Was James Under the Curse of Galatians 1:8-9?

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

Print This Article

“If kingdom saints like James continued to teach the law after Paul was given the message of grace (Acts 21:20), does that mean they were under the curse of Galatians 1:8,9?


“…Paul went…unto James; and all the elders….And…they…said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law” (Acts 21:18,20).

James had evidently been preaching the law all the time that Paul had been preaching grace, and he even seemed pleased with how many Jews had received it. But if you read that entire passage, you don’t find Paul saying he was accursed. That’s because of who it was that James preached the law to. He preached it to Jews, just like he said he would at the Jerusalem Council. In giving an account of that council, Paul wrote:

“James, Cephas, and John…gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision” (Gal. 2:9).

James preached the law to the Jews he agreed to minister to. But he also quit troubling Gentiles with the law, just like he said he would in Acts 15:19!

That’s why you should take your pen and underline the words “unto you” in Galatians 1:8,9. A man is only accursed if he preaches the law to members of the Body of Christ like the Galatians who were not under the law (Rom. 6:15)! It was perfectly legitimate for James to teach the law to those leftover Jewish kingdom saints who were saved under the law before God raised up Paul to preach grace, for they were still under the law afterwards. But it is dispensationally illegitimate to teach the law to members of the Body of Christ.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.