Sermons

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.

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.

The Law proves to us that anything other than faith won’t work - won’t get us anything other than condemnation.

Verse 26-29

No longer a child - we are "sons" - adopted into His family

Clothed in Christ - a reference to baptism (either water or Holy Spirit) but water baptism can’t save you just as circumcision can’t save you either - it is an external sign of an internal reality. I like the picture - when people see us spiritually we have on Jesus clothes - not our own spiffed up, but His character.

No differences in race, socio-economic standing, or gender

Through Christ we bypass the law and go back to the promise given to Abraham

Conclusions

Watch out for substituting codes of behavior for creating righteousness

Righteousness comes from our relationship with Christ through faith - so concentrate on the relationship rather than on the behavior - worship, pray, sing, witness, study - talk to God, fellowship with other believers - enjoy your relationship with God and let Him worry about changing you.

The Law was an external supervisor - telling you you need Christ. Now you have an internal partner who makes you into the image of Christ.

Don’t judge a Christian by their outward appearance but by their relationship - if the love the Lord Jesus then they are your equal.

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