So what's the point of the law? (Galatians 3 v 15-25Monday, December 5, 2011
The relationship of a Christian to the law of God is a great practical question. The radical truth of justification by faith prompts the us to ask: “Why did God give His law then?” and “What’s point of the law today?” Paul begins to address these tricky issues here.
Read Galatians 3:15
• What is the example Paul uses (v 15)?
Once a legal deal has been made (eg: a contract), and established (eg: by being signed), it can't be changed: it's fixed.
• What binding deal does Paul mention next (v 16)?
And these would all find fulfilment in a particular “seed” of Abraham, “who is Christ” (v 16).
• So why was the law of Moses not able to set aside or add to the promises spoken to Abraham (v 17)?
• What principle is laid down in v 18a? Can salvation be by both promise and law?
The law’s purpose: No. 1
Read Galatians 3:19
• What question does Paul ask in verse 19?
• What is the answer he gives (v 19)?
So, one reason God gave the law through Moses was to show God's people how to live until the ultimate promise-fulfiller, Jesus Christ the “seed”, came along.
What the purpose isn’t
Read Galatians 3:21
God's law isn't a competing way to become right with God, set against God's promise. Why? Because the law was never intended to “impart life”; it was given to a sinful world, “a prisoner of sin”.
Sinners can't obey God's law, so how could it ever have been an alternative means of gaining righteousness? If we
think we can be righteous by keeping the law, we have completely missed the main point of the law!
The law’s purpose: No. 2
Read Galatians 3:23
• How does Paul explain that the law leads us to Christ?
The law does not oppose the promise, but supports it. The promise only comes home to us because of the work of the law. If we know God's standards and we know ourselves, we will know how far short of those perfect standards we fall.
And so it will be of huge relief also to know that we can be justified through faith in what Christ has done, rather than
in anything we have done!
Thank God for showing you your sin each day through His law, so that you are able more and more to appreciate what you have in Christ.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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