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Commentary » Galatians 3:19-Galatians 3:22 » Family-Times.net
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The Law Was Temporary And Required a Mediator

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According to a third century rabbi, Moses gave 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands. David reduced them to eleven in Psalm 15. Isaiah made them six (Isaiah 33:14, 15). Micah 6:8 binds them into three commands. Habbakuk reduces them all to one great statement: “The just … More

Law

What was the purpose of the Law? It was given to show that we sin. The Law was a dramatic event (Ex. 19) in comparison with the giving of the covenant to Abraham (Gen. 15). The Judaizers were impressed with the emotional externals and they were saying “In order for a person to please God, he must keep the Law because God gave His law through Moses.” Paul’s response was that we must go back before Moses to Abraham when there was no law and see the reason for the Law. The Law was temporary.(v. 19) It was only “until the seed should come”.  Therefore with the death and resurrection of Christ the Law was done away and now God gives to us His Holy Spirit to indwell us (Romans 8:1-4). The Law required a mediator (v. 19b,20). The Law came from God to angels to Moses which meant the nation received the Law third  handed from  God. The Law and its purpose begin to take on proper perspective.

Does the Law disagree with God’s promises? No, it doesn’t! If any law could give life to us, we could become acceptable to God by obeying that law. But the Scriptures say that sin controls everyone, so that God’s promises will be for anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ (v.22). By using a review of  history Paul is able to give us a better understanding of what the Law can or cannot do. The Law was given to provide life and to reveal sin. If eternal life could come through the Law then Jesus Christ would not have come to die on the cross for us. The Law shows the sinner his guilt and God’s grace shows the forgiveness he can have through Jesus Christ. The Law is a mirror (James 1:22-25) to show us what we look like and it is God’s grace that provides cleansing through the blood of  Christ.

There is a lawful and an unlawful use of the Law (Tim.1:8-11). The lawful use is to show us our sin and to cause us to see our need of Christ. The unlawful use is to try to achieve salvation by keeping of the Law. God does not have two ways of salvation. He has given us one way - faith in Jesus Christ. Before faith in Christ delivered us we were imprisoned by sin, beaten down by past mistakes, and chocked by desires that we knew were wrong but He proved the way of escape.

Application

Law is like a mirror where I can see my sin? I need to be looking into it every day so I can see the areas that I need to change just like I shave and comb my hair.

Galatians 3:19-22 (English Standard Version)

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

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