Gal 3.19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The Law would be a bad thing IF it were given to bring spiritual life & then failed to do so! [But no law can bring life!]
The law was not given by God to make men better but to make man The law was given to show us our sin, that we might be stripped of our self-righteousness. That we might be humbled, terrified, bruised, broken, and by the love of God, driven to seek His grace through faith in that blessed Seed, The Lord Jesus Christ.
The law was added because of transgressions. The law was formally given at Sinai for the purpose of convicting of sin, not to replace the covenant of grace, but to assist it, thus leading sinners to Christ (v. 24).
- Romans 5.20,21 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Romans 7.7,8 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
Therefore the function of the law was to define sin. Remember this, beloved: where there is no law, there is no sin. A man cannot be condemned for doing wrong if there was no law stating that what he did was wrong. But, while the law can and does define sin, it can do nothing whatever to cure it.
The law was added to reveal man’s utter sinfulness, inability to save himself, and desperate need of a Savior.
The law was never intended to be the way of salvation. The law was never given to be a savior, or to secure a right standing before God. The law was a schoolmaster or tutor (v. 24) that was given to point us to Christ
Ordained by angels. Literally, “Appointed through angels” (Acts 7.53; Hebrews 2.2). I have no idea what this means.
3.20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Now a mediator is necessary if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is One, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham.
Because God is One (Father, Son & Spirit), His ultimate revelation comes not through an intermediary but from Himself alone.
What is the biblical definition of a mediator? It is One who represents God to humans and humans to God—and who removes all alienation between them by offering himself as “a ransom for all”
Thus, the only individual qualified to be a mediator between God and man He had to be both God and man. Thus, the One and only Person Who qualifies to be the Mediator between man and God is Jesus Christ.
- 1 Timothy 2.5,6 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
- Hebrews 8.6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
- Hebrews 9.15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
- Hebrews 12.24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
3.21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Again, the law and the promises (the gospel) are not in conflict but in perfect harmony. The purpose of the law was not to give life.
- Romans 3.31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. Paul keeps driving this nail of the purpose of the law and its inability to save us over and over.
Let me repeat. The Law demanded righteousness but was powerless to provide it. Its function was to prepare for the gospel by making people conscious of their sin and their need of a Savior.
God was not surprised that the Israelites were unable to obey the law. In fact, at the end of the giving of the law, Moses foretold that the Israelites would not obey it ( 31:24–29). In Exodus 20.24-26, the first command that God gave unto Israel after giving them the 10 commandments was to build an altar for sacrifices.
3.22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
All under sin-
- Romans 3.9,10 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
By faith here, Paul means new covenant faith in Christ. Since Paul has already used Abraham as an example of justification by faith (vv. 6–9, 14, 18), he does not mean that there was no saving faith before Christ came. Hebrews 11 clearly teaches us that. He means that OT believers did not have the full knowledge of Christ’s finished work.
All under sin- The Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin. We are born into this world sinner both by nature and by choice. We receive God’s promise of salvation and the promise of The Holy Spirit, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. All under sin means that we are incapable and powerless to save ourselves.
3.23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
In other words, until the way of grace through faith in Jesus Christ was manifested, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
3.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
3.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Schoolmaster– William Barclay writes this insightful comment about this individual.
“In the Greek world there was a household servant called the paidagogos. He was not the schoolmaster. He was usually an old and trusted slave who had been long in the family and whose character was high. He was in charge of the child’s moral welfare and it was his duty to see that he acquired the qualities essential to true manhood. He had one particular duty; every day he had to take the child to and from school. He had nothing to do with the actual teaching of the child, but it was his duty to take him in safety to the school and deliver him to the teacher. That–said Paul–was like the function of the law. It was there to lead a man to Christ. “
So once again we learn that the purpose of the law was to bring a man to Christ by showing him that by himself he was utterly unable to keep it. But once a man had come to Christ he no longer needed the law, for now he was dependent not on law but on grace. That we are no longer under the law, but under grace is the main message of Galatians and Hebrews.
3.26 For ye are all the children of God (how) by faith in Christ Jesus.
Children of God- The Greek word used for children is a legal term used in the adoption and inheritance laws of first-century Rome. It is used elsewhere in Paul’s letters (compare 4:5–7; Rom. 8:14–16, 23).
Having been adopted into God’s family by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we now enjoy all the privileges, responsibilities, and inheritance rights of God’s children.
God is the Father of all people in a general sense because he created them (Acts 17:24–28). But only those are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ are God’s true spiritual children and in the family of God.
3.27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 12.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
There is an old hymn taken from verse 27 that is sung at every Orthodox church baptismal services to this day.
Water Baptism itself does not secure our union with Christ; it portrays outwardly and visibly the union secured by faith inwardly. Believers in Christ are water baptized; you do not get water baptized to become a believer in Jesus Christ.
Water baptism is a declaration of a real and living union with Jesus Christ and the command to be water baptized is given to every one of you.
3.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
In the new creation, the distinction between Jew and Gentile is removed ( 2:11–22). Christians are incorporated into a community of believers in which each member has put on a kind of clothing that covers differences that normally divide people, such as gender, ethnicity, and social status.
Unity in Christ transcends ethnic, social and gender distinctions. In grace, there is no race.
But it is important for us to understand that equality and unity in Christ does not mean that God has abolished different roles of authority.
In Christ there are distinctive roles in the workplace, the home and the church for functional purposes and order.
It means that in Christ, authority that is governed by the love, grace and Spirit of Christ has replaced mean spirited, heavy-handed authority or attitudes of spiritual superiority.
3.29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise
All believers, Jew and Gentile, are heirs of the spiritual blessing that accompanied the Abrahamic Covenant—justification by faith ( 15:6; cf. Rom. 4:3–11).
For those who are in Christ Jesus
Jesus Christ has bought us with the price of His own death, which means that we now doubly belong to God.
- As our Creator He made you.
- As our Redeemer, He bought you.
This means, beloved, that your life is no longer your own to do with as you please, but to live for Christ and to do what pleases Him. How “far” do we take this living for Christ?
- James 4.13-17 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
- 1 Corinthians 10.31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
And the singular purpose for our lives now is to magnify Christ and bring Him glory in whatever situation we are in. The cross of Jesus Christ nails selfish living into a coffin.
For those who are undecided or unsure of the salvation of their soul.
- 1 John 2.1,2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Advocate- The Greek word is parakletos, a “helper,” such as an attorney in a legal matter. Jesus Christ is our Defense Attorney before The Father.
Propitiation- A propitiation is a sacrifice presented to God that is meant to take away the enmity that is brought on by sin between God and the worshiper.
A propitiation is “a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath and turns it to favor”. Only The Lord Jesus Christ can be an effective propitiation for sinners who call upon His Name.
By dying on the cross, Christ bore God’s wrath for all who trust in Him, anywhere in the world, giving us the ultimate example of love (1 John 4:10).
- Romans 3.24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
- 1 John 4.10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
By means of the atoning death of Christ, God in His great love for us has appeased the wrath of God on account of sin.
Thus, to the sinner who repents of their sin and believes in Jesus Christ, God provides a covering for their sin and gives unto them newness of life.
Repent and be baptized every one of you in The Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of The Holy Ghost.