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Summary: What is the purpose of the Law - its like an external supervisor. Grace gives us in internal partner to make us like God - not just obey external rules.

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Why are there speeding tickets? They exist because people drive faster than the posted limit - they are a notice that you’ve broken the law and have displeased the authorities and must pay for it.

If no one ever drove too fast there’d be no need for tickets. Or if you always rode in a bus with a driver who never broke the speed limit you’d never need worry about it, would you?

The speeding laws are there as a reminder of the standard we are expected to adhere to. Just as God’s Law exists to show us His standard. Unlike the speed laws - God’s laws are impossible to fully obey - okay, for some even the speed laws are impossible to obey - but today as we look at the purpose of the Law - we need to look at it as a temporary addendum to a promise God made - that a person - not a document - would ultimately fully obey and be fully like God - then pass that character on to us.

And later, we’ll learn some ways of determining, after being set free from rule making - how to know if our behavior is like that person - or not.

Verse 19

The Law shows that we are sinners by codifying the character of God

This is both a negative and positive role - negative to punish wrongdoing - positive in that it reveals the character of God and gives us a measuring rod to judge right from wrong.

The Law shows us that we can’t possibly live up to God’s character

Jesus made it even more impossible when He talked about it (Matt 5:17-22)

Added suggests the law was added later as a temporary measure until Jesus, the Seed would come and fulfill the whole thing.

One of our problems is that after being saved we fall into a pattern or doing things, thinking that if we keep doing it this way then we must be pleasing God - this is the static nature of the Law - but our relationship with Him is dynamic, so that we’ve got to rely on Him each moment of each day.

The Jews believed that angels gave Moses the Ten Commandments - Moses himself being the mediator - but with Abraham God spoke directly. This shows the inferiority of the Law

Verse 21-22

People confused the Law with the way to become righteous instead of a way to prove we are unrighteous.

Don’t confuse the promise of God that a Savior would come, with the Law bringing salvation.

The Law makes us realize what we already are - a prisoner of sin because by our nature we are disobedient and unable to live up to God’s character - so that behavior might not be the thing that rescues us - but belief.

Verse 23-25

Before faith - the law forced us to the Messiah because we see how inadequate we really are when we measure ourselves against the law.

We have graduated from the law into faith - it no longer measures us.

"Put in charge" is the Greek word where we get: Pedagogue from. In Greek culture a pedagogue was a slave who supervised children - taking them to and from school, checking their homework and supervising them learning life skills until adulthood (age 16).

The Law oversaw our behavior until we could have a full relationship with the Father through faith in Jesus.


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