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


Pastor Ricky Kurth



“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.