Law or Spirit? Galatians Between Legalism and Antinomianism

NOTE: The object next expresses a views of a particular named as a author and does not indispensably simulate a position of a WRF as a whole.




WRF Member Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher


Dedicated to a Memory of Wilhem Lütgert


“Am we therefore turn your enemy, since we tell we a truth?” Paul, Galatians 4:16

“For Christ has liberated us from a abuse of a Law, not from tractability to it.”  Martin Luther, Sermon on Galatians 3: 23 – 24

“The leisure that Christ gives, is not pagan lawlessness.”  Wilhelm Lütgert in his Commentary on Galatians, 1919)  


Proposition: The Epistle to a Galatians should not be under- stood merely as a rejecting of Judaism and Legalism.

Paul’s minute to a Galatians is, with 2,3001 words, most shorter than a book of Romans or a letters to a Corinthians, though treats fewer themes than they do, nonetheless a problems of their dictated audiences have most in common. Galatians is, however, some-more one in a theme matter, not usually than a longer Pauline epistles, though also than Ephesians. that is of equal length, or than a shorter letters.2 Indeed, it concerns usually a attribute of Christians to Old Testament Law.

Many Christians trust that Galatians was created to rebut Old Testament Law and to conflict a use in a New Testament Church. They explain that believers contingency live usually underneath a superintendence of a Holy Spirit rather than according to a commands given by God underneath a Old Covenant.

However, this inequitable perspective of Galatians as anti-Jewish or anti-Old Testament does not, do probity to a book. Just as he does in Romans,3 Paul too mostly speaks really of a Law and a Old Testament, to afterwards reject it totally in Galatians. He opposes a ‘Libertines’ and a ‘Pneumaticists’ (Christians who hold a Holy Spirit for a looseness for immoralitiy and licentiousness) too really to assent this minute to understanding usually with a dangers of legalism. 

Undisputably, Paul warns opposite a bid to be fit by works. No one can be saved by works of a Law (Gal. 2:16), for Christ would afterwards have been crucified in vain (2:21). No one receives a Spirit of God by a Law (3:2), nor does a Law come from faith (3:12), so that Christ had to die in sequence to redeem us from a abuse of a Law (3:13). Whoever tries to be fit by a Law (5:4) contingency keep a commands totally (5:3), not usually tools such as circumcision (6:13).

In this study, we will denote 3 propositions:

1)            The warning opposite a Law is, in reality, a warning opposite misusing a Law as a approach to salvation, and opposite forcing Gentile believers to contention to rite regulations (circumcision, for example), though not a warning opposite a correct use of God’s standards for Good and Evil.

2)            The Galatian church had dual vigourously against parties, both of that Paul criticizes with equal force. One organisation dissipated a Law as a approach of shelter and wanted to force Old Testament rite laws (such as circumcision) on Gentile Christians. The other rejected Old Testament Law (such as a Ten Commandments) totally and attempted to clear their filth by claiming to live ‘in a Spirit’ according to a training of ‘freedom’ in Christ.

3)            Paul attacks both a legalism of a one celebration and a anarchy of a other, so condemning injustice of a Law as a approach of shelter as good as criticizing a rejecting of a Old Testament dignified law. To Paul, leisure from a Law meant leisure from a abuse and a ransom of Gentile believers from a rituals. This autocracy does not postpone God’s commandments, though enables a follower to use a adore that they conclude and require. Wilhelm

Lütgert describes this succinctly: “The autocracy that Christ gives is not pagan lawlessness.”



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