Summary: Message 7 in our Galatians series exploring the purpose of the law.
Chico Alliance Church
“Why the Law?”
True freedom comes by grace through faith in Christ
I. Paul Possessed the Correct credentials 1-2
Paul taught only what he received directly from Christ Himself.
II. Paul Proclaimed the Correct Concept of Grace 2:15-4:31
Right standing before God comes only through faith in Christ apart from works.
A. The Gospel of Grace Introduced 2:15-21
B. The Gospel of Grace Argued and Illustrated 3:1-4:31
1. Faith Argued by clarifying interrogation 3:1-6
God operates on the principle of hearing with faith. The point of Paul’s letter is not really difficult to grasp so far. I (Paul the apostle) am teaching the truth as I received it personally from Christ not people. The only hope of establishing AND maintaining right standing with God is faith in Christ not keeping the law. The application of his letter thus far is not complicated either. What do you consider the basis of your salvation? Keeping a list of rules? Believing in the promise of God to accept us through Christ? What do you consider the basis of your sanctification or growth? Keeping a list of rules? Believing in the promise of God to continually accept us through His Son? Paul insists that the answer to both of these must be an unwavering confidence in Christ.
2. Genuine faith illustrated by Abraham 3:7-29
a. God blessed Abraham on the basis of his faith 3:7-9
Paul applied Abraham’s example in his letter to the Romans chapter 4. Paul vigorously declares to the Galatians that
“It is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.”
“those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer.”
b. The Law condemns all who don’t keep it fully 3:10-12
If you depend on keeping law to establish and maintain relationship with God then you must live by those laws. If you want to establish and maintain a relationship with a person by keeping certain laws, then keeping laws rather than relating will be the focus of your relationship. God does not want a relationship with the creatures made in His very own image on the basis of proud law keeping. If we choose keeping law as a basis of our relationship with God we must live that way When we fail to meet all the demands of the law we must also accept the consequences defined in the law – ETERNAL SEPARATION!
c. Christ was cursed so we could be blessed 3:13-14
Paul again emphasizes the work of Christ in relation to restored relationship with God. Christ became sin for us and bore sin for us that we might receive the promise of the life-changing Spirit through hearing with faith in the promise of God not through personal effort to keep the law.
Paul cannot get any more emphatic about the basic truth that relationship with God, justification, righteousness can only be achieved by faith in Christ apart from the works of the law. He continues his attempt to defog the thinking of these believers regarding God’s work in them.
• He next addresses an argument of the Judaizers who would affirm Abraham’s salvation by faith but assert that God changed when the Law was given through Moses. 15-18
From the time of Moses it is necessary to relate to God on the basis of keeping the rules.
• He then addressed the purpose of the law. 19-24
If the law condemns us and is so difficult that no one can keep it, then why did God give us the Law and what good is it?
• He concludes illustrating the gospel of grace from Abraham’s experience by applying it to those who are in Christ. 25-29
d. The promised blessing is unconditional and eternal 3:15-18
The Judaizers would maintain that the Law of Moses now supercedes any covenant made to Abraham. Before, the blessing came through faith. God’s blessing is now conditioned upon keeping the law. This issue should be settled because there is a great difference between the two The covenant with Abraham was unconditional dependent on God’s faithfulness The covenant with Moses was conditional dependent on man’s faithfulness
God promised Abraham – “I will!”
God demanded Moses – “You shall!”
The covenant with Abraham was a relationship dependent upon God’s initiative.
The covenant with Moses was a law dependent upon mans’ initiative.
The promise centers on God’s plan, God’s grace, God’s initiative, God’s sovereignty, God’s blessings.
The law centers on man’s duty, man’s work, man’s responsibility, man’s behavior, man’s obedience.
The promise, was grounded in grace, requires only sincere faith.
The law was grounded in works, demands perfect obedience
In answer to the Judaizers assertion that the Law supercedes the promise made to Abraham, Paul clarifies the unconditional, eternal nature of God’s promise to Abraham through an illustration from every day life and experience.