Promises vs Law

“Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.” (Gal. 3:21)

Paul makes it clear that he is not insulting the law nor his fellow Jews. Perhaps he is aware that his condemnation of the law is upsetting to those who have been under it for their entire life. His intention was not to bad mouth the law but rather to show that it had accomplished its purpose in demonstrating the power and consequences of sin. Instead, Paul just wants the law to be put in the proper perspective.

Here is the truth of the law, Paul is telling them, it could not give life. It was, in fact, a law of death. The wages of sin is death and the law was all about sin. The question is one of righteousness. How does one become righteous in the sight of God? Not by the law. It couldn’t give life. It couldn’t bring righteousness. The law could not justify for the just live by faith, not by law.

So the law wasn’t contrary to the promises. It had another purpose but that purpose was not to remove sin eternally. That required a savior. Not animals and not law keeping. The removal of sin came by grace, not by law. The problem among the Galatian Christians is that they wanted to make the gospel contrary to the law. This meant putting Moses as a higher intermediary than Jesus. The gospel taught that God was reconciling the sinful world to Himself by the sacrifice of His Son. Man could not bring about reconciliation. Moses could not bring about reconciliation and neither could the law he mediated.

After this many verses on the subject, we can appreciate Paul’s calling them “foolish.” If they wanted to be saved by a dead letter rather than by a living Spirit how could they be called anything else? I think Paul was tired of hearing about Moses when he should have been hearing about Jesus. He once said, “I don’t want to hear anything but Christ Jesus and Him crucified.” Give it up Galatians. Drop the law, trust Jesus.

Task for Today: Keep in mind today that there is one savior and He is Jesus. Also keep in mind today that the salvation is free, a gift from God and requires only your faith. None of self and all of Jesus should be our theme song. Sing it today. It’s all about you, Lord, it’s all about you.”

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