply in the sense that, by grace, we are made free to do what is right in the eyes of God. Actually, we are not made free to choose to do what is right, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we are actually given power to put death the deeds of the flesh. (See Romans 8:13)

Protestants take Galatians too far in that they try to apply Paul's admonitions against the Jewish ceremonial law to mean that, for instance, sacraments have no real efficacious or intrinsic value but Paul doesn't make that argument anywhere. In fact, he implies that Baptism replaces circumcision and where circumcision had not saving power, Baptism brings about regeneration. Again, that must be understood also in terms of Romans 6, if I'm not mistaken.

Some would also try to argue that Galatians forbids pastoral disciplines but that would be inconsistent with Matthew 16 and Acts 15.

There is a basic understanding that we take from Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians. Salvation is a work of Grace, not our own work. We can't earn it. In Romans, Paul uses a juridical paradigm to illustrate salvation. In Ephesians, Paul emphasizes becoming part of the one Mystical Body of Christ. We are saved from sin and death by being made part of Christ, Himself. Later in Ephesians, he alludes to salvation being akin to Marriage. That is the union between a man and wife is akin to the union of Christ and the Church.

And in Galatians, we see talk off of Divine Sonship, and becoming mature sons, able to inherit the reward of eternal life. As children, we are taught to obey rules but as mature sons we live for Christ because we are responding out of love to God's love. It's no longer about following the rules.

Following the rules of Christian life is just the starting point. We are to live for Christ so the whole thing works together. Yes, we must deal with the specifics of each text:

  • why it was written, and
  • to whom it was written

but we need to recognize the development of doctrine and paradigms that work together.

Galatians can't be understood out of the context of Genesis or any other book.

I hope this helps.

John

Tim replied:

Hi John,

Thanks very much for the answer. I really appreciate it

Tim

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.