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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


DE KONING, Jacobus. The guideline for Christian ethics: Galatians 6:2 under scrutiny. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2017, vol.51, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2305-0853.

In this article, the following question is addressed: What is the guideline for Christian ethics under the New Testament dispensation? The article reasons that the Torah can no longer be the guideline for Christian ethics. Galatians 6:2 is scrutinised as the focal point for this reflection. This is done with reference to the Jesus tradition in Paul, the rabbinic tradition and Matthew 5, as well as the use of Galatians 6:11-18 as hermeneutical key to the understanding of Galatians. It is clearly shown that Galatians 6:2 teaches that Christ the crucified now replaces the entire Torah. Therefore it is not surprising that Paul applies the term 'Israel of God' (τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ; Gal 6:16) to the community of those who are in Christ and wherein the Torah finds its fulfilment. This insight from Galatians 6 is then used as the point of departure for remarks about ethics and ethical preaching which should characterise 'being church' for reformed Christians in general and specifically in South Africa. In this article ethics under the Old Testament dispensation is explored as well as the difference that came into force under the New Testament dispensation. For the church in South Africa who finds herself in a society plagued by racial hatred, xenophobia and suspicion, living the law of Christ is non-negotiable if one wants to see healing in this country. Accordingly, an adjustment in the liturgy of some mainstream churches in South Africa is a given when the law of Christ becomes the guideline for the Christian's ethical behaviour.

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