Summary: Print for a young believer
“WHY THE LAW THEN? IT WAS ADDED BECAUSE OF TRANSGRESSIONS, HAVING BEEN ORDAINED THROUGH ANGELS BY THE AGENCY OF A MEDIATOR, UNTIL THE SEED SHOULD COME TO WHOM THE PROMISE HAD BEEN MADE. 20 NOW A MEDIATOR IS NOT FOR ONE PARTY ONLY; WHEREAS GOD IS ONLY ONE. 21 IS THE LAW THEN CONTRARY TO THE PROMISES OF GOD? MAY IT NEVER BE! FOR IF A LAW HAD BEEN GIVEN WHICH WAS ABLE TO IMPART LIFE, THEN RIGHTEOUSNESS WOULD INDEED HAVE BEEN BASED ON LAW. 22 BUT THE SCRIPTURE HAS SHUT UP ALL MEN UNDER SIN, THAT THE PROMISE BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST MIGHT BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE. 23 BUT BEFORE FAITH CAME, WE WERE KEPT IN CUSTODY UNDER THE LAW, BEING SHUT UP TO THE FAITH WHICH WAS LATER TO BE REVEALED. 24 THEREFORE THE LAW HAS BECOME OUR TUTOR TO LEAD US TO CHRIST, THAT WE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. 25 BUT NOW THAT FAITH HAS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A TUTOR. 26 FOR YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. 27 FOR ALL OF YOU WHO WERE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE CLOTHED YOURSELVES WITH CHRIST. 28 THERE IS NEITHER JEW NOR GREEK, THERE IS NEITHER SLAVE NOR FREE MAN, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. 29 AND IF YOU BELONG TO CHRIST, THEN YOU ARE ABRAHAM’S OFFSPRING, HEIRS ACCORDING TO PROMISE.”
When Paul wrote this letter to the church in Galatia, it was because he had gotten reports that they were falling back into thinking that the way to be pleasing to God was in keeping the law of Moses (what we refer to as the Ten Commandments and all the laws that later built up around them).
Now, there is no place that the Bible tells us the Law is not good. After all, the Law was given by God in the first place. Paul says in Romans that the Law is perfect and Holy and good.
But the Law was never meant to save people. It was given as a guide, to teach us what God is like, and also to teach us that there is no way we can keep it perfectly in our own strength.
Here in Galatians 3, Paul is saying that the Law was like a tutor. A tutor is like a personal teacher. If a child is sick for a long time, parents will often hire someone to actually live at their house and daily teach that child so he can keep up on his education.
The Law was given to be our personal teacher, pointing us to the time when Christ would come and give us the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Law in us.
That is, the Law would be fulfilled in us because by His Spirit He would give us the desire in our hearts to live Holy before Him.
See verse 25? “...after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
Through faith in the shed blood of Christ, we become sons of God, and there is no favoritism with Him. Everyone in His family is important, and everyone in His family is an heir, meaning that we will inherit as sons, all that He has waiting for us in eternity. We are heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
So don’t think you can please God by doing religious things and acting just right; because if you think that, then you also have to think that if you fail God will reject you. That is not true. If my son fails, I discipline him, but he is still my son and I still love him. And isn’t God a better father than any of us?
If we are Christ’s, we are God’s. His Spirit in us helps us cry, “Daddy!” (See Galatians 4:6)